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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #028
January 01, 2009

New Questions and Answers

Question: Hi, my 14 months old daughter came down with a temperature of 101.8F that lasted about 5 days. The Dr. diagnosed a virus. Then just as the temperature returned to normal she vomited about once or twice a day for about 4 days, her appetite decreased noticebly (to the point when she would only nurse). For the last 2 days she added a hint of diarrhea (one watery stool a day). Today I noticed that her finger tips look really inflamed. There are tiny white blisters(about 3-4) on the side of the fingers and the index finger is starting to peel. What do I do? Do I have to worry? Can you explain what is going on, please?

Answer: It is hard to know exactly what is going on from what you say - it could all just be a virus.

I am a little concerned you say your daughter has red peeling fingers. If she has had a skin rash or red eyes or red lips or tongue at any time during this illness, I would be concerned that she has Kawasaki disease.

Kawasaki disease is a an immune illness where the body attacks itself, particluarly the blood vessels. It can cause problems with the heart but these are minimised if treatment is given early (within 10 days or so) - if you think your daughter has had any of these symptoms (even if not all together) then you should see your doctor again as soon as possible.

Question: I was wondering how long the antibodies you pass on to your baby from breastfeeding last inside the baby? I heard it was only 6 months and I head they lasted as long as the babies immune system was developing. Could you please give me the correct answer? I'm wondering because I think my son may have been exposed to chicken pox or the measles and I was wondering if the antibodies I gave him would help him fight these dieseases? My son is only 7 months old.

Answer: The antibodies passed from mother to baby vary in the time they last. Usually measles and chicken pox antibodies that are tranferred from the placenta last until about 9 to 12 months which is why the measles and chicken pox immunizations aren't given before that time (because babies have "mother's protection" before that time).

Question: my son is 15 mos old with a fever,ear infection and swollen tonsils. Amoxicillin hasn't worked the emergency room doctor said his wbc is 27.5. What could be wrong?

Answer: It may be that your son has a viral infection - antibiotics don't usually work and children usually get better over 3 or 4 days.

The white blood cell count (wbc) is high but could be because of a virus or a bacteria. As your son hasn't responded to antibiotics, a virus is most likley.

Question: I have a 25 month old son who has just in the past 3 weeks developed a very dry cough, but only when he is sleeping, there is not 5 min that go by while he is sleeping that he is not coughing,I have washed his room down from top to bottom,thinking maybe allergie. My doctor has put him on a ventolin inhaler,it worked for the first day or two now he seems to be getting worse, can u help me please. Thank you.


See the Cough page. It sounds as if your son has a non-specific chronic cough - it will settle but it might take weeks.

As long as your son is growing normally and is well in other ways, I wouldn't be too concerned.

News and Updates

FDA rules on Asthma Medication

The recent ruling from the FDA regarding long-acting asthma medication, Serevent, Advair, Foradil, which are types of long-acting beta-agonists, (or long acting medications that keep the airways open) should not alarm parents of children with severe asthma. Studies have shown that long acting beta-agonists are safe as long as they are used in conjunction with inhaled corticosteroids. So if your child has severe asthma requiring a long acting beta-agonist, just make sure your doctor has prescribed one in conjunction with an inhaled steroid.

Reference: Jaeschke R, O`Byrne PM, Mejza F, et al. The safety of long-acting beta-agonists among patients with asthma using inhaled corticosteroids: systematic review and metaanalysis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Nov 15;178(10):1009-16. Epub 2008 Sep 5.

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