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This is due to a build up of fluid in the Eustachian tube, which in most cases is infected. This then obstructs the air flow to the ear and if infection persists the fluid can become thick and sticky almost like a glue substance. There are two main types of Otitis media they are; acute Otitis media and Otitis media with effusion or glue ear. A child with acute Otitis media will be in a lot of pain, the child will have a fever and their ear can become inflamed. A child with Otitis media with effusion or glue ear will have fluid build up but it will not be infected, there is usually no pain but their hearing is impaired substantially, this is the hardest to detect. This is the second most common early childhood disease, with Aboriginal children being ten times more likely to develop it than other children (Kaleidoscope, 2008). Statistics show that 75% of all children have had one episode of Otitis media by the time they turn five years old. However, eight out of ten Aboriginal children will have Otitis Media during their school life (Australian indigenous health info net, 2009). The reason Otitis Media occurs in children rather than adults is purely due to the fact that a child’s Eustachian tube is smaller and horizontal; therefore it is more susceptible to becoming blocked (Australian prescriber, 2009). Symptoms to look out for are; fevers, ear aches, crankiness, change in behaviour, rubbing or pulling of the ears, being off balance, not being able to hear you properly or asking for things to be louder. There are various assumptions as to what causes Otitis media, however the following are believed to be the most common cause; colds, flu, chest infections, smoking in front of a child and if a child is born premature they are also more vulnerable (Childcare and children’s health, 2005). To reduce the rate of obtaining Otitis media children should be encouraged to, shower every day, wash their hands and face regularly, families should wash their clothes on a regular basis, eat healthy foods and each child should sleep in their own bed as overcrowding can cause the spread of infection (Health direct, 2010). Otitis media if left untreated can lead to a child having behavioural problems and even result in permanent hearing loss; therefore their academic achievements will decline rapidly (Watson & Clapin, 1992). After reviewing Wattle Grove children’s centre’s policies and procedures which run under authority from Liverpool city council, I was unable to locate a specific policy which displayed a precise and detailed description of Otitis media or a procedure to follow in the case of a child contracting this disease. After liaising with staff I was able to gather that most if not all were un-aware of the disease Otitis media and were unsure as to what symptoms to look out for, how to prevent it, what to do with the child and
The monitoring chart (refer to appendix 2) is used to record the child’s temperature and symptoms throughout different intervals of the day. According to the National childcare accreditation council (2009) factsheet childcare services are required to have.how to help them blow their nose. this helps staff to outline the seriousness of an illness and the variations in temperature during the course of the day. “a clear policy and procedures in place outlining the responsibilities of families in the event that their child becomes unwell and needs to be collected from care or requires urgent medical treatment”(p. Following that there are no specific policies or action plans regarding it and there is no information available to families either. Another issue faced is that my setting and its staff do not know anything about Otitis media. Some of these issues could be. its symptoms and guide them in what they should do . In accordance with this is the clearance letter (refer to appendix 3) which states that the child has been excluded from care and that the families of each child have to present a doctor’s clearance letter stating that their child is fit enough to attend the service. its symptoms or how to help children with this disease. being able to provide care and meet the needs of the child as there is no information on Otitis media available at the service. ultimately giving them a form of written evidence that the child is un-fit to attend care. This could lead to the issue of children losing hearing or having permanent hearing loss as a result of staff being ill-informed of the disease. This means that providing adequate care for a child with Otitis media would be an issue as the service is un-informed and un-aware of it. This child care centre also faces the issue of an infectious disease spreading quickly as the children are in grouped care and in close range of one another.1). Another major issue is misdiagnosis and often children who display changes to behaviour and become difficult to manage are deemed with behavioural problems when really they could just have Otitis media. On analysis of their health policy I was able to locate a section on infectious diseases which stated that children with an ear infection should be excluded from care if there is fluid running from the ear and if they are on antibiotics and also a doctor’s clearance letter is needed before the child can return to care (refer to appendix 1). These issues could be resolved if the centre developed an action plan and informed their staff members about this disease. Wattle Grove children’s centre has the following strategies in practise in accordance with their infection policy. There are many issues Wattle Grove children’s centre may face in regards to Otitis media and meeting the needs for the children and their families who have contracted this infectious disease. the first is a monitoring chart and the second is a clearance clarification letter (refer to appendix 2 and 3).
put procedures into place. 2005). 2009). This means that an infected child may be in care and fluid may discharge from their ears and spread to another child and cause the centre to have an outbreak of Otitis media. helping the child so they will not display behavioural problems. their learning will not suffer and they will not have permanent loss of hearing (Australian Prescriber. adding aspects to their health policy to cater for Otitis media and developing an action plan so that staff are aware of symptoms to look out for and how to react if they feel a child has contracted Otitis media. Families also have little knowledge on this topic when asked and so if the centre was to develop a policy. prevention and treatment (Lady Gowrie centre.in regards to detection. Although. This would also benefit families who may have little or no insight into this disease and thus. discuss symptoms. 2008). In conclusion. they could provide their staff with information via in services. not having a specific policy put in place as there is no guide for the staff to follow. To meet these challenges and issues the centre could develop a specific policy which directly targets Otitis media. The centre as a result would face many challenges in relation to Otitis media. key points. it is not widely acknowledged many trips to the doctors in regards to this disease are made a year and about 50-75% of children will have had Otitis media prior to their first birthday (Hunter children’s health network. an action plan. This makes it hard as staff members have no knowledge of the symptoms relating to this infectious disease. send staff to in services. Otitis media is a common disease amongst children during their early childhood years. provide families and staff with tips on how to reduce the risks and also provide further resources or services that they can obtain more information and advice from. 2009). Another challenge is not being able to teach children to blow not wipe their nose as staff are not aware that this will aid in the reduction of Otitis media and helps the fluid build up to surpass. My centre seems to be illinformed in regards to this disease which is worrying as children in care could present symptoms and they may even go un-noticed due to the lack of information and training made available. help to stop the spread of it and detect it early consequently. . they will hopefully be able to gain an insight into this disease and be able to better meet the needs of each child and their families (Childcare and children’s health. information booklets. these could include. place posters around the centre and even provide information packs for families and visitors they will be able to outlines the disease.
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