General Health

Colds     

Colds are caused by viruses.



A child with a cold may show signs of stuffy and runny noses, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, water eyes and they eat less.  He/she can have a fever or headache and this can make the child irritable.  Colds usually last about a week to 10 days.  

A fever may come at the star of the cold and then go away.  Mucus in your child’s nose may turn yellow or green after 3 or 4 days. 



Get your child to the doctor if:   

  • ​the fever last for more than 2 or 3 day

  • if the symptoms get worse after a week.

  • If your child has problems breathing, drinking or if he/she has ear pain and is acting sleepy or fussy and have a cough for more than 10 days. 

Preventing Colds and the Flu                          

There is no special way to prevent colds, but you can help keep viruses from spreading by:
 

  • Make sure everyone washes their hands often.  Hand washing helps keep germs from spreading

  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or bend your arm and sneeze into it.

  • Keep your child away from anyone who has a cold, fever or runny nose

  • Wash dishes in hot, soapy water

  • Do not smoke around your child and keep him/her away from cigarette and other tobacco smoke.

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, especially after being around sick people or before eating.

  • Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you and use it often.

  • Avoid touching your face — especially your eyes, nose, or mouth

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough,  and wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer afterward.

  • Throw tissues away immediately after using them.

Stay home if you're sick

Stand 6 feet or more away from other people if they're sick or have been around others who are.  when in the bus or in a car sit near an open window.  Get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat healthy foods. 



Coughs

Coughs can be signs of a serious illness.  If your child has a cough and is having problems breathing properly, you should seek medical attention for the child.

Fever 

A fever is a body temperature that is over 100.4^F or 36^C.  Your child may feel warm, shiver or look flushed and you will need to take his temperature to know for sure. 

 

A fever is not a sickness, it is a sign of sickness and can be caused by a number of things like a cold, the flu or even an ear infection.

A fever is usually harmless and should go away in about three days. If it does not go away, take the child to the doctor.  
Call the doctor if the fever is accompanied by sleepiness, stiff neck, rash, bad headache, sore throat, ear pain, throwing up or diarrhea.

If the child is under three months and has a fever of over 103^F (39^C) call the doctor right away.  You should also call the doctor if your child takes steroids or has any disease that makes it hard to fight off infections or has had a seizure or has been in a hot place like a closed up car in heat.


Tips to Cool Down A Fever

Give your child medicine that can bring down the fever.   Your doctor can advise you on that.


If the fever is over 104^F and he/she cannot take medication give him/her a cold water bath. The water should be cooler than your child’s body. 

 

Sponge the water over your child.  If he starts to shiver, that signals that the water is too cold and you should take him out, as this can make the fever worse.


Don’t rub or bathe your child with rubbing alcohol and do not let the child shiver as shivering warms the body.

Seizures    
Fevers can cause seizures in some young children and they are scary but usually harmless.  When a seizure is coming on, the child may look strange, shake then stiffen and twitch and his or her eyes may roll.  If this happens:



  • Lay the child down on the floor or a bed and turn his head to the side so that spit or vomit can drain out.

  • Don’t put anything in your child’s mouth.

  • Get medical help right away.  Even after a seizure, the child should be examined by a doctor.

© 2011 Barbados Children Directory

 

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