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Kids Stiff Neck : What You Need To Know!
Stiff necks can be benign. They can also be dangerous. In the case of children, it is sometimes hard to determine if the situation is critical or not and to trust yourself to not raise the alarm when the situation is not critical and to raise it when it is.
Some basic knowledge can help you save your child a lot of pain when the situation is dangerous and a lot hassle when it is not. This article aims to be a brief outline of the important aspects.
A simple stiff neck is usually a consequence of minor muscle strain from sleeping in the wrong position, physical exertion or using the computer for too long. However, if it also comes with other symptoms like headache and fever, it could mean more dangerous things like meningitis.
Meningitis & Septicemia
Meningitis causes the brain, its lining and the spinal cord swell. The same bacteria also cause blood poisoning and is known as septicemia. This is more dangerous.
These are two of the most dangerous things stiff neck could be symptoms of. It is vital to seek immediate medical attention. Thus it is important to have the skills to identify them.
The first symptoms of both meningitis and septicemia are usually fever, vomiting, headache and feeling unwell. Children suffering from meningitis can also have red ticks.
Combined with neck pains children might also complain of limb pain, pale skin and cold hands and feet in the case of meningitis.
In babies, neck pain might be accompanied by tense or bulging soft spot on their head, no appetite and fever. These are critical symptoms of meningitis in infants and must be taken very seriously.
One of the most effective ways to determine if it is meningitis is whether the child can touch his chest with his chin.
Another form of stiff neck is torticollis usually caused by excessive strain on the muscle in parts of the neck. Usually, the neck is painful to move and the head will tilt to one side.
The best way to deal with it is rest the neck and change the posture of sleeping and other activities. Your child also needs to avoid any physical exercise during this rest. Using a heating pad on your child’s neck can also help with the strain.
If this does not the problem, an x-ray to look at the spine is the next step. If the problem prolongs, take your kids to a specialist.
Stiff neck can also be due to tonsil inflammation or swollen lymph nodes. These are relatively simple causes and easy to deal with. However, in case of panic, it is recommended to visit the child’s pediatrician.
Some simple prevention measures can be very effective. Routine immunizations like the vaccine against meningitis, avoiding tick bites by using insect repellent can be very effective.
Moreover, it is also important for your child to maintain a good posture and to avoid activities and equipment that risk neck injuries.
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