Is your child’s sore throat “dragon” them down? This month we contributed to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Health Tip of the Week on the subjects of sore throats and strep throat. We hope you find our tips helpul if your your child’s throat feels like it’s on fire.
Parents ask us every day the difference between the flu (influenza), RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), or COVID (coronavirus disease 2019). While no method is fool proof, here are some typical differences among these viruses:
The flu, caused by influenza virus, comes on suddenly and makes you feel as if you’ve been hit by a truck.
Flu almost always causes fever of 101°F or higher and some respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, cough, or sore throat (many times, all three). In addition to the usual respiratory symptoms, the flu causes
Cold and flu season is upon us earlier than usual. Click here for our contribution to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Health Tip on What to do if you suspect RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus). Click here for an example of a sign labored breathing called retractions– when a child is breathing in very deeply.
Yes, we all deserve a break! But with the COVID pandemic, now our kids are experts at hand-washing and know not to rub noses, so hopefully this cold and flu season will leave as early as it came.
Now that the excitement of the first weeks of college have gone by, your first year college student may be homesick. What can a parent do? We point you to last year’s timeless post which is still relevant today.
As the lazy, hazy days of summer wound down in August, the “Back to School” commercials began in full force. TV and print advertisements from major retailers showed smiling students and adults buying colorful backpacks and school supplies . This is in contrast to the past two years when TV brought no shortage of bad news about the global pandemic, its impact on education, and news about horrific school shootings. It’s not just a commercial, we do have the ability to help our kids move through this school year with a positive mindset.
Now that we are into September and the school year is underway, one of the most important things we can do with our students is talk with them. Engage in dialogue about what they are excited about, what concerns they have, and their overall thoughts and feelings about the upcoming year. Nervousness, excitement, anxiety, and anticipation can make up a child’s emotional mix at the start of the year. Open conversations will help identify and address any negative thoughts or feelings that our kids may harbor. Conversations will help our students focus on strengths and internal and external resources .
Remind them of times when they showed grit, recovered from a poor grade, navigated a tricky peer situation, or made a new friend. Revisiting the past will reinforce that those skills are still present inside of them and ready to be used when needed. For teens, often you will help them by simply lending an ear and listening to their concerns.
Croup is an often-suprising middle-of-the-night malady that produces a barky seal-like cough in children who seemed just fine at bedtime.
Any virus that causes cold-like symptoms of runny nose, cough, runny eyes, and sometimes fever, can also cause croup. Think parainfluenza, influenza (flu), RSV, adenovirus, rhinovirus, and now Covid-19. Any of these viruses can land in a child’s larynx, or voice box, and cause hoarseness, barky cough, and a weird gutteral sound on breathing inward, called “stridor.” Croup is the name we give the constellation of symptoms, not the name of the virus that causes it.
An adult with the same exact illness would sound hoarse, but would likely not have the strange barky cough or noisy breathing.
We have a great podcast on this subject, but for those who prefer to read medical advice, please read on.
Ways to help your child when they wake up with croup
Have you wondered, when your child gets a headache or suffers a sprained ankle, if you should give your child ibuprofen (e.g. brand names Motrin or Advil) or acetaminophen (e.g. brand name Tylenol)? What about for those middle-of-the-night fevers? Does it matter which one you give?