Doc Talk #134 – Childhood Illness



It always seems to be over the holiday periods or at inconvenient times (such as the middle of the night) that kids get sick. In this show Dr Dan and Jamieson talked about some immediate actions you can take to help them feel better and some sources of advice and support.

Ear aches – treat with pain killers (such as advil or tylenol), you’ll get some improvement within half an hour. Ear infections are usually viral and antibiotics mostly don’t help.

Common colds (runny nose, coughs, sneezes) – address source of discomfort by using nasal sprays/drops, tylenol for fever/cough or sore throat. Avoid cough medicine. For children over 1 year of age you could try a spoonful of honey.

Diarrhoea/vomiting – hydration is the key and vomiting is more dangerous than diarrhoea. These infections are often viral, usually short-lived and sometimes very violent! Hydrate little and often. In younger children use  breast milk/formula, for older kids use something like pedialyte. Avoid over the counter / off the shelf sickness/diarrhoea medication.

Influenza – treat the symptoms – tylenol, nose spray, fluids

There are some great resources for parents looking after kids with minor illness:

The HEAL website (Health Education and Learning) has been produced by the Alberta Children’s Hospital and the Stollery. It provides

Health Link – call 811


We also discussed some tips for how to better manage common childhood illness:

  • Keep some common meds in stock, tylenol, pedialyte, nose sprays
  • Make sure your children are up to date with  vaccinations
  • Help them to develop good hand hygiene – children can learn this even from a very young age by copying their parents

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