Spina Bifida

The spinal cord runs from the base of the brain, through the vertebrae of the back, and carries nerve messages from the brain to the body. Spina bifida is a failure of the vertebra to close over the spinal cord during development as a foetus. There are several degrees of…

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Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever (second disease) is a bacterial infection commonly occurring with children caused by bacteria from the Streptococcal family. These infections are now very uncommon because of the widespread use of antibiotics for minor infections. The patient is unwell with a fever and sore throat for a few hours to…

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Scalded Skin Syndrome

The scalded skin syndrome is a severe superficial bacterial skin infection known as Ritter disease or dermatitis exfoliativa neonatorum in newborn infants, and toxic epidermal necrolysis in older children. Milder forms are known as pemphigus neonatorum or bullous impetigo. Scalded skin syndrome and Lyell syndrome are terms that cover all…

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Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken baby syndrome, also known as abusive head trauma, occurs as a result of mishandling of a baby. Babies have larger heads proportional to their bodies than adults, and have weaker neck muscles. Their skull is also thinner compared to a fully formed adult skull. If a baby is picked up and…

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Sleep Patterns

Most newborn babies have a sleep pattern in which they sleep most of the time, usually about sixteen hours out of the twenty four in a day, although there are wide variations depending on the baby and whether they are premature or otherwise. Newborn babies sleep in blocks of about two to four…

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Sudden Infant Death Sydrome (SIDS) / Cot Death

The sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or cot death is the sudden unexpected death of an apparently normal healthy child in whom a subsequent detailed post-mortem examination reveals no cause for the death. A baby is put to bed and some hours later is found dead. There is no evidence…

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