Common health problems between 6months-3 years and how to treat them
Babies are very active and they always try to explore the surrounding environment. This means they come into contact with various pathogenic microorganisms all the time. But, your baby’s immune system is not fully developed up until 5-6 years of age. The free protection your baby received via breast milk, in the form of maternal antibodies also expires after about a year or so. As a result, your baby becomes more susceptible to various diseases and infections during this period. Here are some common health problems that can be observed in children below three years of age.
Croup is an infection of throat and larynx. It is often caused by a virus but sometimes can be caused by bacteria as well. It can also begin after a few days of having a common cold. It is characterized by swelling and redness around the vocal cords and the windpipe. It can spread via throat and nasal secretions of an infected child.
Barking cough especially at night
Hoarseness of voice
Moist mist inhalation
Using nasal drops to ease congestion
Using pain and fever medications
In case of red flags where breathing becomes extremely difficult, the child becomes pale or blue, or child manifests delirium or agitation, it is better to seek immediate medical attention.
In case of mild coup, you can take your child to daycare or pre-school if he feels fit enough to take part in activities.
RSV/ Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection
RSV can cause upper and lower respiratory tract infections in children including bronchiolitis and pneumonia. Although it can be managed at home, infants under 6 months of age or infants suffering from other medical conditions like heart problems might need hospitalization. This infection normally spreads via inhaling contaminated air or touching secretions from an already infected child.
Symptoms are quite similar to a common cold.
Low-grade fever with chills
Pain in the ear
Loss of appetite
Breathing moist air
Using nasal drops for congestion
Drinking adequate fluids
Using pain and fever medications
It is an infection with inflammation of the digestive system and it is also known as “stomach bug” or “stomach flu”. It is characterized by vomiting and diarrhea. This condition is often caused by a variety of viruses including adenovirus and rotavirus. It can occur through direct contact with stool or vomit of an infected individual or through direct contact by touching contaminated objects like doorknobs or toys.
Drinking adequate fluids to avoid dehydration
Avoid giving dairy products to consume
Give foods which are easily digestible
Avoid using over the counter medications, it is always better to seek medical advice
It is an infection caused by Coxsackie virus and is very common among children under 10 years of age. It can last for about 7-10 days. It can spread via direct or indirect contact with body secretions and contaminated air.
Small blisters appear on the palms, hands, fingers, and soles of the feet. During the last 4-6 days, they can be seen inside the mouth, on the gums and the tongue. These blisters are painful.
Mild fever and sore throat
To reduce the pain of inflammation you can give your child cold drinks, ice-creams, or anything that is cold and soothing
Avoid spicy food items
Avoid too much salt
Give your child food items that are soft and easy to chew
Consult a doctor for medications
It is also known as conjunctivitis. It is a condition where inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eyes occurs. The eyeball and the inner side of the eyelid can also be affected. It is caused by both virus and bacteria. Viral pink eye is characterized by clear eye drainage .Bacterial pink eye produces a pus-like drainage. It is most common among children under 5 years of age and it spreads very quickly.
Eyes become teary, itchy, red, and painful.
A thick yellow discharge or pus is secreted from the eyes
Eyelids become sticky after sleeping
Can wipe away the eye secretions using a clean piece of cloth from inwards to outwards direction
Always consult a health professional and your child will be given eye drops or eye ointments. In case of the bacterial pink eye, an antibiotic therapy will be given as well.
Should avoid touching the face and the eyes
Other common health problems in the 6 months -3 year’s age group include;
Worm infestations in the digestive tract (Pinworm, roundworm)
Fifth disease/ Slapped cheek disease ( A red rash on the child’s face)