Back to School and your children’s health
Fifth disease, also known as slapped cheek causes a red rash on the cheeks (face) that can look like slap marks. The rash can also appear on the torso and limbs, and does not always cause illness, but can feel like a cold early on before the rash becomes evident. Fifth disease is caused by human parvovirus B19, and up to 20% of children may get the virus before the age of 5, and up to 60% have had it before the age of 19.
Infections of Fifth disease are not usually serious ad will normally resolve within 10 days, and sometimes the infection can lead to joint pain and can be mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis, but joint pain symptoms will normally resolve within about 3 weeks.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a recurring, non-infectious inflammatory skin condition that is most common among people with a family history of an atopic disorder including asthma, and hay fever. In atopic eczema the skin becomes red, dry, itchy and scaly and may weep, bleed, or crust over in severe cases, and can even become infected. Eczema can affect people of all ages but normally appears in early childhood and resolves at around age six. Most children will grow out of eczema, but a small percentage may experience severe eczema into adulthood.
Head lice are a very common problem for kids returning to school, especially in kindergarten and childcare where children are in close physical contact with each other. Lice are not a sign of poor hygiene, and they don’t jump, they crawl from head to head. The lice feed on blood from the scalp, lay eggs called nits that hatch within 1 to 2 weeks. The most important factor in eradicating head lice is to break the life cycle, this means treating weekly for 3 weeks, or according to the directions of the product you are using. Because the eggs can hatch every 6-7 days it is necessary to repeat the treatment on day 7 and 14 to break the cycle and kill any newly hatched lice.
Hand foot and mouth disease is a common childhood illness that causes a fever along with blisters or sores inside the mouth and on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. It is caused by a variety of viruses called enteroviruses. Hand foot and mouth is not a serious illness although it can cause a great deal of discomfort and goes away on its own in a week to ten days.
Conjunctivitis is a common childhood illness characterised by discomfort and redness of the eyes, often associated with a discharge and itchiness. Conjunctivitis can sometimes be confused for allergies because red, itchy, watery eyes can also accompany allergies or...
The majority of sore throats experienced by children are caused by viral infections and will clear up on their own without treatment, other than treating the associated discomfort and symptoms and may include mouth gargles, lozenges, and pain-relieving medications...