Back to Back Issues Page
News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #002 -- November 2006
November 01, 2006

Hi and thanks for subscribing to News from Baby Medical Questions and Answers.

If you're new to the e-zine, there are 3 sections:

  • additions and changes to the site
  • new questions from visitors - and the answers, of course
  • news and updates from the pediatric and child health world

Please read and enjoy.

New Questions and Answers

Question: My nine month old boy has suffered from excema since he started eating solid food (at about 5 months old). I have been using 1% hydrocortizone twice a day behind his knees and chin for about the last month. Every time I missed even one application the excema flared up. I have just stopped using this and started using Apis Derma infant formula, a cream I bought in a health supplements shop. The ingredients in this are listed as "Aqueous & Emulsifying ointment BP, Organci Apis Mellifera extracts A & B (5%) preservative Phenoxyethanol (non-paraben)". The improvement has been dramatic and I have not used any more hydrocortizone. I am just a little concerned because I know nothing about this product and I imagine that as it is so effective, it too must be quite strong. Do you know anything about it? (I have also (a) cut milk and egg out of my diet, (b) been giving him flaxseed oil, (c) been giving him probiotics but I started all this before the improvement which was contemporaneous with the new cream.)

Answer: Apis Derma is a product containing an extract of the hive of the honey bee. It has been used in New Zealand children with eczema with positive results, although I have not used it myself. As I understand it, it has a good safety profile. See

You are doing lots of things that have been shown to improve eczema and it is a condition that will improve and then relapse. I would keep doing what you're doing - the data on the Apis Derma seems to indicate that it is not likely to be too strong. For more information on childhood eczema, go to

Question: My 17 month old boy sometimes gags or appears to be choking when he is eating his finger foods. When he starts to wretch to bring up the nuisance piece of food he can vomit the whole of his meal back. Also when he becomes very distressed, for eg, when he wakes up from his afternoon nap and is very tired still(but refuses to go back to sleep) he sometimes holds his breath or may start coughing on his phlegm from his tearful runny nose. Hence he then starts to vomit. We are finding this all so stressful.Also when he is a little under the weather he may vomit if he has a mild temperature. Please help! These incidents have been happening about once a week lately. He is otherwise well in himself and is a lovely cheeky character. He does also suffer from eczema. What can we do as it is making me very tearful?

Answer: As most of the time your toddler is well and can manage food without vomiting or choking, there probably isn't anything wrong with him. He just manages to vomit easily. Lots of toddlers do. As long as he's growing, there is nothing too much to worry about, especially as it only happens about once per week.

It is important that you relax about his vomiting and try to be as matter of fact about it as much as possible. It is a behaviour you want to stop, therefore you need to ignore it. Letting your toddler see you get upset will only keep the behaviour going. That's not to say he's vomiting deliberately because he isn't - it's just something that happens easily when he's upset. But if he learns that it also gets a response from you, it is something that he could learn to use.

As for the holding the breath, that's also a common thing toddlers of this age do. As long as he can fall to the floor (or fall flat) when he holds his breath (with crying usually), there is nothing to worry about - his body's natural reflexes will start him breathing again. The best thing to do is show him no response. So ignore it or at least let him think you are ignoring it. You might want to keep an eye on him discretely but he shouldn't realise that is what you are doing.

Question: Your Medical Question: My son is 15 months old and just passed a bowel that was black. What does this mean?

Answer: A black bowel motion usually means that there is blood from the stomach in the bowel motion. Blood in the stomach can occur for many reasons, including forceful vomiting that causes a tear of the esophagus. These usually heal up without problems.

There are a few other causes that are more serious so if your son isn't well, is very pale or if the black bowel motions continue, you need to see your doctor.

News and Updates

Have you seen this website:

The Child Health Site - visit the site and click on "Fund Healthcare for Children".

It's free for you to click but it means the site gets sponsorship money for child health programmes in the third world. Put the link in your favorites list and give a click a day to help children less fortunate than yours.

Reducing Childhood Obesity.
Studies have shown that strategies to reduce the consumption of carbonated drinks in schools also reduces obesity.

Give your toddler a head start and avoid carbonated drinks. Give water instead. This is one thing you can do now to prevent obesity in your child.

James J et al. Preventing childhood obesity by reducing consumption of carbonated drinks: cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2004. doi: 10.1136/bmj38077.458438.EE

Since Raising Kids is No Easy Job new book gives Help!

Recognizing that being a Parent is the most challenging task and the most rewarding one that a Father and Mother has, a group in the tiny town of Jasper, Georgia has compiled a book that is bringing help to that task.

The book is a digest of the Best 200+ Websites on the Internet out of some 23,000,000. The group, led by Dr. Vernon Brabham, has researched this large number of pertinent Websites that provide information on Parenting and distilled them down in order to pro- vide parents the very best information and resources. This results in parents being able to quickly and easily find information to solve problems that inevitably arise while being a parent.

As Kerby Alvy, Ph. D. says in regard to this book, “It is a great resource. Thanks on behalf of every parent for making the Internet easier to use to improve how kids are raised”. Dr. Alvy is the Founder and Director of the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring.

The wealth of information in this book has been categorized into sections that target parenting problems such as Kid’s Health, Adolescents and Teens, Disabilities and Special Needs Children. This makes it much easier for those seeking help, information and resources to solve their problem, whatever it may be.

Go to Top sites for Parents

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