Child Care

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What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, does not produce enough thyroid hormones, which control overall metabolism and many bodily functions. Hypothyroidism can have several causes, including an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly destructs its own thyroid gland. In teens, this is the most common cause of underactive thyroid, compared to other causes of the condition. Other causes could be due to certain medications or central hypothyroidism, in which the pituitary gland which controls the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormone. Congenital hypothyroidism occurs in new born babies. 

Undiagnosed hypothyroid children may experience slowed growth rate. Additional symptoms include sluggishness, pallor, dry and itchy scalp, increased sensitivity to cold and constipation. If untreated, the condition may have devastating effects, such as stunted physical growth and mental retardation.

Symptoms

  • Slowed growth rate
  • Puffy face
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Sluggishness, sleepiness
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Dry, itchy scalp
  • Dry, coarse skin
  • Heavy menstruation in girls
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Hoarse cry or voice
  • Dry, coarse skin
  • Enlarged thyroid gland

Diagnosis

Your doctor will suspect underactive thyroid if several of the above symptoms are present; however, a definitive diagnosis can be easily made by testing the level of a pituitary hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). If the thyroid is producing normal levels of thyroid hormones, TSH will be within normal range. However if the thyroid is underactive, then the pituitary starts secreting more TSH to jump-start the sluggish thyroid. Thus, a higher-than-normal level of TSH indicates an underactive thyroid. Most newborns are tested for hypothyroidism within 72 hours of birth as part of a routine screen for other conditions.  T3 and T4 are the active thyroid hormones produced from the thyroid gland which act on various organs of the body.

When to Consult your doctor

If you see any of the above symptoms in your baby, infant or child — particularly slow growth — call your pediatrician.  

Treatment

Replacement therapy with synthetic thyroid hormones in the form of a single daily tablet is usually given. Thyroid hormones are critical for normal brain development in babies and children, therefore treatment with the correct dose of synthetic hormone is very important. The child should be retested periodically to make sure the right amount of hormone is given and the dose is adjusted as needed.

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What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, does not produce enough thyroid hormones, which control overall metabolism and many bodily functions. Hypothyroidism can have several causes, including an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system mistakenly destructs its own thyroid gland. In teens, this is the most common cause of underactive thyroid, compared to other causes of the condition. Other causes could be due to certain medications or central hypothyroidism, in which the pituitary gland which controls the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormone. Congenital hypothyroidism occurs in new born babies. 

Undiagnosed hypothyroid children may experience slowed growth rate. Additional symptoms include sluggishness, pallor, dry and itchy scalp, increased sensitivity to cold and constipation. If untreated, the condition may have devastating effects, such as stunted physical growth and mental retardation.

Symptoms

  • Slowed growth rate
  • Puffy face
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Sluggishness, sleepiness
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Dry, itchy scalp
  • Dry, coarse skin
  • Heavy menstruation in girls
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • Hoarse cry or voice
  • Dry, coarse skin
  • Enlarged thyroid gland

Diagnosis

Your doctor will suspect underactive thyroid if several of the above symptoms are present; however, a definitive diagnosis can be easily made by testing the level of a pituitary hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). If the thyroid is producing normal levels of thyroid hormones, TSH will be within normal range. However if the thyroid is underactive, then the pituitary starts secreting more TSH to jump-start the sluggish thyroid. Thus, a higher-than-normal level of TSH indicates an underactive thyroid. Most newborns are tested for hypothyroidism within 72 hours of birth as part of a routine screen for other conditions.  T3 and T4 are the active thyroid hormones produced from the thyroid gland which act on various organs of the body.

When to Consult your doctor

If you see any of the above symptoms in your baby, infant or child — particularly slow growth — call your pediatrician.  

Treatment

Replacement therapy with synthetic thyroid hormones in the form of a single daily tablet is usually given. Thyroid hormones are critical for normal brain development in babies and children, therefore treatment with the correct dose of synthetic hormone is very important. The child should be retested periodically to make sure the right amount of hormone is given and the dose is adjusted as needed.

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Hypothyroidism in Children

Hypothyroidism in Children

December 22, 2022

What is hypothyroidism?...

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Babies born before 37 weeks are known as preterm or premature babies. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year and the number continues to rise. Since premature babies are delivered before their due time, some of their internal organs may not be fully developed, thereby making them more vulnerable. Consequently, premature babies spend a few days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before parents are permitted to take them home.

The transition from hospital to home can be worrisome for new parents as a premature baby requires special and undivided care and attention. But parents must rejoice in the fact that their preterm baby is finally stable enough to be moved from the hospital to the comfort of home. By following the instructions of doctors religiously and keeping in mind some vital tips, parents can nurse their premature baby back to health.

Five Vital Tips to Care for Premature Baby At Home

Feeding the Baby Correctly

Ideally, Mother’s own milk is best nutrition. But premature babies have more nutritional requirements, so feeding a preterm baby is an amalgamation of breast feeding along with supplements and expressed breast milk with fortifiers. So caregivers should be well versed with the feeding techniques (paladai, spoon feeding, tube feeds), avoiding spillages leading to better growth and development. A preterm baby requires 8 to 10 feeds a day and in intervals not exceeding four hours. Comprehension of the cues given by the baby is important both for initiation and completion of feeding, to have adequate feeding as well as avoid overfeeding. Do not forget to burp the baby after every feed.

Also, Read: How to Take Care of Newborn Baby in Summer

Maintaining the Ideal Temperature

While in the hospital or the NICU, the doctors take care of the premature baby’s body and room temperature. Maintenance of body temperature is paramount importance for baby’s growth as the energy consumed should not be used up in maintaining body’s temperature. Once at home, parents should pay special attention to maintaining the ideal room temperature, which is 20-23 degrees Celsius. Similarly, the baby’s body or axillary temperature should range between 36.5-37.0 degrees Celsius. Proper layering should be done. Baby’s temperature should be assessed by comparing hands and feet with the abdominal temperature. Try to avoid over heating as well as low temperatures. In case of doubt, try skin to skin contact for better temperature regulation.

Practicing Kangaroo Care

Kangaroo Mother Care, now better as kangaroo family care is an essential modality of care of premature babies. Caregivers should learn it at hospital and once home, should practice it with their premature baby regularly. Kangaroo care is a special method of holding the baby close to your chest to establish skin-to-skin contact. Mothers, fathers as well as other caregivers, can practice it in a warm room by dressing the baby in a diaper, cap and front open shirt and placing him/her on their chest inside their robes or putting a cloth over, lasting till baby is comfortable. Practicing skin-to-skin contact with the little one can enhance bonding, promotes breastfeeding, stabilizes the baby’s heart and breathing rate, better temperature regulation, faster weight gain, gain in sleep time better development also parents have increased confidence and sense of control.

Also, Read: Precautions to Take When Your Baby Is in Neonatal Care

Helping the Baby Sleep Accurately

For the first few months, parents should pay close attention to their preterm baby’s sleep requirements and habits. sleep is essential to brain development and optimizing physical growth. It is completely normal for the premature baby to sleep the day out and parents should ensure an optimal temperature, dim lighting and no noise in the room. Sleep baby on the back, never on the tummy or side, with head and face uncovered. Wrapping and swaddling have proven benefits. Additionally, parents should make sure that the baby is sleeping on a firm mattress without any pillows or extra blankets that may suffocate him/her, preferably on a separate cot. Skin to skin care sessions also encourage sleep.

Avoiding Visitors and Public Places

The preterm baby’s immunity is very low and has a higher risk of catching infections and diseases. It is advisable to limit the number of visitors to your home for the first few crucial weeks, especially anyone with an illness. Do not allow smoking inside your house or near the baby. All visitors should wash their hands thoroughly before holding or touching the premature baby. Too many visitors can also overstimulate the little ones as preterm babies are extra sensitive to sounds and touch and get tire easily. Moreover, you should also avoid visiting public or crowded places lest baby’s exposed to unwanted infection or smoke. 

Final Thoughts

The journey of a premature baby is a roller coster ride, more so for the parents. So the transition from hospital to home and from a premature baby to a mature, stronger baby can be trying and tiring. But regular follow-ups with the doctors, following all the necessary recommendations and devoting extra care and time to the young one can help the new parents and the newborn find stability and safety. Prematurity should not be seen as an encumbrance but rather a blessing to welcome your little one earlier.

Also, Read: Know How the Brain of Your Baby Develops

Apollo Cradle Specialist

Best Gynaecologist in Hyderabad Best Pediatrician in Hyderabad
Best Gynaecologist in Bangalore Best Pediatrician in Bangalore
Best Gynaecologist in New Delhi Best Pediatrician in New Delhi
Best Gynaecologist in Amritsar Best Pediatrician in Amritsar
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Babies born before 37 weeks are known as preterm or premature babies. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year and the number continues to rise. Since premature babies are delivered before their due time, some of their internal organs may not be fully developed, thereby making them more vulnerable. Consequently, premature babies spend a few days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before parents are permitted to take them home.

The transition from hospital to home can be worrisome for new parents as a premature baby requires special and undivided care and attention. But parents must rejoice in the fact that their preterm baby is finally stable enough to be moved from the hospital to the comfort of home. By following the instructions of doctors religiously and keeping in mind some vital tips, parents can nurse their premature baby back to health.

Five Vital Tips to Care for Premature Baby At Home

Feeding the Baby Correctly

Ideally, Mother’s own milk is best nutrition. But premature babies have more nutritional requirements, so feeding a preterm baby is an amalgamation of breast feeding along with supplements and expressed breast milk with fortifiers. So caregivers should be well versed with the feeding techniques (paladai, spoon feeding, tube feeds), avoiding spillages leading to better growth and development. A preterm baby requires 8 to 10 feeds a day and in intervals not exceeding four hours. Comprehension of the cues given by the baby is important both for initiation and completion of feeding, to have adequate feeding as well as avoid overfeeding. Do not forget to burp the baby after every feed.

Also, Read: How to Take Care of Newborn Baby in Summer

Maintaining the Ideal Temperature

While in the hospital or the NICU, the doctors take care of the premature baby’s body and room temperature. Maintenance of body temperature is paramount importance for baby’s growth as the energy consumed should not be used up in maintaining body’s temperature. Once at home, parents should pay special attention to maintaining the ideal room temperature, which is 20-23 degrees Celsius. Similarly, the baby’s body or axillary temperature should range between 36.5-37.0 degrees Celsius. Proper layering should be done. Baby’s temperature should be assessed by comparing hands and feet with the abdominal temperature. Try to avoid over heating as well as low temperatures. In case of doubt, try skin to skin contact for better temperature regulation.

Practicing Kangaroo Care

Kangaroo Mother Care, now better as kangaroo family care is an essential modality of care of premature babies. Caregivers should learn it at hospital and once home, should practice it with their premature baby regularly. Kangaroo care is a special method of holding the baby close to your chest to establish skin-to-skin contact. Mothers, fathers as well as other caregivers, can practice it in a warm room by dressing the baby in a diaper, cap and front open shirt and placing him/her on their chest inside their robes or putting a cloth over, lasting till baby is comfortable. Practicing skin-to-skin contact with the little one can enhance bonding, promotes breastfeeding, stabilizes the baby’s heart and breathing rate, better temperature regulation, faster weight gain, gain in sleep time better development also parents have increased confidence and sense of control.

Also, Read: Precautions to Take When Your Baby Is in Neonatal Care

Helping the Baby Sleep Accurately

For the first few months, parents should pay close attention to their preterm baby’s sleep requirements and habits. sleep is essential to brain development and optimizing physical growth. It is completely normal for the premature baby to sleep the day out and parents should ensure an optimal temperature, dim lighting and no noise in the room. Sleep baby on the back, never on the tummy or side, with head and face uncovered. Wrapping and swaddling have proven benefits. Additionally, parents should make sure that the baby is sleeping on a firm mattress without any pillows or extra blankets that may suffocate him/her, preferably on a separate cot. Skin to skin care sessions also encourage sleep.

Avoiding Visitors and Public Places

The preterm baby’s immunity is very low and has a higher risk of catching infections and diseases. It is advisable to limit the number of visitors to your home for the first few crucial weeks, especially anyone with an illness. Do not allow smoking inside your house or near the baby. All visitors should wash their hands thoroughly before holding or touching the premature baby. Too many visitors can also overstimulate the little ones as preterm babies are extra sensitive to sounds and touch and get tire easily. Moreover, you should also avoid visiting public or crowded places lest baby’s exposed to unwanted infection or smoke. 

Final Thoughts

The journey of a premature baby is a roller coster ride, more so for the parents. So the transition from hospital to home and from a premature baby to a mature, stronger baby can be trying and tiring. But regular follow-ups with the doctors, following all the necessary recommendations and devoting extra care and time to the young one can help the new parents and the newborn find stability and safety. Prematurity should not be seen as an encumbrance but rather a blessing to welcome your little one earlier.

Also, Read: Know How the Brain of Your Baby Develops

Apollo Cradle Specialist

Best Gynaecologist in Hyderabad Best Pediatrician in Hyderabad
Best Gynaecologist in Bangalore Best Pediatrician in Bangalore
Best Gynaecologist in New Delhi Best Pediatrician in New Delhi
Best Gynaecologist in Amritsar Best Pediatrician in Amritsar
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5 Tips to Care for Premature Baby At Home

5 Tips to Care for Premature Baby At Home

October 4, 2022

Babies born before 37 weeks are known as preterm or premature babies...

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The first year of being a parent can never be easy, no matter how prepared parents may think they are. No doubt, if not the most, it’s one of the most challenging jobs in the world. It often becomes tough for parents to get their ‘me time’ as they get occupied with a lot of work-related to taking care of their infant in the first two years of life.

During this stage, constant engagement with the child in terms of breastfeeding and caregiving might also take a toll on parents’ sleep cycles. Parents usually don’t realize how soon time passes, but it isn’t always bad. The first two years can be excellent for parents to notice the little things the infant does and may entertain for hours.

Tips to Make This Journey Even More Fruitful

Infants Between the Ages of 0 and 1

Infants are tiny and sensitive at this stage, so good hand hygiene before holding the baby is a must. In the pandemic-stricken world, newborns are vulnerable as they lack a solid immune system and are susceptible to germs, bacteria, and viruses. Also, while carrying or holding infants, supporting their heads and necks is very important till the 3rd or 4th month.

Most infants follow a steady sleep cycle during the initial newborn stage, waking up only for feeds or diaper changes. Babies usually need a feed every 2-3 hours until a particular weight milestone is achieved, post which the feeds can be on-demand which means when the baby cries for milk. This schedule can be stressful for mothers or primary caretakers, and it is essential to sleep or rest when the baby does the same.

Also, Read: How to Manage Your Twin Babies

It is imperative to allow infants to see, hear, touch, and use all their developing senses. It also promotes primary hand, leg, and eye movements. The infants gradually learn to control their actions. When looking into the eyes of a child, always smile. The infant mainly responds to facial expressions. Enjoy this phase, talking to the baby in a calm, quiet tone to engage and interact.

Touch, hold and make skin-to-skin contact to give infants a sense of peace and security. Encourage the infants to achieve their goals like crawling, clapping, moving, and some basic movements. When the infant tries to play, play with them, spend more time with the infants every day to understand their needs and actions better. Breast feeding is the best time for mothers to have conversation with babies, as baby can see mother’s smile and lip movements.

The most important challenge for all new mothers is breast feeding. As according to WHO normal baby should start breast feed within half an hour of delivery. Baby should be breast fed every 2-3 Hours .i.e. nearly 8 to 10 times per day. During initial 2 – 3 days mothers should be monitored by lactation consultant during breast feeding.

 

Infants Between the Ages of One and Two Years:

One-year-old infants, by this age, start doing a few things for themselves and get pretty good at routine tasks like trying to eat with their hands. Infants begin to observe the parents on how they do things and try to imitate them, like using a spoon, telephone, hairbrush, etc., although they might not get it correct in the first place. Encourage the baby during this phase and help get comfortable around the home environment.

At this stage, the infants also begin to make sounds, smile, and make hand motions, and parents need to assist them in this developing stage to adapt better.

Parents can ask their infant to find any object and give little tasks that will help them recognize things, places, etc. Parents need to ask simple questions and always respond to the child’s attempt to talk to help them start saying a few words in the beginning. Parents can offer their children anything to put in the container and then let them take it out, which will help develop eye and hand coordination—playing a game that can be questioned and answered, such as where is the sky? Where is the bird? What is in the wall picture? It also helps the child to remember a few things.

Also, Read: How to Set a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby

Parents also can teach infants basic gestures like Hi – fi, Clap Hands, waving BYE BYE, Shake hands. Try to teach body parts with help of nursery rhymes audio. Slowly also making learning as fun by showing variety of colour flash cards.

After 15 – 18 Months baby can have diaper free time & learn to toilet train by parents, so as baby can express themselves before going playschool.

Conclusion

Being a parent is the most beautiful feeling, but parenthood is not easy. It is a phase of life where commitment and joy go hand-in-hand. Parents should congratulate themselves on making it through the first two years of parenthood.

Also, Read: Know How the Brain of Your Baby Develops

Apollo Cradle Specialist

Best Gynaecologist in Hyderabad Best Pediatrician in Hyderabad
Best Gynaecologist in Bangalore Best Pediatrician in Bangalore
Best Gynaecologist in New Delhi Best Pediatrician in New Delhi
Best Gynaecologist in Amritsar Best Pediatrician in Amritsar
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The first year of being a parent can never be easy, no matter how prepared parents may think they are. No doubt, if not the most, it’s one of the most challenging jobs in the world. It often becomes tough for parents to get their ‘me time’ as they get occupied with a lot of work-related to taking care of their infant in the first two years of life.

During this stage, constant engagement with the child in terms of breastfeeding and caregiving might also take a toll on parents’ sleep cycles. Parents usually don’t realize how soon time passes, but it isn’t always bad. The first two years can be excellent for parents to notice the little things the infant does and may entertain for hours.

Tips to Make This Journey Even More Fruitful

Infants Between the Ages of 0 and 1

Infants are tiny and sensitive at this stage, so good hand hygiene before holding the baby is a must. In the pandemic-stricken world, newborns are vulnerable as they lack a solid immune system and are susceptible to germs, bacteria, and viruses. Also, while carrying or holding infants, supporting their heads and necks is very important till the 3rd or 4th month.

Most infants follow a steady sleep cycle during the initial newborn stage, waking up only for feeds or diaper changes. Babies usually need a feed every 2-3 hours until a particular weight milestone is achieved, post which the feeds can be on-demand which means when the baby cries for milk. This schedule can be stressful for mothers or primary caretakers, and it is essential to sleep or rest when the baby does the same.

Also, Read: How to Manage Your Twin Babies

It is imperative to allow infants to see, hear, touch, and use all their developing senses. It also promotes primary hand, leg, and eye movements. The infants gradually learn to control their actions. When looking into the eyes of a child, always smile. The infant mainly responds to facial expressions. Enjoy this phase, talking to the baby in a calm, quiet tone to engage and interact.

Touch, hold and make skin-to-skin contact to give infants a sense of peace and security. Encourage the infants to achieve their goals like crawling, clapping, moving, and some basic movements. When the infant tries to play, play with them, spend more time with the infants every day to understand their needs and actions better. Breast feeding is the best time for mothers to have conversation with babies, as baby can see mother’s smile and lip movements.

The most important challenge for all new mothers is breast feeding. As according to WHO normal baby should start breast feed within half an hour of delivery. Baby should be breast fed every 2-3 Hours .i.e. nearly 8 to 10 times per day. During initial 2 – 3 days mothers should be monitored by lactation consultant during breast feeding.

 

Infants Between the Ages of One and Two Years:

One-year-old infants, by this age, start doing a few things for themselves and get pretty good at routine tasks like trying to eat with their hands. Infants begin to observe the parents on how they do things and try to imitate them, like using a spoon, telephone, hairbrush, etc., although they might not get it correct in the first place. Encourage the baby during this phase and help get comfortable around the home environment.

At this stage, the infants also begin to make sounds, smile, and make hand motions, and parents need to assist them in this developing stage to adapt better.

Parents can ask their infant to find any object and give little tasks that will help them recognize things, places, etc. Parents need to ask simple questions and always respond to the child’s attempt to talk to help them start saying a few words in the beginning. Parents can offer their children anything to put in the container and then let them take it out, which will help develop eye and hand coordination—playing a game that can be questioned and answered, such as where is the sky? Where is the bird? What is in the wall picture? It also helps the child to remember a few things.

Also, Read: How to Set a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby

Parents also can teach infants basic gestures like Hi – fi, Clap Hands, waving BYE BYE, Shake hands. Try to teach body parts with help of nursery rhymes audio. Slowly also making learning as fun by showing variety of colour flash cards.

After 15 – 18 Months baby can have diaper free time & learn to toilet train by parents, so as baby can express themselves before going playschool.

Conclusion

Being a parent is the most beautiful feeling, but parenthood is not easy. It is a phase of life where commitment and joy go hand-in-hand. Parents should congratulate themselves on making it through the first two years of parenthood.

Also, Read: Know How the Brain of Your Baby Develops

Apollo Cradle Specialist

Best Gynaecologist in Hyderabad Best Pediatrician in Hyderabad
Best Gynaecologist in Bangalore Best Pediatrician in Bangalore
Best Gynaecologist in New Delhi Best Pediatrician in New Delhi
Best Gynaecologist in Amritsar Best Pediatrician in Amritsar
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Parenting Tips for the First Two Years of Life

Parenting Tips for the First Two Years of Life

September 12, 2022

The first year of being a parent can never be easy, no matter how pr...

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“My tummy hurts” or “my belly aches” are the two most common complaints in any house with little children. Stomach ache in kids usually come and go, but can be a matter of concern if it tends to persist. If a child frequently complains of stomach ache, parents must not hesitate in visiting a doctor. Recurring or chronic stomach aches can disrupt the growth and development of a child and interfere with their day-to-day life.  

Stomach aches could be an indication of an underlying digestive condition or disorder. More often than not, these digestive issues share some common symptoms such as stomach ache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, bloating or blood in the stool. If a child presents one or more of these symptoms, it’s best to seek medical counsel so a proper diagnosis can be made. Below are some of the,

Most Common Digestive Disorders in Kids

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of digestive disorders that causes inflammation in part or all of the intestine. IBD is known to include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – two major disorders that affect the bowel. Over 1.5 million patients suffer from chronic inflammation of the intestines in India. It usually affects older children or teens. The most common symptoms of IBD are abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating. IBD can stunt a child’s growth or delay the onset of puberty. Over the passage of time, IBD can also destruct the bowel walls leading to narrowing of intestines and sores. Medications along with diet changes can ease the symptoms of IBD.

Also, Read: Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention in Kids

  • Celiac Disease

A child is said to have celiac disease when he is intolerant to gluten, a type of protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Because of this disorder, their immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the lining of their small intestine. As a result, preventing their body from absorbing valuable nutrients and causing weight loss. The most common symptoms are stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhoea, bloating and constipation. By following a strict gluten-free diet, celiac disease can be treated and the damage already done to the intestine lining can be healed.

  • Lactose Intolerance

Some kids’ bodies are unable to break down or process lactose, a naturally occurring sugar in milk and other dairy products. This is because their bodies lack an enzyme needed for breaking down lactose. As a result, they become lactose intolerant and are unable to digest milk and dairy products. These children may present symptoms like diarrhoea, stomach cramps, gas or bloating after consuming dairy products. Fortunately, lactose intolerance can be treated by either not consuming dairy products or taking enzyme supplements to help break down the lactose in dairy products.

  • Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders

A prevalent digestive disorder among kids is eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID). It is caused by a surplus or collection of white blood cells in the child’s digestive tract. As a result of the inflammation and swelling in the tract, the child may experience trouble swallowing, pain, nausea and vomiting. There is no absolute cure for EGID, but certain medications can lower the number of white blood cells in the gut and ease the symptoms. Since EGID is often caused by allergic reactions to certain foods, the doctor may advise some changes in the diet.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A common intestinal disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), indicates a problem in the intestine or bowel. It is a chronic condition that causes disruption in bowel movements and leads to loose and frequent bowel movements, stomach pain, diarrhoea and gas. The doctor may need to identify what triggers IBS in the child. IBS can be treated with specific dietary changes, medications or probiotics.

Final Thoughts

The formative years in a child’s life are crucial for the rest of his life to be healthy and happy. By identifying these symptoms and timely diagnosing these digestive disorders or conditions in children, parents can ensure that their child’s growth and development are not disrupted. If these symptoms persist in a child and interfere with their routine activities, it is best to visit a doctor at the earliest. No child’s childhood should pass clutching his stomach or crying in pain; these are their years for playing and enjoying.

Also, Read: Diet of Kids with Cystic Fibrosis

 
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“My tummy hurts” or “my belly aches” are the two most common complaints in any house with little children. Stomach ache in kids usually come and go, but can be a matter of concern if it tends to persist. If a child frequently complains of stomach ache, parents must not hesitate in visiting a doctor. Recurring or chronic stomach aches can disrupt the growth and development of a child and interfere with their day-to-day life.  

Stomach aches could be an indication of an underlying digestive condition or disorder. More often than not, these digestive issues share some common symptoms such as stomach ache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, bloating or blood in the stool. If a child presents one or more of these symptoms, it’s best to seek medical counsel so a proper diagnosis can be made. Below are some of the,

Most Common Digestive Disorders in Kids

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of digestive disorders that causes inflammation in part or all of the intestine. IBD is known to include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – two major disorders that affect the bowel. Over 1.5 million patients suffer from chronic inflammation of the intestines in India. It usually affects older children or teens. The most common symptoms of IBD are abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating. IBD can stunt a child’s growth or delay the onset of puberty. Over the passage of time, IBD can also destruct the bowel walls leading to narrowing of intestines and sores. Medications along with diet changes can ease the symptoms of IBD.

Also, Read: Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention in Kids

  • Celiac Disease

A child is said to have celiac disease when he is intolerant to gluten, a type of protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Because of this disorder, their immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the lining of their small intestine. As a result, preventing their body from absorbing valuable nutrients and causing weight loss. The most common symptoms are stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhoea, bloating and constipation. By following a strict gluten-free diet, celiac disease can be treated and the damage already done to the intestine lining can be healed.

  • Lactose Intolerance

Some kids’ bodies are unable to break down or process lactose, a naturally occurring sugar in milk and other dairy products. This is because their bodies lack an enzyme needed for breaking down lactose. As a result, they become lactose intolerant and are unable to digest milk and dairy products. These children may present symptoms like diarrhoea, stomach cramps, gas or bloating after consuming dairy products. Fortunately, lactose intolerance can be treated by either not consuming dairy products or taking enzyme supplements to help break down the lactose in dairy products.

  • Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders

A prevalent digestive disorder among kids is eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorder (EGID). It is caused by a surplus or collection of white blood cells in the child’s digestive tract. As a result of the inflammation and swelling in the tract, the child may experience trouble swallowing, pain, nausea and vomiting. There is no absolute cure for EGID, but certain medications can lower the number of white blood cells in the gut and ease the symptoms. Since EGID is often caused by allergic reactions to certain foods, the doctor may advise some changes in the diet.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A common intestinal disorder, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), indicates a problem in the intestine or bowel. It is a chronic condition that causes disruption in bowel movements and leads to loose and frequent bowel movements, stomach pain, diarrhoea and gas. The doctor may need to identify what triggers IBS in the child. IBS can be treated with specific dietary changes, medications or probiotics.

Final Thoughts

The formative years in a child’s life are crucial for the rest of his life to be healthy and happy. By identifying these symptoms and timely diagnosing these digestive disorders or conditions in children, parents can ensure that their child’s growth and development are not disrupted. If these symptoms persist in a child and interfere with their routine activities, it is best to visit a doctor at the earliest. No child’s childhood should pass clutching his stomach or crying in pain; these are their years for playing and enjoying.

Also, Read: Diet of Kids with Cystic Fibrosis

 
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Ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives have upended in anticipated ways. As the world was thrust into consecutive lockdowns, businesses became digital, offices adopted remote work and schools took to online education. Cooped up inside homes, kids began spending hours glued to their screens, taking one class after another. The excitement of the first few months gave way to the physical and mental toll that was soon to follow. 

Extensively long screen hours and lack of physical activity have caused adverse effects on the physical as well as mental health of these kids. From eyesight problems and poor posture to mounting levels of stress and anxiety and emotional outbursts, online education has deteriorated the health of children. Given the paradigm shift towards online education, kids have developed severe health conditions that could have a long-term impact on their life.

Severe Health Effects on Kids’ Health Due to Online Education

• Eyesight Problems

One of the most visible and early impacts of online classes seen in children is eyesight problems. As children attend school online and later tuitions and extracurricular activities as well, their screen time has increased. Due to prolonged hours before a screen, the strain on their eyes has aggravated, resulting in poor vision and headaches. Lack of clarity in vision and frequent headaches are the tell-tale signs of deteriorating eyesight and parents should see a doctor at the earliest.

Also, Read: How to Care for your Kids During Summer

• Poor Posture

As kids began taking online classes from the comfort of their beds and sofas, their posture was severely compromised. Constant sitting and lack of physical games and activities have further exacerbated their postural problems. As a result, kids are nowadays complaining of backaches, neck pain, fibromyalgia, etc. Parents must make sure that children sit straight on a table and chair instead of lying down or bending at add angles while studying. Including some stretching and physical exercises daily can also help in rectifying their posture.

• Fatigue

Back-to-back Zoom classes, online games and binge-watching have led to mental fatigue and burnout in young children. Children are spending maximum hours before a screen for studying as well as recreation. Online education has robbed kids of going to school, participating in new activities, getting exposure and making new friends. As a result, kids of such young age are facing lethargy, boredom and exhaustion. This can have a severe impact on their mental and emotional well-being.

• Obesity

Lack of regular physical activities, sports participation, and extended sitting have resulted in weight gain in masses of children. Along with constant sitting, kids are binge eating snacks and junk food which is resulting in obesity in many young kids. Due to physical inactivity, kids are losing their muscle mass and gaining fat. As a result, they are experiencing obesity, lack of stamina and flexibility.

• Deficiencies

Lack of a stable school-going routine has caused kids to wake up and take their meals at irregular times. Additionally, lack of exposure to Sun and sports along with poor diets is resulting in nutritional deficiencies in young kids. As a result of dietary deficiencies, kids are becoming prone to injuries and their fitness levels are deteriorating. Deficiencies in a child’s formative years can cause them serious health concerns in later life.

• Restlessness and Anxiety

Due to the pandemic, disruption in their school lives and education has caused kids to become easily restless and anxious. Moreover, social isolation and recent traumas are worsening the mental state of young children. Skipping online classes, lack of a serious environment and other factors are causing their attention span to decrease. As a result, kids are becoming more fidgety, inattentive and anxious. Such kids are also more likely to face self-esteem and stress issues.

Key Takeaways

While it is impossible to predict when the global pandemic will pass and life will return to normal, it is possible to minimize the adverse effects of online education on kids. Maintaining a routine that involves physical exercise, healthy diet and sound sleeping habits can help kids get their lives back on track. Parents should be cautious and supportive and help their kids create a healthy routine for themselves. They should not only focus on their physical well-being but also their mental health so future problems can be averted well in time.

Also, Read: Child Development Milestones

 
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Ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives have upended in anticipated ways. As the world was thrust into consecutive lockdowns, businesses became digital, offices adopted remote work and schools took to online education. Cooped up inside homes, kids began spending hours glued to their screens, taking one class after another. The excitement of the first few months gave way to the physical and mental toll that was soon to follow. 

Extensively long screen hours and lack of physical activity have caused adverse effects on the physical as well as mental health of these kids. From eyesight problems and poor posture to mounting levels of stress and anxiety and emotional outbursts, online education has deteriorated the health of children. Given the paradigm shift towards online education, kids have developed severe health conditions that could have a long-term impact on their life.

Severe Health Effects on Kids’ Health Due to Online Education

• Eyesight Problems

One of the most visible and early impacts of online classes seen in children is eyesight problems. As children attend school online and later tuitions and extracurricular activities as well, their screen time has increased. Due to prolonged hours before a screen, the strain on their eyes has aggravated, resulting in poor vision and headaches. Lack of clarity in vision and frequent headaches are the tell-tale signs of deteriorating eyesight and parents should see a doctor at the earliest.

Also, Read: How to Care for your Kids During Summer

• Poor Posture

As kids began taking online classes from the comfort of their beds and sofas, their posture was severely compromised. Constant sitting and lack of physical games and activities have further exacerbated their postural problems. As a result, kids are nowadays complaining of backaches, neck pain, fibromyalgia, etc. Parents must make sure that children sit straight on a table and chair instead of lying down or bending at add angles while studying. Including some stretching and physical exercises daily can also help in rectifying their posture.

• Fatigue

Back-to-back Zoom classes, online games and binge-watching have led to mental fatigue and burnout in young children. Children are spending maximum hours before a screen for studying as well as recreation. Online education has robbed kids of going to school, participating in new activities, getting exposure and making new friends. As a result, kids of such young age are facing lethargy, boredom and exhaustion. This can have a severe impact on their mental and emotional well-being.

• Obesity

Lack of regular physical activities, sports participation, and extended sitting have resulted in weight gain in masses of children. Along with constant sitting, kids are binge eating snacks and junk food which is resulting in obesity in many young kids. Due to physical inactivity, kids are losing their muscle mass and gaining fat. As a result, they are experiencing obesity, lack of stamina and flexibility.

• Deficiencies

Lack of a stable school-going routine has caused kids to wake up and take their meals at irregular times. Additionally, lack of exposure to Sun and sports along with poor diets is resulting in nutritional deficiencies in young kids. As a result of dietary deficiencies, kids are becoming prone to injuries and their fitness levels are deteriorating. Deficiencies in a child’s formative years can cause them serious health concerns in later life.

• Restlessness and Anxiety

Due to the pandemic, disruption in their school lives and education has caused kids to become easily restless and anxious. Moreover, social isolation and recent traumas are worsening the mental state of young children. Skipping online classes, lack of a serious environment and other factors are causing their attention span to decrease. As a result, kids are becoming more fidgety, inattentive and anxious. Such kids are also more likely to face self-esteem and stress issues.

Key Takeaways

While it is impossible to predict when the global pandemic will pass and life will return to normal, it is possible to minimize the adverse effects of online education on kids. Maintaining a routine that involves physical exercise, healthy diet and sound sleeping habits can help kids get their lives back on track. Parents should be cautious and supportive and help their kids create a healthy routine for themselves. They should not only focus on their physical well-being but also their mental health so future problems can be averted well in time.

Also, Read: Child Development Milestones

 
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Impact of Online Education on Kids’ Health

Impact of Online Education on Kids’ Health

August 8, 2022

Ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives have upe...

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            [blog_title] => Monkey pox and its impact on Children & Pregnant Moms
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Everyone has been reading or hearing about the most recent virus outbreak i.e. monkey pox. The worry is much greater when it comes to children, and it is important to know some basic facts about this new outbreak, before getting unnecessarily anxious.

Monkey pox has several symptoms common to other viruses, including ‘hand, foot and mouth disease’ or measles and chicken-pox, and it is best to consult a paediatrician for a correct diagnosis. This virus is contagious, and usually spreads through close physical contact. It can take between 5 days to 3 weeks after exposure, for symptoms to become evident.

Though children can contract this virus, parents can rest assured that in nearly all children the risk is low. 

SYMPTOMS:

  • Fever
  • Shivering / Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle Soreness
  • Backache 
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rash or blisters that appear on the face, in the mouth or on other parts of the body (hands, feet or chest)

The rash is the most significant symptom. Like in measles and chicken-pox, the rash turns into boils. They become reddish, filled with fluid/pus, turn into scabs and eventually fall off. After this, the skin heals. 

HOW IT SPREADS: 

  • Direct contact with rash, scabs or body fluids
  • Touching, hugging, cuddling an infected person
  • Prolonged face-to-face contact (through respiratory particles, while breathing in close proximity)
  • Touching contaminated items like bedding, clothing or objects (toys, pillows) previously touched by a person.
  • Foetus getting it within the womb (via placenta)
  • Getting scratched or bitten by an infected animal, or eating contaminated meat.

An infected person may keep transmitting the virus from the time s/he contracts it, until the skin has healed after the rash disappears. 

RISK LEVEL OF MONKEYPOX: PREGNANT WOMEN & CHILDREN

  • Compared to COVID-19, monkey pox takes much longer to transmit to another person, so one need not panic.  
  • It is still quite rare, and this makes it a less dangerous illness.  
  • Most people are known to heal by themselves but, in exceptional cases, pneumonia, eye or brain infections can occur. 
  • A foetus may contract it from the mother, in the womb. 
  • Pregnant women and children below 8 are at a greater risk for severe disease. 

VACCINES IN INDIA:

As we have witnessed in the case of COVID-19, vaccines help patients get a less severe form of the virus, and they tend to recover better and faster. 

In the case of monkey pox, 2 vaccines have been approved and licensed by the FDA (Food & Drug Authority) – JYNNEOS and ACAM2000 

They are / are not yet available in India

Pregnant women and nursing mothers are not eligible for these vaccines. The former can receive treatment via monoclonal antibodies, if they contract the virus. 

DO’s & DON’Ts for PARENTS:

It is only natural that parents may feel worried about this new virus. Therefore, some simple precautions and steps can ensure that the virus does not spread further, and children and adults are safe. 

Frequent hand washing: 

It is essential that you and your children maintain good hygiene practices, in order to help contain the virus before it spreads. Washing hands with a mild soap or an alcohol-based sanitizer can prevent most infections anyway. 

Avoiding close contact with suspected or confirmed cases:

If someone has been diagnosed with the monkey pox virus, it is safest to avoid close contact. 

Little children, pregnant women and nursing mothers should not have any physical interaction with the person. Touching any objects used by that person is a big ‘No!’. 

Speak to your child’s doc:

If any person in the family seems to have a boil, rash or symptoms listed above, speak to your doctor immediately. A blood test maybe recommended, to confirm whether it is monkey pox or something else. Presently testing is done by government authority only.

In a population of over 1 billion, 8 or 9 cases is still a very small number. This reflects how one need not get overly anxious or panicky about the situation. By taking basic precautions one can stay safe and healthy. 

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Everyone has been reading or hearing about the most recent virus outbreak i.e. monkey pox. The worry is much greater when it comes to children, and it is important to know some basic facts about this new outbreak, before getting unnecessarily anxious.

Monkey pox has several symptoms common to other viruses, including ‘hand, foot and mouth disease’ or measles and chicken-pox, and it is best to consult a paediatrician for a correct diagnosis. This virus is contagious, and usually spreads through close physical contact. It can take between 5 days to 3 weeks after exposure, for symptoms to become evident.

Though children can contract this virus, parents can rest assured that in nearly all children the risk is low. 

SYMPTOMS:

  • Fever
  • Shivering / Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle Soreness
  • Backache 
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rash or blisters that appear on the face, in the mouth or on other parts of the body (hands, feet or chest)

The rash is the most significant symptom. Like in measles and chicken-pox, the rash turns into boils. They become reddish, filled with fluid/pus, turn into scabs and eventually fall off. After this, the skin heals. 

HOW IT SPREADS: 

  • Direct contact with rash, scabs or body fluids
  • Touching, hugging, cuddling an infected person
  • Prolonged face-to-face contact (through respiratory particles, while breathing in close proximity)
  • Touching contaminated items like bedding, clothing or objects (toys, pillows) previously touched by a person.
  • Foetus getting it within the womb (via placenta)
  • Getting scratched or bitten by an infected animal, or eating contaminated meat.

An infected person may keep transmitting the virus from the time s/he contracts it, until the skin has healed after the rash disappears. 

RISK LEVEL OF MONKEYPOX: PREGNANT WOMEN & CHILDREN

  • Compared to COVID-19, monkey pox takes much longer to transmit to another person, so one need not panic.  
  • It is still quite rare, and this makes it a less dangerous illness.  
  • Most people are known to heal by themselves but, in exceptional cases, pneumonia, eye or brain infections can occur. 
  • A foetus may contract it from the mother, in the womb. 
  • Pregnant women and children below 8 are at a greater risk for severe disease. 

VACCINES IN INDIA:

As we have witnessed in the case of COVID-19, vaccines help patients get a less severe form of the virus, and they tend to recover better and faster. 

In the case of monkey pox, 2 vaccines have been approved and licensed by the FDA (Food & Drug Authority) – JYNNEOS and ACAM2000 

They are / are not yet available in India

Pregnant women and nursing mothers are not eligible for these vaccines. The former can receive treatment via monoclonal antibodies, if they contract the virus. 

DO’s & DON’Ts for PARENTS:

It is only natural that parents may feel worried about this new virus. Therefore, some simple precautions and steps can ensure that the virus does not spread further, and children and adults are safe. 

Frequent hand washing: 

It is essential that you and your children maintain good hygiene practices, in order to help contain the virus before it spreads. Washing hands with a mild soap or an alcohol-based sanitizer can prevent most infections anyway. 

Avoiding close contact with suspected or confirmed cases:

If someone has been diagnosed with the monkey pox virus, it is safest to avoid close contact. 

Little children, pregnant women and nursing mothers should not have any physical interaction with the person. Touching any objects used by that person is a big ‘No!’. 

Speak to your child’s doc:

If any person in the family seems to have a boil, rash or symptoms listed above, speak to your doctor immediately. A blood test maybe recommended, to confirm whether it is monkey pox or something else. Presently testing is done by government authority only.

In a population of over 1 billion, 8 or 9 cases is still a very small number. This reflects how one need not get overly anxious or panicky about the situation. By taking basic precautions one can stay safe and healthy. 

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Monkey pox and its impact on Children & Pregnant Moms

Monkey pox and its impact on Children & Pregnant Moms

August 5, 2022

Everyone has been reading or hearing abou...

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            [blog_title] => Childhood Obesity: Causes, Prevention, and Management of Obesity in Children
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Many children face challenges with healthy weight management. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that more than 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese. And this figure continues to rise.

Excessive weight gain in children can lead to a cascade of health problems, which can affect their physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Understanding the causes and developing detailed prevention and treatment plans are essential to address this epidemic and nurture a generation of healthy kids.

Let’s explore childhood obesity, its causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

What is Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity is a serious condition where a child’s weight falls above the healthy range for their age and height. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity is when a child has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. This condition is prevalent among children, with 18% of girls and 19% of boys being overweight.

You can determine your child’s body mass index by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared (kg/m2), and a high BMI indicates potential excess body fat. For example, if your 14-year-old kid weighs 91 kg and has a height of 1.75 m. Their resulting BMI is 30 kg/m2, categorizing them into a category of obese.

Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Obesity

Besides excessive body weight, common signs and symptoms of childhood obesity include:

  • Early puberty in girls
  • Delayed puberty in boys
  • Accumulation of fat tissue in the breast area (posing a particular challenge for boys)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constipation
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (commonly known as acid reflux)
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sweating
  • Sleep apnea and snoring
  • Joint pain
  • Dislocated hips
  • Flat feet and knock knees
  • Skin rashes and irritation
  • Stretch marks on hips, abdomen, and back (although they may also occur in non-obese children)
    Acanthosis nigricans, characterized by dark, velvety skin around the neck and other areas

READ: Impact of Online Education on Kids’ Health

What Causes Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity often arises from a combination of various factors that elevate the risk of excessive weight gain in children. The following factors contribute to the causes of childhood obesity:

The Lifestyle Behaviors:

These include behaviors such as:

  • High-calorie, low-nutrient food intake (fast food, snacks, candy, sodas).
  • Overeating and excessive food consumption.
  • Prolonged sedentary activities (TV, electronic devices).
  • Inadequate physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise kids and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 17 to participate in moderate-to-intense physical activity for at least 60 minutes per day.

Environmental Influences:

Environmental factors include:

  • Limited access to healthy food.
  • Regular consumption of high-calorie, low-nutrient meals.
  • Few opportunities for physical activity.
  • Lack of safe outdoor spaces for activities.
  • Limited social connections for physical engagement.
  • Exposure to targeted advertising promoting sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets.

Genetic Conditions:

According to a study, children who have obese parents are at considerably increased risk of obesity than children of normal-weight parents.

Various rare genetic syndromes can contribute to obesity in kids, including:

  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Pro-opiomelanocortin deficiency
  • Leptin receptor deficiency
  • Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS)

These genetic disorders alter a child’s body’s fat distribution or make them constantly hungry, which encourages overindulgence in food.

Emotional Turbulences:

These include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Children often develop a tendency to overeat as a coping mechanism for emotions such as loneliness, sadness, stress, or boredom.

Socioeconomic Threads:

Studies indicate that lower-income communities often lack access to fresh produce and reside in “food deserts” where fast food and processed options are prevalent.

Financial constraints may make calorie-rich but nutrient-poor choices more affordable, which further limits access to good nutrition.

Additionally, limited safe spaces for exercise and constrained time and energy for physical activities are common in lower-income neighborhoods.

Health Problems:

Obesity in children may occur due to underlying medical issues, especially those impacting the endocrine system (a complex network of glands and organs that uses hormones to control your bodily functions). Examples include:

  • Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) is a condition where insufficient thyroid hormone secretion leads to a slower metabolic rate and weight gain.
  • Cushing’s syndrome, also known as Cushing’s disease, is characterized by elevated cortisol levels. This condition contributes to weight gain in the upper body, face, and shoulders and can cause obesity.

Medication Matters:

Certain medications can contribute to weight gain and lead to obesity, including:

  • Steroids
  • Antidepressants
  • Diabetes medications (insulin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones)
  • Anti-seizure medications (carbamazepine, valproate)

Effects of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity has become a major public health concern in India. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 14.4 million children in the country grapple with obesity.

Furthermore, children with obesity are more likely to carry the condition into adulthood, increasing their risk of developing chronic diseases such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Heartburn, reflux, and other digestive issues
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney disease
  • Reproductive issues, including irregular menstruation and hormonal imbalances
  • Certain cancers, such as colon cancer and breast cancer

Beyond the physical health implications, children dealing with obesity are more prone to social and psychological challenges:

  • Bullying
  • Social isolation
  • Low self-esteem
  • An increased likelihood of experiencing anxiety and depression

How to Tackle Childhood Obesity?

If you are worried about your child’s weight, consulting a healthcare provider about your child’s obesity diagnosis, treatment, and prevention is advisable. Here’s a detailed look at how you can tackle your child’s obesity.

Childhood Obesity Diagnosis

Your child’s healthcare provider can assess whether your child is experiencing obesity by utilizing a BMI growth chart to determine their weight status. Furthermore, they may consider additional factors like your child’s activity level, diet, family health history, and medical history.

Should the healthcare provider diagnose obesity in your child, they will help you develop a tailored and health-focused weight loss plan, which may include:

  • Discussions about nutritious food choices
  • Establishing an appropriate level of physical activity
  • Suggesting enrollment in a weight management program to address your child’s specific needs.

Childhood Obesity Treatment

Here are some childhood obesity treatment options:

Lifestyle Changes:

To promote a healthy lifestyle for your child and address obesity:

  • Ensure your child gets 150-300 minutes of weekly physical activity. Try including fun activities for them to engage more.
  • Serve whole foods, focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and limiting processed foods.
  • Restrict sweetened beverages and opt for water, seltzer, milk, or diluted fruit juice.
  • Minimize takeout and restaurant meals, as they often contain excessive sodium and fat.
  • Have family meals without distractions, model mindful eating, and provide the same nutritious meals for everyone.
  • Avoid forcing your child to finish their plate; let them eat until full and respect their satiety cues.
  • Prioritize good-quality sleep to prevent weight gain and hormonal imbalances.
  • Introduce stress-relieving practices like yoga, breathing exercises, or meditation.
  • Be consistent with healthy habits, but allow occasional treats or breaks from exercise.
  • Limit screen time to two hours a day for children older than two; younger children should have none.
  • Use positive messaging, focusing on overall health and healthy behaviors rather than weight.

Medications:

If diet and lifestyle changes are insufficient for addressing obesity in children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends considering prescription weight loss medications for those aged 12 and older, alongside behavioral and lifestyle treatments. These approved drugs include:

  • Orlistat
  • Liraglutide
  • Semaglutide
  • Phentermine-topiramate

Surgery:

According to the 2023 AAP guidelines, surgery may be considered for adolescents aged 13 and older with severe obesity. Common procedures include:

  • Gastric bypass
  • Gastric banding
  • Gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy)

Childhood Obesity Prevention

To prevent excessive weight gain in your child, you can do the following things:

  • Set a Positive Example: Make healthy eating and regular physical activity a family practice. This fosters a supportive environment where everyone participates.
  • Provide Healthy Snack Options: Keep nutritious snacks readily available. Options include roasted chickpeas, masala oats, sprout chaat, fruit chaat, poha, khakra with hummus, makhana snacks, and vegetable sticks with mint yogurt dip.
  • Introduce New Foods Gradually: Offer new foods multiple times. Remember, patience is key – It often takes multiple attempts for acceptance.
  • Avoid Food Rewards: Choose nonfood rewards to promote positive behavior. Stay away from giving candies or sweets as rewards.
  • Prioritize Sufficient Sleep: Ensure your child gets enough sleep, as inadequate sleep may disrupt hormonal balance and increase appetite, contributing to weight gain.

Furthermore, visit your child’s healthcare provider at least once a year for comprehensive health check-ups and monitoring.

Remember, proactive healthcare measures and consistent family efforts create a solid foundation for your child’s overall well-being and healthy development.

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Many children face challenges with healthy weight management. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that more than 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese. And this figure continues to rise.

Excessive weight gain in children can lead to a cascade of health problems, which can affect their physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Understanding the causes and developing detailed prevention and treatment plans are essential to address this epidemic and nurture a generation of healthy kids.

Let’s explore childhood obesity, its causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

What is Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity is a serious condition where a child’s weight falls above the healthy range for their age and height. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity is when a child has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher. This condition is prevalent among children, with 18% of girls and 19% of boys being overweight.

You can determine your child’s body mass index by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared (kg/m2), and a high BMI indicates potential excess body fat. For example, if your 14-year-old kid weighs 91 kg and has a height of 1.75 m. Their resulting BMI is 30 kg/m2, categorizing them into a category of obese.

Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Obesity

Besides excessive body weight, common signs and symptoms of childhood obesity include:

  • Early puberty in girls
  • Delayed puberty in boys
  • Accumulation of fat tissue in the breast area (posing a particular challenge for boys)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constipation
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (commonly known as acid reflux)
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sweating
  • Sleep apnea and snoring
  • Joint pain
  • Dislocated hips
  • Flat feet and knock knees
  • Skin rashes and irritation
  • Stretch marks on hips, abdomen, and back (although they may also occur in non-obese children)
    Acanthosis nigricans, characterized by dark, velvety skin around the neck and other areas

READ: Impact of Online Education on Kids’ Health

What Causes Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity often arises from a combination of various factors that elevate the risk of excessive weight gain in children. The following factors contribute to the causes of childhood obesity:

The Lifestyle Behaviors:

These include behaviors such as:

  • High-calorie, low-nutrient food intake (fast food, snacks, candy, sodas).
  • Overeating and excessive food consumption.
  • Prolonged sedentary activities (TV, electronic devices).
  • Inadequate physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise kids and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 17 to participate in moderate-to-intense physical activity for at least 60 minutes per day.

Environmental Influences:

Environmental factors include:

  • Limited access to healthy food.
  • Regular consumption of high-calorie, low-nutrient meals.
  • Few opportunities for physical activity.
  • Lack of safe outdoor spaces for activities.
  • Limited social connections for physical engagement.
  • Exposure to targeted advertising promoting sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets.

Genetic Conditions:

According to a study, children who have obese parents are at considerably increased risk of obesity than children of normal-weight parents.

Various rare genetic syndromes can contribute to obesity in kids, including:

  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Pro-opiomelanocortin deficiency
  • Leptin receptor deficiency
  • Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS)

These genetic disorders alter a child’s body’s fat distribution or make them constantly hungry, which encourages overindulgence in food.

Emotional Turbulences:

These include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Children often develop a tendency to overeat as a coping mechanism for emotions such as loneliness, sadness, stress, or boredom.

Socioeconomic Threads:

Studies indicate that lower-income communities often lack access to fresh produce and reside in “food deserts” where fast food and processed options are prevalent.

Financial constraints may make calorie-rich but nutrient-poor choices more affordable, which further limits access to good nutrition.

Additionally, limited safe spaces for exercise and constrained time and energy for physical activities are common in lower-income neighborhoods.

Health Problems:

Obesity in children may occur due to underlying medical issues, especially those impacting the endocrine system (a complex network of glands and organs that uses hormones to control your bodily functions). Examples include:

  • Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) is a condition where insufficient thyroid hormone secretion leads to a slower metabolic rate and weight gain.
  • Cushing’s syndrome, also known as Cushing’s disease, is characterized by elevated cortisol levels. This condition contributes to weight gain in the upper body, face, and shoulders and can cause obesity.

Medication Matters:

Certain medications can contribute to weight gain and lead to obesity, including:

  • Steroids
  • Antidepressants
  • Diabetes medications (insulin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones)
  • Anti-seizure medications (carbamazepine, valproate)

Effects of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity has become a major public health concern in India. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 14.4 million children in the country grapple with obesity.

Furthermore, children with obesity are more likely to carry the condition into adulthood, increasing their risk of developing chronic diseases such as:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Heartburn, reflux, and other digestive issues
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney disease
  • Reproductive issues, including irregular menstruation and hormonal imbalances
  • Certain cancers, such as colon cancer and breast cancer

Beyond the physical health implications, children dealing with obesity are more prone to social and psychological challenges:

  • Bullying
  • Social isolation
  • Low self-esteem
  • An increased likelihood of experiencing anxiety and depression

How to Tackle Childhood Obesity?

If you are worried about your child’s weight, consulting a healthcare provider about your child’s obesity diagnosis, treatment, and prevention is advisable. Here’s a detailed look at how you can tackle your child’s obesity.

Childhood Obesity Diagnosis

Your child’s healthcare provider can assess whether your child is experiencing obesity by utilizing a BMI growth chart to determine their weight status. Furthermore, they may consider additional factors like your child’s activity level, diet, family health history, and medical history.

Should the healthcare provider diagnose obesity in your child, they will help you develop a tailored and health-focused weight loss plan, which may include:

  • Discussions about nutritious food choices
  • Establishing an appropriate level of physical activity
  • Suggesting enrollment in a weight management program to address your child’s specific needs.

Childhood Obesity Treatment

Here are some childhood obesity treatment options:

Lifestyle Changes:

To promote a healthy lifestyle for your child and address obesity:

  • Ensure your child gets 150-300 minutes of weekly physical activity. Try including fun activities for them to engage more.
  • Serve whole foods, focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and limiting processed foods.
  • Restrict sweetened beverages and opt for water, seltzer, milk, or diluted fruit juice.
  • Minimize takeout and restaurant meals, as they often contain excessive sodium and fat.
  • Have family meals without distractions, model mindful eating, and provide the same nutritious meals for everyone.
  • Avoid forcing your child to finish their plate; let them eat until full and respect their satiety cues.
  • Prioritize good-quality sleep to prevent weight gain and hormonal imbalances.
  • Introduce stress-relieving practices like yoga, breathing exercises, or meditation.
  • Be consistent with healthy habits, but allow occasional treats or breaks from exercise.
  • Limit screen time to two hours a day for children older than two; younger children should have none.
  • Use positive messaging, focusing on overall health and healthy behaviors rather than weight.

Medications:

If diet and lifestyle changes are insufficient for addressing obesity in children, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends considering prescription weight loss medications for those aged 12 and older, alongside behavioral and lifestyle treatments. These approved drugs include:

  • Orlistat
  • Liraglutide
  • Semaglutide
  • Phentermine-topiramate

Surgery:

According to the 2023 AAP guidelines, surgery may be considered for adolescents aged 13 and older with severe obesity. Common procedures include:

  • Gastric bypass
  • Gastric banding
  • Gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy)

Childhood Obesity Prevention

To prevent excessive weight gain in your child, you can do the following things:

  • Set a Positive Example: Make healthy eating and regular physical activity a family practice. This fosters a supportive environment where everyone participates.
  • Provide Healthy Snack Options: Keep nutritious snacks readily available. Options include roasted chickpeas, masala oats, sprout chaat, fruit chaat, poha, khakra with hummus, makhana snacks, and vegetable sticks with mint yogurt dip.
  • Introduce New Foods Gradually: Offer new foods multiple times. Remember, patience is key – It often takes multiple attempts for acceptance.
  • Avoid Food Rewards: Choose nonfood rewards to promote positive behavior. Stay away from giving candies or sweets as rewards.
  • Prioritize Sufficient Sleep: Ensure your child gets enough sleep, as inadequate sleep may disrupt hormonal balance and increase appetite, contributing to weight gain.

Furthermore, visit your child’s healthcare provider at least once a year for comprehensive health check-ups and monitoring.

Remember, proactive healthcare measures and consistent family efforts create a solid foundation for your child’s overall well-being and healthy development.

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Childhood Obesity: Causes, Prevention, and Management of Obesity in Children

Childhood Obesity: Causes, Prevention, and Management of Obesity in Children

March 17, 2022

Many children face challenges with healthy weight management. A repo...

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Development of Baby Brain –

As you may know, the brain and neural systems direct all functions and voluntary and involuntary activities of the body. The course of foetal brain development is fascinating as it starts as early as when the baby is still a tiny embryo, when you may not even be aware of your pregnancy. The various stages of brain development in a baby are explained below-

During the First Trimester

A few weeks after the conception, the embryo forms the neural plate of the foetus. This rudimentary structure eventually develops into the brain and spinal cord of the baby. The first trimester sees rapid foetal brain development, with cells differentiating for their eventual functions. 4 to 5 weeks into pregnancy, the neural plate elongates and folds onto itself forming a neural tube. The bulging part of the neural tube later develops into the three portions of the brain- forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain, while the rest of the part further elongates to become the spinal cord.

Eventually, the five regions of the brain develop – cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem, pituitary gland and hypothalamus. These distinct parts are not fully developed in the first trimester.

At this stage, the first interactions between neurons appear and the foetus shows synapses. Hence, the baby may make tiny indistinct movements that may go undetected by the mother.

During the Second Trimester

In the second trimester, the brain structure and functions develop significantly. The brain can now control the functions and movements of the body. It can now control breathing by directing steady contractions of the diaphragm and chest muscles. Motor control of the brain is more pronounced in the second trimester, hence, the baby becomes more active. You may experience the baby kicking, stretching and moving inside the womb.

The nerves cells become covered in the myelin sheath, which is an insulating layer that facilitates the rapid transmission of electrical impulses. Hence, this stage is also marked with reflex movement development of the baby such as sucking and blinking. The baby can now swallow the amniotic fluid. The nervous system, too, is developed, so the baby can detect the noises from outside. Around this time, the brain develops a sleep pattern and it structurally resembles an adult brain.

During the Third Trimester

The brain development rate is highest in the third trimester. More and more grooves are formed on the brain’s surface and its weight also increases. The cerebellum of the brain undergoes the fastest growth than any other brain structure. Since the cerebellum is responsible for motor skills and controlling voluntary movements, the baby’s activity increases substantially. You can very distinctly feel the baby wiggling, punching or kicking inside the womb. In fact, the movements can get surprisingly strong.  

You should monitor the baby’s movements to map brain development. You can go for prenatal screening to ensure that the baby’s brain is developing satisfactorily. It can also help identify any disorder or abnormalities at the earliest stage. This helps you begin treatment on time.

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Development of Baby Brain –

As you may know, the brain and neural systems direct all functions and voluntary and involuntary activities of the body. The course of foetal brain development is fascinating as it starts as early as when the baby is still a tiny embryo, when you may not even be aware of your pregnancy. The various stages of brain development in a baby are explained below-

During the First Trimester

A few weeks after the conception, the embryo forms the neural plate of the foetus. This rudimentary structure eventually develops into the brain and spinal cord of the baby. The first trimester sees rapid foetal brain development, with cells differentiating for their eventual functions. 4 to 5 weeks into pregnancy, the neural plate elongates and folds onto itself forming a neural tube. The bulging part of the neural tube later develops into the three portions of the brain- forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain, while the rest of the part further elongates to become the spinal cord.

Eventually, the five regions of the brain develop – cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem, pituitary gland and hypothalamus. These distinct parts are not fully developed in the first trimester.

At this stage, the first interactions between neurons appear and the foetus shows synapses. Hence, the baby may make tiny indistinct movements that may go undetected by the mother.

During the Second Trimester

In the second trimester, the brain structure and functions develop significantly. The brain can now control the functions and movements of the body. It can now control breathing by directing steady contractions of the diaphragm and chest muscles. Motor control of the brain is more pronounced in the second trimester, hence, the baby becomes more active. You may experience the baby kicking, stretching and moving inside the womb.

The nerves cells become covered in the myelin sheath, which is an insulating layer that facilitates the rapid transmission of electrical impulses. Hence, this stage is also marked with reflex movement development of the baby such as sucking and blinking. The baby can now swallow the amniotic fluid. The nervous system, too, is developed, so the baby can detect the noises from outside. Around this time, the brain develops a sleep pattern and it structurally resembles an adult brain.

During the Third Trimester

The brain development rate is highest in the third trimester. More and more grooves are formed on the brain’s surface and its weight also increases. The cerebellum of the brain undergoes the fastest growth than any other brain structure. Since the cerebellum is responsible for motor skills and controlling voluntary movements, the baby’s activity increases substantially. You can very distinctly feel the baby wiggling, punching or kicking inside the womb. In fact, the movements can get surprisingly strong.  

You should monitor the baby’s movements to map brain development. You can go for prenatal screening to ensure that the baby’s brain is developing satisfactorily. It can also help identify any disorder or abnormalities at the earliest stage. This helps you begin treatment on time.

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Know How the Brain of Your Baby Develops

Know How the Brain of Your Baby Develops

October 19, 2021

Development of Baby Brain – As yo...

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Symptoms & Coping Strategies for Epigastric Hernia
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An epigastric hernia is a condition where a part of the upper abdomen, which lies between the chest and the belly button, forms a small, outward bulge. It happens when a weakened portion of the abdomen allows for the tissues or fat to push through.

Risk factors of Epigastric Hernia

Epigastric Hernia is caused due to many factors. Some of the common risk factors that increase your chances of developing an epigastric hernia include:

  • Previous surgeries
  • Abdominal injuries
  • Genetic defects
  • Strenuous physical activity, such as lifting weights
  • Chronic coughing
  • Obesity
  • History of hernia
  • Pregnancy

The condition can occur in children as well as adults. In infants, they may be present since birth. Among adults, the risk could increase with age.

Symptoms of Epigastric Hernia

In most epigastric hernia cases, a small, protruding bulge forms in the upper abdomen. However, this sign may not always be noticeable. It may become lucid when the person affected is coughing, crying, sitting, standing for long durations, or experiencing abdominal strain.

The affected area could emanate a dull ache that worsens through the day or sharp pain that develops immediately. Apart from this, doctors also look for signs such as tenderness and redness. In some cases, a person may also develop more than one hernia.

Most hernias can be diagnosed with a physical examination. The condition affects children as well as adults. If you notice a small abdominal bulge or pain, consult your doctor.

How to cope with Epigastric Hernia?

Epigastric hernias do not heal on their own. They require medical attention, and the most common way of treatment is surgery.

If an infant has had an epigastric hernia since birth, the condition is left untreated until the child grows up. Surgery is performed when they are older, so they can tolerate it better.

As for adults, they could be suffering from epigastric hernia long before the symptoms appear. In some cases, hernias do not cause pain, and thus, years could pass by without the patient noticing them. The treatment, as with children, is surgery.

There are two types of surgeries available for epigastric hernia – open surgery and minimally invasive surgery. During open surgery, the mass is manually pushed back into place. If required, they may also place a mesh in the affected area to support it. Recovering from open surgery may take several weeks.

Minimally invasive surgery, meanwhile, involves using a laparoscope and a special gas. A mesh will be inserted, if necessary. This technique results in less scarring and quicker recovery. Your physician will be able to better determine which procedure is suitable for you.

An incarcerated hernia, or a hernia that remains in the out position, demands immediate attention. If left untreated, it could turn into a strangulated hernia. This condition is signified by the affected tissue turning red or purple, accompanied by signs such as nausea, swelling, diarrhoea, and more.

After surgery, the patient should avoid any activities that lead to abdominal pressure. The area of surgery must be protected during sneezing, coughing, crying, vomiting, or other such activities.

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An epigastric hernia is a condition where a part of the upper abdomen, which lies between the chest and the belly button, forms a small, outward bulge. It happens when a weakened portion of the abdomen allows for the tissues or fat to push through.

Risk factors of Epigastric Hernia

Epigastric Hernia is caused due to many factors. Some of the common risk factors that increase your chances of developing an epigastric hernia include:

  • Previous surgeries
  • Abdominal injuries
  • Genetic defects
  • Strenuous physical activity, such as lifting weights
  • Chronic coughing
  • Obesity
  • History of hernia
  • Pregnancy

The condition can occur in children as well as adults. In infants, they may be present since birth. Among adults, the risk could increase with age.

Symptoms of Epigastric Hernia

In most epigastric hernia cases, a small, protruding bulge forms in the upper abdomen. However, this sign may not always be noticeable. It may become lucid when the person affected is coughing, crying, sitting, standing for long durations, or experiencing abdominal strain.

The affected area could emanate a dull ache that worsens through the day or sharp pain that develops immediately. Apart from this, doctors also look for signs such as tenderness and redness. In some cases, a person may also develop more than one hernia.

Most hernias can be diagnosed with a physical examination. The condition affects children as well as adults. If you notice a small abdominal bulge or pain, consult your doctor.

How to cope with Epigastric Hernia?

Epigastric hernias do not heal on their own. They require medical attention, and the most common way of treatment is surgery.

If an infant has had an epigastric hernia since birth, the condition is left untreated until the child grows up. Surgery is performed when they are older, so they can tolerate it better.

As for adults, they could be suffering from epigastric hernia long before the symptoms appear. In some cases, hernias do not cause pain, and thus, years could pass by without the patient noticing them. The treatment, as with children, is surgery.

There are two types of surgeries available for epigastric hernia – open surgery and minimally invasive surgery. During open surgery, the mass is manually pushed back into place. If required, they may also place a mesh in the affected area to support it. Recovering from open surgery may take several weeks.

Minimally invasive surgery, meanwhile, involves using a laparoscope and a special gas. A mesh will be inserted, if necessary. This technique results in less scarring and quicker recovery. Your physician will be able to better determine which procedure is suitable for you.

An incarcerated hernia, or a hernia that remains in the out position, demands immediate attention. If left untreated, it could turn into a strangulated hernia. This condition is signified by the affected tissue turning red or purple, accompanied by signs such as nausea, swelling, diarrhoea, and more.

After surgery, the patient should avoid any activities that lead to abdominal pressure. The area of surgery must be protected during sneezing, coughing, crying, vomiting, or other such activities.

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Symptoms & Coping Strategies for Epigastric Hernia

Symptoms & Coping Strategies for Epigastric Hernia

October 19, 2021

An epigastric hernia is a condition where a part of the upper abdome...

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            [blog_title] => Understanding Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Causes, Effects, and Prevention
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Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) encompass a range of lifelong health challenges that can impact individuals exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. These issues can affect physical health, behaviour, and thinking abilities. 

The challenges resulting from foetal alcohol syndrome differ from one child to another, but it’s important to note that the defects caused by foetal alcohol syndrome cannot be undone or fixed.

However, FASD is a preventable but often misunderstood condition, and it’s crucial to spread awareness about its causes, effects, and how to prevent it.

Let’s dive deeper into each of these aspects to better understand FASD and its implications.

What are Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)?

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is not a single disorder but rather a group of related conditions that can affect various aspects of a person’s physical, behavioural, and cognitive functioning.

FASD is a term that covers a range of issues that happen when a baby is exposed to alcohol before they’re born. The term is used to describe the full spectrum of effects that alcohol can have on a developing foetus.

The most serious kind of FASD is called Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). People with FAS often have special facial features. They may be smaller than they should be, and they might have problems with their brain and nerves. But FAS is only a small part of all the people with FASD.

There are other types, like partial Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). These conditions might not show the special facial features of FAS, but they can still cause problems with thinking and behaviour.

> READ: CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF BIRTH DEFECTS

Causes and Risk Factors of FASD

There’s more than one cause of FASD. The causes and risk factors of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are rooted in prenatal alcohol exposure, genetic factors, socioeconomic circumstances, and lack of awareness. Understanding these factors is crucial in preventing this condition.

1. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure:

The main reason for Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is when a baby growing in the belly is exposed to alcohol while the mom is pregnant – prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcohol can hurt the developing baby, especially their brain and other body parts. How bad FASD turns out can depend on when, how long, and how much alcohol the mom had during her pregnancy.

2. Genetic Factors:

Genetic factors can also play a role in determining an individual’s susceptibility to FASD. Some people may be more genetically predisposed to the harmful effects of alcohol on Foetal development. Genetic variations in enzymes responsible for metabolizing alcohol can impact how a mother’s body processes and eliminates alcohol, affecting the level of alcohol exposure to the developing foetus.

3. Socioeconomic Factors:

Socioeconomic factors can contribute to the risk of FASD. Lack of access to healthcare, limited education, and poverty can all make it more challenging for pregnant individuals to receive proper prenatal care and education about the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

4. Lack of Awareness:

Sometimes, some people don’t know that drinking alcohol when they are pregnant is harmful. This can happen because they might not know they are pregnant at the very beginning, and they might drink alcohol without realizing it could hurt the baby growing inside them. It’s important to raise awareness about this to help prevent problems for the baby.

The Effects of FASD

The effects of FASD can be lifelong and may vary significantly from one individual to another, depending on factors such as the timing and level of alcohol exposure, genetic factors, and the presence of protective factors.

Some of the common effects of FASD include:

1. Physical Effects:

Individuals with FAS may exhibit distinctive facial features. They may have special facial features like a thin upper lip, a smooth area between the nose and upper lip, and small eyes. They may also be smaller and lighter when they are born, and they might not grow as tall as others might.

2. Cognitive and Behavioural Effects:

FASD can lead to a range of cognitive and behavioural impairments. These may include intellectual disabilities, learning difficulties, impulsivity, poor judgment, and difficulty with abstract thinking. Affected individuals may struggle with memory, attention, and problem-solving skills, making it challenging to succeed in school and everyday life.

3. Emotional and Mental Health Effects:

Individuals with FASD may be at an increased risk of developing mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and conduct disorders. They may struggle with social interactions and may be more vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction.

4. Sensory and Motor Deficits:

Some individuals with FASD may experience sensory and motor deficits, such as difficulty with balance, coordination, and fine motor skills. Sensory processing issues can affect their ability to understand and respond to sensory input from their environment.

Prevention and Awareness

Preventing FASD is of paramount importance since it is entirely preventable. Raising awareness about the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the first step in preventing FASD. Several key strategies can help prevent FASD:

  • Education: Education is essential to inform pregnant individuals and those planning to become pregnant about the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. This education should be widely available and culturally sensitive to reach all communities.
  • Guidance: Doctors play a crucial role in educating pregnant individuals about the risks of alcohol and providing support to those struggling with alcohol addiction. They can offer clear guidance and support to help maintain alcohol-free pregnancies.
  • Open Communication: Encouraging open and honest communication within the family is essential. Parents and caregivers should discuss the dangers of alcohol during pregnancy and commit to an alcohol-free household during this critical time.
  • Supportive Environment: Creating a supportive and understanding environment for pregnant individuals is vital. Family members should be aware of the importance of not pressuring pregnant individuals to consume alcohol and should provide emotional support.
  • Role Modelling: Parents and caregivers can serve as role models by abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy, reinforcing the message that a healthy and safe environment is alcohol-free.

Diagnosing FASD 

Diagnosing FASD can be challenging because the effects can vary greatly among individuals, and there is no single diagnostic test. A comprehensive evaluation is typically required, which may include the following steps:

1. History and Physical Examination:

A thorough medical history and physical examination can help identify physical characteristics associated with FASD, such as facial features and growth deficiencies.

2. Neuropsychological Assessment:

A neuropsychological assessment can help evaluate cognitive and behavioural functioning. This assessment may involve tests of intelligence, memory, attention, and other cognitive abilities.

3. Behavioural and Psychiatric Assessment:

Behavioural and psychiatric assessments can identify emotional and mental health issues, as well as behavioural challenges that may require intervention.

4. Parent and Caregiver Interviews:

Information from parents and caregivers about the child’s developmental history and behaviour is crucial for a comprehensive assessment.

5. Imaging and Genetic Testing:

In some cases, imaging studies like MRI or genetic testing may be used to assess brain structure and function or to identify genetic factors that could contribute to the individual’s condition.

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are still a major worry despite awareness efforts. FASD is preventable and linked to alcohol exposure during pregnancy.

Preventing FASD involves increasing awareness about the causes and effects of this issue and educating expectant mothers. Doctors are essential for educating pregnant women, giving guidance, and promoting family discussions.

 

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Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) encompass a range of lifelong health challenges that can impact individuals exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. These issues can affect physical health, behaviour, and thinking abilities. 

The challenges resulting from foetal alcohol syndrome differ from one child to another, but it’s important to note that the defects caused by foetal alcohol syndrome cannot be undone or fixed.

However, FASD is a preventable but often misunderstood condition, and it’s crucial to spread awareness about its causes, effects, and how to prevent it.

Let’s dive deeper into each of these aspects to better understand FASD and its implications.

What are Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)?

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is not a single disorder but rather a group of related conditions that can affect various aspects of a person’s physical, behavioural, and cognitive functioning.

FASD is a term that covers a range of issues that happen when a baby is exposed to alcohol before they’re born. The term is used to describe the full spectrum of effects that alcohol can have on a developing foetus.

The most serious kind of FASD is called Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). People with FAS often have special facial features. They may be smaller than they should be, and they might have problems with their brain and nerves. But FAS is only a small part of all the people with FASD.

There are other types, like partial Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). These conditions might not show the special facial features of FAS, but they can still cause problems with thinking and behaviour.

> READ: CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF BIRTH DEFECTS

Causes and Risk Factors of FASD

There’s more than one cause of FASD. The causes and risk factors of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are rooted in prenatal alcohol exposure, genetic factors, socioeconomic circumstances, and lack of awareness. Understanding these factors is crucial in preventing this condition.

1. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure:

The main reason for Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is when a baby growing in the belly is exposed to alcohol while the mom is pregnant – prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcohol can hurt the developing baby, especially their brain and other body parts. How bad FASD turns out can depend on when, how long, and how much alcohol the mom had during her pregnancy.

2. Genetic Factors:

Genetic factors can also play a role in determining an individual’s susceptibility to FASD. Some people may be more genetically predisposed to the harmful effects of alcohol on Foetal development. Genetic variations in enzymes responsible for metabolizing alcohol can impact how a mother’s body processes and eliminates alcohol, affecting the level of alcohol exposure to the developing foetus.

3. Socioeconomic Factors:

Socioeconomic factors can contribute to the risk of FASD. Lack of access to healthcare, limited education, and poverty can all make it more challenging for pregnant individuals to receive proper prenatal care and education about the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

4. Lack of Awareness:

Sometimes, some people don’t know that drinking alcohol when they are pregnant is harmful. This can happen because they might not know they are pregnant at the very beginning, and they might drink alcohol without realizing it could hurt the baby growing inside them. It’s important to raise awareness about this to help prevent problems for the baby.

The Effects of FASD

The effects of FASD can be lifelong and may vary significantly from one individual to another, depending on factors such as the timing and level of alcohol exposure, genetic factors, and the presence of protective factors.

Some of the common effects of FASD include:

1. Physical Effects:

Individuals with FAS may exhibit distinctive facial features. They may have special facial features like a thin upper lip, a smooth area between the nose and upper lip, and small eyes. They may also be smaller and lighter when they are born, and they might not grow as tall as others might.

2. Cognitive and Behavioural Effects:

FASD can lead to a range of cognitive and behavioural impairments. These may include intellectual disabilities, learning difficulties, impulsivity, poor judgment, and difficulty with abstract thinking. Affected individuals may struggle with memory, attention, and problem-solving skills, making it challenging to succeed in school and everyday life.

3. Emotional and Mental Health Effects:

Individuals with FASD may be at an increased risk of developing mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and conduct disorders. They may struggle with social interactions and may be more vulnerable to substance abuse and addiction.

4. Sensory and Motor Deficits:

Some individuals with FASD may experience sensory and motor deficits, such as difficulty with balance, coordination, and fine motor skills. Sensory processing issues can affect their ability to understand and respond to sensory input from their environment.

Prevention and Awareness

Preventing FASD is of paramount importance since it is entirely preventable. Raising awareness about the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the first step in preventing FASD. Several key strategies can help prevent FASD:

  • Education: Education is essential to inform pregnant individuals and those planning to become pregnant about the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. This education should be widely available and culturally sensitive to reach all communities.
  • Guidance: Doctors play a crucial role in educating pregnant individuals about the risks of alcohol and providing support to those struggling with alcohol addiction. They can offer clear guidance and support to help maintain alcohol-free pregnancies.
  • Open Communication: Encouraging open and honest communication within the family is essential. Parents and caregivers should discuss the dangers of alcohol during pregnancy and commit to an alcohol-free household during this critical time.
  • Supportive Environment: Creating a supportive and understanding environment for pregnant individuals is vital. Family members should be aware of the importance of not pressuring pregnant individuals to consume alcohol and should provide emotional support.
  • Role Modelling: Parents and caregivers can serve as role models by abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy, reinforcing the message that a healthy and safe environment is alcohol-free.

Diagnosing FASD 

Diagnosing FASD can be challenging because the effects can vary greatly among individuals, and there is no single diagnostic test. A comprehensive evaluation is typically required, which may include the following steps:

1. History and Physical Examination:

A thorough medical history and physical examination can help identify physical characteristics associated with FASD, such as facial features and growth deficiencies.

2. Neuropsychological Assessment:

A neuropsychological assessment can help evaluate cognitive and behavioural functioning. This assessment may involve tests of intelligence, memory, attention, and other cognitive abilities.

3. Behavioural and Psychiatric Assessment:

Behavioural and psychiatric assessments can identify emotional and mental health issues, as well as behavioural challenges that may require intervention.

4. Parent and Caregiver Interviews:

Information from parents and caregivers about the child’s developmental history and behaviour is crucial for a comprehensive assessment.

5. Imaging and Genetic Testing:

In some cases, imaging studies like MRI or genetic testing may be used to assess brain structure and function or to identify genetic factors that could contribute to the individual’s condition.

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are still a major worry despite awareness efforts. FASD is preventable and linked to alcohol exposure during pregnancy.

Preventing FASD involves increasing awareness about the causes and effects of this issue and educating expectant mothers. Doctors are essential for educating pregnant women, giving guidance, and promoting family discussions.

 

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Understanding Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Causes, Effects, and Prevention

Understanding Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Causes, Effects, and Prevention

August 27, 2021

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) encompass a range of lifelo...

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            [blog_title] => Teach Your Child To Grip The Pencil Or Pen Better
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How old is your child? 

What kind of motor activities do you engage your little one in?

Do you know that good eye-hand coordination is essential for good writing skills?

By the time a child is about 2 years old, they have already learnt to attempt holding things with their hands, while playing with things like toys or objects around the house. Initially it may be larger objects, and then slowly they develop the capacity to hold slimmer and smaller objects.

As your child is ready to go to play school and then kindergarten, it is time to help them get comfortable getting a good grip on the pencil, so that they will write better and not strain their hands or wrists.

Observe their natural tendencies:

Before teaching them, observe your children’s natural tendencies while writing, drawing or scribbling.

Do they use their right hand or left? 

Do they switch between either hand?

Are they able to effortlessly use both hands

Never insist on a child using only the right hand, or only one hand. It is their innate skill, and must not be restrained in any way. Children who can write, eat or work with either hand, or use both simultaneously are ambidextrous and always likely to be more intelligent and gifted.

Start with some colours and plenty of freedom:

Give your child an assortment of colour pencils, crayons and felt tip pens, along with blank papers. Let them unleash their creativity on it, uninhibitedly. As they enjoy dots, lines, curves and scribbles, they will associate stationery with joy.

Whether they colouring inside the lines or outside, should be from their imagination. Allow them to draw whatever they associate with. If a cat is purple and a dog is silver, that’s welcome. Leave them to do as they please, without too many instructions. The more they get bored, the more they will innovate while at play.

Keep complimenting them on their efforts, and appreciating their art. This is an age where they should be taught to believe in themselves.

Show them how:

A simple and easy technique while initiating your child into writing, is to show them how to grip the pencil or pen while writing. They learn by observing.

If a child is too young, use an object resembling a pencil, but ensure it does not have sharp edges.

Hold their hand while practising:

Once a child is going to learn writing the alphabet in school, start practising by holding their hand as they attempt to write.

They might falter or grip it too tight or too loose. Gently show them the correct way.

Start with simple shapes:

Draw some basic shapes on a blank page, and ask your child to copy it, while asking them what it resembles. Circles, lines, diagonals, curved lines are easy to replicate, and associating them with real objects will help them remember.

Different types of grip:

Every child will eventually grip the pen/pencil differently.

1. Tripod grip:

In this style, a person holds the pencil between the thumb and the index finger, and the writing instrument rests on the middle finger. This is one of the most common methods of holding a pen/pencil while writing.

2. Quadrupod Grip:

In this style, a person holds the pen/pencil between the thumb and the index finger+middle finger, while resting it on the ring finger.

Common challenges while learning:

In the initial months, a child is likely to struggle with finding the ideal way to grip the pencil while writing. Some common hiccups are:

  • Gripping the pencil too tightly or too loose.
  • Holding the pencil with the whole hand.
  • Placing the thumb beneath the index finger.
  • Holding the pencil perpendicular, instead of at an angle.
  • Difficulty holding a longer pencil.
  • Bending the wrist inwards, while writing

All of these can be corrected with mild reminders, and asking them to ensure that their hand and wrist are at ease.

It is a process, and you are definitely going to see an improvement over time.

Cursive Writing Books:

As children grow older, you can refine their handwriting skills by allowing them to practice in cursive writing books.

A person’s handwriting reflects their personality and traits, as they grow older and therefore, a good, clear handwriting should be encouraged over time.

Each child is unique, beautiful and intelligent in their own way. As parents, you are doing a wonderful job and so is your child. The best thing you can do for your children is to appreciate their smallest efforts, encourage them when they fall, and instil in them the lifelong values of love, kindness, compassion and mindfulness.

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How old is your child? 

What kind of motor activities do you engage your little one in?

Do you know that good eye-hand coordination is essential for good writing skills?

By the time a child is about 2 years old, they have already learnt to attempt holding things with their hands, while playing with things like toys or objects around the house. Initially it may be larger objects, and then slowly they develop the capacity to hold slimmer and smaller objects.

As your child is ready to go to play school and then kindergarten, it is time to help them get comfortable getting a good grip on the pencil, so that they will write better and not strain their hands or wrists.

Observe their natural tendencies:

Before teaching them, observe your children’s natural tendencies while writing, drawing or scribbling.

Do they use their right hand or left? 

Do they switch between either hand?

Are they able to effortlessly use both hands

Never insist on a child using only the right hand, or only one hand. It is their innate skill, and must not be restrained in any way. Children who can write, eat or work with either hand, or use both simultaneously are ambidextrous and always likely to be more intelligent and gifted.

Start with some colours and plenty of freedom:

Give your child an assortment of colour pencils, crayons and felt tip pens, along with blank papers. Let them unleash their creativity on it, uninhibitedly. As they enjoy dots, lines, curves and scribbles, they will associate stationery with joy.

Whether they colouring inside the lines or outside, should be from their imagination. Allow them to draw whatever they associate with. If a cat is purple and a dog is silver, that’s welcome. Leave them to do as they please, without too many instructions. The more they get bored, the more they will innovate while at play.

Keep complimenting them on their efforts, and appreciating their art. This is an age where they should be taught to believe in themselves.

Show them how:

A simple and easy technique while initiating your child into writing, is to show them how to grip the pencil or pen while writing. They learn by observing.

If a child is too young, use an object resembling a pencil, but ensure it does not have sharp edges.

Hold their hand while practising:

Once a child is going to learn writing the alphabet in school, start practising by holding their hand as they attempt to write.

They might falter or grip it too tight or too loose. Gently show them the correct way.

Start with simple shapes:

Draw some basic shapes on a blank page, and ask your child to copy it, while asking them what it resembles. Circles, lines, diagonals, curved lines are easy to replicate, and associating them with real objects will help them remember.

Different types of grip:

Every child will eventually grip the pen/pencil differently.

1. Tripod grip:

In this style, a person holds the pencil between the thumb and the index finger, and the writing instrument rests on the middle finger. This is one of the most common methods of holding a pen/pencil while writing.

2. Quadrupod Grip:

In this style, a person holds the pen/pencil between the thumb and the index finger+middle finger, while resting it on the ring finger.

Common challenges while learning:

In the initial months, a child is likely to struggle with finding the ideal way to grip the pencil while writing. Some common hiccups are:

  • Gripping the pencil too tightly or too loose.
  • Holding the pencil with the whole hand.
  • Placing the thumb beneath the index finger.
  • Holding the pencil perpendicular, instead of at an angle.
  • Difficulty holding a longer pencil.
  • Bending the wrist inwards, while writing

All of these can be corrected with mild reminders, and asking them to ensure that their hand and wrist are at ease.

It is a process, and you are definitely going to see an improvement over time.

Cursive Writing Books:

As children grow older, you can refine their handwriting skills by allowing them to practice in cursive writing books.

A person’s handwriting reflects their personality and traits, as they grow older and therefore, a good, clear handwriting should be encouraged over time.

Each child is unique, beautiful and intelligent in their own way. As parents, you are doing a wonderful job and so is your child. The best thing you can do for your children is to appreciate their smallest efforts, encourage them when they fall, and instil in them the lifelong values of love, kindness, compassion and mindfulness.

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Teach Your Child To Grip The Pencil Or Pen Better

Teach Your Child To Grip The Pencil Or Pen Better

April 8, 2021

How old is your child?  ...

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As a parent, the wish for a healthy and thriving child is universal. However,   there is always a possibility of complications. Cleft lip and cleft palate are serious issues that many parents encounter.

Based on a study published in 2020, cleft lip and palate occur in about 1 in 600 to 800 live births, while isolated cleft palate happens in roughly 1 in 2000 live births.

From causes to symptoms to diagnosis, let’s take a closer look at cleft lip and palate.

What Are Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate?

Cleft lip and palate are the most common birth defects affecting the mouth and face. They can happen alone or together and may also occur alongside other birth abnormalities, especially congenital heart diseases.

Cleft lip happens when certain parts of the baby’s face don’t come together properly during development, causing a gap in the lip, alveolus (gum area), and nasal floor. Incomplete clefts don’t reach the nasal floor, while complete clefts mean there’s no connection between the alar base and the medial labial element.

Cleft palate occurs when the palatal shelves in the baby’s mouth don’t fuse correctly, leading to a gap in the hard and/or soft palates. These clefts develop during the fourth stage of development, and the specific areas where facial processes didn’t fuse properly and the timing of these developmental interferences influence where they appear.

Cleft Lip and Palate Causes

The causes of cleft lip and palate are complex and believed to result from a mix of genetic factors and interactions with the environment.

These factors can be grouped as follows:

Genetics

While the idea that cleft lip and palate run in families has been recognized for a long time, formal genetic studies began when it was noticed that relatives of individuals with clefts had a higher likelihood of having them too.

Studies involving twins and family members have shown a strong genetic link, with first-degree relatives having a much higher risk of clefts than those without a family history. This suggests that while genetics play a significant role, other factors also contribute to the condition.

Smoking and Alcohol Use

Smoking is linked to the development of orofacial clefts (cleft lip and palate). Maternal smoking increases the risk by up to 20%, with a specific odds-ratio of 1.3 for cleft lip and palate. While alcohol is a known teratogen, its association with clefting is not consistently supported.

Some evidence suggests a connection between clefting and certain genetic variations related to alcohol metabolism. Additionally, a recent study found that a combination of specific genetic variants and heavy maternal alcohol use further raises the risk of orofacial clefts.

Diabetes

If a woman has diabetes before getting pregnant, there’s a higher chance her child could be born with a cleft lip, with or without a cleft palate. Research indicates that mothers with diabetes were 1.34 times more likely than those without diabetes to have a baby with cleft lip or palate

Medication

Also, using specific medications for epilepsy, like topiramate or valproic acid, during the first three months of pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby with a cleft lip, with or without a cleft palate, compared to women who don’t take these medicines.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Symptoms

Cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital conditions, meaning they are present at birth. The symptoms can vary depending on the severity and the specific type of cleft.

Here are common symptoms associated with cleft lip and cleft palate:

Cleft Lip:

  1. Visible gap or opening in the upper lip, which can range from a small notch to a larger opening that extends into the nose.
  2. May affect one or both sides of the upper lip.
  3. Nasal distortion or flattening on the affected side.

Cleft Palate:

  1. Opening or gap in the roof of the mouth, which may involve the hard palate (front part) and/or the soft palate (back part).
  2. Difficulty with feeding, as the baby may have trouble creating suction.
  3. Increased risk of ear infections due to improper drainage of fluids from the middle ear.
  4. Speech difficulties, such as nasal speech, articulation issues, and difficulty pronouncing certain sounds.
  5. Dental problems, including misalignment and missing or malformed teeth.

Other associated conditions

Speech Difficulties: People with cleft lip and palate may face challenges in speaking because of muscle issues in the roof of the mouth. They often experience delays in making certain sounds, like “p,” “b,” “t,” “d,” “k,” and “g.” Abnormal nasal sounds and trouble with clear speech are common in individuals with cleft lip and palate.

Ear Infections: Due to problems with a muscle that opens the ear tube, individuals with cleft lip and palate may get ear infections. If these infections happen frequently, they could lead to hearing loss. The risk is higher when there is an additional issue called submucous cleft palate.

Feeding Problems: Babies born with a cleft palate might find it challenging to suck through a regular nipple because of the gap in the roof of the mouth. Feeding involves both the baby’s lip movements and the pressure build-up in the mouth, and a special nipple is often needed. It may take a few days for both the baby and parents to get used to using the special nipple, but most babies with cleft palate can learn to feed properly with it.

It’s important to note that the severity of symptoms can vary, and some cases may be more noticeable than others.

Diagnosis and Medical Evaluation

During a pregnancy ultrasound, most clefts in the lip can be spotted because they cause visible changes in the baby’s face. However, finding an isolated cleft palate (without a cleft lip) is tricky, and it’s only identified very few of cases during prenatal ultrasounds.

If a cleft isn’t seen on an ultrasound, doctors can check the baby’s mouth, nose, and palate after birth for a diagnosis. Typically, a cleft lip is noticed around the 20-week ultrasound (anatomy scan), which happens between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. In some cases, it might be seen as early as 12 weeks. Detecting a cleft palate on ultrasound is more challenging compared to finding a cleft lip.

Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment

The treatment for cleft lip and cleft palate typically involves a combination of surgical intervention, medical care, and ongoing support.

Treating cleft lip

The primary treatment for cleft lip is surgical repair, which is usually performed when the baby is a few months old. The goal of the surgery is to close the gap in the lip, restore a more natural appearance, and ensure proper function.

A team of healthcare professionals, including plastic surgeons, paediatricians, nurses, and other specialists, may be involved in caring for a child with a cleft lip. This multidisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive and coordinated care.

Treating cleft palate

Unlike the artistic focus of fixing cleft lips, repairing a cleft palate is mainly about making sure everything works well.

A team of specialists, including a plastic surgeon, speech therapist, and orthodontist, works together to improve speech quality and reduce any problems caused by the cleft. Surgeries may involve techniques to repair both the soft and hard parts of the palate. Some use procedures like veloplasty or palatoplasty to reposition muscles.

In some cases, a method called maxillary distraction is used to correct severe issues. Team-based care, led by a plastic surgeon, is crucial, with easy access to specialists in paediatrics, ear, nose, and throat (ENT), and dental care. Techniques like nasoalveolar moulding (NAM) can help improve outcomes before surgery, providing benefits to patients and caregivers.

 

Living with Cleft Lip and Palate

Living with cleft lip and palate can have both physical and emotional challenges. Beyond the physical aspects, individuals with cleft lip and palate may encounter social and emotional hurdles, including self-esteem concerns related to their appearance.

Support groups and counselling can play a crucial role in helping both individuals and their families navigate these challenges, providing a sense of community and understanding.

If your baby has cleft lip and palate, it may evoke worry. However, it’s important to know that, in most instances, your baby is healthy.

Surgery is often effective in improving the appearance of the clefts. Treatment for children with cleft lip and cleft palate focuses on correcting the lip and mouth to ensure proper functionality. Additionally, dental procedures, orthodontic care, and speech therapy may be part of the comprehensive treatment plan.

If your child is diagnosed with a cleft lip or palate, speak with a doctor to understand the treatment plan and anticipated outcomes.

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As a parent, the wish for a healthy and thriving child is universal. However,   there is always a possibility of complications. Cleft lip and cleft palate are serious issues that many parents encounter.

Based on a study published in 2020, cleft lip and palate occur in about 1 in 600 to 800 live births, while isolated cleft palate happens in roughly 1 in 2000 live births.

From causes to symptoms to diagnosis, let’s take a closer look at cleft lip and palate.

What Are Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate?

Cleft lip and palate are the most common birth defects affecting the mouth and face. They can happen alone or together and may also occur alongside other birth abnormalities, especially congenital heart diseases.

Cleft lip happens when certain parts of the baby’s face don’t come together properly during development, causing a gap in the lip, alveolus (gum area), and nasal floor. Incomplete clefts don’t reach the nasal floor, while complete clefts mean there’s no connection between the alar base and the medial labial element.

Cleft palate occurs when the palatal shelves in the baby’s mouth don’t fuse correctly, leading to a gap in the hard and/or soft palates. These clefts develop during the fourth stage of development, and the specific areas where facial processes didn’t fuse properly and the timing of these developmental interferences influence where they appear.

Cleft Lip and Palate Causes

The causes of cleft lip and palate are complex and believed to result from a mix of genetic factors and interactions with the environment.

These factors can be grouped as follows:

Genetics

While the idea that cleft lip and palate run in families has been recognized for a long time, formal genetic studies began when it was noticed that relatives of individuals with clefts had a higher likelihood of having them too.

Studies involving twins and family members have shown a strong genetic link, with first-degree relatives having a much higher risk of clefts than those without a family history. This suggests that while genetics play a significant role, other factors also contribute to the condition.

Smoking and Alcohol Use

Smoking is linked to the development of orofacial clefts (cleft lip and palate). Maternal smoking increases the risk by up to 20%, with a specific odds-ratio of 1.3 for cleft lip and palate. While alcohol is a known teratogen, its association with clefting is not consistently supported.

Some evidence suggests a connection between clefting and certain genetic variations related to alcohol metabolism. Additionally, a recent study found that a combination of specific genetic variants and heavy maternal alcohol use further raises the risk of orofacial clefts.

Diabetes

If a woman has diabetes before getting pregnant, there’s a higher chance her child could be born with a cleft lip, with or without a cleft palate. Research indicates that mothers with diabetes were 1.34 times more likely than those without diabetes to have a baby with cleft lip or palate

Medication

Also, using specific medications for epilepsy, like topiramate or valproic acid, during the first three months of pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby with a cleft lip, with or without a cleft palate, compared to women who don’t take these medicines.

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Symptoms

Cleft lip and cleft palate are congenital conditions, meaning they are present at birth. The symptoms can vary depending on the severity and the specific type of cleft.

Here are common symptoms associated with cleft lip and cleft palate:

Cleft Lip:

  1. Visible gap or opening in the upper lip, which can range from a small notch to a larger opening that extends into the nose.
  2. May affect one or both sides of the upper lip.
  3. Nasal distortion or flattening on the affected side.

Cleft Palate:

  1. Opening or gap in the roof of the mouth, which may involve the hard palate (front part) and/or the soft palate (back part).
  2. Difficulty with feeding, as the baby may have trouble creating suction.
  3. Increased risk of ear infections due to improper drainage of fluids from the middle ear.
  4. Speech difficulties, such as nasal speech, articulation issues, and difficulty pronouncing certain sounds.
  5. Dental problems, including misalignment and missing or malformed teeth.

Other associated conditions

Speech Difficulties: People with cleft lip and palate may face challenges in speaking because of muscle issues in the roof of the mouth. They often experience delays in making certain sounds, like “p,” “b,” “t,” “d,” “k,” and “g.” Abnormal nasal sounds and trouble with clear speech are common in individuals with cleft lip and palate.

Ear Infections: Due to problems with a muscle that opens the ear tube, individuals with cleft lip and palate may get ear infections. If these infections happen frequently, they could lead to hearing loss. The risk is higher when there is an additional issue called submucous cleft palate.

Feeding Problems: Babies born with a cleft palate might find it challenging to suck through a regular nipple because of the gap in the roof of the mouth. Feeding involves both the baby’s lip movements and the pressure build-up in the mouth, and a special nipple is often needed. It may take a few days for both the baby and parents to get used to using the special nipple, but most babies with cleft palate can learn to feed properly with it.

It’s important to note that the severity of symptoms can vary, and some cases may be more noticeable than others.

Diagnosis and Medical Evaluation

During a pregnancy ultrasound, most clefts in the lip can be spotted because they cause visible changes in the baby’s face. However, finding an isolated cleft palate (without a cleft lip) is tricky, and it’s only identified very few of cases during prenatal ultrasounds.

If a cleft isn’t seen on an ultrasound, doctors can check the baby’s mouth, nose, and palate after birth for a diagnosis. Typically, a cleft lip is noticed around the 20-week ultrasound (anatomy scan), which happens between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. In some cases, it might be seen as early as 12 weeks. Detecting a cleft palate on ultrasound is more challenging compared to finding a cleft lip.

Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment

The treatment for cleft lip and cleft palate typically involves a combination of surgical intervention, medical care, and ongoing support.

Treating cleft lip

The primary treatment for cleft lip is surgical repair, which is usually performed when the baby is a few months old. The goal of the surgery is to close the gap in the lip, restore a more natural appearance, and ensure proper function.

A team of healthcare professionals, including plastic surgeons, paediatricians, nurses, and other specialists, may be involved in caring for a child with a cleft lip. This multidisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive and coordinated care.

Treating cleft palate

Unlike the artistic focus of fixing cleft lips, repairing a cleft palate is mainly about making sure everything works well.

A team of specialists, including a plastic surgeon, speech therapist, and orthodontist, works together to improve speech quality and reduce any problems caused by the cleft. Surgeries may involve techniques to repair both the soft and hard parts of the palate. Some use procedures like veloplasty or palatoplasty to reposition muscles.

In some cases, a method called maxillary distraction is used to correct severe issues. Team-based care, led by a plastic surgeon, is crucial, with easy access to specialists in paediatrics, ear, nose, and throat (ENT), and dental care. Techniques like nasoalveolar moulding (NAM) can help improve outcomes before surgery, providing benefits to patients and caregivers.

 

Living with Cleft Lip and Palate

Living with cleft lip and palate can have both physical and emotional challenges. Beyond the physical aspects, individuals with cleft lip and palate may encounter social and emotional hurdles, including self-esteem concerns related to their appearance.

Support groups and counselling can play a crucial role in helping both individuals and their families navigate these challenges, providing a sense of community and understanding.

If your baby has cleft lip and palate, it may evoke worry. However, it’s important to know that, in most instances, your baby is healthy.

Surgery is often effective in improving the appearance of the clefts. Treatment for children with cleft lip and cleft palate focuses on correcting the lip and mouth to ensure proper functionality. Additionally, dental procedures, orthodontic care, and speech therapy may be part of the comprehensive treatment plan.

If your child is diagnosed with a cleft lip or palate, speak with a doctor to understand the treatment plan and anticipated outcomes.

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Understanding Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

February 27, 2021

As a parent, the wish for a healthy and thriving child is universal....

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            [blog_title] => Monsoon Illness In Children
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Monsoon showers: What to be prepared for?

The much awaited rains always bring relief, after a spell of hot summer afternoons. But, they also bring with them a host of viral infections and fevers, that completely dampen the spirit – especially with children being more prone to falling ill. 

This year, with a pandemic adding to everyone’s woes, it has become difficult to distinguish between a normal viral fever triggered by the weather or mosquitoes, and something more serious. Illnesses like Dengue, Malaria, Influenza, Gastroenteritis or Typhoid make an appearance every year, and one should always be prepared to ensure that your family is protected. 

The best way to know the root cause of any health issue bothering your child, is a visit to your trusted pediatrician, and taking the recommended tests. However, it is also good to practice some basic precautionary measures to stay healthy. 

Here is a quick guide to fevers that one might encounter this season, and some do’s and don’ts to look after your kids. 

Viral Fever: 

Viral fevers are contagious, and easy to catch. They can range from mild to severe, and are mostly airborne. They may be accompanied by body ache and shivering. The faster a viral fever is addressed – the quicker a child will be back to normal.

Dengue: 

Caused by a bite from the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, dengue is transmitted directly to the bloodstream by the carrier insect. The fever fluctuates from moderate to high, and needs to be flushed out of the system through plenty of fluids and prescribed medicines.

Malaria: 

Caused by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, Malaria leads to high fever, shivering and severe exhaustion. The temperature spikes upwards quickly, and parents must only give prescribed medication, after testing.

Influenza i.e ‘Flu’ 

Commonly referred to as ‘Flu’, Influenza is marked by a runny nose, fever, body ache, cough and irritable throat. Caused by an airborne virus, it enters the body through the nose and throat, and affects the upper respiratory tract.

Typhoid: 

This waterborne infection is caused by a bacteria called Salmonella Typhi,

present in either food or water. Typical symptoms include prolonged fever, severe abdominal pain and headaches.

Gastroenteritis: 

Our digestive system is most sensitive during the monsoons, as compared to other seasons, and bacterial infections from contaminated food, water or even surfaces can disrupt the stomach severely.  This could lead to vomiting, loose motions and stomach cramps, leading to severe, debilitating weakness. 

Do’s and Don’ts: 

While one cannot stress enough the importance of a good immune system, it is still essential to follow some basic practices for health and hygiene, that go a long way in keeping us safe.  

  • The bedding of infants should be washed and ironed, before using again, to kill any bacteria or germs on the fabric. 
  • Infants and little children often pick up small things from the floor, and put it in their mouth. Be watchful about your baby, when they start crawling, or take baby steps. 
  • Wipe all the surfaces of your home with a child-safe disinfectant. Optionally, clean them with hot water and a clean cloth. 
  • Once the children are potty trained, teach them to wash their hands thoroughly everytime they use the bathroom. 
  • It is a good practice to wash clothes every day, so that sweat or moisture does not lead to fungal /bacterial infections
  • Try and increase immunity boosting foods and herbs in your cooking – like ginger, garlic, turmeric, tulsi, ajwain and lemon juice. Add these to your children’s soups and salads, along with your daily meals. You can also add a cinnamon piece or a few cloves while boiling drinking water. 
  • Ensure that adults and children are drinking plenty of water every day, and stay hydrated. Children should only drink water that has been boiled and cooled, as this process kills the maximum bacteria. 
  • Avoid ordering junk food from outside. Substitute it with homemade snacks and recipes. 
  • Keep foods, fruits and water covered, in a clean place. 
  • If a child is feverish, monitor the temperature while you consult your pediatrician. Keeping a child’s forehead and feet cool with wet towels or wipes, helps additionally. 
  • If on medication, give the child light, easy to digest food like dal-rice or ‘khichdi’, with no spice. It is important for the child to drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated. 
  • Other children or elderly family members should avoid interacting with a child who is unwell, to prevent the infection from spreading. 
  • Self-medication must be avoided at all costs, as it may cause more harm than good.
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Monsoon showers: What to be prepared for?

The much awaited rains always bring relief, after a spell of hot summer afternoons. But, they also bring with them a host of viral infections and fevers, that completely dampen the spirit – especially with children being more prone to falling ill. 

This year, with a pandemic adding to everyone’s woes, it has become difficult to distinguish between a normal viral fever triggered by the weather or mosquitoes, and something more serious. Illnesses like Dengue, Malaria, Influenza, Gastroenteritis or Typhoid make an appearance every year, and one should always be prepared to ensure that your family is protected. 

The best way to know the root cause of any health issue bothering your child, is a visit to your trusted pediatrician, and taking the recommended tests. However, it is also good to practice some basic precautionary measures to stay healthy. 

Here is a quick guide to fevers that one might encounter this season, and some do’s and don’ts to look after your kids. 

Viral Fever: 

Viral fevers are contagious, and easy to catch. They can range from mild to severe, and are mostly airborne. They may be accompanied by body ache and shivering. The faster a viral fever is addressed – the quicker a child will be back to normal.

Dengue: 

Caused by a bite from the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, dengue is transmitted directly to the bloodstream by the carrier insect. The fever fluctuates from moderate to high, and needs to be flushed out of the system through plenty of fluids and prescribed medicines.

Malaria: 

Caused by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, Malaria leads to high fever, shivering and severe exhaustion. The temperature spikes upwards quickly, and parents must only give prescribed medication, after testing.

Influenza i.e ‘Flu’ 

Commonly referred to as ‘Flu’, Influenza is marked by a runny nose, fever, body ache, cough and irritable throat. Caused by an airborne virus, it enters the body through the nose and throat, and affects the upper respiratory tract.

Typhoid: 

This waterborne infection is caused by a bacteria called Salmonella Typhi,

present in either food or water. Typical symptoms include prolonged fever, severe abdominal pain and headaches.

Gastroenteritis: 

Our digestive system is most sensitive during the monsoons, as compared to other seasons, and bacterial infections from contaminated food, water or even surfaces can disrupt the stomach severely.  This could lead to vomiting, loose motions and stomach cramps, leading to severe, debilitating weakness. 

Do’s and Don’ts: 

While one cannot stress enough the importance of a good immune system, it is still essential to follow some basic practices for health and hygiene, that go a long way in keeping us safe.  

  • The bedding of infants should be washed and ironed, before using again, to kill any bacteria or germs on the fabric. 
  • Infants and little children often pick up small things from the floor, and put it in their mouth. Be watchful about your baby, when they start crawling, or take baby steps. 
  • Wipe all the surfaces of your home with a child-safe disinfectant. Optionally, clean them with hot water and a clean cloth. 
  • Once the children are potty trained, teach them to wash their hands thoroughly everytime they use the bathroom. 
  • It is a good practice to wash clothes every day, so that sweat or moisture does not lead to fungal /bacterial infections
  • Try and increase immunity boosting foods and herbs in your cooking – like ginger, garlic, turmeric, tulsi, ajwain and lemon juice. Add these to your children’s soups and salads, along with your daily meals. You can also add a cinnamon piece or a few cloves while boiling drinking water. 
  • Ensure that adults and children are drinking plenty of water every day, and stay hydrated. Children should only drink water that has been boiled and cooled, as this process kills the maximum bacteria. 
  • Avoid ordering junk food from outside. Substitute it with homemade snacks and recipes. 
  • Keep foods, fruits and water covered, in a clean place. 
  • If a child is feverish, monitor the temperature while you consult your pediatrician. Keeping a child’s forehead and feet cool with wet towels or wipes, helps additionally. 
  • If on medication, give the child light, easy to digest food like dal-rice or ‘khichdi’, with no spice. It is important for the child to drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated. 
  • Other children or elderly family members should avoid interacting with a child who is unwell, to prevent the infection from spreading. 
  • Self-medication must be avoided at all costs, as it may cause more harm than good.
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Monsoon Illness In Children

Monsoon Illness In Children

August 28, 2020

Monsoon showers: What to be prep...

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            [blog_title] => Understanding Newborn Hiccups: Causes, Tips, and When to Seek Help
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Newborn hiccups are common in infants under 12 months old and may occur daily for some babies.

Interestingly, 2019 research suggests these hiccups may promote your baby’s brain development and respiratory functions. Think of them as nature’s early development tools – one that a baby starts experiencing even before birth.

While the reason behind them isn’t fully understood, one thing’s clear – hiccups are usually not considered a cause of concern.

However, if you find newborn hiccups bothersome for you or your baby, there are ways to get rid of them. Let’s learn more about them.

Why Do Newborns Get Hiccups?

Hiccups occur due to spasms or cramps in the diaphragm – a large muscle beneath the rib cage that moves up and down during breathing. These spasms lead to a sudden closure of the vocal cords, which creates the hiccup’s signature “hic!” sound.

While hiccups are more common in little ones without an apparent reason, certain feeding behaviors can sometimes induce diaphragm spams. These may include:

  • Overfeeding the babies
  • Eating too quickly
  • Swallowing excessive air while eating

These actions can cause your baby’s tummy to enlarge and press on the diaphragm, inducing spasms that lead to newborn hiccups.

Hiccups usually don’t bother little ones, but frequent hiccups can hint at an underlying health condition like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition happens when partially digested food and stomach acid flow back up through the food pipe. As these substances pass the diaphragm, irritation may occur, triggering spasms and hiccups.

Keep an eye out for other signs of GERD:

  • Coughing
  • Spitting up
  • Crying during feeds
  • Persistent arching back

If you notice these, a visit to the doctor can help determine if your baby has GERD and find the best way to soothe them.

How to Stop Newborn Hiccups?

Now that you understand the causes of hiccups in newborns, let’s focus on what to do for newborn hiccups to stop.

1. Let hiccups run their course

Babies hiccup often, and it’s usually harmless. While adults might find hiccups concerning, most babies sleep soundly through them, and their breathing stays unaffected.

In most cases, hiccups go away within 5-10 minutes on their own. So, unless your baby seems distressed, let nature take its course.

However, if the hiccups persist beyond 10 minutes or seem to bother your little one, consult your doctor.

2. Burp the baby while feeding

When your baby’s tummy gets filled with air, it can push against the diaphragm and cause tiny spasms and hiccups. Burping your baby regularly, especially while feeding, may help release trapped air and prevent hiccups.

As suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is advisable to burp bottle-fed infants after every 2 to 3 ounces of consumption. And for breastfed babies, it’s advisable to burp them when switching between breasts.

Hiccup Tips: Softly rub or pat your baby’s back during hiccups. Avoid using excessive force or slapping in this area.

3. Massage or rub the baby’s back

To release excess air from your baby’s tummy, try massaging their back in a circular motion. You can also gently rub their back and rock them back and forth to relax and halt the spasms responsible for hiccups.

4. Use a pacifier

Hiccups can occur anytime, not just during and after feeding. If your baby experiences hiccups out of the blue, offer them a pacifier to suck on. It can soothe the diaphragm and stop the hiccups.

5. Give the baby gripe water

Gripe water, a blend of herbs and water, has long been a traditional remedy for colic and tummy troubles. Common herbs found in gripe water are ginger, fennel, chamomile, and cinnamon.

While some believe it can alleviate hiccups caused by stomach troubles, science hasn’t confirmed this. However, due to the low risks involved, you can choose to give it a go.

READ: 5 Important Tips for Handling a Newborn

What Not to Do in Newborn Hiccups?

When you search for ‘how to stop newborn hiccups’ on the internet, you might get a lot of suggestions and home remedies. However, you must understand that many of these recommendations lack scientific support and can even be harmful.

Examples include:

  • Making a person jump while carrying your baby
  • Startling your baby
  • Pulling your baby’s tongue
  • Making your baby sip water while upside down

These methods can distress or even injure your baby and are unlikely to stop the hiccups. Instead of trying unproven remedies, consult your baby’s doctor, as they will suggest evidence-based advice and rule out any underlying medical conditions causing the hiccups.

How to Prevent Newborn Baby Hiccups?

Completely preventing newborn hiccups can be a challenge, as the underlying causes remain unclear. However, there are a few strategies you can opt for to minimize the occurrence of hiccup episodes and promote overall good digestion in your baby:

Ensure your baby is calm during feeding. Avoid waiting until they are hungry and upset before starting the feeding session, as this can trigger hiccups.

  • Instead of large meals, try feeding your baby smaller amounts more often.
  • After feeding, opt for gentle activities and avoid bouncing or high-energy play.
  • Keep your baby upright for 20 to 30 minutes following each meal.
  • Adjust the bottle position to eliminate any air near the teat.
  • Confirm that the baby’s mouth is properly latched over the entire nipple.

When is the Time to Consult a Doctor?

While hiccups are common in babies (both in and out of the womb), excessive hiccuping, especially when coupled with distress or agitation, warrants a doctor’s visit. This could signal underlying medical conditions.

Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • Your baby’s struggling to breathe or feed.
  • Their lips turn blue (cyanosis), suggesting low oxygen levels.
  • Your baby’s hiccups are disrupting their sleep.
  • Frequent hiccups persist beyond your child’s first birthday.
  • Hiccups continue for a duration exceeding two hours.

Remember, while most newborn hiccups are nothing to worry about, it’s always better to be cautious and seek medical advice if you have any concerns. A doctor can help ensure your little one’s health and well-being.

Take Away

Newborn hiccups are a normal and frequent occurrence, especially in the first year. They’re often related to feeding and typically not a cause for concern.

Following proper feeding techniques can make a difference, and some tried-and-true home remedies can offer relief.

However, consult a doctor if:

Hiccups persist for more than an hour or occur frequently throughout the day.
Your baby seems distressed or uncomfortable due to hiccups.
Other symptoms like vomiting, fever, or difficulty breathing accompany the hiccups.
Hiccups continue beyond the first year of age.

Remember, consulting your doctor if you have any concerns about your baby’s health is always the best course of action.

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Newborn hiccups are common in infants under 12 months old and may occur daily for some babies.

Interestingly, 2019 research suggests these hiccups may promote your baby’s brain development and respiratory functions. Think of them as nature’s early development tools – one that a baby starts experiencing even before birth.

While the reason behind them isn’t fully understood, one thing’s clear – hiccups are usually not considered a cause of concern.

However, if you find newborn hiccups bothersome for you or your baby, there are ways to get rid of them. Let’s learn more about them.

Why Do Newborns Get Hiccups?

Hiccups occur due to spasms or cramps in the diaphragm – a large muscle beneath the rib cage that moves up and down during breathing. These spasms lead to a sudden closure of the vocal cords, which creates the hiccup’s signature “hic!” sound.

While hiccups are more common in little ones without an apparent reason, certain feeding behaviors can sometimes induce diaphragm spams. These may include:

  • Overfeeding the babies
  • Eating too quickly
  • Swallowing excessive air while eating

These actions can cause your baby’s tummy to enlarge and press on the diaphragm, inducing spasms that lead to newborn hiccups.

Hiccups usually don’t bother little ones, but frequent hiccups can hint at an underlying health condition like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition happens when partially digested food and stomach acid flow back up through the food pipe. As these substances pass the diaphragm, irritation may occur, triggering spasms and hiccups.

Keep an eye out for other signs of GERD:

  • Coughing
  • Spitting up
  • Crying during feeds
  • Persistent arching back

If you notice these, a visit to the doctor can help determine if your baby has GERD and find the best way to soothe them.

How to Stop Newborn Hiccups?

Now that you understand the causes of hiccups in newborns, let’s focus on what to do for newborn hiccups to stop.

1. Let hiccups run their course

Babies hiccup often, and it’s usually harmless. While adults might find hiccups concerning, most babies sleep soundly through them, and their breathing stays unaffected.

In most cases, hiccups go away within 5-10 minutes on their own. So, unless your baby seems distressed, let nature take its course.

However, if the hiccups persist beyond 10 minutes or seem to bother your little one, consult your doctor.

2. Burp the baby while feeding

When your baby’s tummy gets filled with air, it can push against the diaphragm and cause tiny spasms and hiccups. Burping your baby regularly, especially while feeding, may help release trapped air and prevent hiccups.

As suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is advisable to burp bottle-fed infants after every 2 to 3 ounces of consumption. And for breastfed babies, it’s advisable to burp them when switching between breasts.

Hiccup Tips: Softly rub or pat your baby’s back during hiccups. Avoid using excessive force or slapping in this area.

3. Massage or rub the baby’s back

To release excess air from your baby’s tummy, try massaging their back in a circular motion. You can also gently rub their back and rock them back and forth to relax and halt the spasms responsible for hiccups.

4. Use a pacifier

Hiccups can occur anytime, not just during and after feeding. If your baby experiences hiccups out of the blue, offer them a pacifier to suck on. It can soothe the diaphragm and stop the hiccups.

5. Give the baby gripe water

Gripe water, a blend of herbs and water, has long been a traditional remedy for colic and tummy troubles. Common herbs found in gripe water are ginger, fennel, chamomile, and cinnamon.

While some believe it can alleviate hiccups caused by stomach troubles, science hasn’t confirmed this. However, due to the low risks involved, you can choose to give it a go.

READ: 5 Important Tips for Handling a Newborn

What Not to Do in Newborn Hiccups?

When you search for ‘how to stop newborn hiccups’ on the internet, you might get a lot of suggestions and home remedies. However, you must understand that many of these recommendations lack scientific support and can even be harmful.

Examples include:

  • Making a person jump while carrying your baby
  • Startling your baby
  • Pulling your baby’s tongue
  • Making your baby sip water while upside down

These methods can distress or even injure your baby and are unlikely to stop the hiccups. Instead of trying unproven remedies, consult your baby’s doctor, as they will suggest evidence-based advice and rule out any underlying medical conditions causing the hiccups.

How to Prevent Newborn Baby Hiccups?

Completely preventing newborn hiccups can be a challenge, as the underlying causes remain unclear. However, there are a few strategies you can opt for to minimize the occurrence of hiccup episodes and promote overall good digestion in your baby:

Ensure your baby is calm during feeding. Avoid waiting until they are hungry and upset before starting the feeding session, as this can trigger hiccups.

  • Instead of large meals, try feeding your baby smaller amounts more often.
  • After feeding, opt for gentle activities and avoid bouncing or high-energy play.
  • Keep your baby upright for 20 to 30 minutes following each meal.
  • Adjust the bottle position to eliminate any air near the teat.
  • Confirm that the baby’s mouth is properly latched over the entire nipple.

When is the Time to Consult a Doctor?

While hiccups are common in babies (both in and out of the womb), excessive hiccuping, especially when coupled with distress or agitation, warrants a doctor’s visit. This could signal underlying medical conditions.

Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • Your baby’s struggling to breathe or feed.
  • Their lips turn blue (cyanosis), suggesting low oxygen levels.
  • Your baby’s hiccups are disrupting their sleep.
  • Frequent hiccups persist beyond your child’s first birthday.
  • Hiccups continue for a duration exceeding two hours.

Remember, while most newborn hiccups are nothing to worry about, it’s always better to be cautious and seek medical advice if you have any concerns. A doctor can help ensure your little one’s health and well-being.

Take Away

Newborn hiccups are a normal and frequent occurrence, especially in the first year. They’re often related to feeding and typically not a cause for concern.

Following proper feeding techniques can make a difference, and some tried-and-true home remedies can offer relief.

However, consult a doctor if:

Hiccups persist for more than an hour or occur frequently throughout the day.
Your baby seems distressed or uncomfortable due to hiccups.
Other symptoms like vomiting, fever, or difficulty breathing accompany the hiccups.
Hiccups continue beyond the first year of age.

Remember, consulting your doctor if you have any concerns about your baby’s health is always the best course of action.

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Understanding Newborn Hiccups: Causes, Tips, and When to Seek Help

Understanding Newborn Hiccups: Causes, Tips, and When to Seek Help

February 6, 2020

Newborn hiccups are common in infants under 12 months old and may oc...

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            [blog_title] => Premature baby health care at home post-discharge from NICU
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Discharge from the hospital

Premature babies need to attain several milestones before they can be safely discharged from the maternity hospital. These include:

  • Breathing without external oxygen support
  • Steady heart rate
  • All feeding through the mouth
  • Steady weight gain
  • A stable body temperature

Key points to aid a smooth transition

  • Care for the baby while in the maternity hospital NICU so you develop readiness under trained supervision.
  • Learn how to use and maintain the baby’s medical equipment. Also, practise administering medication.
  • Identify a healthcare provider for the baby’s follow-up care before discharge from the NICU.

What can you expect on discharge day?

The doctor will meet you before discharge from the maternity hospital to give you key instructions and to answer questions you may have. Make sure to get a copy of the baby’s discharge summary as well, since it documents the treatment in the NICU and the follow-up required.

Key points of concern after discharge

Feeding

Breast milk is the best source of nutrition, even for premature babies, and the baby can be exclusively fed breast milk until six months of age. It is advisable to follow the feeding schedule recommended by the maternity hospital to determine the frequency of feeds.

Nutrition

Premature infants are at risk of anaemia. This makes regular screening essential. In case of deficiency, the doctor should be consulted for suitable supplements.

Preventing infections

Premature infants have relatively lower immunity. To reduce the risk of their contracting infections, the environment at home should be extremely clean. Avoid too many visitors as they may transfer viruses. Take care to immunize the baby properly as per the immunization schedule shared by the maternity hospital. Being at higher risk for respiratory infections, premature babies should specifically be given Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) antibody injections.

Sleep

Premature babies are at higher risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) wherein seemingly healthy babies sometimes die in their sleep. Active measures can be taken to reduce the risk for this. Babies sleep safer on their backs. Make sure to keep his/her head uncovered and tuck the blanket under the arms. Maintaining a comfortable temperature that’s neither too hot nor cold helps reduce the risk too because extremes are dangerous for the baby.

Warmth and security

Warmth plays an important role in the baby’s health. Mothers and other caregivers should use the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) approach wherein the baby is placed between the mother’s breasts. This provides warmth and intimacy, improves the baby’s respiration by syncing it with the mother’s, and also allows it to feed on demand.

Alarming signs

Parents should be able to identify signs of alarm such as breathing trouble, high fevers, reduced food intake, decreased activity or convulsions. In such situations seek medical help immediately.

Regular follow- up

Premature babies may be prone to long-term health problems related to vision, hearing and respiration. Regular monitoring ensures timely detection and corrective interventions in case of anomalies.

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Discharge from the hospital

Premature babies need to attain several milestones before they can be safely discharged from the maternity hospital. These include:

  • Breathing without external oxygen support
  • Steady heart rate
  • All feeding through the mouth
  • Steady weight gain
  • A stable body temperature

Key points to aid a smooth transition

  • Care for the baby while in the maternity hospital NICU so you develop readiness under trained supervision.
  • Learn how to use and maintain the baby’s medical equipment. Also, practise administering medication.
  • Identify a healthcare provider for the baby’s follow-up care before discharge from the NICU.

What can you expect on discharge day?

The doctor will meet you before discharge from the maternity hospital to give you key instructions and to answer questions you may have. Make sure to get a copy of the baby’s discharge summary as well, since it documents the treatment in the NICU and the follow-up required.

Key points of concern after discharge

Feeding

Breast milk is the best source of nutrition, even for premature babies, and the baby can be exclusively fed breast milk until six months of age. It is advisable to follow the feeding schedule recommended by the maternity hospital to determine the frequency of feeds.

Nutrition

Premature infants are at risk of anaemia. This makes regular screening essential. In case of deficiency, the doctor should be consulted for suitable supplements.

Preventing infections

Premature infants have relatively lower immunity. To reduce the risk of their contracting infections, the environment at home should be extremely clean. Avoid too many visitors as they may transfer viruses. Take care to immunize the baby properly as per the immunization schedule shared by the maternity hospital. Being at higher risk for respiratory infections, premature babies should specifically be given Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) antibody injections.

Sleep

Premature babies are at higher risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) wherein seemingly healthy babies sometimes die in their sleep. Active measures can be taken to reduce the risk for this. Babies sleep safer on their backs. Make sure to keep his/her head uncovered and tuck the blanket under the arms. Maintaining a comfortable temperature that’s neither too hot nor cold helps reduce the risk too because extremes are dangerous for the baby.

Warmth and security

Warmth plays an important role in the baby’s health. Mothers and other caregivers should use the Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) approach wherein the baby is placed between the mother’s breasts. This provides warmth and intimacy, improves the baby’s respiration by syncing it with the mother’s, and also allows it to feed on demand.

Alarming signs

Parents should be able to identify signs of alarm such as breathing trouble, high fevers, reduced food intake, decreased activity or convulsions. In such situations seek medical help immediately.

Regular follow- up

Premature babies may be prone to long-term health problems related to vision, hearing and respiration. Regular monitoring ensures timely detection and corrective interventions in case of anomalies.

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Premature baby health care at home post-discharge from NICU

Premature baby health care at home post-discharge from NICU

May 22, 2019

Discharge from the hospital Premature b...

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Premature babies are infants that are born about 3 weeks before their estimated due date. Another way of putting it would be a baby that is born before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature birth is dangerous for the infant as the baby has not been given the time in the mother’s womb that he/she needs to develop fully. Premature babies, especially those that are born very early, usually suffer from medical complications such as apnoea, respiratory stress disorder, jaundice, anaemia, etc. Here are a few Premature Baby Care Tips At Home:

1. Taking your child home from the hospital

This might come across as a very daunting situation when it is finally time for you to take your premature baby care tips at home. It is important to know that it is very beneficial for not only your baby but even you as a parent as it reduces the chances of your child catching any infection in the hospital. Also, your infant learns how to feed on its own, and benefits from the positivity and comfort of your home environment, where you can establish a stronger bond with your new family member. Do remember that a hospital would never suggest you take your baby home if they did not think that both you and your baby were ready to go home. Going home from the hospital is definitely a good thing as it means that your baby’s health is stable.

2. Breastfeeding your premature baby

Breastfeeding is an important part of motherhood, no matter what. There are a lot of benefits to breastfeeding as breast milk contains certain amount of nutrients and vitamins that help your premature baby grow and develop faster and healthier. Breast milk is much easier to digest than formula milk as it is specially designed by your body for your baby. If your infant is too premature for breastfeeding, it is recommended that you start expressing your milk eight to ten times a day and once in the night in order to keep your milk supply up. You can have a nurse or midwife show you how to express milk in case you are new to it. Your other option is donor’s breast milk that can be provided either by your hospital or some other source.

3. Maintain skin to skin contact with your premature baby

This has proven to be a great exercise for not only the baby and mother but also the father. You can practice skin to skin contact by dressing your infant in a nappy and letting him/her rest on your chest under your shirt or under a blanket so that he/she is tightly secured to your body. The benefits of skin to skin contact are many, and include reducing any pain or stress your child is feeling. It also promotes healthy weight gain, helps establish breast feeding, makes it easier for your baby to adapt to its new environment, and also helps regulate its heart rate and breathing.

4. Pay extra attention to your baby’s sleeping requirements

It is normal for your preterm baby to sleep throughout the day as this helps in its growth and development process. A few tips to make sure your baby is sleeping well: ensure that your baby is always sleeping on his/her back and never on the stomach, and always on a hard and flat surface without any pillows.

5. Limit outdoor visits

It is wise to ensure that your baby stays at home for the first few weeks after birth. Doctor appointments are an exception and should be attended regularly. However, the reason that we ask you to make sure your baby is at home most of the time is because your child’s immunity is very low at this stage and he/she is prone to catching infections and viruses very easily. To avoid complications, and even fatality, your baby should be kept in safe and clean environments for at least the first few months.

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Premature babies are infants that are born about 3 weeks before their estimated due date. Another way of putting it would be a baby that is born before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature birth is dangerous for the infant as the baby has not been given the time in the mother’s womb that he/she needs to develop fully. Premature babies, especially those that are born very early, usually suffer from medical complications such as apnoea, respiratory stress disorder, jaundice, anaemia, etc. Here are a few Premature Baby Care Tips At Home:

1. Taking your child home from the hospital

This might come across as a very daunting situation when it is finally time for you to take your premature baby care tips at home. It is important to know that it is very beneficial for not only your baby but even you as a parent as it reduces the chances of your child catching any infection in the hospital. Also, your infant learns how to feed on its own, and benefits from the positivity and comfort of your home environment, where you can establish a stronger bond with your new family member. Do remember that a hospital would never suggest you take your baby home if they did not think that both you and your baby were ready to go home. Going home from the hospital is definitely a good thing as it means that your baby’s health is stable.

2. Breastfeeding your premature baby

Breastfeeding is an important part of motherhood, no matter what. There are a lot of benefits to breastfeeding as breast milk contains certain amount of nutrients and vitamins that help your premature baby grow and develop faster and healthier. Breast milk is much easier to digest than formula milk as it is specially designed by your body for your baby. If your infant is too premature for breastfeeding, it is recommended that you start expressing your milk eight to ten times a day and once in the night in order to keep your milk supply up. You can have a nurse or midwife show you how to express milk in case you are new to it. Your other option is donor’s breast milk that can be provided either by your hospital or some other source.

3. Maintain skin to skin contact with your premature baby

This has proven to be a great exercise for not only the baby and mother but also the father. You can practice skin to skin contact by dressing your infant in a nappy and letting him/her rest on your chest under your shirt or under a blanket so that he/she is tightly secured to your body. The benefits of skin to skin contact are many, and include reducing any pain or stress your child is feeling. It also promotes healthy weight gain, helps establish breast feeding, makes it easier for your baby to adapt to its new environment, and also helps regulate its heart rate and breathing.

4. Pay extra attention to your baby’s sleeping requirements

It is normal for your preterm baby to sleep throughout the day as this helps in its growth and development process. A few tips to make sure your baby is sleeping well: ensure that your baby is always sleeping on his/her back and never on the stomach, and always on a hard and flat surface without any pillows.

5. Limit outdoor visits

It is wise to ensure that your baby stays at home for the first few weeks after birth. Doctor appointments are an exception and should be attended regularly. However, the reason that we ask you to make sure your baby is at home most of the time is because your child’s immunity is very low at this stage and he/she is prone to catching infections and viruses very easily. To avoid complications, and even fatality, your baby should be kept in safe and clean environments for at least the first few months.

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5 Premature Baby Care Tips At Home

5 Premature Baby Care Tips At Home

February 18, 2019

Premature babies are infants that are born about 3 weeks before thei...

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            [blog_title] => Your Guide to Natural Childbirth Classes
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While we have numerous information relating to labor and delivery there is some shrouded mystery around the act of childbirth itself. It’s time to lift the veil and introduce the world to knowledge around childbirth. Birthing classes can be a real asset to understand the intricacies involved in normal childbirth. By taking a natural childbirth class, one can break the stereotypes created around it, where it’s generally shown as gory, violent and hysterical.

Childbirth classes differ in their focus and mode of operation. But nonetheless they all provide essential information on labor, delivery and postpartum issues. One of the most famous is Lamaze courses, where information about different ways to position yourself for labor and birth, relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, communication skills and breastfeeding is given.

The Bradley Method prepares the mother to give birth without pain medications while the father learns to act as coach to the birth mom. The class also prepares you for emergency situations like cesarean section. Another method known as Hypnobirthing or The Mongan Method, teaches moms how to use hypnosis techniques to avoid a fear-tension-pain cycle and instead focus on how comfortable childbirth is.

Informed Beginnings are in-person birth classes where the focus is to make moms understand that natural childbirth and breastfeeding are healthiest and safest for both mother and child. These classes also emphasize on the importance of having a loving support team during pregnancy. These classes can effectively help in lowering anxiety around childbirth. You are also coached on the importance of nutrition and exercise. They also provide you with information about possible complications that may arise during childbirth and how they can be effectively handled. Information about hospitals, birthing centres are also given.

They slightly differ amongst themselves in schedule but if you are too busy to join any or none of the schedule suits you, you can always hire a private instructor at home. But remember, knowing what to expect from that first contraction to labor pain and the final push, will go a long way in preparing you for childbirth. All these classes may differ in their philosophy but their ultimate aim is to make your journey of pregnancy a joyful one. Don’t miss the opportunity!

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While we have numerous information relating to labor and delivery there is some shrouded mystery around the act of childbirth itself. It’s time to lift the veil and introduce the world to knowledge around childbirth. Birthing classes can be a real asset to understand the intricacies involved in normal childbirth. By taking a natural childbirth class, one can break the stereotypes created around it, where it’s generally shown as gory, violent and hysterical.

Childbirth classes differ in their focus and mode of operation. But nonetheless they all provide essential information on labor, delivery and postpartum issues. One of the most famous is Lamaze courses, where information about different ways to position yourself for labor and birth, relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, communication skills and breastfeeding is given.

The Bradley Method prepares the mother to give birth without pain medications while the father learns to act as coach to the birth mom. The class also prepares you for emergency situations like cesarean section. Another method known as Hypnobirthing or The Mongan Method, teaches moms how to use hypnosis techniques to avoid a fear-tension-pain cycle and instead focus on how comfortable childbirth is.

Informed Beginnings are in-person birth classes where the focus is to make moms understand that natural childbirth and breastfeeding are healthiest and safest for both mother and child. These classes also emphasize on the importance of having a loving support team during pregnancy. These classes can effectively help in lowering anxiety around childbirth. You are also coached on the importance of nutrition and exercise. They also provide you with information about possible complications that may arise during childbirth and how they can be effectively handled. Information about hospitals, birthing centres are also given.

They slightly differ amongst themselves in schedule but if you are too busy to join any or none of the schedule suits you, you can always hire a private instructor at home. But remember, knowing what to expect from that first contraction to labor pain and the final push, will go a long way in preparing you for childbirth. All these classes may differ in their philosophy but their ultimate aim is to make your journey of pregnancy a joyful one. Don’t miss the opportunity!

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Your Guide to Natural Childbirth Classes

Your Guide to Natural Childbirth Classes

September 30, 2018

While we have numerous information relati...

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            [blog_title] => Children Who Flutter
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An arrhythmia refers to any change or distortion in the regular rhythm of one’s heartbeat, and while most of these are harmless, some of these can be serious, even life-threatening. Most arrhythmias that occur in children are isolated incidents, and can be dealt with by treating the problem that causes the sensation, like fever. Children may report irregularity of their heartbeat as a feeling of ‘fluttering’.

A child with arrhythmia can experience excessively slow or fast beating of the heart, or their heart could have extra beats or even skip beats. It can arise from heart defects or in response to external illnesses like infections, fevers, etc. If your child’s heart beats too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia), it could affect the ability of the heart to pump adequate amounts of blood to the rest of the body, causing serious damage to vital organs like the brain, liver or kidneys.

Recognising arrhythmia symptoms depend on the maturity and age of your child. Older children may be able to report feelings of lightheadedness or their heart fluttering and skipping beats. In case of toddlers or infants, parents may notice irritability, pale skin, etc. Other common symptoms to look out for are weakness, palpitations, sweating and shortness of breath, and pauses between heartbeats.

Treatment for these fluttering symptoms depend on the age of the child and the cause behind the symptoms. Some popularly used techniques are medication, cardioversion where small amounts of electric current are used to shock the heart and convert irregular beats to a normal rhythm, radio frequency ablation which makes use of a cardiac catheterisation and involves radio energy to heat and kill the tissue causing arrhythmia, or implantable devices like pacemakers which use electric pulses to control heart rhythm, or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD’s) which use small shocks to control life threatening arrhythmias. In a few cases, surgical procedure called maze surgery is used to treat atrial fibrillation.

In many cases, heart flutters are common and harmless among children, but when they begin to occur outside of their exercise or playtime routines, increase in frequency and begin to last longer, and that too along with any of the other symptoms, they must be reported to a doctor immediately.

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An arrhythmia refers to any change or distortion in the regular rhythm of one’s heartbeat, and while most of these are harmless, some of these can be serious, even life-threatening. Most arrhythmias that occur in children are isolated incidents, and can be dealt with by treating the problem that causes the sensation, like fever. Children may report irregularity of their heartbeat as a feeling of ‘fluttering’.

A child with arrhythmia can experience excessively slow or fast beating of the heart, or their heart could have extra beats or even skip beats. It can arise from heart defects or in response to external illnesses like infections, fevers, etc. If your child’s heart beats too fast (tachycardia) or too slow (bradycardia), it could affect the ability of the heart to pump adequate amounts of blood to the rest of the body, causing serious damage to vital organs like the brain, liver or kidneys.

Recognising arrhythmia symptoms depend on the maturity and age of your child. Older children may be able to report feelings of lightheadedness or their heart fluttering and skipping beats. In case of toddlers or infants, parents may notice irritability, pale skin, etc. Other common symptoms to look out for are weakness, palpitations, sweating and shortness of breath, and pauses between heartbeats.

Treatment for these fluttering symptoms depend on the age of the child and the cause behind the symptoms. Some popularly used techniques are medication, cardioversion where small amounts of electric current are used to shock the heart and convert irregular beats to a normal rhythm, radio frequency ablation which makes use of a cardiac catheterisation and involves radio energy to heat and kill the tissue causing arrhythmia, or implantable devices like pacemakers which use electric pulses to control heart rhythm, or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD’s) which use small shocks to control life threatening arrhythmias. In a few cases, surgical procedure called maze surgery is used to treat atrial fibrillation.

In many cases, heart flutters are common and harmless among children, but when they begin to occur outside of their exercise or playtime routines, increase in frequency and begin to last longer, and that too along with any of the other symptoms, they must be reported to a doctor immediately.

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Children Who Flutter

Children Who Flutter

September 20, 2018

An arrhythmia refers to any change or dis...

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            [blog_title] => How to Set a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby
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If you are wondering about how to ship off your young one to his or her faraway land of dreams routinely, then here is an article you should consider reading. First question is, why set a bedtime routine for your baby? What’s the use?
The predictability of a routine sleep cycle is something that both you and your baby will learn to follow and appreciate. Setting a bedtime routine will help your baby adjust their best in unfamiliar surroundings and situations. It’s always best to set a bedtime routine as early as possible, preferably within 6 to 8 weeks of birth itself. Once you have done this, your baby will adhere to this consistency of routine. Plus, for you as a parent, following a bedtime routine also increases your work efficiency. You don’t need to worry about having to sleep your baby because once a routine is set, you’ll find your sweetie yawning when it’s time by himself or herself.

How to Plan your Bedtime Routine?

It’s nothing complicated! Just set some simple tasks that your baby enjoys and make sure you start well within evening so that you can get enough time to carry out the entire sequence. As such, your baby’s bedtime routine must be unique for him or her alone. No two babies are alike!
 
However, the following routines are a part of most babes’ bedtime fairy story:
  • Let him or her use up his or her share of energy that he or she might have accumulated all day.
  • Give him or her a nice long bath. While you do so, make sure you massage his or her face, hands and chest. Warm water relaxes them.
  • All the very best if you’ve gotten your baby to the tooth-brushing habit as early as possible.
  • Play with your kid. Not only will both of you enjoy this but also this helps your baby burn off more steam and relax.
  • Have a nice Mommy kiddie chat. Talk about their hair that has grown so much, cuddle them. Tell them a nice bedtime story.
  • Sing them a nice long lullaby or play soft music. Watch them sleep.
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If you are wondering about how to ship off your young one to his or her faraway land of dreams routinely, then here is an article you should consider reading. First question is, why set a bedtime routine for your baby? What’s the use?
The predictability of a routine sleep cycle is something that both you and your baby will learn to follow and appreciate. Setting a bedtime routine will help your baby adjust their best in unfamiliar surroundings and situations. It’s always best to set a bedtime routine as early as possible, preferably within 6 to 8 weeks of birth itself. Once you have done this, your baby will adhere to this consistency of routine. Plus, for you as a parent, following a bedtime routine also increases your work efficiency. You don’t need to worry about having to sleep your baby because once a routine is set, you’ll find your sweetie yawning when it’s time by himself or herself.

How to Plan your Bedtime Routine?

It’s nothing complicated! Just set some simple tasks that your baby enjoys and make sure you start well within evening so that you can get enough time to carry out the entire sequence. As such, your baby’s bedtime routine must be unique for him or her alone. No two babies are alike!
 
However, the following routines are a part of most babes’ bedtime fairy story:
  • Let him or her use up his or her share of energy that he or she might have accumulated all day.
  • Give him or her a nice long bath. While you do so, make sure you massage his or her face, hands and chest. Warm water relaxes them.
  • All the very best if you’ve gotten your baby to the tooth-brushing habit as early as possible.
  • Play with your kid. Not only will both of you enjoy this but also this helps your baby burn off more steam and relax.
  • Have a nice Mommy kiddie chat. Talk about their hair that has grown so much, cuddle them. Tell them a nice bedtime story.
  • Sing them a nice long lullaby or play soft music. Watch them sleep.
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How to Set a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby

How to Set a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby

September 15, 2018

If you are wondering about how to ship ...

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            [blog_title] => How to Manage Your Twin Babies?
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New mother of two? Still in a state of bewilderment of your beloved ‘Get one free’ prizes? In addition to that, are you wondering how to manage your two darlings at once? If it seems like a somewhat hectic job to you, know this. Most new mommies are struggling with having to care for their new-born with perfection. You have two: so there is an added bonus of responsibility. But, don’t fret! You are in the right place and about to learn some real hands-on tips about how to take care of twin babes.

Can the two New-Borns Sleep Together?

This is what doctors refer to as co-bedding which is completely safe. In fact, twins when sleeping together in the same cot, regulate body temperatures better and co-ordinate their sleeping cycles. This is good for both babies. There are no special rules for co-bedding- just don’t forget to put everything in pairs. Two pillows, two soft toys, two suckers and er…two babies!
 
Well! Here are some tips to follow when you’re stuck about how to manage both twins at once.
  1. Breastfeed both babies together. Try using a nursing pillow for feeding both at a time. If tandem feeding is problematic, try feeding alternately with one being breastfed and the other bottle-fed. Switch their turns during your next meal.
  2. Make them fall asleep together on the same cot.
  3. Bottle feed them together as well.
  4. Learn the inside and outs of using a double stroller.
  5. Remember to alternate holding and laying down each babe.
  6. Learn to use an infant cushion.
  7. Also, learn how to lay them on the blanket together.
  8. Be extra fast with changing diapers, because you got to do both at a time.
  9. Have equal speed with preparing their sucking bottles.
  10. Be organised with how you keep your baby stuff. It won’t be nice for you if your breast pumps are going missing while both babes are crying for attention.
  11. Learn bathing them together.
  12. Plus, here’s a fact: twins have spent longer together than you have with each of them times two. Let them maintain their special bond. Don’t show favouritism to any of the two.
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New mother of two? Still in a state of bewilderment of your beloved ‘Get one free’ prizes? In addition to that, are you wondering how to manage your two darlings at once? If it seems like a somewhat hectic job to you, know this. Most new mommies are struggling with having to care for their new-born with perfection. You have two: so there is an added bonus of responsibility. But, don’t fret! You are in the right place and about to learn some real hands-on tips about how to take care of twin babes.

Can the two New-Borns Sleep Together?

This is what doctors refer to as co-bedding which is completely safe. In fact, twins when sleeping together in the same cot, regulate body temperatures better and co-ordinate their sleeping cycles. This is good for both babies. There are no special rules for co-bedding- just don’t forget to put everything in pairs. Two pillows, two soft toys, two suckers and er…two babies!
 
Well! Here are some tips to follow when you’re stuck about how to manage both twins at once.
  1. Breastfeed both babies together. Try using a nursing pillow for feeding both at a time. If tandem feeding is problematic, try feeding alternately with one being breastfed and the other bottle-fed. Switch their turns during your next meal.
  2. Make them fall asleep together on the same cot.
  3. Bottle feed them together as well.
  4. Learn the inside and outs of using a double stroller.
  5. Remember to alternate holding and laying down each babe.
  6. Learn to use an infant cushion.
  7. Also, learn how to lay them on the blanket together.
  8. Be extra fast with changing diapers, because you got to do both at a time.
  9. Have equal speed with preparing their sucking bottles.
  10. Be organised with how you keep your baby stuff. It won’t be nice for you if your breast pumps are going missing while both babes are crying for attention.
  11. Learn bathing them together.
  12. Plus, here’s a fact: twins have spent longer together than you have with each of them times two. Let them maintain their special bond. Don’t show favouritism to any of the two.
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How to Manage Your Twin Babies?

How to Manage Your Twin Babies?

September 13, 2018

New mother of two? Still in a state of ...

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