Tag Archive | "toddler illnesses and conditions"

Surprising Facts About Asthma In Children

Asthma is an inflammatory illness in the airway. This condition is not new for parents with toddlers. But, did you know there are hidden facts about asthma in children? Below are surprising facts about asthma in children every parent needs to know to help their precious ones breathe easier.

Fact # 1: A toddler who had eczema as a baby has a higher risk of developing asthma later.

This fact is the most surprising facts about asthma in children. There is a strong connection between eczema and asthma. Doctors call it the “allergic march” – children who have eczema as an infant go on to develop allergies (often food and airborne allergies) and then asthma. However, the risk of your toddler developing asthma later can be minimized by treating hay fever with medications and allergy shots or immunotherapy.

Fact # 2: Exposing a toddler to certain environmental factors can lead to the development of asthma.

Certain environmental factors can trigger asthma symptoms such as being near a traffic-related area where pollution is very high. A toddler exposed to pollution and high levels of ozone has a bigger chance of getting asthma. Other environmental factors include – tobacco, perfumes, cleaning fluids, wood smoke, dust mites (a very common asthma trigger), mold, seasonal weather changes (especially when pollen levels are higher), animal dander as well as indoor swimming pools (the chlorine in pool water can cause a toddler’s airway to experience changes which can lead to asthma).

Fact # 3: A toddler who does not wheeze can still have asthma.

If your toddler has a chronic or ongoing cough, it may not be a persistent cold or a symptom of allergy. Recurrent bronchitis can also be an indication of underlying asthma. Coughing is one common symptom of asthma but other factors can cause a cough so an accurate analysis is necessary. To do this, you toddler’s doctor may perform a test called spirometry to gauge the volume of air your toddler can breathe out forcefully into a tube. The doctor will listen for wheezing (narrowing of airway), coughing and shortness of breath which comes from the muscles in the airways narrowing and from the swelling of the lining.

Fact # 4: A toddler with asthma can perform various activities.

It is not true that asthma can limit a toddler’s activities. All too often, parents limit their children to do certain things to prevent asthma attacks, but this is not necessary. In fact, doing various activities such as sports and exercises can improve an asthmatic toddler’s condition. As long as right medication is used at the right time, adequate rest and healthy eating habits are observed, a toddler with asthma will be fine.

Fact # 5: Mild cases of asthma in children should not be taken for granted.

Toddlers with mild asthma may not suffer as much as children with full-blown asthma but it is still very important for parents not to let their guard down. A toddler with asthma, mild or severe can easily develop upper respiratory illnesses which can aggravate the condition. A parent should also be cautious about exposing the toddler to foods with sulphites such as packaged fruit jams, canned vegetables and baked goods and certain medications such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

Fact # 6: A toddler’s asthma action plan must be constantly re-evaluated.

According to pediatric pulmonologists, a toddler who has persistent asthma has to have a written asthma action plan. This asthma action plan must be reassessed with your toddler’s doctor at least 2 to 4 times a year. Young children are also required to use a peak flow meter to help figure out how well their asthma is being controlled. This should be done every morning before a toddler takes his medications. The record must be shown to the doctor so the doctor can adjust a toddler’s asthma action plan accordingly.

Fact # 7: Asthma is often referred to as Reactive Airway Disease.

Some doctors do not directly diagnose a toddler of having an asthma condition for two reasons – the toddler is too young to undergo examinations that can help detect asthma or the toddler has very sensitive airways but the doctor is unsure if it is asthma and it may be something the toddler will outgrow before adulthood.

Asthma is a very widespread childhood disease in the United States. There are a lot of facts about asthma in children but the seven facts mentioned above are unknown to a lot of parents.

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Causes, Signs, Treatment and Prevention of Frostbite In Children

The cold season is a time for viruses to spread which causes colds and flu in children. However, it can also cause frostbite in children. Frostbite can be very painful and uncomfortable for toddlers. Thus, it is very important for parents to know about frostbite in children. Here is a guide that will help you learn the causes, signs, treatment and prevention of frostbite in children.

What causes frostbite in children?

Frostbite in children is basically caused by exposure to very low temperature which exposes certain areas of the body such as the ears, nose, cheeks, chin, fingers and toes to extreme cold which can become frozen. This is because the skin and the body tissue beneath freezes. A toddler’s skin becomes very cold, then numb, hard and pallid. Toddlers are more at risk of incurring frostbite because of their sudden drops in body temperatures when in the outdoors.

What are the signs and symptoms?

The following are some common signs and symptoms of frostbite in children:

Skin Discoloration

The most common indication that a toddler has frostbite is when the skin exposed to extreme cold turns red and inflamed. If the skin is exposed for a long period of time, it will then appear to be white or purplish in color (looks like a bruise).

Skin Cracks or Has Blisters

A part of the skin that has been frostbitten feels odd when you touch it. Some toddlers may experience cracking and blistering which can be very discomforting. The skin can also appear shiny and puffy or flaky and hard to touch.

Strange Skin Sensations

A toddler with frostbite might feel a burning or prickling sensation. As the frostbite exacerbates, the toddler might feel numbness and the pain might subside but this just actually means that the frostbite is aggravating.

Speech and Dexterity Problems

Another sign of frostbite in children is when a toddler has trouble speaking due to the loss of body heat. You may also notice a toddler having difficulty with his dexterity.

How is frostbite in children treated?

If you notice that one or more of these symptoms are experienced by your toddler, then it is very essential that you follow these tips for treating frostbite in children.

Warm The Body

Warm the body as soon as possible without placing heat directly on the affected areas. Do not touch your toddler’s affected skin. Instead, move your toddler to a warm location. Remove his wet clothing and dress your toddler in dry and warm clothes. Wrapping his body with a blanket can also help.

Seek Medical Help

Immediate medical attention is necessary as your toddler is at risk of infection or permanent tissue damage. The doctor will be able to prescribe good recommendations for treating your toddler’s frostbite (e.g. applying topical creams or skin grafting for severe cases). The doctor will also check for hypothermia (extreme low body temperature).

Re-warm Affected Areas Gradually

For superficial or minor cases of frostbite, what you need to do is to re-warm the affected parts slowly. You can gently tuck your toddler’s hands under your armpits. Applying warm compress also helps. You can also immerse your toddler’s fingers and toes in lukewarm (not hot) water – about 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Giving your toddler something warm to drink such as milk, tea, water or soup can also provide comfort.

A word of advice: Never rub your toddler’s fingers or use a heating device (e.g. hairdryer) to warm the affected areas as this will only increase the damage in the skin tissue.

How can frostbite be prevented?

Supervise Your Toddler Outdoors

Letting your toddler play during cold weather is perfectly fine. But, do make sure to keep the time he spends outside short, say 15 to 20 minutes. Make it a point to check his face, ears, fingers and toe every so often so you can check for signs of frostbite.

Dress Your Toddler For The Weather

Another way to prevent frostbite in children is to dress toddlers appropriately. Meaning, you have to make sure you dress your little one in layers. Have your toddler wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, jacket, scarf, hat, mittens, socks and well-fitting boots.

Keep Your Toddler Dry

See to it your toddler stays dry outdoors. Whenever he gets wet, remove wet clothes at once because moisture draws off heat from the skin.

Always be vigilant during cold, windy days. Wind makes the skin lose heat faster, which enhances your toddler’s risk of frostbite.

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Stomach Ache Remedies For Toddlers

Toddlers often suffer from stomach aches. This can be due to food allergies, gas, indigestion or infections. Parents should keep a close eye on their toddlers to determine the cause of their child’s stomach ache. If the cause seems to be mild, it can be treated at home. Here are simple but very effective stomach ache remedies for toddlers.

Apply Heat

One of the best stomach ache remedies for toddlers is warm compress. Ask your toddler to sit or lie down and then place a hot water bottle or a washcloth dipped in hot water to the stomach for 10 minutes or more. Heat increases the blood flow to the skin’s surface which can relieve the pain.

Drink Ginger

Ginger is a great home remedy to give to toddlers with stomach ache. Ginger contains gingerol – a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce the production of free radicals which can be harmful to the body, decrease constipation and nausea and neutralize stomach acids. To prepare ginger tea, grate a small piece of ginger and squeeze out its juice. Mix ¼ teaspoon of ginger juice with warm water and ½ teaspoon honey.

Sip Chamomile Tea

Give your little one a cup of chamomile tea (one cup of water per teabag). Chamomile tea is a very good home remedy for minor stomach aches because it has anti-inflammatory and calming properties which can lessen stomach discomfort. It soothes the muscle of the upper digestive system, alleviating the contractions that move food from the tummy and small intestines which can help ease abdominal cramps and spasms.

Offer Lemon Juice

Squeeze a small amount of lemon juice to a glass of warm water. This fresh fruit juice can help with digestion, relieving a painful stomach ache effectively and naturally.

Drink Plenty of Water

See to it your toddler drinks plenty of water throughout the day. Most often, cases of stomach ache in toddlers are caused by acidity imbalance. Drinking water can help reduce the imbalance. Let your toddler drink water while sitting down (not lying down) and in small sips every 30 minutes. Gulping down water in one go can cause more discomfort.

Offer Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are also one of the most effective stomach ache remedies for toddlers. Fennel seeds help boost up muscle and tendon movement in the tummy, getting rid of excess waste and promote healthy digestion.

Give A Massage

Giving your toddler a massage can also help treat stomach ache. Apply a few drops of essential oil such as lavender and mint to the stomach and then lightly massage in a circular, clockwise motion.
Or, you can also rub your toddler’s foot. Hold your toddler’s left foot with the palm of your right hand and place your left hand underneath the ball of the foot and apply a solid, even pressure with your thumb. Move slightly forward and repeat. Switch hands and repeat from right to left with the thumb of your right hand until you cover the middle of the arch.

Snack On Yogurt

Yogurt is full of natural healthy microorganisms that can help cure stomach ache. The good bacteria can help break down food, treat tummy cramps as well as diarrhea. Give your toddler a bowl of yogurt with live cultures to snack on. Yogurt is tasty so you will not have any problems serving it to your little one.

Serve The CRAP Diet

Offer your toddler the CRAP diet if he is suffering from stomach ache because of constipation. CRAP stands for cherries, raisins, apricots and prunes. These foods are rich in fiber which can regulate bowel movement. Make sure you puree these foods first before serving it to your toddler to prevent choking. Serve a half cup of any of these fruits 3 to 5 times a day.

These natural and homemade remedies can successfully treat stomach ache in toddlers. But, if your toddler’s stomach ache continues more than five days or if he loses his appetite, develops a fever, vomits and is easily exhausted, it is time to call the doctor.

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Treatment For Hay Fever In Children

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to airborne elements such as mold and pollen. Hay fever is very common in children. It attacks children during later summer or spring. Although this is not a serious illness, it can cause toddlers discomfort which can affect their participation in everyday activities. Here is a guide about the treatment for hay fever in children.


Antihistamines are the most commonly used medications for treating hay fever in children. It is available in both pill and liquid form. Antihistamines obstruct histamine (which the immune system generates during an allergic reaction), reducing runny nose, sneezing and itching. However, some over-the-counter antihistamines are ideal for treating mild or occasional symptoms but may cause drowsiness in toddlers. In addition, toddlers who develop hay fever must take a daily antihistamine for at least 2 months to keep the symptoms under control. Make sure you ask your toddler’s pediatrician first before giving this medicine to your toddler.

Sinus Rinsing

Another treatment for hay fever in children is sinus rinsing. In sinus rinsing, a bulb syringe is filled with saline solution to clean a toddler’s nostrils. The salty water flushes allergens from your toddler’s nose. It can be used every day, either on its own or together with other hay fever remedies. You can purchase a bulb syringe and saline packets from your local pharmacy. Or, you can also make your own saline solution by mixing 8 oz. warm water, ¼ tsp. kosher or pickling salt and ¼ tsp. baking soda in a clean container.

Prescription Nasal Sprays

Prescription nasal sprays can treat or prevent nasal irritation, itchiness and congestion from hay fever. Health experts recommend prescription nasal sprays as they can be safely used for long-term treatment. But, you should never use an OTC nasal spray to treat your toddler’s hay fever as this can exacerbate the symptoms.


Giving a toddler decongestant is another option for treating hay fever. Decongestants are available in nasal spray, pill or liquid form. They can help ease congestion in the nasal passageway and sinus. However, decongestants should only be used for a short period of time as they can cause side effects such as headaches, insomnia and increased blood pressure in toddlers.


Immunotherapy also known as allergy shots is another effective treatment for hay fever in children. This is done by frequently injecting the toddler with small quantities of the allergens that cause hay fever symptoms. Immunotherapy treatments normally last 3 to 5 years to desensitize the body from allergens and to build up the toddler’s immune system. This form of treatment is recommended if a toddler’s symptoms continue even after trying medications and if the toddler has allergy triggers that are difficult to avoid.


Another effective option is to place a few ice cubes in a moist washcloth over a toddler’s eyes for at least 10 minutes. The ice can alleviate itchy and swollen eyes. This treatment is best done before a toddler’s bedtime to help the child sleep easier.

Avoid The Triggers

Of course, any form of hay fever treatment will not be effective if you do not limit your toddler’s exposure from the triggers. In order to do this, you must - keep windows closed at night. Remove carpets from your toddler’s room. Sanitize your home regularly. Wash your pets every week and keep them in your backyard. Place allergy filters over air vents. Buy allergy-proof covers for your toddler’s pillows, mattress and stuffed toys. Teach him to wash his hands frequently. Give him a bath before bedtime. Keep your toddler inside your house early in the morning and during hot, dry, windy days (when mold and pollen counts are high) as much as possible.

If you have more questions about hay fever or if you notice unusual symptoms, do not hesitate to consult your toddler’s doctor.

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Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Dandruff In Toddlers

Dandruff is a very common skin condition that affects the scalp. Dandruff is harmless but it can be itchy and embarrassing for your toddler. Here is a guide that will help you better understand the causes, signs and treatment of dandruff in toddlers.

What causes dandruff in toddlers?

Dandruff is caused by a fast production of yeast or malassezia that lives on the scalp. The excess cells are seen as flakes on the scalp or on the shoulders. Other factors that can cause dandruff in toddlers are excess sebum production, harsh shampoos and other hair care products, improper hair washing, sunburn (which leads to dry and flaky scalp) and skin disorders such as eczema (swelling of the epidermis), psoriasis (thick, prickly red patches that are at times painful) and seborrhic dermatitis (an inflammatory skin condition that affects the scalp, face and torso).

The Symptoms of Dandruff

Symptoms of dandruff are very easy to spot. If you see your toddler scratching or you notice white, oily, flaky patches of scale on your little one’s scalp, behind the ears or on his shoulders, chances are the problem is dandruff. A dry scalp is also another indicator that your toddler has dandruff.

Risk Factors

Almost any child is at risk of having dandruff. But, toddlers with oily scalps or oily hair are more vulnerable. According to studies, male children are more likely to have dandruff because they have larger producing oil glands. In addition, children who have poor eating habits are at a higher risk for dandruff.

Treatment For Dandruff In Toddlers

Use An Anti-dandruff Shampoo

You may use an over-the-counter anti-dandruff shampoo to get rid of the flakes in your toddler’s scalp. There are many options available so you can decide whether you want an anti-dandruff shampoo that contains active ingredients such as selenium sulphide which helps retain moist skin cells, salicylic acid that helps remove dead skin and dry up excess oil and ketoconazole which minimizes scalp fungus. Use this once a day and make sure you rinse your toddler’s hair carefully to improve the scalp condition. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before buying one to ensure that the product you choose is safe for your toddler.

Practice Proper Hair Care

Shampoo your toddler’s hair every day. This is the best way to treat mild cases of dandruff in toddlers. First, brush his hair before shampooing. Then apply a small amount of mild shampoo (choose one that is hypoallergenic and is free from perfumes or dyes) into the palm of your hand and massage it into your toddler’s scalp and hair. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes and then wash the shampoo out thoroughly.

Limit The Use of Styling Products

As much as possible, do not put hair styling products such as gel, wax, mousse and spray in your toddler’s hair. These products can clog up the hair and make your toddler’s hair oilier which will only aggravate the dandruff.

Avoid Sugar and Yeast

Limit the amount of sugar and yeast your little one consumes. This is very effective in treating dandruff. Offer your toddler more fruits and vegetables instead. Not only will a healthy diet treat dandruff but it will also boost your toddler’s immune system.

Send Your Toddler Outside

Getting a little bit of sunshine every day can also help treat dandruff in toddlers. Allow your toddler to stay outdoors for at least 30 minutes each day. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation can help control the condition. But, do not forget to apply sunscreen to your toddler before sending him outside.

In general, dandruff does not require a doctor’s care. It can be treated at home although it may take some time to completely slough off the flakes on your toddler’s scalp. However, if your toddler’s scalp continues to itch after trying these remedies or if you notice oozing and inflammation, talk to his doctor.

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Swimmer’s Ear In Children

Most children love being in the water. However, too much time spent in the water can cause swimmer’s ear or otitis externa, an external ear infection. Here is a guide of what parents need to know about swimmer’s ear in children.

Causes of Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmer’s ear occurs when water gets trapped in the ear canal, corroding the skin’s defensive lining, making it a good place for bacteria to breed. A toddler who swims often or puts his head under water when he takes a bath can have swimmer’s ear. Lake water is a common culprit but so is pool water, ocean water and water from showers.
Inserting something into the ear such as a cotton swab, a piece of food, a bead, or earphones and scratching the inside of the ear can also cause swimmer’s ear because these objects can strip off the protective earwax from the ear canal. In addition, allergies, diseases and skin conditions can also lead to swimmer’s ear.

What are the signs and symptoms of swimmer’s ear in children?

Symptoms of swimmer’s ear are normally mild at first. But they can get worse if the infection spreads or is not treated right away. Indications that a toddler has swimmer’s ear include:

•    Itching in the ear canal
•    Ear pain in only one ear that gets worse when pulled or when swallowing
•    Slight swelling inside the ear
•    Temporary hearing loss
•    Discharge of clear, yellow or smelly pus from the ear
•    Inflammation in the lymph nodes in the neck (for severe cases)

Diagnosing Swimmer’s Ear

You can try doing the ear movement test to check if your toddler has swimmer’s ear. Start by pushing the small flap that covers the ear canal. Pull back and up the entire ear and then push on the face (just in front of the ear).

You may also bring your toddler to the doctor. The doctor will use an otoscope (a lighted scope) to take a look of the ear canal. The doctor may also observe the discharge from the ear under a microscope to figure out if bacteria or fungi are causing the infection.

Treatment of Swimmer’s Ear In Children

Antibiotic Ear Drops

The doctor can prescribe an antibiotic ear drop which you have to put 5 to 10 drops into the ear 2 to 4 times a day for a week. Let it stay in the ear canal for at least 10 minutes and then let the fluid flow out onto a washcloth or tissue.


If your toddler is in pain, you may give your little one the correct dose of OTC or over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g. Advil or Motrin) to help reduce the pain until the ear drop takes effect. Never give your toddler aspirin.

Apply Heat

Another option for treating swimmer’s ear in children is by applying warm compress to the affected ear. Soak a small washcloth in lukewarm water and lightly press against the affected ear. If you are using a heating pad, wrap it in a towel before putting it next to your toddler’s ear to avoid burning the ear.

Preventive Measures

If your toddler is susceptible to swimmer’s ear, you may put preventive drops in your toddler’s ear after bathing or swimming. You can either buy a swimmer’s ear drop or make a homemade ear drop by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. These drops help prevent swimmer’s ear and puts the acid back in the ear canal.

Most importantly, teach your little one not to put things inside his ears. If you are going to clean your toddler’s ears, do not use a cotton swab. Use a soft washcloth instead.

If you have administered these treatments yet there is no improvement within two days or if the area behind the ear is red and tender, bring your toddler to the doctor.

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Treatment For Hives In Children

Hives or welts are inflamed areas on the skin. They show up in different sizes and shapes, are usually itchy and with a pale and elevated area surrounded by a red border. Hives in children is very common. But, they are not contagious and can be treated at home. Below are some tips about the treatment for hives in children.

Eliminate The Culprit

Hives are mostly caused by irritants such as insect bites, pet dander, food, pollen, mold, cold temperature, viral infection (e.g. cold) and certain medications that may cause your toddler to break out in hives. Know the triggers and limit your toddler’s exposure to the allergen as much as possible. Keep your pet in your backyard. Clean your home. Close the windows to keep pollen from filtering in your home. Be wary of the foods you feed your toddler. Treat infection right away.

Give Your Toddler Antihistamine

Over-the-counter antihistamine is another treatment for hives in children. Antihistamines obstruct the release of histamine (a substance that is produced when an allergic reaction occurs) in the body. As soon as you notice the hives, give your little one antihistamine such as Benadryl every 6 hours to reduce itch and inflammation. Talk to your toddler’s pediatrician first to make sure your toddler can take it and to determine the correct dose for your toddler’s age and weight.

Bathe Your Toddler

Give your toddler a bath to wash away as much of the allergen as possible. Bathe him with soap and cool water. Use a washcloth to clean the area with hives to help relieve the itch. Another option is to add 1 cup of oatmeal or baking soda to the bath. Baking soda and oatmeal have natural anti-itching elements that can help cure the hives.

Cool Compress The Affected Area

You may also cool compress the area to minimize the redness. Massage the area for 20 minutes with a cold pack. The compress will not make the hives go away but it can soothe the itchiness and bring some relief to your uncomfortable toddler.

Apply Cream or Lotion

Another treatment for hives in children is hydrocortisone cream. You can buy one over-the-counter. It is available in 0.5% and 1.0% strengths. Make sure you pick the weakest cream since a stronger cream can be too harsh for your toddler’s sensitive skin.

Calamine lotion is also effective in treating hives. Pour a small amount on a cotton ball and gently dab it to the affected area. You may also apply aloe vera extract to the skin. Aloe vera has a cooling power that will help soothe the rash and ease the itch of the hives. It will also lessen soreness and fight off infection.

Dress Your Toddler Comfortably

Dress your toddler in clothes that are appropriate for the weather. If it is hot, do not cover him in layers of clothing. Go for clothes that are made of cotton which allow the skin to breathe. Dress him in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing so the clothes do nut rub against the hives and aggravate the irritation. Change your toddler’s clothes if he becomes sweaty or uncomfortable.

Make Sure There is Proper Ventilation

During warm days, run a cool mist humidifier in your home to allow air to circulate. For cold weather, just keep your little one inside your home. Do not bring him with you when you go out. Turn on the heater so he will not get too cold.

Consult With An Expert

Even if you have followed the remedies above, it is still very important that you talk to your toddler’s pediatrician. The doctor can give you more tips on how to treat your toddler’s hives. Plus, having expert advice will give you peace of mind.

These techniques are effective for treating hives in children. But, if you notice that the hives are worsening or your toddler has difficulty breathing, vomits, wheezes and becomes pale, take your toddler to the emergency room at once.

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A Parent’s Guide To Bronchitis In Children

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes - large airways between the nose and the lungs. Toddlers with immature immune systems are most susceptible to bronchitis. Some toddlers have a speedy recovery while others may need weeks and months to recuperate. This guide will help parents better understand bronchitis in children.

Levels of Infection

There are 2 types of bronchitis– acute and chronic.

  • Acute bronchitis – A short-term infection that usually follows a cold or viral infection such as the flu which affects the nasal passages, sinuses and throat before entering the lungs.
  • Chronic bronchitis – A long-term infection that generates excess mucus in the lungs which causes chronic coughing until the infection is cleared out of the body. It can result to breathing difficulties making it a serious condition.

What causes bronchitis?

Bronchitis in children is normally caused by several viruses such as influenza A and B. Bacteria is another leading cause of bronchitis. This is a result of a sinus infection that has spread to the chest or by inhaling airborne bacteria such as cigarette and tobacco smoke, air pollution and chemical solvents. Allergies can also cause bronchitis in children. According to child health experts, toddlers who suffer from allergies or asthma are more likely to develop this infection due to the immune system’s sensitivity to substances such as dust, molds and pollen.

What are the symptoms?

Toddlers suffering from bronchitis will have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Coughing (starts out dry but later on produces greenish or yellowish mucus)
  • Low-grade fever (100 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Body pains
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue

How is bronchitis diagnosed?

Your doctor will perform several tests to diagnose bronchitis. The pediatrician may base his finding on the physical symptoms your toddler may be experiencing. The doctor can order chest X-rays to verify the condition of the lungs. A device called pulse oximetry may also be used to evaluate the amount of oxygen that is in your toddler’s blood.

How is bronchitis treated?

Antibiotics will be given to your toddler if bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection. The doctor might also recommend running a cool-mist humidifier in your toddler’s bedroom to moisten the air and relieve your child’s breathing. Saline drops may also be used to ease congestion.

It is also very important that your toddler drinks plenty of fluids (about 8 to 10 glasses per day) to prevent dehydration and keep his airway free of irritants. Plenty of rest is also necessary. Elevate his head with a pillow while your toddler is sleeping to make breathing easier for him.

Giving your toddler a correct dose of children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also help reduce his fever and discomfort. The doctor may also recommend cough medicine with expectorant to clear out mucus. Or if your toddler has asthma, a bronchodilator may be given to open up his airways.

Bronchitis is very common in children. But, you can protect your toddler from this disease by making sure he washes his hands regularly, maintains a well-balanced diet, gets adequate sleep and limits contact with sick people and people who smoke.

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Dehydration In Children

Children are more prone to dehydration than adults. It occurs when the body lacks enough fluid. Dehydration in children can be lethal. Here is a guide to help you become more aware of this condition so you can protect your toddler from this life-threatening illness.


Lack of Fluids

The most obvious reason why a toddler gets dehydrated is because he is not drinking enough liquids, especially during the summer season or when doing vigorous activities.

Viral and Bacterial Infections

Dehydration is most often caused by a viral infection like rotavirus and adenovirus (infections of the lung, stomach, intestine and eyes) or a bacterial infection such as salmonella or e-coli. Viral and bacterial infections can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea and a decreased ability to eat and drink, draining the body of important body fluids.

Parasitic Infections

Parasitic diseases such as Giardia lamblia – a parasite responsible for a transmittable form of diarrhea.

Medical Conditions

Cystic fibrosis and medical conditions that cause excessive urination such as diabetes can cause dehydration. Some medications that are prescribed to toddlers can also lead to fluid loss.

Signs and Symptoms

If a toddler is dehydrated, he may show one or more of these symptoms:

  • Decreased frequency of urination (may go up to 12 hours without urinating and if he does urinate, his urine looks darker and smells stronger than usual)
  • No tears while crying
  • Dry or sticky mouth and tongue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy (feeling exhausted and sluggish)
  • Extreme fussiness
  • Fever
  • Increased thirst

When To Call A Doctor

If your toddler is dehydrated, it would be best to call the doctor for advice and to make sure your toddler is not seriously dehydrated. But, if you notice your toddler shows serious signs of dehydration - temperature is higher than 103 degrees Fahrenheit, severe abdominal pain and frequent vomiting, take your toddler to the emergency room right away.


Increase Fluid Intake

If your doctor recommends it, you may let your toddler drink an oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte and ReVital. You may also offer freezer pops, flat soda, ice chips and clear soup. If he has trouble keeping the solution down, try giving him 1 tablespoon of liquid every 15 minutes. Steer clear of plain water, gelatine, juices, sodas, chicken broth and sports drinks as they do not have the necessary electrolytes to replace the lost fluids in the body.


Give your toddler the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apples and toast) 4 hours after vomiting stops. After 24 to 48 hours, you can continue on your toddler’s regular diet.

Keep Your Toddler Comfortable

Stay in a well-ventilated place. Dress your toddler in lightweight clothing. See to it your toddler gets plenty of rest and do not allow him to play physically demanding games for the mean time. Read a book, talk, listen to music or play board games to keep him entertained.

IV Fluids

For severe dehydration, your toddler might have to stay in the hospital and receive IV fluids through an intravenous tube until he is rehydrated.

Dehydration is a serious condition. But, you can prevent your toddler from getting dehydrated by making sure your child is consuming plenty of fluids throughout the day, maintaining a healthy diet and getting adequate rest.

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Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Croup In Children

Croup is an infection that causes inflammation in the trachea and voice cords. This illness is common in toddlers under the age of five. Here is some information that will help parents better understand croup in children.

What causes croup?

Croup in children is usually caused by a parainfluenza virus (a respiratory virus). But, it can also be caused by allergies, bacteria and inhaled irritants. Croup is transmittable and because children still have weak immune systems, close contact (through coughing, sneezing or holding something an infected person touched) with infected people can also trigger croup.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Symptoms of croup are very similar to common cold – a runny nose, sore throat, fever and irritability. But because croup causes swelling in the throat and voice box, it changes the sound of a toddler’s cough. It develops into a loud, harsh, barking cough (similar to a seal’s bark), a hoarse voice and noisy breathing (a high-pitched breathing sound called a stridor). Croup appears after a few days of cold symptoms and gets worse in the middle of the night and if a toddler is in distress.

How is it diagnosed?

Fortunately, it is easy to detect croup. The doctor can just listen to your toddler over the phone or examine your toddler and asking about the symptoms. In addition, the doctor may place a pulse oximeter on your toddler’s earlobe, finger or toe to assess if sufficient oxygen is reaching the blood.

How is croup treated?

Croup is worst the first 2 to 3 nights but the illness usually goes away within a week. Even though your toddler’s coughing can be alarming, home remedies can treat coup. The following remedies can help ease croup:

Breathing In Moist Air

Take your little one into the bathroom, run hot water in the bath tub or shower and sit in the room for 15 to 20 minutes. The warm moist air will help reduce inflammation in the airways and make breathing easier. You can also take your toddler out into the cool night air for 10 minutes. But be sure to dress your toddler in warm clothes to keep him from feeling cold which can exacerbate croup. In addition, using a cool-mist humidifier in your toddler’s bedroom can keep his room humid and help him sleep better at night.

Staying Upright

Keep your toddler in an upright position. Have him sit on a chair or add some extra pillows to keep your toddler’s head elevated during sleep making it easier for your little one to breathe.


Make sure your toddler is getting plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You may offer your toddler water, chamomile tea with honey, clear soups, crushed ice drinks and popsicles frequently throughout the day.

Pain Reliever

If your doctor approves, you can give your toddler acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the fever and lessen the swelling in the throat. Never give him antibiotics and cough medicine as these will be ineffective.

Keep Your Toddler Comfortable

It is very important to keep your toddler calm. Do not panic. Keep your little one relaxed by reading him stories, singing songs, cuddling and sleeping. The lesser he cries, the better he can breathe.

Croup in children is not as dangerous as it was once. But, if you notice signs of dehydration, drooling, retractions and a high fever, call 911 immediately.

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