General Health > Sick Kids

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  • A Directory of Medical Tests
    Sometimes, doctors need to order tests to evaluate a child's health or to understand what's causing an illness. Here are some common ones.
  • Avian Flu
    Unless you have household chickens and live in a country where there's an outbreak, the bird flu probably is not an immediate health threat for you or your family.
  • Basic Blood Chemistry Tests
    Doctors order basic blood chemistry tests to assess a wide range of conditions and the function of organs.
  • Blood Culture
    A blood culture is a test to determine whether bacteria or fungi have entered the bloodstream.
  • Blood Test: Complete Blood Count
    The complete blood count (CBC) is the most common blood test. It analyzes red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
  • Blood Test: Hepatic (Liver) Function Panel
    Liver function tests can help doctors determine if the liver has been damaged. They also can help diagnose viral infections (such as hepatitis or mononucleosis) and monitor medications that can cause liver-related side effects.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    At least 1 million people in the United States have chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that makes it difficult to perform everyday tasks. Read more about CFS.
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    Alternative medicine includes herbal remedies, teas, supplements, and acupuncture. Learn what the risks are and whether alternative therapies can help your child.
  • Constipation
    Constipation is a very common problem among kids, and it usually occurs because a child's diet doesn't include enough fluids and fiber. In most cases, simple changes can help kids go.
  • Coughing
    Coughs are a common symptom, but most aren't a sign of a serious condition. Learn about different coughs, how to help your child feel better, and when to call your doctor.
  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Chloride Sweat Test
    Is your child scheduled to have a sweat test? Find out how this test is performed and how it's used to diagnose cystic fibrosis.
  • ECG (Electrocardiogram)
    Is your child scheduled to have an ECG? Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.
  • EEG (Electroencephalogram)
    Is your child scheduled to have an EEG? Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.
  • EMG (Electromyogram)
    Is your child scheduled to have an EMG? Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.
  • Febrile Seizures
    Febrile seizures are full-body convulsions caused by high fevers that affect young kids. Although they can be frightening, they usually stop on their own and don't cause any other health problems.
  • How to Take Your Child's Pulse
    Need to check your child's heart rate? Follow our guide and check with your doctor if you have questions.
  • Is It a Cold or the Flu?
    Your child is sent home from school with a sore throat, cough, and high fever - could it be the flu that's been going around? Or is it just a common cold? Find out here!
  • Is My Child Too Sick to Go to School?
    Find out what the experts have to say.
  • Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap)
    If your child is scheduled to have a lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap, read about how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.
  • Mumps
    Mumps is a virus that can lead to swelling and pain in the salivary glands, along with fever, loss of appetite, and fatigue. With the help of the mumps vaccine, it's preventable.
  • Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome
    Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS) involves a parent or caregiver misleading others into thinking that a child has medical problems by exaggerating, fabricating, or inducing symptoms.
  • Soiling (Encopresis)
    If your child has bowel movements in places other than the toilet, you know how frustrating it can be. Many kids who soil beyond the years of toilet teaching have a condition known as encopresis.
  • Stool Tests
    Your child's doctor may order a stool collection test to check for blood, bacteria, ova, or parasites. Find out how this test is performed and when you can expect the results.
  • Strep Test: Throat Culture
    Is your child having a strep test or a throat culture? Find out how these swab tests are performed.
  • Talking to the Pharmacist
    If your child is sick, you'll probably have many questions to ask your doctor. But have you made a list of questions and concerns to share with your pharmacist?
  • Talking to Your Child's Doctor
    Building a relationship with your child's doctor requires communication and reasonable expectations.
  • Too Late for the Flu Vaccine?
    The flu vaccine is usually offered between September and mid-November. Even though it's best to get it then, being vaccinated later can still help protect against the flu.
  • Urine Tests
    Is your child having a urine culture or urinalysis performed? Find out why urine tests are performed, and what to expect when the doctor orders them.
  • What Are Germs?
    Germs are the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease. With a little prevention, you can keep harmful germs out of your family's way.
  • Why Is Hand Washing So Important?
    Did you know that proper hand washing is the best way to keep from getting sick? Here's how to teach this all-important habit to your kids.

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