Children are extremely susceptible to catching any germs that come their way. Their immune systems have not had the years of fighting foreign bacteria that those of adults have had. Young kids also tend to put their hands on everything they possibly can, giving them more opportunities to get sick. Keep your children safe by knowing these common winter illnesses that affect the little ones.
If your child has croup, they will have a cough that sounds like a bark a seal would make. They may also make a high-pitched noise while breathing. Croup is typically seen in children between three months old and five years old. The peak age for croup to occur is two years old.
Every year, pneumonia causes over a million hospitalizations. While pneumonia can present in several different ways, a common sign that your child has it is if they have had a cold for several days and then quickly develop a worsening cough and high fever. Keep an eye out for suddenly worsening symptoms, as there are over 30 different causes for pneumonia.
The flu is perhaps the most widely discussed winter illness because it comes on quickly and can easily spread to others. If your child has the flu, they will be most contagious in the first three to four days that they have the illness. To prevent the flu, be sure that every member of your family gets the annual flu vaccine.
This painful infection of the throat and tonsils is most commonly seen in school-aged children. Strep throat does not cause coughing, but it typically results in a very sore throat, headache, and fever. Luckily, antibiotics normally take care of strep throat. If your child has strep throat, be sure to keep them home from school and other activities for at least 24 hours after they start antibiotics.
By knowing these common childhood illnesses, you will be better able to spot early symptoms in your children and get them to a medical provider immediately.