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Good advice can keep your child out of hospital

Good advice can keep your child out of hospital

Tauranga Hospital nurses are treating a high number of children who have presented at the emergency department with gastroenteritis and respiratory infections.

The surge in admissions is putting pressure on paediatric bed spaces, prompting hospital management to remind parents that seeing the family GP early is the preferred option for medical intervention, and one that is likely to prevent the situation getting worse.

“Worried parents have been bringing their children to ED, which really should be kept for emergencies only. GPs are aware of the presence of these infections in the community, and are well placed to provide advice and treatment.” says Cathy Taylor, quality manager and Women, Child and Family business leader at Tauranga Hospital.

“These infections are out in the community and can be treated and managed successfully in the home with GP assistance.”

Families can help reduce the spread of such infections by practising easy-to-follow guidelines relating to personal hygiene, particularly through strict handwashing after using the toilet, and before preparing or serving food.

People suffering from the symptoms of an infection should be given plenty of water to drink, and if there is any concern about their wellbeing the family GP should be consulted immediately.

The incubation period for gastroenteritis is 1-4 days and the illness generally lasts about two days. People with gastroenteritis are infectious during incubation and for up to two days after symptoms have ended.

Many respiratory type infections are viral and respond well to rest, a high fluid intake and pain relievers such as Paracetamol. It is important that medical advice is sought in situations where symptoms persist, or if the situation deteriorates.

“The hospital is very busy with paediatric admissions at present, and it would be helpful if people called on their GPs first in such cases, leaving ED for emergencies,” added Cathy.


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