Diseases and conditions

t’s normal for a child to have eight or more colds a year. This is because there are hundreds of different cold viruses and young children have no immunity to any of them as they've never had them before. Gradually they build up immunity and get fewer colds.

Most colds get better in five to seven days. Here are some suggestions on how to ease the symptoms in your child: Increase the amount of fluid your child normally drinks. Saline nose drops can help loosen dried nasal secretions and relieve a stuffy nose. Ask your pharmacist, GP or health visitor about them. If your child has a fever, pain or discomfort, paracet amol or ibuprofen can help. There are special products for children. It will state on the packet how much you should give children of different ages.

Encourage the whole family to wash their hands regularly to stop the cold spreading. Nasal decongestants can make stuffiness worse. Never use them for more than two or three days.

Diagnose some major illnesses

All of the infections that are in the immunisation programme can develop into serious illness, and have the potential to cause disability or death. Vaccinating your child means he or she is protected from these serious illnesses and their potentially devastating effects.

On top of these cravings, dieters also have to manage feelings of deprivation: 'Everybody is eating what I'm not allowed to. They can have it - why cant I?' This kind of thinking is likely to lead to rebellious overeating.

Ear infections

Ear infections are common in babies and small children. They often follow a cold and sometimes cause a temperature. A child may pull or rub at an ear, but babies can’t always tell where pain is coming from and may just cry and seem uncomfortable.

If your child has earache but is otherwise well, give them paracetamol or ibuprofen for 12-24 hours. Don’t put any oil, eardrops or cotton buds into your child’s ear unless your GP advises you to do so. Most ear infections are caused by viruses, which can’t be treated with antibiotics. They will just get better by themselves.

After an ear infection your child may have a problem hearing for two to six weeks. If the problem lasts for any longer than this, ask your GP for advice.

The trouble is that for many people a lapse is a sign of failure. They tell themselves they've 'blown it' and experience feelings of inadequacy.

Sore throats

Sore throats are often caused by viral illnesses such as colds or flu. Your child’s throat may be dry and sore for a day or two before a cold starts. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be given to reduce the pain.

Most sore throats clear up on their own after a few days. If your child has a sore throat for more than four days, has a high temperature and is generally unwell, or is unable to swallow fluids or saliva, see your GP.

Coughs

Children often cough when they have a cold because of mucus trickling down the back of the throat. If your child is feeding, drinking, eating and breathing normally and there’s no wheezing, a cough isn’t usually anything to worry about.

If your child has a bad cough that won’t go away, see your GP. If your child also has a high temperature and is breathless, they may have a chest infection. If this is caused by bacteria rather than a virus your GP will prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection. Antibiotics won’t soothe or stop the cough straightaway.

Chikenpox

Chickenpox (Varicella) is a common communicable childhood disease. It is widely known that it is caused by the varicella zoster virus, something a lot of us will have dealt with at work and at home as well.

The varicella virus is typically transmitted by personal contact or droplet spread with an incubation period of one to three weeks. Varicella is a highly contagious virus and has a high secondary infection rate - as high as 90% within households1. The infection is most common in children below the age of ten, for whom the disease is usually mild.

All exercise is good for health

Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body uses up calories. So, if you take in 2,500 calories a day, and burn all those 2,500 calories a day, you’ll stay the same weight. If you burn only 2,000 of those calories, you’ll put on weight. Becoming more active is an effective way to speed up your metabolic rate so that you can burn more calories than you eat.




Regular exercise has a great many health benefits too, including helping to combat diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and osteoporosis. Also, as your body releases natural feel-good chemicals when you exercise, this can boost your mental and emotional wellbeing, helping you to combat stress and feel happier. Remember to consult your doctor before you start an exercise programme.