What are the symptoms of meningitis in a child?

How do I know if my child has meningitis?

What are the symptoms of meningitis in a child?

  1. Irritability.
  2. Fever.
  3. Sleeping more than usual.
  4. Poor feeding.
  5. Crying that can’t be soothed.
  6. High-pitched cry.
  7. Arching back.
  8. Bulging soft spots on the head (fontanelles)

How do you rule out meningitis?

The most reliable way to diagnose meningitis is with a lumbar puncture . During a lumbar puncture, a doctor inserts a long, thin needle in between two vertebrae in the lower back. This allows them to withdraw some cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is the fluid that cushions the brain and spinal cord.

How long can you have meningitis without knowing?

The first symptoms of viral meningitis typically appear between 3 to 7 days after being exposed to the infection. Symptoms of bacterial meningitis appear and progress quickly – bacterial meningitis is the most dangerous type of meningitis, and the infection progresses the fastest.

What does the start of meningitis feel like?

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. Septicaemia can occur with or without meningitis.

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When should you worry about a child’s headache?

When the headaches are frequent — or are interfering with daily life. If your child has headaches two or more times a week, or they are making it hard for your child to do homework, play, or otherwise live a normal life, give your doctor a call.

When should you take a child to the doctor?

Call the doctor if:

  1. The child develops an earache.
  2. The child develops a fever over 102 degrees F.
  3. The child becomes exceptionally sleepy, cranky or fussy.
  4. A skin rash develops.
  5. Breathing becomes rapid or labored.
  6. The cough becomes persistent or severe.

What age group is at highest risk for contracting meningitis?

Anyone can get meningococcal disease, but rates of disease are highest in children younger than 1 year old, with a second peak in adolescence. Among teens and young adults, those 16 through 23 years old have the highest rates of meningococcal disease.

Where is a meningitis headache located?

Usually headache is the predominant symptom, but fever is also usually present and the neck is stiff. Bending the neck forward greatly aggravates the pain. The headache is generalized all over the head.

Does meningitis go away on its own?

Viral meningitis will usually get better on its own and rarely causes any long-term problems. Most people with bacterial meningitis who are treated quickly will also make a full recovery, although some are left with serious long-term problems.

How do doctors test for meningitis?

Spinal tap (lumbar puncture).

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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Are meningitis rashes itchy?

Unlike many common rashes, the meningitis rash isn’t itchy. As children’s skin is typically more sensitive than adults’, a lack of scratching can be a bad sign. Since such a rash is quite prominent and can look pretty nasty, it will often seem quite unusual that a child isn’t scratching it.