A baby’s first year is crucial. Their brain is like a sponge, and they learn and experience new things everyday. Their bodies, too, learn and experience new things everyday, even including illnesses. At a young age, their immune system is susceptible to a few bugs out there. But don’t freak out, here are 6 common illnesses babies can catch in their first year, what to look out for and how to treat them.
1. Ear Infection
Ear infections are caused when a bacteria or virus is present inner ear fluids. In adults, these bad guys normally these get flushed out but babies are more susceptible to infections in the ear because of their smaller Eustachian tubes.
Symptoms: Change in mood, fever, difficulty sleeping, yellow or whitish fluid draining from the ear,
Treatment: Go to your doctor, he/she can properly assess the condition and prescribe antibiotics depending your baby’s age and severity of the infection.
2. Stomach flu
This illness may have a similar name to your regular fever and cough but unlike the common flu, this one isn’t caused by the influenza virus. Instead, it is the inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract potentially caused by a bacterial infection.
Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, fever, chills
Treatment: If your baby is under 6 months, call your doctor. Because your baby is losing fluid, make sure he/she is hydrated constantly. Refrain from giving your baby anti-diarrhea medication, this just prolongs the illness and potentially produce serious side effects.
3. Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
The most commonly known disease found in toddlers is caused by a virus called the enterovirus and is spread easily through coughing and sneezing as well as infected stools.
Symptoms: Fever, sores or blisters in the mouth, hands, feet and sometimes on the buttocks.
Treatment: The disease can be treated at home by giving the child plenty of fluids and cold foods to ease the fever and the sores. Don’t give your child spicy or acidic foods like orange juice, which may cause the mouth sores to be more painful. The disease is very infectious so keep your child at home for the first week and remember to wash your hands frequently.
4. Fifth Disease
Also known as the slapped cheek disease because of the bright red rash that appears on the cheeks caused by the parvovirus B19.
Symptoms: Begins with a low-grade fever, headache, mild cold-like symptoms. After these initial symptoms subside, a bright red rash appears starting from the face working its way down the body.
Treatment: Because the disease is caused by a virus, it cannot be treated with antibiotics. A little rest and cream to relieve the itching should do the trick.
Short for respiratory syncytial virus, this ailment causes infection of the lungs and breathing passages and is the top respiratory illness in young children. Most children have had it at least once by the age of 2.
Symptoms: Usual flu-like symptoms: cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever
Treatment: Just to be sure, take a trip to the doctor as when not properly treated the virus can lead to complications like pneumonia.
Commonly affects young children between 6 months and 2 years old and is spread when an infected child talks, sneezes or coughs which distributes tiny droplets which can be inhaled.
Symptoms: Several days of high fever and a distinctive pink to red rash which turns white when touched. Rash usually spreads to face, neck, arms and legs.
Treatment: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease the fever. To prevent dehydration, hydrate your baby with breast milk or formula.