Kids aren't always good at sharing toys, but they are great at sharing germs. From babyhood through the school-age years, your child will probably come down with quite a few illnesses. As a parent, you may feel helpless when your little one is under the weather. Here are steps you can take to ease your child's suffering, even when you can't make everything all better.
If your child has a painful sore throat and a fever, strep throat might be the cause. When you think your child has strep, it's important to visit the doctor. If the strep test comes back positive, a course of antibiotics can clear up the infection. While waiting for the medication to take effect, give your child fluids and warm soup. After recovery, prevent reinfection by throwing away your child's old toothbrush.
Just like adults, kids can suffer sinus infections. In fact, childhood ear and sinus infections are more common because of the smaller size of a child's head. Your child's doctor may recommend that you use saline irrigation, nasal sprays or a warm compress to help relieve the symptoms of an infection. In some cases, antibiotic treatment may be required. If the infections are the result of allergies, your child may need to get allergy shots or take daily medications to help prevent future flare-ups.
Stomach bugs can cause pain, vomiting and diarrhea. During this time, avoid giving your child food. It's important to keep him or her hydrated, but stick to clear liquids administered in small sips. If the pain is severe or concentrated in one part of the abdomen, consult a doctor to rule out appendicitis. Remember, the rotavirus vaccine is a helpful way to prevent one type of intestinal infection.
A childhood respiratory infection can turn into croup. This condition is characterized by a barky cough that sounds like the noise a seal makes. If your child starts coughing like this, take him or her in the bathroom, shut the door and run a hot shower to create steamy air. If your child is having a hard time taking breaths, it's time for a trip to the emergency room for a breathing treatment. You want to make sure your child is getting proper treatment early on so the infection can be controlled before it gets too serious.
Your child is likely to get sick now and then. When that happens, your loving care and attention can help nurse him or her back to health.