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Common and Contagious

Is your child constantly getting sick? Random fevers, colds, sore throats and a stomach bug. If you are starting to feel like your child is catching one illness after the other and it is starting to get you worried, calm down! It is very common for children to catch colds and fevers easily especially if they often have play dates with other children.

Experts say, a young child’s immune system has not been exposed to many infections, which is why they are far more prone to illnesses than older kids and adults, who have built up immunity to many germs. Plus, the fact that toddlers touch everything, put things in their mouth and rub their face with dirty hands is not making things better.

Even if you may feel like you are fighting a battle that you will never be able to win, it is better to be more knowledgeable and prepared to deal with any sickness your child has. Read on as we discuss some of the most common illnesses, the obvious symptoms, some treatment and better yet; prevention!

COLD AND FLU

It is no surprise this is called the common cold; average child suffers with a cold about ten times a year. There are of course symptoms to watch out for when you think your child is coming down with a cold. Some of them include; sore throat, runny nose, cough, sneezing and fatigue. Plus, these symptoms can last for up to two weeks.

How does it spread?

Cold viruses spread around very easily; they spread to children via droplets in the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes, which is why people are usually asked to close their mouths and noses when the cough and sneeze, in attempt to lessen the bacteria that spreads around.

Other ways children pick up this virus is through direct contact with their sniffy friends or by touching germy stuff; like toys and such and then touching their faces with unwashed hands.

How can I prevent this?

The best way to prevent flu is by making sure your child is given the yearly flu vaccine. Of course, you could also make her practice washing her hands frequently at home. Plus, teach your child to avoid sharing the same eating utensils with other people, even more so if the person is sick and avoid putting their hands and other non edible objects into their mouths.

What is the best treatment?

As of today, there is no cure for the common cold, but you can do your part by making your child feel comfortable when she is having one. Give her a children’s Panadol to ease her pain, plus plenty of fluids to keep her hydrated and to ease her sore throat. If these symptoms are accompanied with a high fever, it is best to visit a doctor to get the right medication for faster recovery.

HAND, FOOT, MOUTH DISEASE

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a very common viral disease that affects babies and children below the age of five. Some of the most common symptoms you would face include fever, mouth sores and skin rash.

How does it spread?

Viruses that cause hand, foot and mouth disease spread to saliva, nasal mucus, fecal matter, and fluid from mouth blisters of infected people. Plus, your child can also catch the virus by touching something that has been touched by an infected person, which is why children who have been infected are usually asked to stay home in order to avoid spreading the virus to other children.

How can I prevent this?

Frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease from spreading. Your child should also avoid sharing eating utensils with other children. Plus, if an infected child has been to your house, make sure to wash the toys and surface area that have been touched by using one tablespoon of bleach and 4 cups of water.

What is the best treatment?

There is no specific treatment for this disease. Since it is caused by a virus, there is no need for antibiotics. However, you can take your child to the doctor to get medication to ease her fever and mouth sores just so that the disease is a lot easier for her to handle.

CONJUNCTIVITIS

Conjunctivitis, or more commonly known as pink eye, is an irritation of the eye and lining of the eyelid. Some of the symptoms include itching, burning, redness, increased tearing or discharge, sensitivity to light and crusting on the lids and lashes.

How does it spread?

Viruses, bacteria and irritants can cause conjunctivitis. When a virus or bacteria is the cause, children can catch it easily by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes with unwashed hands.

How can I prevent this?

To protect your child and yourself from getting infected, make sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water. Carry along an alcohol-based sanitizer just in case soap and warm water are not available.

Make sure your child does not share pillows, washcloths and other items with someone who has been infected. Wash all items thoroughly before handing them over to your child.

What is the best treatment?

While there is no treatment specifically for conjunctivitis, you could help by placing an ice pack over your child’s eye to ease her pain and irritation. If the virus causes her to have a fever, headache, vision problems as well at other symptoms that might be a little worrying, it would be best to visit the doctor for some prescription medication.

STOMACH FLU

Stomach flu is not actually flu. It comes in the form of an upset stomach. Some of the symptoms include cramps, diarrhea, fever and vomiting. In very rare cases, these symptoms are accompanied by skin rash that disappears in a few days.

How does it spread?

This virus can spread to your child if she has close contact with someone who has been infected. Plus, she could also catch it by eating something prepared by the infected person, which means if you are having the stomach flu, it is best to avoid cooking for your little one.

How can I prevent this?

The best attempt in preventing this from happening is by avoiding close contact with someone who is infected or eating something cooked by them. Plus, making sure you and your family avoid eating street food or any food you believe is unhygienic would help as well.

What is the best treatment?

There is no exact treatment for stomach flu. However, the torture can be decreased by going on a porridge diet. Avoid eating solid food for a couple of days until your stomach feels right. If it goes on for too long and the diarrhea and vomiting does not stop, it is best to take your child for a visit to the doctor as she might be having food poisoning and requires medication.

These diseases are very common and bound to happen at some point in your child’s life. Hopefully, this article helps you prepare for what you might have to deal with.

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