Illnesses Kids

Common Childhood Illnesses

Common Childhood Illnesses

At the first sign illness, most first-time moms hit a state of panic. There are some childhood illnesses which appear to be a lot more serious than they really are. 

This guide to the most common of childhood illnesses will help parents to assess the symptoms of the illness and take the right course of action.

 

Chicken Pox – Symptoms

As in the case of most childhood illnesses, Chicken Pox starts off with cold-like symptoms (a runny nose). The child will feel and look generally unwell and will develop a slight fever.  Within a few days, round, flat, red spots will appear – the first spots generally appear on the stomach or back (but this can vary from child to child). After noticing the first few red spots, within hours or a day, the rash will turn into itchy blisters. Some children may develop a few spots, while others may have spots from top to toe – each child is different.

 

Quick Guide:

Contagious

Yes, chicken pox is contagious two days before the spots appear and three to five days after the blisters have dried up.

Vaccination available

Yes, speak to your Paediatrician.

Seek medical attention

If fever becomes extremely high or if spots appear to be infected.

Treatment

No specific treatment – treat symptoms. The rash can be treated with calamine lotion and Paracetamol syrup can be used to reduce fever and pain.

Warnings

Do not give Aspirin to the child

 

Mumps – Symptoms

The common symptoms of Mumps include a high fever, very often the fever can become as high as 39.4 ° Celsius, a loss of appetite, and the most tell-tale symptom of mumps is the swelling at the base of the neck. This swelling causes pain to be experienced during swallowing and talking and eat and acidic drinks (such as citrus juices) are virtually intolerable for a child who has mumps.

 

Quick Guide:

Contagious

Yes, two days before symptoms appear and then six days after they are gone

Vaccination available

Yes, speak to your Paediatrician.

Seek medical attention

If fever remains high, if child complains of abdominal pain, severe headache and swelling of the testicles in male children.

Treatment

No specific treatment – treat symptoms.

Warnings

None


Ear Infection – Symptoms

An ear infection is among the most common of childhood illness, especially in small babies as well as toddlers and is often the result of a cold of flu. The child becomes extremely irritable, develops a fever and can often be seen pulling at the infected ear.

 

Quick Guide:

Contagious

No.

Vaccination available

No.

Seek medical attention

It is best to consult a doctor if an ear infection is suspected. Antibiotics will be prescribed to treat the infection.

Treatment

Pain medication (Paracetamol syrup) and antibiotics. If the ear infections are frequent, it may be recommend that the child see an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist)

Warnings

Continual ear infections may lead to partial hearing loss.

 

 Whooping Cough – Symptoms

The initial symptoms of whooping cough include a runny nose, sneezing, a slight fever and a mild cough.  The cough will begin to worsen after a few days and eventually the distinctive -whoop’ sound will be heard when breathing. The coughing spells will become so severe that the child may vomit after a coughing spell, and in severe cases, the child may stop breathing for a few moments.

 

Quick Guide:

Contagious

Highly.

Vaccination available

Yes.

Seek medical attention

Immediately. The doctor may decide to hospitalize the child.  This will depend on the age of the child and the severity of the illness.

Treatment

Antibiotics, paracetamol and in severe cases hospitalization.

Warnings

Whooping cough in babies younger than six months may be considered fatal.

 

Rubella – Symptoms

Rubella (or German measles) is a relatively mild childhood illness and the initial symptoms of this illness include the cold-like symptoms (runny nose) with a very slight fever. After a few days, the lymph nodes at the back of the neck tend to swell and a slight rash will begin to develop on the face and the rash will then moves downwards. The rash is light pink and usually lasts for a period of three days.

 

Quick Guide:

Contagious

Yes.

Vaccination available

Yes.

Seek medical attention

Not necessary, unless complications develop.

Treatment

Treat the symptoms and use medication, like Paracetamol Syrup to reduce the fever.

Warnings

Pregnant woman should avoid contact with those who have German Measles. The virus can negatively affect the unborn baby.

Childhood illnesses are a part of growing up. Many of the childhood illnesses, like Measles and Mumps, and Rubella can be prevented and there are vaccinations available to prevent them.  There are cases however, when even after vaccination, slight symptoms of the illness can occur.  Parenting becomes more stressful when a child is ill, however with a lot of love and care – it won’t be long before the child is back to their happy, active self.

 

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