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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Children Health

Why My Child Always Sick ?

The average pre-school child suffer six respiratory infection (cough, colds, tonsillitis and ear infection) each year. If any large group of children is carefully examined, a small number will be found to have no illness, an equally small number will have them extremely often and the majority will lie somewhere in between. Although it would it seem to largely a matter of luck as to whether a child is prone to coughs and colds or not, there are one or two influencing factor. Age is an important factor : the worst ages is an between six months and two years, and seven. For the first six months children are protected from infection by antibodies from their mother’s blood and possibly breast milk. In addition they are not in close contact with lost of other children with whom germs might be exchanged. In the next 18 months they are likely to catch whatever is affecting other children with whom they mix. This is because they have not yet build up any immunity to the hundreds of micro-organisms that surround them. By the age of  two their resistance is improving as the body steadily memorizes all the germs which have attacked it and prepares defenses against them. The next run of infections tends to occur when the child enters a play group or nursery at the age of three by a further assault at school entry. The reason is simply that the child comes into close contact with larger numbers of children form whom infection can be caught. The child’s immunity gradually builds up and coughs and colds lessen. Other factors are known to put children at a disadvantage: boys suffer more infections than girls; those born prematurely have slightly more. And those children whose parents smoke unquestionably experience more chest troubles in their infancy than the children of non-smokers, possibly because tobacco smoke in the air damages the tiny hairs lining the breathing tubes which move dust and mucus out of the lungs. Breast-fed, possibly because of anti-infection material in human milk. Then there are environmental and social considerations. Town dwellers and the child of a professional couple will be likely to have far fewer coughs and colds than that of an unemployed or unskilled working class couple. The reasons for this relationship between social class and a child’s illnesses are many and may include the most important influence is probably overcrowding: the more children in contact with one another the greater the chances of infection. After all these factor are taken into account there remain some children who have more than their fair share of trouble. Some may have allergies which mimic infection: asthma can be mistaken simply for a persistent cough, allergic rhinitis for a continual cold. A few may have unexplained overgrowth of their tonsils and  adenoids contributing to ear and throat infections. And some older children may have developed chronic sinusitis an infection within hollow spaces between certain bones which acts as a reservoir for chest infection. A tiny number of children may even have an abnormality of the body’s complex immunity system. In many cases, however, it remains a mystery why some children are virtually infection-free while others rarely seem to be fit for very long.  

Environments Health For Children

What Is Environments Health ?

No one doubts that some environments are unhealthy and other the opposite. Traditionally, sanatoria for patients with serious lung diseases have been built at high altitude, will away from industrial pollution, and there seem to be some logic in this. What is more dubious is the persistent belief that one part of the country is better than another for people with a respiratory disorder, or that one seaside town is healthier than another. For example, a child specialist in Devon examined a number of asthmatics who had moved there from other parts of the country because they had been told that milder winter temperatures would help. When he himself moved to the south of England, he encountered several patients who had moved there from Devon. This was because they were convinced that the frequent rain I Devon contributed to their asthma! In reality the disease is equally common in both areas. Experiments have been carried out on adults in jobs that expose them to very different environments. These have shown, for example, that policemen on traffic duty suffer more from respiratory disorders than their deskbound colleagues. Bus conductors, exposed to cigarette smoke, have a slightly higher sickness rate than drivers. Keeping bedroom windows open in town cause more chronic bronchitis than if they are kept closed. There seems little doubt that atmospheric from motor-car exhausts, industry, domestic fires and cigarettes can all contribute to acute and chronic bronchitis and many lungs diseases in both children and adults. Much lassies know about the effects of recent changes in our lifestyles; for example, some parents are convinced that central heating, because it dries out the air, has a detrimental effect on children with croup or asthma. Whether this is true or not has yet to be established conclusively. In recent years there has been growing interest in ionizers, which alter the electrical charge on particles suspended in the air, make the air that we breathe fresher cleaner or easier to breathe thus benefiting asthmatics and people suffering from other respiratory disorders. these claims have yet to be proven scientifically. For all practical purpose, in terms of environment and health, children who live in the country have an advantage over their town- dwelling brethren. However, it does not necessarily follow moving a child with a respiratory illness to a new home in the country will make other factors play a part: his parents smoking, for example. it has been shown that even passive smoking inhaling the fumes from cigarettes other people are smoking has a detrimental effect on the lungs. Over the counter remedies for five main categories, each of which has a particular purpose.
Group A Drugs: deal mainly with pain relief. The active ingredients are aspirin and paracetamol. If all that is required is to relieve the headache, muscle pain or fever associated with a cold, then drugs of group  A are certainly effective. Include in this group are Beecham’s powders (aspirin with caffeine and vitamin C), Boots’ Cold Reliief (paracetamol and vitamin C) and Paynocil (aspirin). For relieving the symptoms of coughs and colds ingredients such as caffine and vitamin C have no proven beneficial effect.
Group B Drugs: used for relief of nasal stuffiness. The active ingredients are antihistamines and sympathomimetics. They will offer temporary relief from a blocked and runny nose, but a major problem with these drugs is the likelihood of side-effects. Antihistamines, for example, commonly cause drowsiness which may be acceptable or even and advantage if the patient is in bed, but  can be irritating at work or school, dangerous if  driving and potentially lethal if combined with alcohol. Antihistamines are present in Actifed, Benylin, Dimotane, Flavelix, Linctifed, Phenergan, Phensydel, Rinurel, Tixylix, Triominic and Night Nurse. The other major group of nasal decongestants sympathomimetics do not cause drowsiness. Included in this group are Lemsip, Oristan, Actified, Benylin Decongestant, Dimotapp, Eslcornade, Boots’ Cold Tablets with Vitami C. Medical opinion is that sympathommetics are of doubtful value. What is certain though is that they should not be taken by patients with high blood pressure (they can cause a dramatic rise), overactive thyroid gland, diabetes and those taking certain anti-depressants. Also, people taking certain anti-asthma drugs may experience unpleasant palpitations.

MUMPS

What is Mumps ?

Mumps is a very common virus infection that affect the saliva–producing glands in the face, but it can affect some other parts of the body. It is most common in children between the age of five and fifteen years but rare in babies under one year. Outbreaks usually occur in winter and spring. Generally, it is a fairly mild illness and recovery is complete. One attach will provide the person with immunity for the rest of his or her life. Droplets containing the it virus are carried in the air and breathed in through the nose and mouth, the virus then spread through the body in the bloodstream. For a person to become infected, the contact has to be close-playing for a few hours with another child who has it, for instance. It is infectious for about 14 days after the initial symptoms develop. The incubation period (the time from coming into contact with an infected person to developing the disease) is 16 to 24 days. Roughly third of all people who catch it do not have any symptoms-only a blood test would confirm that they had had the disease. But when the symptoms do occur, most people feel unwell, have a raised temperature and experience a loss of appetite for about a week before any enlargement of the salivary glands is evident. Usually one of the parotid glands (the salivary glands at the sides of the face, below and in front of the ears) swells first, followed in a day or two by the other parotid gland. The growth is usually painful and children often complain of earache. Stating just below the lower part of the ear, the bump spreads over the angle of the jaw below and behind the earlobe. The size of the distension varies from barely noticeable to quite large. The amount of pain felt also varies but dose not seem to be related to the size of the swelling. In most cases the mouth and throat will feel rather dry because the glands produce less saliva while they are inflamed. Where diagnosis is difficult, various tests can be performed, including blood tests which show a rise in the level of it antibodies (cells produced by the body to ‘fight off’ the virus) during the illness.

Mumps-Complication And Recovery

Complication

The tow commonest complication of mumps are mild meningitis and orchitis. Meningitis is inflammation or the tissues surrounding the brain and the spinal cord, orchitis is inflammation of the testes Meningitis may occur at the same time, a few days after or even a few days before the facial swelling develops in it. The first sings are a severe headache, stiffness or difficulty in bending the neck and a marked dislike of looking at bright lights (photophobia). Occasionally the person may become confused or even unconscious. Any age group can be affected by this difficulty. Where meningitis is suspected, a lumber puncture is performed which involves taking a sample of fluid from around the spinal column and brain. Orchitis only occurs in boys after they have reached puberty. About 20 % of adult males who catch it are pretentious. It begins as hurt and swelling of the testes about three to five days after the salivary glands have swollen up. In mild cases, there may only be slight enlargement of the testes and only a little pain. Following an attack of orchitis, the tests may become smaller and the number of sperm produced may be less, but sterility is very rare. The other complication of it is much rarer. Children, in particularly, may of hurting complain in the abdomen which is sometimes caused by the pancreas gland being affect by the it virus. Occasionally a child can develop a from of diabetes after puberty the lower part of the abdomen-this dose not cause sterility. Some people become permanently deaf after it. Usually only one ear is unnatural and it is thought that the virus damages the nerves that supply the ear. Arthritis, or sting in the joints, may develop for up to a month after an attack of it, with men being more susceptible than women. Usually then hip joint, the knee or the ankle is exaggerated but the soreness eventually disappears completely. The it virus can cause inflammation of the kidneys (nephritis) and the thyroid gland (thyroiditis). It may also affect the breasts (mastitis) of both sexes, causing swelling and tenderness. Rarely, the heart muscle can be precious causing throbbing in the chest and breathlessness (myocarditis).

Recovery

Apart from a rare case of deafness or brain damage following a severe attack of it meningitis, the outlook is excellent, with people making a complete recovery even if they have had one of the complication. One attack also gives a person complete natural immunity against future outbreaks.

Measles: Causes And Symptoms

Causes

Measles is one of the most common childhood diseases. It is a viral infection which affect mainly the skin and respiratory tract. For most children this means seven to ten days of high temperature, coughing, rash and misery. Also, not all children have the disease in its simple from and there are some possible complications ranging from mild to very serious indeed. Because it is a viral infection, measles dose not respond to antibiotics. However, many of the complications which can accompany measles are bacterial and therefore can be treated with antibiotics.
Fortunately, tough, the illness is avoidable. The measles vaccine offers almost 100% protection and its enthusiastic use in the USA has meant that the disease will probably vanish altogether from the United States in the next few years. Measles is caused by a virus which is passed on when a child breathes in the infected droplets sprayed into the air when a person who already has the illness coughs or sneezes. The disease is infectious for about ten days, from several days before the rash appears until about a week afterwards.

Symptoms

Once in the bloodstream, the virus spreads rapidly to various parts of the body where it multiplies during the eight to fourteen day incubation period. The first signs of illness occur at the end of the time when the child develops a streaming nose and sore, red, swollen eyes. The throat may be sore and the child is usually racked with a dry, irritating cough. There is a rise in temperature usually more marked in the evening to between 37.2°C and 38.3°C (99 °F and 101 °F). the child becomes miserable and loses his or her appetite. In addition, all interest in playing may be lost and the child will not want the company of friends.
During this stage, before the rash appears appears, a positive diagnosis can sometimes be made by observing Koplik’s spots surrounded by a red halo on the mouth and are a tell-tale sign of measles. Two or three days after the first signs of the illness, the rash begins behind the ears and on the forehead. It then spreads downwards until , after a further two or three days, the whole body is covered. At first the spots are dull, red, slightly raised and little larger than a pinhead. They quickly enlarge up to about 1 cm (1/2 in) in diameter and join together to from larger irregular blotches. As this happening, the fever raises to between 40°C and 40.5°C (104°F and 105°F) and child feels extremely ill, looks very unhappy and may sound very ‘chesty’. The rash us its worst for about three days before slowly fading. Then the temperature falls and the child feels much better about seven to ten days after the symptoms first appeared: he or she will no longer be infectious. Before  the rash has appeared the illness may be mistaken for a heavy cold but the red, swollen eyes and general misery are clues to the true cause. Occasionally the rash is initially mistaken for German measles the child is far less and the rash is pinker, finer and rarely blotchy.  

Measles-Complication And Immunization

Complication

The most serious of the complication encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) affects about one in a thousand measles sufferers. This complication usually occurs as the child is beginning to recover and may start with a convulsion or loss of consciousness or, less suddenly, with excessive drowsiness, hallucination, confusion or other unusual behavior. All such children need urgent hospital admission. However, convulsions (fever fits) not uncommon in children under five who have a high temperature, recovery from febrile convulsions is rapid and, thought frightening, the condition is seldom harmful, but medical advice should be sought. About four in a hundred children develop pneumonia as the virus invades the lungs. Signs of this are rapid breathing, tightness or pain in the chest and a worsening cough. In general, this condition merely prolongs the time that the child is ill, but sometimes antibiotic treatment is necessary. Group, with its ringing, metallic-sounding dry cough may develop at the height of measles but usually this is not serious. However, if the child’s lips appear blue and the chest wall between the ribs is sucked in with each breath, urgent medical attention must be sought. Painful ear infection occur in about one in fifty cases but they generally get better, leaving no problem behind. some doctors will prescribe antibiotics if the child has earache or signs of bronchitis or pneumonia, others prefer to ‘wait and see’. Contacts need not be quarantined. In the UK about 20 children die of measles each year, either from encephalitis or because they already have some serious physical defect or illness when they catch measles twice-if this seems to happen then one of the diagnoses was or is almost certainly wrong.

Immunization

The vaccine is given in one injection and afterwards a mild illness may occasionally follow with a couple of days of slight temperature and sometimes a rash, seven to ten days after vaccination. Very rarely a child susceptible to fever fits will have one. The vaccine should be given soon after the first birthday at a time when the child is well and no holiday or other important family event is due within the next seven to fourteen days. vaccination is unsafe for children who have leukemia or similar diseases, those receiving steroids, for example after a transplant , or anticancer drugs. Doctor also take special precaustions where a child has had convulsion or severe, chronic illness of lungs or heart. In the past, children known to be allergic to eggs where advised to avoid measles vaccine, but this is no longer the case. The vaccine is extremely effective.

Chickenpox-Causes , Symptoms

What Is Chickenpox ?

Chickenpox is usually a childhood infection. It spread easily, and is often a very mild ailment. Most of the time it is little more than a nuisance-in fact, in young children and babies it is less dangerous than the common cold. And, in most cases, a complete recovery with consequent lifelong immunity can be expected. Very occasionally in new-born babies or in a patient who has to take drugs that reduce the effectiveness of the body’s immune (infection-suppressing) system, for example, after undergoing a transplant operation.

 Causes

Chickenpox is caused by infection with a virus called herpes zoster. The same virus also causes shingles. Children usually catch chickenpox from an infected child, but it is also possible to catch it form an adult with shingles from exposure to chickenpox. Ti is not absolutely clear how the chickenpox virus passes from person to person. It probably spreads via tiny droplets in the air breathed out by an infected person. When a child breathes in an infected droplet, the virus starts to multiply and another case of chickenpox begins with all its typical symptoms.

Symptoms

In the most cases of chickenpox in children, the illness is extremely mild. The incubation period (the time between infection by the virus and the first appearance of any symptoms of the illness) varies between seven and twenty three days. Chickenpox can be identified by the appearance of characteristic rash. Often in babies this rash takes the form of tiny blisters on the skin, and adults, however, tend to have more severe symptoms for two or three days before the rash appears, with temperature, shivering, aches and pains and headaches. The rash begins as minute red spots which become raised and then fill with clear fluid, like small blisters. Chickenpox spots come out in crops, which means that new ones appear over the next few days. These will eventually dry up and scabs will form over them. There are usually a few spot in the mouth, and chickenpox ulcers on the tonsils may look very like tonsillitis. Once all the spots have scabbed over and no new ones appear, the sufferer is no longer infectious. The rash generally begins on the chest and the abdomen, and may then spread to the face and limbs. There may be only two or three spots, or the rash may be profuse and cover most of the body. Chickenpox is recognized by the rash and general condition of the patient. It may occasionally be confused with other skin diseases such as impetigo (bacterial infection of the skin), scabies (infestation by a small burrowing mite). or pemphigusa blistering skin disease). If it is really necessary to make an exact diagnosis, then scrapings from a skin blister can be examined under an electron microscope to identify the virus.

Chickenpox-Complication ,Treatment And Recovery

Complication

The only common complication of chickenpox is bacterial infection of the spots. This usually happens when the itchiness of the rash leads to scratching, and the nails of the patient are dirty. If many spots in the scalp become infected in this way, the hair gets caught up in a tangle of crusts. To clear this requires considerable soaking and gentle bathing. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic treatment to combat infection. Spots often develop o the edges of the eyelid and can cause a lot of discomfort because of the itching, stickiness and swelling. Another site which provokes severe discomfort if spots are present is the vulva and outer vagina in girls. As long as any so-called ‘secondary’ bacterial infection is treated, these heal very well after a couple of days. In a very few cases, chickenpox may cause pneumonia, encephalitis (infection of the brain) or bleeding disorders. Fortunately, these complications are very rare. Chickenpox during pregnancy is uncommon, as most women have had chickenpox in childhood. If a pregnant women have had chickenpox the foetus is usually affected but it is possible for the virus to pass through the placenta and damage the unborn child. If a pregnant women suspects that she has chickenpox, then should see her doctor immediately.

                                                                                    Treatment

Those  patient who are particularly at risk from chickenpox – children with leukemia and people taking steroids and other drugs after transplant surgery, for example –can be given a substance called ‘immune globulin’, which is extracted from chickenpox from the blood of people recovering from chickenpox. There are antibodies in the immune globulin which may prevent the person developing chickenpox if the substance is given immediately after ‘at risk’ person has been exposed to chickenpox. Because the illness is usually so very minor in healthy individuals it is not generally available to the public. Should any of these highly susceptible patients actually catch chickenpox, a drug (acyclovir) has recently been developed which makes the illness much less severe.

Recovery
Although chickenpox may look spectacular, it is really one of the mildest childhood diseases. However, it is thought that the chickenpox virus may lie ‘dormant’ in the body for many years, and may emerge later in life as shingles - a painful and distressing condition which usually strikes when the person is feeling particularly under the weather or run down.