Sat. May 28th, 2022

Close-up of a young family consulting their doctor over a digital tablet

Recently, parents have been trained to have tunnel vision with their children’s health. It seems that the only diagnosis that matters to keep their child in day care or school is COVID-19. Bayo Curry-Winchell, MD, a regional clinical director at Carbon Health and a family physician, has personally seen how the pandemic has “changed the dynamics” of how we function as parents when our children become ill.

If they test negative for COVID, “we say, ‘You’re okay, you will cope,'” she told POPSUGAR. And while she agrees that this is often the case, parents should pay close attention to monitoring their child’s health.

“We need to remind ourselves that there are so many other diseases besides COVID. RSV, flu, streptococci ….” she said, adding that even if a child tests positive for COVID, it can still appear other seasonal diseases up. “I always say, ‘there’s no rule you can not get more than one disease at a time. It’s not like your body says,’ you have pneumonia, you can not get an ear infection ‘.”

Curry-Winchell offered a quick review of the common, non-COVID disorders she has seen appear most often in her practice.


Cold symptoms are usually mild, she said. If you notice a sneeze, a “tickling throat” or a runny or stuffy nose, it’s probably the culprit. A low-grade fever is rare but possible.

Treatment: There is no test for the common cold and no specific treatment other than over-the-counter medication to ease discomfort as it progresses.


Curry-Winchell has seen many cases of flu, up from last winter, when people isolated themselves more. “And I see flu and COVID together,” she said. “It’s hard because there are so many crossover symptoms. And for children, they are not always aware of how to verbalize their symptoms. They do not come in and say, ‘I have body aches.'”

Often, children with the flu have it worse than with a cold or even COVID. They may have a fever that comes on suddenly, headaches and chills, and they may lose their appetite or get nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Treatment: A doctor can check if your child has the flu virus with a test. Most children with the flu can recover at home by drinking plenty of fluids and resting. Sometimes an antiviral drug can be prescribed to relieve the symptoms and shorten the disease. Of course, many cases of influenza can be prevented with an annual flu vaccine.

Strep neck

Curry-Winchell said there has been a large increase in cases of sore throat, which also has similar symptoms as both the flu and COVID. “Strep throat also comes with a sore throat and fever, so I always encourage my parents to use their phone’s flashlight and take a look into their baby’s throat.” Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white spots, are common indicators of a bacterial infection such as streptococci.

“Another factor, especially if your child is not verbal yet, is if they do not eat or drink that much,” she said. “It may not be a loss of appetite, but simply because it’s painful to eat or drink or swallow, so they just do not.”

Treatment: Although a sore throat can be viral, meaning antibiotics are not needed, parents should still have their child cared for by their doctor if it is bacterial. In that case, it may spread. Oral antibiotics such as penicillin are commonly used to treat sore throat.


Tick ​​is an upper respiratory tract infection that typically occurs in children from six months to three years of age and it causes a loud, barking cough and hoarse voice.

Over the past month, pediatricians have recently noticed that children under the age of five who are infected with the Omicron variant actually have similar symptoms. Translation: Patients with cross-like symptoms actually test positive for COVID. Because of this, if you think your child has ticks, Curry-Winchell also suggests getting a COVID test to be safe.

Treatment: Crossbreeding is usually not serious, lasts for three to five days and can usually be treated at home.

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