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Common Ailments in Children and What to do

Mothers who have growing children should be familiar with the common ailments in children in order to successfully take care of their children. They should also get information on when and how the children can be immunised. Some of the ailments include:

i. vomiting.
ii. colic.
iii. restlessness and persistent crying.
iv. fever.
v. loss of appetite.
vi. constipation.
vii. Diarrhoea.

a. Immunisation
This is the aid given to children to protect them from diseases, especially by giving them injections. Immunisation is given at the infant welfare clinic, usually against tetanus, whooping cough, polio, smallpox, measles, tuberculosis, etc. There are different types of vaccines prepared to prevent certain diseases in children. They are:

i. Triple vaccine – This is a mixture of three vaccines to prevent three diseases.
ii. Polio vaccine – There are two types: the one taken through the mouth and one given by injection. They are to prevent polio.
iii. Quadruple vaccine contains four vaccines to protect against four diseases.
iv. Smallpox vaccine is given for protection against smallpox.
v. Measles vaccine is given for protection against measles.
vi. BCG vaccine is given to prevent tuberculosis.

Immunisation – Schedule
i. At birth-BCG.
ii. At two months -first dose of DTP plus first dose of polio vaccine.
iii. At three months-second dose of DTP plus second dose of polio vaccine.
iv. At four months -third dose of DTP plus third dose of polio vaccine.
v. At nine months -measles vaccine.

b. Home-Accidents
Growing children are prone to all forms of home accidents. Some of these accidents include:

1. Suffocation – This may be caused by soft pillows, plastic bags and/or their plastic pants. This can be prevented if these things are kept out of the reach of children.
2. Poisoning – Resulting from swallowing non-edible substances, some household cleaning substance or from drugs. This can be prevented by keeping all these medicines and non-edible substances in a safe place that is out of the reach of the children.
3. Falls – Young children fall because they do not readily reckon with danger. If articles like toys are lying around in passages or doorways, or if the children are tempted to reach for things on high shelves, they are likely to experience dangerous falls. It is advisable for mothers to keep their floors dry and also keep their children’s clothes in good luggage.
4. Cuts  – When a child has a small cut, it should be washed with an antiseptic soap or solution and bandaged, but if it is a big cut, it should be bandaged and a doctor should be called or consulted.
5. Electric shocks – This results from direct contact with electricity. All electrical appliances should be switched off after use. Water should not come in contact with electrical appliances and rubber shoes or sandals should be worn when operating electrical appliances. All these measures should be taken to prevent electric shocks in the home.

c. First-Aid
This is a simple medical treatment that is given to somebody during the time of sudden accidents, illnesses or emergencies. It is required for such home accident as burns, cuts and bruises as well as stings. It is very necessary for a home maker to have a first aid box in her house to enable her to cope with accidents in the house.

Contents of a first-aid box:

i. A roll of cotton wool.
ii. 1 packet of absorbent gauze.
iii. A bottle of antiseptic fluid such as “Dettol or Savlon” for washing cuts and bruises.
iv. Different sizes of bandages.
v. Safety pins.
vi. A packet of plastic dressings.
vii. A pair of round-ended scissors.
viii. A clinical thermometer.
ix. Razor blade.
x. Vaseline.
xi. Crepe bandage.