It’s Reye's Syndrome Awareness Month, and The Bamboo Factory is sending out this alert to parents and guardians everywhere. Thanks to the National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, we now have ample resources to learn about it and take steps against it.
Reye’s Syndrome is very serious, and can affect children, teenagers and young adults. Give them the extra protection that they need to stay strong and healthy against this devastating condition.
About Reye’s Syndrome
No doubt about it, Reye's Syndrome is a deadly disease. It can hit without warning and act swiftly. Without prevention and early detection, the chances of getting Reye’s are high, and the survival rate is low. Reye's attacks all the organs of the body, affecting the brain and liver most of all.
It can be difficult to diagnose, and is often mistaken for a variety of other conditions like diabetes, meningitis, encephalitis, a drug overdose, poisoning, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and even psychiatric illness and head trauma.
There is currently still no cure for Reye’s, and researchers are also still unsure about what really causes it. They do know, however, that aspirin and other salicylate that contain medications, over the counter products, and topical use products play a role.
Reye's Syndrome strikes after a previous viral infection. This can be the flu, chicken pox, or even a simple cold, to which we all know children are quite susceptible without proper support. Aspirin was a common treatment for such illnesses to lower fevers and relieve pain. There was even a version made specifically for children until a few decades ago. Little did science know, it was causing multiple deaths all over the world.
Photo Source: National Reye's Foundation Facebook Page
Reye's Syndrome typically develops during the recovery phase of a viral illness. Parents can easily mistake its symptoms for a foul mood due to confinement, or attribute it to a resurgence of the previous viral infection. It’s vital to know the symptoms of Reye’s to facilitate early detection and treatment. Consult your doctor and specifically ask that Reye’s be ruled out if your child is:
- Vomiting continuously or persistently
- Listless, lethargic, exceedingly drowsy or lacks their usual energy
- Exhibiting drug reaction-like behavior or symptoms similar to Aspirin poisoning
- Experiencing extensor spasms or decerebrate rigidity
- Has an elevated blood NH3 level
In infants, look out for:
- Diarrhea instead of vomiting, irregular breathing (e.g. apneic episodes), seizures and hypoglycemia
- Elevated SGOT-SGPT (SAT-ACT) where jaundice is not the cause
In a later stage, Reye’s sufferers can be irritable and aggressive. This progresses to disorientation or confusion and irrational or combative behaviour. In the final stage, they can fall into delirium, convulsions and coma.
Reye's Syndrome causes a severe increase of pressure on the brain and abnormal accumulations of fat in the organs. Without proper early diagnosis and treatment, death is common and quick - usually within a few days, and in some cases, within a few hours.
Antimicrobial Support against Reye's Syndrome
As our children and wards go back to school, they are exposed to a multitude of viruses. Although flu season doesn’t start until January, there are many other viruses that can attack in the interim. Cases of Reye’s Syndrome are reported every month of the year. It’s important to give them extra protection against these viruses, and in so doing, protect them from deadly Reye’s Syndrome.
- Ensure that they get proper rest
- Encourage cleanliness always
- Prepare healthy meals full of natural vitamins, or ensure that their school can provide high nutritional levels in cafeteria lunches
- Give them supplements as prescribed by a physician
- Provide antimicrobial support in the form of proper hygiene and hypoallergenic products for their use, such as bamboo pillow cases and memory foam mattress toppers.
For a quick reference to Reye’s Syndrome, download and keep this caregiver / babysitter handout available so that anyone looking after a sick child will know what to look for and what to do.