Children get sick. It’s practically part of their job description. But there are some diseases that parents need to be aware of. This post is about some illnesses that children are vulnerable to, as well as their symptoms and what to do if you notice them.
Asthma is a relatively common long-term condition that is easily controlled with medication. Over a million children in the UK have asthma. The disease affects the airways, making them hyper sensitive to irritants like dust, smoke, pollen or even just cold air.
The causes of asthma are not completely understood, although it is thought to run in families.
Asthma is dangerous if not treated and managed correctly, every year children die because of it.
When a child with asthma comes into contact with a trigger (which can include exercise or having a cold or the flu) their airways become narrower. This can leave them gasping or wheezing for breathe. Children may also experience tightness in their chest or feel unable to breath.
Asthma is difficult to diagnose because other illnesses can cause similar symptoms. Some children with asthma suffer from other conditions such as hay fever and eczema.
What to do
If you’re worried that your child may have asthma, arrange an appointment with your GP. They will ask about your child’s medical history, allergies, symptoms etc. There are also some tests which doctors can carry out to indicate whether a child is suffering from asthma.
If asthma has been diagnosed, ensure that you child uses their brown inhaler regularly (this will help prevent attacks and reduce the severity of your child’s asthma) and their blue inhaler as needed (which relieves the symptoms when your child feels them).
It’s important that children understand the need to use both inhalers to properly manage their illness. Relying too heavily on blue inhalers can lead to tragic consequences as during a severe asthma attack, the airways can clamp down completely, killing in just a few minutes.
Asthmatics should always know where their inhalers are and have immediate access to them when required.
You should inform your child’s school about their asthma so that teachers can take extra precautions.
Babies and toddlers in the UK are routinely vaccinated against whooping cough however a recent outbreak has claimed the lives of many babies.
Whooping cough is cause by a bacterial infection and is highly contagious.
Adults do contract the disease, but the symptoms are much milder than those displayed by young children and it’s often dismissed as a common cold.
In serious cases whooping cough can stop children breathing, which potentially results in brain damage or death. The infection can also cause pneumonia or severe weight loss.
Whooping cough causes a fever and an excess of nasal mucus, but the most recognisable symptom is long periods of coughing fits. These can be distressing to both the child and those caring for them. The coughing is uncontrollable and often violent.
Coughing fits are often followed by wheezy breathing and occasionally vomiting brought on by extended coughing.
The symptoms of whooping cough are often worse at night.
What to do
Make sure that your baby gets their vaccination against whooping cough (usually given at 2, 3 or 4 months, followed by a pre-school booster injection). To combat the current outbreak, women between 28 and 38 weeks pregnant are being offered the vaccine to immunise their baby in the womb.
If your baby or toddler is showing signs of whooping cough, contact your GP. Antibiotics usually successfully cure the infection.
Any child diagnosed with whooping cough should not be allowed contact with other children until a course of antibiotics has been completed.
Meningitis can kill in just a few hours, or potentially leave your child blind, deaf, paralysed, brain damaged. It is many parents’ worst nightmare.
Meningitis itself is a symptom of a number of bacterial, viral or even fungal infections. It is a swelling of the lining of the brain and spinal cord which can very quickly become serious.
Viral meningitis is more common, but is usually less severe than bacterial meningitis, which is always a perilous condition.
The speed at which meningitis can develop is what makes it so deadly. A child can seem perfectly well one moment and in just a few hours become extremely ill with the disease.
Also, the symptoms of meningitis can easily be missed, or misdiagnosed as other illnesses, even by experienced doctors.
Someone suffering with meningitis may not show any of the symptoms mentioned in this article. It’s also important to remember that these symptoms can appear in any order.
The most infamous symptom of meningitis is a rash that looks like small red pinpricks which grow into purple/red blotches. The rash doesn’t fade under pressure – you can test this by rolling a glass over the area.
In babies and very young children meningitis can cause a tense or bulging fontanel (soft spot on top of baby’s heads), vomiting, a fever, or a high-pitched/moaning cry.
Babies could also refuse to eat, develop blotchy or pale skin, rapid breathing, and have either a floppy or stiff body.
Older children and adults may get severe headaches, a stiff or painful neck and develop an aversion to bright lights as well as fever and vomiting. Those with meningitis can feel drowsy or fall unconscious.
Other early warning signs of meningitis in children include cold hands and feet, strange skin colour (pale, bluish or mottled), and leg pains. These symptoms often show themselves hours before the more recognisable symptoms, like a rash and an aversion to bright light.
What to do
As a parent you know your child better than anyone else. If you suspect there is cause for concern and your baby is showing any of the symptoms listed above, do not hesitate to seek medical help. Take your child straight to a hospital and tell them what you’re worried about. Meningitis is a potentially lethal condition and requires immediate medical attention.
Author Bio: James Armstrong is an experienced journalist, currently writing about health for Dr Thom the online doctor service.
Large structures such as conservatories and verandas that are primarily made of glass can look extremely classy, but require a certain amount of equipment to ensure they’re suitable for living with every day. For instance, with three quarters of the outer walls in either verandas or conservatories consisting of glass, you can find these rooms flooded with sunlight come summertime.
No doubt this is an advantage of these structures, and the opportunity to let more light into their homes is something people often invest in verandas and conservatories to achieve. During certain parts of the day, however, too much sunlight can be a disadvantage when you want to make use of the room. At certain times of the year conservatories can be unbearably hot, and far too cold to use at others, so you will need to invest in both a good air conditioning unit and a heating system if you want to use your conservatory all year round.
A cheaper way to keep your conservatory or veranda cool in summer is investing in roller shutters found at nationwideltd.co.uk which keep a certain amount of sun at bay, cooling the room considerably. Traditional verandas are fitted with solid roofs, but some verandas and most conservatories allow in light from above. Sun Canopies also found at nationwideltd.co.uk are a great way to dictate how much light gets let in, and can also help to keep the room cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Blinds and shutters come in a range of colours and designs too, so you really are in control when it comes to your conservatory, whatever time of year you want to make use of it. Pleated styles are the most popular, but Venetian, vertical and roller blinds are coming more into style too, so there are plenty of options that mean you can choose how you want to present your veranda or conservatory.
Being married to a teacher, we’ve often had conversations about learning styles. For instance I’m very much a visual learner, I’ve almost got a photographic memory and I remember in exams I was almost reading back the text books in my brain. My husband however is more of an aural learner. Looking at the children, MissB seems very much like me and is already showing the signs of being very visual but MasterB is more aural, of course this may be due to his vision problems and who knows how this will change in the future. I find the whole subject fascinating and this guest article from Matt from iTutorMaths Online Maths Tutoring gives an interesting insight into it
“Everyone has their own unique way of learning, some may use a variety of learning styles while others use just the one, and some may use styles and methods specific to what they are being asked to learn. There is no right or wrong way to learn. As long as you find the best style for you, then the end result will be the same. By identifying your learning style, you can utilise this to your advantage, while improving the quality and speed of your learning. There are various online tests which you can complete to help you discover what best suits you. Below is a list of learning styles which you may already use.
The 7 Learning Styles
• Visual (Spatial) – Using pictures, images and spatial understanding to learn
• Aural (Auditory-Musical) – Using sound and music recognition to learn
• Verbal (Linguistic) – Using words and speech to learn
• Physical (Kinaesthetic) – Using your sense of touch to learn
• Logical (Mathematical) – Using logic and reasoning to learn
• Social (Interpersonal) – Working in groups
• Solitary (Intrapersonal) – Working alone and self-study
Once you have recognized what learning style you possess, you can start adapting it to your studying. Below are a few things which may help you to put pen to paper.
- Draw and Map out events, processes, or examples
- Copy what’s on the board or computer in front of you
- Make lists, colour code words and revision notes
- Watch videos of lessons or tutorials
- Make flashcards
- Record classes and study sessions
- Repeat notes and facts aloud
- Get involved with study groups
- Repeat notes and facts aloud
- Use word association to remember revision notes and facts
- Get involved with study groups
- Watch videos of lessons or tutorials
- Use computers to tap into hand-eye co-ordination as well as keeping the brain active
- Turn study into practical experiences – modelling, role play etc
- Move around when reading – this keeps your brain active
- Take regular breaks
- Make a list of key points
- Stay organised and manage your time
- Make links between different subjects to help you memorise
- Rationalise and create a system of learning
- Follow the same processes and rules for all subjects
- Work within groups
- Recite information to others
- Read aloud
- Try and take personal interest in your study
- Organise and manage your workload
- Speak aloud
What Regardless of the learning style you have already, it’s always a good idea to try out different techniques too, as all styles have their pros and cons and your preferences might change as your age and level of learning develops. By attempting a range of techniques it could work in your favour.
This article was provided by Matt from iTutorMaths Online Maths Tutoring – Providers of safe, supportive and effective learning.”
Today I’ve got a guest post from Stephanie over at I’m Counting UFO’s. She recently went for a week without eating any meat and so I asked her if she would like to share her experience with us, so here’s what she has to say…..
We’ve recently undertaken a bit of a challenge in our house: A week of vegetarianism. Yep. No meat. Not a single mouthful of animal flesh for an entire seven days.
I’d say on average, we eat either meat or fish pretty much every day. Thinking about it, it’s unlikely anyone who lives in my household has ever gone a week eating a vegetarian diet since we were weaned as babies. I’m not talking about a steak every day, it’s sometimes nothing more than a sprinkling of diced pancetta added to a veg-based pasta sauce, or some leftover chicken in a sandwich, or a tin of tuna split 4 ways. But nevertheless, meat there generally always is.
So I thought not eating meat or fish for a week would feel like a big deal, and that I’d feel our food was lacking something. I thought since I was actively avoiding it, I’d miss it, and crave it, and be counting down the hours until the next shop. But I really haven’t missed it, or craved it. None of us have. In fact, I am loving my week of vegetarianism, and there have been no late night trips to the fridge to poke around for a slice of ham or piece of chicken, Nigella style. It’s given me a bit of a culinary boost. I’ve found myself scouring the BBC Good Food website for delicious veggie recipes, and I easily got a week’s worth of meal ideas from people who’d commented on my post at the start of the week.
So what have I learnt so far?
1) Vegetarian food is a delicious, creative way to get your five-a-day. I’ve been using mushrooms to bulk out dishes and give them a meatier consistency. Everything I’d made has tasted fresh and almost clean. It’s been a very pleasant change.
2) Eating a vegetarian diet is kind on the finances. Even with throwing a few more dairy products in my trolley, my weekly shop was less than normal.
3) My kids love their greens. I’ve had no complaints about our dinners this week. Every meal has been inhaled with gusto. It’s not that I never served vegetables when we were eating meat, it’s just that they would fill up on the protein, and push the vegetables around their plates. Or lob it on the floor.
4) Chickpeas are not just for houmous. Actually, this is a bit of a cheat, as I knew that already, but I was given a recipe for a chickpea bake, which was devine. It’s the kind of meal I’d want to add slow roasted lamb and feta cheese to, but found that on it’s own, it was beautiful.
5) I could keep this up indefinitely. I don’t think we will exclude meat from our diets, but it’s good to know that we could. I am now thinking that we could happily eat vegetarian at home, but won’t limit ourselves to it if we eat out.
6) And finally, I seem to have lost a tiny bit of weight. Not much, just a couple of lbs, but if that isn’t encouraging, then I don’t know what is!
Businesswoman and designer Cecile Reinaud is the founder of international maternity fashion label Séraphine and joint founder of patented shoe brand, ShoeTherapy. Originally from Paris where she studied business, Cecile moved to the UK to work in advertising at high profile agencies including JWT, where she was appointed as the youngest Account Director in the company’s history. Cecile’s true passion has always been designing and creating clothes (inspired by her grandparents who once owned a fabric company that supplied fashion houses such as Chanel), and it wasn’t long before pregnant friends began approaching her to tailor clothes to suit their bumps. Cecile spotted a business opportunity and in 2002 founded Séraphine.
Cecile’s first creation for Séraphine was a pioneering pair of maternity jeans, the first of their kind, which she made simply by adding a jersey panel along the waistband. The now award-winning range of comfortable and versatile denim was an immediate success for its exceptional, fashionable fit and soon had a two month waiting list. Inspired by the curves of the pregnant form, Cecile’s French heritage and the latest catwalk trends, Séraphine has a range of over 200 styles including a covetable range of wardrobe basics, underwear, tailored work and party wear and accessories. New for 2012 is the exclusive Luxe collection - a range of wedding dresses and red carpet worthy evening gowns that are designed to be desirable investment styles that continue to be wearable post-maternity.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Cecile and her team have ensured that Séraphine has grown from an independent maternity boutique based in London to one of the leading online specialist maternity fashion brands. Séraphine offers unrivalled quality and fit to pregnant women around the globe and recently won the 2011 Drapers award for Best Specialist Etailer. The brand’s sophisticated approach to maternity dressing has also earned the brand a cult following and counts A-list celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Claudia Schiffer, Jennifer Garner, Alyson Hannigan, Jessica Alba & Kate Hudson as fans of Séraphine’s luxurious range.
One year after launching Séraphine, Cecile became pregnant with the first of her two sons, now aged eight and three, but it was during her second pregnancy that she conceived the idea of ShoeTherapy. Suffering firsthand from back ache and having heard of a special pair of corrective inner soles to relieve pressure and correct spinal injuries, by renowned French orthopedist Doctor Jean Douhaire – Cecile approached Dohaire and together, over the course of two years they produced unique technology in the form of a comfortable, yet stylish range of patented ballet pumps. Launched in 2011, all ShoeTherapy styles contain raised elements to massage certain pressure points whilst a tailored heel height helps promote the ideal body posture and support the foot by optimising balance and blood circulation along with minimising muscle strain. A fashionable solution for all women suffering from back and joint aches that are looking for relief from swollen ankles or poor blood circulation, ShoeTherapy is also recommended as a comfortable footwear option for women during pregnancy.
On winning Draper’s Specialist Etailer Award 2011 for Séraphine Cecile Reinaud commented:
“Technology has changed the way we shop forever and for pregnant women in particular it has opened up a huge amount of choice that previously was non-existent. As a designer, my passion is to make pregnant women feel beautiful and radiant about the journey to motherhood – our shopping sites enable you to get the best outfit at the click of a button- and that makes my job a very rewarding one!”
*Payment was received for this post.
Car insurance costs are peaking at a time when wages are feeling the squeeze of austerity. However, that’s no excuse for cutting corners. If you get caught driving an uninsured vehicle or are involved in an accident and your insurance is not up to date, the consequences will be severe.
Annual premiums in the third quarter of 2011 hit an average of £921. When you consider that the price will be much higher for younger drivers, car insurance can be prohibitively expensive for some.
Counting the cost
Although the thought of driving without adequate insurance cover is unthinkable for most motorists, the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) report that it deals with around 30,000 claims each year from people involved in accidents with uninsured and hit and run drivers.
The Bureau estimates that at any time around 4% of cars on our roads are uninsured, costing honest drivers a total of around £500 million a year – that’s an extra £30 on the price of every law abiding motorist’s premium.
But a much heavier price of this criminal activity is the 160 deaths and 23,000 injuries on our roads each year caused by uninsured and untraced drivers.
Since the police were given new powers in 2006, they have managed to drive down the number of uninsured motorists by some 13%. The chances of being caught driving without insurance have risen significantly because the police now have access to the national Motor Insurance Database, which is maintained by the MIB.
Armed with information from the database, the police will seize an uninsured vehicle and put six points on the driver’s licence. The fine for having an uninsured vehicle on the road is £200 and the fee for towing it away is £150. The vehicle won’t be released until the owner can provide proof that it is insured. There is a further £20 payable each day for storage and failure to pay up will result in the car being crushed – a fate which has befallen some 160,000 vehicles since the scheme was introduced six years ago.
Should an uninsured driver be involved in an accident, the penalties can be very much higher.
So if you are looking for ways to economise, not paying your car insurance is not an option – you will be committing a criminal offence, and could end up far worse off.
*This post is a guest post by Sainsburys Finance