This is one of the more serious of childhood ailments, since there are possible secondary infections that can occur. These include middle-ear infections, bronchitis or even pneumonia. These complications are often more of a problem than measles itself, so preferably get professional advice. Initial symptoms are often those of a cold and cough, although a disliking of bright lights and sunlight is quite common at the outset. A clear diagnosis of measles can be made from the appearance of small white spots on the inside of the cheeks; 2-3 days later the rash appears, spreading from the face down the body to the legs. The red spots often join together to give a blotchy appearance, and the child normally has a fever, nasty cough and feels unwell. As the rash fades, it can leave a brownish stain that disappears by itself shortly afterwards, but can linger. The child starts to feel better as the rash spreads and then fades.
Since the immune system is temporarily lowered(hence the possibility of secondary infections) self-help measures to enhance this can be very helpful. Constant evaporation of essential oils like Tea Tree and Eucalyptus in the child's sick room can be important; use a burner or else add 20 drops of each oil to a 600 ml(1 pt/2½ cups) plant spray full of water. Shake and spray frequently into the air.
For the fever, herb teas of Elderflower(Sambucus nigra), Chamomile(Chamomilla recutita) and Lime Blossom(Tilia europaea) will help to induce sweating and cool the temperature; the last two herbs are additionally calming, helping to reduce the upset and aid sleep.
Suitable homeopathic remedies are:
Belladonna: For a bright red rash, sore/hot throat and overall heat, not helped by cold air or cold drinks.
Euphrasia: For the begining of the ailment, with runny nose and eyes, and reaction to bright light and strong sunlight.
Pulsatilla: For itching and burning spots, causing the child to cry a lot; a dry throat and troublesome cough.
Garlic capsules, and/or Echinacea tablets may be given as immune-stimulants. Vitamin C is valuable: give 100 mg per day for 4-8-year-olds, 300 mg per day for 8-12-yearolds, and 500-800 mg per day for over 12-year-olds, for the first week of symptoms. Half this dose may then be given until all symptoms have gone.
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