Woman's Era - - Contents -

I have a nine-month-old son. He had de­vel­oped fever be­tween 101-103 de­grees, a few days back. When we took him to the doc­tor, he di­ag­nosed the con­di­tion as hand foot and mouth dis­ease. I am very wor­ried. Please tell me what it is and how harm­ful it is?

Hand foot and mouth dis­ease is a vi­ral dis­ease that usu­ally af­fects chil­dren be­low the age of five years. It is air­borne and the child can take 3-6 days to de­velop symp­toms. It is usu­ally a mild, self-lim­it­ing dis­ease that is char­ac­terised by fever and blis­ters on the hands, feet and mouth. The blis­ters may break and form crust but usu­ally do not itch.

Di­ag­no­sis is clin­i­cal and no tests are re­quired for the same. Treat­ment is usu­ally symp­to­matic i. e. parac­eta­mol for the fever. In older chil­dren one can give cool drinks or ice cream to soothe the throat and avoid spicy foods. The dis­ease usu­ally sub­sides within 7-10 days.

My daugh­ter is six years old. Could you please tell me what sort of toys I should buy for her so that they are help in the process of her men­tal and phys­i­cal de­vel­op­ment be­sides giv­ing her plea­sure?

Cre­ativ­ity should be en­cour­aged at this age. You could get her paint­ing and draw­ing books and a lot of crayons. Black­boards with dust­less chalk will help her im­prove her co­or­di­na­tion skills as she tries to em­u­late her teacher. You could also get her plas­ticine to cre­ate var­i­ous ob­jects and sim­ple con­struc­tion sets.

I would like to know how many teeth a child has and in what or­der do they erupt so that I am pre­pared.

A child has a set of 20 milk teeth (up­per and lower jaw com­bined) that com­prise 2 in­cisors or front teeth, a ca­nine on ei­ther side of the in­cisors and the 1st and 2nd mo­lar at the back on ei­ther side on each jaw. Den­ti­tion be­gins at 6 months of age and is com­pleted by 24 months. The 1st to ap­pear are the lower cen­tral in­cisors at 6 months of age while the up­per cen­tral in­cisors and the lower lat­eral in­cisors erupt at 7 months. The 1st mo­lars ap­pear be­tween 12 to 14 months, the ca­nines be­tween 16- 18 months and the 2nd mo­lars be­tween 20-24 months.

I have an eight month’s old son and as yet he has not de­vel­oped a sleep pat­tern. This is mak­ing all of us ir­ri­ta­ble. Please tell me how to make him sleep prop­erly at proper times or is it too early to start do­ing the same.

This is the right time to de­velop a proper sleep pat­tern. To help him do so you could set a rou­tine for ev­ery night and ad­here to it. Put him to sleep at the same place so that he as­so­ci­ates the place with sleep. Keep the area dimly lit and quiet so that he un­der­stands the dif­fer­ence be­tween night and day. Do not switch on the lights while feed­ing. Quickly burp and change his nappy with­out talk or play as you would do in the day. You could put him to sleep by pat­ting, singing to him, rock­ing or walk­ing him around in your arms or in the pram. If he wakes up after he has set­tled down, gen­tly soothe him back to sleep. Do not take him to the hus­tle-bus­tle area of the house that will pro­voke him to wake up. Such rit­u­als may take up to an hour ini­tially but after a month or so your baby will get the ‘it’s time to sleep’ mes­sage and will mirac­u­lously fall asleep within min­utes. If you need to wake your baby up for what­ever rea­son do not do so by shak­ing him. Such rough han­dling can be dan­ger­ous. In­stead tickle his toes or blow gen­tly on the cheek.

I have two kids, a son aged seven and a daugh­ter aged five. As of now my ser­vant and I are do­ing ev­ery thing for them. I would like them to grow up as in­de­pen­dent in­di­vid­u­als but do not know when to start ask­ing them to take on re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. When I try telling them to keep their shoes in the rack, etc. my mother-in-law in­ter­venes, say­ing Saari umar padi hai kaam karne ke liye. Abhi se unpe bojh kyon daal rahi ho. Naukar chaker kis lie hai. And doubts be­gin to as­sail me. Please ad­vise.

It is never too early to start mak­ing them take on re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, de­spite the fact that you have ser­vant at home and you are a non-work­ing mother. Set a rou­tine and ask them to tidy their room, wa­ter the plants or what­ever else they are ca­pa­ble of do­ing. Dis­cuss the mat­ter with your mother-in-law sep­a­rately and ask her not to con­tra­dict you in front of the chil­dren, es­pe­cially when you are try­ing so hard to make them sel­f­re­liant. My son is five years old. For some time I have no­ticed dark cir­cles un­der his eyes. Could it be be­cause he plays on the com­puter, sleeps late and gets up late?

Be­sides hered­i­tary, one of the com­mon­est causes of dark cir­cles un­der the eyes is lack of proper sleep. It is not good even for an adult leave alone a young child to spend so much time con­tin­u­ously at the com­puter. Dark cir­cles will soon be the least of his prob­lems. As time goes by he will suf­fer from dry­ness of eyes and pain in the back and neck so please reg­u­late his time in front of the com­puter as soon as pos­si­ble. An hour or so a day will suf­fice. See to it that he gets proper rest at the proper time, plenty of phys­i­cal ex­er­cise and nu­tri­tious food. Cor­rect ane­mia, if present. His dark cir­cles will soon dis­ap­pear. – Dr Am­rinder Ba­jaj, MD.

Read­ers are in­vited to send their prob­lems of child care and child rear­ing. WOMAN’S ERA will pro­vide the answers, so­lu­tions to prob­lems usu­ally en­coun­tered by moth­ers, young and old. Ad­dress your let­ters (neatly writ­ten on white paper) to: WOMAN’S ERA E-3, Jhan­de­wala Es­tate, New Delhi-110055

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