Childrens Health - Treating childrens sickness and other ailments, can be tricky sometimes, especially, if the child is too young to explain, anything much more than, "I've got an ow".
Most babies will suffer with nappy rash at some point, and it is not, in general, something for particular concern. The main thing is that it's sore for your baby and so quick treatment is the order of the day. There are several different types of nappy rash and therefore different causes too. Nappy rash can most often be caused by something as simple as infrequent nappy changes; this is because the mixture of urine and faeces produces ammonia, which has a high pH value, and that makes the skin more vulnerable to damage. Also, certain foods have a higher pH (e.g. tomato, orange, apples and apricots) and therefore can make the problem worse, this can be a particular noticeable with, for example, food intolerance (when the baby may have diarrhoea). On many occasions nappy rash can be a symptom of teething or even just a common cold. It possible that sever nappy rash may be caused by thrush, which should get medical attention.
Ideas to help reduce the occasions of nappy rash with suggestions of a cure:
It is possible that with more frequent nappy changing the problem of nappy rash will be no longer. Even when disposable nappies do not feel wet, they may still be holding a small amount of urine that is causing the irritation and also stopping the skin's natural protection to take place.
It's recommended that a baby's skin regularly and thoroughly cleaned by gently wiping its bottom with a clean, warm, wet cloth at every nappy change. Even if they are only wet there will still be urine on the skin which could make baby sore, particularly in the leg creases and under the genitals in boys. It reduce the chances of vaginal infection, girls should be wiped from front to back, (there is no need to clean inside the vagina as this is self-cleaning). Allow the skin to dry before putting on a fresh nappy.
A simple, but very effective, treatment is to allow your baby as much time as possible without his/her nappy on. The natural air flow on the skin will allow the baby's skin to do its amazing healing job on its own.
It's worth taking a look at the baby's diet to see if anything that baby is eating or drinking may be causing the problem. This can especially be the case when weaning your baby, and therefore introducing new foods. It's suggested to keep an eye on the balance of alkali and acid making foods and charting foods that give an adverse reaction. The chart below may help in choosing that right balance of foods:
Alkalizing foods (high PH)
*Although you may automatically think that citrus fruits would have an acidifying effect on the body, the citric acid that they contain actually has an alkalinizing effect in the body's system.
Whey Protein Powder
Seasoning and spices
Soured Dairy Products
Fresh Fruit Juice
Alkaline Antioxidant Water
Cesium (pH 14)
Potassium (pH 14)
Sodium (pH 14)
Calcium (pH 12)
Magnesium (pH 9)
Acidifying foods (low pH)
Canned or Glazed Fruits
Grains and grain products
Hemp Seed Flour
Beans and legumes
Nuts and butters
Fats and oils
Hemp Seed oil
Drugs and chemicals
** These foods leave an alkaline ash but have an acidifying effect on the body.
Chicken Pox (Varicella zoster)
The chicken pox virus generally develops into a rash of spots which further develops into thin-walled blisters filled with clear fluid (this liquid later becomes cloudy). The blister wall breaks, leaving open sores, which then crust over to become dry, brown scabs. Most commonly a few blisters are first spotted on the trunk, the back, behind the ears and on the scalp, however, if the virus appears over night, your may not have any clues when the child goes to bed, but they may wake with blisters all over them.
Chickenpox blisters tend to come in batches, so after some of them begin to scab
over, a new bout of spots may appear. New chickenpox may stop appearing as early
as the third day, but usually by the seventh day. It normally takes 10 to14 days
for all the blisters to dry up and crust over and then you are no longer
The illness often comes with common cold symptoms (runny nose, cough and general unwell feeling), as well as the itching of the blisters as they dry and scab-over. Most kids get chicken pox recover by just resting like you do with a cold or flu. It is possible to have a chicken pox vaccine; however this may not totally prevent getting chicken pox, but will probably make the illness less severe and therefore recovery will quicker.
Remember that chickenpox is very contagious, and most kids with chicken pox will pass it to a sibling. The sibling's symptoms will probably start to show about 2 weeks after the first child. To help in keeping the virus from spreading, try and make sure that your children wash their hands frequently, particularly before eating and after using the bathroom. People who haven't had chickenpox also can catch it from someone with shingles, but they cannot catch shingles itself.
Ways that you can help to relieve the discomfort, itching and fever of chickenpox:
* Use cool wet compresses on the affected areas, and/or give the child a bath in lukewarm water every 3 to 4 hours for the first few days. Oatmeal baths, available at the supermarket or pharmacy, can help to relieve itching. (Baths do not spread chickenpox.)
* Pat the body dry (don't rub).
* Put calamine lotion on the itchy areas (but not on the face, especially near the eyes).
* Chickenpox in the mouth may make drinking or eating difficult, so prepare food for your child that is cold, soft, and bland. Avoid food that is salty or acidic (like some fruit juices or crisps). Ask your pharmacist about pain relief for mouth blisters.
* Ask your pharmacist about pain-relieving creams to apply to blisters in the genital area.
* Trim your child's nails to minimise damage if scratching the blisters, and keep the nails as clean as possible to prevent the spread of infection.
* You may consider putting socks or mittens on your child's hand, especially at night to reduce scratching.
It's very important to ask the doctor or pharmacist for information on pain relief, as certain drugs should not be given in the case of chickenpox.
Most chickenpox infections don't require any special medical treatment. But sometimes, there are problems, so call the doctor if your child:
* has fever that lasts for more than 4 days or rises above 38.8° Celsius (102° Fahrenheit)
* has a severe cough or trouble breathing
* has an area of rash that leaks pus (thick, discolored fluid) or becomes red, warm, swollen, or particularly sore
* has a severe headache
* is lethargic (sluggish/drowsy) or has trouble waking up
* has trouble looking at bright lights
* has difficulty walking
* seems confused
* seems very ill or is vomiting
* has a stiff neck
The measles (rubeols) virus is a highly contagious respiratory infection. It causes flu-like symptoms, including a cough, runny nose and fever, as well as a body skin rash. Since measles is caused by a virus, there is no specific medical treatment and the virus has to run its course. But a child who is sick should be sure to receive plenty of fluids and rest, and be kept from spreading the infection to others.
The first signs of the infection are usually similar to those of a flu type cold (hacking cough, runny nose, high fever, and red eyes. However, this is soon followed by a rash of small red spots with blue-white centers that appear inside the mouth, and then a full-body rash.
The typical measles rash has a red or reddish brown blotchy appearance, and
normally first appears on the forehead, then spreading downward over the face,
neck, and body, then down to the arms, hands, legs and feet.
Measles is highly contagious and spreads when someone comes in direct contact with infected droplets, i.e. when someone with measles sneezes or coughs they spread the virus in droplets through the air. A person with measles is contagious from 1 to 2 days before the first symptoms starts until approximately 4 days after the rash appears.
The most important thing you can do to protect kids from measles is to have them vaccinated, and so it's recommended to have a chat to your doctor to find out more.
As measles is a virus there is no special medical treatment. The symptoms normally last for about 2 weeks, so during this time make sure that you child is fully hydrated and has plenty of extra rest. It's very important to ask the doctor or pharmacist for information on pain relief or fever, as certain drugs should not be given in the case of measles.
Monitor you child closely in this time and for the next few weeks as sometimes complications can occur like otitis media, croup, diarrhoea, pneumonia, and encephalitis (a serious brain infection).
Call the doctor immediately if you suspect that your child has measles. Also, it's important to get medical care following measles exposure, especially if your child:
* is an infant
* is taking medicines that suppress the immune system
* has tuberculosis, cancer, or a disease that affects the immune system
Mumps is an illness that's caused by a viral infection that generally spreads through saliva and can infect many parts of the body, in particular the parotid salivary glands. These glands, which generate saliva for the mouth, are situated toward the back of each cheek, in the part between the ear and the jaw. When you have mumps, these glands usually swell up and become tender and sore. Generally the most common age for mumps to occur is between 5 and 14 years old, and rarely happens in children younger than 1 year old.
Mumps generally starts with a fever of up to 39.4° Celsius (103° Fahrenheit), and often accompanied by a headache and loss of appetite. The most obvious symptom of mumps is the pain and swelling of the parotid glands, giving the infected person a 'hamster like' look. Over a period of 1 to 3 days the swelling of the glands usually become increasingly worse and painful, and becomes worse when the child swallows, talks, chews, or drinks acidic juices (like orange juice). Mumps would normally affect one side of the face first, spreading to the other side with a few days.
In extraordinary cases, mumps could attack other groups of salivary glands
instead of the parotids. If this occurs, swelling may possibly be noticed under
the tongue, under the jaw, and/or all the way down to the front of the chest.
Mumps can lead to inflammation and swelling of the brain and other organs, although this is not common. Rare complications of mumps include encephalitis, which is the inflammation of the brain, and meningitis, which is the inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of any complications would normal appear during the first week after the parotid glands begin to swell and could include: high fever, stiff neck, headache, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, convulsions, and other signs of brain involvement.
The development of orchitis (an inflammation of the testicles) is another rare complication in the infection of mumps in adolescent and adult males. In these cases generally one testicle becomes swollen and painful about 7 to 10 days after the parotids glands swell. This can be accompanied by a high fever, shaking chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, and sharp abdominal pain. After 3 to 7 days, the testicular pain and swelling will normally subside, this is generally the same time as the fever stops. In some cases, both testicles are involved. Even with involvement of both testicles, sterility is still a rare complication of orchitis.
In other rare cases mumps could also affect the pancreas or, in females, the ovaries, causing pain and tenderness in parts of the abdomen.
The mumps virus is contagious and can be passed to others through sneezing, coughing, or even laughing, as it spreads in tiny drops of fluid from the mouth and nose of the infected person. The virus can also spread to other people through direct contact, such as using drinking glasses that have been used by the infected person.
The virus is contagious from 2 days before symptoms begin to 6 days after they end. The virus can also spread from people who are infected but have no symptoms.
The most successful way of preventing the mumps virus is by vaccination, which is normally given in the form of the MMR vaccine. Please speak to your doctor about more information on this vaccine.
Whooping cough (pertussis)
The bacterium called Bordetella pertussis is the cause of the infection of the respiratory system called whooping cough or pertussis. The symptoms of whooping cough include a sever cough, and at the end of a coughing spell, the child may make a characteristic whooping sound when breathing in or may even vomit, although not all children have this reaction to the cough. Between spells, the child usually feels well. Having said this, sometimes infants don't cough or whoop as older kids do. Young infants may look as if they're gasping for air with a reddened face and may actually stop breathing for a few seconds during particularly bad spells.
Whooping cough mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old, before they're sufficiently protected by immunizations and kids between 11 and 18 years old whose immunity has weakened.
The initial symptoms of whooping cough are comparable to those of a common cold:
Whooping cough is highly contagious, as the bacteria spreads from person to person through tiny drops of fluid from an infected person's nose or mouth. This bacterium becomes airborne when the person sneezes, coughs, or even laughs. Alternatively the infection can be caught by inhaling the drops or getting the drops on the hand and then touching the mouth or nose.
Infected people are at their most contagious during the earliest stages of the illness and up to approximately 2 weeks after the cough begins, although antibiotics can shorten this period of contagiousness to 5 days following the start of antibiotic treatment, it is best to air on the side of caution, and keep the child away from other people for the full 2 weeks. The most successful way of preventing whooping cough (pertussis) is by vaccination. Please speak to your doctor about more information on this vaccine. The incubation period (the time between infection and the onset of symptoms) for whooping cough (pertussis) is generally 7 to 10 days, but can be as long as 21 days.
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