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HEALTH TIPS

HEALTH TIPS (22)

Children categories

Family Health

Family Health (22)

imagesWelcome to the Private Schools in Nigeria Project Health Section. Seasoned doctors are in the house to answer questions about your family health and give health advice.

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Symptoms

Whooping cough begins with a runny nose and cough. The coughing attacks get louder and more frequent, to the point that a child can't breathe. After each attack of coughing, a loud whoop is heard as the child takes in a breath. These severe coughing spells last for two to three weeks. Babies with whooping cough may seizures and go into a coma. Babies under one year of age usually have to be hospitalized. Whooping cough used to kill many young children. Thankfully, it is rare in Canada because of immunization.

 

Cause

Caused by germs that get into the throat and lungs.

Treatment

Talk to your doctor.

 

Transmission/Prevention

Spread when an infected person coughs. Germs from the person's nose and mouth are spread in the air and other people breathe them in. Whooping cough is prevented by the pertussis vaccine. Ask your doctor when your child should get this vaccine.

 

Symptoms

Fever, headache, neck pain or stiffness, pain when looking at bright lights, nausea, vomiting poor appetite, tiredness and sleepiness. May infect other parts of the body and cause skin rash, runny nose, sore throat, earache, cough, difficulty breathing and diarrhea. If your child develops these symptoms, see your child's doctor as soon as possible.

Cause

A virus that causes swelling of the lining of the brain. Diagnosed by analyzing a special body fluid taken during a procedure called a spinal tap. The doctor will confirm whether the infection was caused by a virus or bacteria. Bacterial meningitis is much more serious.

Treatment

There is no treatment that cures viral meningitis, and children recover on their own in about one or two weeks. The doctor will only hospitalize your child if he is quite sick from the infection. If your child has bacterial meningitis (which is much more serious), your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.

Transmission/Prevention

The germs are in the saliva and secretions of the nose. Close contact between children is required for the spread of these germs. It occurs most often in children less than 2 years of age.

 

Symptoms

Thrush appears as a whitish-gray coating on the tongue and on the insides of the cheeks and gums. It is not easy to wipe off, and trying vigorously may leave the tissue bleeding and raw. Most infants don't have pain or complications with thrush. Candida diaper rash is very red, with a clearly defined margin and small red spots close to large patches. It tends to appear in the deepest part of skin creases in the groin and buttocks.

Cause

Candida is a fungus that causes and infection of the skin or mouth. When the fungus infects the mouth, it is called thrush. rush is a common infection in young children still in diapers. It may occur after a child has been treated with antibiotics for another infection.

Treatment

Your child's doctor will prescribe medication. To prevent diaper rash, change your child's diaper often. During diaper changing, wash your child's diaper area with mild soap and warm water, rinse, then dry. Wash your hands and your child's hands well after the changing. Also, let your baby stay out of a diaper for short times to let her skin dry. For thrush, sanitize your child's bottle nipples by boiling them for 10 minutes.

Transmission/Prevention

Apply ointment, if prescribed, to the rash and wash hands carefully after the diaper change.

 

 

Symptoms

Poison from the tetanus germ can spread from the nerves to the muscles. Muscles may lock into place or go into spasm, which is very painful. A person may not be able to swallow or open the mouth. If the poison gets to the muscles that help with breathing, a person can die quickly.

Cause

Caused by bacteria in dirt and dust.

Treatment

Antibiotics that kill the tetanus germs.

Transmission/Prevention

Transmitted when a tetanus germ gets into an open cut on your body. Vaccine is available that is usually given in combination with the diphtheria toxoid and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine (DPT). Regular booster injections are necessary every 10 years after childhood in order to ensure protection throughout adulthood. Tetanus is rare in Canada because almost everyone has been vaccinated. Ask your doctor when your child should get the appropriate vaccine.

 

 

 

Symptoms

Fever, sore throat, headache and stomachache. Neck glands may also be swollen and tender, or there may be sores around the nose.

Cause

Caused by a bacteria called streptococcus pyogenes (strep) Group A.

Treatment

Treated with an antibiotic.

Transmission/Prevention

Spread through the air when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. Hand-washing is important to prevent spread. Teach your child to cover his mouth when sneezing or coughing. Your child should not go back to daycare or school until antibiotics have been taken for at least 24 hours.

 

Symptoms

Low fever and a mild cold; may be followed by a rash. Neck glands may swell.
 

Cause

Caused by a virus.
 

Treatment

There is no treatment for rubella.
 

Transmission/Prevention

Spread through close contact between people. Can also be spread through sneezing and coughing. The illness lasts about three days. Rubella is prevented through immunization with the MMR vaccine; ask your doctor when your child should get this vaccine.

 

Symptoms

Often produces no symptoms or minor symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, headaches, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, stiff neck and pain in the arms and legs. Muscles can become paralyzed. In severe cases, the brain and respiratory system are affected.
 

Cause

Caused by one of three gastrointestinal viruses: poliovirus 1, 2 or 3.
 

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for polio. For severe cases, supportive care may help a person recover.
 

Transmission/Prevention

Spread from person to person by mucus from the nose or throat or by the fecal-oral route. Ask your doctor when your child should be immunized.

 

 

Symptoms

Starts out with a fever, which disappears in a few days and is replaced with a rash on the face and body. The rash has small red spots and lasts for one or two days. Most children are not that sick during the fever stage, although some children have a very high fever which causes febrile seizures (convulsions).

Cause

Caused by a virus. The infection is rare in children younger than four months or older than four years; it's common in children aged six to 24 months.

Treatment

Talk to your doctor if your child gets a persistent fever or acts unwell.

Transmission/Prevention

It is not yet known how roseola spreads from person to person, but we do know it's not that infectious. Tell your child's daycare or school staff if he is diagnosed with the infection.

 

Symptoms

Breathing trouble, and a strong cough, which may produce yellow or green phlegm, and/or which is so severe it causes vomiting or turning red in the face. Fever may also be present.

Cause

Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection of the lungs. It can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi; the air passages connecting the windpipe (trachea) with the lung sacs (alveoli) where oxygen is taken up by the blood. Can be caused by complications from a cough due to a severe cold. These infections are much more severe than colds.

Treatment

Your doctor will decide which course of treatment, depending on the condition, how severe it is, and what caused it.

Transmission/Prevention

With viral pneumonia, spread from person to person in the form of droplets expelled by an infected person when talking, coughing or sneezing, through touching infected secretions, and through touching contaminated hands, objects and surfaces.

 

Symptoms

There may be no symptoms, or there may be itchiness around the anus or vagina. Pinworms are tiny, white thread-like worms that live in the intestines. The worms crawl out of the anus at night and lay their eggs on the nearby skin. Pinworms are a nuisance, not a disease.
 

Treatment

If a doctor determines that a child has pinworms, it can be treated with medication.
 

Transmission/Prevention

Spread when an infected person scratches the itchy area, gets pinworms on their fingers or under their fingernails, and touches another person. Also spread when an uninfected person picks up pinworm eggs from an infected person's belongings (eggs can live for several weeks outside the body). To prevent repeated infections, hand-washing is important.

 

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