Childhood Maladies

My child is 10-months-old and yet he has no teeth eruption, what shall I do? And, is there something to be worried about?
Normally, the time for first tooth eruption is at 5-7 months of age in the lower jaw. In some cases, there may be delay in primary tooth eruption, but one can wait till 12 -13 months of age. First you can examine the baby for signs of tooth eruption by gently rubbing your finger over the gum along the jaw bone inside the mouth and feel for any hard nodule, or examine the mouth under good light for any white spots on the jaw ridge which are the positive signs for tooth eruption. If so, then we can wait as he will have tooth eruption soon, but if he has not even a single tooth eruption by the age of 13 months, then he must be investigated for certain diseases like hypothyroidism , calcium and vitamin D deficiency and some local oral causes or bony causes. In that case, you should visit your pediatrician or a dental doctor and investigate your baby. But, as of now for your baby, you need not panic and you can still wait for few months and baby can be given some vitamin and calcium supplements.

My baby is one-year-old and she keeps having loose motions many times. During the episode of diarrhea she always develops nappy rash. How should I prevent these nappy rashes and what do you suggest?
This is a frequently seen problem in our day-to-day OPD in children with diarrheal diseases, so the first and foremost important thing is to avoid putting nappy on the baby in daily routine care at home, as by doing so, the mother becomes carefree for hours and the baby skin is in contact with the stool/urine and the area is moist. Since baby skin is very sensitive, it causes local reaction in the skin after which the child develops nappy rashes and, as the word itself is self explanatory, nappy rashes, i.e., rashes caused by diapers, so instead, one should use regular cotton cloth nappies at home and use of diapers should be restricted only if one is going out. Another important thing is that the anal area should be cleaned softly with mild lukewarm water. Area should not be rubbed; keep the area clean; and pat dry. One can apply diaper rash free cream or some emollient cream as well if they have developed rashes or redness in that area and consult your pediatrician later. Avoid washing her underwear or nappy cloth with strong detergents and make sure it is dried properly before use.

I have a five-month-old baby girl and this is my first child, so could you please suggest when should I start weaning her? And, until when should I breast feed her?
Congrats for your lovely motherhood, you have been blessed with a princess. As for your concern, this is the right time when you can start weaning her. Start with simple homemade food like dal pani, thin jaulo, litto, sarwotam pitho or formula feeds available in the market such as Cerelac, Farex/Lactogen Milk, and gradually increase the volume, types and number of feed. Later, you can add on fruits like small yellow banana, boiled apple, boiled mashed vegetables, egg white, and so on. Introduce one item at a time. For example, slowly keep on adding one newer food every week as per the child’s tolerance, because by this you can know if the child is allergic to some particular kind of food and his tolerance to that food. Slowly increase calories by adding one spoon of ghee or oil to food and dense feed as you start feeding him from the family pot by the age of 20 months to 2 years. If you want to, start cow or buffalo milk only after one year of age and that too, non-diluted, and continue breastfeeding preferably till two years of age after which you can completely switch over to top feeds.

I have a 10-year-old son who is very prone to allergy cough and noisy breathing; he catches cold very easily, especially during the changing seasons and winter. We have to go for frequent doctor visits when he lands up taking frequent antibiotics and nebulization. So, could you please guide us with some preventive aspects so as to decrease recurrence of his illness?
Good that you asked me this question and this is the right time when you should take special precautions to prevent him from getting frequent cold, cough and allergy. The worst thing in these children is that they will develop noisy breathing soon as wheeze possibly if they have additional family history of atopy or asthma. The most important thing in these children is to keep them away from dust, smoke, pet animal fur, hard perfumes/odours, coloring agents in food, cold drinks, iced foods, etc. He should use regular mask while travelling on road, use blanket with cover which is washable, and avoid contact with pets. The most important of all is vaccination which is available as influenza vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine. Consult your pediatrician for this. During the episode, get a timely check up by your regular pediatrician before his symptoms worsen and preferably keep some emergency drugs for immediate relief as per your doctor’s suggestion.

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