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Many parents around the country will be sighing with relief as their kids return to school after an extended summer break - but they might end up off again before you know it, if they fall foul to one of the common ailments that plague youngsters.
“Lots of young people in close proximity is a great opportunity for viruses, bacteria, nits, worms and all sorts of nasties to be spread around,” The Hour’s resident GP Dr Debbie Wake explained.
Many illnesses common in school pupils are caused by viruses, and soon spread like wildfire. But good hygiene practices can help minimise the chances of these bugs being passed on.
Youngsters should be taught to wash their hands thoroughly after going to the toilet, after wiping their nose and before eating or drinking.
It’s also important to cover the mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing, as germs can be spread easily, and to dispose of tissues properly.
High fevers are common in youngsters of school age and are usually caused by the common cold, coughs and other viruses.
If your child falls victim to a virus and has a high temperature, try to lower it with the use of paracetamol, ibuoprofen or Calpol, and give them lots to drink.
However if they show any signs of serious illness make sure to get medical help quickly. This could include symptoms such as breathing problems, drowsiness, pale or mottled skin, headaches and aches or pains, as well as symptoms that don’t seem to improve after treatment with paracetamol, ibuoprofen or Calpol.
Also keep a close eye on rashes; a purple spotty rash could be a sign of meningitis or septicaemia, and urgent treatment is essential.
If in any doubt about any condition, seek medical help immediately.