ua en ru

Critical times to seek medical help for children: Insight from doctor

Critical times to seek medical help for children: Insight from doctor Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

Children are much more prone to respiratory infections than adults due to their developing immune systems. However, there are cases that require special attention and an immediate visit to a doctor.

Dr. Serhii Kramariov, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Head of the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the O.O. Bogomolets National Medical University, and Honored Doctor of Ukraine, shared instances when parents should urgently seek medical advice for their children in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

An infectious disease specialist identified three conditions in children that require specialist consultation:

The first signal: if a child falls ill throughout the year, not just during the cold period.

The second: if a child lags in physical development compared to their peers.

The third: if a child has problems with the pharyngeal ring, such as enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or nasal polyps.

Children with these conditions need a doctor's consultation.

Furthermore, some children have chest deformities. This may lead to the lungs and respiratory pathways functioning incompletely, thereby facilitating the penetration of respiratory infection agents.

"Additionally, there is a very small percentage of children with disruptions in the functioning of the immune system, known as immunodeficiency. Such disorders should be suspected if a child experiences two or more systemic bacterial illnesses per year. For instance, sinusitis, meningitis, pneumonia, sepsis. In such cases, consulting a pediatric immunologist and conducting an immunogram is necessary. Consulting a doctor is also advised if any family member has had primary immunodeficiency," the doctor adds.

He notes that there isn't a fixed number of respiratory infections per year, but there are rough guidelines: up to 5 years old - 6-8 episodes per year, from 6 to 12 years old - 2-4 episodes per year.

"American experts consider even 10-12 occurrences a year without accompanying symptoms normal, stating that such susceptibility might be an individual characteristic of the child's body. They even argue that counting these episodes isn't necessary. According to them, it's important to pay attention to the child's overall health and promptly respond to signs indicating that frequent respiratory illnesses aren't random but indicate more serious pathology," notes Serhii Kramariov.