Hesperian Health Guides
6. Pain, discomfort, and lack of energy
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- Chapter 12: Common health problems
- 7 signs of illness in children
- 1. Diarrhea, dehydration, and vomiting
- 2. Difficulty breathing and cough
- 3. Fever and seizures
- 4. Sore throat, mouth sores, and thrush
- 5. Skin problems
- 6. Pain, discomfort, and lack of energy
- 7. Low weight, slow growth, and malnutrion
Pain, discomfort, and lack of energy can come with any illness. Children with HIV may be sick often, have painful sores or rashes, and in general be uncomfortable. Some types of pain show something more serious is wrong. If a child shows signs of pain in their ears, mouth, neck or other areas, check the signs in this chapter and treat probable illnesses.
Many children with HIV feel more general pain, or aches in their bones and joints. Lying in bed for long periods of time can also lead to pain.
See Chapter 13 for more information on pain and what to do to help a child. If severe pain does not go away with paracetamol or ibuprofen, and there are other signs like fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or lack of energy, or if a child has intense pain that lasts more than 2 days, see a health worker.
A child's lack of energy may come from illness, from not having enough to eat, or from feeling unhappy. Help a child rest if she is ill, but unless she has a contagious illness (easily passed through the air), encourage quiet play with friends, such as playing board games or listening to music.