Posts for category: Pediatric Condition
Named after the characteristic sound of its notorious coughing fits, whooping cough is an extraordinarily uncomfortable condition that typically manifests itself in babies and in children ages 11 to 18 whose vaccine-provided immunities have begun to fade. In addition to causing several debilitating symptoms, whooping cough also carries the possibility of infant mortality, particularly for patients under 12 months old. Further complicating the matter, initial symptoms often resemble a common cold, making quick detection a tricky task. To be more proactive in the treatment and prevention of this disease, read below to learn the basics on whooping cough and how to best go about alleviating it.
What is Whooping Cough?
Officially diagnosed by the name pertussis, whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that resides within the nose and throat. Whooping cough is spread through airborne bacteria produced by an infected person’s sneezes, coughs, or laughs. Once whooping cough has been contracted, the apparent symptoms begin in an identical fashion to the common cold. That includes:
Fever (below 102 F)
Congestion and sneezing
After a week to 10 days, these symptoms begin to grow worse. Mucus thickens and starts to coat the patient’s airways, leading to rampant and prolonged coughing. These fits can be so violent that that they may cause vomiting, lengthy periods of extreme fatigue, and result in blue or red face. This last sign is the direct outcome of the body’s struggle to fill the lungs with air, and once breathing is finally achieved, the loud “whooping” sound that defines the condition is produced.
What are the Dangers of the Disease?
If left untreated, whooping cough can produce a number of painful and dangerous complications, with the specific ailments depending on the age of the patient.
For teens and adults, untreated whooping cough can result in:
Bruised or cracked ribs
Broken blood vessels in the skin and whites of the eyes
For infants, complications from whooping cough are a great deal more severe. They include:
Slowed or stopped breathing
Feeding difficulties, which may lead to dehydration and severe weight loss
What Can I Do About It?
The best approach to preventing the disease is through vaccination. This is especially important for babies, as whooping cough leaves them in significant danger, though it is essential to keep your children on regular vaccination schedules, regardless of their individual age.
While vaccines are extremely effective in reducing the likelihood of contracting whooping cough, the possibility of developing the condition is still present. Due to this perpetual risk, if you witness your child’s cold symptoms continuing to worsen, arrange an appointment with their local pediatrician to find out if the problem may be whooping cough. If diagnosed early enough, antibiotics can be used to cut down on the painful symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading to others.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Whooping cough is a serious condition that can be extremely dangerous if left untreated. If you have any suspicions that your child may have developed this condition, give us a call today!
Though it is common and often mild, childhood asthma can be a serious cause for concern for many parents. However, learning to spot the signs and symptoms of this chronic condition and working with your doctor to manage its symptoms is crucial to the health of your child. Learn more about childhood asthma and how to identify its symptoms by reading below, and contact Dr. Farnoush Jamali at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, MD, if you are at all concerned about your child.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition which affects the airways and causes them to contract, causing difficulty breathing. Inflammation of the airways results in narrowed passages. These airways are crucial in carrying oxygen from the air you breathe into the lungs, meaning that asthma can be a potentially dangerous and serious condition.
Does my child have asthma?
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, childhood asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease. Unfortunately, childhood asthma is hard to diagnose. Learning to spot the signs and symptoms of asthma can help your child get the help they need. Some of these signs include:
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent coughing
- Chest pain
- Chest congestion or tightness
- Recurrent episodes of suspected bronchitis or pneumonia
Childhood asthma treatments
The goal of asthma treatment is to limit its symptoms as much as possible, decrease the instances of flare-ups, and allow your child to be active or exercise without restrictions. Learning your child’s asthma triggers can help you prevent attacks by avoiding the triggers. Your doctor may also suggest long-term or quick-relief medications to manage the symptoms. These can include a quick-relief inhaler for use during attacks, or corticosteroids to be inhaled for several days or weeks. Allergy management with medication or allergy shots can additionally help reduce the symptoms of allergy-induced asthma.
Concerned? Call our Gaithersburg office today!
Working with your doctor to create an asthma action plan will ensure that you and your child know the best way to treat their symptoms and exactly what to do during an asthma attack. For more information on childhood asthma, please contact Dr. Farnoush Jamali at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, MD. Call (301) 977-2440 to schedule your child’s appointment with Dr. Jamali today!
When your child is sick, it can take a toll on not only them, put you as a parent. Your pediatrician is available to help you restore the health of your child. Whooping cough is an infection of the respiratory system that is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis). This sickness is characterized by severe coughing spells, which can sometimes end in a “whooping” sound when the person breathes in.
Whooping cough mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old before immunizations, and kids 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has started to fade adequately protect them. With help from your pediatrician, you can find relief for your infant from whooping cough.
The Signs and Symptoms
The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold:
- Runny nose
- Mild cough
- Low-grade fever
After about 1 to 2 weeks, the dry, irritating cough evolves into coughing spells, which can last for more than a minute. When a coughing spell occurs, the child might turn red or purple, and at the end of the spell, they may make a characteristic whooping sound when breathing in.
By visiting your pediatrician, you can take the next step toward helping your child feel better once again.