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children and allergies

Children and Allergies

A child who sneezes or coughs a lot, who frequently develops a rash or hives, or who gets a stomachache, cramps or nausea after eating certain foods may have allergies. Any child may develop allergies, but they are more common in children from families with a history of such reactions.

Early identification of childhood allergies will improve your child’s quality of life, reduce the number of missed school days and help you avoid having to use sick time or vacation days to care for your child.

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Cow's Milk: When and How to Introduce It

Cow’s Milk: When and How to Introduce It

Why do experts recommend waiting to introduce cow’s milk until a baby is 12 months old?

There are several reasons to delay the introduction of cow’s milk until your baby reaches his first birthday.

Babies can’t digest cow’s milk as completely or easily as breast milk or formula. Cow’s milk contains high concentrations of protein and minerals, which can tax your baby’s immature kidneys. In addition, cow’s milk doesn’t have the right amounts of iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients for infants. It may even cause iron-deficiency anemia in some babies, since cow’s milk protein can irritate the lining of the digestive system, leading to blood in the stools. Finally, cow’s milk doesn’t provide the healthiest types of fat for growing babies. Read more

Stomach Flu Treatment

Stomach Flu Treatment & Survival Guide

What is the stomach flu?
The “stomach flu” is really a misnomer, explains Barbara Frankowski, MD, professor of pediatrics at Vermont Children’s Hospital in Burlington. “It’s not the flu that you get protection from when you get the flu shot,” says Frankowski. She prefers to use the term stomach bug to describe a group of viruses that can upset your stomach, bringing on nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Read more

eczema

Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition that usually begins before your baby is 12 months old. The affected skin is dry, red, and itchy. Sometimes these areas of skin can become cracked, weepy and then scab over.

Eczema can be well controlled and there are ways you can help your child feel more comfortable. For many children, appropriate skin care and cortisone treatment will need to be continued for many years.

Eczema is not contagious. Read more

Measles

7 Things Parents Need to Know About Measles

1. Measles spreads like wildfire.

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses we know,” says Dr. Vinita Dubey, associate medical officer of health for Toronto Public Health. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), measles can infect 90 percent of those exposed who are not immunized. It’s transmitted through droplets in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, through direct contact, or through mucus or saliva on things like shared cups or toys. If you suspect measles, don’t bring your child into a crowded paediatrician’s office. “Instead, call ahead to ensure the doctor can make sure the office is empty, give your child a mask and protect staff,” says Dr. Dubey. If measles is diagnosed, your child should be kept home for four days after the rash appears to avoid spreading the illness to someone else, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Read more

Child's Cough

What Your Child’s Cough Is Trying To Tell You

There it goes again…and again…and again. It’s the sound that grates on your nerves at the same time it rips out your heart: your child’s cough. But, it may be trying to tell you something—if only you’ll listen. Here are the five telltale cough sounds that offer clues to what may be ailing your child:

1. Barking

It may be croup. Croup is a viral illness that causes swelling and inflammation of the vocal cords. The cough sounds like a bark and may also be accompanied by stridor—a harsh, high-pitched wheeze—when breathing in. Read more

peanut allergy

Peanut Allergy

What happens if my child has a peanut allergy?

If your child has a peanut allergy, her immune system will react after she’s eaten peanuts, because it wrongly sees this food as a threat.

Allergic reactions to peanuts are often mild, but can sometimes cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. So it’s understandable that parents worry if their child is diagnosed with a peanut allergy. Read more

How to Keep Your Baby Healthy This Winter

How to Keep Your Baby Healthy This Winter

How can I keep my baby from getting sick this winter?

Good question, since as sure as the mercury drops, cold and flu viruses make the rounds through homes and daycare facilities each year. If only there were a way to guarantee that your baby won’t get sick. Is there?

“Not really,” says Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Many common winter viruses are airborne, so if your baby takes a breath within, say, 4 to 6 feet of someone who’s sick, he can easily catch the bug himself. Read more

Teething Toddler

Your Teething Toddler

By the time your child celebrates his first birthday, he’ll probably have a few teeth (the better to bite into that slice of cake with). Which teeth is a teething toddler most likely to have at this age? The lower central incisors (the two front bottom teeth) that probably came in around the seven-month mark, and their top-level counterparts, the upper central incisors, which probably followed a few weeks later. Although some tots start cutting teeth very early, others are late bloomers. A child’s dental DNA (based on Mom’s and Dad’s teething patterns) typically determines when those primary teeth pop through — so your 12-month-old can have as many as eight teeth or as few as one or two (or maybe even none!). Read more