Illnesses and infections
- Children and youth with type 1 diabetes in school
- Colds in children
- Common infections and your child
- Croup (laryngitis)
- Dehydration and diarrhea in children: Prevention and treatment
- Ear infections
- Febrile seizures
- Fever and temperature taking
- Fifth disease (Erythema Infectiosum)
- Hand, foot and mouth disease
- Head lice
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Influenza in children
- Lyme disease
- Meningococcal disease
- Pertussis (Whooping cough)
- Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
- Pneumococcal infections
- Reduce the pain of vaccination in children and teens: A guide for parents
- RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus)
- Strep throat
- Urinary tract infections
Tests and treatments
- A parent’s guide to the participation of children and teens in medical education
- Fever and temperature taking
- Health research in children: What parents need to know
- How to make sure antibiotics are the right choice
- Making treatment decisions for babies, children and teens
- Natural health products and children
- Planning care for children and youth with serious medical conditions
- Preventing conjunctivitis (pinkeye) in your newborn
- Reducing the danger of infection for children with spleen problems
- Testing for HIV during pregnancy
- Using over-the-counter drugs to treat cold symptoms
- When your child needs a red blood cell transfusion
Vaccines for children and youth
What is hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus (a germ that can make people sick). The disease is usually mild in children, but can be more serious in adults.
What are the symptoms?
Most infants and young children infected with hepatitis A have no symptoms or mild symptoms. Most of the time, no one knows that they even had hepatitis A. Older children, teens and adults are much more likely to become sick when infected with hepatitis A.
Symptoms can include:
- loss of appetite,
- abdominal pain,
- yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice).
Rarely, hepatitis A infection causes such severe disease that the liver stops working and the person can die. In other cases, a liver transplant may be needed.
How is hepatitis A spread?
Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of infected people. It can spread directly from person to person or in food or water that has been contaminated with stool that has the virus. To prevent this, be sure that everyone in your house always washes their hands with soap and water after every diaper change or after using the toilet, and before preparing or eating food.
How is it diagnosed?
Hepatitis A is diagnosed with a blood test.
How can it be treated?
There are no drugs to treat hepatitis A. It is a short-term infection that will go away on its own. Unlike hepatitis B, people with hepatitis A do not become carriers (infected for life).
Is there a vaccine?
In Canada, there are several hepatitis A vaccines available for children 1 year of age or older and adults who are at risk of getting hepatitis A or to prevent infection after being exposed. Speak to your doctor about the vaccine that is best for you. If necessary, hepatitis A vaccine may be given to babies as young as 6 months.
How can I prevent the spread of Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A can be prevented in people who are known to have been in recent close contact with an infected person. They need to get hepatitis A vaccine. Some people (young babies and people who have a weak immune system) may also be given immunoglobulin (IG – a product made from blood that has protective antibodies). The vaccine or IG must be given as soon as possible after they have been exposed.
What can parents do?
- Make sure everyone in your house washes their hands after going to the toilet or changing a diaper, and before preparing or eating food.
- If you know your child has hepatitis A, she should not return to a child care facility or school until 1 week after the illness started.
- If you or your child is travelling to a country where the disease is common, you should get the vaccine before leaving Canada.
- For more information about where hepatitis A is common, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.
Source: Well Beings: A Guide to Health in Child Care (3rd edition)
Reviewed by the following CPS committees:
Infectious Diseases and Immunization Committee
Last Updated: July 2015