It can be very difficult to determine if a child has meningitis as children are not always able to explain their symptoms or discomforts. Also, meningitis can appear as flu-like symptoms in the early stages and making a diagnosis extremely difficult unless it is done by a medical professional.
Parents and teachers are children’s advocate and champions, as a teacher I always tell my parents to lean towards being overly cautious, if there is any type of medical concern-go to a medical professional and get it checked out. The age old saying still rings so true-it is better to be safe than sorry.
Children constantly are passing germs, colds, coughs and flu are a constant in the classroom, but with the recent upswing of meningitis, it is especially important to keep a watchful out for the symptoms of meningitis in children.
Here you will find the 8 common signs of meningitis in children; meningitis symptoms can vary so if a child shows a combination of any of these signs or any other unusual symptoms, it is imperative to seek out a medical professional and get your child examined.
Meningitis symptom #1: Fever
Kids get fevers and I see it fairly frequently in my classroom, fever is the most obvious sign that the body is fighting off something. Fevers can wipe out a child physically, so making sure to see a medical professional when a child gets a fever is really important.
Meningitis symptom #2: Fatigue
All children get tired and feel exhausted at times, but if a child seems to have an usual amount of fatigue combined with the other any of the other symptoms listed here, go to a doctor and explain the concerns.
Meningitis symptom #3: Irritability
Irritability is a really difficult symptom to diagnose as serious because all children get irritable at some point. However, parents know their kids best and if the irritability does not seem like it is the normal irritability that your child exhibits, look for any other accompanying symptoms and at least make a call to the doctor’s office and explain the situation.
Meningitis symptom #4: Headache
If a headache lasts for any prolonged amount of time, there is a chance there could be something seriously wrong with your child. Headaches are difficult for children to deal with because there is nothing that can be done to ease the pain; if a headache lasts for any length of time-be sure to call a medical professional.
Meningitis symptom #5: Eyes sensitive to light
This is a symptom that would most likely be noticed pretty quickly, if a child’s eyes were not sensitive to light and then all of the sudden the eyes are, something has changed in the body and putting a call into a medical professional would be wise for ease of mind.
Meningitis symptom #6: Achy neck
Children turn their necks in awkward ways at times and can get an achy neck just from playing, but if a parent is not aware of any injury that occurred and the child is in pain-have a doctor take a look to make sure everything is ok. A parent never wants to ignore a neck issue as it could be a meningitis symptom or it could possibly be an injury to the back.
Meningitis symptom #7: Skin rashes
When a child has a skin rash in my classroom, the child is always sent to the school nurse and typically sent home if the rash developed for unknown reasons. If there is not a known reason for a skin rash, take your child to a medical professional as it could be a sign of meningitis or some type of allergic reaction.
Meningitis symptom #8: Seizures
If there is a seizure, get medical attention immediately. Seizures are very serious and need to be addressed promptly.