Child health in a Nutshell

Accidents

Children will have accidents as they become more active and try new skills, regardless of how careful you are. Prevention should be a priority and you need to check everything in your house to make sure your house is safe for your child.

Bites and Stings

  • Insects: Wash and dry the area and apply cold compresses if swollen. If itchy, apply calamine lotion or vinegar. Apply a dressing to prevent scratching and infection. If your child shows signs of an allergic reaction, seek medical advice.
  • Human and animal bites that bleed, should be rinsed with cold water and the child taken to the doctor.

Bleeding

  • Stop bleeding by direct firm pressure.
  • Use a handkerchief or towel and add extra padding. Don’t remove the towels or pads, even if it becomes soaked.
  • Apply a bandage and seek medical help as soon as possible.

Burns and scalds

  • If clothing catches fire, roll your child on the floor or in a carpet or blanket to put out the flames.
  • Shout for help. Rinse the burnt or scalded area with cold water for at least 5 minutes.
  • Don’t remove stuck clothing or apply antiseptics or cream. Cover with a clean cloth and take your child straight to the hospital.

Earache (otitis media)

  • Children experience earache during childhood often due to a cold, middle ear infection, infection in the outer ear or as part of referred pain.
  • Earache can be very painful, and the child should be treated promptly. Almost all ear infections are caused by bacteria.
  • The eardrum may burst with a profuse, sometimes blood-stained, discharge and temporary deafness

Fits

  • Clear the surroundings and loosen tight clothing around the neck and waist.
  • Turn the child on his side but do not restrain the movements.
  • When the jerking movements stops, cover with a blanket, or sponge with cool water if she has a fever.
  • Check the breathing, and if it stops start artificial respiration.

Head injuries

  • Take all head injuries seriously. If your child loses consciousness even for a few minutes, after a blow to the head or a fall, he should be checked by a doctor. Watch him carefully for a few days and if headaches, drowsiness vomiting, eye disturbances or lack of coordination develop, seek medical help without delay.

Head lice

  • Head lice [pediculosis] are parasites that feed on blood sucked from the human scalp.
  • The adult females lay pearly white eggs, called nits, in the hair shafts. They attach to the hair with a very strong sticky substance. The eggs become active in about one week after which they mature into adult lice after 2 weeks; and the cycle repeats.
  • Lice and nits are irritating, but they can be easily eradicated.
  • The first symptoms are usually an itchy scalp and white flakes that are firmly attached to the hair shaft. The scalp itches where the lice bite, especially after exercise when the head is hot. When combing the hair over a white sheet of paper, some nits and dead lice the size of a sesame seed will fall on the paper.
  • An over-the-counter shampoo that contains 1% permethrin is available and kills adult lice and the eggs. Two treatments one week apart are needed to kill baby lice that survived the initial shampooing.
  • More information available in Hello World Look Who’s Growing page 220

Immunization

Immunize your child to protect him from dangerous infectious diseases.  Many parents disregard immunization because they believe the diseases that we immunize for does not longer exist.  This is not so.

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