A bacterial infection of an open wound that attacks the nervous system and causes “lock jaw”.
The bacteria that causes tetanus (Clostridium tetani) is commonly found in soil and the manure of animals such as horses and cows. If this bacteria gets into an open wound, it releases a toxin that affects the nerves and causes severe health problems. It can lead to death if not treated in time.
Tetanus has become less common among children, thanks to an increase of vaccinations against it.
Difficulty in swallowing. Stiffness of the jaw. Can become severe, making it difficult or impossible to open
the mouth (lock jaw).
Painful muscle spasms. Can become so severe that swelling occurs or even breathing is difficult. High temperature. Sweating. Rapid heartbeat.
It is necessary to get urgent medical attention if you suspect tetanus. It can progress quickly and lead to death if not treated in time.
If tetanus is confirmed, your child will be hospitalised, usually in intensive care.
If your child is at risk of getting tetanus (for example, has played in soil with an open wound), a doctor may give her a tetanus immunoglobulin shot even if she is not displaying any symptoms. This injection will protect against tetanus.
Always consult your doctor if your child is injured outdoors, her wound has been in contact with soil or animal manure, she has not received a tetanus vaccine or a booster within the last five years.
Tetanus vaccinations (DTPIPV/HIB and Td) included in the state vaccination schedule.