Despite the fact that parents take a lot of precaution when raising their kids, they are still likely to suffer some health problems, as their immune systems are still weak and highly susceptible to infections (fungal, bacterial and viral), climatic changes and malnutrition. Below is a list of the most common health problems in kids:
Statistics show that thousands of school-going kids around the world, especially those in kindergarten and preschool, suffer from numerous eye problems such as conjunctivitis, amblyopia, blepharitis, corneal abrasion, glaucoma, myopia and hyperopia. Luckily, most of these diseases are treatable if they are diagnosed early. Parents are hence advised to send their kids to an ophthalmologist in good time as soon as they notice any signs of defect.
Skin infections and conditions are another common health problem suffered by kids. These problems may come about as a result of fungal infections, environmental factors or the various unhygienic conditions the kid is exposed to.
In young children, skin infections can be avoided by keeping the area near the neck and mouth dry by tying bibs to absorb excess saliva. Their clothes ought to be washed thoroughly with a good detergent (clothes harbor a lot of germs that may cause infections). Dirty diapers should also be changed because prolonged contact with the skin may lead to infections. Those suffering from contagious skin conditions should stay at home until the condition is cured to avoid spreading of the disease at school. Always consult a doctor when you think you may have a skin problem.
Constipation is caused by a number of problems in kids such as lack of sufficient fibrous products (roughage), lack of enough water or consumption of excessive milk. Symptoms of constipation include pain in the abdomen, lack of appetite and gas formation leading to spasm. To ensure that the bowel movement is proper, children should eat foods such as pumpkins, pawpaw and mangoes that are rich in fiber content. Soya milk may also be given as an alternative to cow milk to reduce the chances of occurrence of constipation.
Kids under the age of six are highly prone to ear infections that may lead to hearing loss. Otitis media is one of most common causes of hearing loss in kids. It occurs when the middle ear becomes inflamed due to the build-up of fluid. Symptoms include: unexplained irritability, inattentiveness, listlessness and scratching or pulling at the ears.
Other diseases such as meningitis, measles, chicken pox, encephalitis, mumps and influenza may also lead to hearing loss. Kids should receive immediate medical attention as soon as the symptoms start to manifest. The physician will perform hearing tests, amongst other procedures, and possibly refer the child to an audiologist or speech-language pathologist for further examination and treatment.
Diarrhea is normally caused by contaminated water or food. Children affected must drink a lot of fluids to avoid dehydration. The ideal remedy for children under the age of 12 is the ORS – Oral Rehydration Solution. It is a solution of sugar and salt which can be obtained from any pharmacy store.
Coughs, colds and fever
These are normally caused by viruses or changes in climate. Over the counter medication may be administered to alleviate the associated symptoms. During cold weather, ensure that the children wear warm clothes. Sterilize their bottles and other feeding items to reduce chances of reinfection.
The most important thing is to seek medical assistance as soon as you notice any health concerns. Younger kids cannot explain exactly how they feel when sick, so it is up to use your intuition and make the right call. But, always remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.