CHILD CHAL­LENGES

Woman's Era - - Contents - – Dr Am­rinder Ba­jaj, MD.

TH­ESE DAYS WE HEAR THAT A LOT OF NEW­BORN BA­BIES GET jaun­dice. Why is it so? My wife is preg­nant and as far as pos­si­ble I would not want my child to suf­fer from this con­di­tion.

The jaun­dice that new­borns geet is not the in­fec­tive type. It is a phys­i­o­log­i­cal con­di­ton that oc­curs in ap­prox­i­mately 50% of new­borns. It is char­ac­terised by yel­low­ish dis­col­oration of the skin and the white of the eyes and ap­pears on the sec­ond or third day of birth, dis­ap­pear­ing within 1 to 2 weeks. The yel­low­ing be­gins in the up­per par of the body and spreads down­wards. This is not an in­fec­tive con­di­tion but oc­curs be­cause the baby in the womb has higher heamoglobin lev­els than a new­born as the for­mer has to ex­tract oxy­gen from the ma­ter­nal blood while the lat­ter gets it di­rectly from the air. As there is no need for the ex­tra red blood cells af­ter birth they are de­stroyed. Jaun­dice is caused by the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of biliru­bin (a waste prod­uct pro­duced by the break­down of red blood cells) in the blood, skin, and other tis­sues as the im­ma­ture liver of the new­born is un­able to re­move this sub­stance ef­fec­tively from the body.

MY WIFE HAD A NOR­MAL DE­LIV­ERY. DUE TO A PAUCITY OF beds in the hos­pi­tal we were sent home the very next day and asked to bring the baby back for a check-up af­ter three days. To our hor­ror we were told that he has de­vel­oped se­vere jaun­dice and needs to be read­mit­ted. What are the reper­cus­sions of such a sit­u­a­tion? I am very wor­ried.

If the jaun­dice ap­pears early or the biliru­bin lev­els are high ( as in your case) the baby needs ad­mis­sion for pho­tother­apy or even ex­change trans­fu­sion at times. Dur­ing pho­tother­apy the child is kept un­der blue lights for days with the eyes and gen­i­talia cov­ered for pro­tec­tion. This will prob­a­bly suf­fice in the case of your baby and he will be all­right in a few days. Ex­change trans­fu­sion is re­quired when the biliru­bin lev­els are so high that there is a pos­si­bil­ity of the brain be­ing af­fected. This usu­ally oc­curs if the mother is Rh neg­a­tive and the fa­ther Rh pos­i­tive. The baby’s blood is re­placed by fresh blood which brings down the bil­uribin lev­els im­me­di­ately ef­fect so that brain dam­age is averted or min­imised.

IHAVE A THREE-AND-A-HALF YEAR-OLD SON. HE IS AC­TIVE AND in­tel­li­gent but hasn’t yet started speak­ing. We took him to a doc­tor who got him tested and said ev­ery­thing is nor­mal. We are both work­ing and he is our only child. Please tell me what to do. As he is an only child left in the care of a ser­vant per­haps while you both go for work chances are, that he is not be­ing talked with much. If he doesn’t hear words how will he speak them? In­ter­act with him ver­bally as much as pos­si­ble even if he does not re­spond. See that he min­gles with other chil­dren of his age. If lack in com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the only rea­son for his de­creased ver­bal skills, he will soon start talk­ing. If there is a fam­ily his­tory of de­lay in speech on your side or your hus­band’s it could be the cause and he will be­gin speak­ing by and by. MY DAUGH­TER HAS GOT DANDRUFF IN HER HAIR. PLEASE TELL ME what should I do to get rid of it.

Dandruff is a con­di­tion chara­terised by an itch­ing and flaky scalp. It could be ei­ther the dry or oily. In the for­mer the scales are fine, thin white or gray­ish white in colour. There is mild to mod­er­ate itch­ing and the hair is dry and lus­tre­less. It oc­curs com­monly in win­ter. The other type oc­curs in oily hair, may be con­fined to patches or spread all over the scalp. It may lead to grad­ual thin­ning and loss of hair. Visit a skin spe­cial­ist and get the ap­pro­pri­ate sham­poo/ drug for lo­cal ap­pli­ca­tion to get rid of the con­di­tion. I HAVE A SIX-MONTH-OLD SON. PLEASE TELL ME IF MAS­SAG­ING IS ben­e­fi­cial and what is the right way of do­ing it.

Re­search has shown that reg­u­lar mas­sage ben­e­fits the baby. It mois­turises the skin and scalp, pro­motes moth­er­child bond­ing and en­hances the psy­cho­log­i­cal well be­ing of the child.

You could be­gin by mas­sag­ing the scalp with mild oil and then move over to the body. Rub some oil be­tween your palms, hold the baby’s foot with one hand and move the other hand from his but­tocks to his foot. Fol­low the same mo­tion with the other hand. Al­ter­nate both hands in this way tak­ing care not to squeeze the leg. Re­peat this mo­tion in the re­v­erse. You can flex and re­lax the foot and roll the baby’s leg be­tween both hands. Re­peat with the other leg.

Now place both your hands in the cen­tre of his chest and move them out­wards around his chest. Next place one hand on his belly but­ton and move it gen­tly down­wards. Fol­low with the other hand. For the arms, place both hands on the cen­ter of the baby’s rib cage and move them out­wards over his shoul­ders, up­per, lower arms and hands in on smooth mo­tion. As for his face, put both your hands on his fore­head and slide them down the sides of his face with your thumbs mas­sag­ing the sides of his nose. Lastly make small cir­cu­lar mo­tions over the baby’s cheeks in front of the ears, loop around the ears and chin.

I HAVE A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD DAUGH­TER WHO HAS GOT LICE IN HER hair. Please tell me how to get rid of it?

Ap­ply a med­i­cated lo­tion, pre­scribed by the doc­tor on her head and wash her hair thor­oughly af­ter 24 hours. Re­peat the treat­ment af­ter a week so that the nits that have ma­tured into lice by this time are erad­i­cated.

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