Common Childhood Treatments - Children Doctor in Vijayawada
Children are particularly susceptible to illnesses due to their underdeveloped immune systems and frequent exposure to germs, especially in school and childcare settings. In order to promote good health, it is essential for parents to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of common childhood illnesses and seek timely guidance from a pediatrician.
If you reside in Vijayawada and require expert care for your child, Dr. Vijay Kumar possesses extensive experience in managing both minor and major childhood ailments. You can easily reach out to him for assistance.
Childhood diseases encompass a wide range of health issues, and some of the commonly encountered problems include:
1. Common cold:
The common cold is responsible for more doctor visits and school absences than any other illness each year. It is caused by various viruses and spreads easily from one person to another.
What leads to the common cold?
A cold is typically triggered by one of several viruses that cause inflammation of the nasal and throat linings.
Transmission of the common cold is highly effortless. It commonly occurs when an infected individual coughs or sneezes, releasing airborne droplets that are subsequently inhaled by another person. Additionally, the virus can spread when an infected person touches a surface, which is then touched by a healthy individual.
Signs and symptoms of the common cold:
Some indicative symptoms of the common cold include:
➡️ Congestion and a runny nose
➡️ Frequent sneezing
➡️ Watery eyes
➡️ Low-grade fever
➡️ Sore throat, accompanied by possible throat pain in expressive children
➡️ Mild cough
➡️ Muscular discomfort
➡️ Mild fatigue
➡️ Nasal discharge with a watery consistency
Generally, cold symptoms begin to manifest 2 to 3 days after the virus enters the body and can persist for several days to a few weeks.
Prevention of the common cold by neonatal doctors in Vijayawada:
Although the common cold is considered a minor issue, it can disrupt a child’s school attendance and daily activities, causing significant debilitation. To minimize the risk of contracting a cold, the following preventive measures are advisable:
➡️ Encourage frequent handwashing among children.
➡️ Discourage the habit of touching the nose and mouth with unclean hands.
➡️ Limit your child’s close contact with individuals who have a cold.
➡️ Regularly sanitize household surfaces with a suitable disinfectant.
When should you contact your doctor?
➡️ If your child’s symptoms worsen or if new symptoms emerge, it is essential to inform your healthcare provider.
➡️ If the symptoms persist for an extended period without improvement after a few days, it is advisable to consult with your doctor.
Since other more serious illnesses may present with symptoms resembling the common cold, it is crucial to promptly contact your pediatrician if any doubts arise.
Influenza in Children
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious viral infection that primarily affects the respiratory system. It is one of the most prevalent and severe viral illnesses during the winter season.
While flu symptoms typically subside within a week for most children, some may experience more severe complications. The infection can potentially lead to pneumonia, necessitating hospitalization. Therefore, it is crucial to take preventive measures and promptly identify the illness.
Causes of Flu
The flu is caused by the influenza virus, which comes in various types characterized by their genetic structure. Influenza types A, B, and C are responsible for the majority of illnesses. The ever-changing nature of the virus, as it mutates annually, poses an ongoing challenge.
Similar to the common cold, the flu spreads through direct contact with an infected individual. When an infected person sneezes or coughs without wearing a mask, droplets containing the virus can transmit the infection. Additionally, the flu can spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or shared utensils, particularly within families.
Symptoms of the Flu
Flu symptoms share similarities with those of a common cold but are generally more severe. Some common symptoms of the flu include:
➡️ High-grade fever
➡️ Severe body aches
➡️ Sore throat
➡️ Persistent and worsening cough
➡️ Excessive fatigue and reduced interest in activities
➡️ Runny or congested nose
In some cases, children with the flu may also experience gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and vomiting.
Preventing Flu in Children
The most effective method to prevent the flu in children is annual vaccination with the flu vaccine. It is recommended to administer the vaccine before the start of the flu season. Each year, a new vaccine is developed to combat the latest variant of the virus, accounting for its annual mutations. By vaccinating your child, you can provide protection against any new strains of the virus that may emerge.
In addition to vaccination, promoting good personal hygiene and avoiding direct contact with individuals who have the flu are essential preventive measures. Encourage the following practices in your child:
➡️ Frequent handwashing
➡️ Avoiding touching the nose or mouth without washing hands
➡️ Not sharing utensils
Diarrhea in Children
Diarrhea is a common concern for parents, often causing distress and irritability in young children.
Diarrhea is characterized by frequent loose or watery stools. While most children experience episodes of diarrhea, it typically resolves quickly and improves without medical intervention.
Causes of Diarrhea
Various germs, including bacteria, viruses, and sometimes parasites, can cause gastrointestinal infections leading to diarrhea in children. Ingesting contaminated food, consuming undercooked food, or drinking unsafe water are common routes of infection transmission.
Symptoms of Diarrhea
Typical symptoms of diarrhea include:
➡️ Loss of appetite
➡️ Frequent loose stools
➡️ Nausea and vomiting
➡️ Weight loss in the child
To prevent diarrhea in children, it is essential to adopt the following measures:
➡️ Avoid consuming unsafe and undercooked food from outside sources
➡️ Opt for bottled water when outside the home
➡️ Encourage your child to carry their own water bottle when going out to play
➡️ Promote frequent handwashing, especially before meals
➡️ Serve freshly cooked food to your child
➡️ Avoid consuming juices from external sources
➡️ Always check the expiration date when consuming pre-packaged food items
The minuscule mosquito, despite its size, wields the power to transmit grave diseases to humans, and Dengue stands as a prime example of such an ailment caused by its bite. Amongst children, Dengue ranks high as one of the most prevalent viral afflictions, inflicting substantial morbidity and mortality across India. Given our understanding of the disease’s specific causative factors and the potential for prevention, it is imperative that parents possess awareness and take all necessary measures to avert its consequences.
What Instigates Dengue?
Dengue manifests as a viral infection resulting from the bite of an Aedes mosquito carrying the Dengue virus. The mosquito serves as the intermediary, transferring the virus from one individual to another. Notably, Dengue cannot be directly transmitted from person to person without the involvement of the mosquito.
The Dengue virus exists in four distinct types. After encountering one type and recovering from the associated illness, an individual may develop immunity against subsequent infections caused by the same type. However, the remaining three types retain the potential to cause disease in the same individual. Subsequent Dengue episodes generally prove more perilous, carrying greater complications than initial ones. This disease predominantly plagues tropical regions, with India bearing a particularly high burden of Dengue cases.
Symptoms of Dengue in children can exhibit considerable variation. While younger children may experience milder manifestations, older ones may endure more severe afflictions. The disease typically manifests within four days to two weeks following a mosquito bite and can persist for a duration of 2-7 days or longer. It commences with a fever, which subsequently subsides before giving rise to more pronounced complications. A distinctive hallmark of Dengue is the presence of muscular and joint pain, a phenomenon that has led to its colloquial designation as “breakbone fever.” Despite the term, Dengue does not actually fracture bones but rather earns its name from the intensity of the accompanying pain. Symptoms that warrant attention in Dengue cases include:
➡️ High fever, often of substantial magnitude
➡️ Muscular and joint pain
➡️ Intense headache
➡️ Skin rashes
➡️ Nose or gum bleeding due to reduced platelet count
➡️ Bruising from minor injuries due to low platelet count
➡️ Diarrhea and vomiting
➡️ Generalized weakness
In the presence of such symptoms or any doubts, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician promptly to prevent the child from developing complications associated with Dengue. The physician will conduct a comprehensive examination and may collect a blood sample for confirmation through laboratory analysis.
Given the potential for severe illness in children, every possible measure should be taken to prevent Dengue. Safeguarding the child from mosquito bites assumes paramount importance, alongside ensuring that the immediate environment does not foster mosquito breeding. The following guidelines should be borne in mind:
➡️ Install mesh screens on all doors and windows to impede mosquito entry into the premises.
➡️ Utilize mosquito nets for babies and children during sleep to minimize the risk of bites.
➡️ Apply mosquito repellent creams on exposed body parts when venturing outdoors for play or activities.
➡️ Encourage children to wear full-sleeve shirts, t-shirts, and full-length pants, particularly during daytime outings, as Dengue mosquitoes are prone to biting during daylight hours.
➡️ Prevent any accumulation of standing water in and around the household.
Since Dengue mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, maintaining impeccable hygiene in and around the residence becomes imperative. Stagnant water should be promptly eliminated from flower vases, balcony pots, and any other receptacles. If water needs to be stored in buckets for extended periods,
it is advisable to cover them. Water provided for birds on balconies should be regularly cleaned and replaced. If any areas prone to water accumulation exist near the house, immediate action should be taken to rectify the situation and prevent stagnant water buildup.
Typhoid fever, caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi, remains a significant health threat in developing countries like India, particularly among children. Consumption of food and water contaminated with the typhoid bacteria or close contact with an infected individual can lead to the onset of typhoid fever. Timely detection plays a pivotal role in the effective treatment of this ailment.
Recognizing the Signs of Typhoid in Children
Symptoms of typhoid in children typically manifest 1-3 weeks after exposure to the bacterium. Common indicators of typhoid fever include:
➡️ Elevated temperature (Step ladder fever is characteristic of typhoid, with the fever starting low and progressively rising each day, reaching temperatures of up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit)
➡️ Abdominal pain
➡️ Constipation or diarrhea
➡️ Abdominal distension
➡️ Loss of appetite
➡️ Rose-colored spots on the neck and abdomen, known as rose spots
➡️ Dry cough
Left untreated, typhoid fever can give rise to severe and potentially life-threatening complications. Infected children may experience confusion and extreme weakness.
Causes of Typhoid: Faeco-Oral Transmission
In regions where typhoid fever is endemic, most individuals contract the disease through the consumption of contaminated water and food. Bacteria present in the urine and feces of an infected person contaminate food and water sources, facilitating transmission to non-infected individuals upon ingestion.
Transmission by Typhoid Carriers
Even after undergoing antibiotic treatment, a small proportion of individuals who recover from typhoid fever continue to harbor the bacteria, earning them the designation of chronic carriers. Although these individuals no longer exhibit signs or symptoms of the disease, they can still excrete the bacteria in their feces, potentially infecting others.
Preventive Measures for Typhoid
Ensuring safe drinking water, improved sanitation, and access to adequate medical care can help prevent and control the spread of typhoid fever. The following measures contribute to safeguarding your child’s health:
➡️ Practice thorough hand hygiene. Frequent hand-washing with soap and water constitutes the most effective means of infection control. Encourage children to wash their hands diligently before meals and after using the toilet. Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for situations when water is not readily available. When preparing meals at home, ensure meticulous hand-washing practices.
➡️ Refrain from consuming unsafe water from external sources. Contaminated drinking water stands as a primary cause of typhoid transmission. Whenever feasible, encourage children to carry their water bottles from home or opt for packaged drinking water. Exercise caution when consuming cold drinks or juices, ensuring they originate from reliable sources and are devoid of contaminated ice.
➡️ Exercise caution with raw fruits and vegetables. Raw produce may have undergone washing with contaminated water and is best avoided unless peelable. As a precaution, consider eliminating raw foods from your child’s diet.
➡️ Opt for hot foods. Cold-stored or room-temperature food should be avoided. Prefer steaming-hot meals instead. Street food should be approached with caution, as it carries a higher risk of contamination.
What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia represents an infection that affects the lungs. It is particularly prevalent among children under the age of 5 and can range in severity from mild to severe.
Understanding the Causes of Pneumonia
Bacteria and viruses are the primary causative agents of pneumonia. Direct contact with an infected individual serves as the main mode of transmission between healthy and affected children.
The following bacteria and viruses are known to cause pneumonia:
➡️ Streptococcus pneumoniae
➡️ Mycoplasma pneumonia
➡️ Group B streptococcus
➡️ Staphylococcus aureus
➡️ Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
➡️ Parainfluenza virus
➡️ Influenza virus
In some cases, fungi can also give rise to pneumonia.
Risk Factors for Pneumonia
Certain factors increase a child’s susceptibility to pneumonia:
➡️ Weak immune system
➡️ Presence of chronic illnesses
➡️ Pre-existing lung disease
Children exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke also face an elevated risk of developing pneumonia.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Pneumonia
Pneumonia can present a variety of symptoms, although not all children will exhibit the same signs. Common indicators include:
➡️ Productive cough
➡️ Rapid breathing
➡️ Audible grunting or wheezing during breathing
➡️ Labored breathing
➡️ Chest pain
➡️ Abdominal pain
➡️ Decreased activity levels
➡️ Poor appetite in older children and inadequate feeding in infants
Early symptoms of viral pneumonia resemble those of bacterial pneumonia. However, breathing difficulties tend to progress more gradually in viral cases. Wheezing may occur, and the cough can intensify. Viral pneumonia may increase a child’s vulnerability to bacterial pneumonia.
If any symptoms raise concerns, promptly contact a nearby pediatrician.
Diagnosing Pneumonia in Children
The pediatrician will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your child’s medical history and perform a physical examination, including listening to chest sounds using a stethoscope. Additional diagnostic tests, such as a chest X-ray, sputum culture, blood tests, pulse oximetry, or even a CT scan for severe infections, may be recommended to confirm the diagnosis. In rare cases, an expert may perform a bronchoscopy or pleural fluid culture.
Prevention of Pneumonia in Children
Vaccines are available to prevent certain types of pneumonia:
➡️ Routine vaccines against Haemophilus influenza, pneumococcus, and whooping cough are typically administered to children starting at 2 months of age.
➡️ Influenza vaccine: All children from 6 months to 19 years old are advised to receive the flu vaccine, with heightened importance for children with chronic illnesses.
➡️ COVID-19 vaccine: Children aged 12 years and above are recommended to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
As a precaution, children should avoid close contact with individuals exhibiting symptoms of a cold or respiratory infection. During the ongoing pandemic, the use of masks has proven instrumental in mitigating the spread of viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia.
Dr. Vijay can be reached for pediatric and neonatal care in Vijayawada. He has expertise in treating various common conditions of children and is also highly skillful in performing all the procedures required in newborns he is the best Children’s Doctor in Vijayawada.