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.

preemie

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.
gagging

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.

lisp

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.

crying

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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Dealing with your baby’s first cold

How to handle your baby’s first cold, how to handle stuffy nose  and when to call the doctor.

first cold

  • You need to stock up before the first cold hits. You need to get a rubber syringe bulb, saline drops, fever reducing medicine, a thermometer and humidifier
  • Call the doctor if your child is under 3 months and shows signs of a cold such as runny nose, cough and fever
  • If you have an older baby, call the doctor if there is major fussiness, fever, dehydration, worsening cough or congestion, labored breathing or symptoms that last longer than a week
  • Use saline drops  and a rubber syringe or other nasal suction device to clear mucus from your baby’s stuffy nose
  • Elevate your baby’s head for a better sleep. Try to place a couple of towels underneath one end of the crib mattress not in the crib
  • Use a humidifier to release moisture in the air. This will help lose mucous and ease the baby’s congestion
  • Make sure your baby is well hydrated.  Give the baby additional nursing sessions or bottle. If the baby is older than 4 months, try a few ounces of water in a sippy cup
  • Wash your hands regularly to avoid catching your baby’s germs.

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What is causing my child’s tummy troubles ?

Tummy aches are common complaints in  children. However you may be wondering when you need to call the doctor about this issue.

tummy troubles

What is normal

It is common for infants to spit  up food and get constipated  early in life. You have to monitor your child to make sure she’s growing up, wetting lots of diaper and growing.  Symptoms should get better around 3 to 4 months of age.

It is normal for infants to get constipation when you introduce solid foods around 6 months. Transitioning to whole milk after 1 year can also lead to constipation. It will get better when baby begins to get use to digesting whole milk.

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How to treat bronchiolitis in young children

Bronchiolitis is a common lung infection in children and infants. It is almost always caused by a virus and peaks during the winter months. It is the most common cause of hospitalization among infants under the age of 1.

bronchiolitis

Symptoms include troubled breathing which can be very scary for parents. Other symptoms include :

Most infants will get an ear infection. After a couple of days , the cough gets worse and the child begins to breathe faster.

How to treat Bronchiolitis

There is no specific treatment for viral infections.  Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infection. However you can try to ease your child’s symptoms.

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