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RECURRENT AND COMMON INFECTIONS IN CHILDREN

by The Welthi Bureau, December 2nd, 2020

recurrent and common infections in children
 Image used for representational purpose only

SOURCE OF INFECTIONS

 

It is a common scenario for parents complaining that their children suffer from frequent infections. Some parents also feel that their children’s immunity might be deficient. In the vast majority of cases, these children have minor upper respiratory infections. These include runny nose and blocked nose (rhinitis), throat infections (tonsillitis, pharyngitis) and ear infections (otitis media). The other common infections in child relate to the gastrointestinal tract where the children present with vomiting, diarrhoea or both.

 

Often, there is a history of the child starting a nursery or day care facility coinciding with the onset of these symptoms. It is nothing unusual as these children tend to catch infections from other children when they start going to school.

 

Children can also catch infections from other family members. This is particularly seen when they have older siblings attending school or day-care facilities where they act as a source of infection for the younger children.

 

TREATMENT OF SIMPLE INFECTIONS

 

Dr. Ramesh Babu Dasari, Consultant Paediatrician and Intensivist, STAR Hospitals, said, "Many of these are caused by viruses. Most of the simple infections tend to get better with medicines given for relief of temperature (antipyretics like Paracetemol) given for a brief period. There is a tendency for overuse of symptomatic medications like cough and cold syrups. These medications   should be used only if there is difficulty in breathing, feeding or sleeping. In a child who is otherwise well, simple fever medicines like Paracetemol along with plenty of fluids would be sufficient. Some of these infections require antibiotics if bacterial infection is suspected. However, overuse of antibiotics can also lead to side effects as well as development of antibiotic resistance.”

 

Prevention of infections

 

One of the most effective ways to prevent serious infections is vaccinations. Some of the common serious infections to which vaccinations are available are as follows:

 

  • Tuberculosis (BCG vaccine)
  • Poliomyelitis (OPV or IPV vaccine)
  • Diphtheria (DPT or DTaP)
  • Whooping cough or Pertussis (DPT or DTaP)
  • Tetanus (DPT ,  DTaP, Dt, TT)
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Haemophilus influenza type B (HiB vaccine)
  • Pneumococcal infection
  • Rotavirus (causes diarrhoea)
  • Flu virus (including swine flu)
  • Measles (Measles or MMR)
  • Mumps (MMR)
  • Rubella (MMR)
  • Chicken pox
  • Typhoid

 

Infections are usually transmitted between children through air (coughing, sneezing), water, food, and contact (direct as well as indirect through objects). Therefore simple preventive measures can prevent children falling sick:

 

  • Teach a habit of washing hands regularly to your kids
  • Avoid contaminated food and water (especially during travel)
  • Avoid sharing food from the infected children
  • Avoid going to school during the infective periods (prevents spread to other children)
  • Avoiding contact with infected children and adults is particularly important for newborn babies and infants as they are more vulnerable to infections
  •  

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