Are you worried about that small rash that has suddenly appeared on your child’s body? Do you suspect it to be more than just a plain rash? Has your child taken vaccinations against measles?
In addition to the rash, if your child shows other symptoms like fever and difficulty in swallowing, it could be a case of measles. Read on to know how you can spot measles in your child, what its symptoms are, and how you can treat it.
What Is Measles?
Measles is an extremely infectious illness that spreads because of the rubeola virus. It causes rashes on your child’s body. Rubeola (after the name of the virus that causes it) or red measles are other names for measles (1).
How Does Measles Spread?
The nose and throat of the patient suffering from measles are the breeding ground of the rubeola virus. Once a person suffering from measles coughs or sneezes, the infected droplets of mucus remain active and contagious for almost two hours. The infection can easily spread if your chil
[ Read: Rubella In Kids ]
What Are The Symptoms Of Measles In Children?
A few early signs you can keep a look out for are high fever, runny nose and sneezing. If your child has contracted the rubeola virus your child will also complain of swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, cough, sore throat, excessive fatigue, redness in the eyes and diarrhea. If your child is suffering from measles, then after the other symptoms subside, your child will have red spots inside the mouth and rashes all over the body.
What Are The Options For Treating Measles In Children?
There is no specific medicine yet that can completely eradicate the measles virus. In some countries, measles vaccinations are a part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination (2). Doctors normally administer the first dose to children who are between 12 and 13 months of age. The second round of medication takes place when children are between three and five years of age. Usually, the MMR vaccination is sufficient to protect children from measles.
However, if your child contracts measles, there is no sure-shot treatment for it. The doctor will only prescribe medication to boost your child’s immunity to fight the symptoms, and get rid of the infection eventually. Rest is very important for your child at this stage, as it will help lower the fever and heal his body too. In most cases, the symptoms subside within seven to ten days.
Here are a few things you can do to help your child when he is suffering from measles:
- Protect your child from dehydration. Your child should drink plenty of water and liquids through the day. Include fresh fruit and vegetable juices as well as soups in his diet.
- The pediatrician may recommend paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease the aches in your child’s joints and muscles.
- The doctor may also suggest a vitamin A supplement.
[ Read: Heat Rash In Children ]
When Should I Take My Child To The Doctor?
Seek immediate medical help if your child is suffering from:
- Dehydration (dryness of the mouth, less urine, extreme drowsiness)
- Difficulty in Breathing
[ Read: Papular Urticaria ]
Timely vaccinations can help prevent measles. Consult your child’s pediatrician about it. Remember to teach your child that the practice of healthy habits can protect him from contracting contagious diseases like measles. Stress on the importance of washing hands and using a sanitizer before and after meals. Also, ensure your child carries a handkerchief, especially if he is suffering from cold and cough.
If your child has undergone treatment for measles, please share your advice and experience with us.
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