Colds (Upper Respiratory Infections)
Symptoms of the common cold are sneezing, runny eyes, cough, and either a stuffy or runny nose. The common cold is caused by a virus that is airborne and it usually lasts about 1 week. Should fever appear during the course of the cold, ear pain, persistent cough, or worsening symptoms, you need to contact the office to have your child seen by the physician.
Some children develop ear infections with cold-like symptoms. There are several different types of ear infections. Signs to look for in the very young child are fever, fussiness, pulling at the ear, decreased appetite or a draining ear. Older children can let you know that they are experiencing ear pain. Please be mindful that not all children with ear infections run a fever. Please call our office so that the physician can diagnose an ear infection and start your child on an antibiotic. It is important that your child take and finish all medication prescribed as directed and that you make a follow-up appointment so that we can be sure that the antibiotic has cleared the infection. You may give your child acetaminophen as directed for the pain and fever
Strep Throat is an infection caused by streptococcal bacteria. It usually is seen in children over the age of 2 years but can be diagnosed at an earlier age. Common signs of strep throat are a sore throat, enlarged glands in the neck, fever, occasionally stomach pain, and at a later stage, a skin rash. Once a rash has appeared it is known as scarlet fever. There are many viruses that have the same symptoms, therefore your child will need to be examined and, if necessary, have a simple test known as the rapid strep test done. This test is performed by taking a swab sample of your child's throat (done by the doctor) and a 10 minute lab test performed to test for the presence of streptococcal bacteria. Our office will do a back-up 24 hour culture to insure that there are no false.
If the presence of streptococcal bacteria is present, the physician will prescribe an antibiotic that will destroy the bacteria. Once again, it is very important for your child to finish all prescribed medication. After your child has been on an antibiotic for 24 to 48 hours he or she should be feeling a lot better and may return to school or daycare after there has been no fever present for 24 hours.
If strep throat goes untreated it may develop into Rheumatic Fever which can cause swelling of their joints as well as damage to your child's heart valves. This can lead to other serious health
Bronchiolitis is a disease of the lower respiratory tract. It is most often seen in the winter months and seen most commonly in children under the age of 2 yrs. Symptoms are coughing and wheezing or difficulty breathing.
Most often these children have come in contact with someone with a cold and develop the symptoms themselves. The bronchioles become infected with a virus that causes the bronchial tubes to swell which traps mucus and air in the lungs and the child will start to have a cough with wheezing. Infants’ symptoms will appear much more quickly than older children and therefore they get sicker faster. These children need to be treated immediately and may have to be admitted to the hospital for breathing treatments as well as fluids and oxygen.
A virus known us RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) can cause bronchiolitis. Children at high risk for this are: premature infants and children with chronic lung disease.
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs most commonly caused by a virus. It most often appears after the start of the common cold. Symptoms are fever, chills, cough, abdominal pain, unusually rapid breathing, vomiting, chest pain, decreased appetite and loss of energy. Children may also wheeze with pneumonia. Children may be relieved by taking acetaminophen for the fever and bronchodilators for any wheezing. Bacterial pneumonia requires treatment with antibiotics.