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News from Baby Medical Q&A, Issue #061
October 01, 2011

New Questions and Answers

Question: My 2 year old daughter very frequently picks up hair particles from head or that have fallen on the floor now and then. i understand from my friends there are some injections to cure the habit. She is also very late in speaking hard words or letters like ba (short vowel sounds) and we are giving speech therapy assistance. Would you be kind enough any medicine?

Answer: Some children have a condition called Pica which is when they eat unusual things, usually dirt or cardboard. It is seen in children with high lead levels which can occur if there is old peeling paint around. This needs to be checked by a blood test with your doctor who can prescribe medication.

The other reason for this can be low iron levels which do respond to iron supplements.

Question: My 3 year old son had a basic allergen profile blood test. It showed low allergy to milk and undetermined allergy to egg whites and wheat. Doc will not refer him to an allergist for further testing. He just wants us to try an elimination diet for a few weeks. His only symptom is keratosis pilaris. Should we insist on seeing an allergist.

Answer:If you son has been having milk, egg and wheat without major problems (and I wouldn't consider keratosis pilaris a major problem) then I would not consider this allergy. Just because you have evidence of antigens to milk etc, which is what I presume is the case when you say a basic allergen profile, this does not mean in itself there is an allergy. Children often have positive tests without having a true allergy.

I don't think you should insist on seeing an allergist at this stage. I wouldn't expect that an exclusion diet will make any difference but if it is allergy you will see a response with resolution of the rash. To be sure that it is actually an allergy, you would need to reintroduce the milk and see if the rash came back.

I expect that there will be no noticeable change with an elimination diet and therefore allergy will be unlikely.

My advice for the keratosis pilaris is to wait and see as most get better by themselves. If the skin is very dry, you could try an emollient (moisturiser).

Question: Today, my son got a rash that looks likes bugs bit him. Then it went away but came back. It itches and my son whines and cries. I don't know what it is. It can't be bed bug because he sleeps with us. I need help.

Answer: It sounds like an itchy rash so if it isn't bites then it is could be urticaria which can come and go and is often secondary to a viral infection. See the Urticaria page for more information. The photo on the page is an extreme rash but urticaria can also be smaller and have the appearance of bites.

I would suggest calamine lotion as an anti-itch lotion.

Alternatively, it could be prickly heat - click here for more information

Question: My 6 month old baby has a problem with a watering eye. His right eye is always filled with water. One doctor suggest that this is due to nose blockage. What can I do to stop watering of the eyes

Answer: It sounds as if your baby has a blocked tear duct which is quite common - see the watery eyes page

The treatment is to gently rub up the side of the nose towards the inner corner of the eye.

News and Updates

WhiteOut movement to reduce refined white cereals in babies

A pediatrician in the US, Dr Greene, has set up the WhiteOut movement to encourage less white refined cereals in the diet in an effort to reduce later obesity. The aim is to introduce healthy wholegrain cereals from the start rather than introduce white unrefined cereals which are not good for us.

Reference: Dr Greene

Have you seen this website?

Kidshealth - this New Zealand website has useful parent information on common childhood health conditions.

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