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A Nurse Is Performing An Abdominal Examination On A Preschooler
Share on PinterestThe common cold, pertussis, and asthma can cause a dry cough in children.Coughing is a natural defense mechanism the body uses to clear the airway and remove microbes and foreign objects. People often produce dry coughs, also called nonproductive coughs, to clear an itch or irritation in the throat. These coughs are usually symptoms of an underlying condition in the upper respiratory tract.Many things can cause dry cough in children, and its treatment depends on the cause. Taking note of other symptoms accompanying the cough can help identify its cause. If a child feels like they are struggling to breathe, their caregiver should contact emergency services immediately.In some cases, a caregiver can help prevent a dry cough by taking preventative measures. These may include getting the child appropriate vaccinations or avoiding exposure to allergens or irritants. If a caregiver is not sure what is causing the cough, they may want to talk with the child’s doctor to get a diagnosis.Types of infectionsViral infections invade the cells in the airway. This causes irritation and inflammation that may lead to coughing. A child may catch a virus from inhaling particles in the air or through close contact.Common coldAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common colds are the main reason children miss school. While many viruses can cause colds, rhinoviruses are the most common.Influenza (flu)Flu is an infectious respiratory disease that is more dangerous than the common cold for children, especially those younger than 5 years old. The influenza virus causes it.The flu can cause complications like pneumonia, dehydration, brain dysfunction, and, rarely, death.Symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, and tiredness.PneumoniaA child may develop pneumonia from a virus, bacteria, or fungi. Globally, pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children who are past the newborn phase but under 5 years old.While death from pneumonia is less common in the United States, pneumonia is still one of the most common reasons children get hospitalized.Symptoms include:rapid breathinggrunting or wheezingcoughfeverchest pain, or pain while coughingNote: While the cough that occurs with pneumonia may be dry, in some cases it may sound wet or appear as a productive cough.COVID-19COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a type of coronavirus. Symptomatic COVID-19 appears to be less common and less severe in children.A child may or may not show symptoms similar to those of the common cold and flu. They may have pneumonia, with or without showing any symptoms.The cough that comes with COVID-19 is often continuous. A child may cough frequently for more than an hour or have three or more coughing episodes within 24 hours.BronchiolitisBronchiolitis is a common viral infection in infants and children younger than 2 years old. Swollen small airways (bronchioles) make breathing difficult, causing wheezing and coughing.According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, preschool children who go to daycare can develop roughly eight viral respiratory infections in a year. Typically, each infection will last for 10 days.If the child’s cough occurs toward the end of an upper respiratory infection, such as a cold, and clears within 1–2 weeks, a parent or caregiver typically does not need to do anything specific to treat the cough.According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), coughing during a cold can help the body clear out mucus from the airways. It can also protect the lungs.However, if the cough is dry or nonproductive, a caregiver should ensure that the child drinks plenty of fluids and warm drinks to help soothe their throat.Other methods a caregiver can try include:using a humidifier in the child’s roomrunning a hot shower with the door and windows or vents closed and having the child sit in the roomopening a window or freezer to provide cold air for the child to breathe in if croup is causing the coughA caregiver can also try giving the child honey, but only if the child is 12 months or older. Infants below this age do not have immunity to certain bacteria that may be present in honey. A 2021 review found that honey was better than standard treatments for cough in reducing symptoms, severity, and frequency of upper respiratory tract infections. Vaccines are the best way to prevent influenza and COVID-19 infections. Vaccines protect a child against illnesses, improve their immune response, and protect them against complications.PertussisPertussis, or whooping cough, is a bacterial infection that can be deadly in unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated children under 12 months old.According to the CDC, a doctor can treat pertussis with antibiotics and supportive therapies in infants. However, the risk of serious illness and potentially death is higher in infants under 12 months.Asthma is a chronic disease that occurs when the lung’s airways become inflamed. Asthma can be life threatening. A parent or caregiver should seek immediate medical attention if the child’s symptoms appear to be worsening. They should also seek emergency medical help if the following occurs:retractions, or fast breathing where the skin sucks in around the chest plate or rib bones when the child inhalesblue coloring in the face, fingernails, or lipsflaring, which is when the nostrils move rapidlyan expanded chest does not deflate when the child exhalesan infant does not recognize or respond to a caregiverthe ribs or stomach move in and out quicklyChildren over the age of 6 months, including those with asthma, should get a yearly flu shot in the fall.To treat asthma in children, a doctor or allergist may prescribe medication for quick symptom relief and long-term control.The medication usually comes in the form of an inhaler. A person may also use a nebulizer. A healthcare professional can teach the caregiver and child how to use this device.IrritantsChildren may inhale irritants in the environment that irritate the airway and cause inflammation, leading to dry cough. These include:air pollutioncigarette smokefumes and vaporsdustmoldsdry airRemoval of the irritant usually resolves the cough. However, a child repeatedly exposed to irritants may develop a chronic cough.AllergiesAllergies can cause a dry cough in children. A caregiver can help a child use:over-the-counter (OTC) antihistaminesnasal spraysdecongestantsIf the allergies are severe, a child may need allergy shots.A caregiver should seek emergency medical help if a child experiences:Acid reflux and GERDGastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach contents return to the esophagus. Infants and children can have reflux occasionally, but only 1 in 4 children has symptoms of GERD. GERD in children may cause dry cough, problems in swallowing, and asthma symptoms. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition.Doctors may advise parents to try lifestyle changes like avoiding certain foods, eating smaller meals, and changing sleep position. They may also prescribe medications like H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors or surgery in severe cases.Somatic coughSome children present with a cough with no medical diagnosis and do not respond to treatment. Doctors previously labeled it psychogenic, habit, or tic cough. This rare condition is often diagnosed late, after prolonged attempts to diagnose and treat a child’s chronic cough. Most happen in children from 8–14 years old.Habit coughs may be related to anxiety and stress. Parents can help identify triggers to diminish the coughing.A 2020 study found that behavioral therapy is a successful treatment for the condition.Foreign objectsIt is typical for infants and young children to place things in their mouths. However, small objects may lodge in a child’s airway, and coughing may be their body’s attempt to remove the object.If a child shows signs of choking, caregivers should immediately perform the Heimlich maneuver or seek immediate help.Signs of choking include:inability to cry or make soundsstruggling to breathechest and ribs pulling inwardbecoming reddish to bluish in the facefainting
Video about A Nurse Is Performing An Abdominal Examination On A Preschooler
Abdominal ultrasound: seven year old child with sore tummy
My son awoke at 3am in pain. This short film documents his patient experience. The purpose of the film is educational.
Ultrasound was used to evaluate abdominal pain and to identify swelling surrounding the appendix. He was diagnosed with mesenteric adenitis.
Made in Auckland New Zealand, July 2021.
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