Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How to treat constipation in children?

Constipation is the condition where the bowel movements are hard, difficult and painful with a decreased frequency. It is common in children and usually temporary. This condition arises when the child does not eat enough fiber or drink enough fluids or does not have much of physical activity. It also happens when children ignore the bowel movements due hesitation to use the public toilets or unwillingness to break from the currently performing activity.

There are certain levels of constipation which need medical treatment they are:
1. If a child has constipation for more than 3 weeks.
2. If the child suffers from intolerable pain during bowel movements. This may be due to development of fissure.
3. Bleeding while passing stools.
4. constipation accompanied with vomiting and abdominal pain has to be taken seriously.

The treatment for constipation again depends on the cause for it. For patients in whom there is no apparent cause of constipation, require constitution based medication. This improves the bowel movement. Some types are treated with laxatives.

The best way to avoid constipation is to eat fiber rich diet, consume plenty of water and have good physical activity

Friday, October 27, 2006


Teething patterns are hereditary which could mean that if the mother had her teeth early, her child as well can have them early. The arrival of the first tooth is considered a big milestone in the life of an infant. The arrival of the first tooth in an infant is a celebration for the parents in particular and others in the family in general. The first teeth sprout when they are between 4 - 7 motyhs of age. Some babies are born with the first tooth very rarely.

During the teething period babies have the tendency to bite all that he lays his hands on. It is the duty of mothers to keep their baby from putting things in the mouth and chewing. Ideally, rubber teething rings of various shapes are good enough to give exercises to the child to bite for strengthening the teeth. Care should be taken to avoid materials made from thin and brittle plastic objects lest they should break and swallowed leading to choking mishaps.

Children at this age are inquisitive and have a tendency to bite furniture coming in their way. Care should be taken that the paint in the furniture doesn’t peel off to enter the baby’s mouth. If your baby have aching gums, never make the mistake of applying or rubbing a bit of any brand of spirits on the aching gums for, who knows the baby may develop a taste for such thing in her later life.

Every mother should therefore take pictures of the child and make a note of the date and time of its appearance in her baby. Most of the mothers are not aware that teeth actually start developing when the baby is still in her womb. They sprout one at a time over a period of time, and often but not always in a particular order described in the preceding paragraphs. All of them may not come straight.

For few fortunate babies the process of teething is absolutely painless. Those who are not so fortunate will turn cranky because of pain due to irritation of the gums as the teeth push their way leading to swelling and inflammation. Some babies may ever run temperature and yet others may have diorreah or vomiting. Mothers need not be unduly worried if her child is cranky. The best course of action is to consult her pediatrician. Never ever to given aspirin to her child for relief of pain because aspirin is associated with relatively rare but potentially life threatening condition called Reyes Syndrome.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Childhood Obesity

Overweight children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents and adults. Although children have fewer weight- related health problems than adults, they become overweight for various reasons like unhealthy eating patterns, lack of physical activity, genetic factors etc.,

Obesity and restrictive eating are of great concern because of potential physical and physiological consequnces. Adopting to dieting during childhood can compromise growth and lead to nutrient deficiences. Parents should guide children adopt healthier eating pattern and develop a healthy attitude towards food. Overweight children are more likely to be prone to high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardio disorders.

Avoid simple carbohydrates such as white bread, rice sweet cereals and sweets. These foods increase the blood sugar level. Include complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, green vegetables, fruits in te diet. Consumption of green leafy vegetables regularly in the diet increases the dietary fibre, calcium, folate and potassium.

Protein rich foods should be taken as they are necessary for the growth and development. Eggs are a rich source of protein and are loaded with vitamins. Regular consumption of fish and high fiber diet like oats also does good to a growing individual.

Calcium is essential for buliding and strengthening of the bones. A growing individual's diet should include sources of calcium. Dairy products like cheese, paneer, milk, green leafy vegetables are rich in clacium. Iron should be a integral part of the diet, citrus fruits tomatoes are good sources of vitamin c.

Indulging in junk food and high fat food consumption like butter, cheese based foods, ice creams should definitely be avoided. Parents should never encourage children snacking while watching television. Parents should encourage children to have good amount of physical activity. Never hesitate to say 'NO' when your child asks for junk foods.

Thus following a healthy diet pattern and regular physical activity can avoid obesity in children.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dental Care for your child

By the age of three, most children have their full set of 20 primary teeth. The baby teeth generally begin to 'shed' by about age six. The first permanent teeth begin appear at the same time. Primary tooth is lost because of tooth decay. If that happens before the permanent tooth is fully developed and ready to emerge, the nearby theeth can tip or shift into the space formerly occupied by the decayed tooth. When the permanent tooth tries to grow in that place it might not have enough space resulting in the formation of a crooked tooth. Such kind of teeth are difficult to maintain and risks of decaying is higher and can also affect the appearance. Teeth that are out of shape are likely to wear down more quickly than the others.

To avoid such problems the space maintainer is used, this space maintainer holds open the space left by a lost primary tooth until the permanent teeth is ready to emerge. This device is generally fixed to the mouth. The dentist can remove this once the permanent tooth is developed. The space maintainer usually consists of a band or a temporary crown attached to the tooth on one side of the space.

As the permanent molars appear, your dentist also may recommend application of sealants on the chewing surfaces. Your child's can last a life time with thorough brushing and flossing regularly.