Common Health Issues in Children That Should Not Cause You to Panic
New babies are good at crying. New parents are good at panicking over babies crying. It is an invirtuous cycle that has been going on from the dawn of time, and will go on until humans are extinct. Nothing you read here is going to stop you from losing your stuff the first time you hear that piercing shriek from your baby declaring that there is something wrong. Indeed, there will be something wrong. It is just that your baby doesn’t know the difference between a minor issue and a serious one. The cry is the same with both. As the parent, you have to learn the difference.
That is the tricky part. All minor issues can be preludes to major ones. A hangnail is nothing to worry about until it becomes infectious. Infections can kill, especially if the immune system is compromised. Then there are the minor symptoms that can point to major issues. Chest pain could be gas or a heart attack. It’s hard to know which is happening until you take some antacid and belch it all away.
Blurred vision could be because you just woke up, or because your eye pressure is sky high. You can never ignore symptoms entirely, especially when it is your baby that is having them. By all means, call the pediatrician. But know that these are a few issues that are pretty common and are easily addressed:
Every baby sucks their thumbs, toes, and anything else they can get in their mouths. It’s natural. They tend to grow out of it. But there is an age past which could indicate a problem. They tend to break free of the habit anywhere from 3 to 6 years old. If it doesn’t happen in the early stages, don’t panic. But don’t ignore it either. You might want to start talking to a doctor when they are 5. And be sure to consult modern resources such as StopThumbSucking.org.
Every child is different and every situation is different. Even 6 is not a hard number. But it is a good generalization. Don’t try to fit your child into the exact mold of another. If your child stops the habit later than your neighbor’s child, it doesn’t mean your child is developmentally behind. It is one datapoint out of many. And there is a lot you can do as a parent to help the situation along.
This is a weird one because you don’t hear about it everyday. Even so, it is a lot more common than you think. You might be more familiar with tennis elbow, and procedures like elbow arthroscopy. Nursemaid’s elbow has to do with a floating joint. It is not dissimilar to floating kneecaps, also quite common, and often quite painful. This is an annoying problem that feels more serious than it is.
That said, it is often quite painful, and if left untreated, can lead to bigger problems down the road. There are a number of ways parents can treat this issue when it flares up, but always under the advisement of a medical professional. If the problem persists, there are medical procedures that can take care of it permanently. Again, that is down to the judgement of the doctor. It is not an ideal condition. But it does not have to be crippling either. Don’t push the panic button if your child has this condition.
Sometimes, there is no obvious reason why your baby is crying, and nothing you can think to do to make it stop. Even the doctor is stumped. Don’t worry, this is common. Some evidence suggests playing music can reduce a baby’s crying. It could be colic. Stomach pain is some of the worst common pain you can experience. It often has no obvious cause or cure. But it does pass. Your pediatrician will give you guidance on whether to bring her in for an exam. Just know that crying is a baby’s career. And they are very good at it. You will get better at getting to the root of it. Stay calm and try some Mozart, and some antacid.
Never get in the habit of ignoring your child’s symptoms. But also don’t panic, especially when it is thumb-sucking, nursemaid’s elbow, and inconsolable crying. Don’t worry. You’ve got this.