Caring for your Child

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Caring for your Child Powered By Docstoc
					  Having an ill child can be                 Cough                                                Sore throat and earache
                                                                                                  These are common symptoms in children and
  a scary experience. This                   When young children get a cold, they often
                                                                                                  usually do not need any specific treatment.
                                             develop a chesty cough. Their breathing may
    leaflet aims to give you                 sound noisy, especially at nighttime.                Most children are better within 1 week of
   more information about                                                                         symptoms starting.      Evidence shows that
                                             Coughing helps the body to fight infection
                                                                                                  children who take antibiotics get better just as
      common childhood                       and is often the last symptom to settle when
                                                                                                  quickly as those who don’t. See over leaf for
                                             a child recovers. Antibiotics are not required
 illnesses so you feel more                                                                       further info on why antibiotics aren’t
                                             for a cough associated with a cold.
   confident about dealing                                                                        appropriate.

            with them.
                                             Diarrhoea and vomiting
                                             Viral gastroenteritis is extremely common in children. Specific treatment is usually not required
                                             and the aim is to keep your child comfortable and prevent dehydration. Signs that your child is
Fever                                        dehydrated are dry mouth, less wet nappies or peeing less than normal and drowsiness.
A raised body temperature is a normal        Dehydration is more common in children less than 1 year. Good hand hygiene is essential when
response to infection                        your child has gastroenteritis particularly after a nappy change, using the toilet and before
By bringing the temperature down,            preparing food or bottle.
your child will feel better. Strip them of
outer clothing and use paracetamol
and ibuprofen as below.                      What can I do?
                                             A child’s immune system is very powerful and will clear up most common infections by itself. The aim of
                                             treatment is to ease the symptoms and make your child more comfortable.
Common Colds
Colds are very common in children of                Ensure your child is getting plenty to drink to prevent dehydration, loosen pleghm
all ages.      Healthy children can                  and moisten the throat. If your child is vomiting, give fluids little and often
sometimes have 8 or more colds in a                  throughout the day.
year. Colds are caused by viruses and               If your child is reluctant to drink, ice lollies are a good way of getting fluid into them.
antibiotics are not helpful in treating
them. The colour of the phlegm/nasal                When children are ill their appetite will decrease, this is normal and you should not
discharge is not a sign of more serious              worry if your child doesn’t eat anything for a couple of days. Fluid intake is far more
infection. Children with green nasal                 important.
discharge do not need antibiotics.                  Pain and high temperatures are best treated with paracetamol and ibuprofen. These
Most children recover from a cold in a               medications work in different ways and it is ok to use them together. The most
week.                                                effective way to keep the temperature down is to alternate doses of paracetamol and
                                                     ibuprofen throughout the day. Be careful not to give more than the recommended
Useful sources of information                        dose in any one 24 hour period                                   Although these products state you should not use them for more than 48 hours
nhs direct 0845 4647                                 without seeing a doctor, as long as your child does not have any features described                    overleaf and you are not unduly worried, you can continue using them for longer.
                                                     When to seek help                                      St Wulfstan Surgery
Why not antibiotics?                        The following are signs of possible serious              Thanks to Croft Medical Centre
It is important not to use antibiotics
unless they are really need:                Your child is drowsy or irritable.
                                            Your child has difficulty breathing – any child
      Antibiotics only work against        who is working hard to breathe should see a
       bacteria and not viral infection.    doctor urgently
       Most common illnesses are            High temperature >40 C which does not come
       caused by viruses.                   down with treatment
      Using antibiotics can make           Any baby who is not feeding or an older child
       bacteria resistant to antibiotics.   with signs of dehydration
       So the antibiotics will no longer    Symptoms that may be due to meningitis
       work against the infection.                 Severe headache
      Antibiotics can kill our bodies             A stiff neck
       natural bacteria, leading to                A rash that does not fade with the glass
       infections such as thrush                   test
                                                   Dislike of bright lights
      Antibiotics have side effects
       such as diarrhoea, upset
       stomach and rashes
                                              IF YOU ARE CONCERNED, SEEK ADVICE

                                                           Who to contact
                                            St Wulfstan Surgery                                         Caring for your
                                            (01926) 810939
                                            08.00-18.30 Mon-Fri
                                                                                                         child when
                                            Ill children will always be offered an assessment by a
                                            doctor or triage nurse if you are concerned                   they are ill
                                            Out Of Hours service
                                            0300 1 30 30 40
                                            18.30-08.00 Mon-Fri and weekends                            Advice on treating common
                                            This service is based at Warwick Hospital, you will be         illnesses in children
                                            offered an appointment to see a GP and is much quicker
                                            than going to A&E

                                            Accident and Emergency Department
                                            For emergency care only

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