Preventing Serious Illnesses in Small Babies and Children
Posted Aug 16 2011 11:53am
I can't imagine going through a nine months pregnancy and then losing a small baby to a preventable illness. The two diseases which are particularly lethal for small babies and little children are whooping cough and respiratory syncytial virus or RSV. Preemies are particularly at risk. Whooping cough is on the rise in the U.S. and respiratory syncytial virus is a frequent infection in the first few years. Unfortunately, since insurance companies are in the business of making enormous profits preventable immunizations are usually not covered. However, there are instances where parents have pushed so hard that the insurance companies give up and pay. Health departments do offer whooping cough vaccine.
Hospitalization may be necessary for both whooping cough and RSV if the infant is a preemie or has a severe infection. Any preemie or tiny baby who has a high fever, refuses to eat, is sleepy or not reponsive should immediately be seen by a pediatrician or family doctor. They should not be taken to an emergency room. This is becasue ER physicians usually have very little pediatric training and ERs should be used only for trauma or emergencies such as strokes, heart attacks or accidents.
If a doctor is too busy to see a child in trouble then it is time to find another doctor. I think unfortunately these days that parents have to be very aggressive in order to find adequate medical care for their children.