Tag Archives: Children

Polio vaccine: oral or injection – by which route should it be given to the children?

Oral polio drops are most popular for its use in various immunization camps organized by various health organizations around the world, particularly in 3rd world nations. However, where economic constraints are not an issue polio vaccine injections are also used.

The oral vaccine rarely causes vaccine associated paralytic polio, in view of which certain developed nations are not using oral polio vaccine anymore, instead using injectable polio vaccine.

Another reason why some nations less prefer the oral polio vaccine is because of the risk of spreading of wild live polio viruses. Oral polio vaccine contains live polio viruses, whereas injectable ones contain killed dead polio viruses.

In certain developing nations where injectable polio vaccine is given, advise is also given to get the oral vaccine too, as part of various polio irradication initiatives that are taken by various health organizations.

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Is it always necessary to give antibiotic to children for fever?

One of the most common problem a family doctor might get in his clinic is children presenting with fever.

Parents are quite anxious when children get fever and are confused many a times when their doctor don’t prescribe antibiotics for the fever 🚸.

Yes antibiotics may be needed for treatment of fever but not always.

Most flues are common cold and are generally due to viral illness. Viral infections are not treated with antibiotics unless the illness gets complicated by a bacterial infection. Continue reading Is it always necessary to give antibiotic to children for fever?

Newborn baby facts

imageHow frequently can newborn babies be given a bath ?

Bathing is important daily activity of most adults, but it’s not totally the same for newborn babies.

Generally, its not advisable to give bath 🛀 to newborn babies upto the first 7 to days of life. This is mainly because newborns don’t have good temperature regulation system like adults, so a risk of body temperature drop due to a bath can happen. Serious drop in body temperature can be fatal and if really complicated can cause death.

From the second day of life onwards one can give a bath but temperature of water should be taken care of. It’s probably wise to use lukewarm water. Too cold water and too hot water both can be harmful. Bathing every 2 to 3 days is ok in the initial few months of life.


When is weight loss normal in newborn babies?

imageMost parents are concerned when their baby losses weight. Although weight loss is a important indicator of health problem, at certain instances it can be normal. Newborn babies generally losses about 10% of their body weight in the first week of life and this is a normal finding in otherwise healthy newborn babies.

Babies get back their lost weight almost by the 10th day of their life. Following this babies will be gaining 20-40 grams of weight per day.

How frequently should you breastfeed your baby?

cropped-20141109_102902.jpgFor healthy full term babies breast feeding every 2 or 3 hourly is advised generally for the first 4-6 months until you start weaning.

It’s not wise to give feeds too frequently like after every 15 minutes or half an hour or every hour. This is because frequent feeds can cause overfeeding and the baby might drink more milk than required and this can cause distress in the baby like having a distended abdomen and risk of aspiration of milk into the lungs.

Furthermore, frequent feeding can decrease the hunger of the baby, since the baby is always overtly fed and this might decrease sucking effort of the baby on mother’s nipples. This can result into less emptying of the mother’s breasts leading to breast engorgement or decreased milk production.

Once weaning is started feeding frequency may be reduced to 3-4 times a day depending on baby ‘s age and health requirements.


What is the technique of burping of babies after feeding?

Post breastfeed care of babies is a very important thing.

After feeding the baby either from breast or from bottle or from any other device baby should be burped properly.

Your health care provider will teach you proper burping techniques.

Commonly burping is done by keeping the baby upright on the shoulder of the mother and gentle tapping of the back of the baby 👶.

Sometimes the job might be tiring for the mother, causing pain or distress of the lower back. In such scenario, the mother may first choose a sitting accommodation which provides good back support like a firm straight-back type chair or using the wall as back support if sitting on bed (one can keep a pillow between ones back and wall ).

If the mother is exhausted other members of the family can take the role, like the husband.


How long should burping of babies be done following a feed?

Many parents are concerned if their child don’t burp after gentle tapping of their baby’s back.

Babies might not always burp after feeds, however the act of burping (i.e. Gentle tapping of the baby in upright position) should continue for minimum 20-30 minutes.

It’s wise to continue burping for 20-30 minutes even if the baby burps with in 5 or 10 minutes of burping, because the upright position of the baby after feed is important.


How should newborn babies be lying during sleep?

Sleeping position of newborn babies is important and parents should have some idea about it.

Babies can sleep either on their backs or on their sides.

They should not be made to sleep on their chest. This is because babies can’t hold up their neck until about the third month of their life and hence can be suffocated, which might lead to death.

Furthermore, lying on the chest and belly can increase pressure on the belly and cause vomiting of the ingested milk including risk of aspiration of the vomitus.

It’s ideal for babies to sleep in a cradle than with the adult on same bed. This is because an adult might roll over a babies body and might accidentally suffocate the baby with detrimental side effects like death.

Next is the inclination of the bed of the baby 👶.  It’s wise to keep the head side of the baby elevated by about 30 degrees. Such inclination helps the baby sleep comfortably as the milk from stomach will not come up and cause distress to the baby. While doing so it’s important that the neck of the baby is not flexed or bend anteriorly, this can also cause choking of the baby due to compression of airway.

Finally, a small folded towel beneath the shoulder blades is a good support for the baby to have a proper rest.

So, to summarize – ideal lying position of newborn babies are-
-Lying on their backs or sides
-Let baby sleep separately in a cradle
-Having head side up by about 30 degrees
-Small roll of towel beneath the shoulder blades


Up to what age should babies be breast fed?

Many mothers, more in underdeveloped and developing countries, are in the dilemma, how many months should they breast feed their children.

Ideally, one can breast feed upto 1 year. In some places practice may be even upto first 24 months of life.

However, there is a term called ‘exclusive breast feeding’, which means only giving breast milk and not adding any other solid or liquid food in the feeding menu of the baby. Such feeding should be continued for about 4-6 months.

From 4 to 6 months of age additional food is introduced in the baby’s diet, which is generally known as weaning.