Children and Healthcare

    Childhood Illnesses

      Allergies, Asthma, Respiratory Problems

        Allergic Rhinitis in Children
        Rhinitis is a reaction that happens in the eyes, nose, and throat when allergens in the air trigger the release of histamine in the body. Histamine causes itching, swelling, and fluid to build up in the fragile linings of nasal passages, sinuses, and eyelids.

        Common Cold (Upper Respiratory Infection)
        The common cold is one of the most common illnesses, leading to more doctor visits and missed days from school and work each year than any other illness.

        Croup is most common in children younger than 5, with the peak age around 2. Croup occurs most often in winter.


      Bone Conditions

        Fractures occur when more force is applied to the bone than the bone can absorb. Bones are weakest when they are twisted.

        A spine affected by kyphosis has a forward curvature of the back bones (vertebrae) in the upper back area, giving an abnormally rounded or "humpback" appearance.

        A spine affected by lordosis has a curve in the vertebrae in the lower back area. This gives the child a "swayback" appearance.


      Diabetes and Blood Pressure Problems

      Eye and Ear Conditions

        Blocked Tear Duct (Dacryostenosis)
        A blocked tear duct is called dacryostenosis. It may also be called a congenital lacrimal duct obstruction. Congenital means that your baby is born with it.

        Conjunctivitis in Children
        Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye. The conjunctiva is the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is also known as “pink eye.”

        Keratitis in Children
        Keratitis is an inflammation or infection of the cornea of the eye. The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye.


      Infectious Diseases

        Chickenpox is a common childhood disease that causes an itchy, blistering rash and is easily spread to others.

        Enteroviruses are very common, and most cause only mild illness. But in some cases, an enterovirus can be more severe, causing complications like encephalitis or meningitis.

        Hepatitis in Children
        Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can damage and destroy liver cells.


      Skin Conditions

        Acne in Children
        Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Hair follicles are the areas around the base or root of each hair. Sebaceous glands are the tiny glands that release oil (sebum) into the hair follicles. The sebum moistens the skin and hair. The sebum and hair get to the skin surface through tiny holes called pores.

        Allergens: Poison Ivy/Poison Oak/Poison Sumac
        Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are native American plants. These plants cause an allergic reaction in most people who are exposed to them.

        Detailed information on birthmarks and the different types, including vascular birthmarks, hemangiomas, and port-wine stains.


    Childhood Injuries, Poisons, and Burns

      Animal and Human Bites

        Cat Scratch Disease in Children
        Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection carried in cat saliva. It is passed from a cat bite or scratch to a human. It can also result from a fleabite, but cats are the main source.

        Facts About Animal Bites
        Whether the bite is from a family pet or an animal in the wild, scratches and bites can become infected and cause scarring. Animals can also carry diseases that can be transmitted through a bite.

        Rabies in Children
        Rabies happens mainly in skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and bats. In some areas, these wild animals infect domestic cats, dogs, and livestock.



        About Burns

          Anatomy of the Skin
          The skin is the body's largest organ. It serves as a protective shield against heat, light, injury, and infection.

          Burns in Children
          Detailed information on burns, burn types, classification of burns, and burn treatment

          Burns Overview
          Burns are a type of injury caused by thermal, electrical, chemical, or electromagnetic energy. Most burn accidents happen at home.

        Care of Burns

          After a Burn: When to Call Your Child's Healthcare Provider
          These are reasons to call your child's healthcare provider after a burn: signs of infection, uncontrollable itching, or a scar that cracks open or splits.

          Burns: Symptom Management
          Most children with burns have pain, which can be controlled with medicine. They also usually experience itching at some point during the healing process.

          Coping Emotionally
          Your child's burn care and emotional recovery will continue when you leave the hospital. Along with the excitement, you and your child may also feel uneasy about what will happen next.


        Types of Burns

          Chemical Burns
          Chemical burns can occur when strong acids or alkalies come in contact with the skin and/or the eyes.

          Classification and Treatment of Burns
          Burns are classified as first-, second-, or third-degree, depending on how deep and severe they penetrate the skin's surface.

          Electrical Burns
          Electrical burns occur when a child comes in contact with electricity, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).


      Eye Trauma

        Anatomy of the Eye
        The structures of the eye include the cornea, iris, pupil, macula, retina, and the optic nerve.

        Avoiding Eye Injuries in Children
        Children should wear protective eyewear during sports and recreational activities. In the classroom, they should wear eye protection when doing lab experiments.

        Blood in the Eye (Hyphema)
        Hyphema is blood in the front (anterior) chamber of the eye. This section is where fluid flows in and out. The fluid gives nourishment to the eye and tissues around it.


      Insect Bites

        Brown Recluse and Black Widow Spider Bites in Children
        All spiders in the U.S. are poisonous. The fangs of most spiders are too short or too fragile to break through human skin. Or their poison (venom) is too weak to cause damage. Most spider bites cause only minor, local reactions. But some spider bites can be deadly.

        Flea, Mite, or Chigger Bites in Children
        Fleas, mites, and chiggers are different kinds of small insects. They are also parasites. This means they feed off the blood, skin, or both of animals and humans. These insects are more common in the warm weather. They bite skin and cause symptoms such as bumps, redness, pain, or itching.

        Insect Stings and Allergic Reactions
        For most children, the reaction to a sting is brief, with redness and swelling followed by pain and itching. For others, the allergic reaction to an insect sting can be life-threatening.


      Minor Cuts, Scrapes, and Skin Wounds

        An abrasion is a superficial rub or wearing off of the skin, usually caused by a scrape or a brush burn. Abrasions are usually minor injuries that can be treated at home.

        Blisters in Children
        Detailed information on blisters, including cause, first aid, and treatment.

        A bruise is a collection of blood underneath the skin that is caused by injury to an area of the body. Sometimes enough bleeding occurs so that a lump also forms.


      Muscle and Joint Injuries

        Nursemaid's Elbow
        Nursemaid's elbow happens when the radius—one of the bones in the forearm—slips out of place from where it normally attaches to the elbow joint.

        Sports-Related Injuries
        What is a contusion? A sprain? A strain? Find out more about these common sports injuries.

        Sprains and Strains in Children
        Strains, sprains, and bruises make up the majority of sports injuries. Treatment for a strain or sprain depends on the child's age and the extent of the injury.



        Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Children
        Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colorless, tasteless, odorless gas. It is the most common cause of accidental poisoning-related deaths and is often called "the silent killer."

        Childproof Your Home for Poisons
        Always remember that ordinary products you use each day around the home can become dangerous poisons in the hands of a child.

        Facts About Poisons
        Medicines are the leading cause of poisoning in children. Poisoning by makeup and personal care products is the next most common cause.


      Superficial Injuries to the Face and Head

    Disease Prevention


    When Your Child Has Surgery

      Before Surgery

        CT Abdominal Scans in Children
        A CT abdominal scan is a type of medical exam that uses X-ray equipment and a computer to make many cross-sectional images of the abdomen.

        Methods of Surgery
        Minimally invasive surgery is a relatively new approach that allows the patient to recuperate faster with less pain. Not all conditions are suitable for this type of surgery.

        Pediatric Appendectomy
        A pediatric appendectomy is a surgery that's performed to remove a child's appendix. The appendix is a small pouch that's attached to the large intestine on the lower right side of the abdomen.


      Post-operative Care

        Discharge from the Hospital
        Even after minor surgery, some children will remain in the hospital overnight for observation and to receive medicines to help with pain or to prevent infection.

        Discomforts and Complications After a Child Has Surgery
        Common discomforts after surgery include nausea and vomiting, soreness in the throat, and restlessness or sleeplessness.

        Intensive Care
        Intensive care is needed for children who have had certain types of major surgery: heart operations, organ transplants, or neurosurgery.


      Preoperative Management

        Blood Transfusions in Children
        If your child's healthcare provider decides that your child needs blood or blood products, he or she will explain the reasons for the transfusion.

        Hospital Visit/Preoperative Clinic
        Touring the hospital before surgery can help your child see the sights, sounds, and events he or she will experience the day of surgery. It is a nonthreatening, often reassuring, way to learn about the hospital.

        Informed Consent
        You will be asked to sign an informed consent form. It states in detail that you understand the risks and benefits of your child's surgery.


      Preparing a Child for Surgery

        Preparing Siblings for Surgery
        When your child goes to the hospital, brothers and sisters may feel afraid, worried, or confused. They are often afraid simply because they do not know what to expect, and they may imagine the worst.

        Preparing the Infant for Surgery
        It's important to keep your baby's routine the same before the day of surgery. Make sure you, your baby, and your family are well rested.

        Preparing the Preschooler for Surgery
        One of the major fears preschoolers have is fear of the unknown. Tell your child about the surgery several days before the procedure and perhaps even visit the hospital for a tour.


      Surgery and Intraoperative Care

        The Day of Surgery
        Before coming to the hospital, remove any watches, necklaces, or earrings that your child wears and leave them at home so they are not misplaced.

        The Operating Room
        Your child will need to know that people in the operating room will be wearing surgical clothes to help prevent germs from infecting the surgical incision.

        The Surgical Team for Children
        Most surgical teams include a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a nurse anesthetist, and an operating room nurse. The number of team members differs depending on the type of surgery performed.


      Types of Surgery

        Appendicitis is a medical emergency that happens when your appendix becomes sore, swollen, and diseased.

        Cecostomy is a fairly new surgical procedure that is used to clear the bowels of fecal matter. It’s typically used for children with fecal incontinence related to severe disorders.

        Ear Tube Insertion
        Eardrums are thin pieces of tissue deep in your child's ears. The space behind the eardrum is called the middle ear. It is connected to the back of the nose by a tube. This tube is called the eustachian tube. It allows air to fill this space and fluid to drain from the middle ear.


    When Your Child Is Sick

      Appendicitis: Children and Teens
      Appendicitis, an infection of the appendix, is the most common reason for a child to need emergency abdominal surgery.

      Fever in Children
      When your child has a fever, the body resets its thermostat at a higher temperature. This helps the body fight off invading microorganisms.

      Help for a Child with a Cold
      You want to help a child with cold symptoms feel better, but choosing among countless over-the-counter (OTC) cold medicines can be daunting. Here are some guidelines that can help.