16 September, 2022
What are vaccines?
Vaccines are given as injection or oral form to produce an antibody reaction against specific bacteria and viruses. This will help your child develop immunity against these dreadful diseases.
There are way too many vaccines. Will it weaken my child’s natural immunity?
Not at all. Vaccines do not affect the natural immunity of a child in anyway.
Can I give my baby only government vaccines?
That is your choice but just because a vaccine is not in government schedule does not mean it is not important. There are many factors to be considered before a vaccine is approved by government – financial, feasibility, other logistics. In fact some important vaccines like rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccine which were earlier not given in government centres are now part of their schedule. You can discuss with your Paediatrician about the vaccines and then take an informed decision.
What is difference between painful and painless vaccines?
Painless and painful vaccine is applicable only to the DPT combination vaccines. This is because of the pertussis component. The whole cell Pertussis or so called painful vaccine has higher chances of high grade fever, pain, vaccine site redness/ swelling, excessive crying. The acellular or so called painless vaccines have less chances of these side effects. Both are effective against the disease. Only in terms of side effects the difference is there.
What are the side effects of vaccines? Are they safe?
The childhood vaccinations are approved after many years of research and are very safe. The common side effects are:
Vaccine site pain
Vaccine site redness/ swelling
Excessive crying/ irritability
Mild rashes – maybe seen after MMR and chicken pox vaccines
Serious side effects like an allergic reaction, febrile seizures ARE EXTREMELY RARE
What can I do to comfort my baby post vaccination?
Your Pediatrician will prescribe paracetamol for pain/ fever/ excessive crying post vaccination. You can use that as required. The side effects can last up to 2-3 days. Don’t massage the baby’s vaccine site. If you find any unusual symptoms in your baby then consult your Pediatrician immediately.
02 February, 2022
The Ultimate Guide to Taking Care of Toddlers in the Winter
With the cold weather already here, you may be thinking about whether it’s safe for your toddler to play outside or not. However, no matter if the temperatures outside are decreasing, toddlers during the winter require physical activities because they are great stress relievers for them when they are cooped up inside their house for so many hours.
Thus, it is safe for a toddler to play outside during the cold weather. The American Council of Exercise even recommends that the children should receive approximately 60 minutes of physical activity each day. So you may allow your toddler for outdoor play in different intervals by providing them breaks after 10 to 20 minutes.
Here are several other tips that will facilitate outdoor play for your toddlers while keeping them safe.
Dressing Them Properly During Cold Weather
Toddlers during the winter should be sent outside to play only after dressing them in layers. The layered dressing will help to keep the body warm of your toddler with scarves, boots, hats, earmuffs, socks or mittens. Additionally, the layers will not only protect your child while they’re playing outside but will also help to retain their body heat through the air pockets present in the different clothes.
Though your child may become sweaty through outdoor play, you can always take off one layer. It is even recommended to dress your child in an extra layer as compared to an average adult.
Helping Them Keep Warm Indoors
Unlike adults, toddlers cannot regulate their body temperature during cold weather. So, you need to take special care to help keep your toddler warm indoors during the cold weather. For this, you should shut off the windows in case it is extremely cold outside and use a room heater or a humidifier to provide a warm and comfortable environment for your toddler. Additionally, you can keep your toddler’s bed warm by using a warm water bottle and keeping it at the side of your toddler while he or she sleeps.
With winters just round the corner, comes the season of seasonal flu and cold. So it becomes necessary to practise the right hygiene for your toddlers and help keep them safe. First of all, you should make sure that your toddler is vaccinated for the flu. Secondly, when your toddler comes home after outdoor play, you should wash their hands properly. You can also provide them with a sanitiser to keep their hands clean.
Additionally, in case any other person in the house is already suffering from cold and cough, do not let your kid stay around that person as there is a higher chance of getting infected with the cold and flu. In the end, another hygiene concern for toddlers during the winter is their dry skin. Tell your toddler not to bathe in very hot water and moisturise their skin after bathing.
Tips for Keeping Them Active
You should encourage toddlers to be active during the cold weather by playing outside and participating in their outdoor play yourself. There are a plethora of winter activities like outdoor as well as indoor games. You may play indoor games with your child like Ludo, Carrom or even teach him or her during the free time. Also, allow room for physical activity by letting your kids play outdoor with their friends.
Keeping Their Ears From Getting Colds
There is a higher chance of ear infections in toddlers during winter because of the reduced blood flow to the ear. With the reduced blood flow, the ears lose their capacity to fight off infections. Hence you need to keep your toddler’s ears from getting colds in winter. So let your toddler wear earmuffs or even a woollen hat during the winter that can help to keep frostbite away.
Avoiding Overheating Themselves
Toddlers have an amplified sensitivity to temperature changes and hence it may become difficult for you to keep your toddlers warm in winter because there is the risk of overheating. You can avoid overheating your toddlers by regulating the layers they wear during winter. It’s crucial to layer up your toddler while he or she is going outside to play or going for a walk. However, reduce the layers once your toddler is peacefully sleeping in the car or is with you indoors.
So, these are some of the tips for toddlers during the cold weather. Hopefully, this guide will help you to keep your toddler warm during the winter season.
*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before making any decision.
29 January, 2022
Common Diseases and Issues: Caring For a Baby And How To Prevent Them.
Caring for a baby is very crucial because during the initial first year the baby’s immune system is quite weak. Due to this, there are amplified chances for him or her to develop several common diseases in babies or sickness in infant. But with the right care, you can treat common diseases in babies easily.
However, new parents and caregivers may have several questions related to their infants’ healthcare. So this guide will help you to know how to care for your baby and prevent the common diseases in babies and sickness in infant. Now let’s have a look at the common diseases in babies worth one year or less and how to care for them, or how to prevent them earlier only.
Keeping track of the bowel movement of your infant is crucial because this can help you to know if your infant is likely to develop any disease. So the different factors you need to consider regarding the bowel movement of your baby are as follows.
Initially, the consistency of your kid’s stool will range from loose, runny or soft. However, infant or formula-fed may have stools with a tan yellow shade and firmer as compared to the infants who are breastfed. All you need to consider while checking the consistency of your infants’ stool is that it should not be hard or very dry because this can be a sign of dehydration.
The Initial bowel movement of a newborn is generally a dark green or black coloured substance known as meconium. However, once the meconium has passed, you can see that the colour of the stools will turn yellowish-green.
When your baby has reached the duration of three to six weeks, he or she should have one bowel movement per week in case you breastfeed the infant. However, if you formula feed your infant, then the baby will have fewer bowel movements than this. If you find hard stools, you should immediately check with your healthcare provider as this could be a symptom of a sickness in infant known as Constipation
In case your baby is continuously crying in the evening and it gets worse through the night, then this could be a symptom of another sickness in infant known as colic. According to the research conducted by the American Association of Paediatrics, approximately 1/5th of the babies between the age of two to four weeks have an amplified risk of developing colic. Being one of the common diseases in babies, the symptoms can include excessive crying or screaming by the babies, passing gas or pulling up their legs. In some cases, the baby might even enlarge their stomachs.
Once your baby enters the duration of three to four months, the colic is likely to improve. Though there is no definite reason for developing colic, sometimes a change of diet for the breastfeeding mother or changing the bottle-fed formula of the infants can help. You can even truncate the adverse effects of colic by a pacifier or snugly wrapping your baby in a blanket.
Due to the buildup of bilirubin, a substance produced by the body during the breakdown of the old red blood cells, your baby might get one of the most common diseases in babies known as jaundice. Jaundice causes a yellowish tinge in your baby’s mouth, eyes and skin.
In case the liver of the baby is unable to remove bilirubin from the body in the first few days after birth, the infant may get jaundice. This sickness in infant should be immediately treated by contacting your healthcare provider. Generally, the infants need no treatment during jaundice but your healthcare provider may sometimes prescribe phototherapy for the infant.
*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before making any decision.
04 December, 2021
5 Superfoods To Maintain Your Children’s Eyesight
Maintaining your child’s eyesight begins with a healthy diet. Many food groups are rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that aid in preserving their vision. But carrots come to mind when you think about foods that might help you enhance your vision. You wouldn’t be wrong, would you? After all, while “rabbit food” is high in vitamin A, which is necessary for excellent vision.
However, it isn’t the be-all, end-all of eye-healthy foods. There are other superfoods, including carrots, that will help you maintain your child’s eyesight. Here are 5 superfoods to maintain your children’s eyesight.
Deep Water Fish with Omega-3 fatty acids - Omega-3 fatty acids are mostly found in salmon, tuna, and mackerel. They assist in keeping your child’s eyes lubricated and avoid dry eye syndrome. They can also help lower their chance of getting cataracts and macular degeneration later in life if they eat them regularly.Green leafy vegetables - Lutein and zeaxanthin are abundant in kale, spinach, and collard greens. These carotenoids have strong antioxidative characteristics that help protect your eyes from free radicals. They function as a defensive mechanism to prevent macular degeneration and cataract formation as your youngster grows up, according to your professional eye doctor.Berries and Citrus Fruits for Vitamin C - As a snack, try giving strawberries and oranges as snacks for your kid. These fruits are rich in Vitamin C, which helps improve your child’s immune system and increase their resilience to illnesses and disorders. Include them together in their meals.Nuts with Vitamin E - Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts should all be included in your child’s diet. Vitamin E, which significantly works as an antioxidant, is abundant in these nuts and helps to protect your child’s eyesight. Having nuts on a regular basis has been shown as an excellent home treatment for myopia management.Eggs and carrots Preventing night blindness and dry eyes might be as simple as eating vitamin A-rich eggs. Carrots also have a lot of beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. They protect your child’s ocular structural integrity and ensure that their eye components work properly.
When to visit the doctor?
Call your doctor if the child mentions frequent pain in the eyes, touches their eyes repeatedly, has chronic tears, or complains of hazy or double vision. In the interim, apply a cold pack to your child’s damaged eye for 15 minutes every hour or so. If you’re going to use an ice pack, cover it in a wet towel to keep the eye from freezing. Taking immediate actions will help your child greatly in avoiding the more significant damage.
*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.
13 October, 2021
Fever In Newborn
Normal body temperature is 98.6 F or 37 C (+/- 0.5 C).
Any body temperature greater than 99.5 F or 37. 5 C is termed as fever in newborns.
Fever is the body’s defense mechanism that helps to fight infection or inflammation.
How to measure fever: By using a digital thermometer in the axilla (armpit) or with the help of an infrared thermometer which measures the skin temperature (usually measured from the forehead)
Causes of fever:
Dehydration (due to poor feeding)
Hot environment or proximity to sunlight
Wrapping the baby in too many clothes
Maternal fever at the time of delivery
Symptoms: The baby may be irritable, appear flushed, have either fast breathing or decreased breathing efforts, have dull activity, abnormal tone, and decreased intake of feeds
Untreated fever or infection may lead to seizures and has increased risk of mortality.
What to do when your baby has fever:
First unwrap the baby and keep the baby in a normal environment (25-28 C). Try to give breastfeed/expressed breast milk as spoon feed to the baby. Recheck the temperature after 20-30 minutes.
If baby’s temperature is normal and baby is feeding adequately, ensure frequent feeds. A properly fed baby sleeps comfortably between two feeding sessions, passes urine 8-10 times in a day and gains weight consistently.
If the baby is still having a temperature of > 99.5 F, or having any other symptoms mentioned above, approach the doctor as early as possible for complete evaluation of dehydration/ infection.
KEEPING BABIES WARM (PREVENTING HYPOTHERMIA)
Normal body temperature in adults is maintained by metabolism (through brown fat stored inside the body) as well as by shivering.
Babies, before they were born, lie inside the mother’s womb, where the amniotic fluid keeps the baby warm.
Normal body temperature of newborns measured in the axilla(armpit) is between 36.5 C- 37.5 C.
After birth babies tend to become hypothermic due to the cold environment and also because of not able to generate appropriate shivering response.
Low body temperature leads to dull activity, poor feeding, increased risk of infections and also increased risk of mortality.
How to avoid hypothermia (or low body temperature) in term babies:
Immediately after birth baby should be dried fully with a clean towel and placed on the mother’s chest/ abdomen.
Breast feeding should be initiated within 1 hour of birth and baby should be roomed in with the mother throughout the day.
Breast feeding should be encouraged every 2nd hourly, in the first few postnatal days.
Avoid bathing the baby until the cord falls off.
Keep the baby always covered with cap, socks, mittens and dress.
Keep the baby wrapped properly all the time.
Maintain the room temperature between 25- 28 C.
Avoid placing the baby near open window or doors where there might be exposure to cold air/draught.
The palms and soles of the baby should be as warm as the chest when the skin temperature of the baby is felt by the back of the parent’s hand.
If the soles of the baby feel cold compared to chest, baby is in cold stress and needs to be clothed and wrapped properly
If for any reason, baby’s skin feels cold, or baby is dull with decreased intake of feeds, contact the health care personnel.
Premature infants are more vulnerable to low body temperature because of:
A higher skin surface area compared to weight.Thin skin with no subcutaneous fat which leads to evaporative heat loss.Less brown fat and poor vasomotor control. Inability to establish full feeds at birth due to gut immaturity
Therefore premature babies need to be cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where the babies will be placed under radiant warmers to maintain body temperature.
Very premature babies are usually placed inside incubators where the humidity of the baby’s environment can also be controlled to prevent evaporative heat losses through the skin.
Premature babies, if they need respiratory support are provided with heated and humidified air through bubble CPAPs or ventilators.
Kangaroo mother care, initiated as soon as the baby is stable also keeps the baby warm.