Children and Meningitis symptoms

November 12, 2012

Children and Meningitis symptoms

Meningitis is an illness suffered by both adults and children but the meningitis symptoms can be different depending on who is infected. Read on to learn about the symptoms typically presented by children.

Introduction to Meningitis

There are a great number of meningitis symptoms and they can vary in type and severity from case to case. The kind of symptom tends to depend on the age of the individual infected as children and infants generally display meningitis symptoms that are slightly different to those experienced by adults. The first difference is that they are often much harder to recognize in children than they are in adolescents and adults. Meningitis symptoms in infected children are very similar to symptoms associated with the flu so this is often the first presumption. This results in a lack of the correct treatment in the early stages and it is much later on in the progression of the infection until characteristics of the condition begin to reveal themselves. By this time, in some cases the infection is fairly advanced and it can become a lot more difficult to treat and cure.

Meningitis symptoms in children

There are number of distinguishing meningitis symptoms, that if you notice your child displaying should trigger the consideration that they are suffering from meningitis. If your child is suffering from any of these meningitis symptoms then they should be taken to the doctor immediately to begin the proper treatment. The primary meningitis symptoms in children include:

  • Excessive and unusual amounts of crying
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Increased amount of sleep
  • A reduction in water intake
  • Stiff neck
  • Behaving lethargically
  • Rashes
  • Labored breathing
  • Cold extremities
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Blotchy skin

Meningitis can infect both adults and children in two forms. The first is viral meningitis and the second is bacterial meningitis. In comparison the former is not that serious but bacterial meningitis has the potential to be life threatening. This type can be recognized if the condition of the child deteriorates rapidly as this infection progresses quickly in those with a weaker immune system such as infants. When noticed the child should be seen to immediately as those who survive can suffer from serious disability such as paralysis or seizures if they are not treated immediately.

Causes of meningitis

Meningitis is when the membrane that protects the brain and the spinal cord becomes inflamed due to infection. It is caused by a bacteria that I commonly found in the mouth but is sometimes able to break through a person’s immune system and infect the fluid of the membrane. A head trauma, sinus or ear infection is just a few of the reasons the bacteria may be able to break through. There is a meningitis vaccination that is available to help protect children.

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