Some tips on examining Babies and Children
How to improve the appetite of your Kid
Crying Child

Childhood asthma and other respiratory infections
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
Learning Disability (LD)
Mental disabilities in Children

Some tips on examining Babies and Children

Babies and small children are the real test for the efficiency of the physician as a diagnostician. As they canít express their inner feelings examining them physically is very important. Here are some practical tips on how to do it most effectively. Also one word to dear parents; please never try to get things done at home by frightening the child with name of the doctor. This is the main problem at most of the cases of a crying/non-cooperative child in the presence of a doctor.

* First and foremost follow the general rule in case taking.

* Gather all the obtainable information from those around him/her, collect your inferences from observations and put off the manual examinations of the baby/child till the last.

* Do not manhandle the baby/child as if it is a thing. But do the examinations as you do it to a most ill-natured patient.

* Always ask permission to proceed before you touch the baby. Not from the mother or bystander but from the baby!

* Always keep a pleasant face while doing the examination. Also it is best to keep talking gently to the baby while you do it.

* Insist the babies to be brought with their mothers whenever possible. Do the examinations while the baby is in the lap of the mother, as they tend to be most cooperative and quiet and also feel most secure when they are there. Also the information given by any body else can never match those furnished by the mother.

* Undress the baby only if it is necessary. Because dressing up and undressing are the most uncomfortable procedures for them.

* When the baby tries to grab the stethoscope or your examining hand gently distract those hands to some other things. Never hold those hands firmly restricted or outstretched. The best strategy is to hold it gently in the hands of those carrying the baby so that he/she can move them around but canít touch your hand or the steth.

* Whenever possible keep the stethoscope away from around your neck and put it there only when you intent to do the auscultation. This is particularly necessary whenever a baby/child enters your clinic crying and becomes an absolute necessity if he/she is coming to you after taking treatment from the other school of medicine. Because new studies indicate that babies will retain the memory of painful injections and bitter tasting drugs to as long as six months and they generally associate the doctor -in white lab coat and steth around the neck- with it.

* Whenever babies cry or get difficult to control the best equipment available to sooth them is always there, handy on your desk. The torch! Shine it to the baby (not directly into his/her eyes) and move it a bit. If you mix gentle talking with this most of them will calm down and start to smile and play.

* Give proper attention to what children says (same as those from an adult). Often they give more valuable clues than provided by the mother or bystander.

* If children tend to be irritating and obstinate in your clinic do not scold them or try to teach them a lesson or two about discipline. But try to distract them to something else or start examining another part or stop examining altogether and do it again after sometime.

* Understand that there is a definite group of kids who belong to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) group and for them none of the above methods will succeed. In such cases proper psychotherapy for the whole family (child, mother, father and the others in the order) is needed along with medication.
   For more information about this and other mental disabilities of children please consult the physician in person. It is better not to bring the child in at the first visit.

* Yet another unfortunate area where the children are much misunderstood for their poor (mostly academic) performance is Learning Disability. This condition also require separate attention and it is better to start treatment at the first sight of signs in the above disorders (ADHD & LD) as any delay will permanently damage the development of the child. Also note that such children when corrected will most probably become excellent achievers than average ones.

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How to improve the appetite of your child

    A kid who is not eating can be a big problem for the parents. Children will lose appetite or will not eat even if they are hungry for a number of reasons. To explain them in full length needs a sitting across the table with your family physician or pediatrician. But the following simple tricks can make a child eat more food and only if these fail you can go to your doctor. Because apart from the below given basic rules there can be some illness and/or psychological facts that can diminish the appetite. Those can be found out and treated by an actual consultation with your family doctor.

* Make eating time is pleasant and fun filled. Scolding or slapping the child will not only reduce the quantity of food taken but will interfere with the digestion of what much is taken in. Instead use attractive and colourful plates and spoons and also keep the favourite toys of the child handy when you give food. 

* Show your appreciation when they eat properly. But not make a fuss when they are not eating, instead simply ignore the fact. Remember that it is normal for a child not to eat when she/he is sad or obstinate. So donít press with them on such occasions.

* Do not rush the child to swallow. It is normal for them to play while they eat. But if they hold it in the mouth more than two minutes try to gently coax them to swallow.

* Never force feed a child. If they are reluctant use stories or toys to divert their attention and feed. Still if they are not eating keep the food away for few minutes and try again. If still it is the same story skip that meal altogether and give the child some fluid instead (like milk, juice, soup) and try the next meal when its time comes.

* Do not feed them when they are tired, like coming after playing outside. Let them rest for a while and feed only after that.

* A child who is thirsty will not eat, so give it water to drink and feed after 15 to 20 minutes. Also drinking enough water and other fluids in a day will increase the appetite as well as aid digestion. But it is not good to give much water immediately before or during a meal.

* It is better to feed the child when they are hungry. When they grow up beyond two/three years of age you can gradually introduce the three/four meals a day system of adults.

* Take only as much food as the child can eat at a time in the plate, and make it a point to finish it completely. Over feeding will result most of the times in throwing out during or after eating and will produce dislike for food in children.

* While feeding try to mix different kinds of food so that they will not develop the habit of selective eating. Give them different dishes every day to introduce variety in eating. Also try to cook the same food item in different ways to make it attractive.

* Do not give them too spicy or sour foods. Avoid excessively salty foods too. Adding too much sugar to the food is also a bad habit.

* Do not give snacks, sweets (candies, chocolates), nuts, dry fruits, biscuits or milk before food. Instead you can give any of these after the meals.

* Do not feed the child in front of television.

* Make it a habit that all in the family is having at least one meal together around a dining table. There, give the child his own plate and put in it small quantities of all the dishes on the table and encourage the kid to eat on his own. This will cultivate a healthy eating habit.

* Make sure that all the five prime ingredients (cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits, and diary, meat & poultry) are there in the daily food of the child.

In addition to the above in case of a sick child please take care of the following too.

* Clean the child before feeding. Make sure itís mouth and nose are clean.

* Make the position of the child comfortable. Keep the favourite toys handy and nearby.

* Give foods that the child likes and also are easily swallowable. Give small mouth full at a time.

* Give small quantities at shorter intervals. It is OK to feed them once every two hour.

* Give them plenty of water and other fluids. This is more important in case of fever and diarrhoeal diseases.

* Give them a little extra food when they recover from the illness. It will help to regain the lost energy and weight quickly. Choose foods that are easily digestible and rich in calories.

* consult your doctor if the child do not eat properly even after the illness.

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Childhood asthma and other respiratory infections

Childhood asthma can be a problematic diseases for both the child and the parents, especially the mother.
The  infant/child gets frequent attacks of cough and wheezing with various degree of dyspnea (breathlessness). If the infant/child is not given proper treatment from the beginning most of the times it results in the child being end up in the emergency room for nebulisation and a steroid injection. But remember that even though nebulisation has less side effects of the drug, every steroid administration is reducing the natural immunity (ability of the body to fight infections) of the child, so that eventually the child becomes dependent on the drug. There are also high chances of the child getting infections like pneumonia, which is life threatening. Some times these attacks results from particular allergies like milk/egg/chocolates in such cases even a minute quantity of the substance triggers an asthma episode. In cold climate these young patients are to be cared much more.

        Homeopathic  treatment can effectively and simply cure these attacks. If you take the drugs continuously till the physician recommends the intensity and frequency of the attacks come down and the child can be completely cured, even from the particular allergies! Means, child can safely eat what was once causing him/her the allergy! It is generally seen that if you start the treatment before six months of age the cure can be accomplished by the fist year, if the starting point is after one year cure can be by the end of  two years of age and after that it get delayed till fifth year of age. After five years it is a bit difficult and may have to take drugs till ten years of age or so and if proper treatment is not initiated before ten years of age there are strong chances that the disease may turn to adult asthma, which is very difficult to cure.

        Primary complex or infant/child tuberculosis is another important area where homeopathy can do much good work. Here also it is seen that the child is completely cured within one year of treatment. This condition also if not treated properly in the early stages itself can cause serious damage of the health of the child.

        Another important thing to be noted is that the homeopathic drugs are mostly sweet in nature and can also be prepared and administered in pure water as drop doses on the tongue, making it very easy to give to the child. There is no need of compulsion from the part of the adult as in case of bitter syrups/liquids, injections or nebulisations as most of the time the child himself will ask for the medicine at the right time. Also note that the effect of the correct homeopathic drug starts within minutes of administration.
        Besides all these, homeopathic drugs are devoid of all the serious side effects and on the contrary
boosts the natural immunity of the body so that after continuing with them for a while you note an interesting thing that the child is no longer getting other common infections as well! 

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