This is a list from the AAP of some of the most common illnesses, injuries, and other maladies for some quick insights and information. As always, we're here for you to discuss any of the following so that you may best support the health of your family.
Colds are caused by viruses in the upper respiratory tract. Many young children—especially those in child care—can get 6 to 8 colds per year. Symptoms of a cold (including runny nose, congestion, and cough) may last for up to ten days.
Green mucus in the nose does not automatically mean that antibiotics are needed; common colds never need antibiotics. However, if a sinus infection is suspected, your doctor will carefully decide whether antibiotics are the best choice based on your child's symptoms and a physical exam.
Ear pain is common in children and can have many causes—including ear infection (otitis media), swimmer's ear (infection of the skin in the ear canal), pressure from a cold or sinus infection, teeth pain radiating up the jaw to the ear, and others. . To tell the difference, your pediatrician will need to examine your child's ear. In fact, an in-office exam is still the best way for your pediatrician to make an accurate diagnosis. If your child's ear pain is accompanied by a high fever, involves both ears, or if your child has other signs of illness, your pediatrician may decide that an antibiotic is the best treatment.
Amoxicillin is the preferred antibiotic for middle ear infections—except when there is an allergy to penicillin or chronic or recurrent infections.
Many true ear infections are caused by viruses and do not require antibiotics. If your pediatrician suspects your child's ear infection may be from a virus, he or she will talk with you about the best ways to help relieve your child's ear pain until the virus runs its course.
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, and your child should get better in seven to ten days. In other cases, a sore throat could be caused by an infection called streptococcal (strep throat).
Strep cannot be accurately diagnosed by simply looking at the throat. A lab test or in-office rapid strep test, which includes a quick swab of the throat, is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of strep. If positive for strep, your pediatrician will prescribe an antibiotic. It's very important that your child take the antibiotic for the full course, as prescribed, even if the symptoms get better or go away. Steroid medicines (such as prednisone) are not an appropriate treatment for most cases of sore throat.
Babies and toddlers rarely get it strep throat, but they are more likely to become infected by streptococcus bacteria if they are in child care or if an older sibling has the illness. Although strep spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes, your child can also get it by touching a toy that an infected child has played with.
BRONCHIOLITIS & BRONCHITIS
Bronchiolitis is common in infants and young children during the cold and flu season. Your doctor may hear "wheezing" when your child breathes.
Bronchiolitis is most often caused by a virus, which does not require antibiotics. Instead, most treatment recommendations are geared toward making your child comfortable with close monitoring for any difficulty in breathing, eating, or signs of dehydration. Medicines used for patients with asthma (such as albuterol or steroids) are not recommended for most infants and young children with bronchiolitis. Children who were born prematurely or have underlying health problems may need different treatment plans.
Chronic bronchitis is an infection of the larger, more central airways in the lungs and is more often seen in adults. Often the word "bronchitis" is used to describe a chest virus and does not require antibiotics.
See Bronchitis (CDC.gov).
URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Bladder infections, also called urinary tract infections or UTIs, occur when bacteria build up in the urinary tract. 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 or accidents by a child who knows to use the toilet, abdominal pain, or side or back pain.
Your child's doctor will need a urine sample to test for a UTI before determining treatment. Your doctor may adjust the treatment depending on which bacteria is found in your child's urine.
Bacterial sinusitis is caused by bacteria trapped in the sinuses. Sinusitis is suspected when cold-like symptoms such as nasal discharge, daytime cough, or both last over ten days without improvement.
Antibiotics may be needed if this condition is accompanied by thick yellow nasal discharge and a fever for at least 3 or 4 days in a row.