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Sometimes, if the body temperature rises rapidly, some children may have a fit. The eyes are uprolled, lips are blue and the arms and legs are jerking. The child may foam in the mouth and is unconscious. Lie the child on his side, and hold him. Do not push any spoon into his mouth as he will not bite his tongue. The fit will stop in about 5 minutes and he cries and wakes. Later he falls into a deep sleep. After the fit, if the temperature is high, sponge him down as above and then bring him to the nearest doctor.
Common Coughs and colds
These are usually due to viral infections, and the nose mucus is clear. The illness settles usually in 1 week. The cough and cold will get better on its own and the child may only need some medicine for a blocked nose.
Diarrhoea or loose stools and vomitting
Again, these are usually due to viruses that cause an infection of the intestinal lining. There are no specific safe medicines to stop the diarrhoea in children.
Continue feeding milk, foods and give extra fluids in the form of oral rehydrating salts (ORS) mixed with water, offering small amounts at a time. Rice water cooked with a pinch of salt is also useful to prevent dehydration. Monitor the amount of urine passed. The diarrhoea gets better in 3-7 days.
Information courtesy of Dr S.L. Koe, Paediatrician & Lactation Consultant. Tel. no. : 03-798 30539)
What to do when your child has high fever, fits, cough and cold and watery stools
These are signs of common childhood illnesses that are not harmful to the child if properly taken care of.
High fever >38.5C for children more than 3 months of age
Fever is usually caused by a viral infection in a child. It is a sign that your child is fighting an illness. Check the temperature and give syrup paracetamol, or paracetamol suppositories through the anus. Sponge the child 2-3 times (even at night) when the temperature is >38.5C as follows:
(graphic can be found here)
The child may shiver during sponging, but this stops when the temperature is down. After 10 minutes, dry and dress the child in loose clothes and place child under fan for half an hour. The fever will settle. Monitor the child to see if he is drinking, eating and playing well inspite of the fever. Give extra fluids and make sure he passes urine as usual.
Symptoms to be worried about are as follows:
* Unusually hot or cold body
* Fits, drowsy or unusually quiet or lethargic, hard to wake, or floppy
* Rapid, breathing difficulty, grunting, coarse, hacking cough, wheezing
* Frequent vomitting and loose stools
* Keeps refusing foods and drinks
* Cries for a long time or screams intermittently
* Earache or child pulls ear
Call your Doctor or take the child to the nearest hospital
For babies younger than 3 months of age, with high fever:
Give syrup paracetamol, sponge, and seek medical help immediately.