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We commit ourselves to provide and make readily accessible competent, compassionate healthcare to every child. We take care of each child as we would our own, recognizing each child’s uniqueness and individuality, while helping to nurture the child towards his or her highest potential. We promote a supportive and cooperative relationship with parents, schools and other caregivers to encourage an environment that fosters a holistic child development.
Unlike antibiotics and other such medicines, homeopathic pills do not hamper digestion, or lower body’s resistance. Neither do they cause any allergies nor cause any damage even if taken over a long period. Children, willingly ingest homeopathic pills being sweet in taste. Indeed, homeopathy is child-friendly! Besides, homeopathy is effective also in temperament and behavioral problems seen commonly in children like irritability, obstinacy, temper-tantrums, fears, phobias, destructiveness; and thumb- sucking, nail biting, bed-wetting; as well as in mentally and physically backward children.
Useful info and health tips
Tonsillitis may be caused by a bacterial or a viral infection. Tonsillitis can spread from an infected person to others through coughing, sneezing, or touching. The germs can spread through kissing or sharing food and drinks. Germs spread easily in schools and daycare centers and between family members at home.
Recurrent tonsillitis is often defined as:
- a sore throat or tonsillitis at least 5 to 7 times in 1 year
- occurrences at least 5 times in each of the previous 2 years
- occurrences a least 3 times in each of the previous 3 years
SIGN & SYMPTOM
- Fever and sore throat
- Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
- Cough or hoarseness
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Yellow or white patches on the back of the throat
- Bad breath
- Rash on the body or in the mouth
Tonsils are your first line of defense against illness. They produce white blood cells that help your body fight infection.
The tonsils combat bacteria and viruses that enter your body through your mouth and nose. However, tonsils are also vulnerable to infection from these invaders.
Tonsillitis can be caused by a virus, such as the common cold, or by a bacterial infection, such as strep throat.
Diagnosis is based on a physical examination of your throat. Your doctor may also take a throat culture by gently swabbing the back of your throat. The culture will be sent to a laboratory to identify the cause of your throat infection.
Several treatments you can try at home to ease throat pain from tonsillitis:
- drink plenty of fluids
- get lots of rest
- gargle with warm salt water several times a day
- use throat lozenges
- eat popsicles or other frozen foods
- use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home
1. Arsenic Album– tonsillitis with restlessness and increased thirst
When there is increased thirst and restlessness present along with enlarged tonsils, Arsenic album is the best homeopathic medicine for tonsillitis. The tonsils get inflamed due to exposure to cold or after taking cold drinks or cold food. Hot drinks or hot food relieves the pain, even if temporarily. Fever may be present along with tonsillitis.
2. Belladonna– tonsillitis with great redness
When there is intense redness of the throat with heat and burning, Belladonna is one of the best homeopathic medicines for tonsillitis. The tonsils become red as if looking angry. Tonsils swell and enlarge. Swallowing is difficult and it is even more difficult to swallow liquids. The face becomes hot, red, and flushed. The mouth and throat are dry but there is no desire to drink water. High-grade fever may be present along with tonsillitis.
3. Hepar Sulphur– tonsillitis with suppuration
When there is formation of pus in the tonsils, Hepar Sulph is one of the best homeopathic medicines for tonsillitis. There is intense pain and sensitivity. Slightest cold air or water can cause the problem. While swallowing, there is pain in the throat as if a splinter is there. The pain may extend to the ears while swallowing. Chilliness may also be present with other symptoms of tonsillitis.
4. Merc Sol– tonsillitis with increased perspiration
When there is profuse perspiration along with other symptoms, Merc Sol is one of the best homeopathic medicines for tonsillitis. There is blush red swelling in the throat. A constant desire to swallow is present. Chilliness may also be present. Every change of weather aggravates the problem. Pain increases at night. There may be increased salivation in the mouth along with other symptoms of tonsillitis.
5. Baryta Carb– tonsillitis that recurs on every exposure to cold
When the child gets a bout of tonsillitis on every exposure to cold, Baryta Carb is one of the best homeopathic remedies for tonsillitis. The child is very susceptible to cold, whether it is cold air or water. Pain is worse on empty swallowing. Tonsils may even suppurate.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. People who have bronchitis often cough up thickened mucus, which can be discolored. Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic.
Often developing from a cold or other respiratory infection, acute bronchitis is very common. Chronic bronchitis, a more serious condition, is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.
Acute bronchitis, also called a chest cold, usually improves within a week to 10 days without lasting effects, although the cough may linger for weeks.
However, if you have repeated bouts of bronchitis, you may have chronic bronchitis, which requires medical attention. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions included in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
For either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis, signs and symptoms may include:
- Cough– Cough is a common complaint have when seeing the doctor, especially during cold and flu season. A chronic cough can also be a sign of poor asthma control. In asthma , a night time cough is more than twice per week may mean you need to step up to your doctor.
- Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color — rarely, it may be streaked with blood
- Fatigue- Fatigueis a subjective feeling of tiredness that has a gradual onset. it is a subjective feeling reported by the patient,
- Shortness of breath- This is the feeling of breathlessness and inability to catch your breath that you may experience with asthma. This classic symptom can be experienced before diagnosis or be a sign of poor asthma control. Shortness of breathe is never normal, but it is also not unexpected with very strenuous exercise or travel to high altitude. This difficult breathing may refer as air hunger or the sensation of not being able to catch your breathe.
- Slight fever and chills
- Chest discomfort– Patients generally describe it as the very uncomfortable feeling of air not moving in their lungs. Patients say “I just feel tight” for many patients this causes a significant amount of anxiety as they think they will be unable to adequately breathe.
If you have acute bronchitis, you might have cold symptoms, such as a mild headache or body aches. While these symptoms usually improve in about a week, you may have a nagging cough that lingers for several weeks.
Chronic bronchitis is defined as a productive cough that lasts at least three months, with recurring bouts occurring for at least two consecutive years.
If you have chronic bronchitis, you’re likely to have periods when your cough or other symptoms worsen. At those times, you may have an acute infection on top of chronic bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses, typically the same viruses that cause colds and flu (influenza). Antibiotics don’t kill viruses, so this type of medication isn’t useful in most cases of bronchitis.
The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. Air pollution and dust or toxic gases in the environment or workplace also can contribute to the condition.
Factors that increase your risk of bronchitis include:
- Cigarette smoke.People who smoke or who live with a smoker are at higher risk of both acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.
- Low resistance.This may result from another acute illness, such as a cold, or from a chronic condition that compromises your immune system. Older adults, infants and young children have greater vulnerability to infection.
- Exposure to irritants on the job.Your risk of developing bronchitis is greater if you work around certain lung irritants, such as grains or textiles, or are exposed to chemical fumes.
- Gastric reflux.Repeated bouts of severe heartburn can irritate your throat and make you more prone to developing bronchitis.
During the first few days of illness, it can be difficult to distinguish the signs and symptoms of bronchitis from those of a common cold. During the physical exam, your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen closely to your lungs as you breathe.
In some cases, your doctor may suggest the following tests:
- Chest X-ray.A chest X-ray can help determine if you have pneumonia or another condition that may explain your cough. This is especially important if you ever were or currently are a smoker.
- Sputum tests.Sputum is the mucus that you cough up from your lungs. It can be tested to see if you have illnesses that could be helped by antibiotics. Sputum can also be tested for signs of allergies.
- Pulmonary function test.During a pulmonary function test, you blow into a device called a spirometer, which measures how much air your lungs can hold and how quickly you can get air out of your lungs. This test checks for signs of asthma or emphysema.
ACONITUM NAPELLUS – Aconite will often prevent the development of a thorough bronchitis. Aconite is prescribed in bronchitis to the onset of the affection. It is caused by as a result of checked perspiration, exposure to cold, drafts or dry, cold winds . The complaint starts with a coryza , frequent sneezing. chilliness,restless sleep,full,hard pulse, and the characteristic mental condition like anxiety and restlessness
BRYONIA ALBA -Bryonia Alba is the top Homeopathic medicine for treating Bronchitis, and is mainly used when the cough is dry. Mucus if present is very difficult to cough out and may be rust coloured. Bryonia Alba can also prove very useful for treatment of severe chest pains during coughing. The patient usually feels relieved by taking rest and gets worse on motion. The patient may show an increased thirst for large quantities of water.
PHOSPHORUS -Phosphorus is another very beneficial Homeopathic medicine for patients of Bronchitis. The patient mainly has a hard and dry cough. The cough is renewed by laughing and talking. Cold air usually worsens the cough. Excessive heat in chest could be another accompanying symptom. The patient at times complains of tightness, heaviness and oppression of chest, along with chest pains. The mucus when expectorated may be blood-stained. The patient may also have a craving for cold drinks, ice cream and juices.
ANTIMONIUM TART – Antimonium Tart is a very effective natural remedy for Bronchitis that is mainly prescribed when the bronchial tubes are overloaded with mucus. The mucus rattles in the chest. The mucus is not coughed out with ease and if it does cough out,the quantity is meager. Homeopathic medicine Antimonium Tart is of great help in emptying the bronchial tubes by aiding the expectoration of the mucus present in bronchial tubes. The respiratory troubles after exposure to damp places frequently call for use of this natural Homeopathic remedy.
SPONGIA –The cases of Bronchitis that can be treated wonderfully with Homeopathic medicine Spongia are the ones presenting with dry cough and complete dryness of air passages. There is a total absence of any mucus rales in chest. Mainly warm drinks provide relief to the patient. The patient also at times complains of chest oppression, weakness and difficulty in breathing.
IPECAC -Ipecac is the top Homeopathic remedy for Bronchitis with a constant cough and rattling of mucus in chest. Even constant coughing does not seem to help in expelling the mucus from bronchi. Ipecac helps in expelling the mucus out with the least effort. An important feature for using this Homeopathic medicine in Bronchitis is vomiting with coughing providing some relief to the patient.
Nasal polyps are soft, painless, noncancerous growths on the lining of your nasal passages or sinuses. They hang down like teardrops or grapes. They result from chronic inflammation due to asthma, recurring infection, allergies, drug sensitivity or certain immune disorders.
Small nasal polyps may not cause symptoms. Larger growths or groups of nasal polyps can block your nasal passages or lead to breathing problems, a lost sense of smell and frequent infections.
Nasal polyps can affect anyone, but they’re more common in adults. Medications can often shrink or eliminate nasal polyps.
Nasal polyps are associated with inflammation of the lining of your nasal passages and sinuses that lasts more than 12 weeks (chronic rhinosinusitis, also known as chronic sinusitis). However, it’s possible — and even somewhat more likely — to have chronic sinusitis without nasal polyps.
Nasal polyps themselves are soft and lack sensation, so if they’re small you may not be aware you have them. Multiple growths or a large polyp may block your nasal passages and sinuses.
Common signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps include:
- A runny nose
- Persistent stuffiness
- Postnasal drip
- Decreased or absent sense of smell
- Loss of sense of taste
- Facial pain or headache
- Pain in your upper teeth
- A sense of pressure over your forehead and face
Scientists don’t yet fully understand what causes nasal polyps. It’s not clear why some people develop chronic inflammation or why ongoing inflammation triggers polyp formation in some people and not in others. The inflammation occurs in the fluid-producing lining (mucous membrane) of your nose and sinuses. There’s some evidence that people who develop polyps have a different immune system response and different chemical markers in their mucous membranes than do those who don’t develop polyps.
Nasal polyps can form at any age, but they’re most common in young and middle-aged adults. Nasal polyps may form anywhere in your sinuses or nasal passages, but they appear most often in an area where sinuses near your eyes, nose and cheekbones all drain through winding passages into your nose (ostiomeatal complex).
Any condition that triggers chronic inflammation in your nasal passages or sinuses, such as infections or allergies, may increase your risk of developing nasal polyps. Conditions often associated with nasal polyps include:
- Asthma, a disease that causes overall airway inflammation and constriction
- Aspirin sensitivity may cause some people to be more likely to develop nasal polyps
- Allergic fungal sinusitis, an allergy to airborne fungi
- Cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that results in the production and secretion of abnormally thick, sticky fluids, including thick mucus from nasal and sinus membranes
- Churg-Strauss syndrome, a rare disease that causes the inflammation of blood vessels
Your family history also may play a role. There’s some evidence that certain genetic variations associated with immune system function make you more likely to develop nasal polyps.
Nasal polyps can cause complications because they block normal airflow and fluid drainage, and also because of the chronic inflammation underlying their development. Potential complications include:
- Obstructive sleep apnea.In this potentially serious condition, you stop and start breathing frequently during sleep.
- Asthma flare-ups.Chronic rhinosinusitis can aggravate asthma.
- Sinus infections.Nasal polyps can make you more susceptible to sinus infections that recur often or become chronic.
You may help reduce your chances of developing nasal polyps or having nasal polyps recur after treatment with the following strategies:
- Manage allergies and asthma.Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for managing asthma and allergies. If your symptoms aren’t well-controlled, talk to your doctor about changing your treatment plan.
- Avoid nasal irritants.As much as possible, avoid breathing airborne substances that are likely to contribute to inflammation or irritation of your nose and sinuses, such as allergens, tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, and dust and fine debris.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. This is one of the best ways to protect against bacterial and viral infections that can cause inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses.
- Humidify your home. Use a humidifier if the air in your home tends to be dry. This may help moisten your breathing passages, improve the flow of mucus from your sinuses, and help prevent blockage and inflammation.
- Use a nasal rinse or nasal lavage. Use a saltwater (saline) spray or nasal lavage to rinse your nasal passages. This may improve mucus flow and remove allergens and other irritants.
Your doctor can usually make a diagnosis based on your answers to questions about your symptoms, a general physical exam and an examination of your nose. Polyps may be visible with the aid of a simple lighted instrument.
Other diagnostic tests include:
- Nasal endoscopy.A narrow tube with a lighted magnifying lens or tiny camera (nasal endoscope) enables your doctor to perform a detailed examination inside your nose and sinuses. He or she inserts the endoscope into a nostril and guides it into your nasal cavity.
- Imaging studies.Images obtained with computerized tomography (CT) can help your doctor pinpoint the size and location of polyps in deeper areas of your sinuses and evaluate the extent of inflammation. These studies may also help your doctor rule out the presence of other possible obstructions in your nasal cavity, such as structural abnormalities or another type of cancerous or noncancerous growth.
- Allergy tests.Your doctor may suggest skin tests to determine if allergies are contributing to chronic inflammation. With a skin prick test, tiny drops of allergy-causing agents (allergens) are pricked into the skin of your forearm or upper back. The drops are left on your skin for 15 minutes before your doctor or nurse observes your skin for signs of allergic reactions.
If a skin test can’t be performed, your doctor may order a blood test that screens for specific antibodies to various allergens.
- Test for cystic fibrosis.If you have a child diagnosed with nasal polyps, your doctor may suggest testing for cystic fibrosis, an inherited condition affecting the glands that produce mucus, tears, sweat, saliva and digestive juices. The standard diagnostic test for cystic fibrosis is a noninvasive sweat test, which determines whether your child’s perspiration is saltier than most people’s sweat is.
Homeopathic Medicines for Nasal Polyps
Lemna Minor –
Lemna Minor is one of the top grade Homeopathic medicines for nasal polyps. Lemna Minor works well where there is obstruction of nose and loss of smell from nasal polyps. Putrid smell in nose may also be felt in some cases. Thick, yellow-white discharge from the nose is another attending feature.
Teucrium Marum –
Teucrium Marum is a most wonderful Homeopathic medicine for nasal polyps with marked nasal blockage. A unique symptom is obstruction of the side of the nose on which the person lies down. Loss of smell is also noted. Crawling sensation in the nose may arise. Ozaena -chronic inflammation of the nasal mucosa resulting in its atrophy.
Sanguinaria Nitricum and Kali Nitricum – Excellent Homeopathic medicines for right-sided nasal polyps
Calcarea Carb –
Calcarea Carb is an extremely suitable Homeopathic medicine for left-sided nasal polyp. Other attending features are fetid smell and yellow discharge from nose. In the morning, dryness in nose may be felt. Sneezing, markedly in the morning time, may also attend. Calcarea Carb tend to catch a cold easily, with the slightest change in weather.
Allium Cepa –
In case of nasal polyps with constant sneezing. An attending feature is watery discharge of burning, acrid nature from the nose. The nasal discharge corrodes the upper lips. Headache may also persist along with fluent coryza. There’s a lump at the root of the nose.
Kali Bichromicum –
For post nasal discharge in nasal polyps cases, Homeopathic medicine Kali Bichromicum is selected. The post nasal discharge is thick, lumpy, ropy in nature. It is attended with much hawking. Marked pressure at the root of nose is complained of. Fetid smell from the nose is another concern. Violent sneezing in the morning time may accompany the above features.
Phosphorus is a very effective Homeopathic medicine for nasal polyps that bleed easily. Apart from the bleeding, the condition is accompanied by coryza with dull headache and sneezing which worsens with strong odors. A blocked nose early in the morning is a sure sign that Phosphorus will work. Also, in cases where coryza and dryness of the nose alternate.
Children are born with adenoids which are quite small. Adenoids get less vital as the child grows older and the body builds other mechanisms to fight germs.[/column_1]
Childhood asthma is the same lung disease adults get, but kids often have different symptoms. Doctors also call this pediatric asthma.
If your child has asthma, their lungs and airways can easily get inflamed when they have a cold or are around things like pollen. The symptoms may make it hard for your child to do everyday activities or sleep. Sometimes, an asthma attack can result in a trip to the hospital.
Signs and Symptoms
Not all children have the same asthma symptoms. A child may even have different symptoms from one episode to the next. Signs and symptoms of asthma in children include:
- A cough that doesn’t go away (which may be the only symptom)
- Coughing spells that happen often, especially during play or exercise, at night, in cold air, or while laughing or crying
- A cough that gets worse after a viral infection
- Less energy during play
- Avoiding sports or social activities
- Trouble sleeping because of coughing or breathing problems
- Rapid breathing
- Chest tightness or pain
- Wheezing, a whistling sound when breathing in or out
- Seesaw motions in their chest (retractions)
- Shortness of breath
- Tight neck and chest muscles
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble eating, or grunting while eating (in infants)
Causes and Triggers of Childhood Asthma
Common triggers include:
- Airway infections. This includes colds, pneumonia, and sinus infections.
- Allergens. Your child might be allergic to things like cockroaches, dust mites, mold, pet dander, and pollen.
- Irritants. Things like air pollution, chemicals, cold air, odors, or smoke can bother their airways.
- Exercise. It can lead to wheezing, coughing, and a tight chest.
- Stress. It can make your child short of breath and worsen their symptoms.
Make an appointment with your child’s doctor if you notice:
- Coughing that is constant, is intermittent or seems linked to physical activity
- Wheezing or whistling sounds when your child breathes out
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
- Complaints of chest tightness
- Repeated episodes of suspected bronchitis or pneumonia
When to seek emergency treatment
In severe cases, you might see your child’s chest and sides pulling inward as he or she struggles to breathe. Your child might have an increased heartbeat, sweating, and chest pain. Seek emergency care if your child:
- Has to stop in midsentence to catch his or her breath
- Is using abdominal muscles to breathe
- Has widened nostrils when breathing in
- Is trying so hard to breathe that the abdomen is sucked under the ribs when he or she breathes in
Even if your child hasn’t been diagnosed with asthma, seek medical attention immediately if he or she has trouble breathing. Although episodes of asthma vary in severity, asthma attacks can start with coughing, which progresses to wheezing and labored breathing.
Careful planning and avoiding asthma triggers are the best ways to prevent asthma attacks.
- Limit exposure to asthma triggers. Help your child avoid the allergens and irritants that trigger asthma symptoms.
- Don’t allow smoking around your child. Exposure to tobacco smoke during infancy is a strong risk factor for childhood asthma, as well as a common trigger of asthma attacks.
- Encourage your child to be active. As long as your child’s asthma is well-controlled, regular physical activity can help the lungs to work more efficiently.
- See the doctor when necessary. Check-in regularly. Don’t ignore signs that your child’s asthma might not be under control, such as needing to use a quick-relief inhaler too often.
Asthma changes over time. Consulting your child’s doctor can help you make needed treatment adjustments to keep symptoms under control.
- Help your child maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can worsen asthma symptoms, and it puts your child at risk of other health problems.
- Keep heartburn under control. Acid reflux or severe heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) might worsen your child’s asthma symptoms. He or she might need over-the-counter or prescription medications to control acid reflux.
The following are tests your child might need.
- Lung function tests (spirometry). Doctors diagnose asthma with the same tests used to identify the disease in adults. Spirometry measures how much air your child can exhale and how quickly. Your child might have lung function tests at rest, after exercising and after taking asthma medication.
Another lung function test is bronchoprovocation. Using spirometry, this test measures how your lungs react to certain provocations, such as exercise or exposure to cold air.
- Exhaled nitric oxide test. If the diagnosis of asthma is uncertain after lung function tests, your doctor might recommend measuring the level of nitric oxide in an exhaled sample of your child’s breath. Nitric oxide testing can also help determine whether steroid medications might be helpful for your child’s asthma.
Allergy tests for allergic asthma
If your child seems to have asthma that’s triggered by allergies, the doctor might recommend allergy skin testing. During a skin test, the skin is pricked with extracts of common allergy-causing substances, such as animal dander, mold or dust mites, and observed for signs of an allergic reaction.
- Worse in mouldy, damp environments.
- An allergy or sensitivity to moulds, mildew, and rotting leaves.
- Exertion and ascending tend to aggravate their symptoms
- The combination of obesity and asthma indicates that Blattaorientalis is a remedy worth considering.
- Asthma is associated with nausea and/or vomiting
- Ipecac is used as an expectorant in the treatment of bronchitis or croup
- Constant cough with gagging and vomiting.
- The chest may rattle
- Worse in warm humid weather and that heat generally makes her feel worse.
- Prefer sitting up by an open window to get some air. The hands and feet are cold and perspire profusely.
- Ipecac is recognized as a remedy for childhood asthmatic crises.
- Feels that you are not getting enough air into your lungs.
- Lead to hysteria and panic.
- Panic can lead to working unnecessarily hard to breathe and this can result in “over-inflation” of the lungs.
- Feels a sensation of constriction or a lump in the chest.
- Drafts and cold or damp tend to make the asthma worse while slow deep breathing make it better.
- Rapid walking also improves things.
- used as an expectorant.
- useful in children and in the elderly, especially where the asthma is associated with infection and a lot of mucus.
- The mucus causes a coarse, wet sounding rattling noise both on breathing in and out.
- better when he is fanned but he also might be rather irritable and wish to be left alone.
- worse from heat and lying,
- The patient wakes up in the night with a frightening sensation of suffocation
- The blueness of the face
- Severe spasms of the respiratory airways so it is very frightening.
- Worse at midnight or from midnight to 3 am.
- Complaints associated with marked perspiration, especially on waking.
- Asthma in both children and adults.
- Asthma may stop at puberty and reappear later from the 30s onwards.
- Asthma may even appear in association with a period of grief.
- Worse at 4 am or between 4 and 5 am. Damp weather – be it cold or warm – makes it worse, as does fog and storms.
- Childhood asthma, particularly where asthma and eczema may also be combined.
- The shortness of breath is reputed to be better when the child kneels on the bed curled up with the chest touching the knees (knee-chest position).
- Wet weather makes asthma worse but being at the seaside improves it.
- This is a useful remedy for asthma sufferers as it helps build up the immune system to try to prevent recurrent colds and chest infections which may precipitate asthma attacks.
Constipation in Children
What is constipation in children?
Constipation is when a child has very hard stools and has fewer bowel movements than he or she normally does. It is a very common GI (gastrointestinal) problem.
Signs that a child has constipation include:
- Having fewer bowel movements than normal. Constipation is often defined as having fewer than 3 bowel movements a week. The number of bowel movements may be different for each child. But a change in what is normal for your child may mean there is a problem.
- Passing stool that is hard and sometimes large
- Having bowel movements that are difficult or painful to push out
What causes constipation in a child?
Stool gets hard and dry when the large intestine (colon) takes in (absorbs) too much water.
Normally, as food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water while it makes stool. Muscle movements (contractions) push the stool toward the rectum. When the stool gets to the rectum, most of the water has been soaked up. The stool is now solid.
If your child has constipation, the colon’s muscle movements are too slow. This makes the stool move through the colon too slowly. The colon absorbs too much water. The stool gets very hard and dry.
Once a child becomes constipated, the problem can quickly get worse. Hard, dry stools can be painful to push out. So the child may stop using the bathroom because it hurts. Over time, the colon will not be able to sense that stool is there.
There are many reasons why a child may become constipated. Some common diet and lifestyle causes include:
- Eating too many foods that are high in fat and low in fiber. These include fast foods, junk foods, and soft drinks.
- Not drinking enough water and other fluids
- Having a change in diet. This includes when babies change from breastmilk to formula, or when they start eating solid foods.
Lack of exercise
- Children who watch a lot of TV and play video games don’t get enough exercise. Exercise helps move digested food through the intestines.
- Not wanting to use public bathrooms. Children may then hold in their bowel movements, causing constipation.
- Going through toilet training. This can be a difficult time for many toddlers.
- Having power struggles with parents. Toddlers may hold in their bowel movements on purpose.
- Feeling stressed because of school, friends, or family
- Some children don’t pay attention to signals that their body gives them to have a bowel movement. This can happen when children are too busy playing. They forget to go to the bathroom.
- Constipation can also be a problem when starting a new school year. Children can’t go to the bathroom whenever they feel the need. They have to change their bowel routine.
Underlying physical problem
In rare cases, constipation can be caused by a larger physical problem. These physical issues can include:
- Problems of the intestinal tract, rectum, or anus
- Nervous system problems, such as cerebral palsy
- Endocrine problems, such as hypothyroidism
- Certain medicines, such as iron supplements, some antidepressants, and narcotics such as codeine
What are the symptoms of constipation in a child?
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They may include:
- Not having a bowel movement for a few days
- Passing hard, dry stools
- Having belly (abdominal) bloating, cramps, or pain
- Not feeling hungry
- Showing signs of trying to hold stool in, such as clenching teeth, crossing legs, squeezing buttocks together, turning red in the face
- Small liquid or soft stool marks on a child’s underwear
The symptoms of constipation can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is constipation diagnosed in a child?
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Depending on how old your child is, you might be asked questions such as:
- How old was your baby when he or she had their first stool?
- How often does your child have a bowel movement?
- Does your child complain of pain when having a bowel movement?
- Have you been trying to toilet train your toddler lately?
- What foods does your child eat?
- Have there been any stressful events in your child’s life lately?
- How often does your child poop in his or her pants?
Your child’s provider may also want to do some tests to see if there are any problems. These tests may include:
- Digital rectal examination (DRE). Your child’s provider puts a gloved, greased (lubricated) finger into your child’s rectum. The provider will feel for anything abnormal.
- Abdominal X-ray. This test checks how much stool is in the large intestine.
- Barium enema. This is an X-ray exam of the rectum, the large intestine, and the lower part of the small intestine. The barium is put into a tube and inserted into your child’s rectum as an enema. An X-ray of the belly will show if your child has any narrowed areas (strictures), blockages (obstructions), or other problems.
- Anorectal manometry. This test checks the strength of the muscles in the anus and the nerve reflexes. It also checks your child’s ability to sense that the rectum is full (rectal distension) and a bowel movement is needed. And it looks at how well the muscles work together during a bowel movement.
- Rectal biopsy. This test takes a sample of the cells in the rectum. They are checked under a microscope for any problems.
- Sigmoidoscopy. This test checks the inside of part of the large intestine. It helps to find out what is causing diarrhea, belly pain, constipation, abnormal growths, and bleeding. A short, flexible, lighted tube (sigmoidoscope) is put into your child’s intestine through the rectum.
- Colorectal transit study. This test shows how well food moves through your child’s colon. The child swallows pills (capsules) filled with small markers that can be seen on an X-ray.
- Colonoscopy. This test looks at the full length of the large intestine. It can help check for abnormal growths, red or swollen tissue, sores (ulcers), and bleeding. The test uses a long, flexible, lighted tube (colonoscope). The tube is put into your child’s rectum up into the colon.
- Lab testing. Several tests may be done. These include tests to check for issues such as celiac disease, urinary tract infection, thyroid problems, metabolic problems, and blood lead level.
How is constipation treated in a child?
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Treatment may include diet and lifestyle changes, such as:
Often making changes in your child’s diet will help constipation. Help your child to eat more fiber by:
- Adding more fruits and vegetables
- Adding more whole-grain cereals and bread. Check the nutrition labels on food packages for foods that have more fiber.
Foods Moderate fiber High fiber Bread Whole-wheat bread, granola bread, wheat bran muffins, whole-grain waffles, popcorn Cereal Bran cereals, shredded wheat, oatmeal, granola, oat bran 100% bran cereal Vegetables Beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, corn, green beans, green peas, acorn and butternut squash, spinach, potato with skin, avocado Fruits Apples with peel, dates, papayas, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, pears, kiwis, strawberries, applesauce, raspberries, blackberries, raisins Cooked prunes, dried figs Meat substitutes Peanut butter, nuts Baked beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, lima beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, chili with beans, trail mix
Other diet changes that may help include:
- Having your child drink more fluids, especially water
- Limiting fast foods and junk foods that are often high in fats. Offer more well-balanced meals and snacks instead.
- Limiting drinks with caffeine, such as soda and tea
- Limiting whole milk as directed by your child’s healthcare provider
Get more exercise
Having your child get more exercise can also help with constipation. Exercise helps with digestion. It helps the normal movements the intestines make to push food forward as it is digested. People who don’t move around much are often constipated. Have your child go outside and play rather than watch TV or do other indoor activities.
Good bowel habits
Try to get your child into a regular toilet habit. Have your child sit on the toilet at least twice a day for at least 10 minutes. Try to do this just after a meal. Be sure to make this a pleasant time. Don’t get mad at your child for not having a bowel movement. Use a reward system to make it fun. Give stickers or other small treats. Or make posters that show your child’s progress.
In some cases these changes may not help. Or your child’s healthcare provider may detect another problem. If so, the provider may recommend using laxatives, stool softeners, or an enema. These products should only be used if recommended by your child’s provider. Do not use them without talking with your child’s provider first.
What are the complications of constipation in a child?
Hard stools can irritate or tear the lining of the anus (anal fissures). This makes it painful to have a bowel movement. Your child may avoid having a bowel movement because it hurts. This can make constipation get worse.
What can I do to prevent constipation in my child?
Constipation can be prevented by figuring out the times when it may occur, and making proper changes.
For instance, when babies start to eat solid food, constipation can result. This is because they don’t have enough fiber in their new diet. You can add fiber to your baby’s diet by giving pureed vegetables and fruits. Or try whole-wheat or multigrain cereals.
Constipation can also happen during toilet training. Children who do not like using a regular toilet may hold in their stool. This causes constipation.
All children should get the right amount of fiber and fluids. Other preventative measures include making sure your child has:
- Regular access to a bathroom
- Enough time to use the toilet
- Regular physical exercise
The same changes that can help treat constipation may also help to stop it from happening.
How can I help my child live with constipation?
Constipation can be either short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic). Children with intestinal diseases may have chronic constipation problems. But in most cases, constipation is a short-term condition. If your child has chronic constipation, work with his or her healthcare provider. Together you can create a care plan that is right for your child.
When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?
Call your child’s healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s bowel habits or patterns. Talk with your child’s provider if your child:
- Is constipated for more than 2 weeks
- Can’t do normal activities because of constipation
- Can’t get a stool out with normal pushing
- Has liquid or soft stool leaking out of the anus
- Has small, painful tears in the skin around the anus (anal fissures)
- Has red, swollen veins (hemorrhoids) in the rectum
- Has belly pain, fever, or vomiting
- Has changes in urination, weakness in the legs, or back pain
Key points about constipation in children
- Constipation is when a child has very hard stools, and has fewer bowel movements than they normally do.
- Constipation can be caused by a child’s diet, lack of exercise, or emotional issues.
- Once a child becomes constipated, the problem can quickly get worse.
- Making diet and lifestyle changes can help treat and help prevent constipation.
- Never give your child an enema, laxative, or stool softener unless the healthcare provider recommends this.
Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema, a skin condition that makes you itch and leaves red blotches, usually on your face, arms, and legs. While it happens most often in children, it also affects an estimated 18 million adults. The rashes tend to flare and go away, but then come back again.
Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms
Most people will have their first signs of eczema before they’re 5 years old. Infants may have red, crusted, scaly areas on their cheeks, scalp, or the front of their arms and legs.
Children and adults usually have very itchy, red rashes on the back of the neck and knees and in elbow creases. You may also have small bumps and flaky skin. The rash may also develop on the face, wrists, and forearms.
If you scratch, your skin can get thick, dark, and scarred. Itchiness is usually worse at night when you go to bed.
Scratching can also lead to infection. You’ll notice red bumps that hurt and can be filled with pus. Be sure to see your doctor if this happens.
Other symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:
- Scaly, dry skin
- Rash that bubbles up then weeps clear fluid
- Cracked skin that hurts and sometimes bleeds
- Skin creasing on the palms of the hand or under the eye
- Darkening of the skin around the eyes
Atopic Dermatitis Causes
Doctors aren’t sure what causes eczema. It seems to run in families, so if one of your parents or siblings has it, there may be a stronger chance that you or your child will have it, too.
Kids with it sometimes have someone in the family who has allergies, hay fever, or asthma. Some experts think that makes them more likely to get eczema. About half of the kids who get it will also get hay fever or asthma.
Living somewhere that’s often cold or has a lot of pollution may increase your chances of getting it, as well.
Food allergies don’t cause atopic dermatitis. But having atopic dermatitis may raise your risk for food allergies, such as to peanuts for example.
Atopic dermatitis isn’t contagious. You can’t catch it or give it to someone else.
Atopic Dermatitis Triggers
Your skin might be fine for a long time. But then something happens to cause a rash or itchiness. Some things that trigger atopic dermatitis or make it worse include:
- Strong soaps and detergents
- Some fabrics, like wool or scratchy materials
- Perfumes, skincare products, and makeup
- Pollen and mold
- Animal dander
- Tobacco smoke
- Stress and anger
- Dry winter air/low humidity
- Long or hot showers/baths
- Dry skin
- Skin infections or especially dry skin
- Certain hormones
- Dust or sand
- Certain foods (usually eggs, dairy products, wheat, soy, and nuts)
Atopic Dermatitis Diagnosis
If your doctor thinks you may have atopic dermatitis, they’ll start by asking you about your medical history and do a physical exam. They may also suggest a skin patch allergy test.
This kind of test can help you and your doctor figure out if your rashes are caused by an allergy to something you touch. You wear skin patches that have small amounts of things you might be allergic to in them for a couple of days. About 2 days after you take the patches off, your doctor will see if you have a rash around any of them.
Atopic Dermatitis Treatments and Home Remedies
You can’t cure eczema, but your doctor may suggest some medication for your symptoms. These might include steroid creams or ointments for mild flares or steroid pills for more severe cases.
Other treatments may include:
- Antihistamines to control itching, especially at night
- Light therapy
- Wet dressings
- Other skin creams
You can do a few things at home to ease your flares:
- Take warm oatmeal baths. Antioxidants in ground oatmeal may help ease inflammation and itching. Take a 10-minute bath, then moisturize your skin right away.
- Use a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air can help keep your skin from drying out and being itchy.
- Don’t scratch your skin. Try putting pressure on itchy areas instead of scratching them, and keep your nails trimmed. With children, you may want to have them wear gloves at night to keep them from scratching while they sleep.
- Wear loose clothing that won’t bother your skin. Loose-fitting clothes won’t rub against your skin, and they can help keep you from sweating.
To treat it in babies (infantile eczema), use bath oils and creams after a bath to keep their skin moist and ease irritation. It’s also best to keep them out of extreme hot or cold temperatures.
Dandruff is a common scalp condition in which flakes of dead skin falls off the scalp. It is most disturbing because of the sense of embarrassment attached to it. The main causes of Dandruff are dry skin, overuse of detergent based shampoos, not using shampoo often enough and skin allergies. Stress may also be an underlying factor, as also sensitivity to hair care products. Dandruff mostly appears during a change of weather, especially with the onset of winter. The symptoms also include marked itching and tingling sensation in the scalp. Dandruff may affect a person of any age group or gender.Homeopathy is a wonderful alternative treatment option for Dandruff. Homeopathic medicines for Dandruff are safe and effective in their action. Homeopathic medicines for Dandruff and other ailments give us the advantage of using the body’s own restorative processes to make it disease-free.
What Are Allergies?
Allergies are abnormal immune system reactions to things that are typically harmless to most people. When a person is allergic to something, the immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harming the body.
Substances that cause allergic reactions — such as some foods, dust, plant pollen, or medicines — are known as allergens.
Allergies are a major cause of illness in India. Up to 80 million Indians, including millions of kids, have some type of allergy. In fact, allergies cause about 2 million missed school days each year.
How Do Allergies Happen?
An allergy happens when the immune system& overreacts to an allergen, treating it as an invader and trying to fight it off. This causes symptoms that can range from annoying to serious or even life-threatening.
In an attempt to protect the body, the immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies then cause certain cells to release chemicals (including histamine) into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen “invader.”
It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergic reactions. Reactions can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this allergic response again.
Some allergies are seasonal and happen only at certain times of the year (like when pollen counts are high); others can happen anytime someone comes in contact with an allergen. So, when a person with a food allergy eats that particular food or someone who’s allergic to dust mites is exposed to them, they will have an allergic reaction.
Who Gets Allergies?
The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary, which means it can be passed down through genes from parents to their kids. But just because you, your partner, or one of your children might have allergies doesn’t mean that all of your kids will definitely get them. And someone usually doesn’t inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies.
Some kids have allergies even if no family member is allergic, and those who are allergic to one thing are likely to be allergic to others.
What Things Cause Allergies?
Common Airborne Allergens
Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air):
- Dust mites microscopic insects that live all around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that fall off our bodies every day. They’re the main allergic component of house dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of India and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.
- Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often called hay fever or rose fever). Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen. Pollen counts measure how much pollen is in the air and can help people with allergies predict how bad their symptoms might be on any given day. Pollen counts are usually higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days, and lowest when it’s chilly and wet.
- Molds are fungi that thrive both indoors and outside in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.
- Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the saliva gets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn’t cleaned.
- Cockroaches are also a major household allergen, especially in inner cities. Exposure to cockroach-infested buildings may be a major cause of the high rates of asthma in inner-city kids.
Common Food Allergens
Up to 2 million, or 1-2%, of kids in India, are affected by food allergies. Eight foods account for most of those: cow’s milk, eggs, fish and shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, and wheat.
- Cow’s milk(or cow’s milk protein). Between 2% and 3% of children younger than 3 years old are allergic to the proteins found in cow’s milk and cow’s milk-based formulas. Most formulas are cow’s milk-based. Milk proteins also can be a hidden ingredient in prepared foods. Many kids outgrow milk allergies.
- Eggs. Egg allergy can be a challenge for parents. Eggs are used in many of the foods kids eat — and in many cases, they’re “hidden” ingredients. Kids tend to outgrow egg allergies as they get older.
- Fish and shellfish. These allergies are some of the more common adult food allergies and ones that people usually don’t outgrow. Fish and shellfish are from different families of food, so having an allergy to one does not necessarily mean someone will be allergic to the other.
- Peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut allergies are on the rise, and as are allergies to tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews. Most people do not outgrow peanut or tree nut allergies.
- Soy. Soy allergy is more common among babies than older kids. Many infants who are allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to the protein in soy formulas. Soy proteins are often a hidden ingredient in prepared foods.
- Wheat. Wheat proteins are found in many foods, and some are more obvious than others. Although wheat allergy is often confused with celiac disease, there is a difference. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). But a wheat allergy can do more than making a person feel ill — like other food allergies, it also can cause a life-threatening reaction.
Other Common Allergens
- Insect allergy.For most kids, being stung by an insect means swelling, redness, and itching at the site of the bite. But for those with insect venom allergy, an insect sting can cause more serious symptoms.
- Antibiotics are the most common type of medicines that cause allergic reactions. Many other others, including over-the-counter medicines (those you can buy without a prescription), also can cause allergic reactions.
- Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make people break out in hives. Usually, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products, though it may not always be an allergic reaction. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides used on lawns or plants also can cause allergic reactions in some people.
Some kids also have what are called cross-reactions. For example, kids who are allergic to birch pollen might have symptoms when they eat an apple because that apple is made up of a protein similar to one in the pollen. And for reasons that aren’t clear, people with a latex allergy (found in latex gloves and some kinds of hospital equipment) are more likely to be allergic to foods like kiwi, chestnuts, avocados, and bananas.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Allergies?
The type and severity of allergy symptoms vary from allergy to allergy and person to person. Allergies may show up as itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy nose, throat tightness, trouble breathing, vomiting, and even fainting or passing out.
Kids with severe allergies (such as those to food, medicine, or insect venom) can be at risk for a sudden, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can happen just seconds after being exposed to an allergen or not until a few hours later (if the reaction is from a food).
So doctors will want anyone diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency. Epinephrine works quickly against serious allergy symptoms; for example, it reduces swelling and raises low blood pressure.
Airborne Allergy Symptoms
Airborne allergens can cause something known as allergic rhinitis, which usually develops by 10 years of age, reaches its peak in the teens or early twenties, and often disappears between the ages of 40 and 60.
Symptoms can include:
- itchy nose and/or throat
- stuffy nose
When symptoms also include itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, this is called allergic conjunctivitis. (Dark circles that sometimes show up around the eyes are called allergic “shiners.”)
Food, Medicines, or Insect Allergy Symptoms
- trouble breathing
- throat tightness
- itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
- a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness
Allergic reactions can vary. Sometimes, a person can have a mild reaction that affects only one body system, like hives on the skin. Other times, the reaction can be more serious and involve more than one part of the body. A mild reaction in the past does not mean that future reactions will be mild.
How Are Allergies Diagnosed?
Some allergies are fairly easy to identify but others are less obvious because they can be similar to other conditions.
If your child has cold-like symptoms lasting longer than a week or two or develops a “cold” at the same time every year, talk with your doctor, who might diagnose an allergy and prescribe medicines, or may refer you to an allergist (a doctor who is an expert in the treatment of allergies) for allergy tests.
To find the cause of an allergy, allergists usually do skin tests for the most common environmental and food allergens. A skin test can work in one of two ways:
- A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is scratched with a small pricking device.
- A small amount of allergen is injected just under the skin. This test stings a little but isn’t painful.
After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area (like a mosquito bite) appears at the site, the test is positive.
Blood tests may be done instead for kids with skin conditions, those who are on certain medicines, or those who are very sensitive to a particular allergen.
Even if testing shows an allergy, a child also must have symptoms to be diagnosed with an allergy. For example, a toddler who has a positive test for dust mites and sneezes a lot while playing on the floor would be considered allergic to dust mites.
How Are Allergies Treated?
Good allergy treatment is based on your medical history, the results of your allergy tests and how severe your symptoms are. It can include three treatment types: avoiding allergens, medicine options and/or immunotherapy (allergens given as a shot or placed under the tongue).
Some people don’t take allergy medicines because they don’t think their symptoms are serious. They may say, “It’s only my allergies.” This can result in painful problems such as sinus or ear infections. Don’t take the risk. There are many safe prescription and over-the-counter medicines to relieve allergy symptoms.
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