HAND, FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE
A common childhood illness caused by an enterovirus, most often Coxsackie A6 and A16.
An infestation of the head and neck area by tiny parasitic insects. SYMPTOMS: Itchy scalp, tiny red bite marks on the scalp. You might see the eggs, or nits (small white bumps), near the base of the hairs. HOW SERIOUS? Treat at home after a visit to the pharmacy for an appropriate lice shampoo, but speak to your doctor if your child is younger than two or has allergies or asthma. TREATMENT: Everyone in the home must be treated at the same time even if they have no symptoms. Dr Sinclair recommends using treatments made from tea tree, and cautions that toxic treatments should be avoided. Wash combs and brushes in boiling water.
This occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue. SYMPTOMS: A soft swelling around the navel or above the groin crease or scrotum. It may not be present in the morning but appear later in the day. It may get bigger if your child cries or tenses her muscles. HOW SERIOUS? Umbilical hernias are quite common and should resolve on their own. In boys, a groin hernia may become strangulated and need to be repaired.
TREATMENT: A minor operation may be necessary to correct it, but this is usually left until after five years of age.
SYMPTOMS: Tiredness, fever and the appearance of blisters in or around the mouth, on the hands and on the feet after a day or two. The blisters may burst and crust over. Sometimes a rash appears before the blisters, which typically appears as red papules over the arms, legs, buttocks and sometimes the cheeks. HOW SERIOUS? Not serious at all, sometimes symptoms are mild or even nonexistent, especially in adults. TREATMENT: Treat your child’s symptoms and do what you can to keep him comfortable. Oral anaesthetic gels can help ease discomfort from the mouth sores, while paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories will treat the fever if necessary, advises Dr Sinclair. The blisters usually go away on their own within a week or two. This is infectious from the start of the fever until 10 days after the rash first appeared.