An inflammation of the foreskin and head of the penis. SYMPTOMS: Swelling of the glans and foreskin (in uncircumcised boys). The genital area may be red and moist, and there may be pus and painful discharge. HOW SERIOUS? You will need to treat this with antibiotics, so see the doctor. TREATMENT: Wash the penis and under the foreskin twice a day, but only pull back the foreskin very gently (how much it can retract depends on age) and don’t use soap. You’ll probably be given topical and broad-spectrum antibiotics and, says Dr Sinclair, recurrent bouts may require a circumcision.
BLOCKED TEAR DUCT
This occurs when the opening of the duct in the eye that normally allows tears to drain is obstructed or fails to open properly. SYMPTOMS: Persistent watering of the eye. If the eye is infected, there might be pus in the corner of the eye and swelling on the side of the nose, just under the inner corner of the eye. HOW SERIOUS? If there are signs of infection, take your baby to a doctor. If a blocked tear duct in a baby does not clear up naturally after a year, you may be referred to an ophthalmic surgeon. TREATMENT: Gently massaging the upper part of the duct will help. If the eye is infected the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic ointment.
BOILS (NASAL FURUNCLES)
A skin infection caused by a bug in the nose. SYMPTOMS: Usually starts as a small red lump that gets bigger and fills with pus. The area around the boil is tender and sore and can become quite swollen. HOW SERIOUS? Ask the pharmacist for an ointment to treat at home. If it lasts longer than five to seven days, is very large and painful, or it recurs, go to the doctor. TREATMENT: If the boil is serious, says Dr Sinclair, it is important that it be drained (by a doctor) and treated with antibiotics. You will also need to clear the nasal passages. If it isn’t serious, an over-the-counter ointment should work.
A usually viral infection that is most common in children under 18 months. SYMPTOMS: Tends to start two days after a cold has worsened. A fever with a dry rasping cough, wheezing, rapid and difficult breathing, difficulty feeding, bluish lips and tongue, and abnormal drowsiness. HOW SERIOUS? See your doctor. If your child struggles to breathe take her to a hospital immediately. TREATMENT: Your doctor is most likely to prescribe nebulisation with saline and physiotherapy to help clear your child’s airways.