Headaches? Your Doctor Can Help You More Than You Think

3 Common Childhood Ailments

If you are a parent, you know how hard it is when your child feels miserable. What is just as hard is knowing when to take your child to a pediatrician when they are not feeling well. If your child has a high fever, they are getting worse instead of better, or are complaining of pain, it's probably time to at least give the pediatrician a call.

When your child isn't well, they might be experiencing one of these three ailments that are common for children.

1. Earache

There are many reasons your child might have an earache. Some of the most common causes of earaches include:

  • Ear canal injury or abscess
  • Hardened earwax
  • Foreign object in the ear canal

Ear infections are another cause of earaches. No matter what the cause, if the earache persists, it's a good idea to have a pediatrician examine your child's ears. Treatment for the earache depends upon the cause. If your child experiences frequent ear infections, the pediatrician might recommend ear tubes.

2. Croup

If your baby or young child has a cough that sounds like the sound of barking, they may have an infection in their upper airway. This type of infection is called croup.

Besides a barky cough, other symptoms of croup include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Low fever
  • Hoarse voice
  • Fast breathing

While croup seems scary for parents, this ailment can be treated at home. Treatment options include fever reducers, plenty of liquids, and humidified air. You should never give your child cough medicine to treat croup. If your child's croup gets worse, you should call a pediatrician. If the croup is severe, the pediatrician may need to treat them in the hospital with intravenous medications.

3. Sore Throat

If your child complains of a sore throat, there could be several reasons for it. Poor air quality, allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and the common cold can all be causes for a sore throat. If your child's throat is sore and the lymph nodes in their neck are swollen, it could mean your child's immune system is fighting off an infection.

In some cases, a sore throat could mean your child has strep throat or tonsillitis. If you suspect your child has strep throat, you'll need to take them to a pediatrician right away for a strep test. This is especially important as strep throat is extremely contagious. If the pediatrician examines your child's throat and sees white spots, it most likely means your child has tonsillitis. No matter what the cause of your child's sore throat, a pediatrician will treat it accordingly.