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Treating a Respiratory Infection

Respiratory InfectionOnce your child is old enough to start going to daycare or school this may be an exciting time in their life but it also means that they are now being introduced to new germs. As a result, many school-age children end up battling infections, particularly respiratory infections. It’s normal for children to deal with several respiratory infections throughout the year. If your child has a respiratory infection they may be dealing with these symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes of the neck

If your child isn’t having any complications (e.g. difficulty breathing) due to symptoms then in most cases this infection will often go away within two weeks. Of course, if your child is displaying any of these issues it’s important that you seek treatment from a pediatrician right away:

  • Severe coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Fever
  • Increased or labored breathing

There are several different kinds of respiratory infections:

  • Common cold
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Croup
  • Mononucleosis
  • Pneumonia

The treatment or treatments that your pediatrician provides will depend on the type of infection, the cause of this infection (viral vs. bacterial) and the symptoms they are experiencing. Since viruses don’t respond to antibiotics like bacterial infections do, the best course of action is typically to offer up simple ways to manage symptoms while their immune system fights the infection. Some at-home measures for reducing respiratory infections symptoms include:

  • Increasing fluids to reduce risk of dehydration
  • Avoiding secondhand smoke
  • Using saline nasal sprays
  • Using a humidifier in the bedroom
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers (ask your pediatrician before beginning any new medication regimen)
  • Resting as much as possible

It’s important that your child get as much rest as possible and to avoid any strenuous activities. If your child is contagious it’s also important that they avoid school or daycare until after medication has been administered and they are no longer contagious.

Of course, parents want to protect their child from illness in the first place. Some of the best ways to prevent a respiratory infection are to:

  • Disinfect toys and surfaces
  • Make sure your child washes their hands regularly
  • Avoid touching their mouth, eyes or nose until hands have been washed
  • Avoid playing with children that are sick

If your child is displaying symptoms of a respiratory infection it’s important that they get care right away so that they can get on the road to recovery. Feel free to turn to your children’s doctor with any questions or concerns you may have.

Questions or Comments?

At Harvest Pediatrics, we encourage you to contact us whenever you have a concern or question related to your care.
You can reach us at:


Napa: (707) 252-1076
St. Helena: (707) 963-0171

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Hours of Operation

Closed daily between 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM for lunch.

Napa Office

Monday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

8:30 am-12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

St. Helena Office

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed