Your child can’t get out of bed this morning. Their face is red, they have a stuffy nose, and that cough they have is atrocious. There must be a bug going around at school.
A bug that’s inevitably going to attack your entire family. All it takes is for one person to get sick to infect everyone.
The good news is that most common illnesses that affect families are treatable with the right medication and care. Unless the situation is extreme, many illnesses pass within a few weeks or so.
That is if you’re prepared to tackle them. Check out this guide for a list of common medical conditions and learn how to treat them.
- The Common Cold
The cold is one of the most common illnesses in adults and children alike. It’s easily spread around close quarters, so it’s not unusual for children to pick it up while they’re at school.
Since it’s airborne, once your child is infected, it won’t be long before they spread it to you. Common symptoms of a cold are runny nose, sore throat, drowsiness, fever, body aches, and loss of appetite.
The annoying part of this disease is that there is no cure yet. That means you’ll have to throw household remedies at it until the symptoms subside. Going to a doctor won’t help you much.
You can treat it with over-the-counter medications. Ibuprofen can help calm the fever and any other aches and pains. Chicken soup is great for the soul, and it can tackle a cold.
It slows down your white blood cells, so they’re able to concentrate on the areas of the body that need the most TLC. Drinking tea with honey can ease the sore throat. Vitamin C tablets won’t cure your cold, but they can strengthen your immune system and help you get better faster.
- The Flu
If you neglect to take your child to get a flu shot each year, there’s a good chance that they will catch the disease while they’re at school. Symptoms of the flu are almost identical to those of the cold. The only difference is that flu symptoms are a little more extreme.
It can leave you or your child out of commission for weeks. Unlike the common cold, a doctor can prescribe medication that you can get from any online pharmacy.
If you or your child experience a high fever or find it difficult to breathe, go see a doctor right away. Don’t go back to work or school until your symptoms subside. This way, you don’t spread it around.
- Ear Infections
Ear infections are probably the most common childhood disease that your little one will experience. They’re much more vulnerable to them than adults are, so you won’t have to worry about it.
Nine times out of ten, these infections are caused by some kind of viral infection. If your child is tugging at their ear, having difficulty sleeping, or seems more irritable than usual, start treating them with pain relievers.
You should also try putting a warm washcloth over the ear to see if that reduces some of the symptoms. Other than that, all you can do is wait for the problem to clear up on its own.
A doctor will only prescribe medication if the child is under the age of two and has an infection in both ears. If the child is extremely ill or has an underlying health condition that puts them at risk for serious symptoms, they can prescribe an antibiotic as well.
Chickenpox is another common childhood disease. Some children only experience light symptoms while others go through horrible complications.
Symptoms to look out for are a rash, fatigue, and loss of appetite. If a doctor diagnoses your little one with chickenpox, don’t take them to school. The disease is airborne, so they could spread it to everyone around them if you send them.
The easiest way to prevent this sickness is to vaccinate your child. It’s recommended that they get the chickenpox shot when they are at least 12 months old. After that, they’ll need another booster shot when they turn four.
If you don’t vaccinate the child and they catch chickenpox, you can treat it with acetaminophen (don’t give them aspirin). Lotion can help with the itchy rash. If their symptoms worsen at all, take them to the doctor right away.
- Strep Throat
If a person with strep throat coughs, it will spread the disease in the air. That’s why so many children are vulnerable to it. They can also catch it by touching an infected surface.
The best way to stop your child from catching the disease (and by proxy yourself) is to teach them how to wash their hands. Clean their washable belongings with hot water every day when they come home and tell them not to share their eating utensils with other children.
If you or your child comes home with a sore throat, fever, or inflamed tonsils, go see a doctor. They’ll be able to test you for strep throat in their office and administer the appropriate treatment.
- Pink Eye
Pink eye is an inflammation of the eye and eyelid. The virus can be transferred from your hands to your eyes. You can also catch it from common allergens.
This disease isn’t a big deal. You may experience eye discoloration, itchiness, discharge, excessive tears, and blurry vision. It’s nothing that eye drops and medication can’t handle. You can also hold a warm compress over your eye.
Most Common Illnesses That Plague Families Each Year
All it takes is for your child to catch one of these most common illnesses at school to spread them around to your entire family. If you know how to prepare yourself for these complications, it will make a world of difference.
Many of these diseases can be treated right at home. For the ones you can’t take care of, your family doctor can handle it. If you’re looking for more ways to keep your family well, check out the Health section of our blog.