Most parents know that childhood illnesses are a part of life. But it’s still important to be prepared for them, and to know how to treat them when they occur.
Most parents know that childhood illnesses are a part of life. But it’s still important to be prepared for them, and to know how to treat them when they occur. Here, we’ll take a look at the most common childhood illnesses, and outline the best ways to treat them. At the Center of Advanced Wellness, we’re dedicated to improving the health and lives of you and your children.
What Are the Most Common Childhood Illnesses?
Just like adults, children’s bodies are all different, and one of your children may be more prone to a certain illness than the other. The important part is to make sure you understand what symptoms to look out for, and understand how each should be cared for and treated. While a list of the most common childhood illnesses may be different depending on where you look, here are the ones we deem most common:
- Ear Infections
- Causes: Either viral or bacterial infection
- Symptoms: Fever, pain in or around the ear, tugging on the ear, inability to sleep
- Treatment: If it’s a bacterial infection, your pediatrician will generally recommend amoxicillin. With a viral infection, pain reduction methods and observation are key as the virus works itself out
- Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
- Causes: Viral infection, generally passed via saliva or mucus
- Symptoms: Fever, skin rash, loss of appetite, sores in mouth
- Treatment: Generally clears up within 10 days on its own, although pain medication can be administered if needed
- Causes: Commonly a viral infection that follows a basic upper respiratory infection
- Symptoms: Coughing, chest pressure or tightness, shortness of breath, headaches, sore throat
- Treatment: Typically resolves on its own in weeks, and antibiotics are generally not recommended. Treat with throat soothing remedies and/or cough suppressants
- Viral or Bacterial Sinusitis
- Causes: Bacterial or viral infection that triggers growth in the sinuses
- Symptoms: Pain and/or pressure in the face, runny nose, stuffy nose, headache. Can also potentially cause coughing or sore throat
- Treatment: Depends on whether the infection is chronic or acute. Acute sinusitis will fade on its own and can be supported by decongestants or pain relief medication. Chronic sinusitis can last beyond four to six weeks and generally requires the use of antibiotics
- Causes: Viral infection caused from contact with infected people when they cough or sneeze
- Symptoms: Fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, cough, runny or stuffy nose
- Treatment: Outside the flu vaccine itself, treatment involves lots of rest and fluid intake, especially water. Anti-inflammatory pain meds can also help relieve symptoms
- RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
- Causes: Viral infection spread through the inhalation of infected droplets from infected people, or it can enter through eyes
- Symptoms: Reflects a mild cold, causing coughing, sneezing, running nose, and potentially a fever. Can be especially dangerous for young infants
- Treatment: Symptom relief is the most common treatment, as there is no direct treatment. Drink water, take pain medication or cough suppressant as needed
- Common Cold
- Causes: Viral infection caused from the inhalation of infected droplets
- Symptoms: Coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing
- Treatment: Most recover on their own over two to three weeks, but you can treat symptoms with decongestants and anti-inflammatory medication
- Skin Infections
- Causes: Since there are many types of skin infections, the cause reflects the potential, specific infection it can lead to. Causes can be viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic
- Symptoms: Based on the type of skin infection, symptoms will include rash, pain, itchiness, swelling, hot to the touch, red sores, etc (make sure to consult with your pediatrician to determine what type of infection your child has)
- Treatment: Depending on the type of infection, treatment can vary widely. Accepted treatments can include antifungal medication, antibiotics, draining of the abscess, topical ointments, removal, and more
- Strep Throat
- Causes: Bacterial infection from infected droplets
- Symptoms: Swollen lymph nodes, fever, sore throat, pain when swallowing, and can potentially cause headaches, tender lymph nodes, and chills
- Treatment: Oral antibiotics and medications to help reduce pain and fever
- Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
- Causes: Infection of the conjunctiva through bacterial or viral means
- Symptoms: Itching, redness, or tearing of the infected eye. Can potentially cause crusting or discharge
- Treatment: Can be treated with antibiotic eye drops or with antihistamines, depending on whether it was a bacterial or viral infection
What Are Some Other Common Illnesses That Children Get?
While the above list is not exhaustive, it does cover some of the more prominent childhood illnesses. Some of the other illnesses that children frequently get include:
- Head Lice
- Enuresis (urinary incontinence)
What Vaccinations Should My Child Get?
Having your child properly vaccinated, especially before they start going to school, is vital to their overall well-being. There is a long list of vaccinations that are recommended by age, which you can see here on the CDC website, but the most important childhood vaccines from birth to age six are:
If you’re curious what vaccination your child needs, and when they should have it, talk to one of our providers about getting your vaccinations in Texas.
Turn to Center of Advanced Wellness for Pediatric Care
Our team of primary care providers are here to make sure your child can live their life at home and school happily and healthily. If you have any questions, contact our team online, or stop by one of our San Antonio or Frisco primary care centers!