Most Common Medical Issues for Babies and Toddlers

If it seems like your infant or toddler is constantly coming down with something, you’re probably not imagining it. There are many mild illnesses that affect the under-five set, and some are even regarded as rites of passage. Yet, even though there are plenty of other things to worry about as a new parent, your child’s health is at the top of the list. So, to help you stay prepared, here’s a review of some of the most common medical issues your baby or toddler may encounter.

Allergies

As their immune systems develop, it’s common for young children to show signs of an allergic reaction, usually to environmental substances that typically don’t affect most people. Pollen, animals, dust, and other allergens can cause symptoms such as rashes and red eyes. Food allergies, on the other hand, are very rare in young children (though food intolerances are not). True food allergies typically form later in life.

Asthma

If your child is wheezing as he or she breathes, it could be an allergy symptom, a respiratory infection (like a cold), or it could be asthma. Asthma may cause breathing difficulty during or after physical activity, or it may be present while your child is resting. In the absence of symptoms of other conditions, wheezing should be checked by a physician.

Common cold

Young children could be affected by cold viruses on a monthly basis — but four or five incidents a year is more common. Colds are more frequent when young children are in busy, public environments, such as daycare centers or organized play groups. Since colds are so common, establishing a treatment routine early — including rest and plenty of fluids — will make a lot of sense during their early years.

Croup

Croup is a viral infection of the larynx that often starts suddenly with a bark-like cough. You may also notice vibrating sounds from your child’s throat while he or she is breathing, that is usually worse at night. Other cold-like symptoms will also arise, like a runny nose and fever. Breathing moist air, whether it’s outdoors or inside with a humidifier, often eases symptoms. Croup typically lasts about a week.

Scarlet fever

Once a deadly disease, scarlet fever is now an easily treated streptococcal bacterial infection. A sore throat accompanied by a rash is the key combination to watch for. The rash usually forms around the neck and on the face, but it can spread anywhere on the body. If your child tests positive, they’ll need a full course of antibiotics to quell the disease and its complications.

Whooping cough

While people of any age can catch whooping cough, this infection of the airways can be serious for infants. Symptoms start out resembling a cold, and include the characteristic “whooping” sound as your child struggles for breath. While antibiotics can be effective if the condition is caught early, vaccines can be started as early as two months of age to avoid this easy-to-catch illness.

There are plenty of other afflictions, conditions, and diseases your child may catch, and it’s all part of growing up. The pediatric care specialists at Wasatch Peak Family Practice are your partners in keeping tabs on your child’s health. Whether it’s for a new illness or simply a well visit to make sure everything is on track, you can always call the office or request an appointment with us using the online tool. Schedule a visit today

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