Common Newborn & Toddler Ailments
Infants and toddlers in the first four years of life are more susceptible to a number or ailments and illnesses. Many of these illnesses have similar symptoms that range in their severity, though the causes of these ailments can vary.
Some ailments are due to natural milestones your baby will reach, such as teething, while others are contracted like colds and the flu. As babies grow, they will also start to explore, so we provide care for any minor injuries your infant or toddler may have. Whatever the case may be, Provida Family Medicine is ready to provide the care for your baby needs.
The following ailments and illnesses are some of the most common for infants and toddlers to contract. Symptoms may be more severe for some more than others, but each can present their own challenges for parents.
Seeing your child sick can be difficult for parents. If you believe your child is sick with any ailments or meet the criteria listed below, we encourage you to visit Provida Family Medicine. We understand that these sicknesses can happen with little warning, so walk-in visits without a scheduled appointment at our Gurnee practice are welcome.
If you believe your infant or toddler is having a life-threatening emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately. When you or a trusted family members is able to, please call our office so that we can follow up with the hospital or emergency department.
Symptoms of an ear ache or ear pain in your infant or toddler can manifest as a fever, trouble sleeping, fussiness and crying, tugging at their ears, or fluid draining from the ear. Although very uncomfortable, ear aches are common in young children and are treatable.
As a parent, seeing your child in pain can be scary, and for an ear ache, it is best to seek treatment right away. Our providers specialize in infant and toddler care, and at Provida Family Medicine, they can preform an exam to determine to cause of your child’s ear pain. Our doctors and highly trained medical staff will also provide you with the care and information needed to cure your baby’s current ear ache and prevent future pain and ear aches.
Another part of your child’s development is teething. Most babies start teething at the age of six months, although it is not unusual for a child to start developing their teeth as early as four months, or as late as twelve months.
Signs of the onset of teething include biting and gnawing, a fever, drooling, cheek rubbing, ear pulling, and at times, diarrhea. Because of these symptoms, teething can sometimes be confused with a cold.
Although a completely normal part of your baby’s development, teething can be a stressful time for both you and your child. You may have questions about safe ways to manage your baby’s teething and how best to mitigate the pain, and Provida can offer you the information you are seeking, as well as help you and your baby through this phase of their development with as little pain and stress as possible.
Common Colds, RSV, and the Flu
The flu, RSV, and colds are viral infections that are airborne. Because an infant or toddler has not fully developed their immune system, they are more likely to catch these viruses. We recommend that your baby receives all needed vaccines beginning at one to two months to help them develop their immunity to harmful diseases. Infants and toddlers who are around other children are also more likely to catch the common cold.
With colds, symptoms include a runny nose, fever, coughing, loss of appetite, or trouble nursing. At Provida, we ease the symptoms your baby is experiencing while preventing your child from catching the cold again in the future. With very young infants, a doctor should be contacted immediately to make sure that other harmful illnesses aren’t present, such as croup or pneumonia.
RVS, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a very common infection of the respiratory track which usually present with similar symptoms as the common cold. Many cases of RSV go away on their own, but the infection can be serious to infants who will have trouble breathing and decreased activities. If left untreated, RVS can cause bronchiolitis or pneumonia.
The flu, however, can be dangerous to infants and toddlers because children under two years of age can be left with serious health complications if infected. Those in contact with infants and toddlers should be vaccinated against the flu to prevent your child from catching the virus, especially if your child has not received the flu vaccine. Symptoms include fatigue, runny nose, a cough, vomiting, or diarrhea.
If you believe your baby has the flu, contact your doctor at Provida right away.
Thrush is an oral infection commonly found in infants and toddlers. It presents as a white or yellow patchy areas on the tongue or inner cheeks that resemble velvet. Thrush can be caused by a number of factors, such as if the infant or toddler uses a pacifier often or has a weakened immune system.
To treat thrush, a Provida doctor will examine the inside of your child’s mouth to confirm the presence of the infection, then provide you with next steps and any medication that is needed.
A mild case of thrush may not require any treatment at all, but more severe cases may need to be treated with a liquid anti-fungal medicine, administered through a dropper.
It is also important to disinfect any pacifiers, bottle nipples, or toys that your child may put in his or her mouth after each use. This can be done by placing the items into boiling water and will prevent reinfection.
Provida Family Medicine offers minor injury treatment directly at our office. Minor injuries include scrapes, cuts, bumps, and bruises that your little one may have. Other minor injuries to look out for are bug bites which may manifest as a localized rash or raised and swollen skin. Be sure to monitor for any other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or the irritated area of skin quickly spreading.
If your infant or toddler has a life threatening injury or is having a serious allergic reaction, please call 9-1-1. As soon as you or a family member is able, call our office so that we may follow up with the hospital or emergency department.
All other minor injuries can be taken care of by our staff.
Life can be unpredictable; walk-In appointments are welcome.
Vaccinations are the strongest tool we have to help prevent your infant or toddler from contracting an illness or disease. To provide the most protection possible, we recommend that your baby be vaccinated in their first or second month of life, with booster shots as needed.
Some of the vaccines we provide prevent Hepatitis B, Pertussis (whooping cough), Polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and Pneumococcal (PCV).
At Provida, our medical staff has been trained to administer vaccines to infants and young toddlers. We understand that as a parent, you want your children to be healthy, so you may have questions about the vaccines recommended for your child. We are always happy to answer any question you may have and provide you with the information you are looking for.
There are four main types of vaccines:
Attenuated (Weakened) Vaccines
Some vaccines use small doses of the viruses they prevent and are similar to the disease they fight. Attenuated vaccines are used to fight MMR, chickenpox, and rotavirus, and provide lifelong immunity.
Killed (Inactivated) Vaccines
Killed vaccines use dead forms of the virus and have less long-lasting protection, so multiple doses may be necessary. These are vaccines like Hepatitis A, flu, and polio shots.
Toxoid immunizations protect against the parts of a germ that cause disease by using the harmful product of a germ. This is the type of vaccine is used for the DTaP vaccine.
Conjugate vaccines use bacteria in combination with proteins to provides protection from the harmful parts of the germ. By using specific parts of the germ, they also have a long-lasting effect. These are vaccines like the Hib, Hepatitis B, HPV, pneumococcal, and meningococcal, and can be given to almost every immune system.
Vaccinations are available at Provida Family Medicine, and can be administered during a routine check-up or a separate appointment can be made.
Please refer to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s schedule for immunizations to see what vaccinations are recommended based on your child’s age.