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Child has constant cold, peeling feet and hands, tiredness, cough. What should I do?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Hi, my 4 year old son seems to have a constant cold for the last few months. I think he may of caught scarlet fever last month and poss hand, foot and mouth as his hands and feet were peeling and i was constantly up at the doctors until they gave me penicillen which seemed to do the trick for a while. He is also tired and often gets tired walking and generally run down. I really dont know what to do. Ive tried vitamins, he is a healthy boy and never makes a fuss but he just keeps getting colds resulting in a cough which doesnt shift and then seems to get another cold on top of that. HELP!
Posted Mon, 21 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 14 hours later
Hello ,
Thanks for posting your query.
Young children frequently catch colds or viral infections due to their immature immune system.
However if he has responded to penicillin it is likely that he is suffering from a bacterial infection not necessary scarlet fever since he doesn't seem to have oral lesions.
But the gram positive bacteria streptococcus or staphylococcus frequently cause upper respiratory and skin infections which respond to penicillin group antibiotics.
Following are some things which you can do to prevent frequent infections,
1.Ensure that he has a nutritious diet , including XXXXXXX leafy vegetables, fruits XXXXXXX in vitamin C like citrus fruits ,indian gooseberry etc. and plenty of water to keep him well hydrated so that cough and mucus production are minimised.
2.Make sure he washes his hands frequently, after school, after play, before and after meals and whenever he comes from outdoors.
3.Practice adequate body hygiene, cut his nails frequently do not allow him to put his fingers or toys in his mouth.
4.Avoid exposure to dust, pollen, pets, wind, vehicular pollution as much as you can as allergic rhinitis (running nose) frequently gets complicated with superadded respiratory infection.
5.Get him evaluated by his pediatrician to rule out anemia, calcium and vitamin deficiencies.sometimes it's the low hemoglobin (anemia) which causes children to get easily fatigued and prone to infections.
6.Some children need a boost to their immunity by vaccination(prevenar 13) against pneumococcal bacteria which helps in preventing pneumonia, ear and throat infections or minimises their frequency and may discuss it with his pediatrician and vaccinate him as per his advice.
7.Remember that prevention is always better than cure and try to prevent minor colds from turning into cough by early treatment and supportive care like steam inhalations & saline gargles.

If despite all such measures he keeps getting ill consult his doctor for a thorough evaluation to rule out hypersensitivity of airways or immune deficiency.
As of now there is nothing worrisome & he seems to be a normal four year old with usual bouts of infections .
Hope I have answered your query.
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