La escarlatina en niños

Scarlet fever in children

Scarlet fever is a disease caused by a bacterial infection, specifically by group A streptococcus. This infection is characterized by red, or scarlet spots, that appear on the skin, as well as other symptoms such as fever, tonsillitis or pharyngitis sometimes. Scarlet fever can affect anyone, although it usually affects in childhood.

Specifically, the highest incidence is found in children aged between 5 and 12 years. Although this is not a serious illness, it is necessary to treat it quickly to prevent symptoms from causing major problems. Knowing how to appreciate and distinguish the general symptoms of scarlet fever, will help you to differentiate this from any other infection, which is essential when starting with timely treatment.

Causes of scarlet fever

As with this type of infectious diseases, scarlet fever is contracted by a streptococcus of group A, through the nose and mouth. So, it is spread through airborne droplets of saliva that spreads a contagious person when coughing or sneezing. That is, children are easily infected because they share space with their peers in school and in the usual recreation areas.

What are the general symptoms?

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The main symptoms of scarlet fever can be confused with other conditions typical of the colder months, such as the flu, the common cold, or tonsillitis.

These are the general symptoms of scarlet fever:

  • General malaise, joint pain, muscle and general physical pain, as well as a constant feeling of tiredness.
  • High fever, above 38º.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea, vomiting and chills.
  • Swelling of the throat nodes , redness and difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling of the tongue, in addition to noticing whitish than usual. It can also be reddened in excess.
  • Skin rashes, redness and scales, usually on the inside of the elbows, armpits, and groin.

Treatment for scarlet fever

When your doctor determines and verifies that it is a scarlet fever infection, antibiotic-based treatment is usually prescribed to eliminate the bacteria. Treatment should be carried out completely and as directed by the pediatrician, since if not treated correctly, it could lead to serious health problems.

Here are some of the complications that can result from scarlet fever:

  • Rheumatic fever: An inflammatory disease that canaffect various organs such as the heart, brain, skin, or joints.
  • Otitis: Children often suffer from ear infections, one of the consequences of scarlet fever may be otitis media. A very painful and annoying inflammation for children.
  • Arthritis: What is the inflamation of the joints.
  • Kidney disease: Produced byinflammation of the kidneys, caused by scarlet fever.
  • Pneumonia: This is aninfection in the lung.
  • Various skin infections.
  • Abscesses and sores in the throat.

Preventive measures

Teaching children to prevent the spread of infections and diseasesis the best way to avoid massive spread in schools. Children by nature share physical space with other children, kiss, touch, hug and share their things generously. However, in the same way of sharing your life with other children, you find the greatest risk of spread of various diseases.

Especially at these times when the world is fighting the Covid pandemic, it is essential that everyone, including children, learn and develop hygiene and prevention habits. Frequent hand washing is the main preventive measure , as well as avoid touching your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth. They also need to learn to drink only from your glass or bottle, because in everyday objects there is also a great risk of contagion.

In short, teaching children to take care of their own health, is as important as any other lesson that parents teach naturally. Just as you teach your children to brush their teeth to take care of their oral health, you should teach them other ways to care for themselves and protect themselves, because they also protect others.