There are individual membranes which cover the brain and spinal cord, and these are known as meninges. Inflammation of these meninges gives rise to a condition known as meningitis. Although there is no particular age for the occurrence of meningitis, it is more predominant in people who are living in close quarters like school kids packed in a classroom, college students, and people sharing dorm rooms, among others.
Different types of bacteria and viruses are the leading cause of meningitis, but this condition is often linked to any illness you might have suffered. This infection is very easy to pass on to someone since living or working nearby is all that it takes for the infection to start spreading.
Meningitis mainly is of two types: bacterial meningitis and viral meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is a rare condition but can be severe and sometimes even life-threatening if not treated. It is advisable to treat meningitis infection at the first onsight of symptoms to avoid any complications further down the line. Viral meningitis, however, is not so rare and also not that severe a condition. In fact, common viruses which cause a cold, diarrhea, and the flu are the ones which also cause viral meningitis.
As mentioned, meningitis condition can be more predominant in young people, mostly in kids and babies. It is important to understand the meningitis symptoms in children to avail proper treatment at the earliest.
Here are some of the common meningitis symptoms in children mainly babies and toddlers:
Spot on forehead: It will be easy to notice a bulging spot on the forehead, which is an indicator and the early signs of developing meningitis symptoms in children. Tense bulging spot on the forehead is a more noticeable feature. Thus, immediate medical attention is advisable.
Temperature spike: Check to see if there are any sudden spikes in body temperature, in particular on the forehead. Often it’s hard to diagnose for children who are just a couple of months old in which case the temperature may be even low or normal. However, temperature changes are a cause for concern as they are one of the first signs of meningitis symptoms in children.
Body indicators: Often signs that your child is falling asleep or feels sleepy most of the time, combined with strange grunting sounds between breaths or even having trouble in breathing can all be indicators of meningitis symptoms in children.
External indicators: Body indicators may be easy to notice, but there are some external indicators which can indicate developing signs of meningitis. For example, your child might feel irritable when picked up and might respond with a high pitched or moaning cry. Extreme shivering when the temperature outside is average can also be an indicator of developing meningitis symptoms in children. Even cold hand or feet can indicate signs of developing meningitis.
Changes in skin: Some of the visible signs of meningitis symptoms in children include the skin color turning blue or maybe even a pale shade of normal. Blotchy skin is also an indicator along with other rash, marks, or purple bruises anywhere on the body.
Changes in bowel movements: One of the indicators of changes in bowel movements includes diarrhea which is also a cause for concern and could be one of the many noticeable meningitis symptoms in children.
Fever and vomiting: Fever and vomiting are some of the most common symptoms of any ailment for that matter. If your child is suffering from very high temperature and has vomited a couple of times, this is cause for concern. If symptoms of a headache gradually develop, immediate medical attention is necessary to find out whether it is bacterial or viral meningitis.
Delirium and seizures: Among meningitis symptoms in children, delirium, and seizures are some of the most severe and noticeable signs of developing meningitis which is mostly the case for young adults.
Among the symptoms, it is important to understand that not all will show up in the way they commonly do. Some symptoms like rashes may or may not show up since it is not possible to get all the symptoms at once. Also, there is no particular order for the symptoms to appear which is why it is important to trust your gut instincts and get medical attention for your child as soon as one of these symptoms start showing.
Meningitis symptoms in children are noticeable, but also as mentioned earlier can be severe. It is important to read up any material you can find on top medical websites and consult with your doctor from to understand home tests that can be conducted to diagnose visible symptoms. A standard test for identifying one of the meningitis symptoms in children includes the tumbler test. If rashes can be seen developing but are not visible clearly, pressing a glass tumbler against the rash will let you see clearly and check whether these rashes are the developing indicators of meningitis.