Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies

Ear Infection

Alternative Names: Otitis media – acute; Infection – inner ear; Middle ear infection – acute
………………...CLICK & SEE
Definition:
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor. While there are different types of ear infections, the most common is called otitis media, which means an inflammation and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum.

There are two types of ear infection…Acute & Cronic.

The term “acute” refers to a short and painful episode. An ear infection that lasts a long time or comes and goes is called chronic otitis media.

You may click to learn more about ear infection:

Symptoms
An acute ear infection causes pain (earache). In infants, the clearest sign is often irritability and inconsolable crying. Many infants and children develop a fever or have trouble sleeping. Parents often think that tugging on the ear is a symptom of an ear infection, but studies have shown that the same number of children going to the doctor tug on the ear whether or not the ear is infected.

CLICK & SEE:->

Common Ear Infection

Acute Ear Infection

Cronic Ear Infection

Ear Infection of Bone

Other possible symptoms include:
*Fullness in the ear
*Feeling of general illness
*Vomiting
*Diarrhea
*Hearing loss in the affected ear
*The child may have symptoms of a cold, or the ear infection may start shortly after having a cold.

All acute ear infections include fluid behind the eardrum. You can use an electronic ear monitor, such as EarCheck, to detect this fluid at home. The device is available at pharmacies.

Possible Causes:
Ear infections are common in infants and children in part because their eustachian tubes become clogged easily. For each ear, a eustachian tube runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. Its purpose is to drain fluid and bacteria that normally occurs in the middle ear. If the eustachian tube becomes blocked, fluid can build up and become infected.
Anything that causes the eustachian tubes and upper airways to become inflamed or irritated, or cause more fluids to be produced, can lead to a blocked eustachian tube. These include:

*Colds and sinus infections
*Allergies
*Tobacco smoke or other irritants
*Infected or overgrown adenoids
*Excess mucus and saliva produced during teething

Ear infections are also more likely if a child spends a lot of time drinking from a sippy cup or bottle while lying on his or her back. Contrary to popular opinion, getting water in the ears will not cause an acute ear infection, unless the eardrum has a hole from a previous episode.

Ear infections occur most frequently in the winter. An ear infection is not itself contagious, but a cold may spread among children and cause some of them to get ear infections.

Risk factors:

*Not being breast-fed
*Recent ear infection
*Recent illness of any type (lowers resistance of the body to infection)
*Day care (especially with more than 6 children)
*Pacifier use
*Genetic factors (susceptibility to infection may run in families)
*Changes in altitude or climate
*Cold climate
*Sudden change of weather

Diagnosis:

Signs and tests
The doctor will ask questions about whether your child (or you) have had ear infections in the past and will want you to describe the current symptoms, including whether your child has had any symptoms of a cold or allergies recently. Your doctor will examine your child’s throat, sinuses, head, neck, and lungs.

Using an instrument called an otoscope, the doctor will look inside your child’s ears. If infected, there may be areas of dullness or redness or there may be air bubbles or fluid behind the eardrum. The fluid may be bloody or purulent (filled with pus). The physician will also check for any sign of perforation (hole or holes) in the eardrum.

A hearing test may be recommended if your child has had persistent (chronic and recurrent) ear infections

Modern  Treatment
The goals for treating ear infections include relieving pain, curing the infection, preventing complications, and preventing recurrent ear infections. Most ear infections will safely clear up on their own without antibiotics. Often, treating the pain and allowing the body time to heal itself is all that is needed:

*Apply a warm cloth or warm water bottle.
*Use over-the-counter pain relief drops for ears.
*Take over-the counter medications for pain or fever, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. DO NOT give aspirin to children.
*Use prescription ear drops to relieve pain.

ANTIBIOTICS
Some ear infections require antibiotics to clear the infection and to prevent them from becoming worse. This is more likely if the child is under age 2, has a fever, is acting sick (beyond just the ear), or is not improving over 24 to 48 hours.

However, for several years there was a tendency to over-prescribe antibiotics, leading to the increasing numbers of bacteria that are resistant to these drugs. Joint guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians are aimed at using antibiotics for ear infections when they are most needed. If the antibiotics do not seem to be working within 48 to 72 hours, contact your doctor to consider switching to a stronger antibiotic. Usually there is no benefit to more than two, or at the most three, rounds of appropriate antibiotics.

SURGERY
If there is fluid in the middle ear and the condition persists, even with antibiotic treatment, a healthcare provider may recommend myringotomy (surgical opening of the eardrum) to relieve pressure and allow drainage of the fluid. This may or may not involve the insertion of tympanostomy tubes (often referred to as ear tubes). In this procedure, a tiny tube is inserted into the eardrum, keeping open a small hole that allows air to get in so fluids can drain more easily down the eustachian tube. Tympanostomy tube insertion is done under general anesthesia. Usually the tubes fall out by themselves. Those that don’t may be removed in your doctor’s office.

If the adenoids are enlarged, surgical removal may be considered, especially if you have chronic, recurrent ear infections. Removing tonsils does not seem to help with ear infections.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT:
Click to see:
Alternative Treatment for Ear Infections :
Alternative to Tubes for Ear Infection Treatment:
Natural Cures For an Ear Infection – More Than Home Remedies:

Prognosis:
Ear infections are curable with treatment but may recur. They are not life threatening but may be quite painful.

Prevention:
What can kids do to prevent ear infections? You can avoid places where people are smoking, for one. Cigarette smoke can keep your eustachian tubes from working properly.
You can reduce your child’s risk of ear infections with the following practices:

*Wash hands and toys frequently. Also, day care with 6 or fewer children can lessen your child’s chances of getting a cold or similar infection. This leads to fewer ear infections.
*Avoid pacifiers, especially at daycare.
*Breastfeed — this makes a child much less prone to ear infections. But, if bottle feeding, hold your infant in an upright, seated position.
*Don’t expose your child to secondhand smoke.
*The pneumococcal vaccine prevents infections from the organism that most commonly causes acute ear infections and many respiratory infections.
*Some evidence suggests that xylitol, a natural sweetener, may reduce ear infections.
*Avoid overusing antibiotics.

Click to see:
Taking Care of Your Ears;
What’s Earwax?;
What’s Hearing Loss?

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://kidshealth.org/kid/ill_injure/sick/ear_infection.html
http://healthtools.aarp.org/adamcontent/ear-infection-acute?CMP=KNC-360i-GOOGLE-HEA&HBX_OU=50&HBX_PK=ear_infection_acute
http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/ear-infection-acute/overview.html

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Categories
Health Quaries

Some Health Quaries & Answers

Q: I have terrible dreams every night when I feel I am falling over a mountain or am locked in a box. I don’t feel refreshed when I wake up. I am also drowsy all day.

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A: No one knows exactly why people dream, where dreams originate, what they mean or what the purpose of dreaming is for the body or the mind. But we do know that dreams are strongly associated with REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. This can be picked up by an EEG (electroencephalogram) which records electrical signals in the brain. REM shows up as typical wave patterns. During an average lifespan, a human being spends about six years’ time dreaming. This works out to almost two hours each night. Most dreams last for only 5-20 minutes.

One way to sleep well is to go for a 45-minute walk half an hour after dinner, and then drink a cup of warm milk before going to bed.

I suspect cancer :
Q: My father has been taking aryuvedic medicine for his arthritis. He has developed black patches on his skin and tongue. I am afraid it is cancer.

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A: Cancer of the tongue is more likely to appear as a painless white patch or a nodule. Black patches on the skin and tongue are probably due to consumption of metals like silver, gold, mercury and lead which are present in Aryuvedic medications. These metals are not eliminated from the body. The concentration builds up and they get deposited in the bones and muscles. It is advisable to stop the medications and see an allopathic physician. If necessary, have a biopsy done to rule out cancer.

That unrelieved feeling:
Q: I have problem moving my bowels. I never manage to finish the business before leaving for work. The whole day I feel the “urge” but cannot evacuate as I do not use the office toilet, which is unhygienic.

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A: Constipation, especially long standing, can be due to improper diet lacking in sufficient fibre and fluids. It may also be due to a disease process like thyroid malfunction or a block in the intestine. In your case the former seems more likely as you have suffered for years and your health does not seem to have deteriorated in any way.

If there is no disease process (ascertained by a medical evaluation), try increasing water intake to three litres a day and eating 4-6 helpings of fruit and vegetables. If this does not work, you can try 2tsp isabgol husk in a glass of water at night to increase the bulk in your food. Walking for 45 minutes a day and doing abdominal exercises will help tone your muscles. This in turn will help regulate your bowels. Also try getting up earlier so that you can spend time in the toilet without tension and anxiety.

Otitis media
Q: My five-year-old daughter has enlarged adenoids (I don’t know what that is) and because of that (according to the paediatrician) she has frequent attacks of middle ear infection. She has been advised pneumococcal vaccine. Is it necessary?

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A: Adenoids are paired structures situated at the back of the throat, close to the opening of the middle ear into the throat. With bacterial and viral infections they can also get enlarged, the condition being called otitis media. They can block the opening of the middle ear and cause unequal pressures, build up of secretions and ear ache, eventually leading to infections.

Two common bacterial organisms causing ear infection are the H. influenza and pneumococcus. Immunisation against H. influenza is given with DPT/HepB at six weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age as part of the recommended extended immunisation schedule. Prevanar (against pneumococcus) can be given at the same time. If this is missed, Pneumo 23 can be given after the age of two years. The vaccines are safe.

Vaporising mosquito repellents can lead to allergic swelling of the adenoids. Use of a feeding bottle while sleeping, particularly at night, compounds the problem. These two factors should be removed, otherwise the infections will self perpetuate despite immunisation.

High BP at youth
Q: I am 26 years old and have hypertension, which is well controlled. I also have anxiety. I am on medications which I want to discontinue.

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A: You are too young to have hypertension. This needs to be evaluated as there are several correctable diseases that cause secondary hypertension. Continue the medications at present and try to consult an endocrinologist or nephrologist to evaluate the hypertension and hopefully find a cause. Meanwhile, to reduce anxiety, try jogging for 40 minutes a day and practise meditation or yoga regularly.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Categories
Pediatric

Colic

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Definition:
Colic is when an otherwise healthy baby cries more that three hours a day, for more than three days a week, between ages three weeks and three months. The crying usually starts suddenly at about the same time each day. This is actually just an arbitrary definition made years ago . By this definition, a surprising number of babies actually would have colic: some experts have even estimated as many as half of all babies!

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If your baby is crying a lot, you should call your doctor. Your pediatrician will want to check your baby to make sure there is no medical reason for the crying. If your baby’s doctor finds no underlying cause, then they will probably say your baby has colic. Colic is perfectly normal, and does not mean there is anything wrong with either baby or parents. Colic can be distressing for both you and your baby. But take comfort in the fact that it’s not permanent. In fact, in a matter of weeks or months — when your baby is happier and sleeping better — you’ll have weathered one of the first major challenges of parenthood.It does not have any lasting effects on the child or the mother in later life.

Signs and symptoms:

The baby’s cry is loud and they may have a red face and a tense, hard belly, because the abdominal muscles tighten with crying. Baby’s legs may be drawn up and fists clenched. This is often just the typical baby crying posture. However, the first time your baby has a long jag of inconsolable crying like this—with a tense, hard belly—you should call your doctor. This can sometimes be a sign of a serious condition that requires medical attention.
A fussy baby doesn’t necessarily have colic. In an otherwise healthy, well-fed baby, signs of colic include:

*Predictable crying episodes. A baby who has colic often cries about the same time every day, usually in the late afternoon or evening. Colic episodes may last anywhere from a few minutes to three hours or more on any given day. The crying usually begins suddenly and for no clear reason. Your baby may have a bowel movement or pass gas near the end of the colic episode.
*Intense or inconsolable crying. Colic crying is intense. Your baby’s face will likely be flushed, and he or she will be extremely difficult — if not impossible — to comfort.

*Posture changes. Curled up legs, clenched fists and tensed abdominal muscles are common during colic episodes.
*Colic may affect up to about 25 percent of babies. Colic usually starts a few weeks after birth and often improves by age 3 months. Although a few babies struggle with colic for months longer, colic ends by age 9 months for 90 percent of babies.

Causes:
No one really knows what causes colic. Researchers have explored a number of possibilities, including allergies, lactose intolerance, an immature digestive system, maternal anxiety, and differences in the way a baby is fed or comforted. This last idea speculates that Baby’s immature nervous system can’t handle the stimuli of everyday life, and that crying is their only way of communicating this “overload.” An opposite hypothesis is that Baby needs more stimulation, and gets it through crying. Colic is mysterious, but not harmful to your baby. et it’s still unclear why some babies have colic and others don’t.

Diagnosis:
Your baby’s doctor will do a physical exam to identify any possible causes for your baby’s distress, such as an intestinal obstruction. If your baby is otherwise healthy, he or she may be diagnosed with colic. Lab tests, X-rays and other diagnostic tests aren’t usually needed.

Treatment:
Colic improves on its own, often by age 3 months. In the meantime, there are few treatment options. Prescription medications such as simethicone (Mylicon) haven’t proved very helpful for colic, and others can have serious side effects.

A study published in January 2007 suggests that treatment with probiotics — substances that help maintain the natural balance of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract — can soothe colic. More research is needed, however, to determine the effects of probiotics on colic.

Consult your baby’s doctor before giving your baby any medication to treat colic.

Risk factors:
Infants of mothers who smoke during pregnancy or after delivery have twice the risk of developing colic.

Many other theories about what makes a child more susceptible to colic have been proposed, but none seem to hold true. Colic doesn’t occur more often among firstborns or formula-fed babies. A breast-feeding mother’s diet isn’t likely to trigger colic. And girls and boys — no matter what their birth order or how they’re fed — experience colic in similar numbers.

Popular Myths related to colic?
Let’s debunk some of the popular myths about colic. Here are the facts:

*Babies do not cry to manipulate their parents.
*Holding babies and picking them up when they cry cannot “spoil” them.
*We do not know whether colicky babies are in pain or not, but they sure seem to be, and that can really stress out parents. Keep in mind that your baby may not actually be in pain or distress, but just doing what they need to do for their immature nervous systems.
*Giving rice cereal does not help solve colic.
*Studies have shown that Simethicone (Mylicon) and lactase (the enzyme that helps digest lactose—the sugar in cow’s milk—which is in breast milk if the mother consumes dairy products) do not help colic. ,
*Sedatives, antihistamines, and motion-sickness medications, like dicyclomine (Bentyl) are NOT safe or effective in treating colic in babies. Often grandparents will suggest these medications. They were commonly used years ago, but now we know better.

Self Care:

Your baby’s doctor may not be able to fix colic or make it go away sooner, but there are many ways you can try to soothe your baby. Consider these suggestions:

  • Feed your baby. If you think your baby may be hungry, try a feeding. Hold your baby as upright as possible, and burp your baby often. Sometimes more frequent — but smaller — feedings are helpful. If you’re breast-feeding, it may help to empty one breast completely before switching sides. This will give your baby more hindmilk, which is richer and potentially more satisfying than the foremilk present at the beginning of a feeding.
  • Offer a pacifier. For many babies, sucking is a soothing activity. Even if you’re breast-feeding, it’s OK to offer a pacifier to help your baby calm down.
  • Hold your baby. Cuddling helps some babies. Others quiet when they’re held closely and swaddled in a lightweight blanket. To give your arms a break, try a baby sling, backpack or other type of baby carrier. Don’t worry about spoiling your baby by holding him or her too much.
  • Keep your baby in motion. Gently rock your baby in your arms or in an infant swing. Lay your baby tummy down on your knees and then sway your knees slowly. Take a walk with your baby, or buckle your baby in the car seat for a drive. Use a vibrating infant seat or vibrating crib.
  • Sing to your baby. A soft tune might soothe your baby. And even if lullabies don’t stop your baby from crying, they can keep you calm and help pass the time while you’re waiting for your baby to settle down. Recorded music may help, too.
  • Turn up the background noise. Some babies cry less when they hear steady background noise. When holding or rocking your baby, try making a continuous “shssss” sound. Turn on a kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan, or play a tape or CD of environmental sounds such as ocean waves, a waterfall or gentle rain. Sometimes the tick of a clock or metronome does the trick.
  • Use gentle heat or touch. Give your baby a warm bath. Softly massage your baby, especially around the tummy.
  • Give your baby some private time. If nothing else seems to work, a brief timeout might help. Put your baby in his or her crib for five to 10 minutes.
  • Mix it up. Experiment to discover what works best for your baby, even if it changes from day to day.
  • Consider dietary changes. If you breast-feed, see if eliminating certain foods from your own diet — such as dairy products, citrus fruits, spicy foods or drinks containing caffeine — has any effect on your baby’s crying. If you use a bottle, a new type of bottle or nipple might help.

If you’re concerned about your baby’s crying or your baby isn’t eating, sleeping or behaving like usual, contact your baby’s doctor. He or she can help you tell the difference between a colic episode and something more serious.

How you can help your baby relieve their colic distress?

Colic usually starts to improve at about six weeks of age, and is generally gone by the time your baby is 12 weeks old. While you are waiting for that magic resolution, try these techniques to help soothe your infant:

  • Respond consistently to your baby’s cries.
  • Don’t panic and don’t worry. If you are worried, bring your baby to their pediatrician.
  • When your baby cries, check to see if they are hungry, tired, in pain, too hot or cold, bored, over-stimulated, or need a diaper change.
  • Some parents find that carrying their baby more reduces colic. You can try different baby carriers to make it easier and free your hands. Many parents (and babies!) love slings once they get the hang of them—but sometimes it takes a little experimentation. One study found carrying babies four to five hours a day resulted in less crying at six weeks of age, as compared to carrying them only two to three hours a day. On the other hand, a later study by the same researcher did not find significantly less crying in babies carried more. So your best bet is just to see if it makes any difference with your baby.
  • Vacuum while wearing your baby in a baby carrier.
  • Rock your baby.
  • Change formula. Talk with your baby’s doctor first.
  • Breastfeeding moms can try changing their diets. In a recent study , researchers found that taking out allergenic foods (cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy and fish) from the breastfeeding mom’s diet reduced crying and fussing in babies under 6 weeks.
  • Play music and dance with your baby.
  • Talk a walk with your baby in the stroller. This can really help with your stress level, in addition to soothing your baby.
  • Get support from family, friends, your religious community, neighbors, etc. Let them help in any way possible.
  • Take care of yourself and manage your stress. Eating a well-balanced diet, getting sleep and exercise, and having people to talk to can do wonders. If the stress or blues become too much, it’s good idea to get professional help. Your or your baby’s doctor might be able to help you figure out where to start.
  • Nurse your baby every 2-3 hours if you are breastfeeding.
  • Don’t smoke, and don’t allow anyone to smoke around your baby. Babies of smokers cry more, and get sick more often, too. Smoker’s babies also have an increased risk of SIDS.
  • Quitting smoking during pregnancy may reduce the likelihood that your baby will develop colic . in addition to all the other benefits to you and your baby.
  • You could try a device that attaches to the crib. It’s designed to simulate a car ride, but it is not clear that the device actually works. The Sleep Tight Infant Soother consists of a vibration unit that mounts under the crib and a sound unit that attaches to the crib rail. Your pediatrician can tell you whether it would be a good idea to try in your baby’s case. The device is not promoted directly to consumers. Some insurance companies may reimburse the cost if you have a physician prescription. You can reach the manufacturer at 1-800-NO-COLIC or 1-800-662-6542. There is no research to prove that the Sleep Tight works, and some parents have been dissatisfied with it.
  • Provide white noise, such as running the vacuum cleaner, clothes dryer, or hair dryer near your baby while in their car seat. (Do not put your baby on top of the dryer—they could fall off!) White noise machines are also available. White noise simulates the whooshing sound your baby heard constantly while in utero. You can also do your own “whooshing” or “shushing” with your voice as you rock or carry your baby.
  • Go for a car ride.
  • Massage your baby. Find out how to do infant massage for colic. Massage has many benefits for both the baby and the giver of the massage.
  • Some parents have found that herbal tea is helpful. The combination of chamomile, fennel, vervain, licorice, and balm-mint was found to be effective in one study. Other traditional herbs for colic tea include anise, catnip, caraway, mint, fennel, dill, cumin, and ginger root. Gripe water, available in Britain and Canada, is made from dill. These remedies are not produced or regulated in the same standardized ways that medications are—so you don’t know exactly what you are getting. These herbs have not all been studied, and therefore it is not certain that they are all safe. More research is needed to be sure these preparations are safe and effective. If you choose to give herbal tea, start by giving only an ounce, and never give more than four to six ounces per day. Babies who fill up on tea don’t drink enough breast milk or formula and then have trouble growing. Please remember that just because something is “natural”, it is not necessarily safe.

Places where you to get more information about colic:
On the Web:

Recommended reading:

  • The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, by Harvey Karp
    This book teaches you simple techniques based on other cultures where babies do not get colic, and on the idea a baby’s first three months are like a fourth trimester.
  • Check out the chapter on colic in the book, The Holistic Pediatrician (second edition), by Kathi Kemper.
  • Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents, by Vimala Schneider McClure
  • Crying Baby: Resource List—recommended books about soothing crying babies.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/colic.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/colic/

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Categories
Ailmemts & Remedies Pediatric

Laryngomalacia: A noisy problem!

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Laryngomalacia is the most common cause of “noisy breathing” in babies after the newborn period. This disorder may become obvious as early as the first two weeks of life, with noisy, raspy breathing while taking a breath in . At first the noise simply sounds like nasal congestion, but it occurs without nasal secretions. This type of “noisy breathing” is known as stridor and has a high pitched, harsh quality. The stridor is usually absent with the child is at rest and becomes more prominent when the infant is lying on his/her back, crying, feeding,excited or has a cold. The stridor usually is at it’s worst around six months and then gradually improves. Most children are symptom free by 24 months.

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The cause of laryngomalacia is not clearly understood. What is known about the condition is that the epiglottits which protects the airway when the child feeds also partially obstructs the airway during breathing. The partial obstruction is the source of “noise” with breathing.

Children with laryngomalacia will do better at a 30 degree angle, or by positioning their heads to relieve or reduce the obstruction. The child should also be held in an upright position for 30 minutes after feeding and never fed lying down. Crying exacerbates the obstruction and work of breathing; a pacifier may be useful to calm an agitated infant.

Characteristics of laryngomalacia include:

Starts in the first two months of life (but not at birth)
Occurs when the child is breathing in
Becomes worse with crying, upper respiratory tract infections, laying in the supine (on back) position*
Usually gets worse before it gets better
Child may have retractions (sucking in of the skin above or below the ribs when breathing in)
There is no cyanosis (blue color of the skin)
The baby is otherwise happy and thriving
Treatment is simple but nerve-racking — waiting for the child to out grow the condition while explaining to family, friends, and passerbys that there is really nothing wrong with your noisy breathing baby. It is rare that this abnormality causes any serious problems. The stress is on the parent listening to this noisy breathing as the infant is experiencing little problems. In time, the cartilage that supports tissues around the throat and airway become stronger which helps resolve the problem. Most children grow out of laryngomalacia by one year of age and nearly all children eventually outgrow the condition.

Laryngomalacia a not a dangerous condition and will not interfere with the child’s growth and development. No treatment is necessary, although some parents have found that cool visit from a vaporizer helps eases the child’s noisy breathing. Only in very severe (are rare) cases, or when there is a simultaneous upper respiratory infection, does the condition require treatment. Holding the child in the prone position (stomach down) and comforting and soothing him/her to slow the breathing are almost always sufficient to handle an episode. The most important thing is to calm the child, in order to stop the crying, as crying makes the problem much worse. If a parent is in doubt about their child’s noisy breathing, they should have him/her looked at, but hospitalization for Laryngomalacia is very rare.

*In some instances, doctors may recommend that babies with laryngomalacia be placed on their stomachs to sleep instead of their backs, as long as the bedding is not soft. Parents of children with laryngomalacia should always talk to the baby’s doctor if they are unsure about the best sleep position for their baby.

Source:kidsgrowth.com

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Fever

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When you or your children aren’t feeling well, one of the first things you may do is check for a fever. Although a fever isn’t an illness itself, it’s usually a sign that something’s going on in your body. Yet fevers aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, they seem to play a key role in helping your body fight off a number of bacterial and viral infections.

If you’re an adult, a fever may be uncomfortable, but it usually isn’t dangerous unless it measures 103 F or higher. For very young children and infants, however, even slightly elevated temperatures may indicate a serious infection. In newborns, a subnormal temperature — rather than a fever — may be a sign of serious illness.

Because a fever can occur with many different conditions, other signs and symptoms can often help identify the cause. If you don’t know why you have a fever, it’s best not to try to lower your temperature. This may only mask your symptoms and make it harder to determine the cause. In addition, some experts think that aggressively treating all fevers actually interferes with your body’s immune response. That’s because the viruses that cause colds and other respiratory infections thrive at cool temperatures. By producing a low-grade fever, your body may actually be helping eliminate the virus. What’s more, most fevers go away in a relatively short time  is usually within a few days.

Signs and symptoms

A fever occurs when your temperature rises above its normal range. What’s normal for you may be a little higher or lower than the average temperature of 98.6 F. That’s why it’s hard to say just what a fever is. But a “significant” fever is usually defined as an oral or ear temperature of 102 F or a rectal temperature of 103 F. A rectal temperature reading is generally 1 degree Fahrenheit higher than an oral reading.

Depending on what’s causing your fever, additional signs and symptoms may include:

* Sweating
* Shivering
* Headache
* Muscle aches
* Lack of appetite
* Dehydration
* General weakness


Very high fevers, between 103 and 106 F, may cause hallucinations, confusion, irritability and even convulsions.

Approximately four percent of children younger than age 5 experience fever-induced seizures (febrile seizures). The signs of febrile seizures, which occur when a child’s temperature rises or falls rapidly, include a brief loss of consciousness and convulsions. Although these seizures can be extremely alarming, most children don’t experience any lasting effects. Febrile seizures are often triggered by a fever from a common childhood illness such as roseola, a viral infection that causes a high fever, swollen glands and a rash.

Causes

Even when you’re well, your body temperature varies throughout the day — it’s lower in the morning and higher in the late afternoon and evening. In fact, your normal temperature can range from about 97 to 99 F. Although most people consider 98.6 F a healthy body temperature, yours may vary by a degree or more.

Your body temperature is set by your hypothalamus, an area at the base of your brain that acts as a thermostat for your whole system. When something’s wrong, your normal temperature is simply set a few points higher. The new set-point, for example, may be 102 F instead of 97 or 98 F.

What happens with a fever
When a fever starts and your body tries to elevate its temperature, you feel chilly and may shiver to generate heat. At this point, you probably wrap yourself in your thickest blanket and turn up the heating pad. But eventually, as your body reaches its new set-point, you likely feel hot. And when your temperature finally begins to return to normal, you may sweat profusely, which is your body’s way of dissipating the excess heat.

A fever usually means your body is responding to a viral or bacterial infection. Sometimes heat exhaustion, an extreme sunburn or certain inflammatory conditions such as temporal arteritis — inflammation of an artery in your head — may trigger fever as well. In rare instances, a malignant tumor or some forms of kidney cancer may cause a fever.

Fever can be a side effect of some medications such as antibiotics and drugs used to treat hypertension or seizures. Some infants and children develop fevers after receiving routine immunizations, such as the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) or pneumococcal vaccines.

Sometimes it’s not possible to identify the cause of a fever. If you have a temperature higher than 100.9 F for more than three weeks and your doctor isn’t able to find the cause after extensive evaluation, the diagnosis may be fever of unknown origin. In most cases, though, the reason for your fever can be found and treated.

When to seek medical advice

Fevers by themselves may not be a cause for alarm — or a reason to call a doctor. Yet there are some circumstances when you should seek medical advice for your baby, your child or yourself.

For infants

An unexplained fever is greater cause for concern in infants and children than in adults. Call your baby’s doctor if your baby:

* Is younger than 2 months of age and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher. Even if your baby doesn’t have other signs or symptoms, call your doctor just to be safe.
* Is older than 2 months of age and has a temperature of 102 F or higher.
* Is a newborn who has a lower-than-normal temperature — under 95 F rectally.
* Has a fever and unexplained irritability, such as marked crying when you change your baby’s diapers or when he or she is moved. Some infants might have a fever and seem lethargic and unresponsive. In infants and children younger than age 2, these may be signs of meningitis — an infection and inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord. If you’re worried that your baby might have meningitis, see your doctor right away. Don’t wait until morning to see your usual physician — meningitis is an emergency.

For children
Children often tolerate fevers quite well, although high temperatures may cause parents a great deal of concern. Still, it’s best to be guided more by how your child acts than by any particular temperature measurement. If your child has a fever but is responsive and is drinking plenty of fluids and wanting to play, there’s probably no cause for alarm.

Call your pediatrician if your child is listless or irritable, vomits repeatedly, has a severe headache or stomachache or has any other symptoms causing significant discomfort. If your child has a fever after being left in a very hot car, seek medical care immediately.

Also call your doctor if fever persists longer than one day in a child younger than age 2 or longer than three days in a child age 2 or older.

Don’t treat fevers below 101 F with any medications unless advised by your doctor.

For adults
Call your doctor about a fever if:

* Your temperature is more than 104 F
* You’ve had a fever for more than three days

In addition, call your doctor immediately if any of these signs and symptoms accompany a fever:

* A severe headache
* Severe swelling of your throat
* Unusual skin rash
* Unusual eye sensitivity to bright light
* A stiff neck and pain when you bend your head forward
* Mental confusion
* Persistent vomiting
* Difficulty breathing or chest pain
* Extreme listlessness or irritability
* Abdominal pain or pain when urinating
* Any other unexplained symptoms

Screening and diagnosis

Your doctor will likely diagnose the cause of your fever based on your other symptoms and a physical exam. Sometimes you may need additional tests to confirm a diagnosis. If your doctor suspects pneumonia, for instance, you may have a chest X-ray following your physical exam. In other cases you may have blood or urine tests to check for signs of infection.

If you have a low-grade fever that persists for three weeks or more, but have no other symptoms, your doctor may recommend a variety of tests to help find the cause. These may include blood tests and X-rays.

Complications

A rapid rise or fall in temperature may cause a febrile seizure in a small percentage of children younger than age 5. Although they’re alarming for parents, the vast majority of febrile seizures cause no lasting effects.

If a seizure occurs, lay your child on his or her side. Remove any sharp objects that are near your child, loosen tight clothing and hold your child to prevent injury. Don’t place anything in your child’s mouth or try to stop the seizure. Although most seizures stop on their own, call for emergency medical assistance if the seizure lasts longer than 10 minutes.

If possible, try to time the seizure using your watch or a clock. Because they’re so alarming, seizures often seem to last longer than they really do. Also try to note which part of your child’s body begins to shake first. This can help your doctor understand the cause of the seizure. Your pediatrician should see your child as soon as possible.

Treatment

Medical treatment depends on the cause of your fever. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics for bacterial infections, such as pneumonia or strep throat. For viral infections, including stomach flu (gastroenteritis) and mononucleosis, the best treatment is often rest and plenty of fluids.

Your doctor may also suggest taking over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) to lower a very high fever. Adults may also use aspirin. But don’t give aspirin to children. It may trigger a rare, but potentially fatal, disorder known as Reye’s syndrome.

Prevention

The best way to prevent fevers is to reduce your exposure to infectious diseases. One of the most effective ways to do that is also one of the simplest — frequent hand washing.

Teach your children to wash their hands often, especially before they eat and after using the toilet, spending time in a crowded public place or petting animals. Show them how to wash their hands vigorously, covering both the front and back of each hand with soap, and rinsing thoroughly under running water. Carry hand-washing towelettes with you for times when you don’t have access to soap and water. When possible, teach your kids not to touch their noses, mouths or eyes — the main way viral infections are transmitted.

Self-care

Because your body loses more water with a fever, be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Water is best, but if it’s hard to get your children to drink water, encourage them to drink juices or sports drinks containing electrolytes, or to eat frozen ice pops. Adults and children should also get enough rest. Don’t be concerned with treating a fever just because it’s a fever. Often, a low-grade fever is actually helping fight off an infection. In addition, follow these guidelines for both children and adults:

For temperatures less than 102 F
Don’t use any medication for a fever in this range unless advised by your doctor. And don’t give children aspirin because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome. Instead, dress in comfortable, light clothing and try bathing in lukewarm water. At bedtime, cover yourself or your child with just a sheet or light blanket.

For temperatures between 102 and 104 F
Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen according to the label instructions or as recommended by your doctor. If you’re not sure about the proper dosage, be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist. Adults may use aspirin instead.

Be careful not to give too much medication. High doses or long-term use of acetaminophen may cause liver or kidney damage, and acute overdoses can be fatal. If you’re not able to get your child’s fever down, don’t give more medication. Call your doctor instead. Side effects of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin and Advil include stomach pain, bleeding and ulcers.

For temperatures greater than 104 F
Give adults or children acetaminophen or ibuprofen following the manufacturer’s instructions or as recommended by your doctor. Adults may use aspirin instead. If you’re not sure about the dosage, check with your doctor or pharmacist. Be careful not to give too much medication.

Acetaminophen is available in liquid, chewable and suppository forms for children, but it’s often easiest to give medications in liquid form. For a small child, use a syringe with measurements on the side and a bulb on the tip. Gently squirt the medicine in the back corners of your child’s mouth.

Use a five- to ten-minute sponge bath of lukewarm water to try to bring your own or your child’s temperature down. A sponge bath is most likely to help if it’s used shortly after a dosage of acetaminophen or ibuprofen, so that the medication can work to keep the fever down after the bath takes effect.

If your child shivers in the bath, stop the bath, dry your child and wait. Shivering actually raises the body’s internal temperature — shaking muscles generate heat. If the fever doesn’t moderate or your child has a febrile seizure that lasts longer than five minutes, seek immediate medical care.

Taking a temperature
To check your or your child’s temperature level, you can choose from several types of thermometers, including electronic thermometers and ear (tympanic) thermometers. Thermometers with digital readouts and those that take the temperature quickly from the ear canal are especially useful for young children and older adults. Because glass mercury thermometers harm both humans and the environment, they have been phased out and are no longer recommended.

Although it’s not the most accurate way to take a temperature, you can also use an oral thermometer for an armpit (axillary) reading. Place the thermometer in the armpit with arms crossed over the chest. Wait four to five minutes. The axillary temperature is about 1 degree Fahrenheit less than an oral temperature.

Use a rectal thermometer for infants. Place a dab of petroleum jelly on the bulb. Lay your baby on his or her tummy. Carefully insert the bulb one-half inch to one inch into your baby’s rectum. Hold the bulb and your baby still for three minutes. Don’t let go of the thermometer while it’s inside your baby. If your baby squirms, it could go deeper and cause an injury.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

From MayoClinic.Com  & Special to CNN.com

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