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Patient Review Highlights
Severe hereditary heart imperfection commonly becomes obvious soon after the birth of a child or at some point in the first few months of its life. It is a tragic condition in children and some of the symptoms that are associated with the heart imperfections include rapid breathing, grunting while breathing, swelling of the abdomen, legs and areas around the eyes of the baby.
The baby experiences shortness of breath during feeding and in this way, the baby does not gain much weight. The nostrils of the baby also become flared, and they at times turn pale blue in their skin color. In some cases, the blood pressure of the baby is also very low after their birth.
Congenital heart defects are at times not diagnosed in the early stages of childhood as the signs are not noticeable.
However, some of the signs that are obvious and noticeable in older children mainly include:
- Children become short of breath while exercising or doing some activity and at times these children require frequent monitoring.
- They get tired in no time and have less stamina
- The legs of these children suffering from congenital heart defects tend to swell.
- The blood circulation in these children is very poor
- Holes in the heart occur and typically in the walls between the major blood vessels as well as the chambers.
Do Tests Regularly:
It is very important that a follow up is done with pediatrician regularly and the tests described are performed regularly. In any such case if the problem is significant, then it is likely that your medical doctor would refer your child to a paediatric cardiologist. The paediatric cardiologist is specially trained to identify as well as treat severe heart problems in young children, infants and even in young adults.
Medications Used for Treating Heart Disease:
The condition cannot be prevented and hence to lower the risk of your baby having congenital heart disease it is very necessary that women have a healthy pregnancy. There are certain medications provided by the doctors to treat this condition and relieve the symptoms caused. The medications that are used include Vasodilators to widen the blood vessels so that the blood circulation is improved, Diuretics are used to reduce the extra fluid in the body. The strength of the heart beat is increased by use of Digoxin, and irregular heartbeats can be prevented by use of Antiarrhythmics. However, these medications do not treat the defect completely. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pediatrician.
Fever in children is a very common phenomenon, but still parents absolutely dread it. It can completely break your heart to suddenly see a happy, healthy child not getting up from the bed. Your first instinct when that thermometer crosses that dreaded 100 degrees F is to rush to the doctor for an immediate cure. That is probably the best remedy as a doctor can often catch additional signs of any disease that you may miss out on. Beyond that, here is how you can understand about fever in children better and how you can help. Technically, your child has fever when the body temperature crosses 100.4 degrees F.
Some children manage to stay active even then, but slowly get bogged down with muscle pain or other accompanying symptoms like cold, diarrhea, vomiting etc.
- Causes: Fever is normally caused by the body's reaction to fighting an infection. (That is why most doctors say it's a sign of a robust immune system). When the body's natural defense system is stimulated, the core inner temperature rises, thereby making it harder for the bacteria and viruses that caused the infection to survive. Most fever subside on their own but that's a tough thing to accept as a parent who only wants to see their child up and running as soon as possible.
- What you can do: Keep an eye on that temperature obviously. You need to find a doctor the moment the fever crosses the threshold temperature (101+ for less than three months olds, 102+ for 3-6 month olds and over 102 for older children). You should also consult a doctor if there are accompanying symptoms or if you've given a dose of Paracetamol but the fever shows no sign of subsiding. It might happen at midnight and beyond, when no regular pediatrician is unavailable. So it is best to find out which hospital has an emergency center capable of handling such eventualities near your home.
- Fever medications: It is super important for parents to know that fever medications must be given in the correct dose at the right times based on a child's weight, age, and overall health. An overdose can lead you straight to the emergency room. Don't mix a cold/cough medication that also has a fever medication in it.
- Home remedies: Encourage your child to drink as much fluids as possible to prevent dehydration. Some doctors advise complete body sponging to bring down the temperature and this can be done as long as it doesn't cool the body too suddenly (there are contradictory notes on this practice, so do consult you doctor before your do this).
As parent, it is important you equip yourself with the right knowledge before you provide treatment to your child.
The ability of the human body to move is because of the wonderful and smooth coordination between the various muscles and joints in the body. Of the muscles, there are some muscles which we can control, known as voluntary. The limbs and hands for instance, can be controlled by us. On the other hand, the muscles of the stomach, heart and other internal organs cannot be controlled by us. These are known as involuntary muscles. When there is an abnormality in the muscle growth, the condition is known as muscular dystrophy (MD). There are multiple types of MD, and most of these are due to genetic abnormalities and are inherited from the mother. It is caused due to lack of a protein named dystrophin.
It is mostly seen in boys at a young age, and it can progress with age. In some people, the onset is late, and even smooth muscles like the heart can be affected. The most common presentation is muscle wasting with gradual loss of muscle mass and loss of strength in the muscles. This leads to waddling gait, muscular pain and stiffness, difficulty sitting and standing, frequent falls, and other learning disabilities. As the disease progresses, there is a further limitation of movement with shortened muscles and tendons, increasingly curved spine, cardiac issues, difficulty swallowing and breathing problems. These symptoms are due to the smooth muscles being affected.
Though there are multiple varieties of it, the most common ones are Duchenne and Bekcer’s. In Duchenne, the symptoms begin to manifest at about 3 years of age and by the age of 20, the child usually dies of respiratory failure. While there is no specific treatment for MD yet, there are a lot of supportive measures including drugs and physiotherapy to improve function and restore quality of life to the extent possible.
- Corticosteroids are useful in improving muscle mass and reduce the pace of disease progression. Heart medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors are useful where the heart function is affected.
- Mobility aids like canes, walkers, and wheelchairs may be used depending on the severity of symptoms.
- Patients are asked to perform general exercise to improve overall body movement and reduce rigidity. Walking, swimming, jogging are useful in keeping the muscles agile.
- Braces may be useful to keep the muscles in tension.
- If the lungs are affected, breathing assistance may be required to ensure there is sufficient oxygenation. A ventilator may be required in some people.
Though not proven yet, there are drugs being tested to delay muscle wasting, altering the damaged dystrophin, and other advanced techniques to treat MD. Currently, however, drugs and physiotherapy are the only methods available.
Several factors can affect a child’s normal body temperature (98.6°f), including time of day, age and activity level. While slight variations can be normal, any body temperature above 100 °f is considered a fever.
- Higher-than-normal body temperature
- Hot, dry skin
- Sweating, shivering and/or chills
- General weakness
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
As a parent, you may feel distressed when your child has an abnormally high body temperature. In most cases, however, a fever alone does not pose a serious health threat to an otherwise healthy child. Most often, a fever signals that your child’s body is fighting off an infection — the most common cause of fevers. It is also normal for your child’s temperature to rise at night. This natural increase, combined with the higher temperature associated with a fever, can cause additional discomfort during the night. To check your child’s temperature, you can use digital or infrared thermometers.
Treatment may vary depending on your child’s age and body temperature, but in most cases, parents should begin by addressing their child’s heat-related discomfort. Dress the child lightly and avoid tight clothing and heavy blankets. Make sure that the child is drinking plenty of clear liquids, such as water. For comfort, you can also give your child a lukewarm bath or place a cold washcloth on his/her body. If your child is older than 3 months of age with a temperature above 100°f, you may give him/her acetaminophen (paracetamol). Children older than 6 months of age may take ibuprofen under supervision of pediatrician. In most cases, the fever will self-resolve within three days and your child can return to school or daycare after being fever-free for 24 hours.
My 5 years daughter is suffering from scabies as diagnosed by dermatologist, tried with gamma benzene hexachloride & centromere lotions as directed by doctors even after 15 days the symptoms have worsen kindly help.
Hi my one year and one month old daughter is having some serious rashes on and around her urinal parts. Please suggest some precautions or Medicare.
My sister son, age is 5 years and he is suffering with ITP, DOCTOR TOLD BLOOD platelets got decreased. Actually doctor told to admit in hospital, is this any thing problem and how to cure it permanently .Please help.
A child’s tantrums, especially during teens, are quite common. However, there could be some children who could be exhibiting an extreme version of these symptoms. This is known as oppositional defiant disorder.
Children with this disorder become easily irritable, angry, argumentative, defiant and feel vindictive against most elders (parents, teachers, and others). While this is something very common and can be ignored to be a part of teenage tantrums, the issue is when these symptoms do not seem to end. If they persist for beyond 6 months, it is time to worry. These may then begin to interfere with their daily activities including schooling, where they may not be easy for the teacher to manage.
Diagnosis of ODD: With the changing behaviour of teenagers, it is often difficult to pinpoint and say there is ODD. However, some guidelines for diagnosis are listed below. Angry/irritable, argumentative, defiant and vindictive. If these symptoms are seen for more than 6 months with no inducing reason, happens with non-siblings, and is affecting learning and playing, it is highly likely the child has ODD.
These symptoms can occur at home, at school, or in other settings – seen respectively in one, two, or more settings. Some of the symptoms are listed below.
- Repeated temper tantrums
- Anger bursts, swearing, using obscene language
- Extremely argumentative, especially with people in authority (teachers, parents, etc.)
- Annoying others and getting annoyed easily
- Noncompliance to rules and regulations at school and institutions
- Defending one’s mistakes and blaming others for it
- These result in poor academic performance, antisocial behavior, substance abuse, and higher suicidal tendencies.
Treatment depends on the presenting symptoms, the age of the child, and supportive care available. The child should be able to actively take part in psychotherapy to reap good benefits. It would otherwise be a task with no results.
- Psychotherapy will help the child improve its cope and express and control anger. This also improves problem-solving skills.
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy tries to mould the behaviour.
- If required, the parents also would be involved to improve family’s involvement in the treatment. Caretakers are given special training if required so that they can support in long-term medical care.
- The child also needs to be trained for appropriate behaviour under different circumstances.
- Rewards for positive behaviour and punishments for negative behaviour are useful ways.
Prevention: Early identification can help in minimizing distress to the family and help in the early arrest of the disease. The family is also taught basic and simple steps which can help in supporting therapy. Early rejection at school and loss of learning, can happen which can be managed with early intervention. A nurturing and supportive family can help manage the child very well. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.