Children’s Health

We understand the concern parents have for their children’s health, and as such, we recommend regular check-ups at the different developmental stages of a child’s life.

We welcome children of all ages into our clinics – from new-borns to teenagers –  for both routine check-ups and case-specific appointments.

It can be extremely distressing for parents when their children feel unwell, so VIVA Medi Clinics endeavours to see children as soon as possible, accepting short-notice, emergency appointments where possible. We also know that a visit to the doctor can be particularly stressful for children, so we make it a priority to make the experience as comfortable and welcoming as possible.

Examples of common causes of childhood illnesses include:

Chickenpox (Varicella)

Chickenpox causes red, itchy spots that transform into fluid-filled blisters. They then crust to form scabs. Your child is likely to have a fever for at least the first few days of the illness and the spots can be very itchy, so expect them to feel irritable whilst under the weather. Chickenpox is extremely common and usually gets better by itself, but if you have any concerns, see your VIVA Medi Clinics Doctor.

Coughs, colds and ear infections

Coughs and colds are very common in children. Usually a cough is self-limiting, and if your child is feeding, drinking, eating and breathing normally and there’s no wheezing, then it’s typically nothing to worry about and will clear up by itself.

If your child has a bad cough or the cough hasn’t shifted within a few days, see your VIVA Medi Clinics Doctor. If your child is experiencing difficulty breathing, seek medical attention urgently.

Colds are also very common amongst children, and are easily passed from one child to another. Child-friendly medicines such as Calpol can soothe the upsetting symptoms, but a cold should clear itself up in a matter of days without any need for further medical attention. If you believe your child is suffering unduly or the cold is persisting without signs of fading, book an appointment with VIVA Medi Clinics as soon as possible.

Croup

Croup is a viral infection that causes swelling of the windpipe (trachea), the airways to the lungs (the bronchi), and the vocal cords (voice box). This swelling causes the airways to become more narrow, thus making it harder to breathe.

A child with croup has a distinctive barking cough and may make a harsh sound known as stridor when they breathe in. If your child develops this condition, seek medical care urgently.

Asthma

Asthma is a long-term condition that affects your airways. Asthma sufferers have ‘sensitive’ airways that are inflamed and ready to react when they come into contact with an irritant. There is currently no cure for asthma. If you believe your child may have this condition, your VIVA Medi Clinics doctor can offer safe and effective treatments in order to manage the symptoms.

Rashes

Childhood rashes are common and aren’t usually a cause for concern. Most rashes are harmless and disappear without the need for treatment.

However, see your GP if your child has a rash and seems unwell, or if you’re worried. They’ll be able to investigate the cause and recommend any necessary treatment.

Meningitis Rash

One rash that is a medical emergency is that of Meningitis. Symptoms of this life-threatening condition can appear suddenly and can include:

  • A high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • Vomiting
  • A headache
  • A blotchy rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it (this won’t always develop)
  • A stiff neck
  • A dislike of bright lights
  • Drowsiness or unresponsiveness
  • Seizures (fits)

These symptoms can appear in any order and some may not appear.

You should get medical advice as soon as possible if you’re concerned that you or your child could have meningitis. Trust your instincts and don’t wait until a rash develops.

Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department immediately if you think you or your child might be seriously ill.

Arrange a appointment with a VIVA Medi Clinics doctor for advice if you’re not sure if it’s anything serious or you think you may have been exposed to someone with meningitis.

Diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Babies

Most babies have occasional loose stools, and breast-fed babies may have looser stools than formula-fed babies. Diarrhoea in a baby describes frequent, repeated passing of unformed, watery stools. If you have concern regarding this, seek urgent medical advice.

  • Toddlers and older children

Some children between the ages of one and five pass frequent, smelly, loose stools that may contain recognisable foods, such as carrots and peas. Usually, these children are otherwise perfectly healthy and are growing normally.

Seek urgent medical advice if you are at all concerned regarding your child’s health.

Food allergies

Babies are more likely to develop allergies if there’s a history of eczema, asthma, hay fever or food allergies (known together as ‘atopy’) in the family.

It is recommended that when your infant is ready (at around 6 months, but not before 4 months) that you start to introduce a variety of solid foods whilst you continue to breastfeed. Hydrolysed (partially and extensively) infant formula is not recommended for prevention of allergic disease.

When you start introducing solids (weaning), introduce the foods that commonly cause allergies one at a time so that you can spot any reaction. These foods are: milk, eggs, wheat, nuts, seeds, fish and shellfish. Don’t introduce any of these foods before six months. There is evidence that infants should be given allergenic solid foods including peanut butter, cooked egg and dairy and wheat products in the first year of life. This includes infants at high risk of allergy.

Many children outgrow their allergies to milk or eggs, but a peanut allergy is generally lifelong.

Dietary concerns

Children’s dietary and nutritional requirements differ from those of adults because they are still growing. Nutrients that are essential for growth become more important in children. However, making sure your child receives the proper nutrition on a daily basis can become a challenge, given factors such as allergies and the children’s basic likes and dislikes, for instance. Common nutritional problems associated with children include failure to thrive, refusal of foods, allergies and intolerances, iron deficiency anaemia, and vitamin D deficiency.

Behavioural concerns

Some children have extremely difficult and challenging behaviours that are outside the norm for their age.

These problems can result from temporary stressors in the child’s life, or they might represent more enduring disorders. The most common disruptive behaviour disorders include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Treatment options include parent management training, cognitive behaviour therapy, medication and treatment for associated problems.

Young people and mental health

Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.

Sadly, however, 70{16db56fd17940e6643ff3d538b97b62c79f4f767a457083516745d71df1d4c77} of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.

The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.

Things that can help keep children and young people mentally well include:

  • Being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
  • Having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
  • Being part of a close family unit.
  • Going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils
  • Taking part in local activities for young people.
Developmental concerns

If you have ever had concerns about your child’s development, you are not alone. Whether you are worried about your child’s use of language, physical development,  ability to relate to others, or any other developmental concerns, share your observations with a VIVA Medi Clinics doctor who can help.

Musculo-skeletal concerns

The musculoskeletal system is made up of all of the bones, muscles, joints, cartilage, tendons and ligaments in a person’s body.

Children, from babies, through childhood, into adolescence can experience a variety of musculoskeletal problems. These may be related to injury, growth, biomechanics, posture, inflammation or as a result of an underlying condition.

If you have any concerns, it is essential that your child is assessed by a VIVA Medi Clinics doctor who may be able to allay your concerns or, when appropriate refer you on to our paediatric orthopaedic or physiotherapy colleagues.

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