A viral infection is simply caused by germs! The common cold, bronchiolitis, tonsillitis, influenza and ear infections are main childhood viruses. Blood test, cultures, examination of symptoms or the infected area can lead to a diagnosis and begin the healing process. Viral infections in children are relatively common and can often be treated with over the counter medications and home remedies. Viral infections can be spread by close contact. Schools, childcare centers and recreational activities are greater areas for exposure. It is nearly impossible to avoid viral infections as germs are essentially everywhere. There are some prevention practices that you and your child can take to help from contracting a virus. Always wash hands! Childhood immunizations and vaccinations are highly recommended as your child can be immunized against most viruses. Having a healthy immune system will also aid in the prevention from viruses. Getting plenty of rest, having a balanced diet and the proper vitamins are all easy ways to boost the immunity system.
Common symptoms that may present in viral infections in children are:
- Blocked or runny nose
- Itchy, red, watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Coughing and sneezing
- Body aches and rash
- Vomiting and/ or diarrhea
- Lethargy- lack of sleep or appetite
You should call your pediatrician if any of these signs occur with your child. An office visit may not be necessary, but describing symptoms can describe the virus so your pediatrician can recommend a method of treatment. Most of the time, an over the counter medication or the recommendation of rest at home can treat the viral infection in your child. Viruses cannot be treated by antibiotics. Viral infections are mild in children, however infants can become ill rather quickly and may need to be seen by a pediatrician.
Our staff and pediatricians are always welcome to help you and your child. Call us anytime to speak with a nurse or visit Healthy Children.org to find out more information about viral infections in children.