If there is one thing most parents worry about, it has to be that their child might have an infection that could develop into a severe condition. It is common to see first-time parents taking their children to the hospital for something as simple as a cough that lasted a second too long. When not handled, it can lead to anxiety in the parent and over-medicating in the children. Therefore, it is helpful if the parents know what to expect regarding their children and whether they should see a doctor or wait out the symptoms. Below are some illnesses a child might have and what a new parent should know in such situations.
One of the common illnesses in children has to be ear infections. The biggest worry by most new parents is that the infection might get worse and lead to irreversible conditions like hearing loss. Ear infections are caused by an inflammation caused by trapped bacterial in the nose, mouth, or ear. These three organs relate with each other, and any of them can lead to an infection. A parent will notice these symptoms in the onset of inflammation in the ear:
- Irritability and crying
- Fluid draining from the ear
- Loss of balance
- Tugging at the ears
- Difficulty hearing
- Fever in the younger children
While these might not be a reason for a parent to take the children to the hospital, there are certain situations where the condition worsens. A parent should rush the child to the hospital if the fever becomes very high, if they are in severe pain, or they have pus-like discharge. Aside from that, the parent can monitor the child and see if the condition gets better.
Another disease that adversely affects children currently has to be strep throat, also known as a sore throat. In most cases, it might be caused by a serious cold that did not heal fast enough. However, it is mainly caused by bacteria. Home remedies like gargling warm salty water help deal with the pain, but getting prescribed medicine is the only way to cure it completely. Here are the common symptoms of strep throat:
- A sore throat that starts and develops very quickly
- Pain when swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck
- Red and swollen tonsils
While this is not a dire condition, a parent needs to look for symptoms that might seem a danger to the child. These are the dangerous symptoms when it comes to strep throat in children:
- Abscess and blood in the tonsils
- Swollen lymph nodes at the front of the neck
- Sinus infections and a blocked nose
- Ear infections that lead to discharge
The common cold is something that affects not only children but adults as well. The good thing with this is, it can come and go even without medication. The child might have a blocked nose for a while, but they clear after some time. In such a situation, the best thing to do is isolate the children, especially if they are in school or daycare. Here are the main symptoms of the cold in children:
- Restlessness and fussiness
- Nose congestion
- Severe scenarios have vomiting and diarrhea
Older children have the following symptoms:
- Stuffy nose
- Tickly throat
- Watery eyes
- Low-grade fever
- Watery discharge or yellow runny mucus
The thing with a common cold is there is no cure for it. Over-the-counter cough and cold medicine can help deal with the issue, but aside from that, all the parent needs to do is wait.
When to See a Doctor
The biggest debate amongst new parents is why they should see a doctor whenever their child is unwell and whether they should wait it out. If you have a young child of about a year or even younger, it is recommended to go to the doctor when they have a fever. The reason for this is that the high fever shows that the baby might have an undetected disease. With older children, it is easier for the parent to wait it out. The main reason for this is that the older children know how to communicate can let one know if the situation worsens.
Situations when a parent should go to the doctor:
- Fever that cannot be controlled
- Abscess and blood discharge from areas of infection
Taking care of a child can be stressful, and new parents are always looking for a way to find answers. New parents can tell if they need to see a doctor or deal with the above common illnesses independently. If you’d like to learn more about childcare, consider taking some child care courses in Sydney.