Posts Tagged "Infection"


As the seasons change from summer to autumn, many children begin to get the first sniffles of the year. While you might have easily been able to write this off in the past, the continued prevalence of COVID-19 has made even what might have once been an inconsequential cough seem overly threatening. As such, it’s incredibly important to know how to deal with something like the common cold in times of more heightened scrutiny.

Understanding the Symptoms

The first and perhaps most important thing you’ll need to know how to do is to separate out symptoms of the common cold from COVID symptoms. While some of the symptoms, like a cough or even a mild fever, might be present in both, there are other symptoms that are relatively unique to COVID. For example, any loss of a child’s sense of smell or taste is usually a good sign that a test is needed, as are stomach problems like diarrhea. Respiratory issues are also an issue, as you’ll want to seek care if your child is having trouble breathing even if they aren’t positive for COVID-19.

It’s also generally a better idea to be safe than to be sorry. If you think that your child’s cold is more than just a cold, keep them home even if they don’t seem to have serious symptoms. If the symptoms persist or get worse, call your pediatrician to get guidance. In many cases, your pediatrician will suggest that you get your child tested.

One of the toughest things to deal with is the fact that the common cold is just as likely to occur as it ever was. Unfortunately, this means that you’re going to have to deal with many false alarms during this cold and flu season, but that’s just the nature of the world today. As long as you’re careful and consult with your doctor as necessary, you can help to safeguard your child’s health.


When your children were infants, they loved to put everything in their mouths and had no qualms about rubbing their eyes every chance they got. Now that they are older, they may still have some of these same bad habits and may frequently come back from school with nasty colds or stomach viruses. By teaching your children about germs, they can understand better how bacteria and viruses are transferred from person to person and can become better stewards of their own health.

Your first inclination may be to sit down and have a talk with your child. However, most children become quickly bored by lengthy discussions. If they have nothing to look at during the discussion, the words you say are highly unlikely to make their way into your children’s memories. Instead, you need to teach them about germs by using something that sticks out to them and engages their senses.

Utilizing the Tools of Technology

One of the easiest options is to show your children a video about germs. There are plenty of free videos about this subject online today. Plus, nearly all children love watching videos. A video can help get across the message that germs are quite powerful even though they are unseen. To ensure that the message of the video has been made clear to your children, ask them to repeat back to you what they were taught.

While engaging one of the senses through watching a video can be powerful, an even more powerful teaching option is to engage at least two of the senses simultaneously through a demonstration. Find something that your children can not only watch but also test out with their hands. One example is putting glitter on your children’s hands and having them watch how the glitter gets on everything they touch.

As your children hear you talk to them about germs while watching you demonstrate germ transfer and getting to test it out for themselves, these new concepts will make their way more fully into their conscious thoughts. 
Although it will not happen overnight, your children will gradually start making smarter decisions about touching their faces, washing their hands frequently, and practicing good hygiene around others when they are ill. Until then, you do not have to feel bad about continuing to remind your children to cover their mouths when coughing or to keep their hands off their faces.


With winter right around the corner, it is time for parents across the community to prepare for wintertime illnesses. When your child suddenly comes home from school with a sore throat, muscle aches, or stomach pain, you want to know what he is fighting so that you can treat it properly.

Common Cold

It is nearly a given that your child will come down with a cold this winter as most children get up to 10 colds every year. Because this is a virus with typically mild symptoms, your child will most likely not need to see a doctor unless the illness worsens. However, he will need plenty of liquids and may need medication to bring down a fever.


Although influenza is less common than a cold, almost half of children contract it each year. It is set apart from colds by the high fever, chills, and body aches that accompany it. Children over the age of 6 months should have the influenza vaccination every year. Most children who catch this illness can get over it on their own.

Stomach Flu

This illness may be called the flu but is correctly labeled as gastroenteritis. Most children with gastroenteritis have a stomachache along with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea for 24 to 48 hours. Hydration is vital.

Strep Throat

If your child has strep throat, he will have a very sore throat along with a fever, stomach pain, and difficulty swallowing. However, he will not have a runny nose. A simple throat swab from your pediatrician ensures that the illness is correctly diagnosed and treated with antibiotics.

Ear Infection

Many very young children end up with ear infections and spend time rubbing or pulling at their ears. If your child has a fever along with these symptoms, some acetaminophen or ibuprofen should limit the discomfort. If symptoms do not resolve in a few days, you should visit your pediatrician for professional help.

Whooping Cough

Although less common these days than it once was, whooping cough seems to be making a bit of a comeback in recent years. Initially, symptoms feel like a common cold but will progress to a terrible cough during which your child makes a whooping sound.

Be sure to contact Kids 1st Pediatrics to set up an appointment time for the influenza vaccine or to request a same-day or next-day appointment for your child.


Once fall arrives, children are spending more time indoors and at school where viral and bacterial diseases are easily passed from child to child via dirty surfaces, unclean hands, and unhygienic practices. While outbreaks of the stomach flu can certainly occur at any time during the year, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention cautions parents and health care providers that the most prevalent time of year for stomach bugs is from the late fall to early spring. Therefore, now is the time to look out for ways to prevent stomach bugs from passing through your household and to understand what you should do if they do arrive.

First, keep in mind that what you commonly call the stomach flu is not a type of influenza at all. In fact, it is generally a virus that causes something known as gastroenteritis. While traditional influenza brings respiratory complaints, gastroenteritis primarily affects the digestive system, causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomachaches depending on the individual. Moreover, because gastroenteritis is not actually the flu, it cannot be prevented by the flu vaccine.

Second, you should know that stomach bugs are highly contagious and are difficult to prevent passing between family members. If the bug is in your house, try to keep the sick child in a separate room, and have him use his own bathroom if possible. Be sure to clean up with anti-bacterial wipes regularly. To prevent the bug from entering your house in the first place, teach your children to keep their hands away from their faces and to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water as soon as they come inside.

Third, if your child does come home from school with the stomach bug, you should know that it will most likely run its course in 24 to 48 hours. Keep him at home and comfortable. Follow the BRAT diet, which includes bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast and stays away from hard-to-digest foods. In addition, keep him hydrated with specially formulated rehydrating liquids, such as Pedialyte.

If your child’s illness continues for more than 48 hours or if he displays signs of dehydration, such as lethargy or very cool and dry skin, take him in to see his doctor. Kids 1st Pediatrics can often offer same-day appointments for sick children and is always glad to accept new patients.


Hand-foot-and-mouth disease almost sounds like a joke until your child is the one diagnosed with it. This is a very real viral disease that seems to be popping up a bit more lately, causing plenty of concerns and confusion among parents who may have never heard of it before or who may not recognize the symptoms their children are facing and may be filled with dread. However, with over 200,000 cases diagnosed in the United States every year, it would certainly be worth your while to learn more about this contagious disease so that you can recognize it for yourself and understand how to treat it at home.

Typically, children under the age of 5 are most likely to contract hand-foot-and-mouth disease mainly because of the increased skin-to-skin contact and poor hygiene habits among this group. This infection is so named because of the sores that pop up inside the mouth as well as on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

This is a mild viral infection caused by a type of coxsackievirus in the U.S. This virus can be transmitted between children through skin-to-skin contact, through saliva and feces and even through airborne particles. Therefore, such activities as hugging, kissing, changing diapers, and even sneezing or coughing can quickly spread the virus, making large outbreaks at daycares and preschools a distressing possibility. Although symptoms typically last approximately ten days for most children, youngsters will be at their most contagious during the first seven days.

As soon as you notice any symptoms, you should keep your child at home to avoid spreading the infection within your community. The most common symptoms you could see include the following:

  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Sore throat
  • General fatigue
  • Painful mouth sores
  • Red spots on the hands and feet
  • Blistering rash

Most of the time, this infection can be cared for quite well at home once your pediatrician diagnoses your child. Treatment may include over-the-counter pain and fever remedies and mouth sprays to numb painful sores. However, without proper treatment, some children may experience such complications as fingernail or toenail loss, viral meningitis, or encephalitis. However, these complications are quite rare.