As a parent, we know you can’t help but worry about the wellbeing of your child. And your worst nightmare is your child falling ill. But the fact is children have comparatively weaker immunities, which is why they are more prone to illnesses than adults.
The good news is that, in case of most illnesses; timely action ensures that your child will get healthy again in no time. For that, parents need to familiarise themselves with some of the most common childhood illnesses.
Most children get this at least once a year. Its symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Coughing and sneezing
- Loss of appetite
The common cold goes away on its own. Just ensure that your child drinks plenty of fluids. Foods that are light on the stomach also help.
Bronchitis is an infection of the lungs and it is more serious than the common cold. It leads to inflammation of the alveoli of the lungs. It is a common childhood illness. which triggers:
- Whistling sounds when the child breathes in
- Rapid shallow breathing
- Laboured breathing
If you notice these symptoms, it is best that you consult a doctor. Your child will need medicines. Steam inhalation, warm soups will make your child feel better. Make sure no one smokes in his/her presence.
Stomach flu is an infection of the stomach. Unfortunately, it happens quite frequently to children. The usual symptoms are:
- Stomach cramps
- Watery stool
- Defecating multiple times
Stomach flu usually goes away on its own. Just make sure that your child consumes only fluids and broth until the stomach infection passes. If the symptoms seem too severe, consult a doctor who will give your child antibiotics. Stomach flu can progress to a condition similar to diarrhoea, unless parents give their child the right medicines. Advanced stomach flu can require hospitalisation.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a very contagious viral infection. Your child may contract it while using a public washroom if he/she comes in contact with an infected person’s faeces, saliva, or any respiratory secretion. It is quite common amongst children under 5 years of age. This infection is usually mild and goes away without medical intervention in about 10 days.
Its symptoms include:
- Blisters in the mouth
- Small rashes on the hand or feet
- Fever Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
Make sure your child gets complete bed rest and lots of fluids. A soft diet comprising porridge or soup is recommended. OTC fever medicines can help with some of the symptoms.
Despite vaccination, many children and teenagers contract chickenpox. This is a contagious viral infection and as a parent, you too have to be cautious if you haven’t been vaccinated or haven’t contracted the disease in the past.
The most characteristic symptoms of chickenpox are:
- Rashes all over the body
Speak with your podiatrist. Chickenpox is usually harmless and runs its course without triggering complications. Clip your child's nails so that he/she cannot pop the blisters.
Most people with asthma actually have been suffering from it since childhood. Adult-onset asthma is rare. Noticing these symptoms can helps with initial diagnosis:
- Frequent bouts of coughing that get far worse with the common cold or flu
- Breathing with difficulty
- A wheezing sound which accompanies breathing
These symptoms may show up multiple times a year and may get worse when exposed to irritants or pollutants. See a doctor immediately who will run a few tests to diagnose asthma. Your child will be given an inhaler. Make sure that the inhaler is always near. Your child should always wear a mask to reduce exposure to pollutants.
If you want to know how you can improve your child’s immunity, you can always talk to a doctor online on DocsApp.
Always keep a close eye on your child. At the first sign of an illness, take action. Waiting and delaying can have unpleasant consequences.