Alert on Viral infections in children
Viral infections are common among people of all ages but often seem to be concentrated in infants and children. Most childhood viral infections are not serious and include such diverse illnesses as colds with a sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea, and fever with a rash.
Because their immune systems aren’t fully developed, babies tend to get a high number of infections, usually 4 to 8 per year.
A virus is a germ that causes infections, such as the common cold, bronchiolitis, tonsillitis, ear infections, influenza, mumps and chickenpox.
How it spreads. Cold viruses reach kids via droplets in the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Kids also pick up colds through direct contact with sniffly friends or by touching germy surfaces — like toys or classroom desks — and then touching their face, especially their mouth or eyes.
What can I do to prevent repeated infections in my child?
- Wash your hands and your child’s hands often. Wash after using the bathroom and when preparing food. Also wash after sneezing, blowing your nose, and coughing.
- Also ensure good nutrition, lots of fruits and vegetables, water and less sweet items.
- Children should also learn to avoid close contact and sharing food and utensils with other people. They also need to avoid putting their hands and other non-food items in their mouth.
Treatment. While there’s no cure for a cold, you can make your child more comfortable when she has one. Give her acetaminophen for pain and plenty of fluids. Salt water gargles can ease a sore throat and steam helps clear congestion. If cold symptoms are accompanied by a high fever, severe muscle aches, and exhaustion, your child may have the flu. Talk to her doctor about other ways to ease symptoms.
Remember prevention is better than Cure!