Form # 1572

The Children’s Center 700 Campbell Avenue Franklin, Virginia 23851 (757) 562-6806 (757)-539-9002 CHILDHOOD ILLNESSES PACKET
Dear Parents: Because you all have young children, you are well aware that they often come into contact with a variety of germs, which may cause them to become sick. The spread of germs is greatly reduced by frequent handwashing and cleaning of toys - two practices used by The Children’s Center. While we try to decrease the likelihood that your child will get sick, it is possible that he or she may experience some childhood illnesses. We often get questions about childhood illnesses and thought it might be helpful to share some information about a few of them. We have selected the following 10 illnesses: We hope you will find the information useful. Please call us if you have any questions. CHICKEN POX
Symptoms of chicken pox include fever, unusual tiredness, and rash. The rash quickly changes from red bumps to blisters, which pop and form scabs. The rash is itchy and usually begins on the head, chest or stomach and moves outward. Chicken pox is easy to catch and is spread both by direct contact with an infected person, and through the air by coughing and sneezing. It takes 10 to 21 days from the time of exposure until symptoms develop. A person is contagious, however, from 2 days before the rash appears until all the blisters have crusted (usually 5 to 7 days). Chicken pox is a virus and cannot be “cured” by medicine. The itching can be relieved by cornstarch baths or by applying calamine lotion. Fever can be controlled with acetaminophen. The are new anti-viral medications which may be helpful. Consult your doctor. Effective July 1, 1999, Virginia State law requires that all children who have not had chickenpox by their first birthday should receive the chickenpox vaccine. Never give aspirin to a child with chicken pox because it may increase the risk of developing Reye’s Syndrome. Reye’s Syndrome is a rare complication, which usually begins as the child is recovering from chicken pox. Symptoms include vomiting followed by confusion and sleepiness, followed by irritability and loss of consciousness. If your child has any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately. Any child with chicken pox should be kept out of school or day care until all sores have scabs. CONJUNCTIVITIS (Pink Eye)

What are the symptoms?
Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the eyes which causes redness, itching and pain. There is usually a discharge which is thick (green or yellow) or watery. The eyelids may be swollen and the eyelashes stuck together. Conjunctivitis usually does not cause a high fever. Conjunctivitis can be caused by infection, allergies, or chemicals. Infectious
conjunctivitis (viral or bacterial) is very contagious and is easily spread by direct contact
with the discharge from the eyes through contaminated fingers, clothing, linens, or toys.
Symptoms usually appear within 24 to 72 hours after exposure. Children are contagious
until 24 hours after being on antibiotics.
Infectious conjunctivitis needs to be treated by a doctor who will prescribe an antibiotic. Proper handwashing and cleaning of toys, clothing and sheets and towels will help prevent spread of the infection. • Children with infectious conjunctivitis should be kept at home until they have been taking • Sometimes an ear infection develops in children with conjunctivitis. Call your doctor if your child has a loss of appetite, is irritable or is pulling at the ears. • A high fever with conjunctivitis can mean that a more serious condition, called cellutitis, exists. Cellutitis is an infection of the skin and is characterized by warmth, swelling, and red or purple discoloration around the eye. Call your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms are present. FIFTH DISEASE
Fifth Disease is a viral illness that affects children ages 2-12 years. It is characterized by a red rash on the face that looks as if the child has been slapped. The rash spreads to the arms and legs within several days and lasts a week or more. It is usually not associated with a fever. The rash may reappear with exposure to sunlight, heat or cold. The virus is spread by respiratory secretions. Symptoms appear 6 to 14 days after contact. Fifth Disease is a virus and cannot be “cured” by medicine. Treatment depends on the symptoms. The rash may reappear with exposure to sunlight, heat or cold. HAND, FOOT, AND MOUTH DISEASE
This disease is caused by a virus (coxsackie) which causes small painful sores in the mouth, small blisters or red spots on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and on the webs between the fingers and toes. A low-grade fever may occur. It mainly occurs in children 6 months to 4 years old. Hand, foot, mouth disease can be spread very easily. Exposed children are likely to develop the symptoms in 3-6 days. Hand, foot, mouth disease is a virus and cannot be “cured” by medicine. Fever and discomfort may be controlled with acetaminophen (Tylenol). Children should be kept at home until all the blisters have dried. IMPETIGO

What are the symptoms?
Impetigo is a common infection caused by bacteria that invade broken, scratched or burned skin. It is identified by a honey colored crust over the sores. It does not cause fever. How do you get it? Impetigo is very contagious and is easily spread by contaminated hands, clothes, or linens
as well as by direct contact with the sores. What is the treatment? If you suspect impetigo, you must take your child to a doctor. Impetigo responds to treatment with antibiotics and local skin care (cleaning the affected area). Are there any special considerations? • Children with impetigo should not attend school or day care until they have been on • Careful handwashing and cleaning of contaminated articles is necessary to prevent the • Impetigo is easily treated but it can lead to post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (a serious kidney condition). Early treatment is important to prevent this complication. RINGWORM

What are the symptoms?
Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus - not a worm! It looks like a raised round red, scaly patch with a clearing in the center. How do you get it? Ringworm is contagious and is spread by contact with the sore or the contaminated hands, clothing, linens or other items. It takes about 10 days from the time of contact for the symptoms to appear. A person is contagious as long as sores are present. Treatment with a fungicidal medicine is required. Contact your child’s doctor if you suspect ringworm. • Children with ringworm are contagious as long as sores are present. • If there are a limited number of sores, and they can be easily covered, a child may be allowed to attend day care once he has been on medication for 24 hours.

What are the symptoms?
Roseola is a viral illness that affects only preschool children - most commonly those between 6 to 24 months. It is characterized by 3 to 4 days of high fever followed by a generalized rash. The rash, consisting of distinct red spots especially on the neck and body appears when the fever goes down. The virus is thought to be spread by respiratory secretions. Symptoms appear 10 to 15 days after contact. It is unclear how contagious it is but a child is most likely able to give the virus to someone as long as he has symptoms. Treatment for Roseola depends on the symptoms. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be given for fever. Children should not attend school or day care until the fever and rash go away (usually about 5 days). Complications are rare, but occasionally children will have febrile seizures ( a high fever that causes a seizure).
What are the symptoms?
RSV is one of the viruses that cause colds in people of all ages. In infants and young children, RSV may cause a more serious infections. Symptoms include clear nasal drainage, cough, decreased appetite, low-grade fever, loud or rapid breathing. RSV is spread by close contact with a person who is sneezing or coughing, but the most common way is by hand contact. It is the most common during the winter. Most children get better on their own and do not require medical treatment. Some children, especially newborns and premature infants with heart and lung problems may need to be hospitalized. Children should not attend day care until their temperature returns to normal. STREP THROAT/SCARLET FEVER

What are the symptoms?
Strep throat and scarlet fever are caused by a bacteria known as Group A Streptococcus. The signs and symptoms include sore throat, fever, abdominal pain, swollen lymph nodes “glands” in the jaw and neck, and pus on the tonsils. There may be a red sandpapery rash, vomiting and stomach pain. Strep is spread by contact with secretions from the mouth or nose of an infected person. Symptoms appear 2 to 5 days after contact. Children are contagious until 24 hours after treatment with antibiotics has begun. Treatment by a doctor is required. Once the diagnosis is determined, an antibiotic will be prescribed. • Your child will begin to feel well after being on the antibiotic for a few days. It is very important that your child takes all of the antibiotics in order to prevent other problems (diseases) such as Rheumatic Fever. • Children should not attend school or day care until 24 hours after antibiotics are TUBERCULOSIS (TB)
TB is a serious disease, the incidence of which is increasing. It usually affects the lungs but can move into other organs. There may be no symptoms in the early stages, but as the disease worsens, fever, fatigue, weight loss, cough and bloody phlegm occur. TB is spread by respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing) of an infected person. It takes 4 to 12 weeks from the time of contact until the disease is detectable. It may take years before a person develops symptoms. It is unusual for a child to spread the disease because they have very few bacteria in their mucus secretions and have a relatively ineffective cough. Diagnosis is made by a skin test followed by a chest x-ray. Treatment is a long-term combination of medications. All persons living in the home are also treated to prevent infection. • Although child to child transmission of TB is unusual, children should not attend school or day care as long as they still have the disease. • A skin test to detect TB is routinely performed at 12 months of age. • If you are concerned that your child or a family member may have been exposed to someone with TB, consult your doctor or local health department.


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