Healthcare Library

<div class=media-desc><strong>Cold treatments for kids</strong><p>When people started saying that you shouldn't use decongestant, antihistamine, or cough suppressants in kids under 6 or maybe even kids under 12, parents started asking me lots of questions. What do you do when your child has a cold? It's like you've tied both hands behind our backs. I'm Doctor Alan Greene and I'd like to start answering that question. The first thing is, it's not that the doctors are trying to hold back the good stuff. Studies have shown that those things just don't work in children. Children aren't the same as adults, and even though some studies have shown affect in grown-ups before puberty, there's very little evidence that they are helpful and they can cause side effects. There is evidence though that other things help for instance for cough, plain old honey - a spoon full of honey works better than DM cough syrup. Of course you want to save honey for kids over one because of concerns about botulism in babies. Cough drops are another thing that can really help for coughs and for sore throats. When sucking on a cough drop, it can help increase saliva production and antibodies and reduce cough - great thing to do for kids who are old enough that you're sure that they are not going to choke on it, usually four and above. For congestion you might try saline nose washes or saline nose drops can be helpful and shown in some studies to help, and in a number of studies steam has been shown to help, too. You can use a hot shower or a vaporizer if the child is not at an age when they will run over and trip and scald themselves. And if they are at an age of concern, you can get a little personal vaporizer. You can supervise and put their face over it and inhale the steam that way. There are a number of herbs that have been shown to help in different ways, too. Echinacea has been shown in some studies to be helpful for cold and flu. Valerian root for helping kids sleep when they have a cold. Zinc the mineral has been shown to be helpful in colds when kids are zinc deficient and many American kids are, so there are a lot of things you can try but whatever you do try, within a week or so your child's life will be back to normal and it's not worth trying anything that might cause dangerous side affects.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Breastfeeding</strong><p>Breast milk contains the appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, and provides, minerals, vitamins, and hormones that infants require. Breast milk also contains antibodies from the mother that can help the baby resist infections.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>How to stop bedwetting</strong><p>Bedwetting affects over 5 million children in the United States over the age of 5 or 6. Before the age of 5 or 6, it's total normal for kids not to be dry totally at night. But once you reach 5 or 6, we call it bedwetting or enuresis. And unless you do something to intervene, there's a good chance it will still be there next year. In fact if you're over age 6 and you're bedwetting today, there's an 85% chance you'll still be bedwetting next year on this day unless you do something. I'm Dr. Alan Greene and I what to share with you something you can do. But first, you have to understand a little bit about what causes bedwetting. Children who wet the bed have 2 things in common. One is that they make more urine at night than their bladder will automatically hold. And 2, these children don't wake up when there's a signal from the bladder saying that it's full. There's lot of kids who don't wake up, who don't wet the bed because their bladders don't get so full. Lots of kids whose bladders get pretty full but don't wet the bed because they wake up fine. Bedwetters are the ones who do both. So one of the most powerful ways to break-in and to change that cycle is to teach kids to wake up at that moment when the bladder gets full. And bedwetting alarms are a great way to do it. Here is 1 model of one. It comes in 2 pieces. There is an alarm unit. Has a cool little magnet on the back that snaps in. Kids like to play with the magnet. And you put it in the pajamas up kind of near their head. The other end is an alligator clip that clips to the bottom part of the pajamas. And it's got a moisture sensor in it. This paper towel has a little bit of water on it like simulated pajamas. (Alarm ringing) And the alarm starts going off at the first sign of moisture. I'll turn that off so you don't have to put up with that while we finish talking about this. Hopefully. There we go. So what happens then is that the first sign of moisture, the alarm goes off. You can get varying volumes of alarms. Some as loud as a smoke alarm. But often the child will not wake up. Somebody else needs to wake them up. They will instantly clench up and stop peeing at the first few drops, which helps the laundry issue right away. But they need somebody else to come in, walk them to the bathroom. And they won't recognize you. They'll be in the middle of sleep, but they'll recognize the toilet and finish going. After a couple of weeks, kids will start to wake up with the alarm. After a few more weeks, they'll start to wake up just before the alarm. That signal that the bladder is getting full gets through to them. And a few more weeks, many of them won't wake up at all. The signal will make it up to the brain. It will send a signal back down to the bladder to hold it in for the rest of the night and be completely dry. It often takes 12 weeks, though. The 2 biggest complaints that I hear from people when they've starting using the alarm is they'll say, My child doesn't wake up. And that's normal. Bedwetters are very deep sleepers. In fact it often works better for those who don't wake up themselves to the alarm. The second big complaint I hear is, I've done it for 2 weeks and they're still bedwetting. It takes longer than 2 weeks. It often takes 6 weeks and sometimes even as long as 12 weeks. But it's a very effective way to do it.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Diaper rash</strong><p>Candida, a yeast organism, may cause a skin infection beneath an infant's diaper which appears as bright red patches.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Childhood obesity</strong><p>You may have heard of the childhood obesity epidemic. But is it real? And if it is real, how important is it? And the answer is yes, it's very real. Up until about 1988, kids' weights in the United States were pretty constant over the years. But since 1988, they've been skyrocketing. And that's important for a few reasons. One of them is that what ever our weight is today, people tend to gain weight gradually over time. So if you're already overweight as a child that sets you up to be really overweight as an adult. And all the more so as a child because when kids, before puberty especially, are putting on extra weight, they tend to make new fat cells. Where as adults, when they're getting overweight, tend to have the fat cells they already have get larger. People who make more fat cells during childhood find it easier to gain even more weight as an adult and harder to lose weight. So kids are setting habits in their metabolism and even the structure of their bodies as a child. Childhood obesity is a big problem. But it's not just because of the way fat looks. It's a health problem as well. In fact a ticking time bomb. When I started in pediatrics not that long ago, it was rare to see some of the common conditions of middle age in children. Things like high blood pressure, or abnormal blood sugar, waist size over 40 inches, abnormal cholesterol. Those things were really rare in kids. But in a recent study, about two-thirds of American high schools students already had at least one of those. Two-thirds. They use to call something juvenile diabetes and there was adult onset diabetes, the kind that you get often from being overweight. Well now, what use to be adult onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes, is more common by age 9 because of the obesity epidemic. It is a ticking time bomb. The good news is that it's never easier than today to start to make a difference in a child's life.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Childhood obesity</strong><p>Studies indicate obese children overwhelmingly tend to stay overweight into adulthood.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Adenoid removal</strong><p>Maybe your child snores a lot. Maybe your child gets a lot of ear infections or has a lot of sore throats. Maybe your child needs to have his tonsils removed. If so, chances are your child also needs the adenoids removed. Let's talk about adenoid removal, or adenoidectomy. So, why do the adenoids need to be removed? The adenoids are glands, located between the airway your child breathes into through their nose, and the back of your child's throat. Like your child's tonsils, the adenoids can often become swollen. When this happens, your child's airway can become blocked, and he may have trouble breathing through his nose. Your child may even stop breathing at times during sleep. Typically, your child's doctor will use a special mirror to see if the adenoids are swollen. Your child may also need an X-ray. Often a child's swollen adenoids have been a problem for a while. The doctor may have tried to treat the chronic swelling with prescription medications, and if they are still causing problems, perhaps now it's time to remove them. So, let's go over what happens during an adenoidectomy. Your child will be given general anesthesia. He'll be unconscious and unable to feel pain. The surgeon will prop your child's mouth open with a small instrument, then remove the adenoid glands, and probably remove the tonsils as well. Your child will probably go home the same day as surgery. Complete recovery takes about one to two weeks. There might be some bleeding in your child's throat or mouth, so you'll want to encourage him to spit the blood out instead of swallowing it. Have him gently gargle often with baking soda mixed with water. Soft foods and cool drinks will make his throat feel better too. Adenoidectomy is one of the most common reasons children have surgery. But surgery doesn't have to be all bad. Your child can look forward to a steady diet of pudding, ice cream, and other soft and fun foods, until he feels better. And hopefully your child can look forward to fewer sore throats, ear infections, and more normal breathing, in the future.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Teach children to brush</strong><p>Healthy teeth and gums are essential to a child's overall good health. Without proper dental care tooth decay and gum disease can lead to serious problems such as cavities and gingivitis, swollen and bleeding gums. Regular visits to the dentist, brushing twice each day, and flossing, are ways to help maintain a healthy mouth.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)</strong><p>A lot of kids are what we call high energy. They seem to bounce off walls and find it impossible to sit still. For some kids, though, overactive and impulsive behaviors are severe enough to affect their schoolwork and home life. These kids may have a condition called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. ADHD is very common. In fact, it's the most common behavioral problem in children. About 3 to 5% of school-aged kids are diagnosed with ADHD. Most of them are boys. So, what causes ADHD? Doctors aren't sure exactly what causes ADHD, though we do know some things that contribute. And we do know that the brain looks different in kids with this condition than it does in kids without the disorder. Most kids with ADHD also have other problems with behavior, depression, sleeping, or learning. How do you know for sure that your child has ADHD? There are three types of ADHD inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive. Kids with the inattentive type get distracted easily. You'll find them staring out of the window in class instead of paying attention. They tend to lose their pens and pencils, and can't seem to ever finish their homework. Kids with hyperactivity are the ones who can't sit still. Their feet are always tapping and their mouth is always moving. It's like someone wound them up, but never wound them back down. Kids with impulsivity have trouble controlling themselves. They'll blurt out the answer to a question before the teacher has even finished asking it. They often won't let their friends finish a sentence, or a game, without butting in. In kids with these kinds of symptoms, ADHD can be a tricky diagnosis to make. Sometimes kids are mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD when they're just high energy. Other kids have ADHD and never get diagnosed. To get diagnosed with ADHD, kids need to have at least six symptoms of inattention and six symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity that have lasted for at least 6 months. A pediatrician, psychologist or psychiatrist can test the child and talk to the parents and teachers to make the diagnosis. How do doctors treat ADHD? Many kids with ADHD respond to a combination of medicines and behavior therapy. The drugs that are used most often for ADHD are called psychostimulants, like Adderall, Focalin, and Ritalin. A nonstimulant drug called Strattera may also be effective. Because these drugs can have side effects, kids should only use them under a doctor's guidance. Talk therapy that involves both the parents and child can help gain more control over ADHD behaviors. Parents can learn how to limit distractions, make sure their child gets enough sleep and eats right, and learn how to set consistent rules, rewarding good behavior and addressing bad behavior. Good sleep, good food, and plenty of physical activity, especially outdoors may help. About half of kids with ADHD eventually grow out of it. If they don't grow out of it, it can lead to problems in adulthood, like drug and alcohol abuse, difficulty keeping a job, and sometimes trouble with the law. Diagnosing ADHD early and addressing it right away can give kids the best chance for a healthy, happy future. So if you see any signs of ADHD in your child, talk to a pediatrician or child psychologist.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Newborn test</strong><p>The newborn is commonly assessed with the APGAR score, a quick test performed at 1 and 5 minutes after birth to determine the physical condition of the newborn. The five categories assessed are heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, reflex irritability, and color. Each of these categories is scored 0, 1, or 2, depending on the observed condition of the newborn.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Diarrhea</strong><p>Diarrhea isn't something most people want to talk about, much less have. Not only can diarrhea be uncomfortable, with gas, bloating, and that mad dash to the toilet, but it's a sign that you're either sick, or you've eaten something that really didn't agree with you. With diarrhea, the stools become loose and watery instead of solid. If you have diarrhea, there's a good chance you picked up a stomach virus. Or, you may have gotten food poisoning from eating food or drinking water that was contaminated with bacteria. A lot of people get sick from tainted food while traveling, because they're not used to the food and water in the foreign country. This is called traveler's diarrhea. Certain diseases that affect your intestines can cause diarrhea, including celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. If you've taken medications such as antibiotics or laxatives, diarrhea can be an unpleasant side effect. Protect your stomach by giving it healthy bacteria called probiotics. You can find them in yogurt and supplements. Among other things, probiotics help crowd out the bad bacteria that cause diarrhea. To avoid getting sick, wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer so bacteria can't get into your body. And when you travel to areas that may have unclean water, drink only bottled water without ice. Also avoid eating any uncooked fruits or vegetables that don't have a peel. Usually diarrhea goes away by itself pretty quickly, but it can stick around for a few days or even weeks. Loose stools are very watery, and they can dehydrate you pretty quickly. Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of clear liquids a day. Drink one glass every time you have a loose bowel movement. To replace the electrolytes you're also losing with diarrhea, consider an electrolyte drink or rehydration solution. Also you may want to eat soup, pretzels, and other salty foods, as well as bananas and other high-potassium foods. Infants and children are especially likely to get dehydrated from diarrhea, and this can be really dangerous. You can tell your baby is dehydrated because his mouth will be dry, he'll make fewer wet diapers, and he won't produce tears when he cries. To keep your child hydrated, give 2 tablespoons of fluid every 30 to 60 minutes. You can use breast milk, formula, broth, or a solution like B.R.A.T. or Pedialyte, which also comes in a kid-friendly popsicle form. Diarrhea is an unpleasant, but fortunately short-term affliction most of the time. If it does stick around, call your doctor. The doctor will ask questions about your symptoms, where you've been traveling, and what new medicines you've taken or foods you've eaten. Until you're feeling better, drink plenty of fluids so you don't get dehydrated.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Infant immunizations</strong><p>Immunizations (vaccinations) are given to initiate or augment resistance to an infectious disease. Immunizations provide a specialized form of immunity that provides long-lasting protection against specific antigens, such as certain diseases. Routine immunizations are administered with a needle since they need to be given right into the muscle. Reducing the level of anxiety for your child is perhaps the best way to help limit the pain during a vaccine.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Ear infection - acute</strong><p>Is your child irritable, inconsolably crying, feverish, and having trouble sleeping? If so, your child may have an ear infection. Ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents take their children to the doctor. The most common type is called otitis media, which means an inflammation and infection of the middle ear. The middle ear is located just behind the eardrum. The Eustachian tube runs from the middle of each ear to the back of the throat. This tube drains fluid normally made in the middle ear. If the tube gets blocked, fluid can build up, leading to infection. Ear infections are common in infants and children because their tiny. Eustachian tubes become easily clogged. They're often caused by allergies, colds, and excess mucus and saliva produced during teething. Infants with an ear infection will often be irritable. You may have a hard time consoling their crying, and your child may have a fever and not sleep very well. Older children may have an ear ache and tell you their ear feels full. Because ear infections have fluid behind the ear drum, you can use an electronic ear monitor to detect this fluid at home.
 Children under 6 months old who might have an ear infection need to see a doctor. Your child's doctor will look inside the child's ear using an instrument called an otoscope. The doctor might see areas of redness, air bubbles behind the ear drum, and fluid inside the middle ear. Often, an ear infection will clear up on its own. For older children, you can place a warm cloth or bottle on their ear and give them over-the-counter ear drops to relieve their pain. If bacteria caused the ear infection, your child may need to take antibiotics. In fact, all ear infections in children under 6 months old are treated with antibiotics. If the infection does NOT go away, on its own or with treatment, the doctor may recommend ear tube surgery. In this procedure, a tiny tube is inserted into the eardrum to drain the fluid. The tube will usually fall out on its own. Ear infections are very treatable, but they may come back again. If your child has to take an antibiotic, make sure they take all of the medicine.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Developmental milestones</strong><p>Some of the developmental characteristics of a healthy 2-month-old baby include turning the head to locate sounds, visually fixing on close objects, vocally responding to familiar voices and smiling in response to stimuli.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Infant formulas</strong><p>Deciding to feed your baby breast milk or formula is a personal matter. If you do choose formula, it's designed to be a nutritional source of food for infants. Let's talk about infant formula. A variety of formulas are available for infants younger than 12 months old. Infant formulas vary in nutrients, calorie count, taste, ability to be digested, and cost. Standard milk-based formulas are made with cow's milk protein that has been changed to be more like breast milk. These formulas contain lactose and minerals from cow's milk, along with vegetable oils, minerals, and vitamins. Soy-based formulas are made using soy proteins. These formulas are useful when parents do not want their child to eat animal protein, or the child has a rare metabolic problem and can't tolerate other formulas. Also, soy formulas do not contain lactose. Other lactose-free formulas are available to help babies with lactose problems. Hypoallergenic formulas may be helpful for babies who have true allergies to milk protein. They can also help babies with skin rashes. One caveat you'll pay a lot more for them. Your baby's doctor may recommend other special formulas. Reflux formulas are pre-thickened with rice starch. They can help babies with reflux problems who are not gaining weight. Formulas for premature and low-birth weight infants have extra calories and minerals. Other special formulas are available for babies with heart disease and digestion problems. So, what's the best way to take care of infant formula and bottles? You'll need to clean bottles and nipples with soap, then for very young babies boil them in a covered pan for 10 minutes. Once the bottles are cooled, you can make enough formula to last 24 hours. Make it exactly as the package directs you to. Once you make formula, store it in your refrigerator in individual bottles. During the first month, your baby may need at least 8 bottles of formula a day. When it's time to feed your baby, warm the formula slowly in hot water. Always test the temperature of the formula before feeding your baby. Hold your child close to you and make eye contact. Hold the bottle so the nipple and neck of the bottle are always filled with liquid. This helps prevent your child from swallowing air, which can cause gas and vomiting. Once you're finished feeding your baby, throw away any formula left in the bottle. Children should get breast milk or formula at least throughout the first year. This is the centerpiece of infant nutrition.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Sunburn</strong><p>Sunburn results when the amount of exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet light source exceeds the ability of the body's protective pigment, melanin, to protect the skin. A serious sunburn is as serious as a thermal burn, and may have the same systemic effects such as blistering, edema and fever.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Asthma - children</strong><p>Did you know that asthma is one of the most common disorders affecting children, as many as 10 percent of them? Thankfully, advances in the diagnosis and treatment of asthma have dramatically improved life for these children. Asthma is caused by swelling and other signs of inflammation in the airways. When an asthma attack occurs, the muscles surrounding the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swells. This reduces the amount of air that can pass by the bronchioles, or small tubes, of the lung. Most asthma attacks are caused by triggers, such as pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, cockroaches, tobacco smoke, and exercise. Your child may have asthma if they experience shortness of breath, maybe gasp for air, and have trouble breathing out. When breathing gets very difficult, the skin of your child's chest and neck may suck inward. Your child may cough so hard at night he wakes from sleeping. He may have dark bags under his eyes and feel tired and irritable. Your child's doctor will listen to your child's lungs. The doctor will have your child breathe into a device called a peak flow meter. This device can tell you and your child's doctor how well the child can blow air out of his lungs. If asthma is narrowing and blocking your child's airways, his peak flow values will be low. To treat your child with asthma, you will need to work with your child's pediatrician, pulmonologist, or allergist as a team. Your child will need an action plan that outlines his asthma triggers and how to avoid them, how to monitor his symptoms, measuring peak flow, and taking medicines. You should have an emergency plan that outlines what to do when your child's asthma flares up, at home and in school. Make sure the school has a copy of your child's asthma action plan too. Your child will probably need to take two kinds of medicines, long-term control medicines and quick relief or rescue medicines. Your child will take long-term control medicines every day to prevent asthma symptoms, even when he has none. Your child will need to use quick relief medicines during an asthma attack. If your child needs to use an inhaler with his medicines, make sure the doctor shows him how to use a spacer device, to get the medicine into his lungs properly. Today, most children with properly managed asthma can lead a life unhindered by their disease. It shouldn't hold them back from even the highest levels of athletic competition. With proper education and medical management, it is possible to control this disease on a daily basis and prevent asthma attacks.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Spitting up</strong><p>Spitting up is common and occurs frequently during infancy. Spitting up does not indicate a problem unless the baby is choking on the food, or is spitting up excessively large amounts of food.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Tonsillitis</strong><p>If your child often has a sore throat, trouble swallowing, and ear pain, she may have a problem with her tonsils. So, what causes tonsillitis? The tonsils are small, dimpled, golf ball-like nodes on either side of the back of your child's throat. They normally help to filter out bacteria and other germs to prevent infection in the body. If the tonsils become so overwhelmed with bacteria from strep throat or a viral infection, they can swell and become inflamed, causing tonsillitis. Your child's doctor will look in your child's mouth and throat for swollen tonsils. The tonsils will probably be red and may have white spots on them. The lymph nodes in your child's jaw and neck may be swollen and tender to the touch. The doctor may test your child's blood for infection. If bacteria are the cause, your child will probably need to take antibiotics, either in a shot or in pill form. If your child needs to take antibiotic pills, make sure she takes all of the medicine. To comfort your child, give her cold liquids and popsicles. Gargling with salt water can help. She can also take over-the-counter medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for her pain and fever. Tonsillitis usually improves two or three days after treatment starts. The infection usually goes away too, but some people may need to take antibiotics for longer. If your child has a great many repeated infections, surgery may be recommended to remove her tonsils, but this is no longer a common reason to have the tonsils out.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Thumbsucking</strong><p>Thumbsucking is a normal activity with its peak occurrence at about age two. Thumbsucking can be an important source of pleasure for an infant and is usually nothing to worry about since a child will usually grow out of the habit. If thumbsucking occurs past age 4, dental problems may occur such as malocclusion. Malocclusion is the abnormal contact between the teeth of the upper and lower jaw.</p></div>
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