0755-6459777, 2602501, 2602502

Dr. Dipankar Sarkar , Dr. Shruti Sarkar
MD, MRCP, MRCPCH, MHA
Newborn & Child Health Services
At Lakecity Hospital, Bhopal, M.P.

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Kids Health Information

General Kids Health Information For You...

Kids Health Information By Lakecity Hospital

This site is dedicated to providing quality, up-to-date health information. Our factsheets have been developed for parents and cover pertinent topics about medical conditions and the services available at Lakecity hospital Bhopal.

Disclaimer :

This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Lakecity Hospital, Bhopal accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in this website.


FEEDING YOUR BABY

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. Exclusive breastfeeding (giving your baby breast milk only) is recommended for around the first six months of your baby’s life. After that, giving your baby breast milk alongside other food will help them continue to grow and develop.

…WHY BREASTFEED?

  • Breast milk is the only natural food designed for your baby and it provides maximum health benefit to the baby and you.
  • Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants. It gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses – such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.
  • It’s available whenever and wherever your baby needs a feed and it’s the right temperature and it does not cost you.
  • It can build a strong physical and emotional bond between mother and baby and gives you a great sense of achievement.
  • It reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer later in life, helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, and lowers rates of obesity.
  • Beyond the immediate benefits for children, breastfeeding contributes to a lifetime of good health. Adults who were breastfed as babies often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, as well as lower rates of overweight, obesity and type-2 diabetes. There is evidence that people who were breastfed perform better in intelligence tests.

WHY NOT INFANT FORMULA?

Infant formula does not contain the antibodies found in breast milk and is linked to some risks, such as water-borne diseases that arise from mixing powdered formula with unsafe water. Malnutrition can result from over- diluting formula. If formula is used but becomes unavailable, a return to breastfeeding may not be an option due to diminished breast milk production at a later stage.


REGARDING BREASTFEEDING:

  • Reastfeeding should begin within an hour of birth;
  • Breastfeeding should be “on demand”, as often as the child wants day and night; and
  • Bottles or pacifiers should be avoided.

COMPLIMENTARY FEEDING AND INTRODUCTION TO SOLIDS

Introducing your baby to solid foods, often called ‘weaning’, should start when your baby is around six months old. Babies only need breast milk for the first six months of life. Breast feeding should not be stopped.

  • To begin with, how much your baby eats is less important than getting them used to the idea of eating.
  • Your baby’s first solid foods should be simple foods that they can easily digest, such as rice, dal, suji , mashed potato, banana, boiled apple, etc.
  • Once your baby has got used to eating food mentioned above, you can start adding other foods, such as vegetable, fish and chicken, full-fat dairy products, such as yoghurt, Eggs can be given to babies over six months old, but make sure they’re cooked until both the white and yolk are solid.
  • Most babies can chew soft lumps, such as mashed banana, mashed vegetables or cottage cheese even if they have no teeth. Varying the texture of your baby’s food will get them used to chewing and help to develop the muscles used for speaking.
  • The amount of food vary in each child. So, do not force feed your baby.
  • Don’t worry if feeding your baby is messy. It’s natural for babies to want to touch or play with their food when they’re beginning to feed themselves. It’s all part of the learning process. A plastic tablecloth, newspapers or an old sheet or towel on the floor will make it easier to clean.

FOODS TO AVOID :

Salt: Babies should not eat excess salt as it isn’t good for their kidneys. But normal amount of salt should be added to prepare their food.

Sugar: Your baby doesn’t need extra sugar. By avoiding sugary snacks and drinks, you’ll help to prevent tooth decay.

Honey: Occasionally, honey contains bacteria which can produce toxins in a baby’s intestines, leading to a very serious illness (infant botulism). It’s best not to give your child honey until they’re one year old.

Nuts: Whole nuts, including peanuts, shouldn’t be given to children under five years old as they can choke on them. .

Low-fat foods :Fat is an important source of calories and some vitamins for babies and young children. It’s better for babies and young children under two to have full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese rather than low-fat varieties.

Saturated fat: Don’t give your child too many foods that are high in saturated or ’bad’fat, such as crisps, chips, cheap burgers and cakes.

HOW TO GET A BABY TO SLEEP

Some babies sleep much more than others. Some sleep for long periods, others in short bursts. Some soon sleep through the night and some don’t for a long time. Your baby will have their own pattern of waking and sleeping. It’s unlikely to fit in with your need for sleep. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps. If you’re breastfeeding, in the early weeks your baby is likely to doze off for short periods during a feed. Carry on feeding until you think your baby has finished or until they’re fully asleep. This is a good opportunity to try to get a bit of rest yourself.

If you’re not sleeping at the same time as your baby, don’t worry about keeping the house silent while they sleep. It’s good to get your baby used to sleeping through a certain amount of noise.


How can I get my baby used to night and day being different?

It’s a good idea to teach your baby that nighttime is different to daytime from the start. During night feeds you may find it helpful to:

  • Keep the lights low not to talk much and keep your voice low
  • Put your baby down as soon as they’ve been fed and nappy changed
  • Don’t change babies nappy unless they need it

POTTY TRAINING

Children are able to control their bladder and bowels when they’re physically ready. Every child is different, so it’s best not to compare your child to others.
•Most children can control their bowel before their bladder.
•By the age of two, some children will be dry during the day, By the age of three,

9 out of 10 children are dry most days. Even then, all children have the odd accident; by the age of four, most children are reliably dry.
It usually takes a little longer to learn to stay dry throughout the night. Although most children learn this between the ages of three and five, it is estimated that a quarter of three-year-olds and one in six five-year-olds wet the bed.

When to Start Potty Training

Most parents start thinking about potty training when their child is around 18 to 24 months old, but there’s no perfect time. It helps to remember that you can’t force your child to use a potty. If they’re not ready, you won’t be able to make them. There are a number of signs that your child is starting to develop bladder control:

  • They know when they’ve got a wet or dirty nappy.
  • They get to know when they’re passing urine, and may tell you they’re doing it.
  • They know when they need to Pass urine, and may say so in advance.

Potty training is usually fastest if your child is at the last stage before you start the training. If you start earlier, be prepared for a lot of accidents as your child learns.

HOW TO START POTTY TRAINING

  • Leave a potty where your child can see it and can get to know what it’s for.
  • If your child regularly has a bowel movement at the same time each day, leave their nappy off and suggest that they go in the potty.
  • As soon as you see that your child knows when they’re going to pee, encourage them to use their potty. If your child slips up, just mop it up and wait for next time. It takes a while to get the hang of it. If you don’t make a fuss when they have an accident then they won’t feel anxious and worried and are more likely to be successful the next time.
  • Your child will be delighted when he or she succeeds. A little praise from you will help a lot. It can be quite tricky to get the balance right between giving praise and making a big deal out of it, which you don’t want to do. When the time is right, your child will want to use the potty and they will just be happy to get it right.

All you need to know about changing nappies.
All babies need changing as soon as possible when they’ve passed a stool in order to prevent nappy rash and stop them from smelling.


Getting or Ganised

Get everything you need in one place before you start. The best place to change a nappy is on a changing mat or towel on the floor. Sit down so that you don’t hurt your back.

If you’re using cloth nappies it might take a while to get used to how they fold and fit. Pre- wash them to make them softer. Take care to choose the right size of nappy and cover for your baby’s weight.

You’ll need a supply of either cotton wool and warm water, or baby wipes. It’s also a good idea to have a spare set of clothes handy, especially in the first few weeks.

Getting Started

If your baby’s nappy is dirty, use the nappy to clean off most of the stool from your baby’s bottom. Then use the cotton wool and warm water (or baby lotion or baby wipes) to remove the rest and get your baby really clean.

Girls should be cleaned from front to back to avoid getting germs into the vagina. Boys should be cleaned around the testicles (balls) and penis, but there’s no need to pull back the foreskin. It’s just as important to clean carefully when you’re changing a wet nappy.

It can help to chat to your baby while you’re changing them. Pulling faces, smiling and laughing with your baby will help you bond and help their development.

Nappy Hygiene

Disposable nappies can be rolled up and resealed, using the tabs. Put them in a plastic bag and put it in an outside bin. Don’t flush the nappy as it can block the toilet.

To avoid infection, wash your hands after changing a nappy and before doing anything else.

NAPPY RASH

Nappy rash is a common condition thought to affect up to a third of nappy-wearing babies at any given time.Nappy rash is usually caused by your baby’s skin coming into contact with urine and faeces in their nappy.

How Serious is it?

Most nappy rashes are mild and can be treated with a simple skin care routine. Your baby will usually feel no pain or discomfort. However, some nappy rashes are more severe and can be caused by an underlying condition or bacterial infection. A severe rash is painful and distressing for your baby. It usually requires treatment with medication.

What to do with nappy rash? Mild nappy rash

If your baby has a mild nappy rash, they will not normally need any medication or specialist treatment. Instead, there are steps you can take to safely treat the rash at home.

  • Leave your baby’s nappy off as long as possible
  • Avoid using soaps when cleaning your baby’s skin
  • Apply a barrier cream every time you change their nappy.
  • Change your baby’s nappy frequently

Severe Nappy rash:

Please contact the doctor for treatment.

DEALING WITH DIFFICULT BEHAVIOUR IN YOUNG CHILDREN

If your child is behaving badly, first consider whether their behaviour is a problem. Do you need to do something about it now or is it a phase they’ll grow out of? It may be best to live with it for a while.

Think about whether your child’s behaviour is a problem for other people. Behaviour that might not worry you can become a problem when it affects those around you.

Do what feels right – What you do has to be right for your child, you and the family. If you do something you don’t believe in or that you don’t feel is right, it probably won’t work. Children notice when you don’t mean what you’re saying.

Don’t give up – Once you’ve decided to do something, continue to do it. Solutions take time to work. Get support from your partner, a friend, another parent, your health visitor or your GP. It’s good to have someone to talk to about what you’re doing.

Be consistent – Children need consistency. If you react to your child’s behaviour in one way one day and a different way the next, it’s confusing for them. It’s also important that everyone close to your child deals with the problem in the same way.

Don’t over react – This can be difficult. When your child does something annoying time after time, your anger and frustration can build up. It’s easy to take your feelings out on them. If this happens, the whole situation can get worse.

It’s impossible not to show your irritation and anger sometimes, but try to stay in control. Once you’ve told your child off, move on to other things that you can both enjoy or feel good about. Find other ways to cope with your frustration, like talking to other parents or your own parents about how you feel.

Talk to your child and also encourage your child to talk to you –Children don’t have to be able to talk to understand. It can help if they understand why you want them to do something. For example, explain why you want them to hold your hand while crossing the road. Giving your child the opportunity to explain why they’re angry or upset will help reduce their frustration.

Be positive about the good things – When a child’s behaviour is difficult, the things they do well can be overlooked. Tell your child when you’re pleased about something they’ve done. You can let your child know when they make you happy by giving them attention, a hug or a smile. There doesn’t have to be a reason. Let your child know you love him just for being himself.

Offer rewards – You can help your child by rewarding them for behaving well. For example, praise them or give them their favourite food . If your child behaves well, tell them how pleased you are. Be specific. Say something like, “Well done for putting your toys back in the box when I asked you.”

Don’t give your child a reward before they’ve done what they were asked to do.

Avoid smacking – Smacking may stop a child doing what they’re doing at that moment, but it doesn’t have a lasting positive effect.

Children learn by example – so if you hit your child you’re telling them that hitting is an acceptable way to behave. Children who are treated aggressively by their parents are more likely to be aggressive themselves.

Extra help with difficult behavior –You can get help for especially difficult behaviour, so don’t feel you have to cope alone. Talk to your doctor .Sometimes, a bit of support and encouragement might be all you need.

COMMON CHILDHOOD ILLNESS

Cold

It’s normal for a child to have eight or more colds a year. This is because there are hundreds of different cold viruses and young children have no immunity to any of them as they’ve never had them before. Gradually they build up immunity and get fewer colds.

Most colds get better in five to seven days. Here are some suggestions on how to ease the symptoms in your child:

  • Increase the amount of fluid your child normally drinks.
  • Saline nose drops can help loosen dried nasal secretions and relieve a stuffy nose. Ask your doctor about them.
    If your child has a fever, pain or discomfort, paracetamol can help. Contact your doctor for the dose.
  • Encourage the whole family to wash their hands regularly to stop the cold spreading.
  • Nasal decongestants can make stuffiness worse. Never use them for more than two or three days.

Ear Infection

Ear infections are common in babies and small children. They often follow a cold and sometimes cause a temperature. A child may pull or rub at an ear, but babies can’t always tell where pain is coming from and may just cry and seem uncomfortable.

If your child has earache but is otherwise well, give them paracetamol every 6 hourly. Don’t put any oil, eardrops or cotton buds into your child’s ear. Often ear infections are caused by viruses, which can’t be treated with antibiotics. They will just get better by themselves.

Sore Throat

Sore throats are often caused by viral illnesses such as colds or flu. Your child’s throat may be dry and sore for a day or two before a cold starts. Paracetamol can be given to reduce the pain.

Most sore throats clear up on their own after a few days. If your child has a sore throat for more than four days, has a high temperature and is generally unwell, or is unable to swallow fluids or saliva, see your doctor.

Cough

Children often cough when they have a cold because of mucus trickling down the back of the throat. If your child is feeding, drinking, eating and breathing normally and there’s no wheezing, a cough isn’t usually anything to worry about.

If your child has a bad cough that won’t go away or running high temperature, see your doctor. Although it’s upsetting to hear your child cough, coughing helps clear away phlegm from the chest or mucus from the back of the throat. If your child is over the age of one, try some warm drink of lemon and honey.

BEDWETTING

Bedwetting is sometimes called “nocturnal enuresis”.

Bedwetting is a problem for many school age children. The good news is that for many, the problem can usually be solved by simple treatment.

In some rare cases, there may be a physical problem that is the cause of the child’s bed−wetting. For this reason, it is very important that an experienced doctor examines your child. The doctor will consider all the details and recommend the best treatment. You may wish to see a doctor about your child’s bedwetting if:

  • Your child is at least 6 years old and has never been able to stay dry overnight
  • Your child was once able to stay dry but has begun bed−wetting again
  • You, or your child, are troubled and frustrated by the bed−wetting
  • Your child wets or has bowel movements in his or her pants during the daytime

Treatment/Preparations

Signs and symptoms

The most common symptoms of asthma are cough, wheeze (Whistling sound while breathing), and breathing difficulty. Coughing is most likely to happen at night, during the early hours of the morning and during exercise. The most common factor that triggers an acute attack of asthma is a viral respiratory tract infection. Virus infections are very common in young children and occur on an average of 6 to 8 times a year.If your child has wheezing, coughing or difficulty breathing, it is important to talk to your doctor about whether it might be asthma.

Motivation

Your child is to be very involved in the treatment plan if it is to work. As the treatment progresses, your child will probably have some good and some bad days. Be very positive on the good days, and try not to be negative on the bad ones. Most children don’t need rewards to encourage them to take part in treatment − the prospect of a regular dry bed is usually enough. Some small treats along the way may be a good idea.

Habits and Exercises

It is important for your child to drink plenty of fluid spread evenly throughout the
day. No need to restrict the amount of fluid your child drinks in the evening. However, don’t give drinks containing caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, hot chocolate, Coca Cola etc) late at night. If you are putting your child in a nappy at night, then it is unlikely that he or she will become dry while this continues. Some doctors recommend bladder awareness exercises. Contact your doctor for these exercises.

Bedwetting Alarms

Bedwetting alarms are considered the most useful and successful initial way to treat bedwetting. Research has shown that these alarms will help more than 80% of children become dry though rebound bed wetting is possible after stopping its use. Alarms have good long−term success and fewer relapses than medication.

Medication: Rarely. Some children with bed wetting may need drugs and you should contact your doctor for that.

WHAT IS ASTHMA?

Asthma

Asthma is a common condition caused by narrowing of the small air passages (breathing tubes/bronchi) of the lungs. The narrowing occurs because the air passages become swollen and inflamed, reducing the flow of air in and out of the
lungs. This causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing. Asthma attacks are triggered by different things for different children. It is not always possible to know when an attack will occur, some common trigger factors are:

  • Colds
  • Exercise
  • Changes in the weather
  • Cigarette smoke
  • House Dustmites< /li>
  • Pollens
  • Pets

It may be helpful for you to be aware of anything that triggers asthma in your child, so that you can avoid it where possible. Asthma tends to run in families, and is also associated with other conditions such as eczema, and allergies.

When to See A Doctor ?

Signs and symptoms – The most common symptoms of asthma are cough, wheeze (Whistling sound while breathing), and breathing difficulty. Coughing is most likely to happen at night, during the early hours of the morning and during exercise. The most common factor that triggers an acute attack of asthma is a viral respiratory tract infection. Virus infections are very common in young children and occur on an average of 6 to 8 times a year.If your child has wheezing, coughing or difficulty breathing, it is important to talk to your doctor about whether it might be asthma.

Signs and symptoms

The most common symptoms of asthma are cough, wheeze (Whistling sound while breathing), and breathing difficulty. Coughing is most likely to happen at night, during the early hours of the morning and during exercise. The most common factor that triggers an acute attack of asthma is a viral respiratory tract infection. Virus infections are very common in young children and occur on an average of 6 to 8 times a year.If your child has wheezing, coughing or difficulty breathing, it is important to talk to your doctor about whether it might be asthma.

Treatment / Preparations

Asthma can be well controlled with the appropriate medication. The three types of medication used by children are:

  • Relievers – help during an attack and are quick acting. These are called bronchodilators, e.g., salbutamol, terbutalin etc.
  • Steroids – which is given in the form of syrup or tablet to treat acute attacks of asthma.
  • Preventer – These help in preventing frequent attacks of asthma and are generally inhaled form of steroid which are given through inhalers for a longer period of time.
  • Inhalers should only be used with the help of a large volume spacer –prescribed by your doctor.
Key point to remember:

If your child suffers from wheezy episodes frequently, then keep salbutamol inhaler and large volume spacer with you. During an attack of asthma, give your child a few puffs of salbutamol inhaler till you can contact your doctor.

DIARRHEA

If the frequency or fluidity of stool has increased then it may be because of diarrhea. You must consult your doctor for this. You must give adequate amount of fluid orally, preferably ORS to prevent dehydration. Breast feeding should be continued. You must ensure that your child is passing urine regularly.

FEEDING ADVICE FOR INFANTS DURING SUMMERS

During summers adequate fluid intake is essential. Babies less than 6 months old and on exclusive breast feeding do not need extra water. However babies beyond 6 months of age who are on additional solid feeds do need to be given water frequently.

Take necessary precautions for maintaining hygiene while giving your baby solid feeds and water during summers. At this time, chances of food and water borne infections are very high. You may have seen or heard babies getting diarrhea and vomiting. If your baby, infant or young child has diarrhea, the water that gets lost in the loose stools needs to be replaced. This is commonly done by giving your baby ORS if he or she is able to drink. Consult your doctor for more advice.

Recommended foods during diarrhea are khichdi, soft cooked rice,daal, banana and dahi. Continue breast feeding your young infant but avoid top milk. Drinks such as nimbu paani, buttermilk ( matha or chach ), tender coconut water may be given in addition to ORS to your baby who is more than 6 months old. You can go back to the usual diet once your baby recovers from diarrhea.