What is diphtheria


What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a contagious, bacterial disease that infects the nose, throat or skin.  Diphtheria causes a thick coating on the back of the throat that can cause breathing problems for your child. Diphtheria can also damage your child's heart and nervous system and cause paralysis and even death. Babies are at particular risk of complications from diphtheria.

What are the symptoms of diphtheria?

Diphtheria begins with a sore throat and slight fever and progresses to swelling that can block your child's airway, making it difficult to breathe.  Diphtheria can also cause skin infections and temporary muscle paralysis.

How can my child catch diphtheria?

Diphtheria is spread through coughing and sneezing. The infection also spreads when children touch toys or other things that someone with diphtheria has handled and then rub their eyes or mouths.

Why is diphtheria serious?

Diphtheria can be serious—especially for infants and very young children. Diphtheria attacks vital organs. One person in 10 who gets diphtheria will die, even with treatment.

Why should my child be immunized against diphtheria?

The best way to protect children against diphtheria is to make sure that they get the diphtheria vaccine.  The diphtheria vaccine is your child's best defense against this disease. Experience in other countries has shown that diseases like diphtheria quickly return when fewer people are immunized.

About the diphtheria vaccine...

What kind of vaccine is given to prevent diphtheria?

The diphtheria vaccine is given by needle and is very safe.  Like all vaccines authorized for use in Canada, it went through several stages of rigorous testing before being authorized for use.

Can giving my child several vaccines at the same time overwhelm the immune system?

No.   Combination vaccines that provide protection against multiple diseases in one vaccine have been shown to be safe and effective. Giving combination vaccines protects children against more diseases sooner. As an added benefit, it also reduces children's discomfort by reducing the number of injections they receive. And it saves parents the time and expense of additional office visits.

Are there any side effects from the diphtheria vaccine?

Side effects of the diphtheria vaccine are usually very mild. Your child may have a slight fever, be fussy, sleepier or have less appetite than usual. Your child’s arm or thigh might be a bit red or sore where the needle went in. These side effects are very common, happen 12 to 24 hours after the immunization and usually go away within a few days.

When should my child get the diphtheria vaccine?

Canadian guidelines recommend that all children get four doses of the combined vaccine that includes diphtheria protection – at age 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 18 months.   Your child will get a booster vaccine at 4 to 6 years of age.  An additional booster dose, combined with tetanus and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, is given routinely to adolescents between 14 to 16 years of age across Canada.
Parents, make sure that your immunizations are up to date!   Adults need a tetanus-diphtheria booster shot every 10 years.
Schedules may vary from province to province. Calculate your child's personal immunization schedule.

Who should not get the diphtheria vaccine?

A child who has had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the diphtheria vaccine should not get the vaccine again. Signs of a severe allergic reaction would include breathing problems (wheezing), swelling and blotchy skin on the body (hives) or around the mouth. If you see any of these symptoms or are concerned about your child's health, it's always a good idea to check with your doctor or public health office (CLSC in Quebec).

About Measles (Baby and infant)

Mea one ofsles is the most highly infectious diseases. Babies under 1 year of age are most at risk of getting measles, but it can affect anyone of any age who has not been vaccinated against the disease or who has not had measles previously.

Although measles is often wrongly dismissed as a minor disease that all children will catch and recover from easily, the effects of measles can be extremely serious and even sometimes fatal.

Thanks to the childhood immunisation programme, the disease in now rare in the UK, although it has not been eliminated all together. If a child is not vaccinated as a baby, he or she will always remain at risk of catching the disease.

Measles is more common abroad. In countries with poor vaccination programmes, measles is a very severe disease. One million children die from measles world-wide each year. Consequently, anyone travelling to countries where measles is a problem must ensure that they and their family are fully immunised.

Skin Care Guide For Baby

CRADLE CAP

Left alone, these thick, yellowish, crusted lesions at the top of the baby's scalp will eventually go away. To speed up the process, apply a little olive oil or mineral oil to the area to loosen the scales before shampooing, and then use a comb or baby brush to gently remove them from the scalp, says Susan Boiko, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.


CHAPPED, CRACKED SKIN

Common behind the ears, such a condition can often be treated by applying petroleum jelly once or twice a day. (If cracking also appears on the scalp or face, it's probably eczema or seborrheic dermatitis; check with your pediatrician.)


MILIA

These little white dots on the nose are pores that haven't yet opened up completely. "As the pores open normally, the white dots disappear," says Dr. Boiko. Don't squeeze the pores -- this could cause scarring.


What you need to know about Hib

What is Hib?

Hib is short for Haemophilus influenzae type b, but has nothing to do with the flu. Hib is a bacterial infection that can cause meningitis – a life-threatening infection of the lining around your child's spinal cord and brain. Hib can also cause pneumonia, swelling in the back of the throat, deafness and death. Children under age 5 are most at risk.

What are the symptoms of Hib?

The different diseases that Hib causes have different symptoms. Symptoms of meningitis include fever and a stiff neck. Symptoms of pneumonia include fever and difficulty breathing.

How can my child catch Hib?

Hib can cause different diseases, which have different symptoms.  It is spread mainly through coughing and sneezing. Children who touch toys, food items, dishes, or other objects that have been sneezed or coughed on or handled by someone with the Hib germ can also be infected.

Learning about Polio in Babies

In their early years, a child is exposed to the risk of developing serious ailments that can last for a lifetime and in certain cases prove fatal too. Educating yourself on the signs of possible illness in babies and the various vaccinations can outweigh all risks and ensure your baby has a healthy and happy childhood. Vaccinations today are considered as one of the safest and the easiest ways to deflect any possible threats to your child’s health. Immunizing your baby can be a life savior for your little one. Polio is certainly a big example on how immunization practice has helped to avert a grave disease among kids today. Polio has been wiped out of most countries with only a few developing nations facing its threat now. For this, babies are now being given routinely polio vaccines to ward off any possible threat to their health. However, due to polio being almost eliminated now, most parents often do not realize how important it is to vaccinate their little one against this disease. Polio is a serious life crippling ailment and if not taken care of, it may show up as an ultimate danger to your child’s life.

Your Baby & Polio


Polio is a highly contagious viral illness that can induce graver health complications like paralysis, respiratory disorders and even death. A person exposed to polio may not reveal any serious symptoms initially. However, at times polio virus can show flu-like indications in non-paralytic form and a much graver symptom in paralytic polio. In paralytic polio, the polio virus attacks the central nervous system, crippling the entire system and at times proving fatal. Anybody suffering from paralytic polio may lose the ability to use one or both the limbs, and face complications while breathing. The rate of recovery depends from person to person, but people afflicted with polio will complain of weakness in their arm and leg for their entire life. Also the chance of recuperating from paralytic polio is quite low.

whooping cough (pertussis) in baby

Whooping cough (pertussis) is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis). It's characterized by severe coughing spells, which can sometimes end in a "whooping" sound when the person breathes in.

It mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old before they're adequately protected by immunizations, and kids 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has started to fade.

Before a vaccine was available, pertussis killed 5,000 to 10,000 people in the United States each year. Now, the pertussis vaccine has reduced the annual number of deaths to less than 30. But in recent years, the number of cases has started to rise. By 2004, the number of whooping cough cases spiked past 25,000, the highest level it's been since the 1950s.
Signs & Symptoms

The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold:
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • mild cough
  • low-grade fever
After about 1 to 2 weeks, the dry, irritating cough evolves into coughing spells. During a coughing spell, which can last for more than a minute, the child may turn red or purple. At the end of a spell, the child may make a characteristic whooping sound when breathing in or may vomit. Between spells, the child usually feels well.

Knowledge about tetanus (lockjaw)


What is tetanus?

Tetanus is a bacterial disease that most people think they might get if they step on a rusty nail. Tetanus is also found in dirt, dust, soil, manure and human stool. It can also be transmitted through animal bites.  This disease affects the nervous system.  If tetanus gets into an open cut, it can be life-threatening. The disease travels up nerves from the muscles, which can be extremely painful. The first muscles that are affected are the ones in the jaw, which becomes stiff and 'locked'.  This is why tetanus is sometimes calledlockjaw.

What are the symptoms of tetanus?

The first symptoms of tetanus are stiffness that moves quickly through the body, including the jaw (lockjaw), neck and stomach.  Tetanus can cause problems with breathing and swallowing.  Tetanus is extremely painful. As the disease progresses, it can lead to seizures and death.

About Baby's diphtheria

What is diphtheria?

Diphtheria is a contagious, bacterial disease that infects the nose, throat or skin.  Diphtheria causes a thick coating on the back of the throat that can cause breathing problems for your child. Diphtheria can also damage your child's heart and nervous system and cause paralysis and even death. Babies are at particular risk of complications from diphtheria.

What are the symptoms of diphtheria?

Diphtheria begins with a sore throat and slight fever and progresses to swelling that can block your child's airway, making it difficult to breathe.  Diphtheria can also cause skin infections and temporary muscle paralysis.

How can my child catch diphtheria?

Protect your baby from 13 serious diseases

When you immunize your baby, you're protecting her from 13 vaccine-preventable diseases. These diseases can be so serious that some children have died from them.

Nearly all of them are spread very easily from person to person, mostly through coughing and sneezing. Getting your baby her immunizations on time gives her the protection she needs to stay healthy.
What diseases do immunizations prevent?

Your baby's immunizations prevent her from getting these 13 vaccine-preventable diseases. Most of these are now rare in Canada because of immunization — and that's a good thing.

Diphtheria can cause serious breathing problems for your child. Diphtheria can damage your child's heart and nervous system and cause paralysis.

baby face chapped

My 4-month-old-daughter is dribbling like crazy, which is making her face chapped. What can I put on her face so it won't be so dry and cracked? 


This is a common problem, especially in babies who use dummies, and it's likely to continue as your baby starts teething. Persistent moisture on the skin causes it to become inflamed and irritated. The ideal treatment, therefore, is to prevent the skin from having continuous contact with her saliva. To accomplish this, apply a barrier ointment around the chapped area several times per day; one of the best is pure petroleum jelly. Avoid products that contain fragrances or other additives, as they may irritate your daughter's skin even more. And while you can't do much about teething, weaning your baby from the dummy (if she uses one) may significantly improve the condition.