Fever in Children
Common Cold in Children
Heat Related Illnesses in Teens
Kids Staying Healthy
Fever in Children
The normal temperature of human body is 98.6°F/37c. If the temperature is taken rectally, the thermometer will show a rise of 1°F, that is it will show 99.6°F/38c. The normal body temperature can vary slightly among individuals. The doctors consider the rise in body temperature as fever if it crosses the mark of 99.4°F when taken orally and 100.4°F when taken rectally.
Rectal checking of temperature is done in infants and children who are older than four years have their temperature checked orally.
Infants under three months should be rushed to the hospital if they have fever above 100.5°F/38c.
The same applies for children older than three months and having a body temperature above 102°F/39c.
Digital thermometers provide a more accurate temperature reading. Mercury thermometers pose a health risk to the family as it is an environmental toxin. Hence, this is another good reason why mercury thermometers should be replaced with digital thermometers.
Parents must take few measures before and during the task of checking the child’s temperature. First of all, the parent should be sure about the kind of thermometer he or she wants to use, that is whether the thermometer should be meant for oral use or rectal use.
The child shouldn’t be bundled up very tightly before the temperature is checked. When the thermometer is being held by the child, the parent should supervise the whole procedure.
Infants might experience pain when the thermometer is inserted into his rectum. Therefore, it is a good idea to cover the thermometer’s tip with petroleum jelly before insertion and only half of the thermometer should be inserted inside. The thermometer should be held until the beep is heard as children tend to drop the thermometer, if it is left to them.
When taking the temperature orally, the thermometer should be placed underneath the tongue and should be left there until the beep is heard. After usage, the thermometer should be washed with cold water and soap.
When an infection is being fought by the body, it shows signs of fever. When the child becomes fussy and experiences aches in parts of the body, the child should be administered with some medicines. Medicines are available for children, depending on their needs, age and weight. The recommended dosage will be written on the pack or the label of the medicine and the parents should check that chart before giving any medicine to the child.
If there is any kind of confusion, a doctor should always be consulted.
Medicines like Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and Tylenol for children are available over the counter. When acetaminophen is given along with lukewarm bath, it helps decrease the fever. The medicine should be given just before the bath. The water shouldn’t be cold and no alcohol products must be used while bathing.
If bath is given minus acetaminophen, the child can begin to shiver and there is chance of body temperature going high again.
Aspirin is not advisable for children as it may develop serious illness called Reye’s syndrome in the child. The risk is even more in kids having chickenpox or flu. Not more than five doses should be given in twenty four hours. If drops are given, the dropper should be filled till the marked line.
A liquid medicine usually comes with a measuring device in the form of a cap. If not, it can be bought at the local drug store.
Infants under four months shouldn’t be given medicine, unless told by the doctor.
Certain symptoms call for immediate attention and the doctor must be contacted immediately.
Symptoms can be;
Dry mouth -- rapid change in body temperature -- ear ache
behavioural changes -- frequent diarrhoea and vomiting
paleness – seizures -- skin rashes -- intense headaches
sore throat -- swollen joints – irritability -- high pitch crying
not feeling hungry -- stiff neck -- stomach ache
whimpering -- wheezing – limpness
and breathing problems.
At all times, the child must be made to wear comfortable cotton cloths which help the body to breath properly and at the same time absorbs the sweat.
The child should also be given fluids constantly,
in order to combat with dehydration.
Common Cold in Children
Common Cold is caused because of upper respiratory system infection due to cold virus. This infection affects parts such as ears, nose and throat. There are about two hundred known viruses which are responsible for common cold, out of which rhinovirus is the most common.
Because of this great number of viruses, there isn’t any shot or vaccination available which helps in preventing cold. The best solution to the cold is human body immune system. Majority of a child’s visit to the doctor will be because of cold. According to an estimate, a child catches cold nearly eight times in a year and each time it last up to a week or so.
Cold viruses usually spread by sneeze or cough from the infected person. The wet and slimy substance inside the nose, called mucus, is the carrier of the virus. When a person cough or sneeze, the mucus drops come out of the mouth and when other persons breaths in these droplets they catch cold.
Cold can also spread by handling of contaminated stuffs like towel, door knobs, school desk, etc. If a person touches a contaminated towel and then touches his nose or eyes, there is a great chance of getting an infection. Therefore, it is a good habit to wash the hands regularly and keep them germ-free.
The cold viruses have docking points which helps it to stick to the interior of the nose. It then controls the nose’s cell lining and begins to multiply into more viruses. White cells are responsible to fight these viruses inside the nose. They even kill them and finally get victory after seven days. Sneeze and runny nose actually prevent the viruses from affecting the rest of the body parts.
A person sneezes when the nerves inside the nose detect irritation and take the help of the lungs to push them out by letting out a blast of air through the mouth and the nose.
The air, while sneezing, comes out at the speed of hundred miles per hour faster than cars on the road.
Once the child contracts cold viruses, they take two to three days to develop and show symptoms. There are many symptoms of cold.
The child becomes cranky. He will complain of headache, blocked nose, cough, sneeze, sore throat, muscle ache, nasal cavity congestion and will become exhausted. Low fever can also accompany, along with body chills.
Medicines do not speed up the process of healing as the viruses complete their cycle irrespective of the intake. But they do suppress further growth and make the child feel better.
Children shouldn’t take any medicines on their own, thinking that it’s just a cold. Parents should supervise the dosage and medicine being taken. And in turn, the parents should follow a doctor’s prescription. Decongestants help to decrease the wise of the swollen nose lining, which makes breathing easier.
Antihistamines help to dry the mucus and stops sneezes and runny noses. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be given if the child is experiencing headache and muscle ache.
At home, parents should give hot food and drink to the child as they help to soothe sore throats and coughs. The heat also clears up the mucus. Chicken soup is an age old remedy for common cold. Steamy showers are another good option as they help with stuffy nose.
Itchy eyes, scratchy throat and stuffy throats can also be treated with humidifiers which spray cool and fine mist. They also loosen the mucus. The nose should be blown regularly to let the mucus out of the body. It is a good idea to use disposable tissues instead of regular handkerchiefs. Complete bed rest for a day or two is greatly suggested.
The best precaution that can be taken is eating healthy food and balanced diet so as to strengthen the immune system. The child must exercise regularly in order to stay fir and sleep adequately.
Children who are stressed out more frequently are more prone to have cold. Therefore, it is good if the kid takes extra rest and goes to bed early on some days.
And when the child is suffering from cold, he should relax and take bed rest as much as possible.
Heat-Related Illnesses will follow this break >>
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Heat-Related Illnesses in Teens
Heat related illnesses are caused due to prolonged exposure to heat and also humidity without any reprieve and due to inadequate intake of fluids. Kids and teens adjust to the variations in heat compared to adults who adapt more quickly. However the heat production is high in them when compared to adults but sweat relatively less. Sweating is the natural action of the body and cooling mechanism to counter heat. Kids and teens often ignore these facts and do not hydrate themselves enough while playing, participating in sports and exercises.
Kids and teens with health problems that are chronic or those who are on certain prescription could be more susceptible to heat related problems. Overweight adolescents or those who wear heavy clothing in times of exertion also suffer heat related illnesses. Heat related illnesses are basically classified into three types. They are: Heat cramps, heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Heat cramps are the mildest of all heat related injuries and constitute aching muscle cramps and also spasms that occur during intense exercising and also after intense exercising and also sweating in high heat. The symptoms of heat cramps include cramps that are painful in the legs. Flushed and moist skin is also symptoms of heat cramps. The symptoms could also include mild fever generally below 102 degree Fahrenheit.
Teens suffering from heat cramps should move to a cool place and take adequate rest. Remove any excessive clothing and wear or put cool clothing on skin or cool skin using air conditioner or fan. Sports drinks which are cool and which contains sugars and salts can also be taken. Stretching out cramped muscles slowly and steadily also helps reduce heat cramps.
On the other hand hear exhaustion is more serious and severe compared to heat cramps and occur due to heavy loss of salt and water from the body. Extreme heat conditions, inadequate fluid intake and excessive sweating results in this conditions. Also, heat exhaustion occurs as a result of inability of the body to maintain the body temperature below the normal which can deteriorate further and also result in a heat stroke which is even worse.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion are: muscle cramps, moist skin, pale skin, nausea, fever above 102 degree Fahrenheit, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, weakness, anxiety and faint feeling. Teens suffering from heat exhaustion should stay in cool surrounding and take enough rest.
Removing excessive clothing, putting on cool clothes and sitting in fan or air conditioning also helps the situation. Intake of cold sports drinks which contains salts and sugars are also advisable. If a teen doesn’t show any signs of improvement even after taking all these measures a physician should be consulted immediately.
Heat stroke is the severest condition of all heat related illnesses. In this condition the body gets overwhelmed with excessive heat and the efficiency of the system that regulates body heat goes down considerably which can result in a serious emergency requiring immediate medical care.
The symptoms of heat stroke include dry and warm skin, very high fever generally above 104 degree Fahrenheit, increased heart rate, appetite loss, nausea, headache, vomiting, fatigue, agitation, confusion, stupor, seizures, coma and possible death. A teenager experiencing symptoms of heat stroke should stay in a cool place and have adequate rest. Heat stroke is a serious condition and emergency attention should be sought by calling 911.
In the meanwhile the affected teenager should be made free of excessive clothing and should be worn with cool clothes and also put cool water on the skin to lower the temperature. Placing ice bags in armpits also helps. Make the teenager drink cool drinks if the teenager is alert.
Heat strokes are very much preventable if certain precautions are taken like drinking adequate water during hot days, avoiding alcoholic and caffeine drinks, wearing light clothes, exercising in cooler time of the day, wearing sunglasses and hat, using umbrella on a hot day, applying sun cream with a spf of at least 15 etc.
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The Team and I wish that this has been of some help for you in your search for healthier and fitter you and/or your family!
Three steps you might follow:
First: To continue your search we recommend that you carry on to our next page concerning Kids Teens Health Issues at >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com/acne-kids-teens
Second: Return to the Kids Teens Health Issues Introduction Page to possibly choose a different subject about this disease/problem >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com/kids-teens-health-issues
Third: Have a look at our main site to check out some of our other series concerning other health issues >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com
The Team and I thank you for checking out this and wish you a long and healthier life.
Lawrence S Mills