Each year as the weather cools down, the number of illness increases. There are certain illnesses that peak during the winter months, including the flu, ear infections and bronchiolitis. To keep from catching these widespread illnesses, there are several things you can do.
- Seasonal Flu: Flu season begins as early as the fall and continues through May, with January and February as the worst two months for the sickness. Because the flu is so easily spread from one person to another, it’s one of the hardest illnesses to avoid. In fact, as many as 20% of the population will be affected by the flu annually. The illness, which is spread by coughing, sneezing and even just talking, can be prevented by regular hand washing, avoiding eating after others and constant cleaning of regularly-touched surfaces
- Ear Infection: As a result of changes in climate, ear infections are most common during the winter months. Caused by bacteria that are often accompanied by a sore throat, cold or other respiratory infection, an ear infection occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. While an ear infection is difficult to prevent, your child can greatly reduce his or her risk of coming down with one by washing hands frequently, getting vaccinated every year and staying away from second-hand smoke.
- Bronchiolitis: Mostly impacting children under the age of two, bronchiolitis is a result of swelling and mucus buildup within the smallest lung air passages. Typically, bronchiolitis is contagious when your child comes in direct contact with fluids of an infected person. Teaching your child to wash his or her hands frequently—along with disinfecting regularly touched items—can make a huge difference in your child’s health this winter.
If your child has managed to come down with an illness this winter, consider visiting Medical City Children’s Urgent Care. We have pediatricians that are board certified, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you or your child.