What to do in these common medical emergencies (Part 1)

Know when to call the doctor in these common medical emergencies.

medical emergencies

Breathing difficulties

Call the doctor if you see these signs

  • Flaring of nose
  • Grunting
  • Breathing fast consistently
  • Sucking in the skin above the collar bone or between or below the ribs
  • Whistling , coughing or cracking sounds on  inhale and exhale

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Causes of painful bowel movement in newborns

Bowel movement in newborns vary. Painful bowel movement  can disrupt the baby’s daily schedule and make feeding and diaper changing difficult. It  can also be a sign of a serious condition so it is important to see your doctor if you have any concerns.

painful bowel movement

How do i know that my baby has painful bowel movement ?

Your newborn may do the following if he is having painful bowel movement or discomfort.

  • Pulling his leg upwards into his stomach
  • Turn red in the face  and grunt while attempting to have a bowel movement
  • Stools become infrequent, hard, dry and resemble pebbles when they are passed
  • Blood  in your newborn’s stool or diaper

What could be causing my baby’s bowel movement ?

This condition can result if the child has poor rectal muscle movement or the stool contains little water. Some of the triggers include the following :

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Is it safe to use rubbing alcohol to bring down a child’s fever ?

Using rubbing alcohol to bring down a child’s fever

No ,  it is not safe to use rubbing alcohol to bring down a child’s fever. Putting rubbing alcohol on the child’s skin may quickly reduce fever. Although alcohol may temporary cool the skin as it evaporates, it is dangerous to use. Cooling the child too fast will result in the child shivering. This will cause his body to raise the body temperature.


Alcohol can also get absorbed in the child’s skin or through the lungs when inhaled. This can cause alcohol poisoning which can lead to a coma or other medical complications.

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Nighttime coughing

Why do children cough at night

If your child coughs or chokes frequently during sleep, the child may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea  is a sleep disorder caused by large tonsils and adenoids blocking the upper airways during the night. This makes it difficult to breathe . This condition peaks between 3 to 6 years  when the child’s tonsils and adenoids are large compared to the size of the child’s airways.

nighttime coughing

A cough can also be a symptom  of asthma, allergies or a cold or another illness especially when it is painful and persistent. Give your pediatrician a call if the cough makes it difficult for your child to breathe, lasts  longer than a week or  comes on suddenly accompanied by fever or after the child chokes on something.

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What You Need to Know About the 2017-2018 Flu Vaccine

The  2017-2018 Flu Vaccine

It’s the time of the year to start getting your flu shot. There are a few things  you need to know about the 2017-2018 flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine

The flu virus is common and unpredictable. It can cause serious complications or even death in healthy children. That is one of the main reasons why the flu vaccine is essential for all children. Giving the child an influenza immunization each year is the best way to protect your child from the flu virus. If you don’t immunize your child, you not only miss the opportunity to immunize your child but put others at risk.

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Neonatal hepatitis

Neonatal hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that occurs in early infancy. It usually occurs between  one and two months after birth. There are different causes of this condition  and in some cases the cause is unknown.

neonatal hepatitis

What are the causes of neonatal hepatitis ?

Causes of this condition include the following :

  • Viral neonatal hepatitis :  This occurs when infants are infected with a virus shortly before or after birth.
  • Metabolism : This is when the baby has metabolism problems which results  in the liver condition .
  • Idiopathic giant cells hepatitis :  Idiopathic means the condition is unknown.Giant cells of abnormal groups of liver cells fuse together . Most babies with this type do well although a few develop chronic liver disease.

What are the symptoms of neonatal hepatitis ?

Symptoms include the following :

  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Jaundice
  • Poor growth because the infant cannot absorb vitamins

How is neonatal hepatitis diagnosed ?

Some of the tests that can be done to diagnose this condition include the following :

  • Physical examination : This test may reveal and enlarged liver or spleen.
  • Blood tests : Blood tests used to diagnose this condition include :
    • Liver enzyme (AST/ALT) blood tests : This test tells how well the liver is functioning by revealing the levels of the liver enymes
    • Prothrombin time blood test : It measures the time it takes the plasma to clot and shows how well the liver is functioning.

    Other tests that can be used include

    • liver biopsy
    • ultrasound
    • a type of  nuclear medicine known as hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid HIDA scan

    How is neonatal hepatitis treated ?

    Treatment depends on the underlying cause. In  most cases supportive care, good nutrition as well as close follow up care is all that is required. Vitamins supplements may be prescribed. Formula contains easily digestible fats are also given to the child. Infants who develop cirrhosis will ultimately need a liver transplant.

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Will my preemie catch up in weight and height ?

When will my preemie catch upon weight and size ?

Most premature babies catch up in size within the first year of life. Your doctor will initially measure your baby using a growth chart specifically for preemies. However when your baby’s adjusted weight is about 10 weeks, the doctor will switch to the conventional chart used for full term babies. Most preemies usually move high the  growth curve in a matter of months.


A small percentage of preemies never fully catch up and remain smaller than average throughout life. In some cases there may be a clear medical reason why this happened such as child having a hard time getting enough nutrition in the early weeks because of illness or complications. This child is likely to remain on a lower growth curve.

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Why is my baby gagging ?

Gag reflex is an automatic response that helps prevent choking. Your newborn also has a reflex that causes him to thrust his tongue forward whenever the back of his throat is stimulated. This can make early feeding a little bit difficult. However gagging in babies in not uncommon.

Why do babies gag ?

Babies gag for the following reasons :

  • Baby eating more than he wants to
  • Baby having too much food in his mouth
  • Some babies gag on their own fingers until they figure out how far they can put  things in their mouth
  • Some babies also gag on formula or breastmilk until they  get the rhythm of sucking down especially if it  flowing too quickly for them

It is normal for babies to gag as they learn to eat solids.  It brings the food forward into the baby’s mouth so that he can chew it some more or try to swallow a smaller amount. As your baby develops and learns to regulate the amount of food he swallows, he will gag less often.

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How can i correct my child’s lisp

Lisp is use  to describe the way a child mispronounces words.  It refers to the s sound being pronounced as a th . So a word like sister will be pronounced thithter and seven will be pronounced as theven.


The s sound  is normally pronounced with the tongue behind the top teeth. A child with lisp pushes the tongue out.

Lisp happens to many children and most will outgrow it by the age of 7 with no intervention at all. Pointing out to your child that she has lisp wont help her. It may rather decrease her self esteem.

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Does crying strengthen a baby’s lungs ?

No, letting a baby cry doesn’t strengthen his lungs. You do not have to respond promptly to your baby’s cry. You should do your best to comfort the baby even though sometimes  an overwhelmed baby  may need to be left alone for a few minutes to fall asleep.


Babies cry because they need something even though sometimes it may be difficult to know exactly what they want. They cry because they are hungry, wet, tired or overstimulated. They may need to vent, suck or just be comforted. Sometimes babies have fussy periods when they are unconsolable. In this case crying may help them steam off. However crying doesn’t help babies physically or emotionally. It doesn’t teach them to cry less.

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