How to Treat Meningitis in Children

Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges or mem­branes which cover the brain and spinal cord. There are two types. Viral meningitis is the milder form, and tends to occur after mumps, with symptoms similar to ‘flu. It does not usually need treatment, although pain relief may be necessary. Bacterial meningitis, and its most common form, meningo­coccal meningitis, is very serious and if you suspect your child has it, seek immediate medical attention, as it can be fatal. Symptoms include a raised temperature, stiff neck, headache, nausea, vomiting and sometimes a dislike of light and lethargy. In children under eighteen months the fontanelle may bulge. Symptoms can develop in just a few hours and there may also be a red rash. Your child may need a lumbar puncture to remove fluid from the spinal cord for definite diagnosis. Massive amounts of intravenous antibiotics will be given if your child is suffering from meningitis to try and kill off the bacteria.

What you can do

If your child has been diagnosed with meningitis, doctors will do their best to halt the infection. Although there is little you can physically do to help your child once they are in hospi­tal, knowing you are close will help. Inform any friends and your child’s school so that parents may be on the lookout for symptoms.


Medical attention should be sought immediately, but the follow­ing complementary therapies may also be beneficial in after­care:


An osteopath will try to help boost the immune system after the effects of the disease and subsequent doses of antibiotics. This may include working through the cranial system so that the efficiency of the lymphatic system, which is an important part of the immune system and helps to fight off infection, can be improved. The meninges will also be treated for scar tissue and the effects of the inflammation.

Herbal medicine

There are herbs which can heip the body to protect itself against infection and reinforce the work of the antibiotics. Echinacea, Wild Indigo and St John’s Wort all have antibacterial and antiviral properties and may be given in an infusion.


Any homoeopathic remedies advised after an attack of meningitis will be given to help the child’s constitu­tion and to build up the immune system depleted after a severe illness.


Following the use of antibiotics given to treat meningitis, the immune system will be depleted and need rebuilding. Probiotics (which counter the effects of anti­biotics), such as acidophilus and bifidus, will be recom­mended as well as increased intakes of vitamin C, the B vitamins, which will help to support the nervous system, and herbs such as Echinacea, Cinnamon and Cleavers. Mineral salt supplements, which help to support the body’s functions, such as potassium, magnesium and calcium phosphates and potassium chloride may be given. The child’s overall diet should be rich in nutrients, using organic food rather than processed. Other treatment will be given, depending on what damage has occurred to the nervous system and any secondary infections. Plenty of rest, gentle exercise and fresh air will all help on the road to recovery.

Other therapies that may be beneficial in aftercare, for instance in helping to boost the immune system: aromatherapy, traditional Chinese medicine.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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