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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #004 -- January 2007
January 01, 2007

Additions and Changes to the Site

The development section is new - you can see what developmental milestones your baby or toddler will be gaining.

Click on the Development button on the left side of the pages. From there you can choose the age range you are interested in.

New Questions and Answers

Question: My child had vents(grommets) inserted in both his ears after he took an absess behind his right ear when he was 10 months old because of continued ear infections. He is now 2 and a half years old. His vents still are in his ears and the one in his right ear has got stuck in a awkward position. His left ear is still draining fluid and is very red around the ear drum. He has still got no speech. His hearing has been checked and they said there was nothing wrong. I am still concerned that he is still not talking yet and could the vents be the problem.

Answer: I'm surprised the vents (ear tubes, grommets) are still in your son's ears as they often have fallen out by this time. If his ear is draining fluid and the drum looks red, that suggests he has an acute otitis media (you can read more on Ear Infections). The fact the ear is draining also suggests that the vent is still in place. If your son still has symptoms today of an ear infection, he probably would benefit from a course of antibiotics. The vents usually work themselves out of the body but if one is stuck, you may need to see your surgeon to check on it.

In terms of his speech, it is good to know his hearing is normal. The vents shouldn't be adversely affecting his speech. If his understanding is good, I wouldn't be too worried. At this age, understanding is more important as some children just take time to actually express themselves. Can your son make his needs known? Does he understand simple commands? Does he have any words and if so does he put 2 words together, like daddy home? If he is doing these things, I wouldn't be worried at this stage. The vents shouldn't be causing problems with speech. You can read more on vents (ear tubes, grommets)

Question: My healthy 2 yr old girl has had no adverse reactions to eating specific foods in the past. Last month she vomited 11 hours after eating a nectarine. Last week she vomited 7 times after eating a nectarine again. Yesterday, she vomited 12 hrs after eating a mango. Only the fruit comes up with the vomit.

Is this hypersensitivity, an allergy, or an indication of something else? My doctor says to wait and see, but now I'm afraid to give her any fruit because of the pain and vomit she experiences after eating it. Any reccomendations? It seems that the reaction to the fruits is getting more severe each time. Thank you for your time.


Food allergy is quite common and there are various types - some show in skin prick tests and some don't.

By the sounds of it, your toddler is reacting to some fruit and it is worth removing them from the diet for a time. I don't think that skin prick tests will probably help at this stage. It may not be all fruit that your daughter reacts to - she may be fine with apples, bananas and citrus.

I would avoid nectarines and mangos for at least a year before she tries them again. Don't exclude all fruit, though, unless your daugther has had a similar reaction. See what happens with apple, pear, bananas and oranges. Only try one every few days so if she does react you know what she reacted to.

It is extremely unlikely that your daughter would have an anaphylactic reaction to fruit (on the information you have given) so you need to worry about that too much.

Question: Is a soft spot that's indented a sign of dehydration?


The fontanelle (soft spot) can be indented. If it is very indented that can be a sign of dehydration. If your baby doesn't have other signs of dehydration, a slightly indented fontanelle is normal.

See dehydration

Question: My son was playing a game when he somehow swallowed a quarter.What should we do and why?


If coins are small enough, they will just pass through the body. The danger is that they get stuck somewhere.

The first dangerous place to get stuck is in the upper esophagus where the airway is close by. Your son would have difficulty breathing or complain of problems swallowing.

The next place that can be dangerous if the coin blocks is the outlet to the stomach (the pylorus) - in this case, he would have vomiting.

It might be a good idea to have an x-ray to see where the coin is and if it has passed all the dangerous areas.

News and Updates

Fuzzi Bunz reusable diaper (nappy) system. A patient in my clinic last week was wearing a Fuzzi Bunz diaper - I hadn't seen one before but it looked great and it worked well.

See the Fuzzi Bunz site for more details, including a video clip. They are cheaper than disposable diapers (nappies), more environmentally friendly and they are very effective at keeping babies bottoms dry.

The Christchuch City Council (New Zealand) offers subsidies to parents buying washable nappies (diapers) in an effort to reduce waste in landfill sites. Check your local council to see what it eco-friendly activities it supports.

Have you seen this website - Raise a Great Kid
-Practical, no-nonsense advice for parents who want to raise a great kid.

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