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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #007 -- April 2007
April 01, 2007

Additions and Changes to the Site

There are new pages on childhood asthma and it's management, including links to information on the Buteyko Breathing Technique.

Plus there is also new information on infantile wheeze.

New Questions and Answers

Question: I have a two month old daughter, and when I had taken her in for her 2 month shots, the Doctor told me that she had a Click in her hip, and that an ultra sound would need to be done. What does this mean? Is it dangerous? I read what you have on this site but would like more information please. I am very worried and don't know what to expect. Is there a chance it is nothing or is it always something? How serious can it be? Will it effect her walking abilities? Any help would be great, thanks.

Answer: A click in the hip is a noise that can be associated with the hip dislocating out of the joint. in my experience, clicks usually turn out to be fine and it is a hip that clunks that is more likely to be dislocated. This is known as Congenital Hip Dysplasia.

An ultrasound of the hip shows if the hip joint looks normal with the hip in its socket. If it isn't the treatment is just a positioning harness so the hips are held in a position that allows the body to fix itself. If the problem is picked up in the first few months, like in your daughter's case, the recovery is good and walking is no problem. The important thing is to check when there could be a problem - so your doctor is doing the right thing.

While you are waiting for the ultrasound, you could put 2 diapers on your daughter - this will make her hips open out more which is a good position if the hip is not in the joint properly.

Don't be too concerned yet - it all may be normal.

Question: I have hepatitis C and so does my baby. I have been told that she has a very good chance to lose it by the time she is 1yr old.We will take a blood test at 6mths and again at 1yr. what knowledge do you have of this? i don't carry any other virus and I have had hepatitis c for 15yrs

Answer: Most babies don't get hepatitis C from there mother but they initially get their mother's antibodies to the infection - this is why they test positive as babies (the test looks for antibodies to the infection and in everyone except babies, that would mean infection).

Antibodies are passed from mother to child for all sorts of diseases and provide protection for babies. They disappear over the first few months (some can take up to 18 months to clear). After that if your baby is not infected, which is the most likely scenario, your baby will test negative.

I would expect your baby to clear your antibodies over the first year or so and that is what they will be testing. Most Hepatitis C mothers do not give the infection to their baby.

Question: My 10 month old has what looks like a blood blister on his gum. It is located on the right side about where the 1yr molars come in. Could this blister be caused from an emerging tooth or do I have a more serious problem?

Answer: It sounds as if it's just a blood blister (hematoma) that occurs before a tooth erupts but if it doesn't diappear within a week, it would be best to see your doctor or dentist.

Question: the back of my 4yr old tongue has small bumps is this normal

Answer: Yes it is normal for the tongue to have small bumps (called papillae) on it. Sometimes the tongue can almost look like an atlas and that is normal as well (we call it geographical tongue)

News and Updates

A recent study has shown an alternative to asthma spacers which can be expensive. A 500 ml plastic bottle can be modified so your child breathes through the top and the asthma inhaler is inserted into the base of the bottle. It works as well as a conventional spacer.

The study was done in South Africa and is good news for parents of children in developing countries where the cost of asthma spacers can be prohibitive.

Reference: Zar et al. Randomised controlled trial of the efficacy of a metered dose inhaler with bottle spacer for bronchodilator treatment in acute lower airway obstruction. Arch Dis Child. 2007; 92:142-146

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