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6 common back to school illnesses and what to do if they occur

6 common back to school illnesses and what to do if they occur

Sick child
The new school year brings a lot of new routines and dare I say it colds, coughs and the usually sicknesses. It’s October and the season of all nasty bugs and the childhood illnesses start arriving at our doors. Here is a quick idea of what you can expect to be spreading around the school environments over the next few months.
 
Chicken pox
How many of you called this the chicken pops as a kid, please don’t say I was the only one!! Anyway, we all know the signs of the dreaded chicken pox. They generally start out as spots on the chest and back and spread quickly causing an itchy skin rash wherever it spreads to. Chickenpox often starts with a fever, headache, sore throat, or stomach ache.
 
Foot and Mouth disease
This causes a fever and blisters inside the mouth and tongue and on the palm of the hand. It’s most spreadable in early autumn amongst children and usually runs its course in 10 days. If your child catches it, you will be advised to keep them off school and avoid allowing your child to use the same cups/glasses as other family members.
 
Strep Throat
Young kids are most likely to become infected by streptococcus bacteria if an older sibling has the illness. Strep spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes, your child can also get it by touching a toy that an infected kid has played with. Symptom is throat pain, which can be so severe that he may have trouble swallowing or even talking. They may develop a fever, swollen lymph nodes, and abdominal pain. Seek your doctors advice as always.

Scarlett Fever
There seems to be an increase in this of late which is unusual as we associated it with many years ago.Scarlet fever usually begins looking like bad sunburn with tiny bumps and it may itch. The rash usually appears first on the neck and face, often leaving a clear unaffected area around the mouth. It spreads to the chest and back, then to the rest of the body. In body creases, especially around the underarms and elbows, the rash forms classic red streaks. Areas of rash usually turn white when you press on them. By the sixth day, the rash usually fades, but the affected skin may begin to peel. Other symptoms include a reddened sore throat, and a fever above (38.3°C), and swollen glands in the neck. The tonsils and back of the throat may be covered with a whitish coating, or appear red, swollen, and dotted with whitish or yellowish specks of pus. Again medical attention is required.
 
Impetigo
This is another skin infection is most common in younger children. It starts when strep bacteria gets in a cut, scratch, or bite.
It can affect any area of the body but happens most often around the mouth nose, and hands. Babies sometimes get the irritation in their diaper area. Symptoms include small blisters that burst. Touching or scratching the sores, which can be itchy, spreads impetigo to other parts of the body and to other people. You will need an antibiotic cream. Consult your doctor again.

Influenza
Much different to the common cold, sniffles, runny days, cough the the flu comes on hard and fast: a fever of up to 103℉, body aches and chills, a headache, sore throat, cough, and sometimes also vomiting and diarrhea. It's a miserable wintertime illness that often lasts for more than a week and can lead to dangerous complications, including pneumonia. 

When to Call the Doctor
Most childhood illnesses run their course without any big worries. But for some symptoms you may need to call your local doctor. Watch for:
  • Dehydration Your child may have sunken eyes.Watch out for babies tell tale signs a sunken fontanel, or soft spot on his head.Your child might be extremely tired the mouth might be sticky. Also beware if they are urinating fewer than three or four times a day. In babies -watch out for dry nappies or very little wet nappies.
  • High fever In newborns, any high tempeture requires attention. For infants 3 to 6 months old, phone if the fever hits 101℉; for older babies and children, the threshold is 103℉.
  • Not eating It's normal for a sick child to have little interest in food. But if your child is eating or drinking less than half of what she normally would for two days or longer, check in with your doctor.
And as always it’s better to be safe than sorry. These are all just simple guidelines, trust your own instincts and call the doctor when you think necessary.
 
Written by Caroline.
Check out Caroline's Instagram page @eire_mummy and her blog at​ https://eiremummy.wordpress.com