Parenting Lesson 14- Taking care of child's health (Part II)

Topics covered in this lesson-

  1. Can weak eyesight be made normal in children by adult age?

  2. What to do in case of an injury to a child, bleeding or without bleeding?

  3. Is it okay to use antibiotics in children?

  4. How to give medicines to my small child?

  5. All about vaccinations?

Can weak eyesight be made normal in children by adult age?

Well there is no proven way of improving weak eyesight in children as they grow older. However some eye yoga/exercises tend to help in addition to right eye care and right nutrition intake. As a thumb rule, your child should have a disciplined screen time and should play outside home as these activities may help in eyesight improvement.

Some eye exercises as below may help –

• Ask your child to move his eyes up and down. Tell him to look up towards the ceiling and focus, then look down and focus. Ask him to do 10 reps of this exercise. Then, change to the sides and repeat that too.

• Now, this exercise can be fun for your child. Ask him to move his eyes in different ways. He can move his eyeballs diagonally, in a zigzag fashion and in a horizontal as well as in the vertical figure of 8. Make him do 10-20 reps. of this exercise. However, make sure that he moves only his eyes and not his head.

• Another simple exercise is ‘blink’. Kids, as well as adults, don’t blink their eyes frequently which leads to eye problems. Ask your child to blink his eyes frequently to keep them moist.

• Another exercise that your child can do is ‘roll’ his eyes. Ask him to roll his eyes clockwise and anti-clockwise slowly. Let him repeat this action.

• Make him flutter his eyelids about 30 times, then close them, and rest for a couple of minutes.

What to do in case of an injury to a child, bleeding or without bleeding?

Start this procedure if the cut is serious and you can't get your child to a hospital right away or need to wait for an ambulance:

• Rinse the cut or wound with water and use sterile gauze, a bandage, or a clean cloth to apply pressure.

• Place another bandage on top of the first if blood soaks through the bandage and keep applying pressure.

• To slow bleeding, lift the injured body part.

• Cover the wound with a fresh clean bandage until the bleeding stops.

• Put some turmeric or rub some alum on the wound, these are known to stop small bleedings

Is it okay to use antibiotics in children?

The first three years of life are particularly important to a child's development, and doctors are very careful about prescribing antibiotics in young children. If an illness is mild, your doctor may recommend observation or non-antibiotic treatment. But there are times when antibiotics are the right treatment for infants, particularly in the case of high fever, moderate to severe ear pain or symptoms of pneumonia. So let your child’s doctor decide on the need of prescribing an antibiotic. However please remember to complete an antibiotic course once your child has been prescribed the same, as an incomplete course of antibiotic intake could lead to anti-biotic resistance in your child and that could lead to need of administering higher doses or stronger antibiotics in future infections.

How to give medicines to my child

Give choices. When kids feel sick, they lose their sense of control, so it’s helpful to give them choices. While taking medication is not a choice, you can give them simple options:

• How they take it (from a syringe or a cup)

• When they take it (before or after they get dressed)

• Where they take it (at the kitchen table or sitting on the couch while watching TV)

Make taking medication fun and creative. Get creative! You will need to measure up the correct dose in a syringe or clear plastic medicine cup, but it doesn’t mean that children need to take it from that device. Perhaps they will prefer to take it from a tea set cup, a cool action hero spoon or their favorite small cup. You may also want to role-play and have your child practice giving the medicine to a favorite stuffed animal or dolly.

Mix your child’s meds with regular food (if possible). It’s helpful to disguise a medication’s taste by mixing it with chocolate syrup, pancake syrup, pudding, applesauce or yogurt. Instead of mixing, you can also put a small quantity of the medication on a spoon and then cover it with yogurt, chocolate sauce or a dollop of ice cream, so the first thing your child tastes is what’s on top—a yummy snack!

Explain why medicine helps. If your child is old enough to understand, explain why he or she needs to take the medication. I recently babysat for my 4-year-old nephew, who was on a course of antibiotics for an ear infection. When I took out the bottle of pink medication, he told me, “No, that’s yucky.” I asked him if he knew why he needed to take the medicine and he shrugged his shoulders. We talked about the medicine helping his ears to feel better so he could go back to preschool and play with his friends, which was just the ticket to get him on board with taking the yucky pink medicine.

Your child spit out their medicine. Now what?

We’ve all been there. You’ve squirted some medication in your toddler’s mouth and her or she immediately spits it out or vomits a few minutes later. If this happens, call your child’s doctor before giving any more or repeating a dose. Some medications can be repeated without any issue, but others can be harmful if your child gets a little extra.

All about vaccinations?

Immunization means protection. The most effective and safe way to protect children from contagious diseases is by vaccination. Vaccines are considered a breakthrough in preventive medicine. Vaccines protect your child’s health by preventing them from contracting severe contagious diseases.

Each country has its own vaccination schedule which begins from newborn age to upto 18 years of age. You can check IAP vaccination schedule on internet or mostly a vaccination schedule would have been given in the hospital where your child was born.

Types of Vaccines

There are a few different types of vaccines. They include:

• Attenuated (weakened) live viruses are used in some vaccines such as in the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

• Killed (inactivated) viruses or bacteria are used in some vaccines, such as in IPV.

• Toxoid vaccines contain an inactivated toxin produced by the bacterium. For example, the diphtheria and tetanus vaccines are toxoid vaccines.

• Conjugate vaccines (such as Hib) contain parts of bacteria combined with proteins.

Now few things are important when it comes to vaccination

1. Some vaccinations are not mandatory, which means that it is up to you to take that vaccine or not. Generally this happens due to less prevalence of the disease which that voluntary vaccine would be preventing

2. It is better that you do not get your child vaccines while she is having some infection or fever, as some vaccine lead to mild fever and can aggravate ongoing sickness

3. Keep your child comfortable, well fed during the vaccination

4. Carry her favorite toys along with a milk bottle in case she cries

5. Don’t give her massage after vaccination. Preferably give her bath and massage before vaccination and skip the next day

What to do if my child is vomiting

Many different things can make kids throw up, including illnesses, motion sickness, stress, and other problems. In most cases, though, vomiting in children is caused by gastroenteritis, an infection of the digestive tract.

It's important to stay calm — vomiting is frightening to young children (and parents) and exhausting for kids of all ages. Reassuring your child and preventing dehydration are key for a quick recovery.

Prevent dehydration through oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

Sports drinks, sodas, and juices should be avoided in children since they contain inadequate sodium and too large a quantity of carbohydrates. After the child vomits, parents should wait about 30 minutes for the stomach to settle before initiating ORT. Recommend an ORT solution such as Pedialyte, which is available over-the-counter.

Keep children off of solid foods for 24 hours after vomiting.

Solid foods should be avoided for about 24 hours. The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) is an effective way to reintroduce food after vomiting. These bland foods can help children ease into normal eating. Once these bland foods are tolerated, then a normal diet can gradually be reintroduced.

When to see a doctor

Children with warning signs should be immediately evaluated by a doctor, as should all newborns; children whose vomit is bloody, resembles coffee grounds, or is bright green; and children with a recent (within a week) head injury, seems dehydrated. Not every tummy ache counts as abdominal pain (the warning sign). However, if children appear uncomfortable even when not vomiting and their discomfort lasts more than a few hours, they should probably be evaluated by a doctor.