TMH Living Well: Helping young children recover from upper respiratory infections | CraigDailyPress.com

TMH Living Well: Helping young children recover from upper respiratory infections

The Memorial Hospital

MSPT

Winter is a common time for viruses to make their way through communities. Babies and young children are often hit the hardest. Since babies can't blow their noses and toddlers are not all that good at it, they may need extra help to clear mucus and recover.

The Memorial Hospital Medical ClinicThe Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic has seen an increase of children coming in and being treated with upper respiratory viral infections in the last few months. Common infections include croup, RSV, the common cold and bugs like the enterovirus that was seen last year around this time. Common symptoms include stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough, mild headache, fever early on and feeling tired and ill. has seen an increase of children coming in and being treated with upper respiratory viral infections in the last few months. Common infections include croup, RSV, the common cold and bugs like the enterovirus that was seen last year around this time. Common symptoms include stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough, mild headache, fever early on and feeling tired and ill.

The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic has seen an increase of children coming in and being treated with upper respiratory viral infections in the last few months. Common infections include croup, RSV, the common cold and bugs like the enterovirus that was seen last year around this time. Common symptoms include stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, cough, mild headache, fever early on and feeling tired and ill.

In particular, the clinic has seen a few cases of croup. Croup mostly affects children six months to 3 years old and has a telltale barking cough, hoarseness or a high-pitched squeaky noise when your child inhales. Symptoms get worse at night, but it's rarely life threatening.

Home remedies

"With most colds and the flu we recommend supportive care including increasing fluids, plenty of rest, suctioning out noses of little ones, and giving acetaminophen to ease a headache or body aches. But know that many over-the-counter cold medicines are not approved for kids younger than 4," said Dr. Kelly Follett with TMH Medical Clinic.

You might feel better sleeping with your child so you can monitor his or her breathing. You can also sit in a steaming shower for 10 minutes to help clear your child's lungs. Humidifiers at night are also helpful.

Recommended Stories For You

"Run a humidifier or sit with your child in a steaming bathroom throughout the day. With babies, use a bulb syringe frequently along with saline drops to clear mucus. Babies younger than six months haven't developed the skill to breathe through their mouths yet, so they need help," said Dr. Kristie Yarmer with TMH Medical Clinic.

When to call your doctor

"A telltale sign that you should bring your child in for a visit is a lasting fever. A temperature of 100.4 is considered a fever. Fevers are common during the first 72 hours of an illness, but if they last longer than that, or start after three to four days of illness, it can mean a secondary infection," Yarmer said.

Another signal that you need to see your doctor is if your child is having trouble breathing, including an inability to suck a bottle, rapid breathing, retractions — pulling in their stomachs underneath their rib cage — and wheezing.

"If a bulb syringe and other methods are not alleviating symptoms, seek medical care even in the middle of the night," Yarmer said.

Suction Clinic at TMH

The Suction Clinic at TMH is designed for those times when your baby or young child is having trouble breathing due to excessive mucus. Respiratory therapists use a nasopharyngeal suction machine to suck out secretions. They also evaluate your child by counting the respiratory rate and checking for oxygen saturation.

"Oftentimes, the babies improve significantly and simply need a good, deep suction to clear secretions. This saves families a trip to the emergency room and a possible hospital admission," Follett said.

The Suction Clinic is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Parents visit their doctor and get a prescription for the clinic. It can be used up to four times a day for a week, no appointment needed.

The cost is $128 per visit — much cheaper than an ED visit for parents, and the visit is billed to insurance. Patients check in at the ED main desk and indicate they are there for the suction clinic.

This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.

Go back to article