Respiratory Illness is on the Rise, Prevention is Key
Lou Romig, MD
As we move into the fall season, we will inevitably see an increase in respiratory illnesses in children. The fall allergy season has kicked off earlier than normal, causing wheezing and coughing in children with a history of asthma and reactive airway disease. As we move from fall into winter, surges in respiratory infections will be caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), rhinovirus, influenza and other illnesses, with symptoms ranging from simple cold symptoms to asthma-like symptoms that don’t respond to asthma medications.
Prevention is key
These infections are typically very contagious, therefore infection prevention and control measures will be important to protect your child, including:
- Do not send your child to school or daycare when they are sick to avoid spreading the illness.
- Make sure all family members wash or sanitize their hands frequently.
- The majority of these illnesses do not require antibiotics, because they are viral, and antibiotics do not fight viral infections.
- All children 6 months and older should receive a flu shot.