When Fever Strikes – All You Need To Know About Baby Fever

Fevers can be worrisome for parents of infants and toddlers especially when they are first-time parents. The thing about fever is that you can never tell if it is dangerous or not and this is precisely what makes fevers scary for many parents.

Did you know?Lynn Smitherman, M.D., Assistant Professor of Paediatrics has said,  “Fever is not an illness but a sign that the immune system is fighting off an infection.”

Considering this, if a kid has a fever, it is an indication of a good immune system. When viruses or bacteria attack the body, white blood cells produce interleukin to fight them off. The production of interleukin hormone results in a rise in body temperature. The increased body temperature or heat helps in killing the germs attacking the kid’s body.

Causes of Fever

Before we dwell upon the causes, it is essential to understand and remember that fever by itself is not an illness. It is usually a sign or a symptom of another problem. There can be many causes of fever in babies.

Some of the most common causes can be:

Infections: The most common cause of fevers is infections. Fever is the body’s natural defence mechanism against infections.

Vaccinations: A baby might get a fever within 12 hours of getting an injection. This fever is an indication that the vaccine is working. The body produces new antibodies after immunisation. The production of new antibodies is what causes fever post vaccination.

Overdressing: The newborns take a little while to adjust to the temperature in the outside world. Hence it is recommended to dress them in such a way that it keeps them warm. For this, at times, mothers end up overdressing the baby which results in a rise in body temperature.

Teething: When a baby starts teething, the body temperature rises slightly. It stays around 100°F during the teething period. 

When to be concerned?

Before ringing the panic bell, it is essential to understand what is considered a fever. A general notion is that anything above 98.6°F is a fever, but it is not. Body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, and in babies, this fluctuation can have larger variations compared to adults. In healthy babies, a high temperature is not considered fever until it crosses 100.3°F.

For babies under 12 months, you need to keep the following numbers in mind:

Under 3 months: A temperature over 100.3°F in babies under three months need immediate attention. However, if this temperature is because of a vaccine, you don’t need to worry.

3 to 12 months: A temperature over 102.2°F in babies from three to twelve months requires immediate evaluation. The high temperature or the fever might not be considered as an illness, but it can be an indication of an underlying infection or disease.

A timely check and intervention of a paediatric can help in getting rid of the illness or infection at the first stage. You need not to worry even with high temperature if your baby is eating well, is active and is not looking pale. 

How to care for your baby during a fever?

As we have mentioned above – not all fevers are dangerous or need treatment. If the child feels cranky and uncomfortable due to the fever then you might follow the below remedies:

Medicines: Infants under 2 months old should not be given any medication without their paediatrician’s recommendation. Infants over 2 months can be administered with a prescribed medicine as per the dosage recommended by the paediatric. For kids below 10 years, the dosage has to be as per the paediatrician’s recommendation. Medication during high temperature only helps in keeping control over the body temperature.

Home remedies: Make sure that the baby is dressed in light clothing during high temperature. Don’t cover the kid with sheets or blankets. This will only make the temperature rise further. Bathe the baby with lukewarm water or give sponge bath – these are temporary remedies to lower the body temperature.

It is vital to understand that medication or home remedies cannot help in fighting the underlying cause of the fever. Hence, it is always recommended to see a doctor if the temperature lasts more than 48 hours.

 

Simple Ways to Make Your Child Drink That Glass of Milk

One of the major issues faced by parents is making their kid finish the glass of milk. The staggering numbers of parents facing the same problem across the globe are confounding. Most parents wonder why their kid doesn’t like milk even though, as an infant, she would love to feed on breast milk. The reason is the massive difference of taste between mother’s milk and cow’s / buffalo’s / formula milk. It is a primary task to get your kid to fall in love with milk options other than the mother’s milk.

Milk is vital in the kid’s diet during their growing years and hence, it becomes imperative to add milk to the child’s diet. Milk provides calcium which is an essential nutrient for bone health during the growing years.

Here are some tips that will help you make your kid – if not fall in love then at least finish up the glass of milk:

Introduce Dairy Products in Diet

The easiest way to make your child love milk is introducing them to dairy products like cheese, ghee, yoghurt and paneer. You can add flavours to these products which will help the kid in developing a taste for them and then gradually you can get them to trying milk.

Milkshakes

Milkshakes are a boon for mothers. Blend in some fruits with a glass of milk and voila you have the perfect recipe for your kid. Milkshakes have the goodness of milk and fruits making it an ideal choice of drink for your child.

Flavoured Milk

Adding flavours to a glass of plain milk is the simplest way of making the milk delicious for your little one’s taste buds. You can experiment with a range of flavours like rose, almond, Kesar, chocolate et al.

Tackling the smell of milk

More often than not, when asked, children say that it is the smell of milk that they don’t like. You can address this issue by adding a little vanilla essence or dry fruit powder.

Introduce Milk Supplements

If you are a mother, you cannot be more thankful for the range of milk supplements available in the market today. These supplements are available in a variety of flavours which makes milk irresistible not only for kids but also for elders!

Buy cute cups and tumblers

This might sound a bit weird, but it is a tried and tested formula when it comes to making toddlers drink something new and different. The cute cups and tumblers attract the kids and distract their attention from what they are consuming. You might end up having a kid who would drink milk only in her favourite mug!

Hot or Cold Milk

The temperature of the liquid plays an important role. Some kids don’t like it cold, and some can’t resist a hot cup of milk no matter what day of the year it is. Try and find out whether your kid likes it hot or cold.

 Reward your kid

Rewarding is the best practice to inculcate good habits in your kids. Every day reward your kid with something for finishing that glass of milk. These rewards can be small little things like an extra hour of play time or TV watching.

 Make it a fun activity

Forcing kids to drink milk will only make them rebel more. Instead of compelling them to drink milk; make it a fun event for them. Sit down with them and have a little competition like who gets a bigger moustache or who finishes the milk first.

 Milk Popsicles

During summers you can prepare milk popsicles for the kids. It is the most fun way of making the kids have a glass of milk every day.

Drink Milk Yourself

Kids follow their parents’ example. If they see you drinking milk every day the chances are high that they will inculcate this habit in their dietary routine without a fuss.

You can try and include milk in your child’s diet through these tips and tricks but the most critical factor to remember is never to force them. Forcing kids to do something and not just drink milk can have adverse effects on their psyche. Make everything fun and games for your kids!

Common Food Allergies Among Kids and How To Deal With Those

In today’s time, parents are highly cautious about their kids unlike the generation of their parents’ when people never bothered about a mild rash on their kids’ body. The solution to every rash on the body was as simple as applying coconut oil! No, we swear, we are not kidding about it. And many of you can resonate with this. But, that’s not the case anymore.

Food allergies are very common amongst kids, but those can be detected only when the parents are well informed. Some allergies are symptomatic and can be easily detected. The real trouble is caused by the asymptomatic allergies.

“My daughter was detected with Celiac Disease at the age of 20! All these years we never found out despite her having mild symptoms like constipation and constant stomach ache complains. We always thought she is a poor eater and keeps finding ways out to skip her meals or to avoid food,” Veena Singh, a homemaker based in Nagpur.

Celiac is an autoimmune disease in which your body is unable to digest Gluten. Gluten is generally found in wheat, refined flour (maida), sooji and rawa. Consumption of gluten depletes the mucus layering of the intestine and gradually damages your body organs. If gone undetected, it can be life-threatening. Veena’s daughter was consuming a regular diet like you and me for 20 years. You can only imagine the damage it might have caused her in those two decades.

How to identify the symptoms?

It is essential to pay heed to every small little complain your kid has regarding eating, consuming or digesting his food. We don’t mean to suggest you to keep giving into every time your kid nags about food but more often than not, it could be something more than just simple nagging. Identifying symptoms can be tricky but it does no harm to be a bit cautious. You need to seek medical advice in the following cases:

  • Rashes on Body:

The most common symptom of a food allergy is body rash. If a body rash appears soon after your child has consumed something, take him to the paediatric.

  • Vomiting or Nausea:

When a child is unable to digest food, it will result in vomiting or nausea. This can be much more than simple indigestion which is not as serious as a food allergy.

  • Indigestion:

Indigestion is often overlooked as a food allergy symptom. More often than not, it is considered as a regular indigestion issue and both parents and doctors often fail to relate it with food allergy.

  • Constipation or Loose Motions:

Irregular motions or excessive motions can be more than just simple digestive issues. Keep a check on your kid’s routine. It can be some sort of food allergy in case of persistent constipation or frequent cases of loose motions.

Most Common Food Allergies

The most common advice and guidelines for childcare for the first time parents comes from their parents and grandparents. And, in our culture, we believe or are made to think that they know the best when it comes to taking care of a child. Well, to an extent they do but those desi nuskhey can’t help you all the time. These common food allergies are difficult to fathom for people of older generations because according to them they have been born and brought up eating all those ‘healthy’ foods and how essential they are for the baby’s health. Without much ado, here are the topmost common food allergies found in kids:

  1. Milk or Lactose Intolerance

Well, are we seeing you shocked with the first one itself? Yes, kids can be allergic to milk. Lactose is the sugar present in milk. Kids or even adults can have problems digesting lactose. Your kid can be intolerant to lactose since the beginning or it can be caused years later as well.

Symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal Cramps

How to deal with it

You will need to replace milk in your kid’s diet with alternatives like soy milk, coconut milk or almond milk. Consult your paediatric before making the switch.

  1. Wheat or Gluten (Celiac Disease)

Wheat allergy can be of two types:

  • Regular wheat allergy
  • Gluten Allergy (Celiac Disease)

In regular wheat allergy, your body reacts to wheat food products in form of skin rash, vomiting or indigestion. It is a mild form of allergy as compared to Celiac disease which is an autoimmune disease and consumption of wheat if you are a Celiac patient, can be life-threatening.

Symptoms

  • Indigestion
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation or Loose Motions
  • Stomach ache
  • Skin rash
  • A headache

How to deal with it

Wheat allergy can be an initial trigger for Celiac disease. The symptoms for both are largely identical. The doctor would need to conduct certain medical tests in order to identify whether it’s a normal wheat allergy or a Celiac disease.

  1. Eggs

Eggs are a rich source of protein and everybody cannot digest such high levels of protein. Some kids can be allergic to egg white and some to egg yolk.

Symptoms

  • Skin rash
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Stomach ache

How to deal with it

You can replace eggs with other protein-rich foods which have milder proteins as compared to eggs. Foods like chickpea, broccoli, cheese etc. can be added to the diet.

  1. Nuts

Nuts allergy is quite common not only amongst kids but also in adults. You can be allergic to either the entire nuts family or to a specific nut which includes peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashew etc.

Symptoms

  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of tongue, lips or eyes

How to deal with it

You need to pay special attention to which kind of nut is causing trouble to your kid and then make sure to eliminate that particular nut from his diet. Consumption of food products containing that particular nut too will cause trouble hence it is essential to eliminate it entirely.

  1. Soy

Just like eggs, soy is a rich source of protein. Kids with sensitive or weak digestive system can face issues in digesting this protein-rich food.

Symptoms

  • Flatulence and bloating
  • Swelling of the hands and feet, lips or tongue

How to deal with it

Eliminate soy in your kid’s diet by replacing it with foods with milder and easily digestible quantity of proteins like cheese, animal meat etc.

Most of the food allergies are easily detectable and can be managed without much trouble until and unless it is some sort of an autoimmune disease like Celiac. It is essential to be observant about how your kid reacts to a new food in his diet. Skin rash is the most common symptom for most of the food allergies. Before jumping to any conclusion, always seek medical help and guidance from your paediatric.

 

 

 

 

5 Healthy Summer Snacks for Your Kids

It’s summers and holiday season is here! It’s that time of year when kids are at home, mostly playing outdoors with mothers asking them not to play in the harsh sun. Well, we aren’t taking away anything from the moms but hey, kids gotta play! The summer heat can be harsh for your child’s skin and health especially from mid-April to June. Playing in the sun for long hours can cause dehydration and it is difficult to ask kids to keep themselves hydrated with water or liquid intake during their playing hours. To get rid of this problem, we are going to talk about super summer foods that will not only make your kids enjoy their meals without any fuss but will also help in keeping them hydrated.

Drinking water or consuming liquids is not the only way to stay hydrated during summers. You can eat your water too! Yes, you read that right. Give your kids foods that have high water content like melons and cucumber. Such foods will keep your kids hydrated as well as provide them with energy so that they won’t feel drained out by the end of the day’s play.

Here are give healthy summer recipes to keep your kids energetic and you, stress-free.

Fruit Popsicles

Summers are incomplete without gobbling down popsicles. Instead of letting your kids indulge in the roadside ice popsicles, make healthy fruit popsicles at home. You can try fruits like watermelon, muskmelon, lemon, kiwi, oranges etc. The homemade popsicles won’t just be healthy but also nutritious. Fruit popsicles will help in keeping your kids’ energy levels high.

Vegetable Cheela Rolls

This is the simplest recipe to feed some veggies to kids. The chana dal is high in proteins. Add as many veggies you can to meet the nutrition requirement of your kids. If your kid is still fussy about eating veggies in a roll, grate a cheese cube over it. Cheese is the most delicious way of consuming healthy fats.

Healthy Sandwiches

We all love sandwiches, don’t we? Now you might be thinking how a sandwich can be a healthy snack, isn’t it? Well, replace your regular white bread with a healthier option. You can opt for whole wheat bread or multi-grain bread. These breads are healthier than the regular bread. Replace the mayonnaise with hung curd. Sandwiches are easy and quick to make as well as to eat. This is one no fuss snack that we vouch for. Add vegetables or corn or cucumber or anything that your kids like. Add some cheese and ketchup and voila!

Raagi Cookies

Kids love munching on chocolate cookies and cream biscuits which have high contents of sugar and are unhealthy. Replace those cream biscuits and unhealthy cookies with raagi cookies. You can bake either butter raagi cookies or add choco chips for kids.

Fruit Smoothies

Summers are the time where one can simply live on a liquid diet. Summer provides with many options for beverages. If your kids don’t like to eat fruits, make them a smoothie! The best part about making a smoothie is that you can use any fruit that you like or is available in the kitchen, grapes, bananas, mangoes, strawberries, watermelons, muskmelons, et al. If the fruit is sweet enough, skip adding extra sugar. Watermelon, mango, orange, lemon, and berries are the best fruits to have in summer.

In addition to these, make your kids drink salty lassi or chaas. It helps in keeping the kid hydrated during long outdoor play hours. Imbibe chaas or lassi in your daily lunch menu. If the kid doesn’t want to have chaas or lassi, make cucumber raita for them. It has same effects as chaasor lassi has. Besides this, give them a glass of aam panna every time they move out in the sun. It helps in keeping fatigue away.

Limit direct exposure to sun and keep your children indoors. Apart from this, in our this blog, we also share some tips to avoid heat strokes in summer.  Summer can be a beautiful season for kids – you just have to take a little care when it comes to their health and food.

Not Just an Adult Thing – Mental Health Issues Can Affect Children Too

Children are exposed to a lot of different environments as they are growing up. As they grow, they learn new things, their body’s transform, and it’s all a very dynamic process. There are a lot of factors that need to work out properly for a child to smoothly transform into an adult. Many times, this process adversely affects the children, which might lead to mental illnesses.

Just as adults, mental health issues affect children of all family types and cultural backgrounds. Studies have shown that 1 in 10 children suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, psychosis, conduct disorder, etc. About 50-70% of these mental illnesses show up before the age of 18, and thus, have a huge impact on the child’s development.

Most parents are not ready to accept that their child could be suffering from a mental issue because they consider it as an abnormality. However, in reality, either the child is born with such issues, or it’s just a consequence of the environment and circumstance surrounding the child. The parents end up making the matter worse by not taking the help of psychiatrist counselling. It is extremely important for the parents to acknowledge that their child could be suffering from mental health issues and that they should support him/her to come out of this difficult period.

The emotional wellbeing of a child is equally as important as the physical wellbeing. Good mental health allows a young person to cope with change and deal with the various facets of adult life by developing them into mature people that can take care of themselves.

How to recognize if your child is suffering from a mental health issue?

The first and most important step in treating mental health issues is to figure out whether your child is suffering from those. Here are a few symptoms to look for –

  • Sadness of mood
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Lack of interest in everything
  • Aloofness
  • Disinterest in pleasurable activities
  • Change in eating and sleeping habits
  • Thoughts of hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Extreme rage or anger and disappointment
  • Extreme thoughts like death or suicide
  • Staying away from family or friends
  • Lack of concentration

What are the various types of mental health issues?

Once you have identified that your child could have mental health problems, it is important to understand the exact issue. Here, the parents must take the support of a phycologist to better understand the illness of their child. Knowing the type of illness will allow you to make a proper plan so that you tackle it effectively.

Some common types of mental illnesses are:

  • Depression: Depression is more common in adults as compared to children. However, it has started affecting more young people today, than in the last few decades. Having said that, depression is seen mostly in teenagers as compared to young children. Depression usually affects the emotions and attitude of your young ones and makes them feel sad and irritated.
  • Anxiety Disorder: This disorder is the most common among young ones. About 6% of the kids suffer from this disorder at some point in the childhood and usually happens because the children are afraid of things or situations that happen in their everyday life.
  • Conduct Disorder: This disorder is also common in young people. Children who suffer from this disorder are generally averse to rules and can also exhibit an aggressive and destructive attitude towards other people.
  • Eating Disorders: Eating disorders generally start in teenage years and are, thus, more common among teenagers than young children. Eating disorders can severely affect the health and physical development of the concerned young person.
  • Self-harm: This is another very common problem among young people. Due to certain situations in their lives, young people suffering from this problem feel that by hurting themselves, they can manage their intense emotional pain and suffering. Examples could be cutting or burning themselves.
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder): Just under 5% of the young people suffer from this problem and ADHD makes it extremely difficult for them to settle down and keep their focus on things for long.
  • Schizophrenia: This is a rare case but it does affect a few young people. This disorder makes it difficult for people to talk and behave in an organised way, with them losing touch with reality in certain cases.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This disorder is a result of witnessing something extremely traumatizing or could be as a result of being a victim of bullying, sexual abuse or violence.

It is important that parents seek help and guidance from doctors and experts to resolve the illness affecting their young ones. This brings us to our next step.

Ways to help children suffering from mental illness

Parental Support

The biggest and most primary support for the children suffering from a mental illness has to come from their parents. As mentioned earlier, it starts with parents accepting the fact that their child is suffering from a mental health issue and then going on to deal with it. If parents can keep a warm and a loving relationship with their children, it makes the situation much easier as children are not afraid to share their discomfort with them. The most important thing here is for parents to listen carefully to their child’s problems and take those seriously.

Counselling

There is no shame in taking help from a psychiatrist or a doctor for a child suffering from any mental health issue. In fact, it is the best possible way to deal with the issue as psychiatrist and doctors are experts in these matters and can help. The psychologists know how the children suffering from a mental disorder feel and hence, are able to communicate with them in a way that allows them to come out of their shelves and slowly but surely resolve the issue. Also, there is no need to worry because these experts keep all the discussed matters completely confidential. Your family’s information will be completely safe with them.

Medication

There are many medications available for children suffering from certain types of mental ailments such as ADHD, mood swings, and anxiety. If you are concerned about the medications and how will they affect your child, then you can have an in-depth discussion with the doctors and they will tell you about the various risks and benefits of the medication. 

Support Groups

Sometimes, it helps to meet other people suffering from the same or similar difficulty. This is the logic behind the support group. Children suffering from the same or similar mental health issue come together as a peer group to help better their issues.

Just like adults, even children suffer from mental health issues. It is of utmost importance that the parents recognise the child’s illness and provide the right help and support so that the child can grow up to be a socially and emotionally healthy adult. Remember, mental illness is not a stigma. It is real, common, but definitely treatable.