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Meningitis in children: symptoms and treatment, prevention, photo

Features of manifestation of meningitis in children are due to the development of inflammatory reactions in the three-layered shell of the brain and spinal cord.

The disease affects adults and children, mostly boys. The most common pathology occurs in toddlers with weakened immunity at the age of 7 years, proceeds in a very severe form.

Meningitis in a child can be a consequence of bacterial, viral and fungal infections. To manifest in the form of primary infection, as an independent disease, or as a consequence of background infectious pathologies. An airborne and contact form of transmission of infection is characteristic. This explains the epidemiological nature of the manifestation of meningitis in kindergartens, schools or general educational institutions.


The main forms of meningitis in children

Meningitis in children

There are several main forms of meningitis in children. Their variety depends on the specific pathogen, which caused the development of the disease.

Гнойный менингит у детей (пневмококковая форма) вызывается пневмококками. 1) Purulent meningitis in children (pneumococcal form) is caused by pneumococci. It can appear after previous pneumonia or acute ENT pathologies ( sinusitis , otitis , etc.).

But, for the greater part of the sick, this form of the disease can manifest itself, without any background reasons. Characterized by rapid development and acute course, but the characteristic meningeal signs appear not earlier than three days after infection.

Inflammatory reactions spread to the structure of the brain substance and capture the ventricular cavity of the brain. When puncture, a large amount of pus, an increased percentage of pneumococci and white blood cells (leukocytosis) are found in the cerebrospinal fluid.

With rapid progression, fainting occurs, partial nerve paresis develops. This form of the disease is considered the most dangerous.

Гемофильную форму провоцирует палочка Пфейфера (гемофильная). 2) Hemophilic form is provoked by the Pfeiffer's wand (hemophilic). This pathology often develops in toddlers up to a year, but also occurs at an older age. It can manifest immediately meningeal symptoms, or catarrhal symptoms similar to ARI (runny nose, sore throat, cough), and the symptoms of the disease appear on the fourth or fifth day.

Particular attention should be paid to the ailment of young children. Signs of meningitis in infants can be manifested by excessive swelling and lack of pulsation of the fontanel, frequent regurgitation, vomiting and causeless screaming.

In such a situation, the child should be immediately taken to the hospital or called an ambulance.

Проявление вирусных менингитов обусловлено воздействием различных инфекционных вирионов вируса. 3) Manifestation of viral meningitis is caused by exposure to various infectious virions of the virus. Characterized by a phased development - first develops a viral pathology, with all the characteristic features, followed by the manifestation of meningeal syndrome. With pronounced severe headaches and the depressed general state of the baby, the syndrome itself is weak and not always in full.

Loss of consciousness, as with other forms of the disease, practically does not happen. The blood counts, when analyzed, are more similar to the analysis of viral pathology. But, if you do not start timely treatment, after a while, they will manifest themselves in full.

Менингиты туберкулезной формы сегодня встречаются редко, представляют для детей большую опасность. 4) Meningitis of the tubercular form is rare today, presenting a great danger to children. Until recently, the death rate among children was very high. The disease is characterized by an atypical course, which complicates timely diagnosis and treatment. The most vulnerable children of early age (from 2 to 5 years)

The acute onset and rapid growth of the meningeal syndrome is due to the low resistance of the unformed child's organism, against the background of rapid permeability of various harmful substances through the blood to the brain tissue and liquor.

Localization of painful symptoms in the occipital and frontal zone, constant abundant gag reflex, which does not depend on nutrition, requires immediate diagnosis.

In newborn babies, meningeal syndrome is a consequence of congenital infection (herpetic or toxoplasmic infection).

The bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) is dangerous for one-year-old children. And for younger schoolchildren, the danger is pustular infections caused by staphylococcus and streptococcus, creating prerequisites for the development of the disease.

  • The risk of tuberculous meningitis in adolescents is very high.

A high incidence rate is observed in the age group of toddlers up to six years old. Meningitis is characterized by seasonality (winter-spring) and a certain cyclicity - every ten years. The viral form of the disease is transported more easily than other species.

The greatest degree of likelihood of complications with fatal outcome is observed with bacterial and purulent form of the disease. Therefore, it is not worth losing a minute, when identifying the meningeal signs in the child.

The first signs of meningitis in a child, photo

The first signs of meningitis in a child

the appearance of a characteristic rash, photo

The first signs of meningitis in children are manifested by characteristic symptoms of infectious diseases - weakness, very high temperature, loss of appetite, alternation of chills and fever. So, there is nothing strange in that parents often take such manifestations as an ordinary cold infection.

Only the further appearance of specific features, which, regardless of the underlying cause, in children are almost always the same, may indicate pathology. Wherein:

  1. A pronounced red-violet or yellow hemorrhagic rash in the form of spots spreads through the body. The combination of rashes with signs of an infectious disease speaks of the development of meningococcemia - infection in the blood (dangerous contamination of the blood).
  2. Body temperature exceeds forty-degree boundary and it can not be lowered by any antipyretic agents.
  3. Overexcitement, or depression, sluggishness, drowsiness and unrestrained crying are noted.
  4. Frequent vomiting, which does not depend on what is eaten, does not bring relief.
  5. A sharp painful reaction to light, sounds, and even a slight touch to the skin is characteristic.

Features of meningeal symptoms

symptoms of a child's meningitis

Any form of the disease has, the so-called triad of common signs of meningitis, characterized by:

  • The strongest pains in the head are incomprehensible localization, caused by swelling of the medulla, causing compression and irritation of nerve fibers. Soreness develops almost instantly, at the beginning of the development of the disease. When pressing on the zones close to the surface of the nerve endings (the center of the forehead, the base of the nose wing, the zone of the nasolabial triangle) the pain intensifies.
  • Intoxication signs (nausea and vomiting), caused by swelling in the membranes of the brain, leading to irritation and impaired electrostimulation of the vomiting center. Vomiting in this case, does not cause relief of the condition, as with gastrointestinal infections.
  • Very high temperature indicators, as a consequence of intoxication, at the very beginning of the disease. The heat can last up to four days, even if you connect adequate therapy. The action of toxins of the pathogen depresses the body's functions, causing lethargy, apathy for food, muscle weakness.

The main symptoms of meningitis in children

symptoms of meningitis in children

The main symptoms of meningitis in children include, the so-called shell symptoms, triggered by irritation of the nerve tissue in the meninges. Their manifestation is characterized by:

  1. A sharp increase in muscle tone in the occipital part of the head. As a result of their constant stress, it becomes impossible to press the chin to the chest.
  2. Rigidity of the biceps femoris. Increased muscle tone does not allow the child lying on his back to raise his legs to the top, so that in relation to the torso the angle of 90 degrees turned out.
  3. A characteristic cervical syndrome is the simultaneous pressing of the thumb and index finger on the cheeks in the zone under the cheekbone, causing the patient to involuntarily lift the shoulders.
  4. The pose of the tripod - the spinal muscles affected by the spasm do not allow to sit normally. This is possible only with the support of the lowered hands.
  5. A pose typical of a pegged dog (cocked cock) is a position where you can lie only on your side, pulling your stomach, pressing your legs to it and throwing your head back.
  6. Suspension test (a symptom of the Lesser). Applicable to relatively young children. If the baby, holding his axillas upright, he will involuntarily pull the legs to his stomach.

Confirmation of diagnosis

Methods of diagnosis are aimed at identifying the root cause of the disease - a particular pathogen. For this purpose:

  • analyzes of general examination and biological indications of blood;
  • bacteriological analysis of CSF (smear) by lumbar puncture;
  • sowing mucus of the nasopharynx;
  • PRC survey .

Only after a reliable identification of the cause, a protocol of treatment is drawn up.

Treatment of meningitis in children

The course of therapeutic treatment of meningitis in children usually last from one to one and a half weeks. In the presence of infections, special maintenance therapy is prescribed, aimed at restoring and correcting impaired functions in the body. As a rule, the parameters of cerebrospinal fluid come back to normal within a week.

When the condition improves, after two weeks, repeated lumbar puncture is done, if there are no improvements, a second fence is performed two days after the first puncture and changes are made to the treatment regimen. After recovery, dispensary control is conducted all the following year.

It happens that with all the obvious meningeal symptoms, changes in the cerebrospinal fluid, laboratory tests do not reveal, with such a pathological condition, meningism is diagnosed. This is due to the large quantitative volume of cerebrospinal fluid formed due to intoxication effects.

In this scenario, the infection can not overcome the blood-brain barrier (barrier) and is unable to penetrate the brain. Correction of the state is carried out by disinfection.

With timely detection and competent treatment of meningitis, the symptoms pass and no damage to internal systems and organs is noted. Only a long time, the child after meningitis can persist:

  • signs of aggression and irritability;
  • hysteria and insomnia;
  • inattention and difficulties in mastering the school curriculum.

The correct approach to the problem will help in time to eliminate everything.

Rules of prevention

The main rule of prevention is vaccination against cold infections. The vaccination against meningitis itself is not able to completely protect against the disease, but only reduces the risk of infection. Since there are a lot of forms of the disease, it is possible to protect them only by strengthening immunity.

  • It is necessary to expand the baby's diet with fresh, natural products;
  • In the form of vitamin therapy, add to the diet more fruits and vegetables;
  • More often take out the child on the nature to breathe a fresh air;
  • Accustom to personal hygiene;
  • Keep the child's room clean, monitor the temperature and humidity, and ventilate the room more often.

I tried to explain in simple terms the main symptoms, treatment and prevention of meningitis - the first signs of the disease and the characteristic triad should help early diagnosis and timely treatment. Be healthy!

It should be noted that meningitis in adults differs from the "infant" form of the disease.


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