In winter, it’s common to feel anxious regarding your child’s health. Although most winter-related illnesses in kids aren’t serious, it’s important to be aware of them and what to do.
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Quick facts :
40 percent of children test positive for strep infection in their throats
Children can get up to 10 colds in a single year
Most infections clear quickly and are treatable at home.
1.Coughs, colds, and sniffles
Children are susceptible to 10 colds in a year, which means your child will suffer from at the very least one cold this winter. It can take several days for cold symptoms to begin to manifest; they’re typically more severe within the first few days. Also, your child is most likely to contract the virus, although they’ll be infected for approximately two weeks.
How can you recognize colds in children ?
It is a sign of congestion, runny nose, and sneezing resulting from an increase in the size of the mucosa and the accumulation of fluids in these regions. It is an immune system response designed to fight the virus and eventually eliminate it.
What to do
Infants aren’t equipped to cough and eliminate mucus from their airways; therefore, they should keep their shoulders and heads up. Nasal sprays and drops containing saline are a great option to relieve congestion. Use paracetamol to ease symptoms as well as lots of fluids. The cause of colds is bacteria; therefore, antibiotics are not effective.
It is most general when symptoms begin and can last for one week.
How to recognize the signs of influenza in children?
You will experience more fever when you have flu, and often it starts with a dry cough, and it can last for two weeks or even longer. Other symptoms include headaches, joint muscle discomfort, sore throat, and running nose. To alleviate symptoms, apply the same treatment as for colds.
Is it flu or Covid-19?
Children who have Covid-19 exhibit mild symptoms, and one-third do not have any symptoms at all. While children are more susceptible to contracting the latest variant of Covid-19 that first came to light in the UK, The positive side is that the majority remain in the state of showing mild or no signs. There is also no evidence to suggest that it can cause more serious illnesses.
Talk to your GP If you think your child may have Covid-19 or suffer from any red flag symptoms listed below.
3.Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
RSV is a widespread virus that infects respiration. Most children will contract RSV before they reach the age of 2 years old. In most cases, it will cause mild symptoms of a cold.
What to do
It is just a matter of treating the symptoms (see the sections for coughs, colds, and sniffles above). But for some children the RSV virus may develop into the condition of bronchiolitis (see below).
Bronchiolitis is an even more severe inflammation of the airways that are the smallest lung. Since infants and young children have a respiratory tract that has not yet developed, the RSV virus may cause the condition of bronchiolitis.
How can you recognize the signs of bronchiolitis in children?
The symptoms of bronchiolitis are dry, snoring cough, wheezy or rapid breathing, feeling angry and not wanting to eat, and vomiting following a meal. The most severe symptoms can be observed on the first 3-5 days, lasting three weeks.
What to do
Maintaining your child’s posture will allow your child to breathe. Try feeding them smaller, more frequent meals. Infants older than two months can accept paracetamol to treat fever, and steam can also assist in loosening mucus. Talk to the doctor If your child has eaten less than half of their normal meal, had a change in their diet for more than 2 or 3 meals, is breathing very fast, and hasn’t had a nappy that was wet for 12 hours or longer or is suffering from a constant temperature of 38C or more.
5. Ear infection
Ear infections can be a source of pain for children, particularly in the evening. The majority of ear infections in children are secondary infections caused by bacteria within the middle ear that can be triggered by a viral infection, such as the flu or cold.
How can you spot an ear infection in children?
The excess liquid produced by the ear is usually drained out through a small tube that connects to the throat. However, suppose it gets blocked and swollen, and the fluid gets accumulated. In that case, it can cause infections caused by viruses, cause inflammation of the tube, and make it easier for bacteria to be transported to bodily liquids. The most common symptom is the ear hurting in the evening.
What to do
Doctors suggest taking alternating doses of paracetamol and Ibuprofen if one of them alone isn’t working. Anything that can clear congestion will also aid. In the past, we would prescribe antibiotics, but we’ve learned nowadays that most infections go away within 3 to 5 days. Talk to a GP in the event of fluid coming out of your ear. It could be an indication that the eardrum has perforated. If there is no improvement after two or three days or your child seems to be experiencing a lot of discomforts. The prescription of antibiotics is possible when your child is extremely sick, suffers from a more serious illness, or is at a high risk of developing complications. If the ear infection recurs, your doctor might recommend placing tiny tubes, referred to as grommets, into the eardrum to eliminate the fluid and reduce pressure. Still, there’s no evidence to support the claim that antibiotics can help with the recurrence of infections.
Streptococcus is a bacterium that can cause a sore throat and is common in children.
How to recognize it
Your child is likely to have an irritated, red throat, to experience headache, fever, and swollen glands in the neck as well as beneath the jaw. If you were to go into a school and test students for strep infection, more than 40% of them would be positive. Even if they did have a sore throat does not mean that you should be treating them with antibiotics, as most infections heal on their own.
What to do
The treatment is to treat the symptoms with paracetamol. Also, make sure you drink plenty of cool water. Sucking hard sweets or ice lolly can ease symptoms. Viruses are among the most frequent reason for sore throats, and antibiotics aren’t the best option to treat the symptoms. However, consult a physician if symptoms persist since strep-related infections often need antibiotics.
7.Norovirus (Winter vomiting bug)
Norovirus is a highly contagious stomach bug found in the middle of the winter. However, while anyone can be affected, children are more likely to catch it since they play with toys and spend lots of time with close family members and friends and are often found with their hands on their mouths.
How can you recognize norovirus in children?
The symptoms begin within a few days after being diagnosed, and they are typically diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. This is more prevalent for children than for adults, and it may also trigger headaches and fever, leg pains, and aches.It typically lasts for several days, but some individuals can be contagious for up to two days following the start of symptoms.
What to do
In the meantime, it’s recommended that children drink fluids regularly; however, don’t be stressed even if they are only taking small quantities, and beware of milk consumption.Talk to a doctor If your child is exhausted or weak and isn’t interested in playing.