Children have high susceptibility towards the diseases that is why children catch the diseases very easily and show the sign and symptoms. The health issues for the children are different from the adults; few problems are common in children which every parent should know about it. Let’s see “Common health problems in American children.
Children from infancy and preschool, the common health issue which almost every child suffers is cold. Children in one year get cold about seven to eight times. Some children get well soon within a week while a few children need time to recover from the sickness.
There are many viruses almost 200 which can cause common cold but the children are not exposed to all so their susceptibility to catching a cold every year increases. Every child is different so the signs and symptoms they will give during any sickness will also be different.
Besides the common cold, there is much other illness which is common in the children. let’s see which are other common health problems in American children.
Ear infection – In the middle ear and outer ear.
An ear infection is very common in children. But the causes for the ear infection are different in each child which includes otitis media, infection of the skin in the ear canal, pressure from the cold, sinus infection, teeth pain which radiates from jaw to the ear, etc. Some of the ear infections don’t need any treatment, they resolve on their own.
There are two types of ear infection which are commonly seen in children- middle ear and outer ear infection. Treatment for an ear infection is given according to the age of the child so it is important to talk to your doctor if the child has ear pain.
During an ear infection, it is important that your child should not go swimming and not submerge their head in the water.
Here are the sign and symptoms of the ear infection-
- Difficulty in hearing
- Your child will pull their ear
- Irritability due to pain
- Weakness and lethargy
- Loss of appetite
- An ear infection can be associated with cold
- Pus in the middle ear
The only treatment for an ear infection that your pediatrician will give is antibiotics.
Gastroenteritis – Stomach and intestine.
Gastroenteritis is caused due to inflammation of the stomach and intestine which results in diarrhea and vomiting. This is also a very common disease condition found in children. The vomiting due to infection may stop but if the diarrhea sets in it take up to six or seven days to stop. Gastroenteritis can be caused by many germs but most commonly it is caused by viruses and bacteria.
Sign and symptoms are:-
- Unable to eat and drink
- Feeling lethargy and weakness
- Vomiting starts within 12-24 hours of infections
- Stomach pain
- Dehydration due to vomiting and diarrhea
Most of the gastroenteritis can be treated at home by giving a lot of fluid which is the main mode of treatment. To reduce diarrhea and vomiting, it is not advised to prescribe any medicine at home it will not work rather it will harm your child.
Only fluid intake is recommended for children during infection and advised to keep your child away from other children still the infection is not cured otherwise chances of infection are increased.
Always wash the hands of children with soap and water before eating anything. this is one of the very common health problems in American children which happens due to negligence.
Urinary tract infection – Also known as a bladder infection.
Urinary tract infection is a bladder infection. This occurs due to the proliferation of bacteria’s in the urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infection can occur at any age but mostly seen from infancy to teenagers until adulthood.
Sign and symptoms are:-
- Pain during urination
- Burning while passing urine in the urethra
- Frequent urging to urinate
- Lower abdominal pain
- Side or back pain
- Fever with rigor chills
Your doctor will advise for the routine and microscopic examination of urine to know the causative pathogens for infection of the child before starting with the treatment.
Along with the antibiotics, the child is advised to drink plenty of water. As the first treatment to start is having plenty of water.
Skin infections – communicable disease.
Skin infection is seen in most of the children and adults and is more common in seen children till teenage. The common infection which is seen in-
- Staphylococcus infection
- Fungal infection (ringworm infestation)
- Herpes simplex
Parents should notice if their child is exposed to any person or any other family member who is having any skin diseases. Skin diseases are mostly communicable diseases. So if your child is having any skin disease, then she/he should not come in contact with any person. Separate clothes with separate soap, towels, and bedsheets are given to the child so that the disease should not spread to others.
Sign and symptoms are-
- Dryness of the skin
- Discharge of fluid (watery)
- The darkness of the skin
Treatment is given according to the sign and symptoms were given by the child. Conservative treatment plays a major role.
Eye infection – Also known as conjunctivitis.
The common eye infection seen in children is inflammation of the conjunctiva which is known as conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious which can be easily transferred from one diseased person to another healthy person through coughing, sneezing, touching using items of the diseased person, general exchange of gems. The cause of the disease is bacteria or virus and sometimes conjunctivitis is caused due to noncontagious allergic reactions.
Conjunctivitis is mostly seen in the summer season. The sign and symptoms are:-
- Red and itching in the eyes
- Watery eyes
- Redness of the conjunctiva and behind the eyelids.
- Swelling of the eyes looks like puffiness of the eye
- Discharge from the eye which gets dried as the child sleep, this makes a crust in the around the eyelids.
- Increased sensitivity towards the bright light.
It is quite difficult to distinguish whether the eye infection is due to viral or bacterial infection or due to allergic reaction but consider both the condition as a contagious disease.
There is no such treatment is needed in conjunctivitis until it is severe. Conservative treatment is the only method that includes proper cleansing of the eye area with a cotton swab which should be soaked in warm water. The cleaning of the eye should be in one direction.
If the inflammation of the eye gets increased, then immediately contact your doctor for the treatment.
Pinworm and threadworm infection – parasite infection.
Children are more susceptible to pinworm and threadworm infection which is a parasite. They do not harm your child and treatment is easily available. But the reoccurrence of the worms is also very common in the children and this can be spread easily to a healthy person.
Your child can be infected with the accidentally if they swallow the eggs of the worms but hands or by contact with infected toys or bed sheets. Once the egg is swallowed lifecycle of the worms starts in the small intestine.
The hatch and lay their eggs in the anal region due to which your child gets severe itching over the area with mentally irritable. This cycle is repeated if your child after scratching the infected area with the hand and swallow anything with the infected hand.
Treatment for a worm is anti-parasitic medication which is easily available at any pharmacy. Conservative treatment plays a major role which includes-
- Wash your hand with soap
- Use of sanitizer if the soap is not available
- Don’t share your towel, lip balms, and cold drinks
- The backpack should be clean
- Boost up the immunity with a healthy diet and by maintaining hygiene.
Asthma – A common disease during childhood.
Asthma has now become a common disease during childhood. The prevalence of this disease has been increased year by year. About one in four children is now suffering from respiratory disease in which asthma is common. In asthma there is inflammation with swelling of the bronchi occurs which makes the air passage difficult for breathing.
Sign and symptoms are-
- Wheezing sound while breathing which can be heard without using a stethoscope.
- Cough which is productive and usually increased in the night, in the early morning, changes in weather especially in winters and during any physical activity.
- Shortness of breath (difficulty in breathing)
- Excessive sweating
- Suffocative feeling
Avoid the situations which act as a trigger factor for the asthma-like:-
- Change of weather
- House dust mites
- Cigarette smoking
- Excessive exercise
If your child is giving any of the symptoms of asthma, then don’t delay and consult your doctor soon. Treatment should be started soon.
These are common health problems in American children, which we can see. There are other diseases that are also seen like sore throat, sinusitis, cough, common cold and pain. If your child has any other symptoms then you should consult the doctor before it gets worse and does not go on its own within a few days or if any new symptoms appeared makes you worried. Consult your doctor before any complications develop.
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