always sick child

Should I be Worried if my Child is Always Sick?

This time of the year, some parents may grow concerned that they are spending all their time at their pediatrician’s office or the pharmacy. Many young children seem to constantly battle colds, respiratory infections and every “bug” that goes around. Although any loving parents would worry, chances are there is little reason to be concerned. If you’re a parent fighting this battle, here are a few answers to the questions you have to ease your mind. 

 

Is it allergies or a cold?

 

Signs of allergies in a child over two include:

 

constant nose rubbing

clear mucus running from  nose for over a month

excessive sneezing 

 

These symptoms definitely point to allergies if they occur during the spring or fall when pollination occurs.  Depending on what the allergy is to, however, these symptoms may occur year-round. Your pediatrician can help you discover the cause of your child’s allergies. 

 

What is the cause of my child’s cold?

 

You may worry your child lacks vitamins or the cold outdoors is causing their illness. Colds do not occur due to a lack of vitamins or a poor diet. Weather conditions also do not affect illnesses as we discussed in our blog, 5 Winter Health Facts

 

Colds are an unavoidable part of growing up. You can’t prevent them other than avoiding coming in contact with cold germs. Although, you really shouldn’t hope to avoid colds completely. They help build up your child’s immune system. 

 

So although it is hard to see your child under the weather, be thankful they are getting this immunity boost at a young age. Most children, even those that seem to always struggle with illness, will greatly improve by mid-elementary school. So the “good news” is your child should miss more of their less academically challenging school days during their preschool and kindergarten years as opposed to their more academically advanced years.  

 

How many colds per year is normal for kids?

 

Most children start to get colds after about six months of age. This is when the immunity they received from their mom fades. After that, they have to build up their own immune system.

 

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers may get as many as seven to eight colds a year! At school age, they average five to six colds a year. Teenagers and adults may have as many as four colds a year.

 

If you’re a parent though, you know it isn’t the only illness your child has to deal with, unfortunately. Children may have a diarrheal illness, with or without vomiting, two to three times a year too! Some children get high fevers with their colds. They may also have a sensitive tummy and develop diarrhea with cold symptoms.

 

What about ear infections?

 

If your child gets a lot of ear infections it doesn’t mean that your child has a serious health problem. This only means that the tubes in the ear aren’t draining properly. And if your child has repeated ear infections, talk to your child’s pediatrician to see if they need to see an ears, nose, throat specialist. Ear tube surgery is a simple procedure that can help many children while others will outgrow this problem before age two. 

 

What is a sign I should be concerned about frequent child illnesses?

 

Consider your child’s overall health. If he is gaining weight and robust, you shouldn’t worry. Your child is no sicker than the average child of their age. Children get over colds by themselves. Although you can reduce the symptoms, you can’t shorten the course of each cold.

 

Many parents worry that their child has an underlying disease because they get a lot of colds. A child with health concerns does not look well in between illnesses, will experience hospitalizations and not gain weight.

 

 A child with an immune system disease doesn’t get more colds than the average child. They will, however, experience numerous serious infections every year such as pneumonia before they are even a year old. In addition, a child with a serious disease does not gain weight very well or look well between infections.

 

When can my child return to school after illness?

 

The first five days of a virus are the hardest.  Cold symptoms can often linger for two to three weeks. As long as your child is fever free for 24 hours, there is no reason she cannot attend the majority of her normal activities. Sports and gym activities may need to wait for a few additional days until he feels up to it. 

 

Parents, hang in there! Winter bugs will be gone before you know it! If you have concerns about your child’s health, however, please reach out to a CCMH Pediatrician today. 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Honey: Better Than Cough Syrup?

Home remedies for cold or flu symptoms are often scrutinized. Sometimes it is hard to know if they actually work. Sometimes the memory of grandma or mom administering them creates a placebo effect. However, evidence exists that some of the common cold and flu remedies may actually have health benefits. In fact, many parents are ditching the cough syrup in favor of a home remedy most of us have tried a time or two to knock out a cough: honey.

Why is cough syrup becoming less popular among medical providers?

A sick child causes much stress for parents and caregivers. Child illnesses may mean less sleep for everyone. This results in dangerous mistakes. There are many incidents reported of children accidentally being given a double dosage of cough medications.1 Few studies exist for over the counter medications  usage in small children. The proper dosage for children is not even known. Although bothersome, a cough in itself is not necessarily bad either. Coughing can help clear mucus from your airway. In otherwise healthy children, there is no reason to suppress a cough.

What are the health benefits of honey?

Honey has as many antioxidants as many vegetables and fruits. It can also kill funguses and bad bacteria. Some hospitals have seen success in using Manuka or Ulmo honey to combat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).2 Honey is also said to help with diarrhea, although there is no proof found of this in research. Promising research shows that taking 1-2 teaspoons of honey on an empty stomach will lessen pain and treat Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a cause of peptic ulcers.3

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of honey from your local grocery store in many of these treatments is very low due to the manufacturing process. Manufactures heat honey during pasteurization to remove unwanted crystallization and improve texture and color. They also destroy good bacteria and remove antioxidants during this process. To experience the full benefits of honey, buy raw honey from a local farmer.

Is honey medically proven to effectively treat a cough?

Since the early years of this century, many researchers have concluded that honey is an effective alternative to cough syrup. Of course, other studies may disagree or provide inconclusive results. Given the other proven benefits of honey though, the low-cost and availability, it is certainly worth the effort to try to reduce coughing and improve sleep.

Researchers conducted on study of children age 2 and older. The children suffered from upper respiratory tract infections. the researchers gave each child buckwheat honey at bedtime. Parents reported improved sleep and reduced coughing. Researchers concluded that buckwheat honey may be as effective as dextromethorphan, a common, over-the-counter cough suppressant.4

So if you or your child are experiencing a cough, it may be worth it to ditch the cough syrup and give grandma’s old remedy a try. If you have a cough that last more than 8 weeks or your child has a cough that lasts more than four weeks, make an appointment to see your general practitioner. A chronic cough may be a sign of a more serious condition.  If you do not have a regular doctor, visit ccmhhealth.com/providers to find one of our doctors today.

 

Sources

1 Childs, Dan. ABCNews. 16 August 2017.Docs Support FDA Cough Medicine Warning.

2 Sherlock, Orla, et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2 September. 2010. Comparison of the antimicrobial activity of Ulmo honey from Chile and Manuka honey against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

3 Nzeako, Basil C. and Al-Namaani,Faiza. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 2006.The Antibacterial Activity of Honey on Helicobacter Pylori.

4 IM, Paul, et al. Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University. 2007. Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors.  For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.