Children love to be with other children. Contact at schools, daycares, and even at home leave young ones prone to picking up viral illnesses and harmful bacteria. Prevention is the key to keeping them healthy, but oftentimes sickness cannot be helped. Here is a list of 4 common childhood illnesses, their symptoms, how best to avoid them, and treatment, should the inevitable happen.

Common Cold

A cold is probably the most likely illness to affect not just children, but adults as well. If one child carrying one of the many viruses that lead to an upper respiratory tract infection so much as coughs in a classroom, everyone else present is in danger of infection. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and sore throat. The best way to prevent a cold is to wash hands regularly and avoid sharing items like straws and eating utensils. Usually running anywhere from 7 to 10 days, cold symptoms can be alleviated with over-the-counter medications.

Ear Infection

Ear infections can cause much discomfort for babies and older children. A crying baby whose ear hurts is a heart-wrenching ordeal. Kids who like to swim or who may be taking swimming lessons are especially at risk. Earplugs for swimming or earmuffs when the air is cold can help prevent this painful illness. Treatment will include over-the-counter pain relievers, ear drops, and warm or cold compresses. An antibiotic may be prescribed.

Strep Throat

Caused by a bacteria known as Group A Streptococcus, strep throat affects both the throat and the tonsils. The only way to be sure that strep is the culprit is to get tested immediately if contact is suspected. A sore throat with white patches on it is the main symptom, but fever may also accompany it. Avoiding contact is the best prevention. A prescribed antibiotic such as penicillin or amoxicillin can kill the bacteria. 


A "stomach flu" can be caused by either a viral or bacterial infection. Stomach pain along with watery diarrhea and vomiting are telltale signs. Fever and headache may also be present. Dehydration can result, so fluids should also be administered. Again, avoiding contact is the best prevention and children with symptoms should be kept at home until they subside.  Childhood illnesses are never fun. Fortunately, you can count on New Beginnings Pediatrics to be there for your sick children when they come home with one of these common illnesses. If you're unsure if you should bring them in or not, give us a call at (540) 739-3623. Otherwise, feel free to request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you!