Tips to Prevent Your Baby from Developing Plagiocephaly

Plagiocephaly or level head disorder in infants is a developing concern. Numerous infants have a tendency to grow level heads amid their underlying months of birth. This article informs you concerning the disorder and strategies to avert it.

A newborn baby has a soft and delicate head due to which it tends to develop a deformity because of continuous pressure. The deformity usually occurs as a flat spot on the baby’s head. Development of such a deformity in newborn babies is known as plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome. This syndrome is usually seen when babies spend more time lying down in one position for a long time, which results in continuous exertion of pressure on that particular area, ultimately resulting in a flat spot. A flat head can also be a result of pressure exerted on the baby’s head during its passage from the birth canal during vaginal delivery. Such deformities tend to rectify within six weeks after birth.

Increased incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) lead to “Back to Sleep” campaign under which parents were instructed to make their babies sleep on their back. Practicing this approach definitely reduced the occurrence of SIDS however, it led to increased incidence of flat heads among babies. Even though this deformity does not cause brain damage, it is a cause of concern.

Prevention of Plagiocephaly

The most common form of plagiocephaly is positional plagiocephaly. This develops when a baby is placed on a mattress with its face up for a long time, and continuous pressure is exerted on a particular area of the head. As babies are incapable of moving their heads in different directions, pressure on a single area leads to the development of a flat spot. Here are a few ways to prevent this problem in babies.

  • Include a fair amount of “tummy time” when your baby is awake. Mothers should make their babies practice to be on their tummy because many babies do not like it. Starting their tummy time right away will help them develop a habit of spending time on their tummy.
  • Make your baby spend time in other positions like being upright or lying on its side. This will let your baby experience other positions and help discovering the world around it in a different way.
    Changing your baby’s position throughout the day will also help in preventing plagiocephaly.
  • Do not place your baby on a car seat or baby swing for long, as this adds to the time of pressure exerted on the baby’s head.
  • You can spend more time carrying your baby on a sling throughout the day. Babywearing is a nice way of reducing the amount of time the baby spends on its back. This not only increases the total time you spend with your baby, it will also be a treat for your little one to enjoy your company!
  • Keep changing the direction of your baby’s head while sleeping. This will prevent the baby from keeping its head tilted in one direction for long.
  • Place a baby pillow underneath you baby’s head during sleeping. Such pillows distribute pressure evenly and prevent babies from developing flat heads.
  • Feed your baby by placing it on both the sides alternatively. This will decrease the time spent in one position and reduce the chances of developing a flat head.

Another form of plagiocephaly is craniosynostosis in which, the joints of the skull close early resulting in improper growth of brain. Surgical treatment is required to treat this birth defect. A baby with a flat spot on the head needs medical attention. Parents must immediately contact a pediatrician if they observe a flat spot developing on their baby’s head. Depending on severity of the condition, doctor will advise a treatment. Severe cases call for cranial orthotic therapy. In this therapy, the baby is made to wear a plagiocephaly helmet for 23 hours a day for a period of 2-6 months to correct the shape of baby’s head. It is advisable that parents start practicing preventive measures as early as possible so that the need for treatment does not arise at all.

Excessive Thirst in Children

Over the top thirst might be a side effect of a genuine sickness or turmoil. This article records the different causes and approaches to manage this issue in youngsters.

Excessive thirst is a common symptom of a larger problem that many children may complain about. Most parents tend to ignore this symptom, as they claim that children play outside most of the time and therefore tend to get dehydrated easily. However, there may be more to this symptom than what meets the eye. Excessive thirst in children could be an indicator of a serious underlying disorder your little one may be suffering from. Given below are the various causes of this symptom and ways to deal with the same.

Diabetes Mellitus
One of the most common causes of this symptom is diabetes. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by the classic triad of polyphagia (excessive hunger), polydipsia (excessive thirst), and polyuria (excessive urination). These symptoms are seen due to an excess of glucose in the blood stream. This is Type 1 diabetes which is seen in children, and is also known as insulin dependent diabetes. This occurs because the insulin-producing beta cells of the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas are destroyed–due to this, the person does not produce sufficient amount of insulin in the body. This type of diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes as it is seen in children.

Diabetes Insipidus
This is a condition where there is a deficiency of the anti-diuretic hormone or the insensitivity of the kidneys to it. The anti-diuretic hormone is responsible for sending signals to the kidneys that they need to reabsorb as much water as possible. Thus, in cases of children suffering from diabetes insipidus, there is frequent urination. This leads to excess loss of fluids from the body, which in turn, causes excessive thirst in kids.

Dehydration
Dehydration is a condition where there is excess loss of fluids from the body. One of the most common causes of dehydration in children is viral infection, which leads to high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Other causes of dehydration include bacterial and parasitic infections, which can lead to excess loss of fluids in the form of diarrhea.

Other Causes
Other causes include the presence of congestive heart failure. This is essentially a weak heart that cannot pump blood and oxygen. Any kind of exertion for the child at this stage will lead to insufficient amount of blood and oxygen reaching the organs. Less volume of blood in the body, known as hypovolemia, can also lead to this symptom. If the amount of fluid that the child is taking in is not in proportion to the amount that he is urinating, then he may be suffering from a kidney disease. The kidneys have a natural filtering system, and hence, if there is any kind of disease, it can lead to excess production of very dilute urine, as the kidneys are not doing their job of retaining and reabsorbing as much water as possible. If there is a kidney disease, then other symptoms of excessive thirst will include excessive urination and possibly a burning sensation while urinating.

The treatment for this symptom will depend on the underlying cause. In case of a person suffering from diabetes mellitus, there will be a need for the child to undergo intensive diabetes treatment. Similarly, if the thirst is due to an infection, then treating the infection will help get rid of the symptom. This is a serious symptom which needs to be addressed as it may be indicative of the above listed disorders.

Digestive Problems in Infants

Need to know all the digestive issues in newborn children? This article will let you know all the normal digestive issues in kids, and how you can manage them. Perused on..

Before we proceed to the list of digestive problems, let us take a look at the overall picture. We first need to know that digestive problems are an outcome of small intestine problems, large intestine problems and some other external issues relating to the digestive system in general. In this article, we shall look at the common digestive problems, which seem to be a major concern for parents. It is absolutely necessary for parents to have a slight knowledge of these problems as at times, increase in severity and intensity of these problems can lead to unwanted results and kid’s health problems.

List of Digestive Problems in Infants

Diarrhea
It is very sad and very surprising, but approximately 450 babies in the United States die due to diarrhea each year. Diarrhea is thus, one of the major digestive problems today. This can be caused due to a number of reasons. The most likely causes are change in diet, antibiotic uses and by certain infections. If the baby is still breast fed, a change in the mothers diet can also lead to diarrhea. Rehydration is said to be the best treatment for diarrhea in babies and can be done at home.

Constipation
Another common digestive problem in infants is Constipation. This digestive problem may develop again, due to change in diet, medication or even behavior. However, constipation can be diagnosed and treated at home easily. Constipation is a situation when the infant has hard bowel movements. High fiber foods and fruits work as good treatment for constipation. However, if your infant is hardly a few years old or is also suffering from rectal bleeding, consult a doctor immediately.

Vomiting
Vomiting is yet another digestive problem in infants that is highly misunderstood. Most mothers mistake spitting up for vomiting, which is normal in most infants after a meal and in company of a burp. Vomiting in infants is a result of blockage of the stomach or intestinal blockage. In slightly older infants, the cause for vomiting is usually or mostly always an infection that is caused mostly by a virus. However, vomiting is not a serious issue if it happens once due to overeating or reasons alike. But if the intensity is high and happens frequently, it should be shown to a doctor.

Baby Colic
Baby Colic (intense crying of the infant for a said number of hours everyday) is still considered as one of the earliest known digestive problems in infants and said to be a result of abdominal pain. Though most doctors disagree to the fact and their reasons are quite believable too, this is still considered a digestive problem by many. Infants also are said to experience relief after massaging of the abdomen. This topic is still under debate and the doctor’s consultation is a must. The word ‘colic’ too, is derived from the Greek word for intestine.

Pain
Pain, I agree is a very general term. But there are many reasons that may cause these pains. The digestive system (including the intestines) of infants in some cases is underdeveloped. This causes many other problems apart from irregular bowel movements. Digesting certain ingredients becomes a problem like that of lactose intolerance. This may result in pain. Bladder infection and appendicitis are two other reasons that might lead to this pain but these are uncommon.

Now that you know all the digestive problems in infants, you can take proper care of your infant’s digestive health. Please note that this information is not a replacement of a visit to the doctor or his/her consultation. Infants are difficult to check for symptoms and hence, a majority of other digestive problems in children can be checked only by the doctor. Proper advice and suggestions can be given only after proper diagnosis. Infant digestive problems are common but can lead to serious issues if neglected. For this very reason, it is expected that you at least have a slight idea about them.

Nasal Congestion Remedies for Children

Nasal clog solutions for kids can dispose of nasal blockage. Nasal blockage, if not went to at the correct time can bring about rest issues, cerebral pains, listening to issues, and so forth. Perused on.

Nasal congestion occurs due to the inflammation of membranes lining the nostrils and blood vessels. This inflammation leads to obstruction of the nasal passages and proves to be quite an annoyance to children. Nasal congestion due to a common cold, is the body’s way of protecting and healing itself. It can also be caused by food allergies or allergens from the surrounding environment.

A blocked nose is not a very serious problem, however, neglecting it can conduce to other problems like hearing issues, headaches, mild facial aches, etc. A substantial amount of nasal obstruction in children can lead to sleep disturbances, snoring and other sleep disorders. Children with nasal obstructions, that have been caused by dilated lymphoid tissues, have been observed to suffer from chronic sleep disorders, with depleted levels of oxygen supply and even heart failure. To avoid all these extreme conditions from arising, nasal congestion remedies for children are important.

Home Remedies for Nasal Congestion in Children

Remedy # 1: Plenty of Rest, Sleep and Water
During incidents of nasal congestion, allow the child to have plenty of sleep and rest. Have your child drink plenty of warm water, vegetable broth and fresh fruit juice. It is important to get your child to consume plenty of fluids (more than usual) throughout the day, so as to flush out the irritants in the nasal passages. The child may not be able to drink too much at one go, so keep giving small amounts of hot liquids throughout the day. The congestion causing the blocked nose will also get cleared. Avoid giving your child beverages like tea and coffee.

Remedy # 2: Blowing the Nose
For nasal clearance, have your child blow his or her nose frequently. Smaller children may not know how to blow their noses. Parents should show them how. Many pick up after imitating their parents. However, have them blow their noses gently, as forceful blowing can cause a lot of pain and even bleeding.

Remedy # 3: Nasal Suction
For children unable to blow their noses, nasal suctions can be used before sleeping and feedings. However, limit the nasal suction to 4-6 times a day. This nasal suction process can be facilitated by using a nasal saline. Just place a few drops of nasal saline in each nostril and wait for 5 minutes before using the nasal suction. Then make sure you get a good seal between the nostril and the bulb suction. Occlude the other nostril with your finger and repeat this procedure as needed.

Remedy # 4: Humidifier and Hot Bath
People living in dry climatic conditions could use a cool mist humidifier, to increase the moisture in the air. Children are also more sensitive to dry air, which can dry out the child’s nasal secretions. Thus, it would be a good idea to get a humidifier that dispenses cold mist. This is especially beneficial for smaller kids. A hot steam bath or shower is also a good nasal congestion relief measure for children, whereby, the discomfort is assuaged. However, make sure you check the temperature of the water before exposing your child to it.

Remedy # 5: Wiping off the Mucus
One common nasal congestion remedy that pediatricians gravely discourage, is inserting cotton swabs down the baby’s nostrils. Cotton swab has the tendency to push the nasal blockage further into the child’s nostrils. Instead wiping off the mucus or phlegm, from the nostril tips is recommended. Moreover, when one is ignorant about the kind of blockage causing nasal congestion, it is best not to use cotton swabs.

Remedy # 6: Breastfeeding
One simple nasal congestion remedy for infants would be to breastfeed the baby as much as one can. Breastfeeding not only soothes the inflamed nasal passages, but also helps loosen the dried mucus, blocking the nasal passages. If it becomes difficult to breastfeed, supplement with Pedialyte (an oral electrolyte solution manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, that is designed to replace fluids and minerals that are lost). Pedialyte keeps the child from dehydrating and is also easier to swallow.

Remedy # 7: Sleeping at an Elevation
Often parents notice that their child’s nasal congestion problem is worse when the child lays down, however, seems to get better when the child sits upright. This is because congestion is worse in the lying position and in the elevated position, the airways are free for breathing to take place. Prop your child’s head off the bed while sleeping, or else let your baby sleep in the car seat. Propping the head keeps the drainage from running back into the throat and assuaging the gagging and coughing.

Remedy # 8: Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has decongestant properties, which heal the nasal passages and reduce the swelling. Pour two to three drops of the oil into a napkin and have your child inhale the vapors, throughout the day. For smaller children, pour a few drops of eucalyptus oil on the pillow, so that the child inhales the eucalyptus vapors while sleeping and has no nasal congestion at night. You can even add it to the humidifier. However, it is important to note that eucalyptus oil should not be taken orally or applied to the skin.

If your child does not show any signs of breathing difficulty or dehydration, then there is no need to visit the pediatrician. However, if despite all nasal congestion remedies, your child still has breathing difficulties, then you need to take your child to a pediatrician. Call upon your pediatrician if the nasal congestion lasts beyond 7 days. If the congestion is being caused by some allergy, then elimination of those allergens from the diet or the environment has to be done.

Pinworms in Children

Pinworms are little, white and thin string like worms that pervade the intestinal tract. It is a standout amongst the most widely recognized parasitic contamination, particularly in children, in the United States of America.

Pinworms, also known as thread worms or butt worms, are human intestinal parasites. Adult male pinworms are 1 – 4 mm in length and female pinworms 8 – 13 mm. These parasites get their name from their long pin-shaped posteriors. The pinworms that infest humans are clinically known as Enterobius vermicularis. The infection is known to be mild but the most annoying one when in children. It is more of a nuisance than being a serious health disorder. School-age children, and preschoolers are the most vulnerable to pinworms.

Causes

Pinworm infection is highly contagious and spreads from child to child. Pinworm eggs can survive on the surface of clothes, bedding and toys for about 2 – 3 weeks. This time is enough for the eggs to be transmitted and enter a child’s body. Once ingested, the eggs live in the upper intestine until they hatch. Once the female worms mature in the colon, they move down to the anal area and lay thousands of eggs. This happens usually at night and that is when a severe itching sensation develops. Due to scratching, the eggs can get under the fingernails. In this way, the eggs are transmitted to other members of the family as well. Little toddlers who suck their thumbs are more prone to contracting the infection.

Symptoms

Children with pinworms usually show symptoms such as intense itching sensation around the anal and vaginal areas. Other symptoms include loss of appetite or weight loss and insomnia. The patient tends to become irritable and more restless than ever. Vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, itchy rectum are other common symptoms that may show up due to the infection. In severe cases, inflammation of the vermiform appendix may occur due to the pinworms blocking the appendix.

Treatment

# Doctors usually prescribe a dose of Mebendazole (Vermox) or Pyrantel Pamoate (Antiminth, Combantrin). This is followed by a second dose, normally two weeks later. If the infection has spread to the urinary and genital organs, a combination therapy is required. This therapy includes Mebendazole and Ivermectin (Stromectol) for the pinworms. For the eggs, topical therapy is recommended.

# Apart from the patient, everyone else in the house is treated with anti-worm drugs. This is done to prevent the spread of infection. Soothing anti-itching ointments or creams are also available to reduce itching. Small children usually cannot bear the rectal pain due to the infection. In such cases, they may be given a sitz bath. In this type of bath, the pelvic region is immersed in lukewarm water.

# To prevent further infection and to ensure that the pinworm eggs do not spread further, proper hygiene has to be maintained. It is best if all bedding, clothing, toys, etc., are machine-washed in hot water. This would kill all the eggs that might have survived the treatment. Toilet seats must be cleaned daily, and fingernails have to be kept short and clean. The most basic and important healthy habit of all is to wash hands properly before meals and after using the toilet.

# Scrubbing of countertops, floors and other surfaces that the infected child touches is necessary to keep the infection from spreading further. Carpets should also be properly vacuumed. During treatment, it is advisable for the kids to wear closed sleeping garments. Snug inner-wear is also preferable. This would prevent hand contact and contamination.

How to Detect Pinworm Infection?

The ‘tape test’ is an effective way to diagnose your child if he/she is showing symptoms of pinworm infection. You can carry out the test when your child wakes up in the morning and just before he/she uses the bathroom or takes a bath. A piece of clear tape can be patted on the skin round the anus. Thereafter, the tape can be taken to the doctor for examination. The doctor can then check if there is any possibility of pinworms or eggs in your child.

Although the ailment is easily treatable, their symptoms are the most annoying for the little ones. Healthy hygiene is the key to prevent such infections. Get your child treated by a doctor as early as possible, once the symptoms start emerging. Maintain cleanliness in your house and outdoors too. Educate your kids to keep their hands clean, and avoid touching their mouth often. Hygienic living has always been an effective tool to prevent even the deadliest of diseases. So mild medical disorders such as pinworm infections can easily be kept at bay.