Monday, April 24, 2017

Checking for serious illness in Children :

Contact your GP or – in an emergency – take your child to hospital quickly or
call ‘999’ if you notice any of the following signs, which can suggest potentially
serious or life-threatening illness:

✓ Your child looks unwell and her skin has turned unusually pale, mottled,
ashen or blue.
✓ Your child doesn’t respond to you as normal.
✓ Your child can’t be roused, or if you manage to do so, she doesn’t
stay awake.
✓ Your infant’s crying is weak, high-pitched or doesn’t stop.
✓ Your child grunts in an unusual way and breathes very fast (more than
60 breaths per minute).
✓ Your child’s breathing appears laboured, and you notice that her chest
draws in during every breath in an unusual way.
✓ Your child’s skin has lost its elasticity and stays pulled up for much longer
than usual when you pinch it gently between your finger and thumb.
✓ Your baby is under 3 months old and has a fever of 38 degrees Celsius
(100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher; or is 3–6 months old with a temperature
of 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher.
Trust your instincts – if you suspect that your child has a serious and potentially
life-threatening illness, don’t hesitate to consult your GP urgently or call
‘999’ in an emergency.

Tackling febrile fits
Fits (also called febrile convulsions or seizures) may occur when your child’s
temperature rises very quickly or is very high, and can be a very frightening
experience for a parent. Your child’s eyes may roll back, her arms and legs
may shake and her body become stiff, but fits can vary a lot in the way they
occur. In most cases a fit is over after a few seconds, but can last for longer.
If your child has a fit, put her on her side with the head slightly down (to prevent
choking), and don’t shake her. Try to bring her temperature down by
taking off some clothes if the room is warm. When your child is awake again,
give paracetamol or ibuprofen (read the instructions on the packet, as you
need to give the correct dosage for your child’s age). Contact your GP – particularly
if your child has had a fit for the first time.

Consult your doctor urgently or call ‘999’ if you notice the following:
✓ Your child doesn’t get better quickly after a fit.
✓ Your child’s fit lasts for more than five minutes.
✓ Your child has a series of fits, with gaps in between.
✓ Your child finds breathing difficult.
✓ Your child wasn’t fully conscious just before the fit and isn’t back to
normal one hour afterwards.

The Patient UK website provides an excellent information leaflet on febrile convulsions
if you want to find out more – visit www.patient.co.uk for further details.

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