A child suffering from any kind of illness is a parent’s worst nightmare. When a child is diagnosed with an illness at a particularly young age, that nightmare only seems to worsen. With that being said, there are advantages to your child be diagnosed young versus later in life. A child who undergoes corrective procedures at a young age will likely heal faster, and adapt to change better than an older child or adult. For that matter, kids are less likely to remember such procedures if they happen when they’re young. The body is also more likely to heal fast from such procedures, and in general the process will be less traumatic for a younger child. There are a number of different issues that can affect a child medically, through no fault of his or her parents. These include ear nose and throat problems, which are particularly prevalent among young children. While ear nose and throat problems sometimes begin as minor issues, like sinus infections, they can spiral out of control if not treated aggressively. Some even develop into vocal cord paralysis, which would require vocal cord surgery, or serious breathing difficulties. It’s important to remember that you do have options — and if you see experienced pediatric specialists, they can provide solutions to your problems. Below, we’ll look into some of the medical issues experienced by young children, and possible solutions.
What Are Common Throat Problems In Young Children?
Throat problems are fairly common among young kids — and they usually don’t lead to vocal cord paralysis. This is usually a more serious complication of an untreated illness. Many kids begin with having issues with their tonsils. Tonsils can become infected and enlarged, making it difficult for children to eat and drink comfortably, or in some cases even speak depending on the severity of the case. Tonsil infections also lead to children being repeatedly ill, and this can become an increasingly noticeable issue as they grow up. In worst case scenarios, complications from infected tonsils can possibly lead to vocal cord paralysis. Tonsil issues can also result in obstructed sleeping or breathing. In fact, while 90% of tonsillectomies in children were done because of recurrent infections 30 years ago, now 20% are done because of recurrent infections, while 80% are done because of obstructed sleeping. Adenoidectomies are often done for reasons similar to tonsillectomies, and the rate of adenoidectomies in boys is 1.5 times that of girls, while girls have twice as many tonsillectomies as boys. While surgery may seem like a drastic step at first, it can eliminate your concerns about vocal cord paralysis, sleep disordered breathing, and much more.
Why Does Hearing Loss Occur In Young Children?
We often associate hearing loss with old age, but in fact this can be a serious problem for infants and young children as well. Some children are born with deficient hearing, while others experience hearing loss in their first years of life. The fact is that genes are responsible for 50% to 60% of hearing loss cases in young children. However, it’s estimated that 30% of children with hearing loss experience it because their mothers contracted an infection during pregnancy, among other environmental factors. Hearing loss can’t always be treated — and once a degree of hearing has been lost, it can be difficult if not impossible for it to be regained. But progressive hearing loss can be slowed or stopped in some cases, and children who have experienced hearing loss might benefit from hearing aids, among other things.
Should My Child Undergo Cleft Palate Surgery?
It may be frightening to imagine your child — your infant in particular — undergoing surgery to repair a cleft palate. But in fact, this surgery is often more effective when given to young children, rather than older kids or adults. Surgery to repair a cleft palate is usually recommended within the first 18 months of life — ideally as soon as possible. Your child won’t remember it, and will be happy and healthy before you know it.