Common Childhood Illnesses

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Answer 2-1

Most children and young people will experience some episodes of illness in their life. Common illnesses, like coughs and colds, are not usually serious. However, illnesses like meningitis are more serious and will need specialist medical care. Illnesses, like chicken pox, are infectious (easily spread) and others, like asthma, are not infectious at all. It is important for anyone who works with children and young people to be able to recognize the signs of illness and know what action to take. The main signs of illness in a child or young person are:

  • poor appetite
  • no energy
  • change in behaviour (unusually quiet, not sleeping well, cryingmore than usual)
  • constipation or diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • skin rash
  • raised body temperature
  • a cough, headache, stomach ache, earache or runny nose.

Signs and symptoms Young children find it difficult to describe how they feel. They may say that they have ‘tummy ache’ when they actually feel upset, afraid or worried. Children’s symptoms can worsen very quickly and they should always be taken seriously and not ignored.

Frequently the illness are :

Common cold the symptoms are ,sneezing sore throat, runny nose, headache, temperature. Is important for adult to encourage child to blow nose, the incubation period is 1-3 days. Gastroenteritis the symptoms are vomiting diarrhoea , dehydration. The treatment,that the child is not dehydrated it is important to give him water often. Scarlet fever,the symptoms are lose appetite,fever sore throat pale around the mouth, strawberry tongue, the treatment it’s important the child rest and adult observe if there is complications.

The incubation period 2-4 days. Chicken pox, fever, very itchy rash with blister-type appearance, the treatment, tepid bath with sodium bicarbonate and calamine applied to skin to stop itching to stop children scratching to avoid scarring. Meningitis, the symptoms are, fever, headache drowsiness confusion, dislike of light, very stiff neck, may e red rash that doe not disappear with pressure, treatment, immediate urgent medical attention . Take child hospital. Incubation period is 2 -10 days.

Rubella the symptoms are slight cold, sore throat,swollen glands behind ears,slight pink rash, treatment , rest treat symptoms , avoid contact with a pregnant woman. Dysentery, the symptoms are vomiting , diarrhoea with blood and mucus, abdominal pain, fever and headache. The treatment, medical attention, rest , fluids, strict hygiene measure,and careful hand washing. Incubation period is 2-7 days. Pertussis or whooping cough, the symptoms are snuffly cold , spasmodic cough with whooping sound and vomiting , the treatment medical attention , rest , fluids, feed after coughing attack.

The incubation is 7-21 days. Tonsillitis the symptoms are very sore throat, fever, headache aches and pains, treatment , rest fluids medical attention as antibiotic may be need , the incubation periods is varies. Measles the symptoms are at first fever , runny nose and eyes, later cough , whites spots in the mouth blotchy red rash on body and face, the treatment are rest , fluid, tepid sponging, medical attention to check for complications.

References:

  • Taffa, Negussie, and G. Chepngeno. “Determinants of health care seeking for childhood illnesses in Nairobi slums.” Tropical Medicine & International Health 10.3 (2005): 240-245.
  • Woodruff, Tracey J., et al. “Trends in environmentally related childhood illnesses.” Pediatrics 113.Supplement 3 (2004): 1133-1140.
  • Kelly, Jane M., et al. “Community health worker performance in the management of multiple childhood illnesses: Siaya District, Kenya, 1997–2001.” American journal of public health91.10 (2001): 1617-1624.

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