Children are more prone to sickness due to their underdeveloped immune systems, resulting in common childhood illnesses. Another contributing factor is the high exposure to germs and viruses found in schools and other childcare facilities.
As parents and workers in childcare, it is important to know which condition can affect this specific age group. Being aware of the most up-to-date treatment guideline ensures your child will get the best care possible.
Facts on Childhood Illnesses
There are several illnesses, both infectious and noninfectious, that can affect little children.
Kids are constantly exposed to viruses between playtime and school due to poor hygiene practices. Children take time for their immune systems to fully developed and fight off germs, making them an easy target for sniffles, coughs, and other minor childhood illnesses.
The good news is that there are many ways to prevent common bugs and viruses. Below are some first aid prevention tips about the five illnesses in children.
First Aid Prevention for Common Childhood Illness
The common cold is not caused by getting wet or exposure to cold weather. The truth is that cold viruses are airborne diseases (transmission through the air), which easily spread when a person who has the virus coughs or sneezes.
The best way to prevent catching a common cold is to wash hands thoroughly and avoid contact with people with the virus.
The symptoms typically go away on their own after a few days of rest, but children can be given OTC medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, and fever relievers. It is important to follow the instructions on the packaging for correct dosing.
If the symptoms do not improve after a week, take your child to a doctor.
Influenza or “the flu.”
Influenza or flu viruses are easily spread during the fall and winter seasons. It shares many similar symptoms with the common cold, but these can be more severe.
The best way to prevent flu is to get the recommended vaccines. Most children have their vaccine shots yearly to avoid getting bad flu cases for days or even weeks.
Children are encouraged to skip school and stay home if they experience flu-like symptoms. This is to avoid spreading the virus and give the child plenty of rest.
Chickenpox is one of the most common childhood illnesses that every child seems to experience. While this only has mild effects for some, it can still lead to several health complications, especially for children with weak immune systems.
Chickenpox can be treated with medication such as child-safe acetaminophen and soothing lotion. If symptoms last longer than a week or there are severe rashes or trouble breathing, it is best to consult a doctor.
Pneumonia is one of Australia’s leading causes of death among young children under five.
But this common childhood illness can be prevented with simple solutions and preventative measures. These include immunizations, taking medications (antibiotics), safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and hygiene.
Most children experience painful sore throats, which are caused by a virus. The best way to care for this condition is to ensure the child gets plenty of rest and drinks fluids.
The paediatrician may also recommend some child-friendly painkillers to relieve the pain and high fever that comes with sore throats.
Almost everyone will encounter common childhood illnesses at some point in their lives. While these are painful and can cause missing days at school, most can be treated at home with first aid and support from a paediatrician rather than an unnecessary trip to the A&E.
To keep your children safe, enrol in a first aid course to address common childhood illnesses and provide the best care possible.