How to determine if a child has mumps

11 December 2014
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11 December 2014, Comments: 0

Even though the mumps vaccine is regularly given to young children as part of the regular immunizations, there is still the possibility for a vaccinated child to acquire mumps. Nevertheless, the disease is usually less severe than in a child who was not vaccinated. You can watch out for certain signs and symptoms especially if you suspect that the child was exposed to the disease. A doctor should be consulted so that a definite diagnosis can be provided as well as the suitable treatment options. You can take on a course on first aid today to learn measures to ease the symptoms of this condition.

What are the early signs and symptoms?

The child will start to experience the signs and symptoms of mumps approximately 12-24 hours after being exposed to someone who has the disease. The early indications include headache, loss of appetite, muscle pain and general feeling of being sick along with fever as high as 104 degrees F. At this point, you are doubtful to suspect mumps since these are the usual symptoms of other illnesses.


The early indications include headache, loss of appetite, muscle pain and general feeling of being sick along with fever as high as 104 degrees F.

Late signs and symptoms

The inflammation of the large salivary glands situated on both sides of the face in front and below the ears can occur up to 24 hours after the appearance of the general symptoms. The start of the pain in one or both cheeks is abrupt and can last for more than 2 days. Swallowing and chewing can hurt and swelling can be evident. The pain can worsen when munching as well as swallowing foods that are sour since the sourness will only stimulate the distended glands. The other salivary glands can be affected which leads to swelling of the tongue and neck.

Other issues to watch out for

The testicular soreness can occur in some males who as past the stage of puberty. Other conceivable complications include pancreatitis and meningitis. A doctor should be consulted if the child has severe headaches, red eyes, abdominal pain, drowsiness or vomiting that persists or there is testicular pain or lump.

Important considerations to bear in mind

Mumps can eventually lead to the swelling of the brain, spinal cord as well as other organs. It is vital to seek immediate medical care if the child suffers from extreme drowsiness, convulsions or a stiff neck. Do not provide aspirin to a child since it can increase the risk for Reye’s syndrome which is potentially fatal. Take note that sterility is rare if the testicles become swollen due to mumps.

If the doctor determines that mumps is not the cause of the symptoms and the child has not received the mumps vaccine, it is best to consider having the child vaccinated. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce the pain and fever. Encourage the child to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and eat soft bland foods.

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