7yo & constant sickness - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 02-05-2010, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 7yo DS who has been sick for the just about the last 3-4 months. He has literally only had about 3 weeks of complete wellness (no cough, no fever, etc.) He has had strep throat twice, pneumonia, flu-like symptoms two different times (but they wouldn't test due to them not treating it anyways) and now a stomach virus. In between those major, diagnosable illnesses, there have been numerous fevers and coughs that weren't diagnosable. He has missed about 10 days of school due to being sick.

The only thing we have really treated with antibiotics has been the strep throat so he has only been on antibiotics 2x. I don't usually even treat the fevers unless he complains of body aches with them so he has only had tylenol 1x.

I have asked the doctor if they could do tests to make sure he is ok but they tell me this is common and that kids get 8-10 colds a year. This doesn't feel very common to me and when I tell other parents he is sick they respond with "Again?".

I'm at a loss as to what to do. Should I insist that the doctor do some bloodwork, not that I know what they would be looking for? Is your school age child sick a lot? He's been in school for the past 3 years (preschool and kindergarten) and it has never been this bad.

Help please - I feel so bad for him. He missed Halloween, was sick on Christmas and is now going to miss his Valentines party at school today.
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#2 of 25 Old 02-05-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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Can you take him out of school? It sounds like he's not getting to recover completely before another classmate brings another illness?

We went though this in Kindergarten. I hated it

Other things like probiotics, fish oils, and other vitamins may help, but I wouldn't expect him to be WELL until school was finished for the year

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#3 of 25 Old 02-05-2010, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you take him out of school? It sounds like he's not getting to recover completely before another classmate brings another illness?
I was seriously thinking about that today but I can't homeschool because I work. Plus, we do lots of stuff so he will always be around people. But I do think that is a big part of the problem. I did keep him home from school for a week the last time he had strep which turned into flu-like symptoms and he did so much better. And we just went on vacation and he was out of school for a week and he was fine. Then he goes back to school and gets a stomach virus.

Ugghhhh - I feel so bad for him.
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#4 of 25 Old 02-05-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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poor buddy. I think you should look into vitamins and herbs, and FOODS that will support his immune system, and basically just feed him that all the time.

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#5 of 25 Old 02-05-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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I'm sorry. That sounds bad. It could just be a bad season for him. But I know that that much illness in 3-4 months in a 7 year old would concern me.

My DS, who turned 7 in December, has hardly been ill at all (knock on wood) since he turned four. before that, he was sick all.the.time. So I'm more accustomed to younger kids being sick a lot and then having their immune systems be stronger as a result.

Anyway, does he have any other symptoms that might make you think it's something more than a bad season? Are you worried about something like leukemia? If so, are there other symptoms?

As grim as it sounds, I think looking at other symptoms (or lack thereof) might make you feel better.
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#6 of 25 Old 02-05-2010, 04:37 PM
 
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I was that kid. I seriously have pictures of myself sick on about half of my childhood birthdays.

How are his handwashing habits? I've found that the amount of sickness my kids bring home from school has dropped 80% since I started getting super vigilant about handwashing.

Basically my kids wash their hands before they eat, after they use the bathroom, and when they come inside from being outside (whether that be a trip to a store or playing in the dirt).

Also teach your son not to touch his face.

Some kids just get sick very easily, and for us prevention has made a huge difference, of course your child has to see the merit in it and actually do it for it to make a difference, but it does help if they get on board with it.
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#7 of 25 Old 02-05-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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My child is only sick two to three times a year. I thought it was only babies in their first year of life that get sick 8-10 times a year. I think you should find another doctor if you can and ask for the tests to be done. He may have a stomach bacteria or something else weakening his immune system. If he has been sick 6 times in the last 3-4 months and he keeps getting sick at this rate he will be sick 18-24 times in a 12 month period and that is well above normal even for a baby. If he hasn't been sick this often in the past then I think you need to really push for testing just to rule things out.
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#8 of 25 Old 02-06-2010, 09:24 AM
 
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Does he get as much sleep as he could? Getting enough sleep is key for us to stay well and most kids are getting an hour less than they should.

I started giving my 8 yo ds 3000IU/day of D3 last fall. It's impossible to get any D from the sun at this time of year at our latitude which is about the same as yours. He's hardly been sick this year which might be the D3 or might be because everyone else is paranoid about H1N1 and bathing themselves in hand sanitizer.

If you get any blood tests, I'd ask them to check vit D levels. But I'd start giving him some even without checking based on your location. I think I read a formula of 35IU for every pound of body weight. That would be 2,650 or so for a 75 pound child. You just want to make sure its in the form of cholecalciferol which is also called D3, and not ergocalciferol which is linked to toxicity in high doses.

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#9 of 25 Old 02-06-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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That would absolutely concern me, and I'd get it checked out more.

But our kids are already getting probiotics, extra vitamin C and D and mulitvitamins/minerals. And getting enough sleep, and we're very picky about hand washing because of our SN child with little or no immune system.
So, we're doing everything to keep them healthy and boost immune systems.
And, seriously, they are never sick. Even though our 11 yo. is in school every day, and the 4 yo. is in daycare. The 6 yos. are only in school when the SN one of them are well enough, and other than that, a teacher comes here.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#10 of 25 Old 02-07-2010, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! He used to get vitamins but we haven't done them in awhile. I went to the health food store yesterday and bought some.

I think he gets plenty of sleep - he goes to bed around 9 and gets up around 7:45 so almost 11 hours of sleep a day. Is that about right for a 7yo?

He could be better about washing his hands and not touching his face so much. I actually don't like him using the hand sanitizer because it causes his hands to get so dried out that they get all red and swolen. I'm going to have him wash a little more.

Dariusmom - There are really no other symptoms that I can think of. I really just want to put my mind at ease that there isn't something else seriously wrong so I think I am going to push his doctor to do a full blood workup.

4evermom - Thanks for the info on the D3. I'll check that out.

Pixiekisses - I don't know a lot about probiotics. Can you tell me the brand you give your kids?
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#11 of 25 Old 02-07-2010, 08:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MtBikeLover View Post
Dariusmom - There are really no other symptoms that I can think of. I really just want to put my mind at ease that there isn't something else seriously wrong so I think I am going to push his doctor to do a full blood workup.
definitely! if it will put your mind at ease, I think it's worth it.

love all the other suggestions here, too.

I'm sure everything is ok with your little guy, but do update us after the blood work comes back.
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#12 of 25 Old 02-07-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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Pixiekisses - I don't know a lot about probiotics. Can you tell me the brand you give your kids?
We live in Scandinavia right now, and we're using a brand you only get here, so I'm afraid it wouldn't be much of a help. I'd do a search in here or start a new thread asking the American mums.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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#13 of 25 Old 02-07-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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If you go back to the herb shop, or whole foods store they can point out the probiotcs that are best for kids

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#14 of 25 Old 02-07-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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Would you consider seeing an acupuncturist? We took my dd to one last year when she was continuously sick, much like you describe. They didn't use needles. The acupuncturist had a tool, kind of shaped like a pen, that she put on the points for a few seconds instead. She also gave us some diet guidelines and herbal formulas.
It really helped us...
Hope he feels better soon.
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#15 of 25 Old 02-08-2010, 09:18 AM
 
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Just wanted to chime in here...probiotics are pretty important, since he's been on antibiotics twice- he needs to replace the friendly bacteria that was killed by the antibiotics. You need to get a reputable brand- usually that means look in the refrigerated section of the health food store and be prepared to spend $$! Also vit D- you can get gummy vitamins in the health food store- he should take quite a bit- like 1000iu's . The other thing that might be a factor is hidden food allergies or intolerances- these can manifest as general overall lowgrade sickness. 2 of my DD's at various times have benefitted from getting off wheat (in one case) and dairy and corn (in the other) and became much healthier. In my oldest's case we were able to reintroduce corn after a while with no ill effects. You can either get him tested for allergies or you can just eliminate some common allergens like wheat and dairy and see if it helps. It made a big difference for us and once we got used to it, it wasn't that hard to avoid wheat and dairy- and the benefits were obvious- she felt A LOT better!! Good Luck!!

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#16 of 25 Old 02-08-2010, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

I am definitely not opposed to accupuncture. I have a doc that I love so I will ask him about it.

I have a call into the doctor and am waiting for her to call me back. If they refuse to do the full blood check, then I am going to take him to the emergency room tonight as I know they will do it there.

Monkeypants - I've also heard that allergies can be a cause. I am going to ask the doctor when she calls me back to see if she will order tests to check for allergies.

Speaking of allergies makes me wonder - we got a dog in September. I have major allergies to pets and I haven't had any problems with this dog (she is supposed to be hypoallergenic). Is there any chance the dog could be causing some of these problems in him, even though she isn't bothering me at all??
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#17 of 25 Old 02-08-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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anything is possible, and with the timing, I would be willing to see if anything improves if he's away from the dog for a while.

The allergy testing, my daughter just did this in the Spring. I hated it. One of my kids allergies is dust mites, so i vacuum their beds every time I change them. Pillows and bedding get washed on hot etc.

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#18 of 25 Old 02-08-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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I was thinking kind of along the lines of AutumnBreeze. I was wondering if there could be something in your home that could be causing problems... mold or spores of some sort? It might be worth it to have your home tested for these things to see if that could be a contributing factor. GL!

ETA: I just re-read your latest post. I have severe allergies... indoor, outdoor, all pets (including birds like parrots, etc.) and when my allergies flare up, yes, I tend to get sick more often because my allergies bring my resistance down. So, yes, I would think that the dog could definitely be a factor. Nobody else in my family is allergic to animals, so even though it doesn't bother you, it has no bearing on how it affects others.
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#19 of 25 Old 02-10-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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nak...
ITA w/ PP about vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). My 4 yo has been sick off and on for the last few mths. We see a chiro for general wellness about every 2 weeks, eat lots of organic food, so I was stumped. Finally asked the doc to test her D levels...they were pretty low. I haven't been good about getting out in the sun everyday in the past

We're now supplementing her...the RDA of 400IU is too low for most people.

Please read about vitamin D:
www.vitamindcouncil.org
http://vitamindfouondation.org (great easy video by Dr. Vieth)

My husband and I are also very low, so we are also supplementing in high doses.

Recommendations from Vitamin D experts are 1,000 IU's for every 25lbs. of weight when not exposed to UV from sunlight (so pretty much Nov. through March in the Northeast).
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#20 of 25 Old 02-10-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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You said he got better when you went on vacation. Did you take the new dog with you?

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#21 of 25 Old 02-10-2010, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the links on the vit D. I'll check them out.

His ped ordered the bloodowrk. This area is his specialty (I didn't know this!) so he has ordered multiple tests. I am not sure exactly which ones. I think he was surprised when I told him DS has been getting 2-3 fevers a month and that I don't always call every time he has a fever.

I've been giving him the vitamins and every night I make him a smoothy with lots of healthy stuff. And surprise, surprise - last night he ate a whole bowl of broccoli and some asparagus. I am really working on improving his diet as a first step.

The more I thought about the dog, the more I think that might not be the issue. When he was home on Christmas break, he was sick for the first few days, but then he was fine the rest of the break. As soon as he went back to school, he got sick again. He has always been sick more than the rest of us, but this year is definitely the worst. I'm really thinking it is all the germs at school.

Regarding mold - wouldn't that make all of us sick? Neither myself nor my daughter have been sick that much. Does anyone know how to go about getting something like that tested? Is there a kit that can be purchased?
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#22 of 25 Old 02-14-2010, 03:39 AM
 
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Decreasing sugar in his diet may also help, if he eats treats. Hope he feels better soon!

Married Mama to two girls, A (4/06) and I (9/09).

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#23 of 25 Old 02-14-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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The more I thought about the dog, the more I think that might not be the issue. When he was home on Christmas break, he was sick for the first few days, but then he was fine the rest of the break. As soon as he went back to school, he got sick again. He has always been sick more than the rest of us, but this year is definitely the worst. I'm really thinking it is all the germs at school.
This makes it sound like the classroom is the problem, but if it were germs, I wouldn't expect such a quick recovery. I would be thinking environmental issues. Possibly the reason the Dr sees a lot of 1st graders who are sick all the time is b/c many are reacting to the same classroom environment.

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Regarding mold - wouldn't that make all of us sick? Neither myself nor my daughter have been sick that much. Does anyone know how to go about getting something like that tested? Is there a kit that can be purchased?
The mold wouldn't make you sick if it was at th school, and just like dogs some people are allergic and some aren't. Though there are certain types of mold that people are almost universally allergic to, and a few that give off toxic fumes and even some that can infect humans those are rare. A common mildew might not bothr the other students but may bother your DS.


However mold is just one of many many possible issues. If possible can you go into his classroom and have a good sniff. Are they using air fresheners? Do you smell mildew? Is there a chemical odor, like from the glue holding down the carpet? Is there a class pet like a guinea pig that has pine ore cedar bedding? Etc.

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#24 of 25 Old 02-14-2010, 03:58 PM
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does he get enough downtime? we have overscheduled friends and their kids are far sicker than average. They do multiple sports, lots of weekends away etc and my theory is its just too much for the kiddos.
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#25 of 25 Old 02-15-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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Your situation sounds very familiar. We have had cold after cold plus the swine flu. Once my dd gets her first cold she tends to have some cold symptom all winter. I try to limit sugar and give astragalus.
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