Sat, Apr 14, 2012 - Page 13 News List

Children get sick more easily with unpredictable spring temperatures
春天乍暖還寒 兒童易染病

Above and below: Children and parents wait in the pediatrics department of a hospital in Greater Taichung on Jan. 2.

photos: Tsai Shu-yuan, Liberty Times

It is easier for children to get sick in the spring due to highly unpredictable weather and temperatures as well as children’s lower resistance to infection. Chang Tao-tse, a pediatrician at Miaoli County’s Da Chien General Hospital, says there have been many cases of colds, bronchitis, mycoplasma pneumonia, and croup recently. He reminds parents to pay more attention when a child is not feeling well and to seek immediate medical attention.

Chang says that the common cold is the most frequently seen illness among children in the springtime. Usually a cold passes simply by drinking more water and resting, but if a high fever persists there is the possibility that it will bring about tympanitis or sinusitis. Parents and teachers should teach children to wash their hands often, avoid visiting public places, and wear masks if they do have a cold so that the virus does not continue to spread.

Also common in the spring is bronchitis, the initial symptoms of which resemble the common cold — coughing and a runny nose, but usually the patient recovers in one to two weeks. High fevers and labored breathing occur in serious cases, possibly leading to hypoxia, which requires hospitalization and is a situation that must be taken very seriously.

Chang says that mycoplasma pneumonia is often seen in school-aged children. Its initial symptoms include headaches, fever, sore throat, and lethargy. After two to five days, coughing begins, and sometimes non-respiratory symptoms such as vomiting, abdominal pains, conjunctivitis, and skin rashes also appear.

Croup occurs when a child’s voice suddenly becomes hoarse, with a “barking” cough, stridor, and breathing difficulties, during which time parents usually do not know what to do. Chang says the symptoms of croup usually appear late at night or early in the morning. Breathing warm steam can mitigate the symptoms, but it must not be taken lightly in cases of epilottitis, high fevers, short-temperedness or difficulty swallowing, or if it leads to an acute obstruction of the airways.


1. pediatrician n.

小兒科醫師 (xiao3 er2 ke1 yi1 shi1)

例: Your child should see a pediatrician instead of a family doctor if they have a complex medical issue.


2. hoarse adj.

沙啞的 (sha1 ya3 de5)

例: The coach’s voice was very hoarse after yelling at the players during the game.


3. chicken pox n. phr.

水痘 (shui3 dou4)

例: Chicken pox usually occurs during childhood and is highly contagious.


Other illnesses that are frequently seen in the spring include chicken pox, enterogastritis, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and enteroviruses. Some viruses are picked up at school, so teachers must also help in protecting children’s health by letting parents know when a child is not feeling well and arranging for them to see a doctor.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)







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