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Maple Grove


Spring Park

Main Fax

(952) 473-7908

Tips for caring for common childhood illnesses.

Simple Illness Care

Bug Bites

  • Insect bites cause itchy, red bumps; some bites may be painful

  • Mosquitoes breed in water. Eliminate standing water near your home

  • Many bugs and mosquitoes are prevalent in woods and grassy areas

Home Care

  • Avoid scented soaps, perfume and hair spray (these attract insects)

  • Wear light colored clothing covering most of the body

  • Keep children indoors from dusk to dawn, which is when mosquitoes bite

  • Insect repellent containing a concentration of 10% to 30% DEET appears to be  safe for children over the age of 2 months. Insect repellant is not recommended for children under the age of 2 months

  • Apply DEET sparingly to exposed skin and NOT under clothing

  • Always wash DEET off skin with soap and water when returning indoors and wash treated clothing

  • If the bite is itchy apply calamine lotion; If bit is very itchy apply 1% hydrocortisone

  • Has an infected looking bite

  • Has a bite that becomes very tender

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:


  • Acute viral illness that is very contagious; exposure approximately 2 weeks ago to someone with chicken pox

  • Can have a mild fever

  • Generalized rash begins on the chest, back, underarms, neck, and face

  • Rash begins as red bumps and develop a fluid filled center, blister, breaks open and small brown scab forms

  • Rash will continue to develop over the next 4-5 days in crops

  • When all sores have crusted over child is no longer contagious; generally takes 5-7 days

Home Care

  • Itching - baking soda baths (add ¼ cup of baking soda to the tub) or an oatmeal bath

  • Benadryl

  • Acetaminophen


  • Trim nails short to prevent infecting sores

  • Offer soft foods, encourage fluids

  • Has chicken pox sores that look infected

  • Develops a speckled, red rash

  • Is acting very sick

  • Complains of eye pain

  • Has Fever >105 or fever returns after going away for 24 hours

  • Is < one month of age

  • Has any new chicken pox after day 6

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:


  • A viral infection of the nose and throat

  • Most common symptoms include runny or congested nose, sore throat and cough

  • Nasal drainage (even if viral) can vary in color from clear, to cloudy, yellow or green

  • Typically the first symptom noted is a sore throat

  • Healthy children average 6 colds a year

Home Care

  • Increase  humidity in child's room if the air is dry (cool mist humidifier) or  have child sit in steamy bathroom with shower running for 10-15 minutes

  • For infants use bulb syringe to help remove nasal secretions from nose

  • May use saline drops in nose to help with congestion at any age

  • Encourage extra fluids

  • Elevate head of bed or have child sleep with head on more pillows (avoid laying flat in bed)

  • Multi-symptom cold medications not recommended

  • No cold medication recommended under age 4 years

  • May give fever reducers for fever as needed

  • Has a fever that persists for more than 3 days or if > 105 F

  • Pulling at ears/or complains of ear pain

  • Has symptoms for 10–14 days

  • Is not taking fluids well

  • Is not sleeping well

  • Is wheezing

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:


  • The sound made when the cough reflex expels air and secretions from the lungs

  • A cough spasm is more than 5 minutes of continuous coughing

Home Care

  • Increase humidity in child's room if the air is dry (cool mist humidifier) or have child sit in a steamy bathroom with shower running for 10-15  minutes

  • Elevate head of bed

  • or have child sleep with head on pillows (avoid laying flat)

  • Encourage fluid intake

  • Warm fluids like apple juice may help

  • Cough medication is not recommended for children under 4 years of age

  • Sounding congested in the chest

  • Is wheezing

  • Seems to be working hard to breath

  • Has a fever lasting for more than 3 days

  • Has a cough lasting more than 2 weeks

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:


  • The narrowing of the air passage through the larynx (voice box) and the trachea (windpipe)

  • Is most often caused by a virus

  • Symptoms can occur suddenly, often at night

  • Symptoms may come and go for 5-6 days getting better during the day and worse at night

  • Harsh barky cough

  • Retractions ("pulling in" of the chest or hollow of the neck with breathing)

Home Care

  • Run shower to steam up the bathroom, sit with your child 15-20 minutes to breathe in the warm moist air

  • In cold weather wrap child up warmly and take outside to breath in cold air for about 10 minutes, or open the freezer door and have child  breathe in cold air

  • Cool mist humidifier in childs room at night may help

  • Is breathing in cold air or steam for 10-15 minutes and it does not help

  • Child is having retractions ("pulling in" of the chest or hollow of the neck with breathing)

  • Is refusing to drink

  • Is drooling

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:


  • Noted to be a sudden increase in the number and looseness of stools (bowel movements)

  • Typically caused by a virus

  • Can last 5-14 days with the most severe diarrhea on days 1-2

  • Can be isolated or can also occur with vomiting

Home Care

  • Encourage to breast feed or give formula to infants as tolerated; avoid plain water

  • Avoid fruit juices and other drinks high in sugar as these will make diarrhea worse

  • If diarrhea is frequent and watery, pedialyte or another oral rehydration solution may be offered to help prevent dehydration (no longer than  12-24 hours)

  • Encourage more starchy food--bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, noodles, crackers, etc.

  • Yogurt can be helpful in restoring healthy bacteria into the stomach, offer plain or vanilla yogurt as tolerated

  • Has  signs of dehydration: no urine output noted for more than 8 hours, no  tears with crying, very dry mouth, and increased drowsiness

  • Has blood or mucous in stools

  • Has fever persisting more than 3 days or if > 105 F

  • Is having more than 8-10 episodes in a day

  • Has severe stomach cramps that don't go away with the passage of the diarrhea stool

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:

Earache/Ear Pain

  • Pain or discomfort in or around the ear

  • Usually due to an ear infection

  • Ear infections peak at age 6 months to 2 years

  • Onset of ear infections peak on day 3 of a cold

  • Only way to know if ear infection present is to have ear examined

Home Care

  • May give fever/pain reducers as needed

  • May apply either cold washcloth or local heat (warm washcloth, heating pad  on low setting, hot water bottle) to outer ear for 20 minutes to reduce  pain

  • Ear drops not recommended until ear pain evaluated

  • Has a fever that persists for more than 3 days or if >105 F

  • Ear pain gets severe

  • Drainage noted from ear

  • Is not taking fluids well

  • Is not sleeping well

  • Pulling or tugging at ear

  • Fussy or irritable

  • Has some loss of hearing

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:

Eye Discharge

  • Yellow or green discharge from eye

Home Care

  • Place a wet warm wash cloth on the eye as needed

  • Avoid wearing contact lenses

  • Has continuous discharge from eye

  • Has redness or puffiness around eye

  • Has a fever or cold symptoms

  • Is complaining of ear pain

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:


  • Is a symptom and not a disease

  • Is the body's normal response to infections and plays a role in fighting them

  • Fever is present > 100.4 F

  • The  height of the fever does not relate to the seriousness of the illness,  the behavior of your child is the best indicator of the severity of the  illness

  • Fever causes no permanent harm until it reaches 107 F

Home Care

  • Encourage extra fluids

  • Keep clothing to a minimum, do not bundle up

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin) may be given following the guidelines in Over the Counter Dosage Information

  • AVOID aspirin in ALL children under the age of 21 years

  • Is under 3 months of age and has a temp > 100.4 F rectally

  • Has a fever > 105 F

  • Is very irritable and unable to console

  • Complains of stiff neck with a headache

  • Has a fever persisting over 3 days

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:

Hay Fever

  • An allergic reaction of the nose and sinuses to an inhaled substance, usually pollen

  • Clear nasal drainage with sneezing, sniffing and nasal itching

  • Eyes may also itch and water or look pink

  • No fever

  • Noted to have had similar symptoms during same time of the previous year

  • Most common pollens are grass, trees and ragweed

  • Can also be caused by allergens from cats, dogs, horses, rabbits and other animals

Home Care

  • Give antihistamine continuously during the pollen season

  • May use warm water or salt water nose drops to wash pollen out of the nose – put 2-3 drops in each nostril and then blow nose

  • Shower and wash hair every night before bed

  • Stay away from pollen and other things that may cause symptoms to develop or worsen

  • Keep windows closed in the house and car

  • Avoid playing outdoors on a windy days

  • Wash eyes to clean away any pollen

  • May apply cold washcloth to eyes/eyelids for 10 minutes

  • Develops a fever

  • Develops sinus pain or pressure

  • Has congested sounding cough in chest

  • Continues to have symptoms with no improvement noted after taking antihistamine continuously for >2 days

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:

Poison Ivy

  • A very itchy blistering rash caused by contact with the poison ivy plant

  • Rash is shaped like streaks or lines

  • Leaves, stems, roots and berries of these plants cause the rash

  • More than 50% of people are sensitive to the oil of the poison ivy plant

  • Onset 1-2 days after being in a forest or field; usually last two weeks

  • Poison Ivy is not contagious to others but may be carried by pets

Home Care

  • If you think your child has come in contact with a poison ivy plant, wash the skin with soap and water as soon as possible

  • The oil from the plant may be on pet"s fur or on shoes or clothes. Wash it off pets or clothes with soap and water

  • Soak the involved area in cold water or massage with an ice cube for 20 minutes as often as necessary

  • Apply 1% hydrocortisone cream 4 times a day to reduce itching

  • If itching persists give Benadryl orally

  • Has rash lasting longer than 3 weeks

  • Looks infected

  • Has severe itching

  • Poison ivy on face, eyes, lips or genitals

  • Rash covers more than ¼ of the body

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:

Sore Throat

  • Most sore throats are caused by viruses and are part of a cold (usually noted at the beginning of a cold)

  • About 10% of sore throats are due to strep bacteria

  • A rapid strep test or throat culture is the only way to distinguish strep throat from a viral sore throat

  • Children that sleep with their mouth open often awaken with a dry mouth and a sore throat

Home Care

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin) may be used for severe discomfort or fever

  • Over 1 year of age: sip warm chicken broth or apple juice

  • Over 4 years of age: suck on hard candy or lollipops

  • Over 6 years of age: gargle with warm salt water (Mix ¼ tsp of salt per 8oz glass of water)

  • Encourage extra fluids

  • Offer a soft diet; easy to swallow foods

  • Has a Fever lasting more than 3 days

  • Has a sore throat lasts more than 2 days

  • Seems dehydrated

  • Is drooling

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:


  • An infection of the hair follicle of the eyelash

  • Will look like a red bump at the base of the eyelash,(either upper or lower eyelid)

  • Usually comes to a head and forms a pimple in 2-3 days

  • Will usually drain in about 6 days but may last up to several weeks

  • Will feel tender to touch

Home Care

  • Apply warm packs to the eye for 10 minutes 4 times a day

  • Keep hands away from eye, as rubbing may cause more styes

  • Do not try to open the stye yourself

  • Eye lid becomes red and swollen

  • Has a fever

  • Stye comes to a head and has not drained after 3 days or has not completely healed by 10 days

  • Stye comes back

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:


  • Burning, redness, or blistering of the skin caused by sun overexposure

  • Can happen within 15 minutes of being in the sun

  • Minor sunburn is a first degree burn which turns skin pink or red

  • Prolonged sun exposure can cause blistering and a second degree burn

  • Sunburn never causes a third degree burn or scarring

  • Pain and swelling start at 4 hours, peaks at 24 hours, and improves after 48 hours

Home Care

  • Give child Ibuprofen

  • Apply 1% hydrocortisone cream 3 times a day to sunburn

  • Apply cool compresses to area several times a day

  • Encourage child to drink extra water

  • Leave closed blisters alone

  • For broken blisters, trim skin with a fine scissors cleaned with rubbing alcohol

  • For open blisters, apply over the counter antibiotic ointment

  • Has a sunburn covering a large part of the body

  • Is extremely painful or if blisters have formed

  • Has a fever

  • Feels faint or confused

  • Has signs of dehydration

  • Has symptoms of infection

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:

Swimmer's Ear

  • Infection or irritation of the skin that lines the ear canal

  • Associated with swimming/water activities

  • Ear canals can be itchy and somewhat painful; ear feels plugged

  • Discomfort noted when earlobe is moved up and down

  • Can have a slight amount of clear drainage from the ear

Home Care

  • May give pain reducers as needed

  • May apply local heat (warm washcloth, heating pad on low setting, hot water  bottle) to outer ear for 20 minutes to help with pain and drainage

  • Reduce/avoid swimming until symptoms are improved

  • Pain gets severe and / or symptoms last more than 3 days

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:

Swimmer's Itch

  • Skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to certain parasites that normally live on water fowl and freshwater snails

  • Occurs typically in calm freshwater lakes and ponds

  • Parasites burrow into the skin causing symptoms of burning, tingling or itching

  • Parasites are unable to live off humans so they soon die

  • Usually only affects exposed skin (skin not covered by swimsuits, waders, wetsuits)

  • Rash may appear up to 48 hours after swimming in infected water and clears up on its own within a few days

  • Swimming or wading frequently in contaminated water can lead to more intense and immediate symptoms

  • Sometimes itching without a rash is the only symptom

  • Itching at rash too much may lead to secondary bacterial infection

Home Care

  • Rinse skin immediately after swimming and then vigorously dry skin with a towel

  • Launder swimsuits after

  • Apply cool compresses to affected areas

  • Soak in a bath with baking soda or oatmeal

  • Stir water into baking soda until it makes a paste and then apply to affected areas

  • Use over the counter antihistamine or anti-itch creams as directed by label on product

  • Avoid swimming in areas where swimmer's itch is a known problem

  • If itching not relieved by over the counter medications

  • Develops signs of infection due to itching (ie increased redness, fever, drainage at site)

  • If symptoms last more than one week

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:


  • Is the forceful emptying of the stomach contents (throwing up)

  • Spitting up is the effortless regurgitation of one to two mouthfuls of stomach contents

  • Vomiting usually stops in 12 – 24 hours

  • Dehydration (getting dried out) can be dangerous, but is unlikely in the first 12 hours of vomiting

Home Care

  • If no vomiting has occurred for at least ½ hour begin to offer clear liquids (for younger children pedialyte, for older children flat 7-up,  Gatorade freeze pops, chicken broth); begin with ½ oz every 15 minutes; if no vomiting after 1 hour begin to double the amount of fluid every  other time. If vomiting occurs again wait ½ hour and begin offering ½ oz of clear liquid

  • Once the child is able to drink a normal amount of fluid without vomiting (usually 12-24 hours of clear liquids) ok to begin solid foods ie: toast, crackers, and rice

  • Help your child go to sleep; sleep will often help empty the stomach and relieves the need to vomit

  • Has signs of dehydration (no urine output for over 8 hours, dry mouth, no tears when crying)

  • Has blood in the vomited material

  • Starts to act very sick

  • Has abdominal pain lasting over 12 hours

  • Has vomiting over 24 hours

  • Is under 12 weeks of age and has vomited more than 2 times

  • Seems confused or difficult to arouse

  • Has ingested any TOXIC material call the poison center 1-800-222-1222

  • Has any other symptoms that are a concern

Call Office if Child:

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