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How Common Is Acute Illness in Children?

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Almost every parent knows the anxiety that comes with raising children, especially when they fall ill. When your child starts coughing, sniffling, or complaining about feeling sick, it's comforting to have a family physician you can trust. At Lawrence Family Practice Center, our team is proud to be a trusted provider that Lawrence, KS families can turn to when illness strikes. Here's what you should know when your child isn't feeling their best.

What is an acute illness?

An acute illness is a sudden, short-lived health issue that can arise unexpectedly. Unlike chronic conditions, acute illnesses usually resolve quickly with proper care. They can include various infections and ailments, such as fevers, sore throats, or stomach bugs. In many cases, you can manage an acute illness with over-the-counter medicines and at-home care. For more serious cases, though, we recommend reaching out to our family physicians so they can diagnose and treat your child's symptoms.

What are the most common childhood illnesses?

Because of their still-maturing immune systems and curious natures, children are especially vulnerable to acute illnesses. Some of the most common childhood illnesses include:

  • Common cold and influenza: Viral infections that affect the nose, throat, and lungs.
  • Ear infections: Particularly common in younger children and can cause significant discomfort and fever.
  • Stomach viruses: These can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.
  • Strep throat: A bacterial infection that can cause severe throat pain and fever.
  • Bronchitis: An infection of the main airways of the lungs, causing coughing and breathing issues.

When should I take my sick child to the doctor?

It's tempting to think you might be overreacting when your child starts showing signs of illness, but always remember that it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your family's health. If you notice any of the following symptoms, we recommend scheduling a consultation with our team:

  • High fever: Especially if it is 104°F or higher or persists for more than 24 hours.
  • Difficulty breathing: Any sign of labored breathing, wheezing, or persistent coughing.
  • Persistent pain: Such as ear pain, headache, or stomach ache that does not improve.
  • Unusual lethargy: If your child is unusually sleepy, difficult to wake, or unresponsive.
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea: Leading to dehydration symptoms like dry mouth, no tears, and infrequent urination.

What can I do to lower my child's risk of getting sick?

Protecting your child's health means teaching them how to be proactive about their own health. Encouraging proper handwashing techniques, maintaining a nutritious diet, ensuring they get enough sleep, and staying on schedule with vaccinations are fundamental practices. By embracing these habits, you can strengthen their immunity and promote their long-term wellness, providing them with the best chance for a healthy and fulfilling life.

Trust your family's health to our experienced team

At Lawrence Family Practice Center, we're dedicated to your family's health and well-being. The experienced family physicians at our Lawrence, KS office are here to provide support during even the most challenging times. Whether it's a routine check-up or an urgent care visit, you can count on us for compassionate care. Contact our office today to learn how you can help your child enjoy a healthy life.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.