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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #066
March 01, 2012

New Questions and Answers

Question: My daughter is 4 years old. For the past 2 weeks we noticed a white substance coming from her vagina(alot) and her breast is hard. Must we be worried and take her to see a doctor or what can this be???

Answer: Little girls often have some discharge. If it is white and non-offensive I wouldn't be concerned. It is common for little girls to have vulvo-vaginitis which is inflammation of the genital area. It occurs as they don't have estrogens to keep the area moist and so it is prone to dryness and irritation and can be associated with some discharge.

Things you can do for vulvo-vaginitis include:

  • no bubble baths - they cause irritation
  • only wash the area with water not soap
  • use white toilet paper not colored
  • wear cotton underpants not synthetic
  • eat yoghurt with probiotics (live cultures such as acidophilus or lactobacillus)

  • If the discharge continues or your daughter is distressed by irritation, then see your doctor for an examination.

    As for the breast, it is not uncommon for little girls to have a breast lump. These are usually benign and resolve by themselves. See the Breast Lump page for more details.

    Question:My 8 month old baby daughter gets a blocked tear duct which ends up infected with each cold she gets. The eye does not tear up at other times. Is this something she will grow out of or does she need to see a specialist? I don't like her taking antibiotics for this each time she gets a cold.

    Answer: Blocked tear ducts are common in babies - you can massage under the eye to try and unblock them - see the watery eye page.

    Most colds in babies are caused by viruses, so do not respond to antibiotics. See the common cold page for more information on the common cold and when antibiotics may be indicated.

    Question: My 5 month old baby's doctor has told us that his head is growing faster than it should be...what does that even mean?

    We have had an ultrasound done and they said it was fine but then checked it again and she said it was still growing to fast. What exactlly does that mean?

    Answer: It is good to hear that the ultrasound is normal. When babies are growing their heads grow too and follow a growth pattern on a growth chart - see the growth chart page and click on the link to view the head circumference chart at the bottom of the page.

    I assume your doctor is concerned because the head circumference is showing growth crossing the centile lines - sometimes this happens if the head is "squashed" at birth and then the baby finds it's natural growth curve, which may be at the top end of the range, particularly if one of both of his parents have large heads. If this is the case, there is no need to be concerned. You might need to check with your doctor what she is actually concerned about.

    Sometimes the head grows too quickly because there is a blockage in one of the ventricles that contain fluid in the brain - this causes the fluid to build up and the head grows to accommodate the fluid. If this is the case, the ultrasound usually shows the excess fluid. Also, you may see some slowing of development. This is a serious condition called hydrocephalus and is usually treated with surgery to insert a shunt that clears the blockage. As I said, the fact that the ultrasound was normal is very reassuring that hydrocephalus is not the case in your baby.

    See you doctor again if you are concerned about your baby's development or if he can't hold his head up by himself.

    Question:My 1 year old baby tried getting out of stroller and could not stand and was in pain. I took him to the dr. The xray was fine but when the doctor touched the calf and front of leg (shin)he flinched in pain. They cast it for three days and removed it and the baby is still in pain and can't walk...Help...

    Answer: It is hard to say but if the pain is continuing then you should see your doctor again for another x-ray. Sometimes there are changes that show up after about 10 days that are not visible at the first x-ray. This includes fractures and infections, such as osteomyelitis.

    If your baby is in pain, you need to return to the doctor.

    News and Updates

    Prolonged bottle at 24 months of age is a risk for obesity

    A cohort study has shown an association with infants aged 24 months who are still having a bottle, either in the day or night, and obesity at the age of 5 years. What you can do to help your infant is to introduce cup feeding earlier and discourage the bottle during the second year of life.
    Reference:Gooze RA et al. Prolonged bottle use and obesity at 5.5 years of age in US Children. J Pediatr 2011 Sep; 159:431.

    Have you seen this website?

    More Coloring Pages - a great resource for all sorts of pages that can be printed off and used by your toddler for coloring.

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