Here Dr Anas tells us about the common paediatric health problems he usually comes across in his little patients and what you can do about it.
1. Malnutrition in every third child
Health means not free from illness. It is the age appropriate height and weight in a child. Main reason for malnutrition is parents don’t know the correct way of feeding a child right from the early days. The right quantity and quality is important.
2. Another important cause for malnutrition is the increasing number in adult TB leading to childhood tuberculosis (primary complex).
The child may not show the symptoms of TB. Failure to thrive means not gaining weight and height ,loss of appetite, Recurrent respiratory infectio, Pneumonia and frequent hospitalisation. Chest X. Ray and mantoux skin test will give a clue to the illness which can be treated easily by 6 months anti -TB medication.
3.Fever and when to consult a doctor
All fevers are not bacterial infection So fever due to viral infection is self limiting. If child is active and taking food, You can wait for 3 days. A sick child with poor feeding (food/breast milk) warrants consultation. Fever associated with cough, vomiting, head ache, loose stools,rashes, ear pain, calf muscle tendernes,painful micturition, abdominal pain,throat pain etc need consultation. Simple cold,fever, mild head ache,few rashes may be viral fever and resolve itself by 4-5days by anti fever and cold measures,good food and rest. Severe head ache,photo phobia (difficulty looking at light),prolonged fever more than 5 days ,fever and difficulty in taking breath, fast breathing, fits etc need consultation
4. Iron deficiency anaemia is very common in every alternate child.
Main reason is lack of iron in diet. Jaggery,spinach,drumstick leaves,pomegranate, dates,gooseberry,green mango are good source for iron. Deworm regularly and cut nails. Avoid giving tea, coffee to children age less than 5 years. Give green leafy vegetables and vit c (citrus sour fruits) for better absorption and blood formation. Anaemia or pallor (HB less than 11gm%) lead to irritability in children, Poor attention, lack of immunity and poor appetite. They may show PICA means eating clay, pencils,nails,etc
is common these days. A child active during the day complaints of pain in the leg at night. Pain usually just above and below the knee. At growing age due to lack of vit D3 leading to poor calcium absorption in bone and poor mineralisation. Pain can be treated by vit D3 estimation in blood and giving vit D3 supplement in large dose. Increase exposure to sunlight between 10 to 4 pm. Ideally half an hour at 10 am of sunlight leading to meeting daily requirement of vit D3. Sunlight is abundant source of vit D3. Lack of vit D3 and calcium in pregnant mother leading to poor bone and teeth health in children. And early fractures in elderly ladies. Vit D3 also improve immunity, decrease allergy, and maintain balance health. Daily requirement is 400 IU to 600 IU to 1000 IU (international units) of vit D3 in babies to adolescents to adults respectively. So new born babies are recommended 1ml of vit D3 drops (400 IU) daily till minimum of 6 months . Can be continued till 1 yr and beyond Obese children show vit D3 deficiency.Consult your doctor for dosage.Should be checked and corrected. Vit D3 has latest studies showing major role in asthma and allergy management.
6.Doughy abdomen and post prandial hurry (toileting after taking food)
Can be a cause for amoebiasis and girdiasis. Large volume of stool increases the suspicion for these illness. Can be medically managed Otherwise lead to indigestion and poor health.
To be continued. Stay Tuned!