What is Impetigo?

Impetigo also known as school sores is a bacterial infection of the skin.

Facts:

Caused by the Staphylococcus or Streptococcus organism, or both. These organisms are harmless and can be found in the nose and on the skin surface. Commonly affects children between the age of 2 and 6, hence the name ‘school sores’.

Incubation period: 

1-3 days after the person is infected and the child will remain infectious until the lesions are no longer weeping fluid.

 

Treatment

Prescription antibiotic cream or ointment.

Antibiotic syrup or tablet forms may also be prescribed.

If left untreated may cause skin abscesses.

The infected child should NOT attend care or school until they have received 24-hours of antibiotic coverage.

Cover the sores with a waterproof dressing and bandage with a crepe. 

What to look out for?

The child’s skin will be itchy and red. Blisters will develop around the mouth and nose. A weepy yellow, sticky discharge will be present when the blisters pop. The affected area will appear wet-looking and develop a crust. The scabs will eventually dry and fall off. It takes a few days for the skin to heal.

With severe impetigo the child will feel generally unwell, may have a fever and swollen glands.

How do you catch impetigo?

Spread via direct contact with the lesions. Contact with the mucous from the throat or nose.

Scratching the infected area and then touching another area of the body is another mode of transfer.

 

Key Points

Keep the infected person away from young babies, the immaturity of their immunity may not be able to handle the bacterial infection.

Practice good personal hygiene, encourage your child to do the same.

Cover sores where possible.

Keep child away from care / school until 24-hrs post starting antibiotic treatment.

See your doctor if the sores are not healing despite treatment or you are concerned for any reason.

 

Head Injury

Bound to be bumps, bangs and knocks along the way. Remember if your baby/child has ANY loss of consciousness, they MUST be seen by a medical professional. If the child has a MILD head injury it is ok to let them sleep, remembering, ANY changes or concerns with your child, you will be straight off to the nearest medical centre or emergency department. Don’t be afraid to call 000 and seek their expert advice. 

 

Fractures

Hard to escape when it comes to children… Snow trips, skate parks, play centres and endless curiosity and an abundance of no fear! 

When in doubt, treat as a fracture. Immobilise and support the injured limb straight away. Elevate and get that little limb up, think outside the box and use whatever you can. Time to pull out the  cold pack, this will assist with pain and swelling. Reach for your medicine cabinet and give pain relief. Hold off from giving your child any food or fluids at this stage, incase they require surgery. Off to the doctor, a X-ray is required. 

 

Gastroenteritis

Unfortunately if your child is hit with this highly contagious bug, they are out of bounds from socialising until 48-hours free from vomiting or diarrhoea. With gastroenteritis,  it is really important that you are on the look out for dehydration. Ensure your child has plenty of fluids and instead of reaching for the cordials and flat lemonade, reach for an oral rehydration solution.  Hydralyte  which is scientifically formulated and safe for bubs under 12-months, contains the correct balance of electrolytes and glucose required for rapid rehydration. 

 

Seizure

Managing a seizure in a car seat, pram or stroller: It’s ok to leave the child seated in the device as long as they are secure and safely strapped in. You may need to gently support their head and as soon as the jerking stops, the unconscious child should be taken out of the device and placed in the recovery position. Do you know the Kidzaid DRSABCD 7-step action plan?

 

Poisons

Being in new surrounds and unfamiliar territory, poisons pose a big risk for curious little bodies. Please see our POISONS info guide. Treatment and management is ever changing, so it’s essential you familiarise yourself with the current recommendations from the Poisons Information Centre. Add this contact number now: 13 11 26.

Swallowed (ingested) foreign objects

If your child swallows a lithium battery or magnet this is a medical emergency and requires prompt intervention. Call 000. 

1300 543 924

Bronchiolitis, Croup and Pneumonia

What you need to look out for and when to seek urgent medical assistance: 

  • Increased breathing rate, indicating your child is not getting enough oxygen.
  • Colour changes, your child may appear to have a bluish tinge to their lips, mouth and fingernails, again indicative of lack of oxygen. The skin can also appear gray or pale.
  • Noisy breathing – Grunting may be heard when your child exhales. It’s the body’s attempt to try and keep air in the lungs.
  • Nasal-flaring – Nostrils flaring in paediatrics is indicating the child is working very hard at breathing. 
  • Retractions / recession – ribs ‘sucking in’ when they are breathing is another way of trying to bring more air into their lungs.
  • Wheezing (whistling, musical sounds) – is indicating that your child’s air passages are becoming narrower and smaller.
  • Tripod position – child will adopt this position to try and draw in as much air as possible to their lungs. 
  • Observing your child’s behaviour and the level of consciousness is important.
  • Respiratory distress image – view here.

What is Dry Drowning?

Unlike drowning which is an immediate result of immersion into water, dry drowning is a delayed effect and can occur up to 24 hours after your child has had contact with water.

When a child takes in a small amount of water from a bath or pool, their larynx and vocal cords spasm (laryngospasm). The spasms minimise the amount of water from going into the lungs (aspiration), however it still causes breathing difficulty, possibly respiratory arrest, consequently leading to inadequate supply of oxygen in the blood.

Are there any risk factors for dry drowning?

Children with underlying lung problems such as asthma may be at an increased risk.

Signs & Symptoms to watch out for:

Persistent coughing: The spasms (medical term = laryngospasm), causes your child’s throat to close. The persistent coughing occurs as your child is attempting to clear their throat.

Pain in the chest: The laryngospasm from dry drowning causes extra stress on the chest and lungs, consequently leading to pain.

Lethargy – decreased energy.

Breathing difficulties – shortness of breath, fast breathing.

Sudden change in mood, agitated, confusion.

Pale or blue skin.

If you suspect your child could be suffering from dry drowning, seek medical attention, call 000 or go to your nearest emergency department. 

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