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Kangaroo care for your hospitalized babyKangaroo care for your hospitalized babyKangaroo care for your hospitalized babyKEnglishDevelopmentalNewborn (0-28 days)NANAProceduresAdult (19+) CaregiversNAhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/KangarooCare_SkinToSkin_02.png2019-07-30T04:00:00ZLaura McLean, RN, IBCLC; Caroline Currie, RN; Glynnis Dubois, RN; Jaclyn Erasmi, RN; Samantha Sullivan, RN8.4000000000000065.4000000000000694.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>Kangaroo care is skin-to-skin touch between a parent and baby. Read about the various ways you can provide kangaroo care and the many benefits of skin-to-skin contact with your baby.</p><h2>What is kangaroo care?</h2><p>Having skin-to-skin contact with your baby, also known as kangaroo care, provides many health benefits for both you and your baby. During kangaroo care, your baby will wear only a diaper, and they will be placed on your bare chest. Any parent can provide kangaroo care. If your baby’s health condition prevents you from holding them against your chest, there are modified forms of kangaroo care that you can do.</p><div class="asset-3-up"> <figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/KangarooCare_SkinToSkin_01.png" alt="An infant with a breathing mask receiving kangaroo care" /> </figure> <figure> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/KangarooCare_SkinToSkin_03.png" alt="An infant with a breathing tube receiving kangaroo care" /> </figure><figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/KangarooCare_SkinToSkin_02.png" alt="An infant receiving kangaroo care" /> </figure> <br></div><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Parents should have skin-to-skin contact with their baby as often and for as long as possible.</li><li>Having skin-to-skin contact with your baby provides many health benefits for both you and your baby.</li><li>Ask your health-care team when you can hold your baby skin-to-skin.</li></ul><h2>How to provide kangaroo care</h2><p>Before you begin kangaroo care with your baby, it is important you are prepared and your baby is ready. This will enable you to be skin-to-skin with your baby for as long as possible without any interruptions. Each session of kangaroo care should last for a minimum of 30 minutes but can last for several hours.</p><p>Supplies you may need for kangaroo care include a comfortable chair, a pillow and a blanket, and a wrap or clothes to wrap yourself and your baby in. If you need help gathering these supplies, your nurse will be able to help you.</p><p>You and your baby’s nurse can help to prepare your baby for kangaroo care by providing any other necessary care to them beforehand, such as changing their diaper.</p><p>Before beginning kangaroo care, you should use the washroom, eat and drink, and wash your hands. Make sure you are wearing a top that opens in the front, or a nurse can provide you with a gown so that there is as much skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby as possible. If you are expressing breast milk, it is ideal to pump before and right after kangaroo care.</p><p>Once you are seated comfortably, your nurse will help transfer your baby to you and teach you the best way to position and hold them. You may also be taught how to pick up your baby by yourself and transition to a seated position. During kangaroo care, your baby will be wearing only a diaper and, sometimes, a hat. They will be placed in an upright position on your bare chest (you may wear a bra if that is more comfortable for you). Use a blanket, wrap or clothes to keep you and your baby warm.</p><h2>Modified kangaroo care</h2><p>If your baby’s health condition does not allow you to hold them on your chest, there are other ways you can have skin-to-skin contact with them. These include:</p><ul><li>finger holding<br></li><li>hand hugging</li><li>encircling</li></ul><div class="akh-series"><div class="row"><div class="col-md-12"> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Finger holding</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/KangarooCare_FingerHolding.png" alt="An infant holding its parent's index finger" /></figure> <p>The parent places one finger in their baby’s hand for them to grasp.</p></div></div><div class="row"><div class="col-md-12"> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Hand hugging</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/KangarooCare_HandHug_cupping.png" alt="An infant whose feet and head are being cupped by a woman" /> </figure> <p>The parent places both hands on their baby, with one hand cupping the feet and the other hand cupping the head.</p></div></div><div class="row"><div class="col-md-12"> <figure> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/KangarooCare_HandHug_resting.jpg" alt="A woman gently resting her hands on an infant's middle" /></figure> <p>The parent rests both hands gently on their baby’s torso.</p></div></div><div class="row"><div class="col-md-12"> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Encircling or nesting</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/KangarooCare_Nesting.png" alt="A woman with her arms encircling her baby's body" /></figure> <p>The parent wraps both of their arms around their baby’s body in the crib.</p></div></div></div><h2>The power of touch</h2><p>Kangaroo care offers many benefits for parents and babies.</p><p>For parents, kangaroo care can:</p><ul><li>decrease their stress</li><li>increase bonding with their baby</li><li>increase confidence in caring for their baby</li><li>help parents feel they are part of the health-care team</li><li>decrease risk of postpartum depression</li></ul><p>Benefits specific to lactation include:</p><ul><li>increased milk supply </li><li>easier transition to breastfeeding</li></ul><p>Benefits for your baby include:</p><ul><li>helping to regulate their breathing, heart rate and temperature</li><li>preparing your baby for breastfeeding</li><li>decreasing pain during painful procedures</li><li>helping with sleep and brain development </li><li>decreasing stress and crying</li></ul><h2>Resources</h2><p>To watch a video on how to perform kangaroo care, please visit:<br> <a href="http://www.sickkids.ca/breastfeeding-program/videos/index.html">http://www.sickkids.ca/breastfeeding-program/videos/index.html</a>.</p><p>For further resources on kangaroo care and breastfeeding, please visit:<br> <a href="http://www.sickkids.ca/breastfeeding-program/index.html">www.sickkids.ca/breastfeeding-program/index.html</a>.<br></p>Kangaroo care Kangaroo care is skin-to-skin touch between a parent and baby. Learn more about kangaroo care and the benefits of skin-to-skin contact. Main
MeaslesMeaslesMeaslesMEnglishInfectious DiseasesChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)SkinImmune systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)Cough;Eye discomfort and redness;Fever;Rash;Runny nosehttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Measles_closeup_MEDIMG_PHO_EN.jpg2019-10-03T04:00:00ZMichelle Science, MD, MSc9.0000000000000057.60000000000001166.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Measles is an infection caused by a highly contagious virus. Learn the symptoms and causes of measles and how it can be prevented. </p><p>Measles is an infection caused by a highly contagious virus. When someone with the virus coughs or sneezes, contaminated droplets spread through the air and land on nearby surfaces. Your child can catch the virus by inhaling these droplets or by touching them and then touching their face, mouth or eyes.</p><p>Your child is more likely to develop measles if they do not have the measles vaccination, and if they travel to other countries, where measles is more common, without being vaccinated.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Measles is an infection caused by a virus. It is very contagious and has no specific antiviral treatment.</li><li>Usually, measles causes fever, runny nose, cough, conjunctivitis (red and watery eyes) and a rash.</li><li>Complication rates are highest among young children and include pneumonia, encephalitis (brain swelling or infection), blindness and death.</li><li>Measles can be prevented with immunization.</li><li>If you think your child has measles and needs to be seen, call your doctor, clinic or emergency department before arriving. Precautions can then be made to prevent the spread of the infection to others.</li></ul><h2>Signs and symptoms of measles</h2> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Measles rash</span> <img alt="Torso of child with measles rash" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Measles_torso_MEDIMG_PHO_EN.jpg" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">The measles rash starts on the face, and spreads down the body towards the feet.</figcaption> </figure> <p>Common symptoms of measles include:</p><ul> <li>a <a href="/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a> that lasts for a couple of days</li><li>a cough, runny nose, and red and watery eyes (<a href="/Article?contentid=782&language=English">conjunctivitis</a>)</li><li>a rash that starts on the face, upper neck and behind the ears, and then spreads down the body before spreading to the arms, hands, legs and feet</li></ul><p>After about five days, the rash fades in the same order it appeared.</p><h2>How measles spreads</h2> <figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Close-up of a measles rash</span> <img alt="Close-up of measles rash" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Measles_closeup_MEDIMG_PHO_EN.jpg" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">The characteristic measles rash is red and blotchy.</figcaption> </figure> <p>Measles is a very contagious disease. It spreads very easily from one person to another and can also spread in the air.</p><p>The measles virus lives in the nose and throat of infected people. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, droplets spray into the air. The virus can stay in the air or land on surfaces nearby, where the virus can spread for up to two hours. Sharing the same room or area with someone who has measles, even for a brief period of time, can be enough to transmit the infection to someone who is not immune. This is why parents need to call ahead before going to their doctor, a clinic or the emergency department when they suspect their child has measles so that precautions can be put in place to prevent further spread.</p><p>People with measles are usually contagious from four days before, until four days after the rash appears. Children with immune system problems may stay contagious much longer.</p><h2>How measles is diagnosed</h2><p>Measles is diagnosed by a physical examination of your child. The doctor may also order blood and urine tests or viral swabs from the nose or throat. If you think your child has measles, call your child’s doctor, the clinic or emergency department before going to see them so the infection is not passed on to other patients.</p><h2>Complications of measles</h2><p>Complications are dangerous and rates are highest in young children. About a quarter of children under five years of age with measles will require admission to hospital. Some children with a measles infection will also get an <a href="/Article?contentid=8&language=English">ear infection</a>, <a href="/Article?contentid=7&language=English">diarrhea</a> or even <a href="/Article?contentid=784&language=English">pneumonia</a>.</p><p>Rarely, some children who have measles also get a swelling or infection of the brain (encephalitis). Severe cases of encephalitis can lead to seizures, hearing loss, brain damage or death.</p><p>Children with vitamin A deficiency who get measles can become blind.</p><h2>Caring for your child at home</h2><p>There is no specific treatment for measles. You can support your child by trying to make them comfortable.</p><h3>Monitor the fever</h3><p>You can use <a href="/Article?contentid=62&language=English">acetaminophen</a> or <a href="/Article?contentid=153&language=English">ibuprofen</a> to treat the fever. Do not give <a href="/Article?contentid=77&language=English">ASA (acetylsalicylic acid, Aspirin)</a> to children.</p><h3>Isolate your child and allow them bed rest</h3><p>Your child cannot go to school or day care until at least five days after the rash first appears. In Canada, cases of measles are reported to the Public Health Department. They will follow up with you about when it is safe for your child to return to their daily routine.</p><h3>Give your child fluids</h3><p>Offer your child water and other fluids often.</p><h2>How to prevent measles</h2><p>Measles vaccine is available free of charge in many countries. Children receive two doses of the measles vaccine.</p><ul><li>The first dose is usually given soon after your child's first birthday.</li><li>The second dose is usually given when your child starts kindergarten.</li></ul><p>Measles is included in the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccines. Ask your doctor about the MMR(V) vaccine if you or your child are not fully vaccinated.</p><p>In most cases, immunization protects your child against measles. Immunization can also prevent complications of measles, such as severe lung infections and encephalitis.</p><h3>Reactions to the vaccine</h3><p>When given the measles vaccine, some children develop mild symptoms of the disease. This is normal. If this happens, usually a pink rash appears about seven to 10 days after the vaccination. This rash lasts for about three days. The child may also develop a mild fever and minor joint pain during this time. If you are concerned in any way, call your child’s doctor.</p><h3>Importance of measles vaccination</h3><p>Since the introduction of the measles vaccine in Canada, the number of measles infections fell from an estimated 400,000 cases a year in 1963 to only 29 cases in 2018.</p><p>In countries where the vaccine is free and readily available, vaccination has helped to reduce measles to very low levels. However, measles is still common in many parts of the world and because not all children are being vaccinated, measles is becoming more common in many countries that previously had low levels of infection. You, your child and your family should be vaccinated against measles to protect yourself from the disease and its complications, especially if you are travelling to other countries. In some cases, vaccination may be recommended as early as six months of age. If a dose of measles vaccine is given early, an additional second and third dose would still be needed according to the routine schedule. Talk with your child’s doctor before travelling.</p><h2>When to see a doctor</h2><p>Call your child's regular doctor if:</p><ul><li>your child's fever does not lessen four days after the rash starts</li><li>your child's coughing gets worse</li><li>your child develops ear pain</li></ul><p>Take your child to the nearest Emergency Department or call 911 if your child:</p><ul><li>becomes short of breath or develops persistently noisy breathing</li><li>shows a change in behaviour or movement problems</li><li>has a seizure</li><li>develops a severe headache or persistent vomiting</li></ul><p>Let the doctor’s office, clinic or emergency department know your child may have measles before you arrive so that precautions can be made to prevent the spread of the infection to others.</p><h2>References</h2><p>Government of Canada. (2019, April 1). <em>Measles in Canada</em>. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/measles/measles-in-canada.html</p><p>Government of Canada. (2019, October 1). <em>Measles and Rubella Weekly Monitoring Reports</em>. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/measles/surveillance-measles/measles-rubella-weekly-monitoring-reports.html</p>Main
Holiday safetyHoliday safetyHoliday safetyHEnglishPreventionChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAHealthy living and preventionCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2018-11-12T05:00:00ZElly Berger, BA, MD, FRCPC, FAAP, MHPE7.7000000000000062.50000000000001273.00000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>The holiday season is a great time for children, but it can also lead to injuries. Read these simple tips to keep kids safe during the holidays.</p><p>The holiday season is a great time for children. But unfamiliar items, distractions and changes in routine can lead to injuries. Here are some simple steps to keep children safe during the holidays.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>At holiday parties and events make sure there is someone designated to supervise the children. Consider hiring a babysitter for the evening.</li> <li>Show guests where to dispose of items that may be dangerous to small children such as toothpicks, cigarette butts and beverage cans.</li> <li>Keep holly and mistletoe out of reach of children because they are poisonous. In addition, poinsettia plants can cause skin irritation and stomach upset.</li> <li>Buy toys that are labelled for the correct age range. Age recommendations on toys are about safety, not the ability of the child.</li> </ul><h2>Safe celebrations</h2><h3>Keep an eye on the kids</h3><p>If you are planning on having, or attending, a party with your children this holiday season, make sure that a designated adult is supervising the children during the festivities. Different adults that you trust might want to take turns supervising the children over the course of the evening.</p><p>If you are hosting a party at your home, consider hiring a trained babysitter or designating a family member to look after the children. This will allow everyone time to enjoy the party. Remember, if you assume that everyone at the party is watching your children, you might end up with no one watching them.</p><h3>Clean as you go</h3><p>Some holiday party items might pose a risk or choking hazard to small children. Show guests where to safely dispose of items such as beer cans, cigarette butts and toothpicks used for hors d’oeuvres. This will reduce the risk of children putting these items in their mouths.</p><p>Keep visitors' purses and coats in a designated area, out of reach of young children. Visitors' coats may contain items such as medicines and lighters that could harm a child.</p><h2>Fireside safety</h2><p>To avoid chimney fires, it is important to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected every year by a certified professional.</p><h2>Safe decorating</h2><p>When decorating the house and the Christmas tree, use these tips to prevent fire and injury.</p><h3>Tree safety</h3><p>When purchasing an artificial tree, look for one that is fire resistant. When purchasing a cut tree, look for one that is freshly cut. To tell if a tree is freshly cut, follow this simple checklist.</p><ul><li>Needles do not break when you bend them between your fingers.</li><li>Needles do not fall off the tree easily.</li><li>The tree stump is sticky with resin.</li></ul><p>If you buy a cut Christmas tree, make sure to maintain it properly over the holidays.</p><ul><li>Keep the tree away from heat sources such as radiators, televisions, fireplaces, heating ducts and sunny windows. This will reduce the risk of the tree catching fire.</li><li>Dry Christmas trees pose a fire hazard – make sure to keep the tree stump in water at all times to reduce the risk.</li><li>Even with frequent watering, trees dry out over time. When the holidays are over, remove the Christmas tree as soon as possible.</li></ul><p>Always choose a sturdy base for your Christmas tree. A weighted, wide-spread base will provide better support and prevent the tree from being tipped over by a small child.</p><h3>Light and electrical safety</h3><ul><li>Use Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved light sets only. It may be tempting to buy cheaper lights, but these may pose a greater fire risk.</li><li>Use the right lights in the right place. Indoor lights are not weatherproofed for the outdoors. Outdoor lights may burn too hot for the indoors. LED lights generate almost no heat, and are the safest option.</li><li>Check all lights, bulbs, sockets and extension cords every year. Make sure nothing is frayed, cracked or broken.</li><li>Never hang electric lights on metallic trees. Build-up of electricity could shock people who touch them, or short out the lights and cause an electrical fire.</li><li>Be careful not to overload electrical cords and outlets; never have more than 1,400 watts on one circuit.</li><li>Do not coil or bunch electrical cords; this can cause them to heat up and pose a fire hazard. Running cords under carpets or rugs may also pose a fire hazard.</li><li>Turn off tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house.</li></ul><h3>Decoration safety</h3><p>Young children are naturally curious, and the draw of a decorated Christmas tree might be too much for them to resist. This is why it is important to choose your holiday decorations wisely.</p><p>If you choose to use decorations that are small, breakable or sharp, make sure to hang these near the top of the tree, out of reach of children. Use only soft, unbreakable ornaments near the base of the tree.</p><h3>Plant safety</h3><p>Holly and mistletoe are poisonous; it is important to keep these items out of reach of children. If your child has eaten berries from these plants, call your local poison information centre.</p><p>Poinsettia plants are not poisonous, but they can still cause skin irritation and stomach upset if eaten.</p><h3>Candle safety</h3><p>If you have small children, use battery-operated candles where possible. This will help to avoid the potential for burns.</p><p>If you decide to use flame-burning candles, make sure that they are out of reach of children, and that candle holders have a sturdy base. Never leave burning candles unattended, and be sure to keep them away from curtains and other flammable objects. Do not use lit candles on Christmas trees.</p><h2>Toy safety</h2><p>Keep these tips in mind when buying toys for your children. Make sure that gifts from friends and family are also safe.</p><ul><li>Always buy toys that are labelled for the correct age range, even if your child is advanced for their age. Age recommendations on toys are about safety, not the ability of a child to master the toy or game. Toys for children under three should be bigger than the child's fist to avoid the risk of choking.</li><li>Inspect toys before giving them to your child. Make sure they are in good condition and that they do not have parts that could break off and be swallowed.</li><li>Avoid toys with long strings or cords for babies and toddlers, as they may pose a risk of strangulation.</li><li>Old batteries can leak and cause corrosive burns, and if swallowed, batteries can cause internal chemical burns or poisoning. If you give your child battery-operated toys, make sure that the batteries are in good condition, and secure inside the toy.</li><li>Magnets can cause serious injury or death if children swallow them. Do not give toys with magnets to small children.</li></ul><h2>Travel safety</h2><p>Over the holidays, many drivers spend more time than usual on the road, running errands, and going to holiday events. This can lead to extra frustration and exhaustion while driving. It is important to drive with caution during the holiday season. Give yourself extra time when heading to holiday events to avoid the desire to rush while on the roads.</p><p>If your holiday plans include a flight out of town, remember to pack appropriate <a href="/Article?contentid=495&language=English">car seats or booster seats</a> for younger children.</p><h2>Sources</h2><p>Tips for holiday safety. <em>Government of Canada</em>. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/home-safety/tips-holiday-safety.html?_ga=1.68067601.1644699692">https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/home-safety/tips-holiday-safety.html?_ga=1.68067601.1644699692</a>. </p><p>Holiday Fire Safety. <em>Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.oafc.on.ca/holiday-fire-safety">http://www.oafc.on.ca/holiday-fire-safety</a>. </p><p>Winter holidays: Tips for parents on holiday safety. <em>Parachute Canada</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.parachutecanada.org/injury-topics/item/winter-holidays">http://www.parachutecanada.org/injury-topics/item/winter-holidays</a>. </p><p>Home Fire Safety Checklist. <em>United States Fire Administration</em>. Retrieved from <a href="https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/home_safety_checklist.pdf">https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/home_safety_checklist.pdf</a>.</p><p>Holiday, candle and Christmas tree fire safety outreach materials. <em>United States Fire Administration</em>. Retrieved from <a href="http://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.html">http://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/holiday.html</a>.</p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/holiday_safety.jpg The holiday season is officially here! Check out these simple holiday safety tips to keep the entire family safe while you celebrate. Main
Winter tipsWinter tipsWinter tipsWEnglishNAChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANAHealthy living and preventionCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2018-01-19T05:00:00Z000Landing PageLearning Hub<p>Winter is a time of year when we participate in outdoor activities and then gather around a fire. Unfortunately, we may also experience seasonal illnesses. Keep the family healthy during the cold weather with our winter tips.</p><p>Winter is a time when we experience cold weather, snow and ice. It is a time of year when we look forward to participating in outdoor activities and then gathering around a warm fire. Unfortunately, we may also experience those annoying seasonal illnesses. Keep the whole family safe, healthy and happy during the cold weather season with our winter tips.</p><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Outdoor activity safety</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Playing outside can be fun for your child during the winter. Make sure your child is dressed properly for the cold weather and follow these handy safety tips.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1954&language=English">Outdoor winter safety: Staying safe during winter activities</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1940&language=English">Dressing for the cold</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1912&language=English">Cold weather injuries</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Stay healthy<br></h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>The whole family made it through the summer and fall healthy and safe. Here is some advice on how to keep everyone healthy throughout winter.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1939&language=English">Preventing burns: Winter safety</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=778&language=English">Nasal congestion: How to clear your baby's dry, stuffy nose</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=773&language=English">Eczema (atopic dermatitis)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1114&language=English">Eczema: Seasonal changes</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Winter bugs</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Winter brings everyone indoors and closer together, where we share warmth... and germs. Learn more about colds, the flu and other winter-associated illnesses. Also learn how to avoid them and how to treat them.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=30&language=English">Fever​</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=12&language=English">Colds (viral upper respiratory infections)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=765&language=English">Bronchiolitis​</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=764&language=English">Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=17&language=English">Croup</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=763&language=English">Influenza (flu): An overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=912&language=English">Influenza (flu): Protecting your family</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1111&language=English">Influenza (flu): The truth about vaccines</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=784&language=English">Pneumonia</a></li></ol></div>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/winter_safety_landing_page.jpgwintersafetywintersafetyWinter safety tips Keep the whole family safe, healthy and happy during the cold weather season with our winter safety tips. Main

 

 

Concussion: Managing your child's return to everyday activitiesConcussion: Managing your child's return to everyday activitiesConcussion: Managing your child's return to everyday activitiesCEnglishNeurologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)HeadBrainNon-drug treatmentCaregivers Adult (19+)Headache;Nausea2017-06-14T04:00:00ZShawna​ Silver, MD, FRCPC, FAAP, PEng9.8000000000000054.60000000000001817.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>Find out how best to respond to a child's concussion and how to plan their safe return to everyday activities.</p><p>A concussion is a head injury that should be taken seriously and managed properly. When your child is diagnosed with a concussion, the key to their recovery is physical and cognitive (mental) rest.</p><p>Every child’s brain responds differently to a concussion and recovers at a different pace. Some concussions have mild symptoms at first and heal quickly, but others may have more intense symptoms that take longer to resolve. Most people recover fully after a concussion, but how long this takes depends on factors such as the severity of the concussion, their health before they received the concussion and how they managed their recovery.</p><p>A gradual return to regular activities, including school and sports, will allow you and your child to assess their concussion symptoms and adjust their activity as needed. It also gives the brain more time to heal.</p><h2>Symptoms after a concussion</h2> <p>Concussion may cause a variety of effects in your child.</p> <h3>Physical signs and symptoms</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/article?contentid=29&language=English">Headache</a></li> <li>Nausea</li> <li>Dizziness</li> <li>Being bothered by light or sound</li> <li>Poor co-ordination</li> <li>Sleeping more or less than usual</li> </ul> <h3>Cognitive symptoms</h3> <ul> <li>Confusion</li> <li>Feeling dazed</li> <li>Difficulty concentrating or remembering</li> </ul> <h3>Emotional symptoms</h3> <ul> <li>Irritability</li> <li>Anxiety</li> <li>Emotional ability</li> </ul> <p>The most common mistake among concussion sufferers is to return to their normal activities too soon. Until your child’s concussion symptoms go away completely, assume that they have not fully recovered from their concussion.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>After a concussion, your child needs plenty of rest to help them recover.</li> <li>A post-concussion management plan involves a gradual return to mental and physical activity.</li> <li>Your child should rest at home for at least a few days if their concussion symptoms make it difficult for them to think or concentrate.</li> <li>Accommodations should be made once they return to school.</li> <li>A gradual return to sports is important to prevent the risk of multiple concussions.</li> </ul><h2>Avoiding driving until fully recovered</h2><p>Teenagers should not drive until they have completely recovered from their concussion and have been medically cleared by a doctor. Driving requires many mental functions, such as spatial awareness, co-ordination and quick reaction time. These are all impaired by a concussion.<br></p><h2>When to see your child’s doctor for a concussion</h2> <p>Your child should have regular follow-up appointments with their doctor until symptoms disappear. Their doctor can help manage symptoms, create an individualized program for returning to play and school, and provide medical clearance once your child has recovered. They can also recommend other ways to manage symptoms, such as persistent headaches and any mental health disorders, and advise on how to promote good sleep and alertness.</p> <p>If your child is still suffering from post-concussion symptoms after a month of proper mental and physical rest, your child’s doctor may refer them to a specialist.</p><h2>Reasons for slow recovery after a concussion</h2> <p>Your child’s recovery might be slow for a number of reasons.</p> <ul> <li>Your child has suffered from previous concussions, especially within the last year. Children who have received multiple concussions often take more time to recover with each additional concussion.</li> <li>Your child is suffering from a mood disorder, anxiety or a sleep disorder.</li> <li>Your child has a history of headaches. Migraine in particular can result in slower recovery.</li> <li>Your child is taking medication that is masking their physical symptoms or interfering with their recovery.<br></li> </ul><h2>How to manage recovery immediately after a concussion</h2> <p>If you are concerned that your child has a concussion, have them assessed by a health-care professional to confirm the diagnosis and see if they need any immediate treatment. A health-care professional can also help create a return-to-activity program tailored for your child.</p> <h3>First night of sleep</h3> <p>During your child’s first night of sleep after their concussion, check on them a few times to make sure their concussion symptoms have not worsened. Check that their breathing is normal and that they are not moaning, vomiting or having seizures. Nudge them lightly to make sure they are responsive, but, if possible, do not wake them fully. A full night’s sleep is very important for recovery. If there are any signs of poor sleep, take your child to the emergency department.</p> <p>It was once common to wake concussion patients during their first night of sleep to make sure they did not fall into a coma. This practice is recommended less often now unless your child lost consciousness, lost their memory or was still experiencing concussion symptoms before going to sleep.</p> <h3>Recovery at home</h3> <ul> <li>Make sure your child sleeps and rests as much as possible. Keep their sleep schedule regular with no sleepovers or late nights.</li> <li>Give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen for headaches.</li> <li>Avoid activities that are physically demanding or need a lot of concentration for at least the first 24 to 48 hours after injury.</li> <li>Although rest is important, extreme extended rest can delay your child’s recovery.</li> </ul><h2>Returning to school after a concussion</h2> <p>During recovery from a concussion, students can have difficulty with concentration, memory and processing speed. These can all hinder how well your child learns and performs at school.</p> <p>The brain needs proper rest to recover from a concussion. Trying to complete schoolwork before the brain has fully recovered can overuse the brain when it needs to heal. Allowing your child time to rest sometimes means excusing them from school. It is important to strike a balance between the importance of returning to school and brain recovery.</p> <p>After your child spends a few days at home and their symptoms improve, they can try some brief cognitive challenges, such as chores, homework or TV, to see if symptoms return. If symptoms do not increase with these activities, or they recur but reduce after breaks, your child can return to school with a lighter workload. Once your child is back at school, make sure that you arrange proper accommodations for their schoolwork.</p> <h3>Possible accommodations for a schoolchild with concussion</h3> <ul> <li>Speak to your child’s teachers or give them a note to discuss a gradual return to schoolwork. Your doctor can communicate with the school to arrange appropriate accommodations.</li> <li>Allow your child to take half days or frequent breaks if their symptoms get worse during the school day.</li> <li>Encourage your child to take mental or physical breaks (leaving the classroom) every 20 minutes if they have trouble concentrating.</li> <li>For headaches, give your child enough acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with pain throughout the day. Make sure that your child is well hydrated and takes frequent breaks.</li> <li>Excuse your child from certain classes, for example gym, shop, music or any class with computers.</li> <li>If sound or light is bothering your child, they can use sunglasses and earplugs. They should avoid noisy areas such as the cafeteria and assemblies.</li> <li>Excuse your child from tests or exams until they feel mentally prepared to write them.</li> <li>Limit homework time to 20-minute blocks. Slowly increase this as their symptoms improve.</li> </ul> <p>Once you feel your child’s symptoms are gone or at least much improved, they can start returning to their standard workload at school. If symptoms worsen at any time, they should reduce their activity levels. If symptoms persist, speak to your child’s doctor, as your child may need more tests or accommodations.</p> <h2>Returning to sports after a concussion</h2> <p>Physical rest is as important as mental rest for your child’s recovery. If your child is an active athlete, they should take a similar gradual approach to their return to athletic activities.</p> <p>A child should never return to play their sport the same day that they receive a concussion. This not only slows recovery but may actually make the injury worse or cause complications.</p> <p>Your child should only resume physical activities when all concussion signs and symptoms have resolved and:</p> <ul> <li>they are back to full-time school attendance without accommodations</li> <li>they have been medically cleared.</li> </ul> <p>They can then progress through a medically supervised activity protocol in stages. Your child should spend at least one day on each stage and move to the next stage only if their symptoms do not return. If their symptoms return during any of the stages, they should sit out and rest immediately. Once their symptoms disappear again, they should return to the last stage they completed without experiencing any symptoms.</p> <h3>Stages of a return to sport</h3> <ul> <li>Rest stage: Your child should not do any physical activity besides light stretching and walking. They should stay at this stage until they are symptom-free and for a few days afterwards, especially if it takes longer than a week for their initial symptoms to go away. Your child should stop taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen after this stage to properly gauge how their brain is recovering.</li> <li>Light exercise stage: Suggested activities include walking, swimming, light jogging and stationary cycling and at no more than 50 percent intensity. The goal is to test how your child’s brain responds to an increase in their heart rate.</li> <li>Sport-specific exercise stage: Your child can add running or skating drills at a moderate intensity, but they should still avoid contact or complex training drills. They should also avoid all types of weight and resistance training.</li> <li>Non-contact training drills stage: Suggested activities for your child include more complex training drills that include passing, shooting, advanced movements and quick decision making. Teenagers who play sports can add light intensity resistance and weight training.</li> <li>Full-contact practice stage: Once your child has been cleared by their doctor, they can start taking part in normal full-contact training activities, including hitting, blocking and tackling. Make sure your child still keeps track of their symptoms very carefully during this stage.</li> <li>Return-to-play stage: At this stage, your child may return to normal game play. Your child’s concussion symptoms are gone and you are confident that they have fully recovered.</li> </ul> <p>Children who play full-contact sports should be especially careful as they return to practice after a concussion. They should always be cleared for a return to practice by their doctor and make a gradual return to full-contact practice.</p> <p>Your child faces a higher risk of having another concussion if they return to active play before they recover fully from the symptoms of their first concussion. With this second concussion, symptoms may be worse and last longer.</p> <p>If your child has a history of multiple concussions, they should follow these stages even more strictly.</p> <h3>Baseline cognitive testing</h3> <p>Some contact sport leagues are implementing baseline neuro-cognitive or neuropsychological assessments.</p> <p>This type of testing allows coaches, parents and medical professionals to compare test results from before and after a concussion to see if your child’s brain has fully recovered from the injury. Neuropsychological testing is also useful for athletes who have had multiple concussions or children whose symptoms worsen or fail to improve despite physical and cognitive rest.</p> <p>These tests are a very useful, objective way of evaluating your child’s recovery progress and may identify specific cognitive deficits and help guide educational planning.</p><img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/concussion_managing_return_to_activity.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/concussion_managing_return_to_activity.jpgConcussionMain
How to give acetaminophen and ibuprofen for feverHow to give acetaminophen and ibuprofen for feverHow to give acetaminophen and ibuprofen for feverHEnglishNAChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANADrug treatmentAdult (19+) CaregiversFever2019-03-22T04:00:00ZKelly Anderson, RN;Elana Hochstadter, MD;Komail Nadeem, PharmD, RPh;Elaine Lau, BScPhm, PharmD, MSc, RPh;Wendy Chen, PharmD, RPh8.9000000000000055.30000000000001068.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ProcedureHealth A-Z<p>Learn how acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to help make your child more comfortable and bring down their fever. Also learn how to use acetaminophen and ibuprofen together if using only one medication is not working.</p><h2>Does my child have a fever?</h2><h3>A temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or higher is a fever</h3><p>Children often feel warm to the touch when they have a fever. To confirm that your child has a <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/Article?contentid=30&language=English">fever</a>, use a thermometer to measure your child's body temperature. A temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or higher means that your child has a fever.</p><p>Fever itself is not a disease or illness. Fever is a signal that something is going on in the body. How your child looks and acts are more important than how high their fever is.</p><h2>What medications treat fever?</h2><h3>When should I treat a fever with medication?</h3><p>You should use medication to keep your child comfortable. You should not base your judgment on how high the fever is but rather on how your child is feeling. If your child has a fever but is still playing, drinking well and is happy, it may not be necessary to use medication to treat their fever.</p><h3>Medications used to treat a fever</h3><p> <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=62&language=English"><strong>Acetaminophen</strong></a> (e.g., Tylenol, Tempra) and <a href="https://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/article?contentid=153&language=English"><strong>ibuprofen</strong></a> (e.g., Advil, Motrin) are two medications that are commonly used to treat fever in children. It is best to use only one of these medications to treat a fever. You can choose which one you prefer to use, both work equally well.</p><p>The correct dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen for a child is based on their body weight. An estimated dose is usually provided on the medication package. Note that acetaminophen and ibuprofen have different doses and different lengths of time between doses. Also it may take up to an hour for the medication to start helping.</p><p>If using only one of these medications is not helping to make your child feel more comfortable or bring down their fever, you can try giving the two medications together. This may help make your child feel more comfortable because acetaminophen and ibuprofen help to treat fever in different ways. These medications are safe to take at the same time, or within a short amount of time of one another.</p><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>When deciding whether or not to give your child medication to treat their fever you should take into consideration not just how high their temperature is but also how they look and are acting.</li><li>Two common medications that are used to treat fever are acetaminophen and ibuprofen.</li><li>If using only one medication is not making your child more comfortable then you can try giving acetaminophen and ibuprofen together.</li><li>When giving acetaminophen and ibuprofen together make sure you do not give acetaminophen more often than once every four hours, and ibuprofen more often than once every six hours.</li></ul><h2>How do you give acetaminophen and ibuprofen together?</h2><p>Doses of acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol, Tempra) should be given at least four hours apart. Doses of ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin) should be given at least six hours apart. There are limits on how much of each medication can be given in a 24-hour period. Please look at your medication bottle for daily dosage limits or ask your pharmacist.</p><p>When you are giving acetaminophen and ibuprofen to your child it is important to keep track of which medication you have given, how much you have given and when you gave it.</p><h3>Here is an example of how to give acetaminophen and ibuprofen together</h3><table class="akh-table"><tbody><tr><td><ul><li>It is 12:00 p.m. and your child has a temperature of 39.0°C (102.2°F) and is feeling unwell. Give <strong>ibuprofen</strong> (e.g., Advil, Motrin).<br></li><li>Check your child’s temperature one hour later <strong>(1:00 p.m.)</strong>. If they still have a fever and are still feeling unwell, give <strong>acetaminophen</strong> (e.g., Tylenol, Tempra).</li><li>Check your child’s temperature each hour for the next three hours <strong>(2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.)</strong>. Even if they still have a fever and are still feeling unwell, you cannot give any medication at this time.</li><ul><em> <li>You cannot give ibuprofen because it has not been six hours since the last dose.</li> <li>You cannot give acetaminophen because it has not been four hours since the last dose.</li> <li>Try other methods to help cool your child such as a cold cloth on the forehead or take off extra layers of clothing.</li></em> </ul><li>Check your child’s temperature another hour later <strong>(5:00 p.m.)</strong>. If they still have a fever and are still feeling unwell, give <strong>acetaminophen</strong>.</li><ul><li> <em>It is safe to give acetaminophen again at this time because it has been four hours since the last dose of acetaminophen.</em></li></ul><li>Check your child’s temperature one hour later <strong>(6:00 p.m.)</strong>. If they still have a fever, give ibuprofen.</li><ul><li> <em>It is safe to give ibuprofen again because it has been six hours since the last dose of ibuprofen.</em></li></ul></ul></td></tr></tbody></table><p> <strong>Here is a chart to explain the above example:</strong></p><table class="akh-table"><thead><tr><th width="19%">Time</th><th width="25%">Temperature (example)</th><th width="28%">Give ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin)</th><th width="28%">Give acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol, Tempra)</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>12:00 p.m.</td><td> <strong>39.0°C (102.2°F)</strong></td><td style="text-align:center;"> <strong>X</strong></td><td></td></tr><tr><td>1:00 p.m.</td><td> <strong>38.5°C (101.3°F)</strong></td><td></td><td style="text-align:center;"> <strong>X</strong></td></tr><tr><td>2:00 p.m.</td><td> <strong>38.0°C (100.4°F)</strong></td><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center;">Cannot give any medication at this time</td></tr><tr><td>3:00 p.m.</td><td> <strong>38.4°C (101.1°F)</strong></td><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center;">Cannot give any medication at this time</td></tr><tr><td>4:00 p.m.</td><td> <strong>38.5°C (101.3°F)</strong></td><td colspan="2" style="text-align:center;">Cannot give any medication at this time</td></tr><tr><td>5:00 p.m.</td><td> <strong>38.2°C (100.8°F)</strong></td><td></td><td style="text-align:center;"> <strong>X</strong></td></tr><tr><td>6:00 p.m.</td><td> <strong>38.5°C (101.3°F)</strong></td><td style="text-align:center;"> <strong>X</strong></td><td></td></tr></tbody></table><h2>Important reminders when giving medication for fever</h2><p>Always check your child’s temperature before giving medication for fever. If your child does not have a fever, they do not need the medication. Remember that if a child has a fever but is still playing, drinking well and is happy, they may not need medication to treat the fever at that time.</p><p>It is important to keep track of when you have given medication to your child, especially if you are giving doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen together.</p><p>Many children’s cough and cold medications contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Check the ingredients of any other medications you are giving your child to see if they contain acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If they do, you will need to reduce the dose of acetaminophen and ibuprofen you are giving your child to make sure they are not receiving too high of a dose.</p><p><strong>Whether or not you are treating your child’s fever, if you are concerned that your child is not well please seek medical care.</strong></p>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/ICO_DrugA-Z.pngAcetaminophen and ibuprofen for fever Learn how acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to help make your child more comfortable and bring down their fever. Main
Keratosis pilarisKeratosis pilarisKeratosis pilarisKEnglishDermatologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)SkinSkinConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NAhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_keratosis_pilaris_EN.jpg2015-05-06T04:00:00ZBlanca Del Pozzo-Magana, MD;Irene Lara-Corrales, MSc, MD​​9.6000000000000053.8000000000000523.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Keratosis pilaris is a common rash that results in bumps on the skin. Learn what causes keratosis pilaris and how it is diagnosed and treated.</p><figure><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PMD_keratosis_pilaris_EN.jpg" alt="Skin affected by keratosis pilaris" /> </figure> <h2>What is keratosis pilaris?</h2><p>Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a very common skin rash that affects at least one in five children around the world. The rash consists of many rough follicular papules (small bumps in the hair follicles) that look like “goose flesh”. Usually the bumps are skin colour, but they can sometimes have a blotchy appearance or a white top that make them look like “white heads”.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>Keratosis pilaris is a very common and harmless skin condition that occurs when there is too much protein in the hair follicles.</li> <li>It is usually inherited from one or both parents.</li> <li>Keratosis pilaris causes the skin to appear blotchy and bumpy and can be itchy if it occurs with dry skin.</li> <li>Moisturizers and special creams may improve the appearance of keratosis pilaris and ease any discomfort, but they cannot cure it.</li> </ul><figure><span class="asset-image-title">Areas of the body affected by keratosis pilaris</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_keratosis_pilaris_sites_EN.jpg" alt="Girl with markings on cheeks, upper arms, buttocks and thighs" /> </figure> <h2>How does keratosis pilaris affect the body?</h2><p>Keratosis pilaris is harmless. It usually appears on the upper arms and thighs, but it sometimes affects other parts of the body such as the buttocks and cheeks.<br></p><p>Most people are not bothered by keratosis pilaris, but some might be bothered by the skin’s appearance. Most of the time, the skin only becomes irritated if it is very dry and becomes itchy or if your child picks at the bumps. Keratosis pilaris usually resolves with time or improves during summer, but, in some people, it remains the same for many years.</p><p>Very few children have keratosis pilaris as a sign of an underlying genetic disease or have severe keratosis pilaris across their body.</p><figure> <span class="asset-image-title">Keratosis pilaris</span> <img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/IMD_keratosis_pilaris_EN.jpg" alt="Cross section of skin affected by keratosis pilaris" /> <figcaption class="asset-image-caption">An excess of keratin in the hair follicles forms a hard plug that feels like a bump.</figcaption> </figure> <h2>What causes keratosis pilaris?</h2><p>Keratin is a protein that makes up a big part of our skin. Keratosis pilaris occurs when there is too much keratin in the hair follicles. The excess keratin forms hard plugs, which in turn create the skin bumps.</p><p>Keratosis pilaris is a genetic condition. This means that it can be inherited from one or both parents.</p><h2>How is keratosis pilaris diagnosed?</h2> <p>A doctor can diagnose keratosis pilaris simply by looking at your child’s skin and asking about their medical history.</p><h2>How is keratosis pilaris treated?</h2> <p>Keratosis pilaris does not need to be treated unless it causes a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, no treatment can completely resolve keratosis pilaris, but moisturizers and special creams with urea and lactic acid may improve how it looks. These creams can sometimes irritate the skin, however, and are not recommended for small children.</p> <p>Laser treatment has been used lately to treat severe cases of keratosis pilaris, but its main success has been in reducing the redness of the skin, not the bumpiness.</p><h2>When to see a doctor for keratosis pilaris</h2> <p>See your child’s doctor if your child’s keratosis pilaris is itchy or if it affects many parts of their body (including their eyebrows, knees or elbows, for example).</p>Main
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)REnglishRespiratoryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)Trachea;LungsTrachea;LungsConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)Cough;Fever;Runny nose2013-10-29T04:00:00ZAndrea Riekstins, RN, MN, APN;Arlene Chaves, RN, MN, APN;Allan Coates, MD, CM;Brenda O'Doherty, RN;Krista Keilty-Lau, MN, APN;Marilyn Cranis, RN;Theo J Moraes, MD, PhD, FRCPC7.3000000000000064.80000000000001123.00000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>RSV is a virus that infects the lungs and airways, causing flu like symptoms. Learn how you can help prevent your child from getting RSV.</p><h2>What is respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)?</h2><p>Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects the lungs and airways. It causes colds and is the most common cause of <a href="/article?contentid=765&language=english">bronchiolitis</a> in young infants and toddlers. Most children will have an RSV infection by the age of two. Children are more likely to catch it during the RSV season, from November to April, when the virus is most active. Most children will have a mild infection and not require any medical attention.</p> <figure class="asset-c-80"> <span class="asset-image-title">Respiratory system</span><img src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/Respiratory_system_MED_ILL_EN.jpg" alt="Location of the lungs, trachea, bronchus, bronchioles and diaphragm in a boy, with close-up on bronchioles and alveoli" /> </figure><h2>Key points</h2><ul><li>Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a virus. It is very common and causes mild symptoms in most infants and children. It can cause serious lung infections in some babies and children.</li><li>You can help prevent spreading the virus by regularly washing your hands, avoiding close contact with your baby if you are unwell, keeping your baby away from sick people.</li><li>If your baby is at high risk for serious lung infections, your baby will need treatment once a month during RSV season (November to April).</li><li>You can help by reminding your health-care provider that your baby needs medicine. Use the tables to help you keep track.<br></li></ul><h2>Signs and symptoms caused by respiratory syncytial virus</h2><p>A baby or child with this infection may:</p><ul><li> <a href="/article?contentid=774&language=english">cough</a></li><li>have a runny nose</li><li>have a <a href="/article?contentid=30&language=english">fever</a></li><li>sometimes wheeze</li></ul><p>Because these are common symptoms, it is easy to mistake RSV for the flu or another virus.</p><p>In most cases, you can take care of your child with RSV at home as long as they are breathing comfortably, their skin does not look blue and they are drinking and peeing as usual. The infection usually lasts a few days.</p><p>In healthy adults, RSV is often not serious. But adults can pass the virus to children.</p><h2>Respiratory syncytial virus can be serious</h2><p>Some babies and children can develop a severe form of RSV. This may be <a href="/article?contentid=784&language=english">pneumonia</a> or <a href="/article?contentid=765&language=english">bronchiolitis</a>. These illnesses can be serious. Your child may need to visit your family doctor or paediatrician, or go to the emergency department.</p><h3>Your baby or child may have a higher risk of getting very ill from RSV if:</h3><ul><li>your baby was born prematurely (before 33 weeks of pregnancy) and is less than six months old when the RSV season starts in November.</li><li>your child is less than two years old and has certain lung conditions, congenital heart disease, <a href="/article?contentid=9&language=english">Down syndrome</a> or has problems with their immune system. Your child's doctor will speak to you about this.</li><li>your child has other specific medical problems that your doctor will talk to you about.</li></ul><h2>Respiratory syncytial virus can be spread by touching:</h2><ul><li>mucus from the nose or mouth of a person who has the virus</li><li>soiled tissues, surfaces, clothes and toys a person with the virus has touched</li><li>the unwashed hands of a person with the virus</li></ul><p>RSV can live on countertops and other hard objects for more than six hours. It can live on clothes and hands for up to one hour. After someone is exposed to RSV, it can take two to eight days before they become sick from the virus.</p><h2>Treatment of respiratory syncytial virus</h2><p>When a child is fighting RSV, treatment is mainly to relieve the symptoms. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses. They will not help your child get better faster.</p><h2>Babies at high risk need medicine during respiratory syncytial virus season</h2><p>No medicine can stop your baby from catching RSV and getting RSV once does not prevent infection. The average person may have an RSV infection multiple times during their lifetime.</p><p>There is no vaccine available for the general public yet. But there is one medicine that can help prevent RSV from becoming very serious and it is recommended for babies at high risk of serious RSV infection. Your health-care provider will decide if your child needs this medicine. The name of the medicine is <a href="/article?contentid=208&language=english">palivizumab</a>. This treatment is sometimes called RSV prophylaxis (say: pro-full-AX-iss), which means prevention.</p><p>Palivizumab is given by a needle (injection) into a muscle. It does not interfere with normal childhood immunizations. This medicine works by giving your baby <a href="/article?contentid=926&language=english">antibodies</a> that help fight an RSV infection. These antibodies help reduce the chances that an RSV infection will become severe.</p><p>A palivizumab dose works for about 30 days. This means that your child needs a dose of the medicine every month during RSV season. If you delay or skip the next appointment, the medicine stops working. Your child will no longer be protected against the virus.</p><h3>Reactions are rare</h3><p>The most common side effects of palivizumab are fever, rash or redness at the injection site. Serious allergic reactions are very rare. Ask your baby's doctor or nurse for the most recent information.</p><h3>Remind your baby's doctor or nurse if your baby needs medicine to prevent RSV</h3><p>Your baby can take the medicine in the hospital, the doctor's office or an RSV clinic. A doctor or a nurse can give it.</p><h3>To help your baby get the right treatment each month, you should:</h3><ul><li>Keep notes of the dates of the treatment. Use your baby's regular immunization card to keep track. You can also print out the tables below to help you keep track of your baby's treatment.</li><li>Remind your baby’s doctor or nurse that your baby needs the medicine once a month during RSV season.</li></ul><h2>RSV prophylaxis</h2><table class="akh-table"><thead><tr><th>Palivizumab</th><th>Date</th><th>Location</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Dose #1</td><td></td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Dose #2</td><td></td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Dose #3</td><td></td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Dose #4</td><td></td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Dose #5</td><td></td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Dose #6</td><td></td><td></td></tr></tbody></table><h2>Positive tests for RSV and RSV hospitalizations</h2><table class="akh-table"><thead><tr><th> </th><th>Date</th><th>Date</th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>RSV positive</td><td></td><td></td></tr><tr><td>RSV admission to hospital</td><td></td><td></td></tr><tr><td>Discharged from hospital</td><td></td><td></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Visit the <a href="https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-full-coverage-certain-drugs#section-4" target="_blank">Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website</a> to find more information about RSV prophylaxis.</p><h2>Preventing respiratory syncytial virus</h2><p>Do not expose your baby to cigarette smoke. Smoking has been associated with increased infection rates.</p><p>You can help stop the spread of RSV by:</p><ul><li> <a href="/article?contentid=1981&language=english">washing your hands</a> with soap and water or by using alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after touching your child. Ask others to do the same.</li><li>coughing or sneezing into your sleeve instead of your hands and putting used tissue into the garbage right away.</li><li>avoiding kissing or similar close contact with your baby's face and hands when you are unwell.</li><li>staying away from your hospitalized premature baby if you are sneezing, coughing or have a runny nose or a fever.</li><li>keeping your baby away from crowds and anyone with sneezing, coughing, a runny nose or a fever, especially during RSV season (from November to April). Infections spread more easily when there are more people around.</li><li>cleaning surfaces in your home that are touched often on a regular basis, more often during RSV season.<br></li></ul><img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/respiratory_syncytial_virus.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />rsvrsvhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/respiratory_syncytial_virus.jpgMain