The Most Common Childhood Illnesses

Childhood is a time for frolic and excitement. But it is also the time for illness and days of staying at home to rest.

Your child is a little bundle of energy! He plays whenever he is out of doors, he runs to meet you at the door when you come home from work and he is always getting dirty in the mud. Watching him enjoy his childhood years is the biggest blessing of your life.

But then he falls ill on some days and your heart seems to stop in your chest. Your normally gregarious child is suddenly quiet and apathetic. You do everything in your power to keep him safe and healthy, but he still falls ill sometimes. Fret not – developing some illness or another is a part of growing up. It happened to you too – and your parents also worried about you in the same way!

There are many common illnesses among most children in their childhood. While there are too many to relate, we list some of the most common ones. Brace yourself for:

* Chicken pox. This is one of the worst childhood illnesses, though some adults can develop it if they have managed to escape it in their young years. It starts as a high fever with a headache, followed by the appearance of fluid-filled boils on the skin. Some children develop only a few boils, while others may get covered in them. It typically takes up to two weeks for the infection to disappear and the skin to settle back to normal.

* Influenza. The flu can strike at any age, but it strikes the hardest when your child is young. It is accompanied by a variety of symptoms such as chills, vomiting, body ache, severe headaches and sore throat. It normally occurs in the winter months and may require a doctor’s intervention to subside. Your child should get an influenza shot every year to safeguard against it.

* Conjunctivitis. This illness causes an inflammation in the eyes, changing the whites of the eyes to pink or red. The eyes keep watering constantly and swell up. The illness is highly contagious, so your child must be isolated from other family members and allowed to rest in bed. It subsides in a few days with medication and eye drops. Using cold compresses on the eyes also helps.

* Gastroenteritis. Children’s digestive powers are not very well developed, and often, contaminated food can cause an infection. This infection may show itself as a ‘tummy upset’ which goes away after a few days. However, if your child is unable to retain even a few sips of water and expels semi-solid food after a week of the first symptoms, he may be suffering from a bout of gastroenteritis. Medical intervention is necessary to cure it, and the child’s diet must be modified completely on doctor’s orders, till he gets better.

* Common cold and cough. This is one of the most common illnesses in childhood, and parents can safely expect about four bouts of common cold per year till your child reaches his pre-teen years. The common cold often spreads through contact with other infected children, or simply by inhaling air carrying the cold germs. It subsides in a week and your child must be made to rest till the symptoms disappear.

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