A characteristic disease of young children is an illness known as roseola; affected children typically have a very high fever-sometimes reaching as high as 104° to 106°F, in addition other symptoms such as a mild pink and itchy rash sets in when the fever subsides. Running its course in about one to five days, the fever is often followed by the rash which may fade away quickly or in some cases could last about two to four days at a stretch. The rash first occurs on the chest and along the back of the person, spreading from these to the face and the extremities as it progresses. Some other symptoms that may be apparent in such individuals are the enlargement of the spleen and the swelling of the lymph glands in the neck. Also, other signs of the disease could be a sudden loss of appetite, nervous disorder like irritability, the presence of a sore throat, often accompanied by a runny nose. These other symptoms however, quickly subside as soon as the rash disappears.
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The roseola infantum virus is pointed out by doctors as the culprit behind the disease; this viral agent is probably a member of the herpes family of viruses-akin to the human herpes virus type 6 and is responsible for all known cases of roseola. Children between the ages of six months to three years are the common demographic group that is attacked by the virus, and the disease particularly attacks these age groups only. The virus is believed to have an incubation period of about ten to fifteen days and is believed to be transmitted via respiratory contact, the roseola virus is known to be a highly contagious agent. For this reason even after the initial fever subsides, the affected child often remains infectious for about five days more.
The possibility of a seizure due to the high fever is potentially the most dangerous consequence of infection. For this reason a seizure is often the first sign that a child has roseola as the fever is unpredictable as a symptom as it can come on so suddenly, and disappear so suddenly.
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Increase the level of perspiration and reduce the chills in the patient by giving him or her combination herbal tea that can also lower the symptomatic fever. Prepare this combination herbal tea using the following herbs, the leaf of the lemon balm, the flower of the chamomile, the leaf of the peppermint, some licorice root, and the elder flower. Alternately you can use these herbs singly or in any given combination-the proportions of the herbs are as follow 1/2 teaspoon of licorice root and 1 teaspoon each of the other herbs. Dosage of the tea for children above two years of age or older should be about half a cup of the tea, taken four times, for a treatment of one day at a time. If the mother is breastfeeding, she can take a cup of tea herself, as for a child under two years of age; appropriate dose is about 1/4 cup of tea taken directly. This herbal tea must be drunk as warm as possible without being hot or scalding.
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For your attention: allow at least one hour between the time you give a child a homeopathic medication and tea containing peppermint. This is because the very strong smell of the mint can interfere with the potency of the homeopathic remedy being used and render it useless.
A combination herbal formula of the immune-boosting herbs the Echinacea and the goldenseal can also be given to children to help them in recovering from the illness. Besides soothing the irritated mucus membranes, both these herbs posses bactericidal and antiviral properties, which are essential to a good immune system. Till the fever subsides, a single dose of the combination formula can be given to children at one dose, every two hours. This can be followed by a secondary dosage of the same amount given three times daily, for two or three days at a stretch. In addition you can also give the child soothing lukewarm oatmeal baths especially if the rash is itchy - this is an excellent topical measure.
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Depending on their understanding as well as clinical experience, specialized practitioners of homeopathy may perhaps suggest one or more of the cures mentioned below for roseola. Prior to prescribing any remedy, the homeopaths will bear in mind the constitutional type of the suffering individual. The constitutional type includes the patient's physical, intellectual and emotional composition. A knowledgeable practitioner of homeopathy evaluates these entire aspects while deciding on the most suitable remedy for any particular patient.
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Besides using conventional medications, herbs and supplements as well as homeopathic remedies, there are a number of additional things that you may do to cure roseola or facilitate the treatment for this condition.
Always bear in mind that similar to the majority of the viruses, even roseola simply requires running its complete course. When the fever settles, soon your child will start feeling better. Nevertheless, after suffering from a fever, you child is likely to feel uneasy. In order to treat the child's fever at home, your physician may suggest a number of things that are listed below.
When you child is suffering from a fever, he or she requires enough rest, which is a significant aspect in such cases. Allow your child to rest in his/ her bed till the fever subsides completely.
When your child is recuperating from a fever, he/ she requires drinking plenty of fluids with a view to avoid dehydration. Therefore, give the child enough clear fluids to drink - for instance, water, lime soda, ginger ale, clear broth, sports drinks like Powerade or Gatorade or any electrolyte solution, for example Pedialyte. If you are giving your child any carbonated beverage, ensure that you do away with the gas bubbles prior to consuming the liquid. Allowing the carbonated drink to stand or shaking the drink or pouring the beverage in a glass and stirring it will help you to remove the gas bubbles from it. Actually, when you get rid of the gas bubbles from a carbonated beverage, it will mean that you will help your child to steer clear of the further uneasiness of too much burping or formation of intestinal gas that may result owing to drinking carbonated beverages. In case you are breastfeeding the child, you ought to know that breast milk may also assist in avoiding dehydration too.
Sponge baths are extremely effective in facilitating the treatment for roseola. A tepid sponge bath or applying a chilly washcloth to the head of your child may alleviate the uneasiness caused by a fever. Nevertheless, you should never use cold water, cold baths, fans or ice in an attempt to bring down the fever or provide relief from its symptoms. Using these may perhaps give your child the undesirable colds.
Acupressure may prove to be an effective means to help children suffering from roseola. In addition, it is also helpful in reducing the body temperature as well as soothing the body. A mild massage may also facilitate in your child having a better feeling. While a number of children would object to being touched when they are suffering from a fever, a foot massage may actually help to provide relief.
Specific medications, such as ibuprofen (for example, Motrin or Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), may facilitate in bringing down your child's fever. However, here is a word of caution. Bear in mind that you never give aspirin to your child provided he is undergoing a viral ailment, since the use of this medication in these types of instances has been found to be related to Reye's syndrome. Significantly enough, Reye syndrome has the potential to result in liver dysfunction and also death.
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