Allergies happen when your child's immune system mistakenly treats normally harmless substances as 'harmful'. The substances that trigger allergies are called allergens. The symptoms of an allergy vary according to what a child or young person is allergic to.
Appendicitis can be serious. Go first to your family doctor or after-hours medical centre if you think your child has symptoms of appendicitis. If you cannot get an appointment straight away, go to your hospital's accident and emergency department.
All young children have a limited attention span and sometimes do things without thinking. If these are severe enough to interfere with their learning and social relationships, in more than one setting, they can be a sign of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Autism-takiwātanga is a difference in development that affects communication, social skills and behaviour. If your child does have autism-takiwātanga, there are services available to support your child, you and your whānau.
A boil is a tender red lump on the skin which is caused by an infection of the hair root or sweat pore. Boils are not usually a serious problem. There is a small chance of your child becoming sicker if the infection spreads - if this happens you should take your child to your family doctor.
Bronchiectasis is a chest disease. The airways in the lungs have become damaged and scarred. Once a person has bronchiectasis, they usually have it for life. Good treatment stops it getting worse and in very young children, can reverse some of the disease.
Bronchiolitis is a chest condition that causes breathing problems in babies. It's caused by a virus - often respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or rhinovirus. Bronchiolitis is very easy to catch so wash your hands before and after handling your baby.
Cerebral palsy (CP) affects children in different ways. If you have found out your child has CP, your journey might be different from what you had planned. There are services to help your child with CP to reach their potential. Each child and family's journey is different.
Chickenpox is a common childhood illness caused by a virus. Tamariki (children) with chickenpox need to stay home from school and daycare. Tamariki can have free chickenpox immunisation at 15 months of age.
Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a very common condition in children. It causes red, irritated and sticky eyes. A viral or bacterial infection or allergic reaction are the most common causes of conjunctivitis.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. It can affect your lungs, airways and other organs. If you or your child have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home. Call your GP or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice.
Dengue fever is a serious viral illness that is spread by mosquitoes. Dengue fever can make your child very sick, and some children die from severe dengue fever. The best way to avoid dengue fever is to prevent mosquito bites.
A series of 6 video clips featuring Melanie Mora and her family. Mel is mother to 3 boys - Jamie, Ryan and Ethan. She talks about her experience of receiving a post-birth diagnosis of Down syndrome for her middle son Ryan.
Eosinophilic oesophagitis (EO) is a rare condition that causes tamariki and rangatahi to have difficulties with their swallowing tube (oesophagus). The treatment for eosinophilic oesophagitis is medicines and/or changes to your child's diet.
The foreskin is the loose skin that covers and protects the end of the penis. The foreskin and penis of a baby or child need no special care. A child's foreskin should never be pulled back (retracted) by force.
If your child has glue ear, it means there is fluid in the space behind the ear drum. The main symptom of glue ear is hearing difficulty. Hearing loss for long periods during the early years may affect speech and language development.
Head lice are small insects that live on the human scalp. They are common and cause concern and frustration for parents, children and young people. Dimethicone lotion is a very effective treatment that your family doctor can prescribe - check out our step by step guide.
If your child has speech or language difficulties or has trouble following instructions, they may have a hearing problem. Other signs include if they are easily distracted or have difficulty paying attention in class.
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases. In children, they can cause tummy pain, diarrhoea, bleeding from their bottom, or weight loss. If you are worried about these, take your child to your family doctor.
Irritable hip is one of the most common causes of limping in tamariki (children). The medical name for irritable hip is transient synovitis. Irritable hip is not serious and your child will get better with rest and time.
Mild jaundice is common in babies but baby jaundice is not always normal. Every month a New Zealand baby is born with severe liver disease. If your baby has yellow skin or eyes and pale poo or dark (yellow or brown) wee, your baby needs a special blood test. See your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.
Kawasaki disease is a rare but serious illness affecting young tamariki (children). The most striking feature is a high fever that comes and goes for at least 5 days. If you think your child might have Kawasaki disease, you should take them to your doctor straightaway.
In the 5 hours between waking at 3am with a headache and 8am when her family had gathered at Palmerston North Hospital, 18-year-old Letitia (Tesh) Gallagher's body had battled meningococcal C disease and lost.
A diagnosis of mitochondrial disease can, understandably, be devastating. There will be many questions and emotions. This page aims to provide information and support for New Zealanders affected by 'mito', along with their family and friends.
Nightmares are bad dreams that are usually related to worries your child may have. Night terrors happen when children are only partly aroused or woken from deep sleep. They can be very frightening for parents and carers.
If you think your child has been poisoned, call the New Zealand National Poisons Centre immediately on 0800 POISON (0800 764 766). Do not try to make your child vomit or give food or liquid until you have been given advice.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus in the winter and spring months in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is one of many viruses that cause infections of the respiratory tract - the parts of the body related to breathing.
Some parents worry that a sore red bottom may be caused by sexual abuse. Although that is a possibility, it is not the usual reason and there are lots of other things that are much more likely causes of a sore red bottom.
An abnormally fast heart rhythm (tachycardia) can arise from the upper or lower chambers of the heart. Tachycardias that involve the upper chambers are called supraventricular tachycardias (SVT). Supraventricular tachycardias are usually not dangerous.
Tetanus is a life-threatening condition caused by bacteria in the soil. Tetanus usually develops after a 'dirty' wound but can develop after small or even unnoticed injuries. Only immunisation can prevent tetanus.
Tongue tie is a condition that involves a small piece of tissue connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. This is called the frenulum. When a baby's frenulum is short or tight it can stop their tongue from moving properly. This is called a tongue tie. Tongue tie may cause a problem with breastfeeding for some babies.
Typhoid fever is an infection that can make your child very ill. If your child has typhoid, you need to see a doctor urgently. Without immediate treatment, your child could have serious complications or even die.
Viral wheeze is an infection of the lungs which starts with a cough or cold. It's more common in children under the age of 3 years as their airways are smaller. Viral wheeze can also be called preschool wheeze, episodic wheeze, or viral-induced wheeze.
Whooping cough can make pēpi very sick and some pēpi can die. Having whooping cough immunisation in pregnancy protects pēpi in their first weeks of life. Start immunising pēpi the day they turn 6 weeks old to keep protecting them.