Whether you are expecting your first baby, or getting ready to send your child to daycare or kindergarten, parents need to be familiar with several common illnesses their child can experience. When a newborn first comes into the world, their immune system is not fully developed. As they continue to grow and become a toddler, there are still limits to the number of illnesses they have been exposed to, and they often lack sufficient immunity to fight off certain types of infections.
Young children build up immunity to illnesses by being exposed to them. Sometimes this involves suffering through a cold, influenza, or other illness. Other times, immunity is increased by preemptively introducing minute particles of the illness into their systems when they receive their immunization booster shots at their pediatrician, such as is done for measles, mumps, and rubella. Furthering parents’ frustrations is the fact young children have to touch and pick up everything, frequently putting their hands in their mouths, and then touching and sharing toys and other items with other kids.
What common illnesses can you expect in your child? It largely depends upon the amount of prior exposure and strength of their developing immunity system. Most parents can expect such illnesses as:
- Common Colds: Colds are easily spread by little ones since they are still learning to cover their faces whenever they cough and sneeze. It is not uncommon for one child to sneeze onto a toy, hand it to another kid, and have the second child place the toy into their mouth.
- Influenza: It is challenging to teach children to wash their hands on a frequent basis. In addition, some parents spread the flu by bringing their sick child to daycare or school, because they simply do not want to miss work.
- RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus): Symptoms for this disease mimic those of the common cold. If your child has respiratory problems or was born prematurely, it is recommended to take them to a walk-in clinic in Costa Mesa for diagnosis because, if left untreated, this can progress into bronchitis or pneumonia.
- Coxsackievirus (Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease): This disease is commonly spread over the summer and fall, and is transmitted most frequently by kids by touching and putting objects in their mouths. If your child is complaining about their mouth hurting, look for small sores inside their mouth and throat, and promptly take your child to urgent care in Orange County.
- Gastroenteritis: This illness is sometimes confused with influenza because the symptoms are very similar: fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. One telltale difference is the presence of stomach (abdominal) pain when pressed upon. Most children recover with plenty of bed rest, fluids, and bland foods, like plain toast, bananas, and unflavored Greek yogurt.
- Roseola: This illness normally becomes less of a problem by the time your kid starts kindergarten. It is accompanied by coughing, congestion, fever, and a rash which first appears on the chest and slowly spreads. If the fever remains consistently high, or persists longer than three days, a trip a pediatrician is strongly recommended.
- Ear and Sinus Infections: Ear and sinus infections are common in younger kids because their sinus passages and ear canals are still developing. Infections get into the passageways and cause blockages, leading to headache, fever, and pain in the ear or sinuses. Treatment often involves obtaining an antibiotic from a doctor.
If your child experiences any of these illnesses, make sure to keep them home from daycare or school. In addition, if symptoms are accompanied by a persistent, high temperature or your child’s condition does not seem to be improving, bring your child to Xpress Urgent Care for diagnosis and treatment. For office hours and directions to our location, please call 949-548-8400.