ZocdocAnswersWhat causes chronic illnesses in children?

Question

What causes chronic illnesses in children?

It seems like my son is always sick. Is it just him growing up or could it be something worse?

Answer

If you are concerned about your son's health or his growth and development, then the first stop should be your pediatrician. Your pediatrician is the doctor who knows your son best, and they will be able to assist you in determining whether something is wrong. Sometimes, there is a chronic medical problem, such as a nutritional problem or an immune problem that underlies frequent infections in children. This is especially the case if your son is not growing well or if the infections have been severe enough to require multiple hospitalizations. However, if this is not the case it is also possible that the frequent illness your son has had are simply part of normal childhood development. It is a common misperception that frequent colds, ear infections, etc mean that there is a serious medical problem. In fact, it is quite normal for young toddlers and children to have multiple of these minor illness episodes per year, as their immune systems learn to deal with all of the common colds and other viruses that they encounter. Start by setting up an appointment with your pediatrician, who will be able to provide you with some guidance and advice as to whether further work up is needed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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