The Flu, Croup and Bronchiolitis

The Flu, Croup and Bronchiolitis


Young children are prone to a variety of infections and get sick more often than adults because they have not yet developed immunity to the infectious agents that cause childhood diseases. School-aged children are also very prone to catching contagious diseases from their peers at daycare or in school. There are vaccines available to prevent some childhood infections and their complications. Many of these immunizations are given in the first year to protect infants against serious health problems, but vaccines are offered at different times throughout childhood. Vaccines can protect against both bacterial and viral infections.

The Flu

Children often get the flu from other children at school. Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness that attacks cells in the upper respiratory tract. The best treatment option is prevention. Parents should immunize their child with the influenza virus. If a child does get the flu, then they should be monitored closely for signs of complications. The best treatment option is rest and an increase in fluids. A physician should be called if the child has a fever higher than 103. Ear infections are a common secondary infection with children who have the flu.

Rarely causes gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea or upset stomach, these symptoms are generally caused by other viruses like E-coli (Escherichia) or rotavirus. Symptoms are abrupt, intense, and evident which can last from two days to two weeks. The flu can be treated with bed rest, plenty of liquids, steam vapor and nourishing food.

Symptoms

• Fever

• Chills

• Fatigue

• Headache

• Hoarse cough

• Aching body

Croup

One of the most common respiratory conditions that children get is called croup. The group is a cough that has a distinctive sound to it. The croup is common during the winter months and lasts about five to six days. It's caused by a virus and can be treated at home with plenty of rest and extra fluids. The recovery time is about three to five days. Keep the air moist in the house. Moist air will help the child breathe easier. A physician should be called if symptoms don't improve after a few days, or if the child has a fever of 103 or above.

Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is an acute viral infection of the small breathing tubes of the lungs called bronchioles. It is a common virus in infants due to their small air passages that efficiently block. Most children recover from bronchiolitis in one to two weeks. Mild symptoms can be treated with plenty of fluids, rest and a cold air humidifier. Infants and toddlers who are having extreme breathing problems may need to go to the hospital for oxygen and help in opening the airways.

Symptoms

• Fever

• Wheezing

• Difficult breathing

• A persistent cough that worsens at night


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