Symptoms in children – possible meanings

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1. Overview

Headaches and fever are common in children as they grow. Also, children often complain of ear pain during their childhood.

Among the causes of these symptoms are infections of the external or middle ear. Ear pain can be caused by a problem with the teeth, temporomandibular joint or neck.

Before parents take any decision, it is important to know the following information.


1. Overview
2. Fever
3. Headache
4. Ear pain
5. Nosebleed
6. Abdominal pain
7. Eye discharge and red eyes

2. Fever

- In the worst cases it can be a symptom of bacterial meningitis, lymphoma or leukemia.

- Medical review. Fever is usually caused by a viral infection and it is a serious symptom. In big or small children, fever under 38 Celsius degrees should not be worrying.

- How to treat it. It will be given the child a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, according to his age, to relieve fever. Parents will encourage fluid intake.

- When the situation will become worrisome. A three months old child with a rectal temperature of 39 Celsius degrees or higher should see a doctor, as with other older children whose armpits fever exceeds 38.5 Celsius degrees.

The child will be taken to a specialist if he has: bluish skin color, breathing difficulties or decreased appetite that persists for several days.

Painful urination and foul-smelling urine can indicate a urinary tract infection. Prolonged fever accompanied by fatigue that lasts more than two weeks may be a symptom of cancer.

3. Headache

- In the worst cases the headache is caused by the presence of blood clots, meningitis, abscess or a brain tumor.

- Medical review. Frequent headaches are common in adolescence. Most headaches in children of school age are related to blood pressure. These can be caused by lack of sleep, allergies, eye fatigue, inadequate nutrition and dehydration. If there is a family history of migraines, the child may suffer from this problem.

- How to treat it. The child will be given acetaminophen or ibuprofen and ensure adequate fluid intake. The child will rest in a dark room. A cold compress placed on the forehead can relieve headache.

- When the situation will become worrisome. If headaches disturb sleep, affect coordination, are accompanied by nausea, vomiting and stiff neck and worsen when the child leans forward, coughing or sneezing can all be signs of pressure in the head and it could be a more serious disease.

4. Ear pain

- In the worst cases it could be perforated eardrum or something stuck in your ear.

- Medical review. Ear pain could be characteristic of a middle ear infection, frequency-common in infants and young children. Ear discomfort is often a side effect of a cold. Contact your doctor if the pain persists and lasts more than 48 hours.

- How to treat it. Child will be given acetaminophen and ibuprofen for pain and to reduce fever. Placing a warm towel over the ear could relieve pain.

- When the situation will become worrisome. If your child has introduced an object in the ear, you must rush to the doctor’s office. Consult your doctor if your child has high fever, screaming in pain, often pulling the earlobe or has a history of ear infections or was recently treated for an ear infection.

5. Nosebleed

- In the worst situation could be the diagnosis of leukemia.

- Medical review. If the leukemia is present, it will present additional symptoms such as abnormal bruising. A more likely cause is the presence of dry air from the inside (nose picking can aggravate the situation). Although unpleasant, nasal bleeding rarely need professional help.

- How to treat it. Apply pressure on the thicker part of the nose and chin will tilt down for 10 minutes until the bleeding stops. Use a humidifier and grease should be applied locally or use a saline spray in the nose to prevent recurrences.

- When the situation will become worrisome. If the pressure application does not have the desired effect or if the nosebleeds are common, despite the precautions above, you must see your doctor.

6. Abdominal pain

- In the most serious cases the abdominal pain is the manifestation of poisoning, appendicitis or spider bite (widow-black).

- Medical review. Abdominal pain is most commonly caused by constipation, stomach flu or a reaction to the consumption of fructose or lactose. Even severe pain that starts suddenly appear, accompanied by crying can be caused by abdominal gas that appear and disappear.

- How to treat it. The available recommendations are those for treating constipation.

- When the situation will become worrisome. Consult a physician in case your child is vomiting, has fever or swollen abdomen or willing to move, if the pain is persistent and severe.

Abdominal pain lasting several days, even if not severe, should be assessed, as could be the sign of a urinary tract infection. Pain in the right lower abdomen could indicate appendicitis.

7. Eye discharge and red eyes

- In the worst cases the cornea may be scratched.

- Medical review. Most cases of inflammation of the eye or conjunctivitis is caused by a virus. If the child’s eyes are bloodshot eye but no leaks are present, it can only have an allergy or a virus that will go away.

- How to treat it. If eye discharge is not involved, it is necessary to consult a doctor and most likely will get a prescription for antibiotic eye drops.

- When the situation will become worrisome. When the baby looks like his eyes hurts he is bothered by light, the cornea may be scratched in this case will go immediately to the doctor. The child should be assessed where tissues around the eyes are red or swollen or when there are persistent pain and watery eyes.



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