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Kids' health - common conditions

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Child Fits and Convulsions cuddle sad mother child

Whether it's chicken pox, head lice, ringworm, scarlet fever or whooping cough, there seems to be an endless list of conditions that children can pick up.

And every illness produces a host of questions. How serious is it? Should I be worried? How long does it last? What if they don't get it?

Don't worry, because we've put together the most important facts for the most common childhood conditions. Find out more...

Appendicitis



What is it? An infection of your appendix, causing it to swell up and fill with pus.

What are the symptoms? Typical things to watch out for are:
- stomach pain that gets worse over 24 hours
- vomiting
- fever
- feeling sick and off food

What should I do? If you're worried, go and see your doctor, who
will do a check to see if it really is appendicitis. If it is, your
child will need an operation to remove the appendix. It's quick and
straightforward and has a short recovery time.

How long does it last? The symptoms usually appear very quickly over a period of 24 hours. They need to be acted on very quickly.

When will they get it? It's most common in teenagers, but can occur at any age

What if my child doesn't get it? Although appendicitis is common,
not everyone gets it and most people keep their appendix for their
whole life with no problems.

Chicken Pox



What is it? A viral infection that produces a rash and spots.

What are the symptoms? Typical things to watch out for are:
- A rash, appearing as spots on body
- Fever and ache
- Feeling sick and a sore throat

What should I do? See your doctor to diagnose it and then just
keep them at home, making sure they drink plenty of fluids and stop them
scratching spots, as that could leave scarring.

How long will it last? The worst of the rash is gone in around 7 days.

When will they get it? 90% of kids have had chicken pox by the age of 15.

What if my child doesn't get it? If you get it as an adult the
symptoms tend to be a bit more serious and last longer. It can be
serious if you get it when pregnant. Many adults get shingles, which is caused by the same virus

Croup

What is it? A nasty cough caused by a viral infection to the throat.

What are the symptoms?
Typical things to watch out for are:
- A barking cough that sounds like a bit like a sea-lion
- Breathing is difficult and sounds noisy
- Runny nose and a sore throat

What should I do? The actual cough is very difficult to treat -
make sure you lower their temperature with paracetamol or ibuprofen
liquid, get your little one to drinks plenty of fluid and try cool air
to ease the breathing.

How long will it last? The worst of it typically lasts 2-3 days.

When will they get it? Most kids get it before they're 3 and very occasionally up to the age of 6.

What if my child doesn't get it? Thank your lucky stars. It's very distressing for parents, because there is so little they can do to ease the terrible cough. 

German measles/Rubella



What is it? A viral infection that causes a whole body rash

What are the symptoms? Typical things to watch out for are:
- Swollen glands
- Spotty rash all over the body
- Sore eyes, a bit like conjunctivitis

What should I do? Sit it out. Make sure you reduce any fever with
paracetamol or ibuprofen liquid, make sure your child drinks plenty of
water. If anything seems unusual, see your doctor.

How long will it last? Glands stay swollen for about 7 days and the rash begins near the end of this time and lasts for about 1-5 days.

When will they get it? Rubella is a lot less common now, since the introduction of the MMR jab. It is most common in young children.

What if my child doesn't get it? Assuming they've had the MMR
jab, then they're unlikely to get it later in life. However, it can be
very serious in pregnant women.

Glue ear



What is it? An infection that causes the ear to fill with a glue-like liquid.

What are the symptoms? Typical things to watch out for are:
- Difficulty hearing
- Mild earache
- Slow development in learning

What should I do? Your doctor can run tests to see if your child
has glue ear. The initial treatment is then usually to watch and wait
and be sympathetic to your child. Most cases go away without any need
for surgery or other treatment.

How long will it last? Symptoms only last a couple of weeks and
hearing is back to normal within 3 months in 50% of cases and within a
year in 9 out of 10.

When will they get it? 70% of children get it at least once before they are 4. It's more common in boys than girls.

What if my child doesn't get it? There is no known reason why
children get glue ear and it is not associated with any adult problems,
so you have nothing to worry about, if you avoid it. 

Head lice / Nits



What is it? Head lice are small insects and nits are the eggs they leave behind when hatched.

What are the symptoms? Typical things to watch out for are: -
Itchy head There are not many other symptoms, which is why they're
difficult to detect. Lice are usually passed between family members or
close friends, as they have to travel head to head, rather than fly.

What should I do? Make sure you actually have live head lice. You
can get rid of them by putting special insecticide lotion on your
child's head and also try wet-combing the lice and nits out. Only treat
other members of the family if they actually have lice. If you can't see
any live lice, you can either try to comb out the nits, or allow them
to drop out naturally.

How long will it last? Once you've got rid of them, itching can take up to 2 weeks to go.

When will they get it? Head lice can occur in children of any age, although they're most common in younger school age children.

What if my child doesn't get it? Good for them. Lice can occur in adults, although normally when they live with children. 

Measles

What is it? An infection that causes a rash and a nasty illness

What are the symptoms? Typical things to watch out for are:
- Fever and sore eyes
- White spots in the mouth
- Blotchy rash on the body
- Diarrhoea

What should I do? Just ease the symptoms, because no medicine
cures the virus. Your child will naturally produce antibodies to fight
the infection. Make sure you reduce any fever with paracetamol or
ibuprofen liquid and give your child plenty of water to drink.

How long will it last? Most children are better within 7-10 days of getting measles - if it doesn't go away after this time, go and see your doctor.

When will they get it? Measles is normally a childhood condition,
although the MMR jab has made it less common. However, there has been
an increase in outbreaks recently, possibly because some parents have
chosen not to vaccinate their children.

What if my child doesn't get it? Assuming they've had a jab, it's
not a problem, even though it's not 100% effective. It is very
infectious, though, so if an adult has not been vaccinated, they need to
be careful.

Mumps



What is it? An infection that makes the face and throat swell up

What are the symptoms? Typical things to watch out for are:
- Dry mouth, making chewing swallowing difficult
- Fever
- Swollen glands behind the ears
However, many cases show mild or no symptoms.

What should I do? Your child's body will naturally produce
antibodies to fight off the infection. Keep your child away from others,
as mumps is very infectious. Make sure you reduce any fever with
paracetamol or ibuprofen liquid, make sure your child drinks plenty of
water.

How long will it last? Most children are back to normal within 7-10 days

When will they get it? Immunisation means that mumps is now very rare. However, it is most common in young children.

What if my child doesn't get it? Providing your child has been
immunised, it's fine if they avoid the illness. It is generally more
serious if an adult contracts mumps. 

Ringworm



What is it? Nothing to do with worms - it's a fungal skin infection.

What are the symptoms? Typical things to watch out for are:
- A circular, red inflamed patch of skin
- Your child is likely to itch

What should I do? You can get an anti-fungal cream from
pharmacies or else get a prescription from your doctor. It's very
infectious, so don't share flannels or towels.

How long will it last? Once the cream is used, it should clear up in around 4 weeks.

When will they get it? It can happen at any age and is very easily passed on from one person to another, so keep the infected area covered.

What if my child doesn't get it? Don't think they're safe once
they get older. You can catch ringworm very easily, if you come into
contact with an infected surface. 

Scarlet Fever



What is it? A bacterial infection that causes a bright red rash all over the body.

What are the symptoms? Typical things to watch out for are:
- Sore throat
- Fever
- Scarlet rash on the neck and then the body

What should I do? Penicillin or other antibiotics will work on
scarlet fever, although many children recover quickly, without the need
for any medicine. As with any fever, give lots of drinks and try
paracetamol or ibuprofen liquid to reduce the temperature. It's
infectious, too, so keep your child off school.

How long will it last? The rash usually lasts about 6 days

When will they get it? Children of any age can come down with this, although it's far less common than it used to be.

Continued below...


What if my child doesn't get it? Scarlet fever is rare in adults, so if your child avoids it, they're unlikely to get it when they're older.

 

 

 



 

 

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Stephen L. Tvedten

You can safely and effectively kill lice with salt water or a sauna - learn how to kill lice without killing yourself or the earth...... Pediculicide POISONS do not remove nits and are dangerous. Among the reactions to poison shampoo or lice "treatments" are seizures, mental retardation, many different allergies and respiratory problems, strange tingling, burning, itching, attention deficit disorders, brain tumors, leukemia, cancer and death. I have used a sauna and/or salt water to safely and effectiely kill lice (but the nits remain). I have also used &#189 oz. of Safe Solutions, Inc. Lice R Gone&#174 Enzyme Shampoo and/or their Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint per shampoo-type application to safely remove both lice and nits. Read how to safely control all pests at http://www.thebestcontrol2.com

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