Common Ailments/Defects of School Children

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COMMON AILMENTS/DEFECTS OF SCHOOL CHILDREN
DENTAL CARIES
* Dental caries is an infectious, communicable disease, which causes destruction of teeth by acid-forming bacteria found in dental plaque. * Early childhood caries (ECC) is a “virulent” form of dental caries that can destroy the teeth of preschool children and toddlers. Early childhood caries can also be defined as the occurrence of any sign of dental caries on any tooth surface during the first 3 years of a child’s life. Economically disadvantaged children are the most vulnerable to ECC. * Early childhood caries is an infectious disease, and the Streptococcus mutans bacteria is the main causative agent.

In the past the treatment for dental caries was to “drill and fill.” Restorative dentistry unfortunately has little long-term impact on oral S. mutans levels. Diet counseling and educating parents about undesirable feeding practices has also had minimal success in decreasing ECC in high-risk groups of children. Optimal long-term results can only be achieved by treatment of the underlying caries process.

The modern approach to caries management is the “medical model.” The medical model treats the underlying caries process, and has 4 steps:
1) Gaining control of the bacterial infection.
2) Reduction of risk levels.
3) Remineralization of teeth.
4) Long term follow-up.
COLDS
* The ‘common cold’ is caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and sinuses. A virus is a germ that makes people sick. * Statistics show that preschool-aged children have around nine colds per year, kindergartners can have 12 colds per year, and adolescents and adults have about seven colds per year. Cold season runs from September until March or April, so children usually catch most cold viruses during these months. * Young children have more colds than older children and adults because they haven’t built up immunity (defences) to the more than 100 different cold viruses that are around. SIGNS and SYMPTOMS

Once the virus is present and multiplying, your child will develop the familiar symptoms and signs: * Runny nose (first, a clear discharge;
later, a thicker, often colored one)
* Sneezing
* Mild fever (101–102 degrees Fahrenheit [38.3–38.9 degrees Celsius]), particularlyin the evening * Decreased appetite
* Sore throat and, perhaps, difficulty swallowing
* Cough
* On-and-off irritability
* Slightly swollen glands
* Pus on the tonsils, especially in children three years and older, may indicate a strep infection. If your child has a typical cold without complications, the symptoms should disappear gradually after seven to ten days. TREATMENT

* An older child with a cold usually doesn’t need to see a doctor unless the condition becomes more serious. If she is three months or younger, however, call the pediatrician at the first sign of illness. * With a young baby, symptoms can be misleading, and colds can quickly develop into more serious ailments, such as bronchiolitis, croup, or pneumonia. For a child older than three months, call the pediatrician if: * The noisy breathing of a cold is accompanied by the nostrils’ widening with each breath, or difficulty with moving breath in and out. * The lips or nails turn blue.

* Nasal mucus persists for longer than ten to fourteen days. The cough just won’t go away (it lasts more than one week). * She has pain in her ear.
* Her temperature is over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius). * She is excessively sleepy or cranky.
Your pediatrician may want to see your child, or he may ask you to watch her closely and report back if she doesn’t improve each day and is not completely recovered within one week from the start of her illness.

PROTEIN-ENERGY MALNUTRITION
* Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is a potentially fatal body-depletion disorder. It is the leading cause...
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