Having a sick child at home can be stressful, especially if your child experiences complications that could lead to an ER visit. As the school year starts up again, your child may have a greater chance of becoming ill, so it is helpful to recognize some of the most common childhood illnesses so that you are prepared .
More commonly known as the stomach flu, gastroenteritis is frequently seen in childcare centers, and it may cause great discomfort for your child with vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. While the virus will generally clear up on its own, you will want to provide plenty of care at home to prevent dehydration. Be sure that your child only takes small sips of water and electrolyte beverages, since she may not be able to keep down large amounts of liquid.
With hand-foot-mouth disease, your child may develop sores in the mouth and throat as well as blisters on the hands and soles of the feet. The virus that causes this disease is most active in the summer and fall, and it will not pose a long-term health risk. However, children may resist drinking water because mouth sores are so painful.
You may be well-aware of the flu risk that starts in the fall, but the common cold may be a more immediate concern. Your child may come down with a cold up to five times per year, and the virus spreads rapidly when the school year starts. To avoid complications, do not treat your child with cold or cough medications if she is under the age of 6. Older children may benefit from over-the-counter medicine to relieve symptoms, but you should consult the pediatrician or pharmacist for dosing information.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a disease most often seen in children under the age of 2. In healthy children, RSV will cause little more than cold symptoms. Children with compromised immune systems, however, may be susceptible to serious complications such as bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
When your child needs immediate care for these common illnesses, you can count on the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital, which maintains some of the lowest wait times in the South Bay Area region. To learn more about our hospital services or get answers to your health questions, give us a call at (888) 724-2362.