Monday, May 26, 2008

How To Choose A Pediatrician

Choosing a pediatrician is an important event that should actually begin even before the child is born. As a general pediatrician, I frequently speak with both current and expecting parents about choosing a pediatrician. Many parents are not aware of the importance of selecting the right doctor for their children, or of how to go about doing it.
Let us first begin by asking the basic question:

Why Choose A Pediatrician To Care For Your Child?

The role of a pediatrician involves all of the following:

  • Screening and evaluating babies and children for appropriate growth and development, and assessing abnormalities and disabilities, if any.
  • Vaccination of babies and children, and advice about specific diseaseprevention.Advice on feeding, diet, food supplements, and other nutrition concerns.
  • Assessing illnesses and treating them, including admission to hospitalisation for serious diseases. Coordination of care for children receiving treatment from different specialists, and responsibility for the child's overall health.
  • Health education for the family.

Pediatricians have the most comprehensive medical trainingto respond to these needs.

How Are Pediatricians Trained?

A Pediatrician is a 'qualified' Child Specialist. In India this means that after doing his basic MBBS (5 years) a pediatrician has to undergo an additional training (for 2-3 years, on-the-job training) in dealing exclusively with children. This residency training prepares pediatricians to help meet the needs of healthy children in such areas as normal growth, development, nutrition and behavior. After completing the training an exam needs to be passed to become a Pediatrician. A normal physician has less pediatric training than pediatricians, and may not be able to provide the same quality of care to a child as a pediatrician. Some pediatricians have additional subspecialty training beyond residency.In the next part we will discuss the 'ideal qualities' to look for in a pediatrician!

For more productive information about pediatrician visit us at and ask question online from medical experts.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

AAP Endrses New Meningococcal Vaccine

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a new policy statement recommending routine meningococcal vaccination for certain age groups. The guidelines call for the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (MCV4) for:
  • Young adolescents (11-12 years of age)
  • Adolescents at high school entry or 15 years of age (whichever comes first) for those who have not previously been vaccinated
  • All college freshmen living in dormitories
  • Other groups at high risk such as those with underlying medical conditions or travelers to areas with high rates of meningococcal disease

The recommendations will help prevent meningococcal disease, a potentially fatal bacterial infection. Although rare, meningococcal disease is dangerous because the disease progresses rapidly, and within hours of the onset of symptoms it may cause permanent disability or death.

Meningococcal disease is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in U.S. toddlers, adolescents and young adults. Symptoms include high fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, nausea, vomiting and exhaustion, and a rash may appear. Lifestyle factors thought to contribute to the disease include direct contact with an infected person, e.g., exchanging saliva, often through kissing; crowded living conditions, e.g., dormitories; and active or passive smoking. Vaccination is the best method of preventing meningococcal disease.

Meningococcal infections can be treated with drugs such as penicillin. "Still," says AAP President Carol Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, "about one in every ten people who get the disease dies from it, and many others are affected for life. That is why preventing the disease through use of meningococcal vaccine is important for the high-risk groups."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) determined that establishing the target age at 11 years may give lasting immunity through college. Studies have determined that the disease peaks in 16- to 18-year-olds, supporting vaccination of 15-year-olds.

More information on the vaccine can be found at the AAP Web site at and ask for online medical consultation at

Labels: online medical consultation

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Masturbation in Preschool children

I recently had a 3 year old child from Canada. The parents that thier child had possibly a recurrent pinworm infection (as stated by their health care provider). On detailed questioning it was found that the child enjoyed rubbing her genitals againt any surface, as opposed to scratching with her fingers. This suggested a diagnosis of masturbation.The following information is by Dr. Barton Schmitt, and taken from the Virtual hospital website. This may come as a shock, but it is estimated that almost 30% of toddlers and preschoolers masturbate. Masturbation is self-stimulation of the genitals for pleasure and self-comfort. It is a normal, healthy activity at any age. During masturbation, children usually rub themselves with their hands. Girls may rock against an object such as a stuffed animal or pillow. Children usually appear dazed, flushed, and preoccupied while they are masturbating. These children have discovered masturbation during normal exploration of their bodies and it continues because it feels good. Masturbation becomes frequent only if the child is pressured to stop. That invites a power struggle.Try these approaches instead:• First, set realistic goals. It’s impossible to eliminate masturbation. All that you can control is where it occurs. Accept it in the bedroom or bathroom or at nap time.• Second, ignore masturbation at naptime or at bedtime. Don’t check on your child at these times.• Third, distract your child from masturbation at other times. Try a toy or a new activity. If this fails, send your child to his room. You can’t ignore it, or your child will feel he can masturbate anywhere. Your child will catch on to privacy and modesty somewhere between the ages of four and six.• Fourth, be sure no one punishes your child for this. It’s counterproductive.• Finally, if you’re having trouble accepting this normal behavior, talk with your child’s doctor.My suggestion: Please remember that there is no sexual element in preschooler masturbation, it is just a pleasurable sensation generated by self-exploration, do not let your guilt, feeling about sex influence your atitude towards the child. Try to be nonchalant about the whole thing, and inform the child that it is inappropriate to carry out this activity in public. In a way, it would be equivalent to thumb-sucking or any similar activity that the child indulges in while he is bored or alone.For more help from experts visit us at and ask question online.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sleep Hygiene for Children

My sister-in-law has an adorable 1 year old boy. This otherwise happy baby however becomes a extreemly fussy, irritable and cranky at least once/ twice a day.... Reason: Sleep time! In my practice I have come across innumerable instances of children having a lot of difficulty in falling of to sleep.Listed below are a few tips to help get your child to sleep without a lot of fussHave a set bedtime and bedtime routine for your child.Bedtime and wake-up time should be about the same time on school nights and non-school nights. There should not be more than about an hour difference from one day to another.Make the hour before bed shared quiet time. Avoid such high-energy activities as rough play, and stimulating activities such as watching TV or playing computer games just before bed.Don't send your child to bed hungry. A light snack (such as milk and cookies) before bed is a good idea. Heavy meals within an hour or two of bedtime, however, may interfere with sleep.Avoid products containing caffeine for at least several hours before bedtime. These include caffeinated sodas, coffee, tea, and chocolate.Make sure your child spends time outside every day whenever possible and is involved in regular exercise.Keep your child's bedroom quiet and dark. A low-level nightlight is acceptable for children who find completely dark rooms frightening.Keep your child's bedroom at a comfortable temperature during the night (less than 75 degrees).Don't use your child's bedroom for time-out or punishment.Keep the television set out of your child's bedroom. Children can easilydevelop the bad habit of “needing” the TV to fall asleep. It's also much moredifficult to control your child's TV viewing if the set is in the bedroom.If you have question then you can post your question at

Label: Sleep Hygiene For Children

Health Tip: Handling Burns

Would you know what to do if a family member got a thermal burn?That's the term for a burn caused by contact with open flame, hot liquid, a hot surface, or other source of high heat.Do you know the 4 C's of burn care (Univ of Missouri)?Cool the wound, Clean the wound, Cover the wound and Call the doctorThe Shriners HospitalsFor Children suggests these steps (HealthDayNews) :Get the victim away from the heat source as quickly and safely as possible.Cool the burn with cold water ( not ICE/ icewater).Cover the area with a sterile pad or clean sheet.Maintain the person's body temperature andtake the victim to the nearest medical facility.Do not apply oils, sprays or ointments to a serious burn.Some other do's and dont's:For eye burns, seek medical opinion immediately, do NOT put eye drops/ ointmentsIn case of a small burn, you may apply an antiseptic cream before seeking medical adviceIf the burn is larger than the size of the palm (in adults) do seek out a doctorDO NOT puncture blisters, they are sterile and prevent infectionIn case of limb burns, remove constricting things like rings, bangles, belt, boots etc. as it may be difficult to remove them later due to swelling.If you want to know treatment for heat burn online visit us at here you can post your question easily and can get the assistance of medical experts.

Labels: Heat Burn Treatments

How To Give Steam Inhalation in Children

Steam is a very important treatment in children for treating colds, stuffy nose and cough. Not only does it liquefy the mucus, but it also reduces nasal congestion and nasal blockage. In children the role of steam is more as they are not effectively able to cough out secretions and because medicines are more likely to cause side-effects in them.The major problem in steam lies with the fact that no one likes taking it! Uncooperative children risk getting burnt if they do not take steam properly.Here are a few tips on how to give safe and effective steam to your child;
Use a steamer with a closed top- this way there is a negligible chance of the child getting burnt in case of a spill.
Do not force the child to take steam, it is invariably preferable to try and earn their co-operation than to try and force them.
Keep the steamer near the bedside (on the floor) with the steam jet directed towards the child's face while they are sleeping.
For a smaller child (upto 6-8 months), keeping the baby in your lap while you take steam with a blanket/ cloth covering your face and the child is useful. Remember not to put the baby's face very close to the steam as there skin is very sensitive.
For an older child another option is to switch on the hot and cold water in the bathroom to create a sauna like effect and get the child inside and play with him/ tell him a story etc.
Keeping the steamer on in the bedroom is not very effective for giving steam as the room size is likely to be large. However this technique can be used in addition to the ones described (to reduce the dryness) above especially when you are using a heater/ warm air blower in the room.
For all kind of medical information from doctors, you can contact us at and you can post your question online.

Labels: Steam Inhalation in Children

How To Stop Hair Loss

A number of things can cause excessive hair loss. The treatment will hence depend on the cause of the hair loss.Causes:After major surgery/ stress/ illnessHormonal problems like thyroid, androgen and estrogen problemsAfter having a babyMedicines like birth control pills, blood thinners, cancer treatment, antidepressantsUnderlying disease like lupus, diabetesImproper hair care like tight rollers, perms and other hair treatment may cause hair loss as wellDepending on your type of hair loss, many treatments are available. The simplest thing would be to stop a medicine causing hair loss & prescribe a different medicine. Recognizing and treating an infection may help stop the hair loss. Correcting a hormone imbalance may prevent further hair loss, like thyroid treatment, treating androgen deficiency etc.There are a few medicines may also help slow or prevent the development of common baldness. One medicine, minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine), is available without a prescription. However it is always best to consult a dermatologist before using any medicine. It is applied to the scalp. Both men and women can use it. Another medicine, finasteride (brand name: Propecia) is available with a prescription. It comes in pills and is only for men. It may take up to 6 months before you can tell if one of these medicines is working.If nothing stops hair loss, then you may consider trying different hairstyles or wigs, hairpieces, hair weaves or artificial hair replacement.Most of the times herbal treatments touted as the next wonder drug on the net are nothing more than just scams, and do not have adequate scientific evidence to back their claims.For more queries visit and post your question and get advice from medical experts.

Labels: Hair Loss