Most Common Illnesses: Fall/Winter
Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Every year in Arizona, when the season changes from blazing hot to less hot and school is back in session, we see more and more patients visiting our Gilbert and Mesa pediatric urgent care locations. Many of our patients are visiting for the same reasons. As kids head back to school and spend time with other children, germs are transferred between surfaces and illness spreads rapidly. We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 illnesses we see during the fall and winter seasons:
Most Common Illnesses in Fall/Winter 2014
If you hear squeaking, whistling, or a particular note coming from your child’s windpipe when they inhale or exhale, this is a sign that they could be having difficulty breathing. It is important to bring them to an East Valley pediatric urgent care right away to make sure they don’t have a serious upper respiratory condition. Our practitioners will listen to their lungs with a stethoscope while they breathe. If necessary, they may also perform a breath test or take a chest x-ray to see if there’s a blockage. Your practitioner may suggest getting an inhaler for short-term relief or long-term treatment.
This illness occurs when the small air ducts leading to the lungs (called bronchioles) become blocked, inflamed, swollen, or filled with mucus, making breathing very difficult. Symptoms can include a stuffy/runny nose, cough, or fever accompanied by wheezing or quickened breathing. Most cases will clear up on their own, but it is important to visit an urgent care or primary care doctor right away to ensure these symptoms are not caused by something more serious.
The flu can be very serious when infants or children under age 5 develop symptoms. Some of the common symptoms can be hard to identify in young children, such as body aches or headaches. Whenever your child has a fever, persistent cough, or seems fatigued, it’s a good idea to bring them to AllKids Urgent Care or your pediatrician. Reference our pain reliever dosage guide before giving your child any medications and ask your primary care doctor about vaccinations to help prevent the flu.
Pneumonia can be caused by a bacterial infection or viral infection. Depending on which type of exposure your child had to the illness, our practitioners may prescribe antibiotics or antiviral medications. Don’t use OTC cough and cold medications for children under six years old without first consulting a pediatrician. If your child’s skin or fingernails look blue-grey, if they have difficulty breathing, or if they have a high fever, visit an AllKids Urgent Care or call your pediatrician right away.
These two illnesses tied for 5th place:
5a. Otitis Media (Ear Infections)
Inflammation of the middle ear is quite common in children, but can be extremely painful. Ear infections are commonly caused by other congestive illnesses, such as allergies, cold, or flu. Children are more prone to frequent ear infections once they’ve had one before. The fluid usually clears on its own after several days, but pediatric practitioners can also prescribe medicated ear drops to help ease your child’s pain and look for further complications. Antibiotics can also be prescribed if appropriate.
Diarrhea has multiple causes, ranging from contact with bacteria, viruses, parasites, eating contaminated foods, food allergies, and food poisoning. If children have other serious symptoms such as fever, vomiting, or abdominal pain along with diarrhea, it is critical that you see a physician as soon as possible. There are several over-the-counter diarrhea treatments your medical practitioner might recommend, but talk to your doctor before starting a treatment program.
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms or illnesses, bring them to one of AllKids’ East Valley pediatric urgent care locations. We are open from 12pm-10pm daily so all kids receive friendly, helpful care when they need it most. For more information about our offices or locations, visit mysickkid.com.