Common Symptoms Of Illness In Children

A brief article mentioning several common symptoms of illnesses in children.

Telling the difference between a cold, the flu and allergies can be difficult in younger children. A fever develops and you are not sure why. There are many common symptoms that different illnesses share and sometimes parents have to turn detective to find the cause.

A fever is one of the most common symptoms for a child. A quick touch to the forehead is right about 75 percent of the time. Use a thermometer for confirmation if he seems a bit too warm. A normal temperature range for children is between 97 and 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Before calling the doctor for a fever, take note of your child's behavior. If he is eating and playing normally, it is something to keep your on your mind. No matter if the fever is high or low, a lethargic child with no appetite, confused, unable to swallow needs to be seen by a doctor. Small purple-red spots or large purple blotches that do not turn white when pressed can signal meningitis. Always call your doctor if you feel unsure.

Stuffy and runny noses are two other very common symptoms that children get regularly. Sometimes they will have both at the same time. If the mucous is clear from a runny nose and there is sneezing and itching that lasts for more than seven days, it is probably allergies. A cold lasts about a week with the nose mucous thickening and turning green or yellow. If a fever accompanies the clear runny nose with lethargy and aches, it is probably the flu that is present.

Ear pain or tenderness is a signal that an ear infection may be present. A fever over 100 degrees F may be present in the first few days with a change in disposition and reduced appetite. If a sound sleeper wakes up crying in the night, it may be another sign of an upcoming ear infection because lying down increases the pain. Some doctors may not give a prescription for antibiotics the first 48 hours as sometimes the infection clears up on its own.

Upset stomachs are another common problem that can be hard to track down. First, help your child distinguish if his tummy hurts because he is hungry or maybe too full. Viruses, including the dreaded rotavirus, can cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Other reasons for tummy aches are constipation, a change in diet, an upper respiratory illness or gas.

Diarrhea is one of the more common childhood illnesses. Most cases are mild and are not a major health threat. Keep your child well hydrated is the key to prevent diarrhea from becoming a big problem. Some general causes of diarrhea are too much juice, antibiotics, food poisoning and gastroenteritis.

Vomiting occurs for a variety of reasons. The most common culprit of vomiting is stomach flu. Other illnesses are motion sickness, a cold, a poisonous substance and an infection. Treat your child accordingly based on any other symptoms present. Preventing dehydration is very important but can be tricky. Use very small sips every 5 minutes or so. Going to sleep may help stop vomiting as the stomach tends to empty during sleep, which stops the urge.

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