Category Archives: Health Guide

Myths about vaccines and autism

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) encompass a wide range of symptoms, skills and levels of disability that an individual may have. This disability falls into the category of developmental disorders and it is caused by differences in brain functioning. This spectrum is characterized by a lack of communication and socialization skills, as well as repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. People who have it communicate, behave, and learn differently, developing from an early age.

The information that the media spreads about vaccines and autism causes a lot of fear and doubt among parents. We may hear many opinions, but the important thing is to know if they are backed by scientific evidence or not. Research has shown that vaccines and autism are not related. Within the last two decades, a wide range of studies in various countries found that vaccines are not associated with autism.

In 2013 the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Diseases) conducted a study in which they proved that vaccines don’t cause autism. Since 2003, the CDC has conducted many studies that reject the association between vaccines and autism. The medical journal Pediatrics has also conducted studies that didn’t find any link between the effects of vaccines and the risk of developing autism. Many more research has been conducted around the world and the evidence and the scientific community agree that vaccines don’t cause autism.

My baby has Jaundice, what should I do?

If you notice that your baby has a yellow appearance both in his skin and the whites of his eyes, it might be a sign of jaundice. Jaundice is a common condition in infants that occurs when there is too much bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow substance produced by the body to replace old red blood cells. The liver is responsible for processing and disposing bilirubin through feces. Now, since your baby’s liver is still developing, it can’t eliminate everything that it accumulates in the blood causing the yellow look. Jaundice may appear since the second or third day of life or after the first week. You will notice it first in your baby’s face and eventually the color will spread and appear in his legs.

Why does jaundice occur?

There are several reasons why this may occur. For example:

• High level of red blood cells.

• Lack of important proteins.

• The immaturity of the liver.

• The intestine reabsorbs bilirubin before it’s eliminated.

What are the types of jaundice?

• Physiological: The most common type. It appears between the second and fourth day of birth and it disappears when your baby is one to two weeks old.

• Premature: Usually occurs in premature babies due to the immaturity in their development. It must be treated soon to avoid complications.

• Associated with breastfeeding: It can occur when your baby is not getting enough milk.

• Associated with breast milk: It is rare but some babies develop jaundice due to substances found in breast milk. Usually, they get better after the third or twelfth week.

• Blood type incompatibility: It may occur when your baby has a different blood type than you. By having a different blood type, the mother’s body can create antibodies that destroy her baby’s red blood cells, creating an accumulation of bilirubin at birth.

If you notice that your baby’s skin is turning yellow, he has a high temperature, or that the jaundice he already had is spreading, contact your doctor to determine an accurate diagnosis and necessary treatment.

The best ways to calm a fussy baby

Crying is the way babies communicate their discomfort, hunger, or need for attention. It’s quite normal for babies to be fussy on average about 2 – 4 hours per day, usually at the same time every day. After a few weeks, the crying diminishes, and by around three months, most babies only cry for approximately an hour a day.

All babies cry, but some do it significantly more than others. This is known as colic, and it is crying that begins and ends for no clear reason, lasts at least three hours a day and happens at least three times a week for a period of 1 – 3 months.

It’s important to keep in mind that excessive crying may have a medical or physical cause, so first you must try to identify if there’s a reason behind the crying by looking for patterns. Does it happen at certain times of the day or in specific situations like a crowded place or right after feeding? Can you tell if there are differences in his or her cries for food, fatigue, etc? Keep a record of this so that you can compare with previous weeks.

Continue reading

Health Corner: Pinkeye – causes, symptoms, and treatment

Does your child have pink, itchy, or watery eyes? He may have conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis, better known as “pinkeye”, may sound a bit scary but it’s actually the most common eye infection among children. Pinkeye is an infection of the conjunctiva, the membrane coating of the eyes and lids. The main symptoms of the infection are when the white part of the eye turns pink or red, as the eye’s blood vessels become inflamed. You might also notice your little one has dried secretions around his eyelids or some swelling. 

One thing you should be aware of is that not all pinkeye infections are treated equally. There are three types of conjunctivitis – viral, bacterial, and allergic and this is what each of them does:

Continue reading

Health Corner: Baby Reflux Symptoms and Tips

Does your baby vomit, is irritable, and cries often after eating? If he does, he is probably suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux (GOR/reflux).  Whether a baby is breastfed or formula-fed, it doesn’t matter – they can both suffer from reflux. This ailment occurs when food and stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, and sometimes out of the mouth. Babies usually suffer from reflux because the ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus (which opens and closes to allow food to enter the stomach) hasn’t fully developed yet. This means that when your baby’s tummy is full, milk and acid can come back up the food pipe, causing discomfort. Although this problem is messy and may be frustrating, you shouldn’t be alarmed – it is actually one of the most common baby feeding problems! In fact, around 25% of all babies experience some degree of it. The good news is that GOR usually resolves on its own without any treatment by 12 to 18 months of age. Only about 5% of infants over the age of 12 months will continue to regurgitate.

 

But how can you know if your baby suffers from reflux? Here are some of the signs you should lookout for:

  • Regurgitates milk/food
  • Irritability
  • Feeds poorly
  • Coughs frequently
  • Vomits frequently
  • Cries after being fed
  • Experiences discomfort, gas or abdominal pain after feeding (heartburn)

 

If your baby experiences mild reflux but is feeding well, the following tips may help:

Continue reading

Health Corner: Teething safe remedies and dangers

Babies usually show signs of their first tooth between 4 and 7 months of age, although some early developers may begin to show at 3 months. This milestone is considered one of the most exhausting and frustrating for parents. When a baby’s teeth start to come out, he tends to be very fussy, which means he might be crying more often than usual and may even get a fever. Some common signs parents can look out for are: irritability, decreased appetite, increased drooling, and inflamed gums. Far too often, parents use fast-acting numbing medications to soothe their baby’s pain and although this might provide a quick fix, by doing so they might be using harmful drugs that can in the worst cases even be fatal.Health officials, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recently issued a warning about the dangers of using oral anesthetics to help babies relieve their teething pain. In fact, the FDA notified caregivers to discontinue the use of viscous lidocaine and benzocaine products for children under 2, an ingredient that is commonly found in popular products such as: Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Hurricaine, Viscous Lidocaine, and Orabase. Although most of these items are over the counter products and claim to provide instant pain relief, they can put your baby’s life at risk. Continue reading

Health Corner: 10 ways to reduce the risk of SIDS

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) – a parent’s worst nightmare- is the leading cause of death for babies 1 to 12 months old in the United States. SIDS is not a disease or a virus, but a diagnosis given when there is no apparent cause for the sudden death of a child under one. SIDS generally strikes during a baby’s sleep, between 10:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m., while babies are on their cribs. As the name implies, it is sudden and comes without warning. A seemingly healthy baby can suddenly succumb to SIDS. Even with years of research, it still remains unpredictable. It is the uncertainty and the lack of answers what makes it so scary to parents.Before the nighttime worry keeps you from sleeping, know that there are things you can do to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS. Below are 10 recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). These have been tied to a 50% decrease of SIDS cases in the United States:

How to: First aid for choking

Since choking can be a life-threatening emergency, staying calm is essential — and the best way to ensure that you keep your cool is knowing what to do!

Hopefully you will never be in a situation where you’ll have to give first aid to your little one, but babies tend to bring everything into their mouths. This is a normal part of his development and exploration, but also might putting him at an increased risk for choking! At this age, babies tend to choke on food, little toys, and get caught in drawstrings and curtain cords. Basically everything that surrounds them may be life treating!

We give you some tips and steps to follow if you find yourself in this situation.

How do you know that your baby is choking?

Be alert to signs, something may be blocking your child’s airway if your baby …

  • Is suddenly unable to cry or cough
  • Makes odd noises or no sound all while opening his mouth
  • Skin turns bright red or blue

What to do if your baby is choking? Continue reading