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Every child gets sick from time to time. That’s because young children are exposed to many new germs (viruses or bacteria) and haven’t yet built up enough defences against them. The immunity slowly builds up as the child’s body fights these infections. When your child isn’t feeling well, you should know how to recognize the symptoms, how to provide relief to the child and when to consult a paediatrician.

Common child Infections are:

Sore Throat: Sore throats are common in children and can be painful. However, a sore throat that is caused by a virus does not need antibiotics. In those cases, no specific medicine is required, but only paracetamol to control the pain and fever can be given to the child. Sips of warm water or gargles will also help your child should and he should get better in 5 to 7 day. In other cases, if a sore throat could be caused by an infection called streptococcal (strep throat) it is advisable to see the paediatrician for treatment.

Diarrhoea: Common in toddlers and infants. The child require plenty of fluids, ORS, rice water, Banana. Most cases respond to it and do not require more treatment. You should consult a paediatrician if the child is having high fever, vomiting persistently, lethargic, mucus and blood in stool.

Ear Pain: Ear pain is common in children and can have manycauses—including ear infection of the middle ear (otitis media), otitis externa(infection of the skin in the ear canal), pressure from a cold or sinusinfection, teeth pain radiating up the jaw to the ear. Most of the earinfections in the child follow after a upper respiratory infection. The childcan be given paracetamol drops orally in case of emergency and seen by thepaediatrician or an ENT specialist to see the severity of infection.

Urinary Tract Infections: Many cases of high grade fever in the child with chills can be due to a UTI. A UTI can be found in children from infancy through the teen years and into adulthood. Symptoms of a UTI include pain or burning during urination, the need to urinate frequently or urgently, bedwetting,abdominal or back pain, poor weight gain and fever in infants. UTI in children should not be taken lightly and consulted and properly treated.

Skin infections: Furunculosis, boils, fungal infections, atopic dermatitis, cellulitis are commonly seen in children. Another commonly seen skin eruptions are insect bite allergy, viral exanthematous fevers. Skin Infections in the child can be due improper hygiene, excessive sweating, day care and poor nutrition. Most eruptions settle with proper hygiene and moisturisation of the skin.

Bronchiolitis: This is common in infants during the cold and flu season. It is mostly caused by viruses and do not require antibiotics. The child is benefitted by giving steam inhalation, normal saline nebulisation and maintaining proper hydration. The child should be closely monitored and seen by the doctor if there is difficulty in breathing, signs of dehydration and lethargy

Common cold : Colds are caused by viruses in the upper respiratory tract. Many young children especially those in day care can get 6to 8 colds per year. Symptoms may last for up to ten days. No specific treatment except saline nose drops and steaming is needed. Green mucus in the nose does not automatically mean that antibiotics are needed. The paediatrician can be consulted if the child is having high fever, breathing difficulty,lethargy or rashes on the body.