Every school going kid gets excited thinking about their summer vacation and they wish their holidays to be filled with a lot of fun. The hot and humid climate during summer increases the chance of suffering one or the other heat-related health issues, especially in kids. And one of the most common, irritating heat-related conditions is heat rashes; often known as prickly heat. Though heat rash is common in all age groups, it is mostly seen in kids.
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Most of the parents won’t care much about the blood unless they notice pale skin or pale lining of eyelids in their kids. But it is really important to get the children screened for regular blood tests which help to find any abnormalities at an early stage.
As blood is the most important fluid in our bodies, abnormalities in the blood may lead to serious illness in children which affects their growth and development. But for now, let us know about a common health issue in children which is related to blood, known as “Anaemia”.
Anaemia is a health issue which results due to the lack of healthy red blood cells in our blood. The main function of these cells is to carry oxygen to the tissues all through the body and carrying away the metabolic waste such as carbon dioxide. Red blood cells are produced inside the bones, in the bone marrow. The iron in our diet helps to make the red blood cells and the lack of iron lead to anaemia, which is termed as “Iron deficiency anaemia” in medical.
Causes of Anaemia:
As the name suggests, iron deficiency anaemia is caused due to the low iron level. Our body gets iron from the diet and the iron from old red blood cells is also reused. Children who don’t get enough iron from their diet are at higher risk to suffer from anaemia.
Symptoms of Anaemia:
The common symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia seen in children are listed below:
- Pale skin, especially palms, nails and lining of eyelids.
- Poor appetite
- Tiredness and weakness
- Become short of breath
- Sore tongue
- Brittle nails
Treatment for Anaemia:
Taking healthy diet is the most important way to prevent and treat iron deficiency. Including iron rich foods in children’s diet may help them to recover from anaemia. A list of foods which are a good source of iron is mentioned below:
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Peanut butter
If your child is suffering from anaemia even after having a healthy diet, he/she might be prescribed for iron supplements by a pediatrician. It is suggested not to give your child iron supplements on your own without doctor’s advice. Always remember that the sufficient amount of iron is good for overall health and growth of the child, but too much of iron can cause poisoning.
Mothers feel very excited while introducing solids to their babies for the first time. Besides excitement they are surrounded by many suggestions about how to feed and what to feed which throw most of the moms in dilemma.
When the baby is ready to have solids, mothers concentrate more on meeting up the nutritional requirements which aid baby’s healthy growth. But it is equally important to recognize the possible food allergies that may result in babies and what foods are most likely to cause allergies.
Food allergy is referred to an abnormal reaction by body’s immune system triggered by consumption of a specific food. Even a small amount of allergy causing food can result in food allergy which shows the symptoms right after eating or within couple of hours.
Signs of food allergies:
The signs and symptoms of food allergies may vary from person to person. They can be mild or severe and can involve one part of the body and more than one part of the body in some cases. Some of the most common signs of food allergies include:
- Skin rash
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Redness and swelling of the face
- Itching and swelling of lips, tongue or mouth.
- Difficulty in breathing
- Runny or stuffy nose.
How to avoid food allergies in babies:
Most of the kids could be allergic to any food, but the common allergens may include milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, wheat and nuts such as walnuts, cashews. A baby can be protected from food allergy just by eliminating a particular food from his diet which causes allergy.
But many can get a doubt that how can a food allergy can be avoided if the baby has just started his solid foods? Then here is an answer which clears all your doubts. Follow these thumb rules, to keep food allergies at a bay from your child.
- When a baby has started to have solids, feed him with a small quantity which should be not more than two teaspoons.
- Introduce a new food at least four days apart. This gives you enough time to observe the allergic reactions if any and it could be difficult to find which food is the reason for the allergy if different foods are introduced at a time.
- Introduce fruits, veggies and homemade foods rather than packaged foods. This will help kids to likely develop less food allergies.
Once a child has an allergic reaction, it can happen again and it might be more severe than the first time. So, it is better to consult a doctor who provides you an action plan for managing the allergic reaction when it might happen for the next time.
Babies’ tummies are tiny and can reserve less fluids in their bodies when compared to elder children and adults. Till 6 months, babies get all the fluids they need through their regular feedings by breast milk or formula. But if they are exposed to high temperatures or loses fluids through fever, vomiting, diarrhea or sweating, they quickly become dehydrated.
Once babies are introduced to solid foods, small amounts of liquids will start to come from other sources such as juices, fruits, vegetables and sips of water. As the amount of breast milk intake decreases, make sure to keep your baby hydrated by giving plenty of fluids.
Signs of Dehydration:
If your baby has fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, you should watch carefully for the signs of dehydration which include:
- Dry skin
- Cracked lips
- Few or no tears while crying
- Sunken eyes
- Less urinary output
How to Treat Dehydration in Babies:
Treating dehydration is to replace fluids to restore levels of body fluids to normal. Some of the important tips to hydrate your baby when he is severely dehydrated are follows:
- Rest your child in a cool environment, until the lost fluid has been restored.
- Instead of feeding every few hours, feed small amounts for every half hour.
- Dilute juices if your older infant drinks juice.
- Offer smaller portions of milk more frequently, if your child is bottle feeding.
- Dress infants in weather – appropriate clothing.
- Use an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), these are specially designed to help hydrate infants to restore water, sugars and salts which are lost due to dehydration.
If you notice no improvement even after treating your child for dehydration at home, consult a pediatric specialist as the child might need to receive intravenous fluids in the hospital.
It’s tough for any parent to find that their child has a sleep disorder. Before going to know about what a sleep disorder is, know how much sleep do children need. Depending upon their age, the sleeping schedules varies from child to child. Children who are 12 to 18 years old need around 9 hours of sleep, toddlers need 11 to 14 hours and new-born will sleep approximately 16 to 17 hours. Lack of sleep in children may have negative effects on academic performance, extra-curricular activities and social relations.
Children with sleep disorders may exhibit some symptoms such as hyper activity, restlessness and inattentiveness which are more like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Due to this symptomatic overlap, sleep disorders may often misdiagnosed with ADHD.
Signs of Sleep Disorders in Children:
Children with sleep disorders exhibit some symptoms which are considered to get medical evaluation.
- Excessive snoring
- Bed wetting in children older than 6 years.
- Trouble sleeping
- Sleep walking
- Excessive sleepiness during day
- Decrease in day time performance
Tips to Improve Your Child’s Sleep:
Sleep disorders in children can lead not only to tired and cranky children, but also all kinds of behavioural problems in their social lives. Below are some tips to help to improve your child’s sleep.
- A fixed bed time and wake-up time helps your child internal clock to get sleepy and feel awake at specific times. The waking time should not vary from weekday to weekend more than one to one and a half hours.
- Create a relaxing bedroom environment which makes it easy for your child to drift off to sleep and stay asleep.
- A warm bath before bed time will help child’s body to reach a temperature where it’s most likely to rest.
- Avoid offering foods and drinks with caffeine to children before bed time.
- Skip stimulating TV shows, video games or computer games before bed time in favour of more calming activities, because you want the child to relax not to energize.
If you never heard about ADHD and wondering what it is all about, let us now get an idea what does it exactly mean. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and is a complex mental disorder seen in children which affects them even in their adulthood if it is left untreated.
The three primary characteristics which are exhibited by children with ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive. To understand in detail:
- Inattention: Children with ADHD may be inattentive but not hyperactive or impulsive. They can concentrate on the activities they enjoy no matter how difficult they are. But they have trouble to focus on the tasks which are boring and repetitive.
- Hyperactive: While many kids are naturally quite active, children who are hyperactive are always moving. They may try to do many things at once.
- Impulsive: Children who exhibit impulsive behaviour acts at an instinct without thinking about the results and consequences.
It can be difficult to diagnose children with ADHD. The average age of diagnosis is 7. Just because children exhibiting the symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour doesn’t mean they have ADHD. There are many other symptoms such as psychological disorders including depression, anxiety etc. by which we can determine a child has ADHD.
Common Signs of ADHD:
- One of the most common sign of children with ADHD is self-focused behaviour. These children have inability to recognize the needs and desires of others. They may interrupt others while they are talking and can’t wait for their turn during activities which involve other children.
- Children may have outbursts of anger. They might have difficulty in controlling their emotions.
- Children might show interests in lot of different things but they may have problems in finishing the tasks as they move to some other activities which catches their attention before completing the previous tasks.
- Lack of focus is another symptom which can be seen in these children. They may have trouble in paying attention. This may lead to careless mistakes but it is not a sign of laziness or lack of intelligence.
A child’s growth totally depends on his daily nutritional intake. The diet of every child should provide all the essential vitamins to cover all his growth needs. Most of the parents consider increase in height is the only sign of growth. But physical growth actually refers to the increase in height, weight and other body changes that occur as a child matures.
The rate of growth varies from child to child. So, it’s better to have enough patience to see the growth instead of worrying. It is always suggested to provide the vitamins only through diet as there is no replacement from natural nutrients. If your child is a fussy eater, consider some multi-vitamin replacements only after seeking expert’s advice.
List of growth enhancer vitamins:
The complete list of vitamins which aid the growth is mentioned below. These growth enhancer vitamins take every aspect of your child’s growth into consideration. So, if you want to see a healthy growth in your child, make sure he gets all these vitamins through his diet.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins and is vital for bone growth, good vision and immunity which can help to stay away from infections. Whole milk, cheese, carrots, beetroot, spinach are some of the food sources rich in vitamin A.
- Vitamin B-complex: Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B12 all greatly contribute the needs of a growing child.
- Vitamin B1: It aids bone growth, improves digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body. Vitamin B1 is found in fish, nuts and pecans.
- Vitamin B2: It is essential for the all-round growth of the child. It mainly helps in the growth of bones, hair, nails and skin. Vitamin B2 is found in leafy green vegetables.
- Vitamin B3: It plays an important role in the production of energy and keeps skin, digestive & nervous system healthy and function properly. Peanuts, mushrooms, green peas are some of the best sources of vitamin B3.
- Vitamin B5: It helps to stimulate the growth hormones and is required in small amounts. Corn, cauliflower, chicken and sweet potatoes are some food sources of vitamin B5.
- Vitamin B12: It aids the synthesis of folate and carbohydrates which are required for the normal growth & development in kids. Fish, eggs, milk products are rich in vitamin B12.
- Vitamin C: It helps to help the body heal and recover from wounds. It also protects the child against diseases which can stunt the growth. Citrus fruits and lemon provides ample amounts of vitamin C.
- Vitamin D: Calcium and vitamin D are like two sides of a coin. Even a diet with required calcium intake doesn’t help for growth without vitamin D. This vitamin helps bones to absorb calcium. The best way to get enough vitamin D is to spend some time in sunlight.