A good start to children’s health is the practicing of basic hygiene like brushing teeth twice a day and washing hands after going to the toilet. Good dental hygiene is vital for your child’s general health, and encouraging hygiene, in general protects ourselves and others from illness.
Being careful in the sun is another preventative measure that can prevent sunburn and the potential for skin cancers later in life. To keep your child safe from UV radiation simply follow the SunSmart advice to slip on clothing, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on sunglasses.
Common Children’s Health Issues
The one conditions children have most regularly, are colds. Although fluids, rest and some cuddles usually help them on their way, there may be a need to see your GP if there is a concern it is something more serious.
If your child is short of breath, wheezes when breathing out or coughs during exercise, then Asthma may be the issue. In this case, your doctor will be able to assist with a management plan.
Your doctor can also be consulted regarding food intolerances and more rarely, food allergies. Other things in the environment like dust mites, animals, insect stings or pollen can create non-food allergic reactions, so if suspected it’s best to confirm with your GP.
An infection such as conjunctivitis where the eyes are red, puffy and sore, is contagious if bacterial or viral, but not if it is due to an allergy, so once again best to see your doctor and confirm the cause.
Careful hand washing can be used to prevent the spread of other common conditions such as worms or hand, foot, and mouth disease. Other good hygiene like not sharing water bottles or utensils can keep more serious conditions like gastroenteritis at bay.
Some contagious conditions like impetigo, otherwise known as ‘school sores’, that are harder to deal with, may require antibiotics from the doctor.
Children’s health conditions of lesser concern, such as lice, can be death with using a comb and conditioner. Others like warts that although not of immediate concern, may require a little more investigation.
Immunisation is for the benefit of your child and the community, in protecting against diseases that are serious and potentially life-threatening. It is important for your children’s health to keep immunisations up to date, this can be done by talking to your GP and following the National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule. Some more information can be found here about immunisation including a list of immunisations for children under 4 years.
Administering medication at home for your child should be done according to what has been prescribed by a doctor or recommended by a pharmacist. Be sure to check the dosage instructions first, ensuring it is the correct dose for your child’s age or weight. Even herbal remedies can be dangerous for children, so it is best to check with your GP first. If you believe your child has accidentally taken medication or been given the wrong dose please call the Queensland Poisons Information Centre on 131 126.
Also, note that children’s symptoms can become worse very quickly. If they have pale or blue skin, are unresponsive, drowsy or have difficulty breathing, please seek help immediately. The quickest way is by calling 000 to request an ambulance, or by taking your child to the emergency department of the nearest hospital.
For a consultation with a GP regarding any of the services listed above please see our appointments page or contact our friendly reception staff on 1300 250 815.