Your child just woke up with a runny nose, an elevated temperature and body aches. Could this just be a passing cold or could it be the flu? It’s important to be able to tell the difference between the two. A common cold is usually mild and will go away on its own without treatment but the flu often requires medical attention to prevent serious complications. While an annual flu shot can protect your child from developing the flu it’s also important to know what to look for and when to visit their pediatrician for care.
Warning Signs of the Flu
Unfortunately the common cold and the influenza viruses have a lot of the same symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine what your child might have. We know that you don’t want to worry unnecessarily and rush them into the office if you don’t need to but it’s also good to know when their condition warrants medical attention.
One difference is that a cold will come on gradually over the course of a couple of days while the flu will often attack suddenly, with symptoms showing up practically overnight. While a fever isn’t a common symptom of a cold a fever is almost always present with the flu, as well as full body achiness or weakness.
Children are also more likely to deal with diarrhea or vomiting with the flu. While symptoms of a cold are usually localized to the head, flu symptoms are more widespread.
You Suspect Your Child has the Flu. Now What?
The first step is to call your pediatrician. While it can take up to a week for your child to feel better after the flu sometimes medical attention is required. It’s especially important that you talk to your doctor if your child has flu-like symptoms and they are under the age of 5, as young children are more likely to deal with health-related complications from the flu.
You’ve talked to your doctor and you now know whether you are supposed to bring them in right away for care or whether you should continue to monitor their condition before bringing them in. At this point the most important thing you can do is help reduce their discomfort and control their symptoms. Make sure they are staying hydrated and getting as much rest as possible.
Avoid giving your child over-the-counter medications, as many of these medications aren’t safe for young children and won’t be effective for treating flu symptoms. If your child has a mild fever ask your pediatrician what over-the-counter medications could help alleviate their fever. Keep in mind: Children should never take aspirin!
The sooner you seek medical attention for the flu the better, as many antiviral medications can prevent the virus from getting worse if it’s administered within the first 48 hours. This medication is often taken for 5 to 7 days and it can help ease symptoms and speed up recovery.
The key is making sure to get your child proper medical care as soon as flu-like symptoms appear. Call your children’s doctor right away.
It’s important to know when it’s time to bring your child in for a medical checkup.
While you will certainly bring your child in regularly to see our West Jordan, UT, pediatricians for standard wellness visits, it’s also important to know when certain conditions, injuries, and symptoms require immediate and professional medical attention. Not sure when to handle illness at home and when to bring your sick child in for a visit? Here are some rules to follow...
It’s a good idea to call our pediatricians in West Jordan if your child is experiencing,
- A high or prolonged fever
- Trouble breathing
- Severe or persistent pain (e.g. earache; sore throat)
- Thick eye discharge
- Vomiting or diarrhea that is persistent or contains blood
- Signs of dehydration (this is considered an emergency situation)
- Severe lethargy or illness lasting more than 4-5 days
- Symptoms of a contagious illness (e.g. chickenpox; mono)
- Symptoms after recently traveling outside the country
- A widespread or painful rash
When it comes to a fever, it’s important that you monitor your child closely for any changes. Watch out for a high fever, especially if it is accompanied by lethargy and other symptoms. If your child is also having trouble breathing, they will require immediate medical attention.
Additionally, the age of your child is a large factor when determining whether the fever warrants a trip to our office. A pediatrician should see babies under the age of three months who have a fever over 100.4 F. Children between three months and 3 years should also be evaluated by a medical professional if their fever is over 102 F.
Ear pain is often caused by an infection, and while some ear infections will go away on their own without medication, sometimes it’s important for your little one to receive antibiotics in order to fight the infection. If your child’s earache is accompanied by a high fever/additional symptoms, if the pain is severe, or if there is discharge coming from the ear, then you should see a pediatrician as soon as you can.
Vomiting or Diarrhea
Again, this is a symptom you’ll want to watch closely. If symptoms persist or are severe, then you’ll want to see a doctor right away. Call us if,
- There is blood in the stool
- Your child is showing signs of dehydration (e. dark urine)
- The fever is over 104 F
When in doubt, if your child is very sick or seems in distress, it’s best to play it safe and give us a call right away.
Concerned? Contact Us!
Dealing with a sick child? We know just how stressful this can be. Luckily, the pediatric medical team here at Southwest Children’s Clinic in West Jordan, UT, can help. Call us today at (801) 563-1975.
Why Proper Nutrition is Important
As a parent, it goes without saying that you want what is best for your child. Making sure that your little ones grow up healthy, happy, and prepared for the future is often one of the most difficult, yet regarding, tasks in all of parenthood. This all-important mission to provide a great life for your child encompasses a number of different factors, including one which is the subject of this article: nutrition.
According to recent reports from the CDC, one in five school children within the United States qualify as obese. This epidemic of unhealthy living inevitably creates a number of ill effects in the children who suffer from the condition. Read on to learn how proper nutrition can keep your child at a healthy weight and avoid the consequences of obesity.
Why Obesity Must Be Avoided
Before we examine the intricacies of proper nutrition, it is important that we look at why being overweight/obese is to be avoided:
- Onset of chronic diseases: Although they are more often diagnosed in adults, conditions such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes have been increasingly seen in younger children, largely because of poor eating habits.
- Childhood habits traverse into adulthood: Humans tend to be creatures of habit, and accordingly, we largely carry childhood tendencies into our adult lives. For this reason, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the National Institute for Health Research has found that “55% of obese children go on to be obese in adolescence, around 80% of obese adolescents will still be obese in adulthood and around 70% will be obese over age 30.”
- Obesity shortens life: The National Institute of Health has found that obesity has the possibility of shortening life spans by up to fourteen years, and with the established link between childhood and adulthood obesity, it’s essential to promote healthy
Other Benefits of Proper Nutrition
The most obvious benefit of providing proper nutrition for your child is that they are then much more likely to maintain a healthy weight, and thus avoid all of the dangers associated with obesity. In addition to escaping the clutches of type 2 diabetes and a shortened life expectancy, your little one will also feel the immediate advantage of higher physical energy levels and increased brain activity. These boosts to your child’s wellbeing can be attributed to an increased bloodflow throughout the body, allowing them to not only stay healthier, but feel happier as well!
If you need help with getting your child on the path of proper nutrition, contact your local pediatrician today—we’re here to help!
- You or your child hears a snap or grinding noise as the injury occurs
- Your child experiences swelling, bruising or tenderness to the injured area
- It is painful for your child to move it, touch it or press on it
- The injured part looks deformed
What Happens Next?
- Call 911 - If your child has an 'open break' where the bone has punctured the skin, if they are unresponsive, if there is bleeding or if there have been any injuries to the spine, neck or head, call 911. Remember, better safe than sorry! If you do call 911, do not let the child eat or drink anything, as surgery may be required.
- Stop the Bleeding - Use a sterile bandage or cloth and compression to stop or slow any bleeding.
- Apply Ice - Particularly if the broken bone has remained under the skin, treat the swelling and pain with ice wrapped in a towel. As usual, remember to never place ice directly on the skin.
- Don't Move the Bone - It may be tempting to try to set the bone yourself to put your child out of pain, particularly if the bone has broken through the skin, do not do this! You risk injuring your child further. Leave the bone in the position it is in.
1. Keep your child healthy.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decides which immunizations should be given to people of any age. They recommend immunizations from birth through adulthood to provide a lifetime of protection against infections and illnesses. Yet many people are not vaccinated as recommended, leaving them vulnerable to illnesses and needless suffering.
2. Vaccination saves lives.
Immunization is one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine. Immunizations protect against many serious diseases, which can cause disability and death. According to UNICEF, measles, which is a viral infection, killed over 500,000 children in 2003, more than any other vaccine-preventable illness. Influenza, also known as flu, is also a serious respiratory disease that can be deadly.
3. Vaccination saves money.
Immunizations don't just save lives- they also save money. Kids with vaccine-preventable illnesses can be kept out of child care or school for long periods of time. Health care is very expensive. A disease can take a financial toll on your family because of medical bills and long-term disability. Immunization is an excellent investment and is usually covered by insurance.
4. Protect your loved ones.
Immunizations not only protect your kids, but they also help prevent the spread of illnesses to your family members. For example, measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads quickly among people who are not immune. A disease that might make your child sick for a couple of weeks could prove deadly for your parents, grandchildren, or friends if it spreads to them.
5. Vaccines are safe and effective.
Immunizations are only given to kids after a long and careful review by scientists, physicians, and healthcare professionals. Immunizations will involve some discomfort and may cause redness or pain at the site of injection. However, this is minimal compared to the pain and trauma of the illnesses these vaccines prevent. Serious side effects following vaccination are very rare.
Don't wait. Children need immunizations to stay healthy. Call now to schedule your child's appointment at Southwest Children's Clinic at 801-563-1975. Immunization will put your child on a healthy pathway that can continue throughout life.
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