Tag Archive | "Common Colds"

What Communicable Illnesses Concern You The Most

Communicable diseases are undeniably deceptive and especially exploitative of children. The transfer of minute microorganisms from one child to another through mucus, saliva, blood and other human wastes is always a possibility. Clearly, anything that is touched by a child from door knobs to play ground facilities can be a source of illnesses that are considered communicable.

Hence, it is important for parents to be aware of these ailments and to take an active role to curb any possible problem that may arise. A simple cold may become more serious like the dreaded pneumonia or bronchitis. Precautionary measures should be made to prevent complications arising from these communicable illnesses.

The most common communicable disease is the common colds. Even if it has gained the moniker, common, parents should be forewarned that such condition if not given prompt care and attention could lead to more serious conditions and even possible fatality. Diseases like sinus and ear infections, asthma and bronchitis are but some of the complications. As it is a viral infection, the illness can be passed from one vulnerable child to the other.

Additionally, gastroenteritis or stomach flu should also worry you. The disease could be bacterial or viral in nature. It can last for up to ten days depending on the severity of the ailment. A human can get it by contact like when foods and drinks are shared and when the utensils used are contaminated. Although it may be considered harmless and self-limiting amongst adults, a child suffering from gastroenteritis easily gets dehydrated and may even suffer from malabsorption of lactose that will necessitate medical treatment.

Another communicable ailment commonly experienced by children is strep throat. This is an illness specifically caused by Group A streptococci bacteria which usually happens during the school year as it is easily passed from one child to another during episodes of sneezing and coughing. Even with just a simple handshake or just clasping of hands, acts which kids especially love to do, the bacteria can simply transfer. A child will surely undergo antibiotic treatment; that is why, if your child suffers from fever, difficulty in swallowing and enlarged lymph nodes, consult your pediatrician. Rheumatic fever and retropharyngeal abscesses, abscess formation in deep tissues are life-threatening conditions that should be avoided by parents.

Pink eye or conjunctivitis also takes a significant spot in the list; the ailment can also be bacterial or viral in nature although, it can also be caused by an allergy. Such inflammation can be easily acquired not because of staring at someone with the condition but because of person-to-person contact through contaminated objects and even water. In order to prevent the disease, children must be taught to wash hands frequently and to avoid touching the eyes especially if the hands are dirty. As for parents with children suffering from conjunctivitis, it is better for the child affected not to attend classes.

Finally, an ailment that has relatively hibernated for a long time but has nonetheless reappeared in the past few months is whooping cough. Whooping cough was a disease thought to be curbed by healthcare professionals because of the introduction of vaccines. However, an outbreak still happened and cases of death were recorded; for this reason, a high-pitched uncontrollable cough should signal you to call your doctor.

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How Do You Know If It’s a Cold or a Flu?

As adults, it is not unusual for us to see children having the sniffles. Children get sick at some point in their lives, having a runny nose, sneezing and coughing are among the symptoms we get to observe during these instances. Colds and flu are two of the most common childhood diseases our kids may encounter. In most cases, both these conditions exhibit the same signs and symptoms. Children who suffer from colds would complain of body aches, fatigue and a stuffy nose. On the other hand those who have the flu would manifest signs of extreme tiredness, dry cough and fever. With that in mind, a common cold is less severe in terms of symptoms compared to flu.

How does a cold differ from flu? Both these conditions are respiratory illnesses caused by different types and strains of viruses. The causative agent of colds can either be one of the 200 known cold viruses to date. Flu is caused by either the influenza A virus or the influenza B virus. Since flu has fewer causative agents, a vaccine can be used to prevent infection of such virus. Currently, vaccination shots for the common cold are not yet available. Symptoms that can be noticed in children who suffer from colds develop slowly and gradually, the first one that appears is nasal discharges often green-colored or yellow-colored. This runny or stuffy nose is accompanied by cough, sneezing and sore throat. As the condition worsens, the child can develop fever up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, he will also have headaches, muscle aches, fatigue and watery eyes. Children, who suffer from flu, manifest flu-like symptoms more quickly than colds. These kids will have a stuffy or runny nose, a fever up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, cough and headache. With time, other symptoms including nausea, night sweats and chills, loss of appetite and muscle aches on the back, arms and legs will eventually appear.

As we all know, the common cold doesn’t have any treatments available. This condition is managed by doing support measures such as increasing oral fluids, boosting the immune system by eating healthy and consuming items rich in vitamin C or ascorbic acid and getting enough rest and sleep to fight off the infection. For flu, doctors may prescribe anti-viral medications to get rid of the influenza virus. Support measures are also practiced to treat the condition’s symptoms. Like colds, drinking lots of oral fluids, avoiding smoke and alcohol, eating a healthy balance diet and having adequate amounts of rest and sleep can help the child heal and recover. Sore throat can be managed using saline gargles; salt water nose drops can also help loosen mucus secretions as well as moistened the inner skin of the nose. Over the counter medications such as analgesics, decongestants, cough suppressants and expectorants can treat the symptoms of both colds and flu.

These two conditions usually heal with time, but if the symptoms worsen and last more than 10 days, it’s best to seek medical help from the child’s pediatrician.

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