Small children’s immune systems aren’t fully developed, so they seem to bring home every germ possible. If your child always seems to be catching something, don’t fret; it’s probably a common illness. Learn how to navigate common sicknesses, when to call the doctor, and when something requires a trip to the ER.
Babies and toddlers are especially prone to these ear infections. They’re often associated with the common cold, occurring when a cold causes inflammation and blocks auditory tubes. Infections trap fluid in the middle ear, and germs love to breed in fluid. Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic. If ear infections are chronic, he or she may recommend surgery to insert tubes into your child’s ears to drain fluid.
Croup goes beyond a cold or cough. Its main symptom is a cough that sounds more like a bark. Most victims are 5 years old or younger, and most croup cases resolve on their own or with medicine. However, if croup impacts your child’s breathing, call the doctor or go to the ER. Frequent croup cases may occur if your child has asthma or other lung problems.
Chickenpox is now preventable with a vaccine. However, your kids may get it before you have the chance to vaccinate, because the vaccine is administered only after a child reaches 12 months of age. Most chicken pox cases resolve within 10-14 days, but some are severe and can cause other medical conditions. Call your pediatrician right away if you suspect your child has chickenpox. Don’t go straight to the doctor’s office: The staff needs to prepare to keep chickenpox from spreading to other patients in the office.