Common Winter Illnesses in Children

January 4, 2022

It’s perfectly normal to be greatly concerned about your child’s health during cold climates. Though common winter illnesses in children are not serious, it helps to know how to detect them and what to do.

AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale is able to treat all common illnesses for children this winter. If you or your child begin to experience any of the mentioned symptoms, visit AFC Hillsdale for care. Our providers can make recommendations and have you feeling your best. 

1.      THE FLU:

Flu is most contagious when symptoms first begin and persist for about a week.

Symptoms:

It’s hard to tell the difference between a mild case of flu and a severe cold. But when it comes to flu, there is intense fever which often starts with a dry cough. This can last for about two weeks or more. Other symptoms include feeling unwell, headache, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, and a runny nose.

Treatment:

  • Use the same medications as for colds
  • Hydration
  •  Rest

 

2. RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS (RSV):

Almost all children aged two will be infected with RSV. It is a common virus that infects the lower respiratory tract and, in most cases, causes only mild cold symptoms. However, the RSV can lead to bronchiolitis for some children.

Symptoms:

In older children and adults, it’s hard to differentiate RSV from a mild cold. Common symptoms include; fever, wheezing, coughing, congestion, apnea in infants (pause in breathing), runny nose, and rapid breathing.

Treatment:

  • Hydration
  • Nasal suction and saline
  • No medication

 

3.      BRONCHIOLITIS:

RSV can result in bronchiolitis in infants and young children with a lower respiratory organ that is still developing. Bronchiolitis is a more intense inflammation in the smallest airways located in the lungs.

Symptoms:

These include; being irritable, a rasping dry cough, loss of appetite, wheezing breathing, and vomiting after eating. Symptoms can worsen from days 3-5 and persist for up to 3 weeks.

Treatment:

  • Try to give smaller, more frequent food
  • Keep your child upright for easy breathing
  • You can give infants over two months old paracetamol for fever
  • Steam will also help to relieve blocked nostrils.

 

4.      NOROVIRUS (Stomach bug):

Norovirus is a highly contagious winter vomiting bug. Though anyone can get infected, children especially easily pick it up when they share toys, spend a lot of time in close contact with nannies and friends, and frequently put their hands in their mouths.

Symptoms:

You start seeing signs within a day or two of getting infected and are usually vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. This is more common in children than adults and also causes a high temperature, headache, and aching legs and arms.

Symptoms only last a couple of days; however, people can still get infected for about two days after the symptoms go away.

Treatment:

  • Encourage children to hydrate in the meantime. Don’t stress if your kids only take small amounts of fluids.
  • Avoid milk
  • Reach out to a doctor if your child is tired, weak, and isn’t interested in playing. 

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