Every parent knows kids and runny noses go hand in hand—literally. The combination of immature immune systems, lots of contact with other children, and tiny hands that love to touch anything they can grab makes it easy for germs to spread.
Symptoms to Take Seriously
Before we begin, here are some symptoms to take very seriously. If your child shows any signs of these, please call your doctor immediately:
- Any fever in babies younger than 3 months
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing (especially if drooling)
- Stiff neck
- Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
- Unusual rash or bruising
Now, without further ado, here are four of the most common illnesses kids encounter and what you can do.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
A virus affecting the lungs and airways. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, sneezing, fever, and loss of appetite. Infants might also exhibit irritability, decreased activity, and difficulty breathing.
How it’s treated: There is no specific treatment; it typically goes away in one to two weeks. In severe cases, young children may need breathing assistance.
When to worry: Warning signs would be shortness of breath, working hard to breathe, poor feeding, or color changes. Premature infants should be closely monitored.
A mild rash, accompanied by a fever that makes the cheeks red and then spreads to the rest of the body.
How it’s treated: Because it generally goes away on its own, there is no specific treatment. Manage symptoms accordingly.
When to worry: Fifth disease is usually mild but may have implications for pregnancy women. If you are pregnant and your child has fifth disease, talk to your doctor.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
A highly contagious respiratory infection resulting in uncontrollable coughing spells followed by deep, whooping inhales.
How’s it treated: Antibiotics may reduce the severity of the infection and prevent its spread. A cool-mist vaporizer can soothe breathing passages and loosen mucus.
When to worry: Infants may have severe respiratory complications during coughing spells. Monitor your child’s breathing and hydration closely.
A baring cough caused by sticky or dried mucus in the breathing passages.
How it’s treated: A cool-mist vaporizer may help relieve inflammation and loosen dried mucus. Oral steroids may be prescribed for severe cases.
When to worry: A doctor should see any child who has to work hard to breathe, immediately.
Need a Family Doctor?
The caring and compassionate healthcare specialists at Bingham Memorial Family Medicine, with offices in Idaho Falls, Shelley, and Blackfoot as well as 1st Choice Urgent Care & Family Medicine in Blackfoot, are here for you. Same- and next-day appointments are always available. For more information and all locations, please call (208) 785-4100 or click here.
We’re Here for You!
98 Poplar St.
Blackfoot, ID 83221
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
1st Choice Urgent Care & Family Medicine
(across the street from McDonalds)
1350 Parkway Dr.
Blackfoot, ID 83221
- Mon. to Fri.: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sat. & Sun.: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Learn more about when it’s best to visit the ER or Urgent Care
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.