4 Common Childhood Illnesses Parents Must Know About
Posted on December 7, 2015 | Author and Reviewed by: Mark Ernest Del Rosario, RPh
As children, we experience different kinds of illnesses; it’s just part of childhood. At one point, you probably had to drink medicine for cough and cold or go to the doctor for vaccinations.
For new parents, though, this can be daunting. If illnesses are a part of childhood, then taking care of a sick child is part of parenthood. If you are a new parent, you’ll learn what to and what not to do somewhere along the line. But don’t fret; equip yourself with the right information by knowing the different common childhood illnesses.
Do you notice red itchy spots or bruises on the skin of your child? He or she might be sick with chickenpox, a disease where your kids experience mild fever, along with the appearance of red spots all over their bodies. The older your child is, the more severe his/her chickenpox will be.
This condition is caused by the varicella zoster virus and is infectious. Days before those red spots even break out, your child will already be contagious, so it might be better to just keep them at home for a while.
There are medicines available to ease the itching and fever caused by chickenpox. Have your kids vaccinated and practice good hygiene if you don’t; watch them to catch this illness.
Also called Pertussis, this condition usually begins with dry cough, then progresses into intense coughing fits, followed by a ‘whooping’ sound which is how this illness got its name. Kids with whooping cough also experience a rise in temperature, runny nose, and vomiting. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat this illness.
Like chicken pox, whooping cough is infectious. It’s important to keep your child away from other kids, especially for babies as they are more at risk than children over a year old. To protect your child from this illness, have them vaccinated at an early age.
Also called the Parvovirus infection is best recognized a bright red rash on the child’s cheeks, thus its other moniker, “Slapped cheek syndrome”. Said rash can also appear on the arms and legs. As this symptoms appears towards the end of the illness, you may recognize the Fifth Disease by its early symptoms such as a bad stomach, fever, lethargy, runny nose and nausea.
If one of your children is sick with the fifth disease, make sure to keep him or her away from pregnant women as it can cause complications for the expecting mother. If you yourself are an expecting mother yourself, make sure to consult a doctor once you come into contact with someone who is sick with this disease. For children, have them wash their hands frequently. Note that once contracted, you cannot have it again as you will now be immune to it for life.
Red eyes, crusty eyelashes, tearing up, and itching— if your child is experiencing these symptoms, then he or she might be sick with pinkeye or conjunctivitis. If pinkeye is caused by bacteria, there are antibiotic drops available to soothe your child’s pain. In most cases, the pinkeye clears up after 4 to 7 days.
Make sure that your child washes his/her hands regularly and refrains from touching his/her eyes. If one of your kids is sick with pinkeye, see to it her or she is not sharing towels and pillows with the other members of your household. It is important to keep your newborn baby away from anyone with pinkeye as it can cause vision-threatening infections in infants. If your baby is exhibiting symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.
Despite all the self help books on how to be a good parent out there, there are no definite manuals on how to be a parent; you’ll most likely panic the first time your child is sick. It’s best to arm yourself with information about common childhood illnesses in order to have an idea once any of these illnesses strike.