More kids getting sick as seasons change

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By Erin Kennedy By Erin Kennedy
By Erin Kennedy By Erin Kennedy
By Erin Kennedy By Erin Kennedy

MESA, Ariz. – Emergency rooms are getting busier across the Valley and doctors are seeing more sick kids as they head back to school and the seasons change.

Tess Rafols visited Cardon Children’s Hospital in Mesa on Good Morning Arizona Friday to share what parents need to know.

Cardon Children’s Hospital said they have seen a 20 percent increase in visits from patients compared to the same time last year. The change in season has been a big factor in the illnesses they are seeing.

“We’re seeing a lot more respiratory illnesses,” said ER Dr. Mark Ripperda at Cardon Children’s Hospital. “Some of them are food-like illnesses. Some of it is just asthma which has gotten worse, worsened by the dust storms that we’ve seen. And then there are some other viral infections, a lot of children with high fevers.”

It’s a little too early to tell if the sicknesses are a precursor to how bad the season is going to be. Sometimes it’s a tapering from a specific type of viral illnesses or it may be the beginning of the flu, Ripperda said.

Ripperda offered a few suggestions to parents whose children may be sick.

“They don’t necessarily need to be seen all the time but you certainly want to talk to your doctor about it and it is important. Particularly if there are chronic illnesses such as asthma or other more serious ones like cystic fibrosis that you give the flu shot as recommended," Ripperda said.

Ripperda also recommended that frequent hand washing is a good form of prevention for illness.