Pediatricians can treat common childhood illnesses

Pediatricians are here for you when your child is sick, hurt, or ill. Sometimes it’s nothing more than a cut and other times it’s a little more serious and the parents were right in bringing their child to a kid’s doctor.

Whenever in doubt it’s always best to visit a pediatric clinic, but it does help to know what to keep an eye out for and how best to help ease your child’s symptoms.

Four of the most common ailments treated are:

  • The common cold
  • Ear infections
  • Stomach flu
  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease

The common cold

The common cold, aptly named due to the more than three million cases a year in the US, might be the most common ailment treated by Gastonia Pediatrics. There are more than 200 different viruses that can cause the symptoms we associate with the common cold. Luckily this illness is usually self-treatable and rarely requires any prescription medication.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion and sinus pressure
  • Coughing with phlegm
  • Headaches

Muscle aches, itchy and watery eyes, and throat irritation are also associated with this illness.

Pediatricians at Gastonia Pediatrics recommend plenty of rest, drinking water and juices low in sugar, staying away from crowds or other sick individuals, and ensuring your child knows how to properly blow their nose and cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing. If symptoms don’t improve after a few days or the fever worsens then contact your pediatrician immediately.

Ear infections

Since the inner workings of a child’s ears are smaller, they are more prone to an infection due to bacteria from a buildup of fluid.

If your child is suffering from any of these symptoms, they may have an ear infection:

  • Pain in their ear (or constantly picking or pulling at their ears)
  • Fluid draining from the ear
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Loss of balance and trouble hearing

The best course of action with an ear infection is to visit your pediatrician who will prescribe an antibiotic in most cases. If your child’s symptoms worsen or don’t improve after 2-3 days of antibiotics you should contact your kid’s doctor as soon as possible.

Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)

The stomach flu (or gastroenteritis) isn’t really the flu at all and is caused by a viral or bacterial infection in the intestines and stomach.

The symptoms are certainly difficult to miss and include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramping and pains
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Headaches

Most pediatricians will recommend plenty of water and rest. Since stomaching food can be an issue you may want to temporarily adopt the BRAT diet. Limiting your child to bland and easy-to-digest foods like Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast (BRAT) will give them the sustenance needs for a fast recovery.

If symptoms such as vomiting, and diarrhea persist longer than a day or two see your pediatrician as soon as you can.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease

If your child is experiencing painful blisters on their hands, feet, mouth, and sometimes buttocks they most likely have HFMD.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine or cure for this illness. Pediatric practices say the best way to treat HFMD is with rest, water, and over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms.

Non-aspirin pain relievers should be used aspirin is considered unsafe for children. Isolate your child from other children to prevent the spread and contact your pediatrician if symptoms don’t improve after a few days or your child is having trouble drinking or eating.

Top pediatricians for your childhood illnesses

Gastonia Pediatric Associates, your Gastonia area pediatricians, offer top-quality pediatric care.