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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #019
April 01, 2008

New Questions and Answers

Question: My son is 18 months old. He was 5 1/2 weeks premature. He started crawling at 10 months and walking at 14 months, he is really big for his age, in the 98% on the charts. He was never really babbling a lot but some words came out like nigh-nigh and mom and dada when he was around 12 months. Then he just kind of hums when he wants to talk.

He is still loses his balance when walking, may be because he is 31 lbs and 3ft tall.

He doesn't point, respond to his name when his back is to you, like to clap his hands unless he is helping me clap mine together. Will play peekaboo if we cover our eyes but he hates his covered.

I am confused because he learns on a daily bases, like where a brush goes and wear his pee pee is and when we get dressed he helps and he can take his diaper off, likes looking and reading books. But all of this he saw us doing so he did it. If we tell him to do it and he is not looking at us he doesn't listen/hear. He doesn't really interact with kids. He is an only child so we enrolled him in a ECFE class for toddlers his age. He doesn't even care if they are there. He sees them and once in a while he will go grab what they have. He is cranky in small rooms, unless there is a TV with his favorite cartoons the Backyardigans, he still wakes up in the middle of the night for 2 hours about 3-4 times a week. We thought it was because he was teething this whole time. Poor kid has 14 teeth. I am very confused. Is it because he needs tubes?...is he in early signs of autism?....is it because he was premature or that i did not get enough folic acid the first trimester????? Please help me get the right help for my son. My Dr. says he has concerns but is very optimistic. I just know as a mother that something just doesn't seem right.

Answer: I can understand your concern - it can be very confusing. Firstly, let me say that this is not due to anything you have or haven't done - this isn't a folic acid problem.

See the Infant Milestones page. This has normal stages of speech development on it and also has a link to the First Words project, which has checklists for parents to complete. It gives information on autism and if the checklist suggests your son has autism, then you can take that to your doctor.

Your son may be normal but just developing at his own pace - I think it is very reassuring that he is learning new things every day and also that your doctor is optimistic.

Keep up the interactions and games that you are playing with your son.


Question: I read in a book that cow's milk (specifically) is not good for babies and he also mentioned it was not good for respiratory infection. At present I have a 15 month old boy and is taking antibiotics for respiratory infection (mild i guess). I have been giving him cow's milk since he was about ten months old (3 times a day;max 24 oz/day) and stopped the formula. It will be helpful if you could give your input re this cow's milk issue with babies.

Answer: We do not recommend cow's milk before 12 months of age in children. It is OK for a 15 month old to have cow's milk.

There is no reason your son shouldn't have cow's milk during a respiratory tract infection.

So given your son's age, cow's milk is fine.


Question: I want to know all of the ways that genital warts could be transferred to an infant. Any possible types of contact. Can it be passed if say your hand just touch an infected area then without hand washing changed a diaper?

Answer: Most instances of genital warts in an infant are as result of transmission from the mother during birth. This does not occur commonly but is the most likely cause of genital warts in an infant.

The usual mode of transmission for genital warts is sexual contact of some form.

Occasionally warts can be spread by innocent contact such as touching an infected area and then touching an area where there is broken skin. This is usually seen in HPV 2 infection. If your infant has infection with HPV 2, then innocent contact is most likely.


Question: My grandson is 20 months old and has all his teeth. He still drools an incredible amount. His shirts are totally soaked within minutes. He has drooled like this since about 3 months old. Could there be a more serious issue or is it really still from teething?

Answer: Some children just drool more than others. As long as your grandson is developing normally - see Infant Milestones to check on what is normal, then I wouldn't be too concerned.


News and Updates

Should I give my child with glue ear decongestants or antihistamines?

A new systematic review in the Cochrane Library has reviewed the evidence for anti-histamines and decongestants in otitis media with effusion, also known as glue ear. It concludes that there is no benefit form giving these medications to children with otitis media with effusion (glue ear) and that there may even be harm. So, don't give your child decongestants or antihistamines when they have glue ear.

Reference: Cochrane review: Antihistamines and/or decongestants for otitis media with effusion (OME) in children. Dr GH Griffin, C Flynn, RE Bailey, JK Schultz. Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal 2008 (3) No 1; 39-78

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