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Your child will endure more colds in their lifetime than any other illness.  In the first two years, it's common to have as many as 10.  Colds are caused by a virus, which is easily passed onto others.

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Medical Information

Here are some of the most common childhood health complaints that frequent our office.  Often, they can be treated at home effectively without medical intervention.   General advice for treating these complaints is supplied for your information. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.  Please contact our office if you have any specific health concerns.

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Common Cold/Cough/Runny Nose

Diaper Rash

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Constipation

Asthma

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Diarrhea

Earache

Headache

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Hives

Sore Throat

Vomiting

What Is It?

Asthma is a disorder that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.  It can be worsened by exercise or strenous physical activity.

What Is It?

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Where can I get more information?

What Is It?

Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids.  It is most commonly due to an infection (usually viral, but sometimes bacterial or an allergic reaction).

How is it treated?

Most cases resolve themselves, so treatment involves easing the symptoms.  Eye drops, cool water and cold compresses help ease the symptoms.  An antibiotic may be prescribed depending on the type and severity of the case.

Where can I get more information?

Healthy Kids: Conjunctivitis

What Is It?

Constipation refers to bowel movements that are infrequent or hard to pass.  Newborns who move their bowels less than once a day, and older children who go 2-3 days between movements, may be constipated.

Healthy Kids: Constipation

Where can I get more information?

How is it treated?

Adding more water, prune juice or high-fiber foods to your child's diet may improve constipation.  If relief is not experienced within a day or two, a laxative may be prescribed by your pediatrician.  DO NOT give your child a laxative without consent from your doctor.

What Is It?

Diaper rash is a generic term applied to rashes that appear in the groin area as a result of prolonged exposure to moisture or a soiled surface.  Most children experience diaper rash from time to time.  It's usually not serious, though some cases can yield to other infections requiring antibiotic treatment.

How is it treated?

Treat with zinc oxide creams such as Destin and limit exposure by changing soiled diapers often.  After gentle cleansing, pat dry thoroughly or allow to air dry.  Call if the rash does not show improvement within 4-5 days.

Where can I get more information?

Healthy Kids: Diaper Rash Healthy Kids: Diarrhea

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Healthy Kids: Earaches Healthy Kids: Headaches

Diarrhea is characterized by  having three or more loose, watery bowel movements per day, often with stomach cramping and general feeling of illness.

Moderate diarrhea may require special fluids to replace eletroclytes lost due to diarrhea.  Feed your child normally, with an emphasis on foods that do not upset his stomach further.  Contact your pediatrician in the event a high fever, dehydration, blood in the stool or a change in behavior is noted.

Ear aches are caused by infections of the middle ear.  These may be bacterial or viral and result in significant pain or discharge from the ear canal.  They frequently accompany bouts of colds and flu and are usually not serious.

Pain may be controlled with ibuprofen and ear drops. Sometimes a warm compress helps as well.  If pain does not subside with ibuprofen, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.  In severe or repeated cases, a specialist may recommend tubes be placed in your child's ears for drainage.

Headaches are quite common in children, resulting from stress, tension or brought about by another illness such as the flu or a cold.  While the overwhelming majority are not serious, they can also mean a serious neurological impairment or other potentially dangerous illness such as Meningitis.

Rest and medication like acetaminophen are often recommended.  Your doctor might also recommend prescription drugs or stress-management techniques in the event of migraines.  

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Healthy Kids: Hives Healthy Kids: Sore Throat Healthy Kids: Vomiting

Hives are blisters appearing on the skin, usually linked to a virus, food allergy, or reaction to medication.  Hives themselves are not serious, though the underlying cause for them may be.

Antihistamines help control the itching of hives.  Cool compresses may also help.  Your pediatrician may request a full work up to determine the cause of the outbreak, though in almost half of all cases, no definitive cause is found.  Discontinue foods which may be a trigger, such as peanuts and milk, until the child can be assessed.  Severe food allergies may require use of an "epi pen".

Common with colds and flu-like illnesses, sore throat is usually not serious and resolves on its own.  Other cases involve a bacterial infection, or strep throat, and require  an antibiotic.

Sore throats that accompany colds and the flu are treated with time, patience, and an occasional throat lozenge to help manage the symptom.  Some cases may be strep throat and necessitate further testing. If strep is documented, an oral antibiotic will be prescribed.

Vomiting usually accompanies other illnesses, such as the flu.  The majority of cases result from a virus, and as such, resolve on their own without any medical interventon.  Severe cases may result in dehydration, which can be serious.

Keep your child off solid foods, and encourage him to drink  electrolyte solution or other clear fluids in small amounts every couple minutes.  If your child cannot keep fluids down, even in small amounts, call your pediatrician.

When to Call Right Away

How is it treated?

Asthma involves treating the symptoms in two ways.  Sudden onset symptoms can be reduced with the use of an inhaler, while the disease is treated long-term with steriods, Leukotriene inhibitors, or bronchodialators.  It's a good idea to also know the triggers of asthma attacks and avoid activities where they are likely to occur.

Where can I get more information?

Healthy Kids: Asthma

What Is It?

Healthy Kids: Colds

How is it treated?

In most cases, a common cold can be treated safely and effectively at home with over-the-counter medications.  Babies under the age of 3 months should be seen by a medical professional to rule out other, more serious illnesses.  Because colds are caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotic treatment is not warranted.

Croup

Where can I get more information?

Croup is caused by a virus that targets the nose, throat and upper airway causing cold symptoms and a cough. Children with croup often also have inspiratory stridor, a harsh noise noted when breathing in.  Croup tends to be more common in the colder months and often worsens at night.

Healthy Kids: Croup

Steam from a hot shower or the cold night air may help your child's breathing.  A vaporizer or humidifier in their room may also be used.  If your child has significant symptoms your pediatrician may suggest treatment with steroids.

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