Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Common Mistakes Parents Commit!

doc_child_parentAlmost all parents meticulously follow their child’s growth plan and vaccination chart. Still, parents tend to gloss over certain facts which can prove detrimental to the health of the child. Keep reading to learn about most commonly committed health mistakes by parents. And yes, even educated parents tend to make such mistakes.

Did you de-worm your child?

“When was the last time you de-wormed her?” asked Dr. Rajiv Chabbara, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatal Intensivist to Mehak Aggarwal. She had brought Suhani, her three-year-old daughter for a health check, as she wasn’t feeling too well and would complain of a stomach pain after having food. Mentally, Mehak calculated and spoke weakly, “Never.” Dr. Chabbara wasn’t in for a surprise. Even educated and well-informed parents fail to de-worm their kids, comments he. Children between the age group of 5 and 15 should be regularly de-wormed, says he. The common worm infestations are thread worm, round worm and hook worm. And the symptoms that needs to be observed includes intermittent abdomen pain particularly after eating food, lack of appetite, weak child, anaemia, itching around anal region, etc.

Lifestyle changes

  • To keep worm infestation at bay, parents should inculcate healthy habits in children.
  • Make sure children always wash their hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
  • Keep fingernails short to reduce the chances of picking up worm eggs underneath them.
  • Wash all the vegetables, fruits thoroughly before eating raw.
  • Meat, especially pork should be thoroughly cooked before eating.
  • Ensure that children don’t play barefoot in soil.
  • Neem powder and onion juice help remove intestinal worms.

Do you know your kids blood group?
Usually parents know their kids’ blood group, but Anita Dewan didn’t. When the time came to fill in the pre-school forms, she filled the blood group as B positive, because she and her husband were the same blood group and she suspected her son’s blood group to be the same. Dr. Chabbara warns against making such speculations on your own. Blood grouping should ideally be done in all the kids as they are born. It is, however, compulsory for those kids whose mother’s blood group is O or Rhesus negative; as kids born to such mothers have increased propensity to get significant jaundice tells Dr. Chabbra.

Also, it is good to know the blood group of your child so that during emergency you can inform the treating doctor to avoid any medical delay in adverse consequences. Nowadays, schools also ask for it as a mandatory requirement.

Have you checked your infant for underactive thyroid
A bit of skepticism saved Jagruti Motwani. Her ten-day-old baby girl would sleep throughout the day and showed no interest in feeding. She felt that something wasn’t right with the child and got her tested for IEM (Inborn Errors of Metabolism).

The test revealed that the child was suffering from underactive thyroid, a health condition that could cause mental retardation. Experts are of the view that there should be compulsory inclusion of thyroid test at birth. In India, the incidence of thyroid hormone deficiency at birth is one in 2,500 newborn babies, while it is one in 4,000 newborn babies in developed countries. Untreated under-active thyroid can cause mental retardation in the infant. A simple heel prick at birth can reveal the condition and it can get treated with oral medicines.

Pay attention to your child’s hearing
The good news is, hearing problems can be treated if it gets caught early — ideally by the time a baby is 3 months old. And, the bad news is, most of the parents don’t have proper awareness that hearing loss is a common birth defect, which if evaluated at the right time can be cured. So it’s important to get your child’s hearing screened early and evaluated regularly to keep hearing loss at bay.

Get squint treated
Many parents believe that children will outgrow squint, and this includes educated parents too, says Dr. Ajay Sharma, Medical Director, Eye Q chain of hospitals. This is not true. Squint is a misalignment of the two eyes so that both the eyes are not looking in the same direction. This misalignment may be constant, being present throughout the day or it may appear sometimes and the rest of the time the eyes may be straight. Treatment plan for squint include spectacles, eye exercise and surgery.

Do you beg your paediatrician for antibiotics?
Many parents do this, says Dr. Chabbara. Antibiotics are just not needed for viral fever. Hence, listen to your doctor’s words of advice, urges he.

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Category: Good Parenting
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