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The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Healthy Life -

OME CHILD­HOOD ail­ments still defy ex­pla­na­tion, or are the sub­ject of heated dis­cus­sion in the GP’s wait­ing room or play­ground. Colic is the um­brella term given to un­ex­plained in­fant crying and fuss­ing, usu­ally from birth to three months. No-one has a nailed-on ex­pla­na­tion or a cure. The main symp­toms are cramp­ing and moan­ing for long pe­ri­ods. Colic is thought to be re­lated to feed­ing, though there is prob­a­bly no sin­gle exp la - na­tion. In­ci­dence of colic in breast­fed ba­bies is only half that among bot­tle-fed coun­ter­parts — and lac­tat­ing mothers might try avoid­ing onions, bras­si­cas, cow’s milk and choco­late, as th­ese have been shown to be prob­lem­atic to some ba­bies. Stom­ach mas­sage and anti-colic med­i­ca­tion is also avail­able. In five per cent of cases, there is an un­der­ly­ing ill­ness, so see your GP if your baby ap­pears col­icky for more than a day or two. How­ever in most cases, the only cure is time. Most symp­toms dis­ap­pear by the time the baby is three to four months old. This child­hood dis­ease has been in the news lately with out­breaks in the North East of Eng­land and Wales. Un­til, a few years ago it was thought that measles had been erad­i­cated, but fol­low­ing the nowdis­cred­ited re­search of Dr An­drew Wake­field as­so­ci­at­ing the MMR measles vac­cine with autism, many par­ents were scared to vac­ci­nate chil­dren. If your chil­dren have not been vaccinated, there is a chance they will get measles. Ini­tial symp­toms are cold- or flu- like, with sen­si­tiv­ity to light, fever and grey­ish-white spots in the mouth. Af­ter a few days, a red-brown rash will ap­pear. In most cases, the child will make a full re­cov­ery af­ter a week or two, but in rare in­stances measles can lead to blind­ness and, with com­pli­ca­tions, even death. If your child has not been vaccinated, med­i­cal ad­vice is to see your GP im­me­di­ately. Whoop­ing cough is as­so­ci­ated with young chil­dren, but can af­fect any­body of any age. Al­though it is now un­com­mon among in­fants be­cause of im­mu­ni­sa­tion, some older chil­dren do still get the in­fec­tion, as the ef­fec­tive­ness of the vac­cine can de­cline over time. The in­fec­tion is caused by a bac­terium called bort­edella per­tus­sis. Symp­toms are dis­tress­ing both to the par­ent and child. Bouts of chok­ing cough­ing carry on for sev­eral min­utes, some­times in­ter­spersed with wheez­ing as the child strug­gles for breath. While there can be se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions in some cases, the vast ma­jor­ity of kids make a full — if slow — re­cov­ery. Acne is the curse of many teenagers and mostly con­sists of a few em­bar­rass­ing pim­ples that dis­ap­pear with the help of a lo­tion such as Clear­asil. How­ever, there are more se­vere, dis­fig­ur­ing cases which may need med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion. So if teenagers are de­vel­op­ing larger, an­gry-look­ing spots, known as papules or pus­tules, they might need pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions. Th­ese in­clude an­tibi­otic tablets to at­tack spot-in­duc­ing bac­te­ria, as well as stronger top­i­cal treat­ments. There are also hor­monal treat­ments for women with acne.

Do not ap­ply toothpaste to the spots — it can dry the area, but it may also ir­ri­tate; do not give in to the temp­ta­tion to squeeze a black­head; avoid wash­ing the face more than twice a day as fre­quent wash­ing ir­ri­tates skin and keep hair washed and away from the face.

SUM­MER 2013

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