- First off, the best thing to do when you feel your child might be sick, is call your pediatrician right way. Your pediatrician can advise you whether you should you bring your child in for an examination. Most of pediatric care is based around physical examination, so it’s important you are not tempted to diagnose based on internet articles or the advice of loved ones with good intentions.
But just for your own information, here are few examples of very common illnesses that involve the mouth or having a sore throat.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease – Also known as coxsackievirus, hand, foot and mouth disease is a contagious, viral disease that often affects children under the age of five. The illness normally includes symptoms like fever, painful sores in the mouth and a blister like rash on hands, feet and possibly, genitals. Your child may not want to walk, as the sores on the feet may make it painful to do so. Most of the time, the symptoms dissipate on their own, but it’s important to check in with your pediatrician regardless. At the very least, he can offer practical advice on preventing another outbreak.
Sore Throat and Pink eyes – Most likely this is from adenovirus. The back of your child’s throat may look very red and potentially have pus on it. This is not to be confused with strep throat,which is caused by a bacteria. This particular virus can also cause the eyes to look pink and sometimes omit a sticky discharge. Again, if you are seeing symptoms like these, it is still best to call your pediatrician.
Painful Mouth Ulcers – Although there are many illnesses that could cause your child have sores in his mouth, it’s important that you call your pediatrician if your child appears to be in pain with sores all over his tongue and mouth. It is possible that your child could have a common childhood herpes virus. If that is the case, your doctor will advise you on care and medication. It is important that if your child is showing signs of mouth pain or discomfort, you still encourage them to drink as much as possible. Sores on their mouth may make them reluctant to drink and thus prone to dehydration.
Strep Throat- Strep throat is not common in infants unless someone in the family has contracted the illness. Symptoms include fever and sore throat without the normal cold symptoms like runny nose and cough. In small children, other symptoms like stomach pain, headache, vomiting or even a rash may appear. Strep throat, accompanied with a rash is called Scarlet Fever, but luckily with today’s antibiotic’s, this is no longer the scary illness it was years ago.
It is very important, no matter what you suspect to be the culprit, if your newborn has a fever, looks ill or is refusing to feed, call your pediatrician right away. Dr. Rezk is passionate about taking preventive steps so your child begin feeling better, as soon as possible. Call the office for a same day appointment at 850-257-5524.
The information in this post was culled from "Mommy Calls", a book by Dr. Tanya Remer Altmann, as seen on NBC's The Today Show