Quick Answer: What action should you take if you suspect a child has meningitis?

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 do not wait until a rash develops. Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E immediately if you think you or your child might be seriously ill.

When should you suspect meningitis in children?

If your child is less than two months old: A fever, decreased appetite, listlessness, or increased crying or irritability warrants a call to your doctor. At this age, the signs of meningitis can be very subtle and difficult to detect. It’s better to call early and be wrong than to call too late.

How do you rule out meningitis?

For a definitive diagnosis of meningitis, you’ll need a spinal tap to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In people with meningitis, the CSF often shows a low sugar (glucose) level along with an increased white blood cell count and increased protein.

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What are the signs of meningitis in a child?

The first symptoms are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell. Limb pain, pale skin, and cold hands and feet often appear earlier than the rash, neck stiffness, dislike of bright lights and confusion. Red ticks show symptoms more specific to meningitis and septicaemia and less common in milder illnesses.

What is the first aid for meningitis?

If someone is unwell and you think they have signs of meningitis, call 999 or 112 for emergency help straight away. While waiting for help to arrive, start to treat their fever. Check the casualty to see if they have a rash. If they do, you can do the glass test.

When should you suspect meningitis?

Seek immediate medical care if you or someone in your family has meningitis signs or symptoms, such as: Fever. Severe, unrelenting headache. Confusion.

What does the start of meningitis look like?

A petechial rash looks like pin-prick red or purple spots on the skin, and can resemble flea bites. A purpuric rash looks more like bruising, showing up as reddish-purple areas on the skin.

How long can you have meningitis and not know it?

Symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within 3 to 7 days after exposure. Later symptoms of bacterial meningitis can be very serious (e.g., seizures, coma). For this reason, anyone who thinks they may have meningitis should see a doctor as soon as possible.

How can you test for meningitis at home?

The meningitis glass test

  1. Press the side of a clear glass firmly against the skin.
  2. Spots/rash may fade at first.
  3. Keep checking.
  4. Fever with spots/rash that do not fade under pressure is a medical emergency.
  5. Do not wait for a rash. If someone is ill and getting worse, get medical help immediately.
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What should you do if you suspect meningitis?

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 do not wait until a rash develops. Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E immediately if you think you or your child might be seriously ill.

Does Meningitis go away by itself?

Most people with mild viral meningitis usually get better on their own within 7 to 10 days. Initial symptoms of viral meningitis are similar to those for bacterial meningitis.

Can a child survive meningitis?

Meningitis is an uncommon but serious, life-threatening infection. However, a baby will almost always fully recover when it’s diagnosed and treated early. If treatment is delayed, a baby can still recover, but they may be left with one or more long-term effects, including: blindness.

Can you have meningitis and not know it?

Meningitis can be mistaken for the flu, dehydration, or gastroenteritis. It can also be overlooked because symptoms may be mild or not always apparent.

How long does Meningitis take to kill?

Meningitis – Can kill within 4 hours and can affect anyone!

How do you test for meningitis with a glass?

The glass test is a really useful way of spotting suspected meningitis. If your child has a cluster of red or purple spots, press the side of a clear drinking glass firmly against the rash. In this example the spots are still visible through the glass. This is called a non-blanching rash – it does not fade.

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How high is a meningitis fever?

High fever: Fever can be above 100 degrees (sometimes even above 103 degrees). Back pain: Back pain caused by meningitis is typically made worse when you bend your legs close to your chest in a fetal position, though it can also be exacerbated by any change in position and it may be present all the time.

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