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Common Childhood Illnesses

In Pediatric

Common Childhood Illnesses (Colds, Flu, Stomach Flu Colic, Thrush and Ear Infections.)

 

Young children are exposed to many common viruses and bacteria that can cause stomach and respiratory problems. Mostly harmless, these illnesses often heal by themselves and are essential to the development and strengthening of your child’s immune system.

Your Accèss pharma affiliated-pharmacist can help you soothe your child’s symptoms and provide you with useful information and good advice.

 

Regurgitation 

Frequent regurgitation in babies is completely normal, since the valve that prevents milk from coming back up into the mouth is not completely developed. It usually slows around 6 months and stops completely around the age of one. If you are not sure that your baby is experiencing normal regurgitation or reflux, ask your heath care professional for advice.

You should talk to a doctor if your baby:

  • Appears to be in pain
  • Vomits several times a day
  • Is not gaining enough weight

 

Colic 

Colic is part of your baby’s normal development. It typically appears around the age of 2 to 3 weeks and disappears between 3 to 4 months. Healthy babies have colic, which causes them to scream and cry for up to 3 hours a day, usually at the end of the day or in the evening.

How to soothe your colicky baby 

  • First double check that your baby isn’t crying due to hunger or fever.
  • In a calm place, pick up your baby. Place your baby tummy down on your forearm, with their head cradled in the curve of your elbow and your hand between their legs. This position reduces the pain.
  • Movement seems to soothe some babies, so pick up your baby and walk around or rock them in your arms.
  • Sucking also calms some babies, so offer the baby a soother or the breast.

If these suggestions don’t seem to making any difference, talk to your pharmacist.

Constipation 

After 6 weeks, you baby can skip a bowel movement for a few days without necessarily being constipated. Constipation involves pain and small, hard, dry stools.

 

Tips to relieve constipation

  • Breastfed babies are rarely constipated. Make sure that your baby is drinking enough breast milk.
  • Bottle-fed babies should drink about 15 ml of cooled boiled water between feedings.
  • Give constipated babies 6 months and an extra portion of vegetables, pureed prunes, or pureed prunes mixed with other fruits.

If you are not sure whether or not your baby is constipated, talk to your pharmacist.

Stomach flu (gastroenteritis)

In order to avoid the unpleasant consequences of dehydration caused by stomach flu, it is important to ensure that your baby drinks enough liquids. You can use rehydration solutions, available in the pharmacy. Talk to your pharmacist about how much to give your child so that they are well hydrated.

You should talk to a doctor if your child:

  • Urinates very little
  • Has a dry mouth
  • Has a sunken fontanel, the soft spot on the top of the head (until 6 months of age)
  • Has no tears when crying
  • Appears weak and sleepy
  • Has blood in their stools
  • Produces black stools
  • Has diarrhea for more than 5 days.

 

Red, sticky or teary eyes

A virus, bacteria or allergies can be the cause of your child’s red, sticky or teary eyes.

To soothe the symptoms, put lukewarm damp compresses on your child’s eyelids. Be careful not to use the same compress on the unaffected eye so as not to contaminate it. Talk to your pharmacist about the products available in the pharmacy and how best to treat your child.

Thrush

Symptoms

If your child has white patches on their palate or tongue or the inside of their cheeks, it might be caused by a fungal infection. Even if this type of infection is typically painless, you should speak to a doctor who will prescribe the appropriate treatment to take care of it. Breastfeeding mothers should also be treated to avoid passing the infection back and forth.

Tips to avoid thrush

  • Clean baby bottle nipples and soothers in hot water after each use.
  • Use nursing pads without plastic covers to discourage fungal growth.

Ear infections

There are two types of ear infections: outer ear and inner ear (otitis media). If the baby an external ear infection, also known as swimmer’s ear, it can sometimes be treated with over-the-counter medication, it is still a good idea to talk to your pharmacist. They will be able to judge whether or not you need to bring your child to see the doctor. No matter what type of ear infection, your child can still go to school or day care.

Colds and flu

Did you know that a child under 6 can have up to 8 colds a year?

Symptoms of a cold

  • Stuffy, runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Slight sore throat
  • Mild fatigue
  • Mild headaches

 

Symptoms of flu

  • Fever for up to 3 days
  • Muscle aches
  • Intense fatigue
  • Headaches

 

Since the effectiveness of cold and flu medication has not been proven in children younger than 6 years, their use is not recommended. Non-medicinal methods are the way to go, such as saline solution (nasal spray available in pharmacies) for stuffy noses and good hydration for a phlegmy cough.

If your child has a fever or a sore throat, give them a pain reliever such as acetaminophen.

A common cold doesn’t usually require medical treatment. If symptoms persist, then talk to your health care professional.

To download the PDF brochure, click here. 

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