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Common Kids’ Health Issues: Colds, Rashes, and More

We don’t have to tell you that raising a family is a full-time job, especially when you’re dealing with the minor illnesses and injuries to which children are prone. Having access to quality pediatric primary care makes that job a lot easier.

Link Primary Care provides pediatric child health services to families living in the St. Louis, MO, area. Our concierge care plans provide you with access to several services other providers don’t offer, including same-day visits and remote consultations with an experienced doctors. Becoming a Link Primary Care member ensures you’ll be prepared for any health issue your child may experience.

In this article, we’re going to look at some common childhood health issues. We’ll discuss treatment approaches and how to know when you need to take your children to see a doctor.

1. The Common Cold

The common cold is one of the most common health issues among kids. Children catch colds through viral infections. While a cold might not be a serious illness, it can certainly make your child miserable. Primary care doctors often recommend a combination of rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms.

Rest is crucial because it allows the body to recover more efficiently. Encourage your child to take it easy, get plenty of sleep, and stay home from school or daycare until they feel better.

Hydration is equally important during a cold. Fluids help thin mucus, making it easier for your child to breathe and reducing the risk of dehydration. Offer water, clear broth, or herbal teas, and avoid sugary drinks.

Over-the-counter cold medications can provide relief from specific symptoms like congestion, fever, or cough. However, it’s essential to consult your primary care doctor before giving any medication to your child, as they can recommend the right one based on your child’s age and symptoms.

2. Rash and Skin Conditions

Children are prone to various skin conditions and rashes, ranging from diaper rash to eczema. When it comes to rashes, a primary care doctor can play a crucial role in identifying the cause and recommending appropriate treatment.

Diaper rash is a common issue in infants and toddlers. To prevent and treat it, doctors often recommend keeping the diaper area clean and dry, using a barrier cream or ointment, and allowing the skin to air out whenever possible.

Eczema, a chronic skin condition, can cause red, itchy rashes. Primary care doctors may recommend gentle skincare routines, moisturizing creams, and in some cases, prescription medications to manage eczema effectively.

For other skin conditions like contact dermatitis or fungal infections, a primary care doctor can diagnose the issue and prescribe the appropriate treatment, such as topical creams or oral medications.

3. Scrapes and Wounds

Childhood is a time of exploration and adventure. How fast can I run? How high can I jump? Cuts and scrapes are bound to happen. These minor injuries are a part of growing up, but they still require attention to prevent infection and ensure proper healing.

Primary care doctors recommend cleaning scrapes and wounds with mild soap and water to remove dirt and debris. Applying an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and covering the wound with a sterile bandage can help prevent infection.

It’s important to keep an eye on the wound’s healing progress and watch for signs of infection, such as increasing redness, swelling, or discharge. If these signs occur, consult your primary care doctor promptly for further evaluation and treatment.

4. Vaccinations

Vaccinations are important because they can prevent many common kids’ health issues. They protect children from a range of preventable diseases, including measles and polio. Primary care doctors play a central role in ensuring that children receive the recommended vaccines on schedule.

Vaccinations not only protect your child but also contribute to the broader community’s immunity, preventing the spread of diseases. Your primary care doctor will provide you with a vaccination schedule and can answer any questions or address concerns you may have about vaccines. At Link Primary Care, we cover all scheduled childhood vaccinations.

5. Influenza (Flu)

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can affect children of all ages. It typically strikes during the colder months, causing fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. Primary care doctors recommend annual flu vaccines as the most effective way to prevent the flu.

In addition to vaccination, doctors may suggest antiviral medications if your child develops the flu. Rest, hydration, and over-the-counter fever reducers can help alleviate symptoms.

6. Asthma

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of children worldwide. It can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing, making it challenging for kids to engage in physical activities. Primary care doctors are instrumental in managing asthma and ensuring that children with the condition lead healthy, active lives.

Asthma management often involves inhalers or nebulizers to deliver bronchodilators or anti-inflammatory medications. Primary care doctors work with families to develop an asthma action plan, which outlines steps to take in case of an asthma flare-up. Regular check-ups help monitor the child’s lung function and adjust treatment as needed.

7. Allergies

In children, allergies can range from mild hay fever to severe food allergies. A primary care doctor plays a pivotal role in identifying allergens and providing guidance on allergy management.

Doctors may recommend over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, or allergen-specific immunotherapy for seasonal allergies. Food allergies require strict avoidance of the allergen and may necessitate carrying an epinephrine auto-injector for emergencies.

It’s essential to communicate openly with your primary care doctor about your child’s allergies and follow their guidance to ensure your child’s safety and well-being. We can always make referrals if you need to meet with an allergy specialist.

8. Stomach Aches

Stomach aches are a common complaint among children and can have various causes, including infections, dietary issues, and stress. Primary care doctors can help pinpoint the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatments.

If a stomach ache is due to a viral infection, rest and hydration are typically the primary treatments. Doctors may advise against certain foods that can irritate the stomach and suggest bland, easily digestible options.

For chronic or recurring stomach aches, primary care doctors may explore dietary factors, food allergies, or gastrointestinal issues. Keeping a symptom diary and following the doctor’s advice can aid in identifying and addressing the root cause of the discomfort.

24/7 Access to Your Doctor Through Telemedicine

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to pack up the gang and make the arduous trek to the doctor’s office every time your kid has a runny nose or minor cut? Telemedicine and remote consultations allow your child to be examined by a qualified pediatric doctor from the convenience of home.

Link Primary Care strives to make access to quality family healthcare as easy as possible. Our telehealth options provide parents with a home-based platform for addressing various health concerns, from acute illnesses to chronic conditions and mental health issues.

As a Link Primary Care member, you can call, email, or text us anytime with questions. We’re here to support you.

Direct Primary Care in St. Louis

At Link Primary Care, our doctors can spend as much time as needed with a patient. They get to know you and your children as individuals, allowing them to deliver the highest quality of treatment. And with our concierge model, you have access to your family doctor whenever you need them.

So, are you ready to experience the very best in St. Louis pediatric primary care? Become a member of our community. Click here to get in touch with our team.

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