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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How to Treat Supot-supot or Skin Asthma or Hives?




When I was a child, I and my siblings often suffer from a skin disorder locally called Supot-Supot. This Supot-supot, I later found out is called by the doctors as Skin asthma or Hives.

Hives or skin asthma usually starts with small, almost a dot, red, itchy, raised rashes that may appear in any part of the body. As the rashes are scratched, it grows bigger and bigger until they join together.

Because we live in a barrio my mother thought the cause of the rashes is kulam or a witch’s inflicted disease. Treatment was then for us drinking a concoction of bitter herbal medicines. And for the relief of itch, she would apply Caladryl on our rashes. She would have us dress in black to make the rashes go away (it always puzzled me how). And she would give us a warm bath and make us stay in room with all the windows closed.

I never believed in my mother’s beliefs, because instead of relief, we suffered more with her remedies. So when my daughter suffered from hives, I didn’t do, not even one, of the remedies she treated us with. Instead I went to my pediatrician and I learned that the disease is an allergy, and I learned to properly deal with it.

Hives is very itchy. It’s painfully itchy. A child won’t be able to avoid scratching. And this is not good because the scratching causes the rashes to grow bigger (as it was mentioned earlier). It may as well cause abrasions or bruises which may lead to skin infections.

Causes:

  • Hives is an allergic reaction. So it is caused by a wide array of substances. For example:
  • Medicine
  • Food like shellfish, citrus, fish, eggs, nuts even milk
  • Pollen
  • Insect bites
  • Animal fur/hair like that of cats and dogs



Hives may also be caused by some conditions like:
  • Sudden change of temperature
  • Stress
  • Extreme temperature (either hot or cold)
  • Heavy sweating
  • Infections
  • Diseases



Treatment:

Hives doesn’t need to be treated. The rashes usually go away in a few days. But if it’s causing difficulty in breathing, nausea and dizziness, fever and weakness and if it has persisted for at least more than 4 weeks, it is best to see a doctor.

 Remedy to alleviate the itching:
  • Cold compress – you can use water, milk, tea, or boiled guava leaves. When we say cold, it means cool enough, not freezing. Wet a cloth with any of the suggested and cover the rashes with it. Let stand until the coolness disappear.
  • Take a cool bath – not necessarily icy cool, just the normal tap water temperature. My pediatrician advised me to add oatmeal. They have this powdered oatmeal in sachets specifically for baths. If you do not have oatmeal you can also use baking soda. ½ box for every bath.
  • Aloe Vera Gelly – I have discovered this lotion years ago and it helps a lot. It’s a Forever Living Company product. It’s all natural so it is safe. It also helps cool the rashes.


IMPORTANT:

  • Avoid scratching. But since children cannot avoid it, have your child use mittens or soft cloth gloves to help prevent him from bruising himself.
  • Have your child wear long clothes to cover the rashes that he may not be able to scratch it with his finger nails.
  • Never give your child a warm bath. It will only make the rashes itch more!
  • Watch your child for signs of weakness or difficulty in breathing, should these conditions be present, don’t waste time. Bring him to the hospital at once.
  • Discover the triggering conditions so as you know to avoid. 

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Home Remedy when Kids have Sore Throat

Sore throat is a common health problem among children, but usually is left unattended so it progresses to more severe cases like cough, cold and even flu


Symptoms:


When your child complains of an itchy throat, that's the start
Hoarse voice,
Difficulty in speaking because the throat is sore,
Sometimes fever is present


Remedy:
Have your child drink lots of water, and freshly squeezed citrus juices, preferably with less sugar.
Gargle with lukewarm water mixed with vinegar

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

What to do when your child has a flu.

Flu

Flu is not as simple as we thought. It is caused by a virus and it is transferred from one person to another through coughing, sneezing, sharing of eating utensils and having a direct contact with people sick from it. Recovery can be expected in 1-2 weeks time, but there are instances when the infection may develop to life-threatening complications.

Children are mostly at risk because their immune system is not yet as developed as to that of the adults although, it affects all ages.

Symptoms:
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness or feelings of fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint aches
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Cold
  • Irritated, watery eyes
  • Fever and chills 


What to do when your child is down with fl?
  • Give paracetamol to relieve the fever and pain.
  • Rest and plenty of water are necessary.
  • Monitor the temperature.
  • If fever persists and your child is shivering or is having chills, better consult a doctor. 


Caution: 
  • Don’t give aspirin to your children.
  • Flu is caused by a virus so don’t give your child antibiotics unless your pedia instructs you to. (antibiotics are for bacteria caused diseases)


Prevention:
  • Prevention is better than cure. Have your child vaccinated against flu.
  • Teach your child to practice good personal hygiene, like proper hand washing. Hand sanitizers are also a great help when hand washing can’t be possible.
  • Teach your child to avoid touching his eyes, nose mouth and to cover her mouth and nose when someone sneezes or coughs near or in front of him.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Common infections - Colds and Coughs

Colds and coughs are the most common infections our children might ever have. They are very easy to catch, and it is ever present the whole year roud...

So how to help our children when they have cold and cough?

  • Steam- steam is very effective in clearing off phlegm, it is a very effective decongestant, and it is very easy to do. Boil a water, put it in a bowl, or a cup and have your child inhale the steam. Be careful in handling the cup to avoid spilling on to your child.
  • Fruit Juice- this is a natural way to combat infections. Freshly squeezed fruit juices will boost the immune system of your child, and thus enabling him to fight the cold and cough virus. (and this is not just for colds and coughs, but a very effective way to prevent diseases)
  • lots of fluids- have your child drink plenty of water...
  • chicken soup- it seems a myth, but its true! chicken soup with a lot of ginger and a squeeze of lemon juice helps colds and cough go away!
  • have your child rest

How to help protect your child from these common infections?

  • encourage them to wash hands
  • encourage them use alcohol often
  • avoid going to congested places
  • always cover their mouth and nosess when someone sneezes or when they're close to someone who has a cough and cold.
  • encourage them to drink vitamins everyday
  • encourage them to eat fruits and vegetables

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Amoebiasis

Amoebiasis



Amoebiasis is an illness caused by parasites - amoebas, to be specific; the parasite responsible is Entamoeba hystolitica.


Amoebiasis is different from other diarrheas because the linings of the large intestine are eaten away by the parasites and thus creating lesions. That’s why there is the presence of blood in stools of amoebic diarrhea. The parasite is also invasive. If left untreated, the parasites may reach the bloodstream and would then invade neighboring organs in the stomach. The most common is the liver - amoebic hepatitis. The lungs, kidneys, heart and even the brain may also be invaded. Our pediatrician has already seen amoebic meningitis, the patient died (the patient had recurrent amoebiasis which started when she was still a baby).


Mode of Transmission

*Hand to mouth.
*Flies which carries the infective cysts on their feet.
*Dust
*Sewage contaminated water
*Poor hygienic food preparation practices
*Poor hygienic toilet practices


As a parent, we must know that aside from hand to mouth transmission, infection from food contaminated with the viable cyst (due to unhygienic preparations, or failure of the food handler to wash her/his hands before preparing food), also from contaminated water and beverage drinks (due to sewage contamination, or unhygienic preparation of the beverages) are more likely to cause this disease.


Symptoms:

*Diarrhea with watery stool. The stool has no offensive smell, in contrast to diarrheas caused by bacteria and viruses. The color is greenish brown, in some cases bloody, or with flecks of blood. Though mostly, the stool has this yellow thick thing like phlegm.



*Fever is also present, and it does not go away even with anti-fever medications. The temperature ranges from 38C to 39C.


*Vague stomach discomfort and pain (especially those with severe cases), and sometimes vomiting (not everyone with amoebiasis vomit).


At the sign of these symptoms, it is important that parents bring their child or the patient in that matter, to the hospital. Amoebiasis cannot be treated by anti-diarrhea medications. Though there is one thing that should be done at home, rehydrate. Rehydration is very important because in any case of diarrhea, the first and foremost threat is dehydration. As I have mentioned, hospitalization is very important with amoebiasis. It is not possible to treat this illness with home medications. Over the counter anti-parasitic medications can’t treat amoebiasis, it may in fact worsen the situation.


What to do to avoid getting sick of it.

*Wash your hands. Wash your children’s hands before eating, after playing, and after coming from school. Wash hands after using the toilet.


*Children love to put their hands in their mouths, so teach your child not to.


*Cook food thoroughly.


*Drink water that you are sure went through quality purification. If this is not possible, boil your drinking water.


*Clean the bathroom and the toilet properly and regularly, use disinfectants.


*And the most important, eat healthy foods. Live a healthy lifestyle. Feed your child with healthy foods. Give them vitamins, fruits and vegetables. Since we cannot assure that everything that we eat is clean, since we are not in control with how all the food that we eat are handled and prepared, the best we could do then is prepare our children’s and our tummies and bodies to be able to fight infections that come our way.


There is also important information that parents should be aware of. Amoebas are transmitted by so-called healthy carriers. These people have amoebas in their tummies, but they do not get sick of it. They pass millions and millions of infective cysts in their feces (stools) everyday. And if they don’t practice hygienic lifestyle, they transmit amoebas through their hands.


My pediatrician has also seen a healthy carrier patient, she is a toddler. Her mother got curious so she had her daughter’s stool examined. To the disbelief of the mother and also our pediatrician, the child’s stool came out positive. The whole family had themselves examined. Treatment of healthy carriers is very much different from those with amoebiasis. And it is also important that healthy carriers get treated because, they may not have diarrhea, but they may, in time, develop amoebic hepatitis or other extra-intestinal amoebiasis.


There was also this one case wherein a newborn was infected and developed diarrhea, again it is unbelievable because the baby was breastfed. The whole family had themselves examined and they were all carriers.


So one more thing that we parents could do is have our children’s stool examined and theirs also, once in every 3 or four months. Especially those that already had infections, regular stool monitoring is important to prevent recurring or extra-intestinal infections.


In every diseases and sickness that pose threat to our health and our children’s, our main shield and fight is strengthen our and our kids’ immune system. Prevention is more important than cure.

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Gastroenteritis/ Stomach Flu/ Stomach Virus

This is one of the most common diseases of children. And most often this disease gets better without medical attention. Although mismanagement of the disease could lead to serious complications.

What causes Gastroenteritis/stomach flu or stomach virus?

- Bacteria (most common is E.coli)
- Viruses
- Intolerance to milk

When do we say our child has this disease?

- Loose bowel movement
- Upset stomach
- Vomiting
- Fever

What to do when our kids has this disease?

*The first most important thing that parents should do is to provide rehydration for their kids. They should give them rehydration solutions that can be bought from the drugstores like pedialyte. Most of these solutions’ names end with yte.

*And also give them apples, bananas to soothe their stomachs and easy to digest foods like crackers and rice, and chicken soup. Avoid sweet foods and dairy products until their stomach gets better. Also avoid heavily seasoned foods.

*
Give your kids also yogurt, and any pro-biotic drinks.

*You could also give your kids natural health products like aloe vera. This is tried and tested. Every time my kids have stomach flu, I give them aloe vera gel, and instantly they are relieved.

*And most of all, your children needs rest, so if possible don’t allow them to play games which need physical activities.


What are the warning signs that your child needs medical help?

*If your child is still a very young baby, 6 months younger, the first sign of a loose bowel movement, especially if it is bloody and has mucus, go to the doctor at once.

*If a sign of dehydration is present, especially babies, go to your pediatrician at once. Signs of dehydration could be lesser urination, sunken eyes, weakness; no tears would come out when they cry, dry lips. For babies, sunken fontanel is a sign of dehydration.

*When your kids passed a bloody stool, visit your doctor at once. Bloody stool is a sign and symptom of acute E.coli infection, and if this is not maintained, properly, kidney problems may arise as complications.

*If your children’s loose bowel movement is more than 4 days, and there’s no sign of your children’s getting better, visit your pediatrician the soonest time possible.

*If loose bowel movement is accompanied by high fever and vomiting, definitely, a doctor’s help is needed, because in this cases, your children will get dehydrated faster than you expect.

*If intake of food or fluids are hampered your children really need a doctor right away.

How to avoid this disease?

!Always wash hands. Not just your kids but you too, or the person who is preparing their food.

!Cook your foods properly. E.coli infection is brought about by eating improperly cooked food.

!If your child is in a public place, have his drinks, or foods covered. Dust has a lot of germs.

!Sanitation is very important. Clean hands, clean clothes, clean environment. Always wash or take a bath after playing outdoors especially if played with soil or sand.

!And most of all strengthen the immune system of your child so that they will have a defense from infections and other diseases. You could do this by ensuring they are eating the right foods, not junks. Encourage them to eat fruits and vegetables. Drink fruit juices and not sodas and those fizzy drinks. Drink milk and prepared pro-biotic foods like yogurt. And make sure they have their daily dose of vitamins.

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