Woman's Era - - Contents -

MY SON HAS PAINFUL SORES IN HIS MOUTH AND SOME LE­SIONS on his foot which the doc­tor has di­ag­nosed as Hand-foot-mouth Dis­ease. Please ad­vise. As in your son’s case, the tell­tale signs are painful sores in the mouth and throat. It is caused by the Cox­sackie virus which is ac­tive mainly dur­ing the sum­mer and au­tumn months and is highly con­ta­gious, pass­ing from kid to kid through touch, coughs, sneezes, and fe­cal mat­ter. The sores are of­ten ac­com­pa­nied by red blis­ters on the hands and soles of the feet that last seven to ten days.

If your child has pain, give him chil­dren's ac­etaminophen. His sore throat can be eased with ice pops and cold flu­ids, but avoid acidic juices, which can st­ing. You should also watch out for de­hy­dra­tion, since some kids' sores are so un­com­fort­able that they re­sist drink­ing at all.

IHAVE A YEAR-OLD SON WHO KEEPS FALL­ING SICK EVER SO of­ten. He barely re­cov­ers from cold when he gets fever and cough and then it is stom­ach in­fec­tion. He was a healthy child when he was born and I take good care of him. Please tell me why is he so sus­cep­ti­ble to in­fec­tions.

A young child's im­mune sys­tem hasn't been ex­posed to many in­fec­tions, so he's far more prone to ill­nesses than older kids and adults, who have built up im­mu­nity to many germs. The fact that tod­dlers and preschool­ers tend to touch ev­ery­thing, put those thing or their dirty hands in their mouth wors­ens the sit­u­a­tions.

ILEAVE MY SON AT THE DAY-CARE CEN­TRE AF­TER PLAY SCHOOL, TILL I re­turn from work. One day I was hor­ri­fied to see his cheeks red as if he had been slapped hard on both cheeks! The owner and my child both said that no such thing hap­pened, but then what is it due to?

Your child is prob­a­bly suf­fer­ing from ‘ fifth dis­ease’ which is bet­ter known as "slapped cheek syn­drome." Kids ages 3 and un­der are the most vul­ner­a­ble to fifth dis­ease, which causes a bright-red rash on the cheeks. Your child may not have any other ill­ness symp­toms, though he could also have a mild fever, a runny nose, and a sec­ondary, lacy­look­ing rash on his torso.

Fifth dis­ease of­ten spreads like wild­fire through child­care cen­tres and preschools. Once the rash comes out, your child is no longer con­ta­gious, and it will sub­side on its own. A small per­cent­age of kids who get it will de­velop joint pain. Let your doc­tor know right away if this oc­curs. Also, con­tact your ob­ste­tri­cian if you are preg­nant and your child gets fifth dis­ease, as the virus can cause com­pli­ca­tions.

Chil­dren keep fall­ing ill off and on and more of­ten than not they re­cover spon­ta­neously or with home reme­dies. Oc­ca­sion­ally, parac­eta­mol syrup is re­quired. How­ever, I would like to know when it is im­per­a­tive that I take him to the hos­pi­tal. Please en­lighten me.

Most child­hood ill­nesses run their course with­out any big wor­ries. But cer­tain symp­toms and cer­tain kids war­rant a con­sul­ta­tion with the pae­di­a­tri­cian. These are: ✿ De­hy­dra­tion - your child may have sunken eyes (if he's a baby, a sunken fontanel, the soft spot on his head), seem ex­tremely lethar­gic, have a dry mouth or his skin may be cold and clammy. Also, be­ware if he's uri­nat­ing fewer than three or four times a day.

✿ High fever - in new­borns, any el­e­vated tem­per­a­ture war­rants a call. For in­fants 3 to 6 months old, phone if the fever hits 101of; for older ba­bies and chil­dren, the thresh­old is 103of.

✿ Breath­ing dif­fi­culty - phone right away if your child is wheez­ing, his breath­ing is fast or laboured, or you no­tice long pauses be­tween each breath.

✿ Not eat­ing – it is nor­mal for a sick child to have lit­tle in­ter­est in food. But if your kid is eat­ing or drink­ing less than half of what he or she nor­mally would for two days or longer, visit your doc­tor.

✿ Pre- ex­ist­ing con­di­tions - if your child has been di­ag­nosed with asthma, di­a­betes, a sup­pressed im­mune sys­tem, or an­other chronic med­i­cal con­di­tion, speak to your pae­di­a­tri­cian ev­ery time he or she comes down with a virus that could com­pro­mise his or her health.

IHAVE A SIX-YEAR-OLD DAUGH­TER. SHE COM­PLAINS OF PAIN in the ab­domen off and on. The doc­tor di­ag­nosed worm in­fes­ta­tion and gave her de-worm­ing drugs. Thought this has been re­peated thrice her stools still con­tinue to show eggs of worms. How does one erad­i­cate them com­pletely?

Once the worms have been erad­i­cated by ap­pro­pri­ate medicine see to it that she does not get re­in­fected by

✿ Clip­ping her nails short.

✿ Mak­ing her wash her hands be­fore ev­ery meal.

✿ Thor­oughly wash all fruits and veg­eta­bles that are eaten raw.

✿ Do not al­low her to walk bare feet or play with mud.

✿ See to it that she wears un­der­wear all the time. Whip worms cause in­tense scratch­ing around the anal re­gion and if her hands come in di­rect con­tact with the worms when she scratches her­self the chances of auto-in­fec­tion in­creases man­i­fold. – 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-110 055.

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