Typhoid Fever in Children: What should Parents Know?
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Typhoid fever is an infection caused a bacteria (germ) called Salmonella typhi. One can suffer from typhoid fever by drinking water or eating food contaminated by this bacteria. It can be prevented and can usually be treated with antibiotics.
The symptoms of typhoid fever may range from mild to severe, and can come on suddenly or very gradually over a few weeks. Common signs and symptoms of typhoid fever can include:
- Fever that can reach as high as 104°F (40°C)
- Muscle aches
- Tiredness or weakness
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- A temporary rash on stomach or chest
- Get your child vaccinated against typhoid fever.
Maintain Good Hygiene!
- Wash hands with soap and warm water, whenever necessary. If soap and water aren’t available, clean with hand sanitizer.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, after changing diapers, before preparing/ serving food, and before eating/ feeding your child.
- You should teach your child the importance of hand hygiene as well.
- Wash the dishes, utensils and cutting board especially well with soap and water.
Keep a Watch on what your Child Eats and Drinks!
- Thoroughly cook eggs (hard-boiled), meats, fish and vegetables.
- Avoid eating food served at room temperature; food should be eaten while they are hot.
- Give your child fruits and vegetables that is peeled and washed in clean water.
- Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors.
- Boil or disinfect any water that will be used for drinking, washing or preparing food. Store drinking water in a clean container with a small opening or a cover. Use it within 4 hours. Drinking mineral water is also equally safe.
- Pour from the water container - do not dip a cup into the container.
- Avoid tap or well water or drinks (such as juice), ice, ice candies, kulfi, fountain drinks and flavoured ice made with such water. These drinks/food items can be consumed if it is made from bottled/mineral or boiled water.
- One can consume soda or sports drinks from a sealed can or bottle, hot beverages like hot chocolate or health drinks, pasteurized dairy products and milk.
Dispose all Wastes Properly!
- Make sure that all wastes are properly discarded. This includes the washing or disposal of dirty diapers.
- Dispose of babies' faeces in the toilet or latrine.
Keep your Child Free from Infection!
- If you are down with typhoid fever, avoid preparing or handling food for your child and other family members.
- Also keep personal items like towels, bed linen and utensils for your own use separate. Wash them frequently in hot, soapy water.
- Clean household items, toilets, door handles, telephone receivers and water taps daily with a household cleaner, duster and disposable cloths.