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Your Baby & Toddler - - Baby Files: Baby -

BALANITIS

An in­flam­ma­tion of the fore­skin and head of the pe­nis. SYMP­TOMS: Swelling of the glans and fore­skin (in un­cir­cum­cised boys). The gen­i­tal area may be red and moist, and there may be pus and painful dis­charge. HOW SE­RI­OUS? You will need to treat this with an­tibi­otics, so see the doc­tor. TREAT­MENT: Wash the pe­nis and un­der the fore­skin twice a day, but only pull back the fore­skin very gen­tly (how much it can re­tract de­pends on age) and don’t use soap. You’ll prob­a­bly be given top­i­cal and broad-spec­trum an­tibi­otics and, says Dr Sin­clair, re­cur­rent bouts may re­quire a cir­cum­ci­sion.

BLOCKED TEAR DUCT

This oc­curs when the open­ing of the duct in the eye that nor­mally al­lows tears to drain is ob­structed or fails to open prop­erly. SYMP­TOMS: Per­sis­tent wa­ter­ing of the eye. If the eye is in­fected, there might be pus in the cor­ner of the eye and swelling on the side of the nose, just un­der the in­ner cor­ner of the eye. HOW SE­RI­OUS? If there are signs of in­fec­tion, take your baby to a doc­tor. If a blocked tear duct in a baby does not clear up nat­u­rally af­ter a year, you may be re­ferred to an oph­thalmic sur­geon. TREAT­MENT: Gen­tly mas­sag­ing the up­per part of the duct will help. If the eye is in­fected the doc­tor will pre­scribe an an­tibi­otic oint­ment.

BOILS (NASAL FURUNCLES)

A skin in­fec­tion caused by a bug in the nose. SYMP­TOMS: Usu­ally starts as a small red lump that gets big­ger and fills with pus. The area around the boil is ten­der and sore and can be­come quite swollen. HOW SE­RI­OUS? Ask the phar­ma­cist for an oint­ment to treat at home. If it lasts longer than five to seven days, is very large and painful, or it re­curs, go to the doc­tor. TREAT­MENT: If the boil is se­ri­ous, says Dr Sin­clair, it is im­por­tant that it be drained (by a doc­tor) and treated with an­tibi­otics. You will also need to clear the nasal pas­sages. If it isn’t se­ri­ous, an over-the-counter oint­ment should work.

BRONCHIOLITIS

A usu­ally vi­ral in­fec­tion that is most com­mon in chil­dren un­der 18 months. SYMP­TOMS: Tends to start two days af­ter a cold has wors­ened. A fever with a dry rasp­ing cough, wheez­ing, rapid and dif­fi­cult breath­ing, dif­fi­culty feed­ing, bluish lips and tongue, and ab­nor­mal drowsi­ness. HOW SE­RI­OUS? See your doc­tor. If your child strug­gles to breathe take her to a hos­pi­tal im­me­di­ately. TREAT­MENT: Your doc­tor is most likely to pre­scribe neb­u­li­sa­tion with saline and phys­io­ther­apy to help clear your child’s air­ways.

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