GONORRHEA IN CHILDREN

 

Symptoms in boys: burning during urination; discharge from penis

Symptoms in girls: vaginal discharge, abdominal pain.

Gonorrhea in girls often shows no symptoms.

Home care: Gonorrhea must be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.

The best preventive measure is to provide your children with appropriate and adequate sex education.

Precautions:

-    Be aware that venereal (sexually transmitted) gonorrhea is being seen with increasing frequency among sexually active teenagers and younger children.

-    Sexually abused children may contract this disease.

-    A mother who has gonorrhea can transmit the disease to her baby as the child passes through the birth canal during delivery.

-    A girl with gonorrhea may show no symptoms and the infection may go undetected and untreated, with serious consequences including sterility (inability to bear children).

-    Some doctors recommend that sexually active girls be tested for gonorrhea at the time of routine school or annual medical checkups.

Gonorrhea is an infection caused by a specific gonococcus germ, which is usually sexually transmitted.

In the days before antibiotics, infants born to mothers who had gonorrhea commonly developed gonorrhea infections of the eyes, which caused blindness. Now antibiotics and the required Credes treatment (placing silver nitrate solution into the eyes of all newborns) have almost eliminated this previously common cause of blindness.

Today, venereal (sexually transmitted) gonorrhea in adolescent and younger boys and girls is being seen with increasing and alarming frequency. One of the dangers of genital gonorrhea is that often a girl who has gonorrhea will show no symptoms; therefore, the infection may not be detected and treat. Serious consequences, including sterility, may result from untreated gonorrhea in females.

Another disease, caused by gonococcus bacteria, is now being recognized in adolescents and even in younger children who have been sexually abused. It causes sore throat and anal infection, with or without fever. Ordinary throat cultures done for sore throats do not grow the gonococcus germ, which leads to the false conclusion that this infection is viral and that no antibiotic need be prescribed.

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