Children are one of the most notorious spreaders of illnesses. Get kids together in a school, at a daycare environment, or a birthday party, and the germs are everywhere. One of the reasons kids spread germs so much is that their hands are everywhere. Plus, there is a good chance they didn’t wash their hands after coming into contact with something dirty. Many common childhood illnesses can infest your child and make them sick.
Here are the top common childhood illnesses and what you and your child can do to avoid them.
Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is extremely common. It usually occurs during childhood, causing an itchy, blister-like rash on the skin. It usually lasts for about ten days. It is every kid and parent’s worst nightmare.
To avoid this disease, do not be near or touch anyone who has chickenpox. Make sure that you keep your hands and your house free of infectious germs. Disinfect surfaces and wash your hands thoroughly.
2. Respiratory Syncytial Virus
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is an infection of the airways. Be careful with children under two years of age, or a child who has a weak immune system, or a heart or lung disease. RSV can inflame the lungs and cause pneumonia.
Look for symptoms such as irritability and breathing problems in babies and very young children, as well as symptoms similar to those of the common cold. Work with your primary care doctor to avoid RSV.
3. Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease typically occurs in children who are five years of age and under. The coxsackie virus causes hand, foot, and mouth disease. It is transmitted through saliva, from blisters, and, in some cases, viral shedding from feces. Look for symptoms such as a fever, a sore throat, and a weak appetite. This virus typically lasts between seven to ten days without treatment. The best way to avoid getting the disease is handwashing to stop the spread of it.
4. Scarlet Fever
Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection caused by Group A strep. Once fatal, this disease is now easily treatable thanks to modern-day medicine. Symptoms of scarlet fever are a sore throat and a scarlet-colored rash around the face and neck. This rash can spread to other areas of your child’s body.
If your child is suffering from the above symptoms, call a doctor immediately. The doctor will tell you which antibiotics to put your child on. The correct treatment will allow your child to recover completely from this infection.
5. Fifth Disease
Fifth disease is an infection that occurs in a child who is between five and fifteen years old. It is caused by human parvovirus B19, which is a virus. Sometimes called “slapped cheek” disease, it gives the appearance of a rash. Symptoms include swollen joints, a low fever, and a runny nose. A rash will appear soon after.
The infection is no longer contagious by the time the rash occurs. It takes about one to three weeks for the rash to disappear and for your child to recover. Your doctor can recommend the correct treatment to your your child’s symptoms. Thorough handwashing is the best way to stop the spread of this infection.
Croup is an infection that occurs in the throat and vocal cords (larynx). It is caused by a virus that causes the lining of the throat and larynx to become red and swollen. It is called croup for children under five years of age. For older children, the same disease is called laryngitis. Croup is caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold and starts a few days after the start of a cold.
It is spread through direct and indirect contact with the nose and throat secretions of an infected child. Again, thorough handwashing is the best way to stop the spread of this infection.
Give Hillandale Primary Care & Laser Center a call at 770-322-9660 for an appointment if your child has any of these childhood diseases and infections.
Hillandale Primary Care & Laser Center is owned and operated by Dr. Saira Tariq Niaz, who is a board-certified family physician with offices in Lithonia and Lawrenceville, Georgia. Hillandale Primary Care provides patient-focused, compassionate healthcare of the highest quality to each patient and delivers acute and chronic healthcare to patients of all ages. We are passionate about preventive medicine and encourage each of our patients to take an active role in maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Call today at 770-322-9660 or request an appointment.