Diagnosing Common Diseases according to Symptoms

Once the symptoms of common diseases are properly identified, it will be much easier for the mother to care for the child. Regardless if it is fever, sickness or difficulty breathing, the method of treatment must be known. Listed below for your clear reference are common diseases for children listed according to fever, convulsion, sickness, diarrhea etc.

Common Diseases: Simultaneous Fever and Rash

Children may develop a fever due to a cold or other virus.

The body at this time will emit something resembling German measles. This is mostly because as the fever recedes, the poison contained within the body will be pushed out and surfaces on the skin.

This occurrence of heat rash is evidence of the healing process.

After 1-2 days, it will disappear without a trace. If after a few days the symptoms persist or the heat increases, identify whether there is an infectious illness present.

Examination Points

Carefully Examine the Shape of the Rash

As the causes of rashes differ, so then the nature of the rash will likewise differ. As the rash develops, there are many aspects that must be considered such as its shape, appearance, itchiness and whether or not it is accompanied by a fever etc. Take particular care to monitor the condition of the rash at the different stages of fever. The stages include no fever, beginning of fever, during fever and declining fever.

Confirm the Period of Rash

It is very important to note when the rash appears. If this happens after the fever, it could be a sudden rash, a viral rash or some such less severe condition. In case the rash and fever appear at the same time, it is highly possible there is an infection present. Therefore, you must seek hospital treatment immediately. Different causes result in different stages throughout the course of the fever. Simply treat the condition and if it heals smoothly, there is no need to worry.

Care Points

Take Antipyretic for Fever

Measles, chickenpox (one of the infectious diseases) or German measles all have fever symptoms. Take an antipyretic to relieve pain and reduce the child’s discomfort.

When the mouth is painful and it is not possible to eat, especially with foot and mouth disease (one of the skin conditions children experience), the antipyretic will reduce the pain.

Avoid Bathing

If the fever is accompanied by a rash, wait until the fever has receded before bathing.

Sweating will cause the body to be even itchier. If this happens, use a hot damp cloth and apply to the skin.

The fever with measles will fluctuate. Take a bath according to instructions from a physician. If the fever recedes whilst a rash is still present and the symptoms improve, a bath can be taken. It is better to use clean water rather than soap to wash with.

Avoid going Outdoors

The majority of rashes are highly infectious. It is best to get plenty of rest at home and avoid going outdoors. This is to avoid passing it onto other people. Any illness requires the consumption of good food and plenty of rest in order to recover quickly.

Emergency Room

Bacterial or Viral Infection

In the majority of cases, simply accept treatment and there is no need to worry further. However, if infected by a virus or bacteria, it may not be so easy to endure. Persistent high fevers will suddenly worsen and may exhibit vomiting or seizures. The severity could be life threatening. If the immune system is weak, it will be very easy to develop complications. Therefore, if the child’s condition suddenly worsens, seek hospital treatment immediately.

As with Scarlet fever or Kawasaki disease, the rash often disappears as the conditions first starts to improve. Then the condition will suddenly take a turn – it worsens.

Possible Diseases: Measles

Causes and Symptoms

This is an infectious condition and it is caused by an infection from measles virus. After being infected once, the body will develop its immunity. So no one will need to suffer twice from this condition.

Children aged between 3-6 years old are more likely to become infected. The illness incubates for 10-12 days before appearing as a fever. It's accompanied by Koplik spots (small white spots) appearing on the mucous membrane of the mouth. The spots start to appear from the ear to the forehead. Then it will move to the face, neck, torso, hands and feet.

As the outbreak of measles develops, there will be cold-like symptoms of high fever, a coarse cough, runny nose and sneezing, etc. During this period, it is also possible to develop bronchitis or pneumonia. Around 4-5 days after the measles have dissipated, both the fever and rash will recede. The area infected will turn a blue-purple color and the layer of skin will peel.

Care Instructions

● As there are no effective treatments, the only option is to vaccinate with MMR between 12-15 months old. It is also possible if during the measles season the baby has already turned 6 months old. Then vaccinations too can be given.

● Drink lots of water. If there is no appetite, feed small quantities of highly nutritious and easy to digest foods.

Sudden Rash

Causes and Symptoms

Caused by herpes HHV-6 (also known as Roseola virus) and can also be known as “three day measles” along with measles and German measles. Characteristics include the swelling of the lymph glands behind the ear.

Children aged 6-15 months old are most susceptible to infection. There is an incubation period of 5-15 days followed by a sudden outbreak of high fever, causing the temperature to rise to between 39-41 degrees. Then may lead to febrile seizure (one type of brain infections). The fever will persist for around 3-4 days after which, a rash will appear behind the ears, on the torso and the neck etc. It may also give rise to a lighter heat rash than that of measles.

High fever without pain, rash but without itchiness, and will disappear after 2-3 days. There will be no scars or shedding of skin.

Care Instructions

● There are no fast healing techniques or prevention; it is due to being a viral infection.

● There is no need to pay too much attention when having rash, but be careful to avoid excess sweating leading to prickly heat.

German Measles

Causes and Symptoms

Just like measles during fever, the entire body will develop a rash. This is caused by a German measles virus turning into an urgent infection. This will incubate for 9-18 days before the symptoms appear. Major symptoms are swollen glands behind the ears and throat, fever, headache and rashes all over the whole body.

Spots will be smaller than with measles, and usually will disappear after 2-3 days. The top layer of the skin will not shed and will not leave scars. Some cases will have fever of up to 39 degrees. Most cases will have fever for 2-3 days with lighter symptoms such as a cough and gummy eyes. If the infection is passed from mother to the fetus, the result will be extremely severe.

Care Instructions

● When the baby is 12-15 months old, vaccinate with MMR and take a booster after 4 years old.

● Before the rash disappears, do not go outdoors and take extra precaution not to come close with a pregnant woman.

Scarlet Fever

Causes and Symptoms

This is caused by an infection from hemolytic streptococcus. After 2-7 days of incubation, there will be a sudden fever of around 38-39 degrees. At the same time, there will be headache, vomiting, stomach ache, shivering, pharynx infection and red lumps will develop all over the body. The roof of the mouth and mucous membrane will turn red and the tonsils will become swollen. On the onset of the illness, the appetite will scale down. Even with complete abstinence from food, there will still be vomiting.

After 1-2 days, the area around the mouth, neck, armpit and groin will give rise to an intricate itchy rash. In 2-3 Days after the symptoms exhibit, the tongue will develop a strawberry color rough rash. The skin will peel but won’t leave a scar.

Care Instructions

● As the rash develops and the appetite reduces, feed easy to swallow and easy to digest foods.

● Area of pus secretions and objects contaminated by pus must be completely sterilized. Any family member that may have come into contact with the infected person must go to a hospital for an examination.

Kawasaki Disease

Causes and Symptoms

This condition is identified with a sudden outbreak of high fever accompanied by a rash throughout the body. Of all the people infected with this condition, 90% are between 1-4 years old and most are male. The real cause of this condition is still unclear as to this day. It have only been known that it is a viral infection.

The second instance of infection will trigger the body’s immunity system to react. There will be a sudden and continued high fever for at least 5 days. The throat will turn red and have swollen glands. Underneath the tongue will develop strawberry colored red spots. The mucous membrane will become inflamed and there will be bloodshot eyes. Hands and flat of the foot will swell, turn red, and the skin will peel. The mouth will turn red and the whole body will develop a heat rash.

Care Instructions

● In the light on causes being uncertain, there is no certain prevention method. When the symptoms exhibit, treat accordingly.

● It is possible the heart will develop complications and may lead to sudden death. So when the symptoms exhibited for the first time, there is a must for a prevention against all possible complications. Although the risk is very low, there is still a possibility.

High Fever

Fever is the body’s natural reaction to battling with an invading virus. In order to defeat the virus, it must maintain a fever until the point where the virus can be defeated. Do not immediately take an antipyretic every time there is a fever. You must first look at the child’s condition before administering any treatments.

Examination Points

Children’s body temperature is higher than that of adults, so it may often appear that a fever is present. The body temperature will also increase when the baby is crying or fussing. Use the hand to feel the baby’s back. If it is soaked with sweat, maybe they are too hot. They can be made more comfortable by changing into another thinner or finer type of clothing. Neonatal dehydration is dangerous especially for newborn babies. If water, breast milk or powdered milk intake is insufficient, dehydration will occur.

Whenever fever is present, as long as the children are able to eat and play well, this will be fine. Even if there will be bouts of crying and fussing. Just make sure to carefully monitor the child’s condition.

In monitoring the child’s condition, you need to make sure of yourself whether or not the child is delirious. Check if the breathing is stable. Take note if the defecation is reduced or has decreased. Include in the monitoring if there are any seizures. All these observations must be carefully noted. It will be useful when going to the clinic for an examination.

Correct Usage of a Thermometer

When a child develops a fever, it is evident that the body’s immune system is fighting against an illness. When the lips and face is hot, the forehead and body temperature is higher. If the whole body is weak, and there appears to be a fever, a thermometer must be used to determine the correct temperature.

In case the temperature is around 37.5 degrees, the condition can temporarily continue to be monitored at home. If the temperature is above 38 degrees, an antipyretic must be given. When the temperature diminishes, seek hospital treatment.

Points of Care

Antipyretics to Reduce Body Temperature

Do not take an antipyretic at the first sign of fever! Only if the fever escalates to over 38 degrees and the baby is suffering can this medicine be taken. Pediatric specialists believe paracetamol is a safer alternative. The effectiveness and longevity of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are even better than that of paracetamol. However, be careful using it with children under 6 months old.

Wiping the Body with a Hot Towel

When the antipyretic is unable to lower the body temperature, use a hot towel to wipe the body. While doing this under no circumstances switch on the air conditioning. Do not use cold or ice water to wipe the body. If the air conditioning is switched on, cold air will be inhaled and the child will develop poison-like symptoms. Furthermore, using cold or ice water to wipe the body will cause the veins in the skin to contract making it even harder for the heat in the body to dissipate. Thus, effectively raising the body temperature.

Supplement Water

More moisture will be lost through evaporation during times of fever. If this becomes severe, dehydration will occur. Drink water frequently and electrolyte supplements. If there is a good appetite, give a full serving of breast milk or powdered milk.

Maintain Indoor Climate

Whenever there is fever, use thinner clothing and blankets. Frequently get fresh air into the room in order to keep the climate comfortable. The appropriate temperature is 20-22 degrees. If you feel there is a draught, then add another layer of clothing to keep warm.

Use Crushed Tofu on the Fever Area

Tofu is effective in absorbing heat and we use it often in traditional folk medicine. Dry the tofu and mix with flour, and place on the forehead. Alternately, wrap the tofu in gauze and rub it over the body.

Emergency Room

Symptoms other than Fever

If experiencing a fever that does not exceed 38 degrees, go to the hospital immediately. Even though the temperature is not too high but the child is fussing and irritated, has a tantrum and is acting very unusual, or if there are symptoms that accompany the fever such as a rash, diarrhea or vomiting. If the fever elevates past 39 degrees and has cramps with seizures, go to the pediatric clinic immediately.

Fever in Children under 6 Months Old

Fever cannot be ignored in children under 6 months old. There are many sicknesses which will develop fever symptoms. If the fever isn’t very serious but the child is behaving abnormally with low energy or frequently fussing and crying, then seek hospital treatment immediately. When the baby is under 3 months old, the condition can worsen quickly. It can develop complications such as septicemia, pneumonia, meningitis etc. all of which are associated with a fever. It is recommended to seek hospital treatment.

Those are the helpful information that we should be aware of when it comes to common diseases and how to diagnose each.

Stephanie
 

Editor in Babiology, mother of two, highly passionate about sharing the pregnancy care and post delivery care learning with the readers.

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