Vomiting & Diarrhea

Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms associated with many childhood diseases. Though unpleasant for the child, these symptoms are not typically serious, are short lived and are generally controllable by diet. Vomiting will almost always cease if food and drink are withheld for 2-3 hours. Diarrhea will decrease if milk products and solid foods are withheld from the child’s diet for a day or two. Either vomiting or diarrhea by itself rarely … [Read more...]

Viral Infections

Many childhood illnesses are the result of viral infections. Viruses cause over 70% of childhood respiratory illnesses and 80% of intestinal infections. The virus is a microscopic organism passed from person to person by coughing, sneezing, and hand-to-hand contact. Unlike bacteria, viruses are unaffected by antibiotics, but are generally well controlled by the body’s own immune defenses. Viruses often distinguish themselves by the signs and … [Read more...]

Television Precautions

Television has a tremendous influence on how children view our world. Most youngsters spend more hours watching TV from birth to age 18 than they spend in the classroom. A positive aspect of TV viewing can be the opportunity to see different life-styles and cultures. In addition, TV has great entertainment value. While TV can be a good source of instruction, most children watch TV excessively and experience some of the negative consequences … [Read more...]

Sore Throat

Sore throat is one of the most common medical complaints of children. There are many causes of sore throats, including viral infection, bacterial infection, mouth breathing, and allergic states. Colds, laryngitis, and croup are viral infections that are associated with a sore throat. Mononucleosis is a viral infection which causes fever, sore throat, and swollen glands. It is more common in adolescents. Viral infections do not require antibiotic … [Read more...]

Medications for the Home

The following medications can be purchased without a prescription and are recommended for the condition under which they are listed. Many of these over-the-counter medications are equally as effective as prescription medications. If these medications are ineffective in controlling the condition, the doctor may prescribe an alternative. Cuts & Abrasions: Use an antibiotic ointment on small cuts and abrasions after a thorough cleaning … [Read more...]

Head Injuries

Head injuries are common in childhood, especially during the early developmental years. Most are not serious and result in no noticeable injury to the head. More forceful blows to the head may result in an abrasion, a deep cut or a lump on the scalp due to broken blood vessels under the skin. Most attention, however, must be focused upon the child’s mental and neurological state. The following guidelines will help in assessment and treatment of a … [Read more...]

Fever

Fever is the body’s natural response to infection and may be quite helpful in fighting the infection. Fever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.5°F, an oral temperature over 100°F, or an axillary (under arm) temperature over 100°F. The body’s average temperature of 98.6° may normally fluctuate from 97° in the morning to a high of 100° F in the evening. Exercise, excessive clothing, hot weather, and warm drink may cause mild elevations of … [Read more...]

Ear Infections

Earache is a common occurrence in childhood and may have a number of causes. Infected fluid may accumulate behind the eardrum, or external ear canal may become infected. Children may also complain of ear pain with a sore throat. Middle Ear Infection Middle ear infection is a common complication of a cold in children. The middle ear space lies behind the eardrum and contains three tiny bones that transmit sound to the nerve endings of the inner … [Read more...]

Cough

Cough is a protective mechanism used by the body to rid the airway and lungs of foreign matter. Most coughs accompany viral upper respiratory infections (colds) and are the result of airway irritation or mucous draining down the upper airway. Cough may also be a symptom of pneumonia or an asthma attack. If the cough is associated with rapid or labored breathing, a physician should be consulted at once. Otherwise the cough associated with a cold … [Read more...]

Cold

The common cold is caused by several different viruses and has thus far escaped cure or prevention. The symptoms of a cold include watery eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat and sneezing. A child may also have low-grade fever congestion and a cough. Most colds are self-limited and will run their course in 5-20 days. In general, children three months to three years old have more frequent colds (average 5-8 each year) and symptoms that last longer. … [Read more...]