Free «Common Pediatric Illnesses» Essay Sample

Common pediatric illnesses are a group of the diseases and syndromes usually caused by various bacteria and viruses. Diarrhea, vomiting, urinary tract infections are frequent within the symptomatic lists of many pediatric diseases. The purpose of the essay is to highlight the main causes and manifestations of the definite medical disorders connected with diarrhea, vomiting, and urinary tract infections as well as discuss the diagnostic studies of various health disorders taking into account the age factor of the pediatric patients’ population.


Diarrhoea, a common health issue, is marked by the passage of watery stools multiple times throughout the day. This condition often indicates the body’s attempt to expel harmful pathogens or adjust to dietary changes. Loose stools are a hallmark of diarrhoea, and they can rapidly lead to dehydration if not managed properly. In cases of frequent watery diarrhea, it’s crucial to monitor for signs of dehydration and seek medical attention if symptoms persist. Diarrhoea serves as a defense mechanism, purging irritants from the gastrointestinal tract to restore normal function.

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Identifying Symptoms Associated with Diarrhea in Children

When children suffer from diarrhoea, they frequently encounter loose stools that can lead to rapid fluid loss. Accompanying these loose stools, they may exhibit abdominal pain, which can range from mild discomfort to severe cramping, indicating the need for medical evaluation. Oral rehydration is a critical treatment step, as it replenishes fluids and vital electrolytes lost during episodes of diarrhoea. For children with diarrhea, especially infants and young children, prompt rehydration is essential to prevent the serious consequences of dehydration. Caregivers should be vigilant for signs of dehydration, such as decreased urination, dry mouth, and lethargy, and seek medical advice if these symptoms appear. Effective management of diarrhoea in children not only involves treating the symptoms but also identifying and addressing the underlying cause to prevent recurrence.

Understanding Dehydration Risks in Babies, Infants, and Young Children

Dehydration is a serious risk in babies, infants, and children who experience frequent watery diarrhea. This condition can lead to a significant loss of fluids and electrolytes, which are vital for maintaining the body’s normal functions. Oral rehydration solutions or salts are often recommended to quickly restore these essential nutrients and prevent further dehydration. It’s crucial for caregivers to recognize the early signs of dehydration, which include a dry mouth, reduced tear production during crying, and changes in behavior such as increased sleepiness or irritability. Timely intervention is key, especially for children with diarrhea, as they can deteriorate rapidly if dehydration is not addressed. Monitoring watery stools and ensuring adequate fluid intake can help manage the situation effectively and safeguard the health of the young ones.

Causes of Diarrhea in Children?

Diarrhoea in children can stem from a variety of causes, ranging from acute infections to chronic digestive conditions. Viral gastroenteritis is one of the most prevalent causes, with viruses like norovirus or rotavirus leading to frequent watery diarrhea. Lactose intolerance is another common culprit, causing diarrhoea when children consume dairy products that their bodies cannot digest due to a deficiency in the enzyme lactase. Chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease also contribute to ongoing diarrhoea and require long-term management.

To manage diarrhoea effectively, especially in cases of viral gastroenteritis, oral rehydration solutions are crucial. These solutions replenish lost fluids and electrolytes, helping to prevent dehydration in children with diarrhea. Below is a table summarizing the various causes of diarrhoea in children:

Cause Description Management

Viral Gastroenteritis

Often caused by norovirus or rotavirus, leading to rapid fluid loss. Oral rehydration solutions to maintain hydration.

Bacterial Gastroenteritis

Infections like salmonella or E. coli, resulting in diarrhoea. Antibiotics and oral rehydration solutions.


Giardiasis and other parasitic infections from contaminated sources. Antiparasitic medications and oral rehydration solutions.


Can disrupt gut flora, causing diarrhoea. Probiotics and oral rehydration solutions.

Lactose Intolerance

Inability to digest lactose leading to diarrhoea after dairy intake. Lactose-free diet and oral rehydration solutions.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Chronic condition causing ongoing diarrhoea. Medication and possibly surgery, along with oral rehydration solutions.

Coeliac Disease

Autoimmune reaction to gluten causing diarrhoea and malabsorption. Gluten-free diet.


Syndromes causing inability to absorb nutrients properly. Tailored diets and supplements.

This table provides a concise overview of the potential causes of diarrhoea in children and the importance of oral rehydration solutions in managing the condition. It’s essential to identify the underlying cause to treat diarrhoea effectively and prevent its recurrence.

How to Diagnose the Causes of Diarrhea?

Bloody diarrhea is “a common presenting complaint in pediatric practice” that is why properly-formulated questions are crucial for revealing “the cause of diarrhea” (“Easy Pediatrics”, 2016). The questions have to relate to the patient’s age, the nature, frequency, and duration of the bloody diarrhea considering that such disorder may lead to dehydration. Stool tests are crucial for identifying infections or other abnormalities that may result in loose stools. In more complex cases, endoscopy might be necessary to visually inspect the gastrointestinal tract for underlying issues. If diarrhoea is severe, persistent, or accompanied by alarming symptoms, urgent care may be required to prevent complications and determine the cause of the watery stools. The questions regarding the volume of stool, the severity of its bleeding, other troubling symptoms, some specific risk provocative factors, and the experience of any previous attacks should be addressed since they help determine an accurate diagnosis which is essential for effective treatment and recovery. These questions are primarily typical for the pediatric patients of all ages; thus, they will not vary depending upon the child’s age.

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To diagnose the cause of diarrhoea, healthcare providers consider the patient’s medical history and symptoms, such as the presence of watery stools.

Treatment Approaches for Diarrhoea in Youngsters

In treating diarrhoea in babies and children, hydration is paramount. Oral rehydration solutions are typically administered to replenish fluids and electrolytes. Healthcare professionals may advise on the gradual reintroduction of solid foods to avoid further gastrointestinal distress. In some cases, diarrhoea may be linked to eating disorders, which require a specialized treatment approach. If symptoms are severe or persistent, seeking urgent care is crucial to address potential complications. It’s important to monitor the child’s condition and follow the guidance of medical experts, especially if eating disorders are a contributing factor.


Vomiting is also a symptom of various medical pediatric disorders that can result in dehydration if not to take necessary actions. There are different causes of vomiting depending on the child’s age factor. Consolini (2015) indicates the existing difference between vomiting and eructing in infants. Gastroenteritis, gastro-esophageal reflux, food allergy, accidentally swallowing something poisonous, or lactose intolerance are the main causes of vomiting in infancy and later childhood. Air swallowing, congenital pyloric stenosis, a strangulated hernia, and intussusception are specific causes of vomiting in infants (Consolini, 2015). The adolescents may suffer not only from the same causes of vomiting as infants and elder children, but also from other intestinal viruses, serious bacterial infections, acute appendicitis, brain tumor or heavy head injury that can provoke vomiting. Furthermore, in adolescence there are other triggers of vomiting such as “peptic ulcer disease, cycle vomiting, gastroparesis, pregnancy, eating disorders and ingestion of the toxic substance” (Consolini, 2015).

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Recognizing Vomiting Symptoms in Children and Infants

Vomiting in children can be a distressing symptom for both the child and the caregiver. It is often accompanied by other signs such as nausea, lethargy, and a decrease in appetite. Vomiting in infants can be particularly concerning as it may lead to rapid dehydration and weight loss. It’s important to monitor for additional symptoms like fever or diarrhea, which can indicate a more serious underlying condition.

Causes of Vomiting in Children?

The causes of vomiting in children and adolescents can vary widely. Common causes have already been mentioned above. Vomiting in infants and children can also be a reaction to medication or a sign of an underlying medical condition. Below, there is a table providing more detailed information about the causes of vomiting:


Gastroenteritis is a frequent cause of vomiting in children, often leading to nausea and vomiting. It is usually caused by viral infections but can also be bacterial or parasitic in origin.

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is another common reason for vomiting in children, resulting from the ingestion of contaminated food.


Accidental poisoning can lead to vomiting in children and requires immediate medical attention.

Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections can cause systemic symptoms, including vomiting in children.


COVID-19 has been associated with nausea and vomiting as common adverse effects in infants and children.

Motion sickness

Motion sickness is a well-known factor that causes vomiting in children and adolescents, especially during travel.


Appendicitis can cause severe abdominal pain and is a serious cause of vomiting in children.


Meningitis is a critical condition that can lead to vomiting in children among other severe symptoms.

Diagnosing the Underlying Causes of Vomiting in Young Patients

Diagnosing the cause of vomiting in children involves a thorough medical history, physical examination, and sometimes laboratory tests and imaging. The testing can be required “if abnormalities in the abdomen or any hereditary metabolic disorder are suspected” (Consolini, 2015). Presence of blood, yellow bile in vomiting, vomit of green color, persistent vomiting represent worrisome signs and indicate the need for immediate diagnostic studies. Such diagnostic researches are required for establishing the right diagnosis and preventing a life-threatening condition.

Test priority depends on the suspected condition and age of the pediatric patient. In case of vomiting, the initial diagnostic studies should involve complete blood count, urinalysis, and feces analysis in order to check the functioning of the vitals. The preliminary diagnostic tests may involve x-rays of the upper or lower digestive tract, ultrasonography of the stomach or the abdomen, computed tomography of the abdomen that check if there is any the blockage or narrowing of the stomach, inflammation or other pathological changes in the abdomen. They can also include CT of the brain if brain concussion is suspected. The diagnosis and further treatment may vary considering the tests’ results. Thus, it’s crucial to determine the cause of vomiting to provide appropriate treatment and care.

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Urinary Tract Infections

The urinary tract infections (UTIs) vary “with the patients’ age and the specific diagnosis” as the history and clinical course show (Fisher & Steele, 2016). Most UTIs damage the bladder and the kidneys. Urinary tract infectious diseases in infants and children can manifest in poor nutrition, fever accompanied with listlessness and fatigue, vomiting, abdominal or low back pain, irritability. Boys-infants are more vulnerable to UTIs in comparison with the girls in the first months of living. Painful, frequent, urgent urination, strong-smelling, sometimes cloudy urine can also signalize the urinary tract improper functioning in any pediatric patient.  Preschool, school-aged children, and adolescents may suffer from similar symptoms as infants, but simultaneously “from poor urine control (enuresis)” or other voiding dysfunctions (Simon, 2013).

The UTIs basically belong to bacteria-caused illnesses, “which are treated with bacteria-fighting medications” in order to prevent contamination of the kidneys and further deterioration in the condition (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2011).  UTIs are managed either through intravenous injections or by mouth if there are some problems in taking the pills or liquids. Young infants can be hospitalized if medical supervision is required. Considering age peculiarities, the practitioners prescribe the adequate antibiotics for curing UTIs.

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In case of UNIs such tests as urinalysis, screening test for checking leukocyte esterase or nitrite can be recommended for revealing the cause of infection for all age groups of the pediatric patients; however, the urine collection from the infants can be problematic. The ultrasound of the abdomen allows checking the condition of the internals and excluding pathology. It can be recommended to infants, elder children, and adolescences if required. The indicated diagnostic studies affect the choice of therapy of UNIs for the children of different age.

Due to the probability of the UTIs recurrence, the doctors recommend prophylactic antibiotics. They do it also because the relapse of the disease can lead “to long-term damage to the kidneys” and ultimately, to their failure (Kaneshiro, 2015). Moreover, such infections can result in pyelonephritis, cystitis, and other chronic conditions even in the pediatric patients.

Optimal Strategies for Managing Urinary Tract Infections

The best approach to managing UTIs in infants and children is prompt treatment and prevention. Healthcare professionals often recommend a course of antibiotics to treat the infection and alleviate symptoms like abdominal pain. It’s essential to complete the full course of medication even if symptoms improve.

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Prevention of Infections that Affect a Urinary System

Preventive measures are key to avoiding recurrent tract infections. Here are some strategies:

Mind Your Hygiene

Good hygiene practices are crucial for maintaining a healthy urinary system. For infants and children, this includes proper cleaning during diaper changes and teaching children and adolescents to wipe from front to back.

Drink a Lot of Fluids

Increasing fluid intake helps flush bacteria from the urinary system. Encouraging children and adolescents to drink water regularly can help prevent UTIs.

Alter Your Peeing Habits

Frequent urination can reduce the risk of UTIs by preventing bacteria from settling in the urinary system. Infants and children should be encouraged to pee regularly and not hold it in.

Change Your Clothing

Wearing loose-fitting, cotton clothing and changing out of wet swimsuits promptly can help keep the urinary system healthy and prevent tract infections.


In conclusion, the highlighted disorders should be treated properly with the purpose to avoid any further health deterioration. Therefore, the diagnostic studies are crucial at any stage and age. Medical knowledge regarding the symptoms of such disorders as bloody diarrhea, vomiting and urinary tract infections in children and adolescents allows taking adequate measures.

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