Your child is sneezing, coughing and congested. Is it the common cold? Is it seasonal allergies? What is the best way to give them relief from these symptoms?
Allergies and colds often have overlapping symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose, cough and low energy. It can be difficult for parents to know whether their child is battling a stubborn virus or having an allergic reaction.
Kids with a cold may feel achy and develop a sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose and low-grade fever. A cold usually doesn’t last longer than a few days before it starts to improve. Since common colds are viral infections, they can’t be cured with antibiotics. To ease your child’s symptoms or discomfort, make sure your child is getting plenty of fluids and rest.
If your child’s stuffy nose lingers for several days, this may be an indication that they are suffering from allergies and not a cold. In fact, allergy symptoms can last for weeks to months.
Tell-tale signs that your child has allergies and not a cold include:
- Cold-like symptoms linger for more than a few weeks
- Chronic (continual) cough
- Mucous is clear
- Persistent stuffy nose
- Itching of the nose, ears, mouth and/or throat
- Itchy, watery, red eyes
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Wheezing, difficulty breathing and other respiratory symptoms
- Unexplained bouts of diarrhea, abdominal cramps and other intestinal symptoms
In some cases, reducing the triggers that are causing the allergic reaction can control many allergy symptoms. This may include washing your child’s bedding and toys to remove dust and bacteria, bathing pets regularly, vacuuming your home at least once a week and replacing furnace and air filters every few months.
Although common colds and allergies have similar symptoms, there are distinct clues that help parents differentiate one from the other. When in doubt about your child’s symptoms, always contact your pediatrician.
Every year, doctors diagnose thousands of cases of strep throat. This bacterial infection can, if left untreated, cause numerous complications and lead to conditions like rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation. Learning the early warning signs of strep throat can help your overcome their symptoms quickly and efficiently. Find out more about the signs of strep throat with Dr. Oscar Sugastti and Dr. Griselda Meza at AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA.
What is strep throat?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection which causes a sore and scratchy throat. Though a sore throat is a symptom of many sicknesses, strep throat only accounts for a few sore throats. Strep throat occurs commonly in children, but can also infect adults. Strep throat comes from a bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, often referred to as group A streptococcus.
Signs Your Child May Have Strep Throat
Strep throat’s symptoms usually appear quickly, with the most obvious symptom being throat pain and difficulty or painful swallowing. The tonsils swell, become red, and often have patches of pus on their surfaces. Fever, headache, rash, nausea, body aches, or vomiting often coincide with these symptoms. Red spots at the back of the throat may also appear. Children with a fever over 101, a sore throat which lasts longer than 48 hours, who have problems breathing or swallowing, or swollen lymph glands should see their doctor as soon as possible.
Diagnosing Strep Throat
Since the symptoms of strep throat can often present themselves during other viral illnesses, your child’s pediatrician will perform a test to determine if they are suffering from strep throat or another illness. During a rapid antigen test, your child’s doctor will swab their throat. The swab is then tested for antigens which indicate the presence of strep throat. A throat culture tested in a laboratory is another, less common, way to test for strep throat.
Strep Throat Treatments in Woodbridge, VA
Since strep throat is a bacterial infection, it responds to antibiotics. These are usually taken orally and begin working quickly. However, in the time between being diagnosed with strep throat and the antibiotics beginning to work, you will want to manage your child’s symptoms. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help relieve symptoms.
For more information on strep throat, please contact Dr. Sugastti and Dr. Meza at AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA. Call (703) 580-6400 to schedule your appointment with your child’s pediatrician today!
Raising your children with pets provides a great opportunity for learning, nurturing, and building healthy relationship skills that will benefit your children for the rest of their lives. With help from your pediatrician, you can better understand the benefits of having a pet in your home as your child grows up.
- Safe recipients of secrets and private thoughts
- Providing lessons about life
- Developing responsible behavior in children who care for them
- Providing a connection to nature
- Teaching respect for other living things
Teething is an important part of your baby’s development. Although it can be an irritable time for your baby, there are many ways you can help ease the pain. Most babies get their first teeth around 6 months, but they might come anytime between 2 and 12 months of age. Teething does not cause a high fever or vomiting and diarrhea, so if your baby does develop these symptoms, it is important that you contact your pediatrician immediately.
Helping Ease the Pain
When your baby is teething, all you want to do is help ease the pain. Your pediatrician offers a few tips to keep in mind when your baby is teething:
- Wipe your baby’s face often with a cloth to remove drool and prevent rashes from developing.
- Give your baby something to chew on, but make sure it is big enough so that it can’t be swallowed and that it can’t break into small pieces. Teething rings are a popular choice for babies to chew on, as well as plush toys that are crunchy on the inside.
- Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger.
- Never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck, as it could get caught on something.
- If your baby seems irritable, ask your pediatrician if it is okay to give your baby a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease discomfort.
Cleaning Your Baby’s New Teeth
Once your baby’s new teeth have arrived, they are susceptible to plaque buildup just like adult teeth, which can lead to discoloration and dental complications. However, do no use toothpaste on your child’s teeth until they are old enough to spit—around the age of 2 or 3. Until then, brush their teeth with a small, soft toothbrush and water. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that kids visit the dentist by age 1, when six to eight teeth are in place, in order to spot any potential problems and advise you about proper preventive care.
By visiting your pediatrician, you can establish proper care for your child. Your pediatrician can help guide you in caring for your child through teething so that they are more comfortable.
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