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Childrens health - Nappy rash - Measles - Chicken pox - Mumps - Whooping cough - Colic
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".
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:
*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.
Seasoning and spices
Grains and grain products
Beans and legumes
Nuts and butters
Fats and oils
Drugs and chemicals
** These foods leave an alkaline ash but have an acidifying effect on the body.
Chicken Pox (Varicella zoster)
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
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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
All newborns cry, need attention and show a degree of fussiness about when, how long and how they like to be cuddled, but when a child who is otherwise healthy cries like this, you can but wonder why.
It's likely that up to 40% of all infants have some degree of colic. It usually starts between the 3rd and 6th week after birth and ends by the time the baby is 3 months old. If the baby is still crying excessively after that, other health issues could be to blame.
Here are some key facts about colic:
Medical professionals don't have the exact answer about what causes colic, but will give you suggestions and helpful tips that could help to relive the severity of the condition or even solve the problem altogether. Milk intolerance is normally one of the causes that's suggested, and it's worth looking into if the baby is bottle fed. In the case of breast fed babies, it may be recommended that the mother changes her diet but cutting different things out one by one (e.g. caffeine or dairy products) and then re-introducing them to see if there is any affect on the babies colic.
In general babies with colic will also have wind, but it's not clear if the wind causes colic or if babies develop wind as a result of swallowing too much air whilst crying.
Other speculations imply that colic occurs when food moves too quickly through a baby's digestive system or is not completely digested. Additional theories are that colic is due to a baby's personality, that some babies just take a little bit longer to get adjusted to the world, or that some have undiagnosed gastro issues. It's also been found that infants of mothers who smoke are more likely to have colic.
There is no single treatment that has been proven to make colic go away, but
there are ways to make life easier for both you and your colicky baby.
If your baby has stopped feeding and is not hungry, don't try to continue
feeding, instead, try to console your little one. It's a natural concern for
parents that they don't want to spoil it with too much affection, but you'll not
be doing any harm by cuddling your baby and giving them the attention that they
need to develop at this time. You can also try some of the following:
Your baby will eventually grow out of this condition, but in the mean time, caring for a constantly crying baby can be extremely frustrating. It should be remembered that your moods and feelings project to the baby, and so you too need to take steps to relax and take care of yourself. Remember that colic is nobody's fault, so try not to blame yourself. It's not a failure to take a friend up on a little time off. Consider letting them take you baby on a short walk or similar, giving you an opportunity for a relaxing bath or even a massage or facial, (your baby will benefit from it too). It's OK to put the baby down in the crib to take a break before making another attempt comfort him/her. If, at any time, you feel like you might hurt yourself or the baby, you should put the baby down in the crib and call someone for help immediately.
You should contact your doctor if:
The onset of croup is normally first noticed a few days after the start of a cold and is usually caused by the same 'common cold' viruses. Croup is a contagious condition and the germs spread from one person to another through coughing, sneezing and general close contact. Regular hand-washing and limiting contact with others can help prevent spreading croup to others.
With age, children's lungs and windpipes mature, and they are less likely to get croup.
The symptoms of croup are often better in the daytime then at night, and sometimes children have croup attacks that wake them up in the middle of the night. Although a little scary, croup is rarely serious, and children usually improve within 2 to 5 days with rest and care at home.
As a precaution, and to check if enough oxygen is reaching the blood, your doctor may place a small clip called a pulse oximeter on your child's finger, toe, or earlobe. This is because when croup makes breathing harder, oxygen finds it more difficult to get into the blood and this can cause related complications.
Even though your child's coughing and troubled breathing can be frightening, home treatment usually eases the symptoms.
During a croup attack any crying and/or panic can make the swelling in the windpipe worse and therefore even harder to breathe, so try to stay composed to project an air of calm and tranquility on the situation. This will, in turn, calm the breathing pattern of the affected child.
Using a humidifier directly onto the child's face during a croup attack can help, because breathing in moist air can relieve the symptoms. Alternatively, fill your bathroom with steam from hot water, and sit in the bathroom with your child for 10 minutes. Even the cool night air seems to help, so you could dress him/her up warm and go outside for 10 minutes.
After an attack it's a good idea to put a humidifier next to the child to keep a moist air flow near by. If the attacks reoccur during the night, you may consider sleeping close to your child to be on hand immediately. Do not smoke, especially in the house.
If the symptoms of the croup attack do not improve after 30 minutes, call or see your doctor. If the attack is in the middle of the night and you are very worried, consider taking your child to casualty. Or call the 'doctor on call'. If your child has severe difficulties in breathing you should call for an ambulance immediately.
It is important to keep your child well hydrated with water, flavored ice treats (ice pops), or crushed ice drinks several times each hour.
If your child has severe croup or is not responding to normal home treatment, return to your doctor for further advice. It's not advised to give normal over the counter cough medicines for croup, so check with your pharmacist or doctor before administering any medicines, especially for under 2's.
The symptoms of jaundice are generally easily visible as the condition makes the
baby's skin and the white part of the eyes look yellow. The yellowing normally
first shows in the baby's face and chest,
Jaundice is not usually a problem and, even in perfectly healthy babies, a degree of jaundice almost always appears by 2 to 4 days of age. It usually gets better or goes away on its own within a week or two without causing problems. In breast-fed babies, mild jaundice sometimes lasts until 10 to 14 days after birth. In some breast-fed babies, jaundice disappears and then returns. It's possible that jaundice could last throughout breast-feeding, but this isn't usually a problem as long as the baby gets enough milk by being fed at regular times.
In very rare cases, too much bilirubin in the blood can cause damage to the brain, leading to hearing loss, mental retardation, or behaviour problems.
Your doctor will probably ask you to keep checking your baby at home to make sure the jaundice is clearing up. Your baby will need a follow-up examination within the first 5 days after birth. It's important to call your doctor for immediate advice if the yellow color gets brighter after your baby is 3 days old. Sometimes babies with jaundice are put under a type of fluorescent light, because when the skin absorbs the light it helps the baby's body to process the bilirubin so that the body can more easily expel it in the stool and urine. The treatment is usually done in a hospital, however sometimes this can take place at home.
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