8 months ago
Mamiki Lekala with her three-year-old daughter Bokamoso. Photos by Thabo Monama  ~ 

CHILDREN are prone to more illness than adults who have developed immunities.

Knowing the symptoms can help parents and guardians get them treated early.

Making sure your child eats a healthy diet keeps them and their immune system strong to fight off infections.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, quality fats, whole grains and protein should be eaten daily.

SunHealth reveals the symptoms of the most common childhood diseases.

Buang Msiza said:“My nine-year-old boy Orebotse has had eye problems since he was one. Doctors say it’s caused by an allergy, but he gets flu more often than other kids.”

Mamiki Lekala said: “As a professional nurse I know of many diseases that can affect children. My two kids – Karabo who’s 17, and Bokamoso who’s three – often have colds and flu.”

The common cold: Kids catch up to five colds a year, the most likely reason they miss school. Symptoms include a sore throat, headache, loss of appetite, mild fever and a blocked and/or runny nose.

Most colds clear up on their own, but supplements containing zinc, echinacea and vitamin C have all been shown to shorten the duration of the cold.

Chickenpox: This contagious virus causes an itchy rash of red spots all over the body.

Symptoms develop about two weeks after infection and include a fever, headache, cough and sore throat. The itchy rash appears after the first symptoms start.

It can take the body up to 10 more days before the virus is not contagious.

A list of helpful vitamins includes A, B12, D, E and K.

Conjunctivitis: Commonly known as pinkeye, this is the inflammation of the eye membrane or conjunctiva. It’s common in children because it’s highly contagious.

Food rich in vitamins A and B2 may help the body fight off conjunctivitis.

Gastroenteritis: One primary cause of diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting is most often caused by an infection by the rotavirus, the E coli or salmonella bacteria, or parasites.

Symptoms typically include abdominal cramps but usually also include a fever, nausea, vomiting and dehydration.

An over-the-counter probiotic may help shorten the duration of the illness. Drinking water or other fluids rehydrate the body and prevent dehydration.

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