Mumps is a relatively common complaint among children that is easily treated, but also can carry some serious risks if left unmanaged.
Here are some of the things you need to know when your child gets mumps:
What is mumps?
Mumps is caused by a virus that affects the parotid gland, a small gland located below each ear.
The mumps virus is being carried by secretions from the nose or droplets of saliva and is usually spread through sharing a glass or sneezing on someone.
Is my child at risk?
Relatively, no. Doctors recommend all children to be vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, the first shot is given as early as 1 year old and will give them protection against mumps, measles, and rubella.
When should I be concerned?
If your child is under 1 year old or haven’t been vaccinated yet and you notice symptoms of mumps present, you should see a pediatrician immediately. Your child will typically complain about pain around the ear or jaw, and pain while chewing. Fever is usually also present when your child gets mumps.
Every parent’s main concern with mumps is that it carries the risk of leading to meningitis – the swelling of the membranes around your brain and spinal cord – a life-threatening complication. Meningitis symptoms include confusion, lethargy, high fever, vomiting, and headaches. If your child presents any of these complaints, see a physician immediately.
My kids has mumps – what do I do?
Your doctor will typically prescribe pain medications and advise you to keep your child well-hydrated throughout the course of treatment. You may need to keep your child away from other children to prevent the virus from spreading. Your child may still be contagious up until the swelling begins to go down by the first week.
Read the full article by Today’s Parent here for more information on what parents should know and do when their kids get mumps.