Getting pregnant and giving birth is the beginning of a lifelong adventure. And like all adventures, the one with your baby will have its ups and downs too.
One of the biggest lows a mother can experience is when her little one falls ill. But diseases are a part and parcel of the human existence. You cannot run away from bad health, but you can deal with them better, for sure!
The Human Papilloma Virus or HPV is one of the many organisms out there that can make your child fall ill. Unfortunately, not many parents are aware of this HPV virus in children and how it works.
But knowledge is power. The more you know about the enemy, the easier it will be to defeat it. So, grab the front seat and get all the information on HPV in children.
What Is HPV?
Like most viruses, the HPV too is contagious. It spreads only through skin-to-skin contact and can infect the outer layer of the skin. The HPV commonly affects the mouth, rectum, anus, and genital areas.
[ Read: Bacterial Infections In Children ]
How Do Children Get HPV?
Most cases of HPV in adults are a result of sexual activity. But children get it too. But it is still not very clear as to how they get it!
According to experts, some of the common ways the HPV may transmit to children include:
1. Mother To Child:
If you have HPV while you are pregnant, you can pass it on to your child while she in the womb. She can also contract the virus when she is passing through the vaginal canal during childbirth.
2. Through Warts:
If a child has a wart on her hands, she can transmit the same to her genital area when she touches it.
3. Through A Caregiver:
If you or any of your child’s caregivers have warts, they can transmit the virus to your child.
4. Sexual Abuse:
In some harrowing cases, children can get HPV through sexual abuse.
[ Read: Symptoms Of Flu In Children ]
Diagnosing HPV In Children:
Diagnosing HPV can be tricky in children, especially if they have genital warts. Some of the methods a doctor may use to diagnose HPV includes:
1. Physical Exam:
The most common method of diagnosing HPV, a doctor or nurse will do a physical exam and may also check your child’s genital area.
2. Family History:
To make a correct diagnosis, the doctor may also enquire about your family’s medical history involving HPV.
Finally, your doctor may suggest some tests. Pap smear, colposcopy, etc. can help diagnose HPV in kids.
Treating HPV And Genital Warts In Children:
Some of the methods to treat HPV children and genital warts include:
1. Imiquimod (Aldara):
It is a cream based medicine that you can apply to your child’s warts and help them heal faster.
Another medication that can do wonders for treating genital warts is Podofilox.
[ Read: Home Remedies For Warts In Children ]
3. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) Or Bichloroacetic Acid (BCA):
Unlike the creams and gels mentioned before, only a doctor can apply TCA or BCA.
A painful but effective technique, cryotherapy involves applying cold liquid nitrogen on the wart.
In rare cases, a surgery may be the only option to remove the warts.
[ Read: Measles In Children ]
Preventing HPV Infection In Children:
Most infections due to HPV are harmless. But some can go on to cause cancer. Fortunately, you can protect your child from these diseases with the help of a vaccine!
- The vaccine, called Gardasil, can prevent cervical, penis and scrotum cancer. Usually, doctors advise it for girls who are nine years or older.
- Talk to your doctor if you want to know more about this HPV vaccine for kids.
- Like all infections and diseases, you can help your child fight HPV too without much fuss. All you need to do is be watchful. A little hygiene can help your child go a long way. And if your child is nine years and above, do consider getting her vaccinated against HPV!
Have you or your child suffered from HPV infection? What symptoms did you have? Share with us!