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5 health tips you should know while taking care of your child

Coughing and wheezing in children

  •  Coughing & wheezing are the common symptoms of childhood illness.
  • They may be distressing for you and your baby, but do not usually mean that
    your child has a serious problem.

 Different reason why your child may cough or wheeze
1. Colds & other viruses – very common cause of coughing.
2. Choking – a sudden onset cough in a well child.
3. Croup – Barking, hoarse cough.
4. Smoking – in the house & car increases the risk of respiratory
problems.
5. Allergy – after exposure to some specific substances.
6. Asthma – cough tends to be worse at night (or) after
exercise.
7. Whooping Cough – a contagious infection which can be
prevented by vaccination.
8. Pneumonia – child presents with cough, high fever & fast
breathing, this can
be prevented by immunization.

2. Allergies in children

  • Incidence of food allergy is much higher in children than adults.
  • Children get allergies when they come in contact with allergens.
  • Allergens can be inhaled, eaten, injected (or) they can come into contact with
    the skin.
  •  Common allergens are pollens, house dust mites, animal dander, some foods
    (eggs, nuts, cow’s milk, fish etc), and medicines.
  • They can present with wide range of symptoms like, itching, skin rashes (hives),
    swelling of lips and tongue, breathing difficulty /chest tightness, trouble
    swallowing, cough, dizziness, tummy pain, weak pulse and shock.
  •  The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to identify the allergens & avoid
    it.
  •  Blood tests for allergies are available to identify Inhalation Allergy & Food
    Allergy
  • Oral antihistamines help to relieve mild to moderate allergic reactions.
  • Injectable medications are used for severe allergic reactions.

3. Vitamin D deficiency in children

  • Vitamin D has an important role in regulating calcium & phosphate metabolism for bone health & bone growth maintenance.
  • Vitamin D is produced in skin exposed to sunlight.
  • Vitamin D deficiency occurs due to inadequate sunlight exposure.
  • Children presents with bony pain, muscle weakness, increased tendency for
    fractures, hypocalcemia & skeletal deformity.
  • Deficiency in children leads to Rickets- bone softening, deformity of long
    bones/bow legs, and delay in teeth formation.
  • Assess Vit D levels in the blood at annual checkups.
  • Deficiency can be managed by either oral or injectable forms of Vit D
    supplements.

4. Breast Milk – the best milk

  •  Give mother’s milk to every baby Immediately after birth.
  • Babies should be exclusively breast fed for 6 months, then till 2 years with
    complementary food.
  •  There are multiple benefits of breastfeeding.
    By 2 nd week of life, babies weight must be nearly same as birth weight, if it is
    less, then meet doctor and discuss.
  • Breast milk in the initial few days is high in immunoglobulin and is very
    beneficial.
  •  Breast feeding prevents various problems like Diarrhea, Malnutrition, Anemia.
    No prelacteal feeds, No bottle /no pacifiers for the new born babies
  • Breast milk production and milk let down requires effective and frequent
    suckling.
  •  Correct positioning ensures good latching.
  •  Feed the baby when it demands for mother’s milk.
  • Nipple & breast problems should be prevented & managed timely.

5. Diarrhea in children

  •  Everything that goes in the mouth, must be clean.
  •  Thirst is an earliest indicator of dehydration.
  •  Sunken eyeballs indicate dehydration.
  •  During diarrheal episode, a child loses lot of fluid from the body, hence it is
    important that the child is hydrated at regular intervals.
  •  Parents can feed ORS at home.
  •  Use medicines for diarrhea only on doctors’ advice.
  •  Continue breastfeeding during diarrhea.
  •  Diarrhea is not worsened by giving food.
  •  To prevent diarrhea – continue breastfeeds, give measles vaccine, proper
    sanitation, keep water and food clean, wash hands before touching food.