Dealing With Common Childhood Illnesses

by Kelly Francis
(Cape Town, South Africa)

In this age of plentiful vaccines and medical breakthroughs, there are still some illnesses that will be contracted by children, despite inoculations. It seems inherent to childhood and forms part of a child’s experience with illnesses. Here are some common illnesses and their treatments.

Measles is highly contagious and remains for some time in the body before the symptoms begins to appear. A person infected with this disease could function normally at the start.

During that incubation period, the person could spread the disease to other people unsuspectingly. The more noticeable indication would be an itchy rash of red dots, beginning on the head and spreading downward.

The person may also experience fever, coughing and a runny nose. They have not found any cure other than bed rest, take a lot of liquid and medicine to bring down the fever. Let it run its course.

Chicken Pox, like measles, has a fairly long incubation period and during that period, the person could unknowingly be passing the illness to other people. Signs of this illness would be itchy pustules or blister-like protrusions all over the body including the head. The symptoms start with a fever.

Try not to scratch the protrusions as it can leave indelible scars. There appears to be no other cure other than riding it out. Take liquid and fever-reduction medicines. Children affected by Chicken Pox tend to build up immunity against the disease and they rarely get infected again by the disease.

Mumps does not appear often now. It is prevalent on children between ages 2 and 12. Signs of this illness would be fever, headache, sore throat, and swelling between the ear and jaw.

Medications for fever, headaches and sore throats may be prescribed while the patient rides out the illness. Doctors monitor the illness closely since Mumps can cause other complications.

Rubella, or commonly known as German Measles, is caused by fluid from the nose or throat being transmitted through coughing, sneezing and the like.

Cover your nose and mouth in the presence of infected people. Symptoms start with fever and followed by swelling in the neck or behind the ears.

The obvious signs would be small pink or red dots, or splotchy patches caused by the dots merging together. Instead of itching, the affected areas shed flakes of skin. There is a vaccine for the prevention of this illness. For those who get infected by this disease, the treatment is bed rest and drinking a lot of liquids.

Whooping Cough rarely occurs now since they have developed a vaccine for it. It normally attacks children under one year old or those who have not received the proper vaccination. Get your vaccination early

Despite the application of vaccines, these common childhood illnesses may still occur now and then. If you see any indication of diseases on the child, be sure and contact a doctor.

Knowing the general symptoms and treatments may help alleviate some of your concerns for the child. You can provide temporary relief while waiting for the doctor.

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Updated: June 4, 2013 — 7:53 am

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