For parents, one of the biggest and most stressful situations they’ll ever face is when their child is sick. Dealing with a sick child isn’t easy, especially for very small children who may have difficulty expressing themselves. Adding up to that fact is also how many small children can be quite a challenge to handle when they’re sick: some hate medicine and won’t have any of it, and there are the dreaded doctor’s visits and the breakdowns during other medical procedures.
This post isn’t meant to scare you, dear moms. It’s only meant to keep you aware and on the lookout for the things that could go wrong with your children, health-wise. The good news is that many common health issues children face are now easily treatable and manageable, with a healthy balance of home remedies and proper recommendations from your trusted pediatrician.
The following are five of the common health issues in small children that every mom should be aware of:
- Common Cold
Topping this list is perhaps the most prevalent among small children: the common cold. If your child has watery eyes and a blocked nose, it indicates they’re coming up with the common cold. In the first few days, your child may be sneezing and coughing. There are also instances when the common cold can also be accompanied by fever, as characterized by a high child temperature.
Before you panic, mom, here’s what you can do:
- Keep your child hydrated with water and low-sugar juices
- Stay away from crowded places
- Bring your child to the doctor if they still don’t get better after a few days or if their temperature is consistently high
- Stomach Flu
Stomach flu is also referred to as gastroenteritis. This is usually caused by a virus that can spread quite rapidly. Stomach flu can be characterized by symptoms like:
Stomach flu can be treated at home for as long as your child isn’t dehydrated. Be sure to give your child plenty of rest. Most importantly, be sure to replenish all the fluids your child loses from vomiting and diarrhea. If your child looks pale, weak, or dehydrated, that should send your alarm bells ringing to go to the hospital immediately.
- Pink Eye
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a common illness in children that makes the eyes look pink from having inflamed blood vessels. Pink eye can be caused by a virus or bacteria and can spread quite easily among children and adults.
While you may have to keep your child at home, pink eye isn’t something you should worry about as it can usually go away on its own after a few days. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to help relieve your child of its uncomfortable symptoms.
However, be mindful of signs like the following as these should signal a visit to the doctor:
- Your child is complaining of severe pain
- Your child is experiencing sensitivity to light
- The pink eye is now worsening, turning red
- Your child has blurry vision
Allergies can differ from one child to another. As the mom, you’ll often be aware of what your child’s allergies are during their first one to two years when you experiment with introducing different solid food. Some childhood allergies may also appear later, so you must be on the lookout for that.
Allergies can be minor, but depending on your child’s sensitivity to that particular allergen, they can also be bad. This is the reason why allergies aren’t to be taken lightly. If your child has a known allergy, your pediatrician will teach you how to handle it in case of an allergy attack. See your doctor immediately if you think it’s really bad or if the home remedy you used to do doesn’t seem to be working for your child in this case.
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of children’s most common causes of respiratory infections. When your little one suffers from this, they may have an infection in the breathing passages and the lungs.
The symptoms of this virus can be quite similar to the common cold as it often starts with sneezing and coughing. Like the common cold, your first line of defense is to keep your child well-rested at home and well-hydrated.
You should, however, see a doctor once your child starts to develop the following symptoms:
- Their cough is worsening or they’re coughing out mucus
- They’re running a fever and they look unwell
- They’re not eating and drinking well
Small kids are quite resilient, given their immune system and body are still in their best state. However, this also comes with a downside. While it’s healthy, the developing immune system can also make it susceptible to contagious illnesses. It should be no surprise that your child comes home from daycare one day feeling ill. As a mom, you’ll soon be able to master home remedies as advised by your pediatrician. If even that fails, don’t play guinea pig on your young child—send them to the hospital as soon as possible.