Prevention

Unfortunately, there are not any drugs that children can take to prevent carsickness. Those that are available for adults such as scopalamine are not safe for children.

Children who tend to get car sick may feel better if they can sit high enough to see out of the car and look out the window. scheduling a trip during nap-time may help, as can scheduling as many rest stops as possible. Carsickness is often partly a conditioned response because of a prior experience—if children had a bad car ride in the past, this may trigger a queasy feeling every time they get in the car. Distraction can help, including toys and snacks youngsters normally do not get at home. (However, if the child tends to vomit on a car trip, a snack might not be a good idea.) The window should be cracked open, since fresh air will help ease discomfort.

A queasy child should pick out a landmark on the horizon and keep watching that spot. Looking out into the distance will give the brain input about the fact that the car is moving and should help resolve some of the carsickness. Above all, children who get carsick should not read in the car. While it may be a distraction, it will only make children sicker because when they focus on a still page while moving, the brain gets the mixed signals that cause motion sickness.

cat-scratch disease (CSD) A mild illness following the scratch or bite of a kitten or cat that may involve a rash, caused by a small bacterium recently identified as Bartonella (formerly Rochalimaea) henselae. There are about 22,000 cases of cat-scratch disease (CSD) in the United States each year; three-quarters of the cases occur in children, more often in fall and winter. While the disease causes few problems in healthy youngsters, those with a weakened immune system can develop a life-threatening infection.

Cause

The disease was first recognized in the 1950s, but the organism that causes it has only been recently discovered. The bacteria are transmitted between cats by the common cat flea. The animal itself does not appear to be ill, and about 90 percent of cases are caused by kittens; the rest result from grown cats, dogs, and other animals.

Researchers still do not understand how the bacteria can live in the bloodstream, since blood is normally sterile and bacteria are usually killed by the immune system. While cats with the disease are not ill, many have large numbers of organisms in their blood.

The disease cannot be transmitted from one person to another, and it is not clear if one episode confers immunity.

Symptoms

About two weeks after a bite or scratch, the victim reports a red round lump at the site of infection and one or more swollen lymph nodes near the scratch, which may become painful and tender and occasionally discharge. occasionally there is fever, rash, malaise, and headache. In most cases, symptoms disappear on their own.

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