14.4.3  Treat mouth ulcers with gentian violet

Treating mouth ulcers controls infection and helps the child to eat. Teach the mother to treat mouth ulcers with half-strength gentian violet. Gentian violet used in the mouth should be half strength (0.25%), not full strength (0.5%).

You should give the following information to the mother:

  • Her child will start eating normally sooner if she paints the mouth ulcers in her child’s mouth. It is important that the child eats
  • She must clean the child’s mouth. She should wrap a clean soft cloth around her finger, dip it in salt water and wipe the mouth
  • She must use a clean cloth or a cotton-tipped stick to paint gentian violet on the mouth ulcers. The gentian violet will kill thegerms that cause the ulcers. Put a small amount of gentian violet on the cloth or stick. Tell her to ensure that the child does not drink the gentian violet
  • She should treat the mouth ulcers twice a day, in the morning and evening
  • She should come back to the health post after two days for a follow-up visit, but she needs to treat the mouth ulcers for five days.

Wrap a clean cloth around your finger and dip it into salt water. Show the mother how to first wipe the child’s mouth clean and then how to paint with half-strength gentian violet.

Ask the mother to practise. Watch her wipe the child’s mouth clean and paint the rest of the ulcers with gentian violet. Comment on what she does well and give feedback on anything that need to be improved.

Give the mother a bottle of half-strength gentian violet to take home. Tell her to return in two days for a follow-up visit. Also tell her that she should return to the clinic earlier if the mouth ulcers get worse or if the child is not able to drink or eat.

Before the mother leaves, ask checking questions to ensure that she knows how to treat her child’s mouth ulcers at home and when she should return to the clinic.

14.4.2  Dry a discharge from the ear by wicking

14.4.4  Treat the young infant for local infections