Answering Clinical Questions Improves Child Care

  • Why do babies cry?

    Why do babies cry?

    The babies usually cry when they are hungry or in discomfort. This may be due to an unpleasant sensation of full bladder before passing urine, painful evacuation of hard stools, tight fitting clothes or mere soiling by urine and stools. Some times they just want to be picked up. Many babies are irritable when sleepy. The spells of crying unrelieved by feeding, changing the soiled napkins or by rocking the baby may be due to abdominal pain.

  • What are the danger signs of diarrhea?

    What are the danger signs of diarrhea?

    The major concern in diarrhoea is rapid fluid loss resulting in dehydration. To prevent this serious side effect it is important to replace lost water and electrolytes at the earliest. Any significant dehydration constitutes an emergency, so be aware of the following signs:

    • Excessive thirst/ irritability

    • Dry lips, tongue and skin

    • Decreased amount of urine

    • Very frequent passage of watery stools

    • Lethargy or poor oral acceptance of fluids

    A child with any of the above signs should be shown to a doctor without delay.

    Consult the doctor also if the child has blood in his stools. This is dysentery anDCHild requires to be given medicines for this.

  • What are developmental milestones?

    What are developmental milestones?

    Milestones are punctuations in a baby’s growth and development. These milestones provide a guide to parents telling them what to expect from the baby and when to expect it.

    The sequence of development is same for all children, but the rate of development varies from child to child. For example one child can learn to walk independently as early as 10 months of age, while the other might be able to do so at 15 months. This is the normal range for achievement of this milestone. However, a child has to learn to sit before he can walk, and to hold his neck before he can sit. Since there is a range of period that is considered normal for achievement of a milestone, departures from the norm should not be a reason for undue panic unless confirmed by expert medical opinion.

  • Why do some children speak later than others?

    Why do some children speak later than others?

    There is a lot of variation in development of speech. Many children, who are other-wise completely normal, learn to speak late. Lack of environmental stimulation is a common cause of delayed speaking. The more the child is ‘talked to”, earlier he will learn to speak.

    An important cause for delayed speech is poor hearing. Therefore, a child who has not started making any vocal sounds by 5-6 months of age or does not speak any word with meaning by 18 months of age should be evaluated by a doctor.

  • Why is immunization needed?

    Why is immunization needed?

    Immunization is one of the most important and cost effective way of protecting children against common childhood illnesses many of which can be potentially serious, even life threatening. The illnesses against which vaccination is being offered free of cost by the Government of India include tuberculosis, diptheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio and measles. Many States also offer free vaccination against hepatitis B , mumps & rubella. These vaccines are available at various Government Hospitals, Dispensaries & Health Centers. Vaccination is also available against other diseases like chicken pox, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, H influenzae infection etc. These are however not currently being provided by the Government. These can be taken from private Hospitals/ Clinics as per the advice of the Pediatrician.

  • Can immnisation be given when a child is sick?

    Can immnisation be given when a child is sick?

    A child with minor illnesses like common cold, cough, fever, passage of a few loose stools etc can be immunised safely without any complications. It is important that delay in immunisation be avoided as far as possible since it leaves a child susceptible to more serious infections. However, immunisation should be postponed if a child is suffering from a serious illness as determined by a doctor. At that time it is important to treat the child for his/her sickness. Immunisation should be done on recovery.

  • What are the signs of cord infection?

    What are the signs of cord infection?

    If the cord gets infected, it looks damp or wet. The skin around the base of the cord may become red and some-times pus may be seen there. A baby with infection of the cord requires treatment and must be shown to a doctor. If the treatment is delayed, the baby may develop additional features like fever, lethargy or poor feeding. These signs indicate that the infection is spreading to the rest of the body as well. Early treatment of cord infection prevents spread of infection to the rest of the body, a serious illness in a new born bab

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