Sick Child Visits | Richmond, VA


What is an Acute Illness?

An acute illness is a disease that comes on quickly, produces symptoms and usually ends in a short amount of time. Some examples of acute childhood illnesses include:

  • Cold viruses/Respiratory infection
  • Flu virus
  • Strep Throat
  • Ear infection
  • Bladder infection
  • Sinusitis
  • Stomach flu, including vomiting and/or diarrhea

Children are exposed and therefore prone to many illnesses. Common childhood illnesses, such as cold viruses, prepare the immune system to be robust in adulthood and protect the body from common invaders like viruses, bacteria and other threats.

Symptoms of Acute Illness

The symptoms of acute illness depend on the type of virus that has been contracted. For example, respiratory infections are common in babies and children. The early symptoms of acute respiratory infection usually appear in the nose and bronchi or upper lungs. These symptoms include:

  • Congestion, either in the nasal sinuses or lungs
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue

It is not uncommon for the symptoms to progress or worsen before the illness has run its course. Worsening symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing

Diagnosis of Acute Illness

If your child has been running a fever, has a severe sore throat and symptoms that make you uneasy, we are here to help. Please schedule a sick visit appointment so we can evaluate your child’s condition. Depending on the information you give us, we may run several tests including:

  • Strep test
  • Flu test

We will also listen to your child’s lungs for clear breath sounds to make sure your child is not in any respiratory distress.

Treatment of Acute Illness

With many viruses, there are no known cures. We may prescribe medications to manage your child’s symptoms while monitoring his/her condition. If the viral infection results in a secondary infection caused by bacteria, tests will help us determine the appropriate type of antibiotic to use.

General Illness Prevention Methods

Children have a tendency to put their hands and toys in their mouths. This is normal childhood behavior, but it is also the way germs are spread within communities. Many illness prevention methods are simply a function of good hygiene. Some of the most beneficial illness prevention methods include:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid contact with mucous membranes (mouth, eyes and nose) after washing hands.
  • Do not share personal items with another person. 
  • Keep children at home when they have a fever of 100.5 or greater

If your child is ill, but does not need medical attention, it is advised to have him/her stay at home to prevent the spread of the illness. Children who are in schools or daycare have an increased risk of spreading or contracting viruses because of the number of children in such a confined area.

Care With Your Child in Mind.