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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #005 -- February 2007
February 01, 2007

New Questions and Answers

Question: What to do when your 2 year old is wheezing when breathing, she has a runny nose and a little cough too.

Answer: It's not uncommon for 2 year olds to get wheezy when they have a cold or upper respiratory tract infection like your daughter sounds as if she does. The treatment is an inhaler to open up the airways. At her age, we would give the inhaler via a spacer device - you will need to see your doctor for this.

Some doctors prescribe a syrup to open up the airways but I prefer an inhaler and spacer as I believe it works best.

If there is no asthma in the family, then your daughter will probably grow out of her wheezing tendency but she may have asthma (recurrent wheeze) while she is growing.


Question: 11 month old boy that has cut two teeth at the top and next to one I noticed his gums looks like he has a blood clot. can you help me?

Answer:It is not uncommon for a small blood blister to appear on the gum as teeth are coming through.

If your son is not bothered, I would wait and see what happens to the blood clot as the body will try and remove it itself. If the clot is causing your son distress, see your doctor or dentist who might make a small knick in the gum so the blood clot can release.


Question: Is it good to sleep a baby on their belly?

Answer:It is not good for babies to sleep on their belly. Babies who sleep on their belly (sleep prone) are more at risk of having a crib death (cot death, sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS). It is best to put your baby to sleep on his/her back.

Occasionally, for medical reasons, a baby may need to sleep on his/her belly but this should only be with medical supervision.

Once babies are able to roll over by themselves, they may sleep on their belly but they should be put to sleep on their back.


Question: I would like to know if it is normal for my baby to strain constantly (for more than four hours) as if he wanted to poo.. he is now six weeks old and has always had problems with poo. After all the straining the poo is not hard, it is mustard colour and with seeds...

Answer:It is normal for babies to strain - they have nothing to help push out the poo as they are lying on their backs. If your baby's poo is not hard, he is not constipated.

You can help him by letting him push his feet against your hands or holding his feet and doing cycling motions with his legs. See http://www.baby-medical-questions-and-answers.com/baby-constipation.html.


News and Updates

Rotavirus Vaccine: is now on the immunization schedule in the States. It is an oral vaccine, so no injections required.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends routine vaccination of U.S. infants with 3 doses of this rotavirus vaccine administered orally at ages 2, 4, and 6 months. The first dose should be given between ages 6-12 weeks with further doses given at 4-10 week intervals. All 3 doses should be administered by age 32 weeks.

Rotavirus vaccine can be given with other childhood vaccines, except in patient who have had a serious allergic reaction to any vaccine component or to a previous dose of vaccine.

Rotavirus causes gastroenteritis around the world and this vaccine will reduce the number of children needing hospitalization for this illness. Other countries are looking at the rotavirus vaccine and may be following the States in the next few years.

Reference:http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5512a1.htm


Dogs and Allergy and Wheezing:Many parents are concerned that pets, such as dogs, might increase the chances of allergy and wheezing and asthma in their children.

Some good news for you - a study from Ohio looked at this question in infants who had a high chance of developing allergy/asthma because they had at least one parent with this tendency (called atopy).

The study found that owning a dog did not increase the chances of allergy and wheezing in infants. In fact, if there were several dogs in the house, there was a reduced risk of wheezing in those children at 1 year of age. So, you don't need to get rid of the dog!!!

Reference:Campo P et al. Influence of dog ownership and high endotoxin on wheezing and atopy during infancy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006; 118:1271-8


Child Health Site: I've told you about this site before but I bought Christmas gifts from their store. It was a great feeling knowing that giving gifts to my family (my sisters got beautiful pashminas) also gave the gift of healthcare to several disadvantaged children.

My husband and I gave a pair of goats to a Rwandan family and it was better than openning gifts ourselves.

Check out the Child Health Site, click on the blue button and consider the store next time you want to give gifts - give gifts that give more.


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