This occurs when a cold, throat infection, or allergy attack causes fluid to become trapped in the middle ear. SYMPTOMS: Earache accompanied by a fever, a cold or general feeling of being ill. HOW SERIOUS? Should be seen by a doc. TREATMENT: Give liquid paracetamol to relieve pain and fever. Don’t put anything in the ear, but something warm like a hot water bottle covered with a towel held to the ear can ease the pain. Prop your child up in bed if lying down makes it worse.
A chronic skin disorder that involves scaly and itchy rashes. SYMPTOMS: Inflammation of the skin, dryness, flaking and sometimes the formation of blisters. This is not contagious. It often forms on the face and neck, behind the knees or the insides of elbows, around the wrists and ankles, or on hands and feet. Eczema can be intensely itchy and uncomfortable. HOW SERIOUS? If your child has never had it before, take her to a doctor to have it diagnosed. Mostly it is managed at home. TREATMENT: Apply ointments prescribed by the doctor and avoid rashes by keeping your child’s skin well moisturised. Try to establish what causes the eczema – it could be laundry or cosmetic products or even certain fabrics.
Irritation and swelling of the brain, most often due to infections. SYMPTOMS: Fever, irritability, drowsiness, vomiting, double vision or a squint, weakness in a limb, convulsions. It sometimes occurs after measles, rubella or chickenpox. HOW SERIOUS? This is serious, says Dr Sinclair, you need to consult a doctor, especially if your child is drowsy or has a fever with any other two symptoms. TREATMENT: Your child may be hospitalised. Remember that any brain swelling carries a risk of long-term impairment or even death.