Back to Back Issues Page
News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #044
May 01, 2010

New Questions and Answers

Question: 
My 19 month old child has 
suffered with upper respiratory tract infections which to date have included: 
- ear infections (2 occassions) 
- chest infections (8 occasions [penicillin given]) 
- eye infections (4 occasions) 
For each infection the child has been given antibiotics which is causing alarm 
especially since I haven't gone one month without a recurring problem. 
I would greatly appreciate it if you could advise what would seem to be an 
adequate process for a child who has received over 10 doses of antibiotics 
prior to reaching the age of 2. 
The baby aside of this, plays well and appears healthy, eats well and healthily 
and bodily functions are all well aside of the odd loose stool when poorly.

Part 2: At the last visit to the doctors (this Tuesday) the baby was given another dose of antibiotics (Eurothymicin) and an inhailer (inhailer to be taken 4 times a day).  The doctor said it was important for the baby to take the inhailer as this would reduce the need for antibiotics. Please could you advise?

Answer: It sounds as if your toddler is having frequent viral infections - the average is 8-10 per yaer. Some infants have more and your baby may be one of these. Most of these do not require antibiotics as they are viral. Unless your toddler is very unwell I would avoid antibiotics particularly in the first 3 days of illness. Most viral illness have reached their peak by then and so if you child starts to improve by that time then antibiotics won't be necessary. Just keep the fluids up and keep your child comfortable with Paracetamol, if necessary. See the page on How to Recognise a Serious Ilness to  make sure you get attention early for illnesses that are not likely to be viral - see the Serious Illness page.

Part 2: My best advice is to ask your doctor what he or she means - I can only presume what is meant. Your doctor also has the luxury of being able to examine your daughter so will be in a better position to gauge what is going on. Viral respiratory tract infections can cause small airways to narrow more or reactive airways to go into spasm - see Transient Infant Wheeze and Asthma. I assume that the inhaler is to treat this. If that treatment is successful, the symptoms should resolve and so repeated visits to the doctor (and the prescription of antibiotics) is avoided. This is my guess at what your doctor was getting at.


Question: My 18 month old daughter 
teething and have fever for 3 days now. Her temperature's been 37-39c - please advise. 
I have been wiping her down, fever pad forehead paracetomal etc. is there 
anything more we can do for her. On past experiences when we take her to 
the doctors(hospital) they do the same

Answer: If your daughter is uncomfortable with fever, giving Paracetamol (or Acetaminophen) will make her more comfortable. If the fever lasts more than 4 days, it is best to have a medical review unless she is clearly getting better.

Keep your daughter's fluids up and hopefully she will be well again soon.


Question:Would a baby of 10 months of age die 
from continuous fevers like 8 days?

Answer: Having a fever for 8 days in itself will not cause a baby to die, but it may be the condition causing the fever will be serious enough to cause serious illness or death. Most viral fevers subside by about 4 days so I think it is a good idea to see a doctor if your baby has a fever for 5 days or more, particularly if there are any of the following signs: rash 
red, cracked lips and tongue 
red eyes 
swollen fingers or red palms (or toes and soles) or skin peeling off 
generally unwell 
drowsy when awake 
poor feeding or drinking It is not normal for a baby to have a fever for 8 days in a row so you need your baby to have a medical examination to see what's going on.


Question:Can you give 
newborns water?

Answer:You can give newborns water but it should be boiled and cooled first. You would give water if it was hot and your baby was dry - give it in between feeds.


News and Updates

Prolonged bottle use associated with obesity

A review of the literature has found that infants who are between 12 and 36 months who still drink from a bottle (mainly milk) are more likely to be overweight than those that don't.

Remember once your infant is 12 months, milk consumption should be about 2 bottles a day.

Reference: Bonuck KA, Huang V, Fletcher J. Matern Child Nutr. 2010 Jan;6(1):38-52. Inappropriate bottle use: an early risk for overweight? Literature review and pilot data for a bottle-weaning trial.

Have you seen this website?

Top tips for Raising Happy Toddlers - I love this blog site and think this article on Separation Anxiety is fantastic - a great help for new mothers who are anxious about when they have to leave their little ones. I can't wait to read more of these blogs and have subscribed to the site so I don't miss out.


Go to Baby Medical Questions and Answers
Back to Back Issues Page