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Infections and Conditions Common to Children

Vaccines have made a lot of the illnesses associated with childhood a rarity, but many others continue to be a fact of life. They range from such common infections as conjunctivitis and croup to the more mysterious ones, such as Kawasaki disease. In the following paragraphs, you will learn about a few of them. It doesn’t matter how much you learn though, be it here or anywhere else, you will still need to get in touch with a pediatrician so that your child can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Conjunctivitis

This is the common childhood ailment that is colloquially known as pinkeye. This is a very infectious ailment and it is spread easily through contact with others who have it. Basically, this is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, or the outer layer of the clear tissue that is what surrounds the eye. With this ailment, the whites of the eyes will appear red and there can be painful itching and burning. This ailment should be diagnosed by a doctor who can treat it with special drops that contain antibiotics for pink eye.

 

Fifth Disease

This is an actual rash, which means that it can be considered to be a skin condition. This one is also known as slapped cheek disease. It causes there to be a bright red rash right on the face of a child. This rash might also make an appearance on the legs, arms, and torso. It is caused by a virus known as parvovirus B19, which might cause there to be a few symptoms reminiscent of a cold right before the appearance of the rash. After the rash has appeared, the condition is no longer one that is contagious. Typically, it will go away within about 10 days.

Kawasaki Disease

This is actually one of the more rarely seen childhood illnesses. It affects the child’s blood vessels. Symptoms of this condition can be quite severe and alarming for several days. These symptoms can include a fever lasting as long as 5 days, redness of the eyes, a rash on the body, swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, as well as swelling, redness, and cracking of the tongue and lips, hands, and feet. Because this is an issue involving the blood vessels, the heart is also involved. If your child presents these symptoms, get them to the pediatrician as soon as you can because if left untreated, Kawasaki Disease can possibly lead to heart problems in the future.

Croup

Croup is characterized by a cough that sounds a bit like a barking seal. This cough is caused by the upper airways being inflamed, and this is typically because of a virus. However, this condition can severely impair the child’s ability to breathe easily, and if this happens, you need to get the child to the emergency room. That being said, most of the time, the condition will go away once it has run its course in about a week.

Ear Infection

Younger children can be affected by ear infections due to the auditory tubes in their ears being so small. These are the tubes that connect the throat to the ears, and when a cold causes there to be inflammation, they can become blocked. This effectively traps fluid inside the middle of the ear right behind the child’s eardrum. This allows for the breeding of germs. Symptoms can include ear pulling, fussiness, and fever. Often, ear infections are caused by a virus and will go away on their own. That said, there are times when there needs to be a trip to the pediatrician.

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

This affliction is characterized by a fever that is accompanied by the appearance of blisters on the soles of a child’s feet, on their buttocks, on the palms of the child’s hands, and inside the mouth. Here in the USA, this is typically caused by a virus known as coxsackievirus A16. This is a virus that seems to be more rampant in the summer as well as in the early autumn months. Most of the time, this is not something that is too serious and can last anywhere from 7 to 10 days.

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