It is important that you keep a close eye on your baby's eyes. It is easier to correct many eye problems when they are detected early. If detected later the problems are more difficult to detect. So you should keep a close watch for any signs that your baby may be having an eye problem.
The best way to do this is to observe your baby's regular activity and note -
- If the baby has difficulty following objects with her eyes [when you move objects in front of her face] by the time she is 3-4 months old.
- If the baby has trouble moving one/ both of her eyes in all directions.
- If the baby's eyes are crossed most of the time .
- One or both of your baby's eyes tend to turn outwards.
- Premature babies have a higher risk of eye problems, so they need more care.
- Inform your Pediatrician of any problems you may notice/suspect promptly.
It is always a worry if your child is down with a fever. A few important points to remember when your child is down with a fever are-
- It is more important to watch how active your child is than just your child's temperature.
- If your child has a high fever but is active and feeding well,it is unlikely to be anything serious.
- On the other hand if your child has a lower fever but has decreased activity and is not feeding well, contact your pediatrician immediately.
- Keep your child adequately rehydrated during this time.
- A combination of paracetamol and tepid sponging can be used to bring down high fevers.
- Do not attempt any other self medication. Always check with your pediatrician before you administer any new medicines to your child.
- If a fever lasts for more than 3 days, always take your child to your pediatrician for a checkup.
- If your baby has high fever/bad cough/greenish mucus/wheeze/breathing difficulty / feeding poorly, see your pediatrician immediately.
- If your baby has a fever and a rash always see your pediatrician immediately.
- When your child gets a sudden high fever there is always a risk of her having a febrile convulsion. This is the term used to describe fever induced seizures. The child usually turns pale, and has uncontrolled twitching of the muscles and may become unconscious after this episode. It is extremely distressing for a parent when this happens, but it is important to keep your cool and not panic f this happens.
- Do not try to restrain your child when she is having a seizure.
- An episode of a febrile convulsion may seem very long but it usually last for about 15-20 seconds or a little longer.
- Very rarely it lasts for more than two minutes. If it does always take your child to a hospital immediately.
- Make sure there is no food or anything else in the child's mouth during a seizure- this is the only thing you must do at that moment.
- Most children who have an episode of febrile convulsions will not have another episode.
- Always take your child to your pediatrician if she has had an episode like this, even she seems all right afterwards.
Colds and cough:
Colds are Acute URTI [upper respiratory tract infections]caused by a group of viruses.
They are transmitted by air when an infected person coughs/sneezes or by hand contact.
Signs are cough, running nose, red eyes, discomfort [baby is irritable] and decreased appetite.
They are most often self limiting- that is they are cured with no need for major medications.
Steam inhalation and hot packs can help provide relief.
If your baby has high fever/bad cough/greenish mucus/wheeze/breathing difficulty / feeding poorly see your pediatrician immediately.
Ear infections are a common complication after a bout of cold in children. There are a few things than you need to understand about ear infections in children and why you need to be extra careful.
- If your child has had a cold a few days [3-5] before, and then develops a fever it could be an ear infection.
- The Eustachian tube in infants [a tube connecting the middle ear to the back of throat/nose] is shorter and more horizontal. This predisposes to ear infections.
- As your baby grows the Eustachian tube will grow to about 3 times in present size and become more vertical. This will reduce chances of ear infections.
- Ear infections can lead to complications. If you suspect that your child could be having an ear infection, do not hesitate to consult your pediatrician.
Gastroenteritis [loose motions and vomiting]:
Many toddlers in India contract infections via contaminated water/ food. Extra precautions are always needed with a baby in the house. The infection can be from an external source or from someone in the house who has an infection. Toddlers are susceptible to infection because their immune systems are still developing.
- The cause can be bacterial or viral.
- Avoid giving the baby any food items bought from outside.
- Anyone at home who has an upset stomach should avoid handling the child or the child's items and food.
- Keeping your child adequately hydrated is the most important thing to do. Keep giving the child ORS [Oral Rehydration Solution] to ensure he does not get dehydrated.
- The easiest way to check for dehydration is to look at your child's tongue. If it is getting dry, it means your child is getting dehydrated. The drier the tongue the more severe the dehydration. If you have any doubts about this always consult your pediatrician immediately.
- If you feel your baby has not passed urine as often as he normally does, he could be getting dehydrated.
- There may be associated vomiting. If the vomiting is bad and your child is unable to keep feeds down, you should consult your pediatrician immediately
- If your child has fever as well it is always safer to consult your pediatrician.
Quick Bytes by Reliance General Insurance:
At present your doctor is keeping a check on the health of your unborn baby. However, once your child steps in he/she you would need to consult a different doctor only for babies. Therefore, it is wise to start looking for a doctor for your child in advance, i.e. months before your child is even born. Choosing a doctor and deciding on a
health insurance before giving birth to your child not only saves time, but also ensures peace of mind. In addition, if due to unforeseen reasons you end up delivering early, having a child’s doctor well in place before your baby is even born will be the best preparedness you could offer your child. Knowing your child’s doctor in advance helps you built up trust and rapport which in turn would help you get ready healthcare for your newborn baby.