Children falling sick is something parents have to deal with when their children are growing. No matter how you try to keep them safe, they do not live on an island so it is very likely for them to come into contact with other children or adults who are suffering from some form of illness.
At school, your child’s sitting mate may have a rash. Those sitting beside and behind her may have a cold and cough. Your nanny may also have an eye infection. As a parent it is normal to be worried and go all ends to find solutions. But remember that not all illnesses are contagious.
Here are some illnesses, how you can prevent them and what you can do to minimize frequent exposure to these disease causing organisms:
CONTAGIOUS: COMMON COLD/FLU
According to WebMed, the average preschool and primary school child suffers between six and 10 colds per year. It is no surprise that it is called ‘common’ flu. The viruses that causes colds can affect another child when the affected child coughs or sneezes without covering the mouth. The droplets left in the air is inhaled by the child who is not sick causing him/her to also get infected. Colds can also be picked up when children get into direct contact with sniffy friends or relatives. Another way of catching cold is by touching contaminated surfaces or substances – toys, tables, chairs, bags, cups etc. A child who gets into contact with these contaminated surfaces and touches the mouth, eyes or face in general, can be affected.
To prevent colds from being a constant illness in your house, teach your children to wash their hands frequently with soap and warm water. Teach them to avoid sharing food and personal items such as spoons and cups with others. Also, teach them to avoid putting their fingers and other non- food items in their mouth
CONTAGIOUS: PINK EYE
Conjunctivitis popularly called Pink eye, is an irritation of the eye and lining of the eyelids. A child who has an itching, burning, red eye which is increasingly tearing or discharging, sensitive to light, and crust on the lids or lashes can be said to be showing symptoms of Pink eye.
Pink eye is caused by viruses, bacteria, allergens, or irritants. When a virus or bacteria is the cause, it becomes easier for children to can catch it by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes. To protect your children and yourself from the pink eye disease, wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also acceptable. Do not allow or encourage children to share towels, pillows, washcloths, or other items with others, more especially, with an infected person. If you or someone else in your home has pinkeye, wash pillowcases, sheets, washcloths, and towels in hot water and detergent to avoid spreading it.
Pink eye often gets better on its own however, artificial tears and cold packs can help relieve dryness and inflammation. If your child has eye pain, fever, vision problems, headache or intense redness, is not better after a couple of days, seek medical attention.
NOT CONTAGIOUS : URINARY TRACT INFECTION
Bladder infections commonly affects infants and teens. It is also called urinary tract infections ( UTI). It is known to occur when bacteria builds up in the urinary tract. Symptoms of a UTI usually includes pain or burning during urination, the need to urinate frequently or urgently, bed-wetting or accidents by a child who uses the toilet by herself , abdominal pain, side or back pain.
To prevent this, air dry your children’s under-wears, minimize their intake of sweets,start teaching them personal hygiene at a young age.However, take an already affected child to see a doctor as soon the signs described above are obvious.
CONTAGIOUS: CHICKEN POX
Chicken pox is another disease that children easily get while growing. It is also highly contagious. Chicken pox causes an itchy rash and red spots all over an infected person’s body. Symptoms normally develop about 14 to 16 days after a person has come into contact with the virus. The symptoms include fever, headache, cough and a sore throat. The itchy rash then appears after the first symptoms start to show and it can take up to 10 days until a person is no longer contagious.
When one child is affected, try to keep the others away from the infected one so they are not at risk. Administer vitamins B- 12 and A with beta carotene as well as vitamins D, E, and K , which are believed to be beneficial to people suffering from chicken pox( health24.com) .Better still, visit a health facility for verification and treatment.