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Health Problems & Solutions

Some Health Quaries & Answers

‘My child is too thin’ :

Q: My daughter is two years old and very thin. She is picky about her food and I feel she does not eat enough. Her weight is only 9kg. Is it a good idea to give her appetite stimulating tonics?
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A: Normally, a child weighs triple its birth weight at the end of the first year and adds 2kg the next year. So your daughter may be in the normal range. It is better to try to discover why she does not eat and treat the cause rather than use tonics. Appetite stimulants can have severe side effects. Some of them contain large amounts of iodine, steroids or cyproheptadine (a banned chemical). They are best avoided.

What you can do is reduce her milk intake to 400ml a day. Give half after breakfast and the rest at tea time. Figure out what she likes to eat.

Also, get her dewormed; your paediatrician will tell you how. And remember, some children are just difficult when it comes to food.

Digital spasms :

Q: I get sudden painful spasms in my fingers and toes, especially at night. I am 34 years old.

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A: Calcium deficiency can cause this. If you are not on calcium supplements, starting them may help. Consult a physician to help with the diagnosis and dosage of calcium.

Pressure pills :

Q: Is there a natural way to reduce blood pressure? Currently I am on a lot of medication for it.

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A: You can reduce your dependence on tablets by achieving ideal body weight (height in metre squared multiplied by 23), walking an hour a day, reducing salt intake to 2.5gm a day, avoiding salted snacks, sleeping at regular hours and reducing stress with yoga and meditation.

Fit and fine :

Q: My son is one and a half years old and has had fits twice. The doctor says it is “fever fits”. I am worried that he may become epileptic. What is a fever fit?

A: A febrile seizure (fever fit) usually occurs in children under the age of 5 during an episode of fever. Only one third of the affected children have a second seizure. A certain percentage of children will develop epilepsy but the incidence is not greater in those who have had febrile seizures. Also, these children do not develop mental retardation nor is their intelligence affected. But a febrile fit can be frightening to watch. To prevent such seizures, fever has to be tackled immediately. Buy a digital thermometer and check the temperature by placing it in the child’s armpit (remember, your hand is not a thermometer). If the temperature is greater than 100°F, give the child 10mg/kg of paracetemol. Remove the child’s clothes and sponge him down with tap water. Turn the fan on full speed. After four hours check the temperature again. If it has risen, repeat the above process. Contact your doctor.

Feet first

Q: I have cracked feet. Not only does it look ugly, when water enters the cracks they become painful and inflamed.

 

A: You could try soaking your feet in hot water to which rock salt and liquid soap have been added. After 10 minutes, scrub the foot gently with a small plastic brush. Then apply baby oil. After a few weeks, you will see a vast improvement.

Source : The Telegraph ( kolkata, India)

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Pediatric

Helping children swallow medicine

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Most parents know the battle of getting a child to swallow medicine when necessary. It’s strange how children can savour the most disgusting sweets but refuse medicine that tastes far more pleasant. It’s all part of the art of being two: recognising when your parents are really worried about something and then refusing to play the game.

But it’s important for children to get the doses of medicine they’ve been prescribed and that they finish any course of antibiotics they’re given, so you need to be patient and keep trying.

Some of the following might help:

*Make sure younger children get liquid rather than tablet forms of medicine where possible.

*Ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medicine can be prescribed in a flavour your child likes. This isn’t always possible, but there are lots of different makes of antibiotics, so it’s worth a try.

*Try mixing the medicine with something very sweet, such as honey or fruit syrup. This is particularly useful if the medicine is in tablet form. These can often be crushed into the syrup (but check with your pharmacist first, as some come in a gel form that doesn’t dissolve easily) or mixed with other more solid foods.

*Use a syringe (from the pharmacy) to give medicine, especially to younger children. This is much easier to hold than a spoon and far less likely to spill, especially when you’re holding the child tight and they’re trying to push you and the medicine away. When you put the syringe in your child’s mouth, point it towards their cheek as you press the plunger to avoid squirting it straight down their throat and choking them.

*Toddlers may be more willing when they’re given medicine in an animal-shaped medicine tube and allowed to sip it at their own pace.

*Try reverse psychology – tell your child it’s special medicine and she’s not allowed to have it. It’s amazing how often this one works.

*Bribery and corruption involving large amounts of sweets is often a good bet, too (but don’t tell your dentist).

*Stay calm and never force your child to take medicine. If they persistently refuse, try again after about half an hour.

*Say you’ll take them back to the doctor to be given the medicine (this showdown is too much for most toddlers, who’ll back down at this point).

Many children find it hard to swallow pills and capsules. Most have never had to, since almost all medications for children are available in liquid form. However, pills have their advantages: parents know the child gets the entire dose, pills hide the flavor of medicines that taste bad, pills are easier to take when traveling, and pills do not have to be refrigerated like many liquids.

What is the best way to teach a child to take a pill? There are many techniques parents can try, but everyone agrees that it is a good idea for parents to teach their kids the technique of pill swallowing before they really need it. A sick or cranky child is not a cooperative student!

Here are some suggestions that might help:

*Keep a calm and positive attitude

*Be patient. Some normal children can’t accomplish pill-swallowing until their late teens!

*Show the child how to swallow pills calmly and quickly. Demonstrate by placing a tablet or capsule back in the center of their tongue. Have them quickly drink water, Kool-Aid, or their favorite drink through a straw. When the child concentrates on using the straw and swallowing the liquid, the pill usually follows quickly along.

*Train in small steps with success at every stage. For example, have your child practice with a piece of small cake decoration. When the smallest size is swallowed without a problem, a slightly larger size may be tried. Then work up to the size of an M & M. Use substances that will melt if they get stuck or coat them first with butter. It is best to work in short sessions (5-10 minutes) several times a day over a couple of days.

*Eliminate distractions during medicine taking time. Close the door, turn the TV off, etc. allowing the child can concentrate on the job at hand
If the child gags or vomits, be calm and clean up the mess in a matter-of-fact way. Let the child settle down and try again in 10 or 15 minutes.

*Some kids like to play “Beat the Clock.” Use a one or two minute time limit!

*Give plenty of praise, such as “Oh good! You swallowed it right down.” Avoid negative comments like “Only babies take liquid medicine.” These comments rarely motivate children to try harder.

*Some pills are easier to swallow if they are broken into halves. Check with the pharmacist first, however, to make sure a divided pill does not lose its potency.

*Have the child drink a little water before taking the pill. Tables and capsules are harder to swallow when the youngster’s mouth is dry (which often happens when they are sick).

*As long as the pill does not have to be taken on “an empty stomach,” have your child place a little piece of food on their tongue, next to the pill. Next have them drink some water to swallow the food and the pill usually goes down at the same time. Don’t have your child tilt their head back too far when swallowing as this can sometimes make it more difficult for the pill to go down.

*Another way to get a child to swallow a pill is to stick it in a cube of Jell-O TM. The pill will usually slide down easily with Jell-O.
One pharmacist recommended the “Tic Tac” strategy: Put a “Tic Tac” on the tip of the child’s tongue. Place a glass of water filled to the brim on the table. Have the child suck in water from the brim without picking up the class. About one half mouthful will do. Remove the lips from the glass and quickly tip head back. The “tic tac pill” will be washed to the throat and swallowed with the gulp of water without the tongue being involved. The pharmacist claims this method works with kids as young as three years old.

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.kidsgrowth.com/resources/articledetail.cfm?id=428
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/medicinechildrenswallow.shtml
http://www.ehow.com/how_6607984_child-swallow-pill.html

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Health Alert

Fluoride in Water Linked to Lower IQ in Children

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A new study shows that exposure to fluoride may lower children‘s intelligence. Fluoride is added to 70 percent of U.S. public drinking water supplies...click & see the pictures

More than 500 children aged 8 to 13 from two different towns were studied and tested.  One city had fluoridated water, and the other did not.

PR Newswire reports:
“About 28 percent of the children in the low-fluoride area scored as bright, normal or higher intelligence compared to only 8 percent in the ‘high’ fluoride area … in the high-fluoride city, 15 percent had scores indicating mental retardation and only 6 percent in the low-fluoride city.”

Resources:
PR Newswire December 21, 2010
Environmental Health Perspectives December 17, 2010

Categories
News on Health & Science

Why do One in Ten Kids in the U.S. Have ADHD?

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A U.S. government survey claims that 1 in 10 U.S. children now has ADHD. This is a sizable increase from a few years earlier. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) makes it hard for children to pay attention and control impulsive behavior.

CLICK & SEE

About two-thirds of the children diagnosed with ADHD are on some form of prescription medication.

According to AP medical writer Mike Stobbe:
“In the latest survey, 9.5 percent said a doctor or health care provider had told them their child had ADHD … ADHD diagnosis is in many ways a matter of opinion.

There’s no blood test or brain-imaging exam for the condition. Sometimes reading disabilities or other problems in the classroom cause a teacher or others to mistakenly think a child has ADHD.”

Researchers suggested growing awareness and better screening may be responsible for the rising numbers, but there are a number of food additives that experts think may worsen ADHD as well. They include:

•Blue #1 and #2 food coloring
•Green #3
•Orange B
•Red #3 and #40
•Yellow #5 and #6
•Sodium benzoate, a preservative
According to Health.com:
“Will eliminating dye-containing foods from a child’s diet help ADHD? Experts say there’s not enough evidence … Most studies of a possible link analyzed blends of additives, not single ingredients, making it difficult to find a culprit.”

Resources:
Yahoo Finance November 10, 2010
Health.com November 2010
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) November 12, 2010 / 59(44);1439-1443

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Pediatric

Nighttime Sleep Boosts Infant Skills

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At ages 1 and 1-1/2, children who get most of their sleep at night (as opposed to during the day) do better in a variety of skill areas than children who don’t sleep as much at night.

That’s the finding of a new longitudinal study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal and the University of Minnesota. The research appears in the November/December 2010 issue of the journal Child Development.

The study, of 60 Canadian children at ages 1, 1-1/2, and 2, looked at the effects of infants‘ sleep on executive functioning. Among children, executive functioning includes the ability to control impulses, remember things, and show mental flexibility. Executive functioning develops rapidly between ages 1 and 6, but little is known about why certain children are better than others at acquiring these skills.

“We found that infants’ sleep is associated with cognitive functions that depend on brain structures that develop rapidly in the first two years of life,” explains Annie Bernier, professor of psychology at the University of Montreal, who led the study. “This may imply that good nighttime sleep in infancy sets in motion a cascade of neural effects that has implications for later executive skills.”

When the infants were 1 year old and 1-1/2 years old, their mothers filled out three-day sleep diaries that included hour-by-hour patterns, daytime naps, and nighttime wakings. When the children were 1-1/2 and 2, the researchers measured how the children did on the skills involved with executive functioning.

Children who got most of their sleep during the night did better on the tasks, especially those involving impulse control. The link between sleep and the skills remained, even after the researchers took into consideration such factors as parents’ education and income and the children’s general cognitive skills. The number of times infants woke at night and the total time spent sleeping were not found to relate to the infants’ executive functioning skills.

“These findings add to previous research with school-age children, which has shown that sleep plays a role in the development of higher-order cognitive functions that involve the brain’s prefrontal cortex,” according to Bernier.

Source : Elements4Health

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