What symptoms can help identify meningitis in children?
The disease "Meningitis" is an inflammatory process that occurs in the membranes of the brain or spinal cord, the cause of which is the entry of specific pathogens into the cranial cavity. The disease may begin to develop due to the ingress of bacteria, viral or fungal microorganisms inside the skull with a blood stream. Ailment occurs most often against the background of a weakened immunity. Also, the cause of inflammation of the lining of the brain can be damage to the skull (head injury).
Since the children's body is formed from the moment of birth and up to 12-15 years, it is common for it to encounter various diseases, since the immune system is not sufficiently developed and not as strong as in adults. Therefore, it can be assumed that for children, meningitis (serous, bacterial) is a more serious disease. And today, specialists have been able to identify risk groups, which include children more prone to inflammation of the brain:
- premature babies;
- crumbs with disturbances in the nervous system;
- children with serious spinal cord injuries.
Therefore, specialists should be especially careful to carry out inspections of children who fall into one of the above categories. The disease will be easier to overcome, not allowing its development and complications, if it is possible to identify the first signs of the disease in a timely manner.
Forms and types of inflammation
Meningitis, as an inflammatory disease, is classified into several types and forms. Depending on the nature of the disease, there are three forms of the disease:
By origin (pathogenesis) the disease is divided into three types:
- Primary meningitis, which may occur against the background of a general predisposition without obvious previous diseases of an infectious nature and in the absence of local foci;
- Secondary, developing on the background of the complications that have arisen after the child suffered another disease;
- Inflammation of the membranes of the brain / spinal cord, which is a consequence of viruses and injuries.
There are three types of disease that are classified, depending on the anatomy:
- If the inflammation has affected the arachnoid and soft membranes of the brain, then this is leptomeningitis.
- In cases where the disease has hit hard shells, it is pachymeningitis.
- A rare form of inflammation, when the process affects only the arachnoid membrane, is arachnoiditis.
Depending on the nature of the pathological process, the disease is classified into:
- Serous meningitis, in which during development, serous fluid begins to accumulate under the inflamed membrane, consisting mainly of pus and other impurities;
- Purulent meningitis, in which inflammatory processes are accompanied by changes in the composition of the cerebrospinal fluid.
List of symptoms
The list of factors that represent the symptoms of meningitis in children 2-10 years old and adolescents is quite large. It is rather difficult to diagnose an ailment at first, since it has a certain similarity to the common cold.
Regardless of the nature or form of the disease, the first symptoms of meningitis in children are similar. The main indicators of the inflammatory process that develops in the body are:
- high temperature, reaching 38-40 degrees;
- Strong headache;
- repeated vomiting.
A prominent symptom in meningitis in children of younger years and adolescents is pain and muscle tone. Excessive tone is expressed in the fact that the baby can not get his chin to the chest. Regarding the tone in the muscles of the limbs, it can be identified by conducting a test. It lies in the fact that children with suspected viral meningitis must be put on their backs and bend the leg in two places (in the hip joint and in the knee). The child will not be able to straighten the leg if there is an inflammatory process in his body.
Identify the pathological process in the brain membrane in children with an age of up to 1.5 years can be on the characteristic tilting of the head. Also indicative of the development of meningitis in the brain may suggest a convex region of a large spring.
In children 2 years and older, the disease is accompanied by sudden vomiting, photophobia, increased sensitivity to sounds, headache,as well as fever with chills. In addition, the disease can cause confusion and convulsions.
Symptoms characteristic of each form of the disease
Serous meningitis in children from 5 to 15 years can manifest itself in the form:
- Symptoms characteristic of ARD (pain and redness in the throat, tickling, runny nose, cough), which are an indicator that the viral pathogen entered the body through the respiratory tract;
- Disturbances and malfunctions of the digestive system (frequent diarrhea, nausea, severely liquefied stools, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain), signaling the ingestion of pathogenic bacteria through the ingestion of contaminated liquid, infected food;
- Significant increase in body temperature (reaching critical indicators), which is difficult to reduce using conventional methods;
- The child begins to refuse to eat because of decreased appetite, becomes irritable, capricious and cries a lot;
- Hallucinations with fever;
- Hearing impairment;
- Increased sensitivity, which is expressed in the fact that every touch the child will react fearfully;
- Loss of consciousness, if not provided timely assistance and serous meningitis, not detected at the first sign, has reached a severe form.
Symptoms of meningitis, occurring most often in children of specific age groups, can be represented as a list:
- in newborns the fontanel strongly swells, myocarditis may occur, and neurological disorders are observed;
- crumbs from birth to 6 months suffer from viral meningitis from diarrhea, the causes of which are enteroviruses;
- babies from 1 year to 3 years old may experience convulsive syndrome and paralytic symptoms similar to polio;
- in children older than three years old, viral meningitis, as well as serous, can be detected by severe headaches, excessive muscle tone, rashes, and elevated blood pressure.
Disease treatment options
If you have found viral serous meningitis in your child, contact a specialist immediately. Remember that specifically for this disease, self-treatment is not recommended.
To get rid of the disease infants, children 2-10 years old and adolescents can only be subject to the recommendations of the doctor and under the supervision of specialists.Therefore, the treatment of the disease is possible only on an outpatient basis. The course of procedures, as a rule, consists of etiotropic therapy, pathogenetic treatment methods, diet and a special regimen.
It is important to remember that when the word "meningitis" (serous, bacterial) and at the first symptoms of the disease should not fall into a swoon. It is best to provide timely assistance to the patient by contacting an experienced specialist.