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Recognizing & Treating Common Childhood Illnesses

Healthcare Tips for Parents in Silver Spring, MD

Symptoms of Common Childhood Illnesses & How to Treat Them

From colds and ear infections to chicken pox and lice, there are plenty of different illnesses out there that could affect your child at some point or another! However, at Fast Track Urgent Care, we see some of these illnesses more often than others.

A question we hear from a lot of parents in the Montgomery County, MD area is, “What symptoms should I look for to catch childhood illnesses in their early stages?”

While this is a great question, the answers vary based on what kind of illness your child comes down with! So we gathered a list of the most common childhood illnesses so we could outline symptoms to look for, along with treatment options.


Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, and is extremely contagious. Children can get chickenpox even if they have been vaccinated, though the symptoms are usually more mild. A few days before the tell-tale rash appears, your child may be more tired than usual or could experience a headache or fever. Then, they will develop itchy, red blisters that will form a rash. These itchy spots can appear across your child’s whole body, including the inside of their mouth or even their eyelids.

Chickenpox usually lasts around a week, and the disease will need to run its course. However, you can use calamine lotion to help relieve the itchiness. You can also use acetaminophen to treat the fever, if your child has one.

This is one illness that is very easy to spread around at daycare, in the classroom, or on the playground, so it’s important to keep your child at home until they’ve fully recovered so that you don’t spread the virus around the neighborhood!

If your child’s fever rises above 102 degrees or lasts longer than four days, bring them to Fast Track Urgent Care right away.

Ear Infection

One of the most common illnesses that parents bring their children in for is an ear infection. When germs from your child’s nose or throat get trapped behind their eardrum, their middle ear can get infected. If your child complains of an earache, or becomes fussy and grabs at his or her ears, it may be because of an ear infection! Other symptoms may include congestion, headache, or fever.

The typical treatment for an ear infection is a prescription antibiotic, like amoxicillin, which your child will take for up to 10 days until the infection dissipates. If your child is still in pain, you could also give them an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which will also help relieve their fever.

Even if your child feels better after just a few days on their prescribed antibiotics, it’s very important to make sure they continue to take it for the full amount of time prescribed so that the infection clears from their ear completely. Otherwise, you run the risk of the infection coming back!

For ear infection diagnosis and treatment, visit Fast Track Urgent Care in Silver Spring or Kensington.

Cold, Flu & RSV

Though the symptoms for a cold are similar to those of the flu or RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), these three illnesses range in severity.

Colds are common in children, and present symptoms like congestion, coughing, and a mild fever. They typically go away on their own within a week as long as your child is getting a lot of rest and fluids.

Flu symptoms also include coughing and congestion, but tend to come with a headache, sore throat, and high fever as well. Sometimes, the flu can even cause vomiting and diarrhea. The best way to avoid this illness is to make sure your child gets the flu vaccine every year, either in the form of a flu shot or flu mist.

RSV is an illness most common in infants and toddlers, affecting their lungs. Though it starts out with symptoms that seem like those of a cold, RSV can quickly escalate, leading to pneumonia or bronchitis. Symptoms include wheezing, increased breathing rates, or a blue tint around your child’s mouth.

The easiest way to figure out which of these three illnesses your child is suffering from is by visiting Fast Track Urgent Care for diagnosis and treatment.

Learn More About Childhood Illnesses from Fast Track Urgent Care in Montgomery County

For more information about childhood illnesses and how to treat them, contact the experts at Fast Track Urgent Care in Silver Spring or Kensington. There are a variety of advantages to contacting Fast Track Urgent Care over a traditional physician or a visit to the emergency room.

  • You don’t need to call ahead. There is no need to make an appointment at our walk-in clinics.
  • You can trust our staff. Our board certified doctors and clinicians provide the same level of care you would get at your own doctor’s office.
  • You won’t have to wait long. Typically, the wait at Fast Track Urgent Care is far shorter than the wait at the emergency room.
  • You can get your prescription filled while you’re here. Both of our walk-in clinics have on-site pharmacies, saving you a trip to the drugstore.

For more on Fast Track’s pediatric urgent care services, call Fast Track Urgent Care at 800-417-1164,  contact us online, or visit our Silver Spring or Kensington locations today!