3 Common Health Issues in Kids & How to Manage Them

​If you’re a parent, you most likely understand how distressing it can be to see your child sick or in pain. While we can’t shelter them from every potential health issue, there are a few common issues that have the potential to crop up throughout childhood. Take a look at the important information below to learn more about these illnesses and how you can manage them if your child is affected.

Allergies

Most allergies present themselves in the early stages of childhood, so it’s important to be aware of what the symptoms could be and how to address them if it comes to that. Allergens can be anything from food – the most common being nuts, milk, eggs and fish – to insect bites or stings, pollen and animals. Symptoms can include (but are not limited to):

·         Skin irritation such as hives or redness.
·         Nasal congestion.
·         Swollen face, lips or tongue, potentially causing blockages to the airway.
·         Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock.
·         Vomiting, diarrhoea or stomach pain.
·         Itchy eyes and/or mouth.

If your child is experiencing severe symptoms that are posing a risk to their health, it’s best to immediately take them to a hospital. For symptoms that aren’t life threatening, you should consult your doctor so they can perform a test to determine what the allergen is.

Asthma

In Australia, it is estimated that one in five children suffer from asthma, a condition where sufferers have sensitive airways in their lungs which react to triggers, causing a ‘flare-up’.​ Many children are genetically predisposed to get asthma, with the condition often presenting itself during the early stages of their life.

An asthma attack will cause wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest and discomfort when breathing and is usually ‘triggered’ by something in the surrounding environment. Common triggers are exercise, cold air, pollution or smoke of any kind, dust, pets and pollens.

If you believe your child is suffering from asthma, it’s important to visit your doctor for an official diagnosis and to develop a comprehensive management plan.

Chickenpox

While not life threatening in most circumstances, it’s important to understand how to avoid, treat and reduce the discomfort caused by chickenpox if your child catches it. As a contagious disease, it’s important to keep any infected children away from others until they are healed.

Chickenpox is characterised by itchy, red blisters that usually cover the entire body. It usually takes around a week for the rash to clear up, at which point your child will no longer be contagious.

For children who have low immunity to disease, chickenpox can be especially dangerous. For this reason, if your child has a weakened immune system and comes into contact with an infected person, it’s important to speak to your doctor immediately.

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