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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #015 - Dec 2007
December 01, 2007

New Questions and Answers

Question: My grandchild today has started picking at his bottom, I thought he might just be constipated, but his mom said he had a poopee yesterday. I was wondering if there is any reason for concern or why he started doing this today?

Answer: It might be worms causing your grandson to have an itchy bottom. The best way to check is to do the cellotape test.

First thing in the morning, put a piece of cellotape over your grandson's bottom (over the anus, actually) and then pull it off. If you see worms, then your grandson needs appropriate anti-worming treatment.

Question: I would like to ask if paper has effects to my toddler`s bowels.

She is almost a year and if she sees paper,book or tissues, she is eating it. I've tried keeping away such staff,but she ate it. Is it dangerous to her? What can I do?

Answer: There should be no ill effects from eating paper but the question is why your daughter is eating paper. She may be iron deficient. If you live in an old house, she may have ingested lead from old paint - lead can lead to a condition called pica, which means children eat things like soil and paper. Low iron can do the same.

Ask your doctor for a check on iron stores and if you live in an old house, get a lead level done as well.

Question: My 19 month old daughter constantly has colds that result in ear infections, eye infections and fever. When I say constantly, I mean for example, she has been on antibiotics for 36 of the past 41 days. She has developed a resistance to amoxicillin and augment and is now on Omnicef. Her pediatrician says that she's fine, her immune system is just a late developer. She also has asthma which kept her on breathing treatments all last fall/winter, but has not been a problem now for several months.

My questions are, does it sound "normal" for her to be sick this much, should we be concerned that it may be more than just colds, and is it ok for her to be on antibiotics that much? Thanks for your advice.

Answer: It is entirely normal for some children to have constant colds - average is 8 or so per year but some have more and it sounds like your daughter is in this group.

The infections are usually viral so antibiotics don't work - I would avoid taking them. See the URTI page.

If your daughter is developing and growing normally, you don't need to be concerned. She is just meeting new viruses and developing her immunity. Younger children always seem to be more affected than their older siblings (who actually bring some of the viruses home from nursery or school). I'm not sure if your daughter has older siblings but if she has, her frequent infections sound par for the course.

Question: My baby is a girl who is 7 months and very healthy but her hands are sometimes very purple

Answer: This is likely just slightly poor circulation that will improve as your baby grows. If there is any suggestion that her lips are blue or dusky, see your doctor.

News and Updates

Don't forget to check out the Child Health site store for ideas as Christmas gifts - your gift could help fund health care to a deprived child.

I wish you a happy and joyous festive season and a peaceful start to 2008.

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