Viruses Just because the temperatures are nearing 100 degrees, doesn’t mean your children are safe from colds. While certain viruses, such as rhinovirus, are more common during the colder winter months, coxsackieviruses, the leading cause of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, can occur throughout the year. Hand Foot and Mouth Disease causes a fever along with small painful mouth sores and a rash on the hands and feet. Similar to other viruses, there is no cure for the aliment. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen will help to reduce fever and ease discomfort.

Enteroviruses and echoviruses come with a wide array of symptoms. Both viruses can cause high fever, sore throat, diarrhea, headache, rash and eye redness. In severe cases, some children can also develop meningitis and myocarditis, an infection of the heart muscle.

Thorough hand washing can limit the spread of these viruses. If your child has a fever, they should stay away from other children during the first few days of illness. Most viruses are cleared within 7 to 10 days.

Mosquito and Tick Borne Illnesses Summer in the south comes complete with pesky mosquitos. Not only are they a nuisance, but they can play host to viruses such as West Nile or Zika. While contracting those viruses is rare, it is common for mosquito bites to become infected by the bacteria on the skin. Redness, warmth, swelling, drainage or pain can all be signs of infection.

Lyme disease is another common virus affecting children ages 5-9 years old. The illness is transmitted through the bite of a deer tick. A circular rash will develop around the area of the bite within 7-14 days. After the bite occurs, many will experience fever, fatigue, headache, rashes and joint stiffness or pain. Lyme disease is typically easy to treat through oral antibiotics. However, when left untreated the disease can cause arthritis or meningitis.

If you discover a tick on your child’s skin it is important to remove the tick completely and as quickly as possible. Tweezers are the best way to remove a tick. Avoid twisting or squeezing the tick as those methods could leave remnants of the tick in the skin.

Food Poisoning Adults and children are both susceptible to illness from contaminated foods. Since children have developing immune systems and are more prone to dehydration, they are the most common victims of food poisoning. E.coli, Shigella, Staph and Salmonella are all bacteria’s that can cause the illness. Symptoms of food poisoning are similar to that of a stomach virus and include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Prevention is the primary defense against food poisoning. Follow the instructions for proper food preparation, cooking and storage.

No season is free from illness and infection. At NiteOwl Pediatrics, we are open 7 days a week to provide the care your children need, even after your pediatrician’s office has closed for the day.