Tag Archive: symptoms

  1. What are the Symptoms of Fifth Disease, and How Can You Protect Your Toddler?

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    Fifth disease developed its name when it was listed as number five on a list of six childhood illnesses that can cause a rash. It’s one of the most common illnesses that children of school-age can develop, but younger children can contract it too. Usually, cases of fifth disease increase in the winter and spring months, so it’s a good idea to check for symptoms around this time, and if you’re unsure, bring your toddler to see us at Pediatric Partners. We’ve put together a short guide to learn more about and help you identify the symptoms of Fifth Disease.

    What Causes Fifth Disease?

    A virus called Parvovirus B19 causes fifth disease. It’s an airborne virus that spreads when respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing pass into the air. This means that it’s especially prevalent in elementary schools and pre-schools and can be contagious. It’s a virus that rarely has long-lasting side effects, and, once infected, the body tends to produce antibodies that prevent the virus in the future.

    Early Symptoms

    Some of the earliest symptoms of fifth disease are fairly common and similar to most mild viral infections. Toddlers may start to exhibit a low-grade fever, a headache, tiredness, a sore throat, a runny nose, or nausea. These early symptoms are very similar to a normal, cold-like illness and are quite general. The symptoms may pass within a few days, so it can be tricky to determine whether a toddler has fifth disease or not at this stage. While a toddler has these symptoms or fifth disease, it’s recommended that you keep them away from other children, as this is when the virus is most contagious.


    The rash that develops when a toddler has fifth disease is one of the most telling signs that your child has the illness. Older people can catch fifth disease and not suffer from rash-like symptoms; it tends to be children under 10 that develop a rash. The rash can occur straight away or it could take a few days to develop, after other symptoms have gone. The rash usually first appears on a toddler’s face, and they can develop bright-red cheeks, looking like they have a sunburn or reddened complexion. The rash can remain contained on the face for a few days, and then it will start to spread to a toddler’s arms, legs, and the trunk of their body. It’s unusual for the rash to spread to the soles of a toddler’s feet and the palms of their hands.

    While your child has a rash, it is recommended that you try to keep them away from certain stimulus such as sunlight, heat, and exercise, and try to prevent them from feeling stressed. The rash can last for around three weeks, but by this time it’s not a contagious virus anymore and it will eventually fade away.

    How to Prevent Fifth Disease

    There is no vaccine for fifth disease, and it’s difficult to stop the virus from spreading. Practicing good hygiene methods and teaching your toddlers to wash their hands frequently is a way of helping to reduce their chances of catching fifth disease. As it’s an airborne disease, keeping your child away from someone you know who has fifth disease is a good idea.


    For the majority of healthy children, the virus doesn’t require any treatment, since the symptoms of fifth disease usually fade over time as the body fights the virus. Doctors will be able to tell whether the rash is fifth disease almost immediately. However, if the early symptoms or the rash do not fade, then seek further medical attention. The same advice applies for joint pain and excessive itchiness where medication can be prescribed. It’s recommended that children get lots of rest and drink their fluids too.

    If you’re ever unsure about the symptoms your toddler has and you need professional, expert advice, then come in to see us at Pediatric Partners. We’ll do all we can to make sure your toddler stays happy and healthy.

  2. Is it a Cold or the Flu?

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    As we head into the height of flu season, it can be difficult to tell if you have the flu or are simply experiencing symptoms of a common cold. While the symptoms can seem similar, a common cold generally resolves itself. The Influenza virus, however, can lead to serious complications, requiring immediate medical attention. Here are some common symptoms to help you differentiate.

    More Severe Symptoms

    A cold starts with a sore throat, leading to nasal congestion and malaise. Cold symptoms start slowly and can cause fatigue. Flu symptoms, on the other hand, come on fast and can include a headache, severe aches and pains, fatigue, and extreme exhaustion. Those with the flu may experience congestion and a sore throat, although upper respiratory symptoms are not always present. If your body feels suddenly racked with aches and pains, you may need to see a physician to determine whether you have the flu.


    A high fever is a telltale sign that you may have the flu. If you have a fever above 101 degrees, accompanied by the flu symptoms listed above, it’s likely that you have Influenza and need to see a doctor immediately.

    Although the two are commonly confused, identifying whether you have the flu and getting proper medical treatment, is crucial in avoiding complications including pneumonia and bronchitis. Get to Pediatric Partners as soon as you start experiencing flu symptoms, as early treatment can shorten the duration of the illness and help prevent potential complications.

  3. Swimmer’s Ear

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    Swimmer’s Ear: Protecting Your Child From Infection

    If your child starts to complain about an itching feeling in the ear or if you start to see pus or a colored liquid oozing out of their ear, it is possible that they have a condition called Swimmer’s Ear. Get them to Pediatric Partners immediately to get this problem treated.

    What is Swimmer’s Ear?

    Medically termed as otitis externa, Swimmer’s ear is an inflammation that affects the external section of the canal of your ear. This happens when there is water in the ear that does not get drained properly, usually from a bath or during swimming.

    Causes of Swimmer’s Ear

    Swimmer’s ear is very common in children, especially as they get to their teens. This problem sometimes occurs along with another kind of infection like ear infections or respiratory problems. Unclean water is usually the most common cause of ear problems. Bacteria in the water can get into your child’s ear and get into the canal region, causing an infection. If something gets stuck in the ear or if the ear is scratched too much, it could also pick up an infection. Cleaning ears with cotton swabs and other instruments could also damage the skin inside the ear if it is done too harshly. Fungus rarely causes Swimmer’s ear.

    Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear

    Some of the common ear infection symptoms are:

    •    An earache that keeps getting worse, especially when you pull on the outer part of the ear
    •    Loss of hearing or a ringing in ears
    •    Itching on the outer part of the ear or even on the ear canal
    •    Liquid that starts to drain from the ear which is usually a yellow, green or pus like color and often has a foul smell


    As soon your child starts suffering from swimmer’s ear, you should visit our office immediately. For swimmers ear treatment, ear drops are given for a course that ranges from ten to fourteen days. The antibiotics in the ear drops clear out the infection. In some cases when the problem is really bad, the doctor may ask you to use a wick that will have to be inserted into your child’s ear so that the drops can flow down right to the canal. If the infection has spread beyond the ear, the doctor may also prescribe oral antibiotics. Corticosteroids are also often prescribed in order to reduce the inflammation.

    At Pediatric Partners, we take care of your children right from when they are born until they reach adolescence. Our experienced medical professionals and disease treatment solutions ensure that you and your child will be in good hands. Call Pediatric Partners to schedule your appointment today.

  4. Ear Infections

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    Hearing, especially in children, is critical to speech and language development. If your child is suffering from hearing loss, in one ear or both, and the condition goes untreated, it could set him/her back developmentally for years. Children with listening difficulties that are detected early stand a better chance to thrive in spite of them.

    There are four ways in which hearing loss can affect a child’s development:

    • Communication
    • Learning
    • Social development
    • Future vocation


    Definitive signs that your child may be experiencing hearing loss include:

    • Your child responds inconsistently to sound.
    • Language and speech development is delayed.
    • Speech is unclear to him/her.
    • The sound is turned up on radios, televisions, CD players and video games and remains so even after being told to turn it down.
    • Inability to follow directions.
    • The first response to anyone who speaks to your child is “Huh?”
    • Your child does not respond when called.


    The major cause of potential hearing loss in children is Otitis Media, otherwise known as an ear infection. It is caused by fluid building up and causing inflammation in the middle ear, the area behind the eardrum. The fluid that builds up may or may not be infected, and the presence of infection will determine the severity of the symptoms.

    The symptoms of this condition that can cause sudden hearing loss in children will vary in the severity, frequency and length. In one extreme, an ear infection will have a single, short period of clear fluid building up without pain or fever and only a slight decrease in hearing. At other times, the fluid can be very thick and infected, and may cause permanent hearing loss.

    Other hearing loss causes include noise-induced hearing loss, which is caused by prolonged exposure to extreme decibel levels, ototoxic drug interactions that can occur with some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, as well as childhood diseases like measles, chicken pox and mumps. Vaccinations are imperative at every stage of a child’s life to avoid serious side effects like hearing issues. In some families, cases of sensorineural hearing loss may be genetic, so be sure to discuss your family history in detail with your pediatrician.


    If your child loses focus on activities, is listless, irritable and is pulling or scratching at his/her ears, they may have an ear infection. If they also begin to turn up the volume on televisions and radios, or begin to speak louder than normal, then one or both of his/her ears may be blocked by fluid buildup. It is essential that they be examined immediately by your doctor. If you are concerned about your child’s sudden hearing loss, schedule an appointment with Pediatric Partners today for a comprehensive vision and hearing screening.



    Swimmer’s ear in children is an infection of the ear canal, the tubular canal that carries external sounds to the eardrum. Also called Otitis Externa, swimmer’s ear can be caused by several different strains of fungi or bacteria. When kids spend extended periods of time in the water, excess moisture that gets into the ear irritates and breaks down the skin in the ear canal, providing an optimum environment for fungi or bacteria to penetrate and thrive.


    Despite the very specific name, swimming is just one of the causes of the symptoms. Ear infections can in fact be caused by anything that causes a break in the skin of the ear canal, from scratching the area roughly to dry skin or eczema or cleaning the ear vigorously with any hard foreign object.

    Otitis Externa can also result if you have a middle ear infection and the pus that is accumulated in the middle ear drains into the canal through a hole in the ear drum.


    The primary symptom is ear ache, which can be severe and gets aggravated when the outer part of the lobe is pressed on or pulled. Chewing can be difficult as it worsens the pain. The canal gets swollen and the outer ear could be red and swollen too. The lymph nodes around the ear become tender and enlarged, and there could be a clear or cloudy, yellowish discharge from the canal.


    If you know your child is prone to developing ear infection, putting a few drops of alcohol or a dilute solution of over-the-counter acetic acid in the ears after swimming can reduce the risk.

    Gently dry your kid’s ears with a towel after a swim as well as after a bath and turn their head to the left, then to the right side to help the excess water run out.

    Never aggressively remove ear wax as this actually offers some amount of protection against swimmer’s ear.

    If, despite all of the above measures, the pain and infection does not subside, you should get professional medical help to prevent the symptoms from worsening. Make an appointment with us today.

  5. Strep Throat

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    Strep throat in children is often mistaken for sore throat or tonsillitis, but there are significant clinical differences that distinguish these three conditions. Recognizing these differences is the key to proper diagnosis.


    Strep throat infection is caused by the Group A Streptococcus bacteria and is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15. There is an incubation period of 1 to 4 days after your child contracts the infection. Symptoms usually develop after that.


    • Fever with sore throat (Fever usually begins suddenly and is often the highest on the second day)
    • Sudden onset of swollen throat and pain in throat for no apparent reason
    • Throat hurts when swallowing
    • White patches in the throat and on the tonsils
    • Lymph nodes on side of neck are swollen and tender
    • General feeling of illness and lack of appetite


    The main symptom of strep throat in infants is a thick yellow or green discharge from the nose accompanied by a low grade fever, irritability, fussiness and a loss of appetite.


    Children aged 1-3 years may be cranky and have trouble swallowing. They may also complain of pain in the throat and lymph nodes beneath the jaws may be swollen.


    Strep throat is very contagious and can easily be contracted by coming in contact with the airborne droplets of an infected person. Food borne outbreaks are not as common. The risk of spreading the infection diminishes significantly after initiation of proper treatment with antibiotics.


    Seeking immediate medical help is important if your child has a sore throat or pain in the throat that is accompanied by high fever, headache, fatigue or a stomach ache.

    Prompt antibiotic treatment can reduce the duration of the symptoms and also lowers the potential to transmit the disease to other children. Untreated strep infection can also lead to other complications that could otherwise be avoided.

    If you think your child may have strep, call Pediatric Partners today to get your child on the road to recovery.

  6. Bronchitis

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    Sneezing, coughing and fevers can make everyone miserable. But how can you tell if the infection is easing off or getting worse? When a cold begins to clear, fever breaks first, though coughing could continue for a few days. If coughing lasts for longer than a few days, it could be morphing into something more serious like bronchitis.


    Bronchitis often starts as the flu. Unlike the flu, it does not have the symptom of fever. It can be hard to tell the difference between the onset of something like bronchitis versus the onset of allergies or asthma. The same irritants that can trigger an allergy attack or asthma, like smoking, can also cause this kind of lung infection to occur. Like asthma, it causes the airways to become inflamed, making it hard to breathe. Fluid builds up in the lungs when it becomes so irritated that the mucus lining begins to leak into the lungs. The coughing starts when the body tries to expel the mucus.


    First, the pediatrician will give your child a complete examination and, most importantly, listen to the lungs. If the doctor can hear slight rattling sounds called rales, or detect wheezing when your child breathes, it is likely that he/she has bronchitis. Other tests may include breathing tests and x-rays.

    Treatment for this kind of illness is fairly straightforward. If the cause has been determined to be bacteria, amoxicillin may be prescribed, as well as ibuprofen for throat pain and an expectorant to clear the mucus out of their lungs. At home, make sure that your child gets plenty of fluids and rest. Use a humidifier to add healing moisture to the air, which will reduce irritation. Lastly, if there are smokers in your home, send them outside and remove any irritants from the air, including dust and harsh chemicals.

    Want to know more about the symptoms of bronchitis and how it can affect your child’s health? Call us todayfor an immediate consultation.

  7. Stomach Flu

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    Although the name can be quite misleading, stomach flu is actually unrelated to the regular flu virus. Stomach flu affects the intestines, whereas the flu virus attacks the respiratory system. This disease is extremely contagious, spreading easily from one infected person to the next.


    When the virus enters the body, it travels to the small intestine and begins its incubation there. The disease stays dormant for 1 to 2 days as it incubates. During this period, the virus multiplies until it reaches sufficient numbers to properly infect the body. This incubation period is a large part of why the virus spreads so easily, because while it is incubating, it is still contagious and can be spread to other people. It is not uncommon for an entire family to come down with the disease after one family member contracts it.

    Children are at particular risk for contracting the virus due to common lack of hygiene. For example, touching an object that has been contaminated with the virus, and then putting that hand near the mouth is typical.


    Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain are common symptoms of the stomach virus.


    While symptoms that include diarrhea and vomiting usually point quite clearly towards stomach flu, a doctor will sometimes decide that a more accurate diagnosis is necessary. In that case, it will be necessary to take a stool sample to determine the exact virus that has infected your child.


    Proper medical treatment is a must, since children are at high risk of dehydration due to the vomiting and diarrhea. However, there are some immediate measures that you can take while still at home. The first is to prevent your child from eating anything before you bring him/her to see the doctor. You should also ensure that your child drinks plenty of water, as the main danger from stomach flu is the high rate of loss of bodily fluids, especially in more severe cases.

    If your child is exhibiting symptoms of the stomach virus, call us today.

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