Common Winter Illnesses Pediatric Practices Treat

When the temperatures begin to drop during the winter, the immune systems of many people begin to weaken as well. As a result, many people get sick for a few days. With that in mind, it is important that everyone continues to practice good health habits during the season, such as washing hands properly with soap and water.

However, young children with developing immune systems are especially vulnerable to illnesses during the winter, even if they do practice good health habits. If your child begins to exhibit symptoms of any of the following common winter illnesses, be sure to see a pediatrician for treatment as soon as possible:

Strep Throat

Symptoms of strep throat include severe sore throat, pain when swallowing, and swollen neck lymph nodes. Strep throat can be either a bacterial or a viral infection. The only way to tell the cause of strep throat is to visit a pediatrician

Flu

Flu symptoms often include fevers above 101°F, chills, aching muscles, and coughing. If your child exhibits severe flu symptoms, be sure to immediately bring him or her to a pediatrician as your child might have contracted a complication of the flu like pneumonia or bronchitis.

Colds

Cold symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion, overproduction of mucus, coughing, watery eyes, and a mild fever. Standard over-the-counter cold medicines are enough to relieve cold symptoms, although it might be wise to consult a pediatrician before administering them to your child.

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Pediatricians Now Offer Child-Friendly Flu Shot

According to public health officials and experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children six months and older should be vaccinated for the flu. The flu vaccine aims to prevent young children from contracting the sickness, especially since they are the most susceptible to it.

Since many children are afraid of vaccinations because of the needle involved, vaccine makers have removed the needle from the equation and have supplied pediatricians with an effective flu vaccine in the form of a nasal spray. A pediatrician will simply have to spray the formula into the nasal cavity. This type of vaccine is painless.

Although it isn’t guaranteed that a child will not contract the flu if he or she is vaccinated, multiple studies have shown that children who have gotten flu shots experience much milder bouts of flu. Additionally, vaccinated children are much less likely to develop complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia, the leading causes of flu-related death.

If your child has yet to get vaccinated, be sure to bring him or her to a pediatrician as soon as possible. The body typically needs two weeks after receiving the flu shot to create flu antibodies, making it important to get vaccinated early on.