The Diagnosis of the Common Cold and Treatment Plan for Child

Introduction

The medical history of the four-year-old boy requires analyzing his symptoms and diagnosing based on his current condition. A treatment plan should be drawn up, and the necessary communication plan needs to be developed to involve the family. The guideline to follow involves taking relevant steps to avoid complications and protect the child’s social environment. According to the patient’s overall assessment and examination, the symptoms of the common cold are confirmed, and the key interventions should address the disease as the main one.

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Diagnosing the Child

The diagnosis of the common cold is made based on the physical examination and the review of body systems. Due to the fact that the recent rise in temperature took place for a short period, severe viral infections are excluded. According to Van Driel et al. (2018), such symptoms as sneezing, mild cough, and mild fever are key for common colds in children. The examination of the throat allows excluding angina or other laryngitis diseases. The absence of confirmed allergies also excludes the possibility of intolerance to individual foods or drugs.

Treatment Plan

The patient’s pharmacological treatment plan does not involve using antibiotics. As Van Driel et al. (2018) state, drugs of this profile are not indicated for viral infections and are necessary only for the treatment of bacterial diseases. Moreover, according to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (2019), antibiotics can aggravate the course of the common cold and complicate the healing process due to the burden on the body. As a guideline, the consumption of large amounts of fluids and vitamin complexes is indicated, as well as bed rest. Monitoring the temperature and cough is necessary, and in case of the deterioration of health, a second visit to the pediatrician is mandatory. Halstead et al. (2020) note that muscle weakness is the symptom of the common cold, although children tolerate the disease more easily than adults and experience less stress. Bed rest is needed to isolate the child and prevent the wave of infection. With regard to vitamin maintenance complexes, Van Driel et al. (2018) suggest using probiotics to strengthen the body’s microflora, vitamin C, and zinc minerals. This treatment plan is common and may be used in the case in question.

Communication Plan

One of the main goals of drawing up a communication plan for parents is to convey the order of interventions that need to be applied to help the child recover. Biezen et al. (2019) argue that the prohibition of the use of antibiotics as drugs is a crucial objective for parents to understand the risks and not to attempt self-medication. In addition, the authors state that adults may misinterpret pediatricians’ recommendations, which can also affect the treatment course adversely (Biezen et al., 2019). Therefore, productive communication includes adherence to medical prescriptions and interaction when needed.

Parenting education is a mandatory aspect of the communication plan. The pediatrician should provide adults with all the necessary information about medications and the mode of recovery. According to Biezen et al. (2019), “the lack of consultation time needed to educate parents on appropriate antibiotic treatment” is one of the key issues (p. 46). Parents should be informed about the steps to take in case of their child’s deterioration of health. The continuous observation of the patient is mandatory, and any visits to public places, including pre-school, are not allowed. After improving health, parents may be asked to bring the child for examination in order for the boy to pass the necessary tests. This will help make sure that there is no infection in the body, and the patient’s general condition will be checked to confirm recovery.

Helpful Resources to Justify the Treatment Decisions

To obtain comprehensive information about the common cold in children and study the features of the manifestations of this disease, Mr. Smith can review several valuable resources that are relevant and helpful. For instance, the information provided by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (2019) offers recommendations on how to recognize the illness, what steps are needed to take, and what interventions help avoid the disease. This global resource contains all the necessary data and, in particular, tips on when and under what circumstances consultations with pediatricians are crucial (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 2019). Another useful resource is the Up-To-Date service and its article on the common cold in children (Pappas, 2019). The information targets parents as primary caregivers and a range of valuable topics are presented for reviewing educational principles, disease symptoms, the modes of transmission, potential complications, and prevention principles (Pappas, 2019). These resources can be valuable from an educational perspective and include basic guidelines for parents.

Conclusion

The examination of the child confirms the diagnosis of the common cold and excludes other possible diagnoses, for instance, angina. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment plans imply adhering to standard care principles that exclude the use of antibiotics and involve drinking fluids and bed rest. The boy’s parents should be engaged in the observation process, and appropriate education needs to be provided. Selected resources can help the adults learn more about the disease and how to prevent it.

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References

Biezen, R., Grando, D., Mazza, D., & Brijnath, B. (2019). Dissonant views-GPs’ and parents’ perspectives on antibiotic prescribing for young children with respiratory tract infections. BMC Family Practice, 20(1), 46. Web.

Centers for Disease and Control Prevention. (2019). Common colds: Protect yourself and others. Web.

Halstead, P., Arbuckle, R., Marshall, C., Zimmerman, B., Bolton, K., & Gelotte, C. (2020). Development and content validity testing of patient-reported outcome items for children to self-assess symptoms of the common cold. The Patient – Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 13(2), 235-250. Web.

Pappas, D. E. (2019). Patient education: The common cold in children (beyond the basics). UpToDate. Web.

Van Driel, M. L., Scheire, S., Deckx, L., Gevaert, P., & De Sutter, A. (2018). What treatments are effective for the common cold in adults and children? BMJ, 363, k3786. Web.

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