Parents are all too familiar with the term “stomach flu,” as the illness can easily affect their poor and vulnerable children. Unlike other types of flu that cause typical symptoms, such as runny noses, body aches, and coughing, stomach flu can induce vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea, among other nasty and foul effects. To make matters worse, stomach flu is infectious, and it can spread from one child to another. It doesn’t take long for a kid and all his playmates to be infected with stomach flu.
As a viral infection, there’s no real cure for stomach flu. Parents have to ensure that their kids can retain their constitution so that their body can fight the virus. Severe cases of diarrhea can leave some children dehydrated, so moms and dads should be stocking up on enough water for their young ones to drink.
If symptoms continue to aggravate for more than a week, parents are urged to seek aid from a local pediatrician. The good doctor should have medications that can alleviate much of the symptoms, making things a lot easier for the kids. Concerned parents can also get medical advice from pediatricians to learn how they can take better care of their kids.
One of the medical world’s greatest victories was the eradication of the dreaded smallpox virus in 1980. However, a similar disease caused by a different virus, chickenpox, still remains at large to this day. A result of coming into contact with the Varicella zoster virus, chickenpox appears as rashes, blisters, and scabs throughout the body, usually after the onset of lethargy and fever in the patient.
Children are especially vulnerable to chickenpox because the virus is transmitted easily through physical contact. In more serious cases, some children may develop complications like pneumonia and encephalitis. While it is highly unlikely that a child may suffer from fever or lethargy – symptoms that are more apparent in adults – parents should know that there is technically no cure for chickenpox. The only treatments available are aimed at relieving the symptoms so that the virus might go away naturally.
The best way to deal with it is through vaccinations, which are provided by reputable pediatricians throughout the country. The government’s immunization program includes shots for chickenpox protection, which are usually given to infants who are 18 months old and to Seventh Year schoolchildren. While these vaccines can’t make a child completely immune to the chickenpox virus, they can significantly minimize the complications it causes.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control in the United States, more than half of the child population in the country was given flu shots in 2012. Although CDC officials claim that the number has improved compared with that of 2011, a shade above 50 percent is still a low number.
In an effort to keep children protected, many vaccine developers have found new ways to administer flu vaccines:
Just as the name suggests, the flu vaccine is administered via a nasal spray. This type of flu vaccine is virtually painless, making it a great option for children who have a phobia of needles.
There used to be a time when children with egg allergies could not be vaccinated because eggs were a component of flu vaccines. This is no longer the case as vaccine developers have found a way to create egg-free flu vaccines.
Although flu vaccines do not guarantee an impenetrable defense against the flu, studies have shown that people who have had their shots and came down with the flu after that had only very mild symptoms and were able to recover faster than people who were not vaccinated. As the temperatures begin to drop, keep your child protected by having him or her vaccinated at an accredited pediatric clinic.
Before the creation of the MMR vaccine in 1988, measles, mumps, and rubella were common diseases throughout the world. All three diseases were highly contagious and had the ability to develop fatal complications such as meningitis and encephalitis.
Thanks to the MMR vaccine, cases of measles, mumps, and rubella began to drop worldwide. However, just as the vaccine was close to eliminating the diseases, a study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield claiming a relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism in children was published. This sparked a massive controversy as many parents decided to skip immunization shots for their children altogether.
In an effort to confirm the results of Wakefield’s study, many researchers followed Wakefield’s process in an attempt to reproduce his results. Curiously, not a single researcher was able to reproduce Wakefield’s results. This led to a thorough investigation, which revealed that Wakefield had manipulated his study to get the results he wanted.
Although doctors, scientific experts, medical journals, and Wakefield’s colleagues have already disproved the findings of Wakefield’s “study”, many parents still refuse to have their children vaccinated for MMR.
While doctors have acknowledged that the MMR vaccine can still allow children to contract any of the three diseases, the chances of it happening are extremely lower in those who were immunized than in those who weren’t. In the rare case that a person who has gotten the MMR vaccine contracts any of the diseases, the severity will be significantly less, allowing patients to recover much faster.
Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease is a common childhood illness that causes sores to appear either in or on the mouth of an infected child, as well as in the hands and feet; hence the name. This disease is caused by an enterovirus, and easily spreads via coughing, sneezing, or exposure to infected stool. Due to the various ways that the disease can spread, community outbreaks of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease are a common occurrence.
Not to be confused with Foot-and-Mouth disease, which is common among livestock, Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease symptoms usually appear anywhere from three to seven days after exposure to the enterovirus. After this incubation period, a child may begin to experience a sore throat, fatigue, or a fever. The trademark blisters associated with the disease often appear within a day or two after the onset of the initial symptoms.
Typically, Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease is not a serious illness, with the sores usually disappearing on their own after a week. However, the virus can easily stay in a child’s stool for a few months after symptoms disappear. As such, teaching children to wash their hands properly and often, and covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing can help prevent the rapid spread of the disease.If you suspect that you’re child has Hand-Foot-and-Mouth disease, contact your pediatrician for proper diagnosis, and to ask for other tips that can help relieve the discomfort of your child.