Nasal blockage & its home remedy

While suffering from common cold, a baby’s nose very often becomes stuffy, congested and blocked by discharge. As neonates (0-28days old babies) are obligatory nasal breathers, their normal breathing process become difficult. Nasal blockage also creates a very irritating and disturbing sensation in children, while sleeping or remaining wide awake, and badly interferes with breast feeding. So, whenever your child has nasal discharge, considering that the nose is blocked, some easy to apply home measures could be taken. Clean the liquid secretion by the nose using a cotton bud. Insert the cotton bud into the nose and twirl it round and round until the nose is totally clean. Then apply two drops of Norsol drop to each nostril.  After that, gently and for a short while only, give a  massage outside the nose. It will soften the hard crust inside the nose and help in drainage, thereby facilitating comfortable breathing for the baby. Apply this process 3-4 times daily until relief. Norsol is normal saline (0.9%), and is not harmful for the baby .Without consulting your doctor about your baby, you should not use nasal drops containing Xylometazoline or Oxymetazoline; their frequent use may destroy nasal mucosa.

Helminth (Worm) hazards in children

Helminth (Worm) infestation is a very common health problem in children. Every child, more or less, experiences this problem in spite of getting adequate care. Children are more prone to developing helminthic infestation than adults, as they tend to introduce almost everything into their mouths which they come by. The child may remains irritable  as helminth creates an itching sensation around his/her anal area. It should be treated promptly because it is an important cause of anemia and malnutrition in children. There are some common recommendations-if the child is less than one year old, anthelminthic(a drug for killing worms)should be given, provided there is strong evidence of worm infestation , either in stool(naked eye/stool test) or at the anal area of the child; otherwise it is not used routinely for kids of this age. IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness) recommends giving anthelminthic to every child at every six month intervals from the age of one year.These drugs can be used in the following doses-Tab.Albendazole(200mg) single dose for children 1-2 years ,Tab.Albendazole(400mg) single dose for children 2 years and above,Tab.Mebendazole(100mg) twice daily for three days. Every member of a family should take anthelminthic simultaneously at the same time & the bedding & clothing should be washed with boiled water; otherwise it will not be effective.There are some misconceptions among general people regarding helminth & anthelminthics. Some of them, for example, are-1) anthelminthic cannot be given during hot weather, 2) excessive salivation is a sign of helminth infestation, 3) excess sweet intake causes helminth infestation, etc. These are all baseless.

Home treatment for diarrhoea in children

The first and foremost risk of diarrhea is dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include hollowed and dried out eyes(sunken eyes), a dried out tongue, restlessness/irritability of the child, excessive thirst, inability to drink, loss of skin turgor, reduced urine output, lethargy/unconsciousness etc. The degree of symptoms depends on the degree of dehydration. If the baby has diarrhea then some steps could be taken at home rather than rushing to a doctor. For example, a child who is exclusively breastfed should be breastfed more frequently and for a longer period of time; ORS or clean water can be given in addition to  breast milk. Those children who are not exclusively breastfed can be given ORS, rice water, chirar pani,lobon gurer sorbot(sweetened drink made up of molasses(gur),table salt and water),green coconut water or clean water. Now the question arises, how much of the fluid should be given? If the child is less than 2 years old, he/she should be given 50-100ml(10-20 teaspoons) of it after each loose stool. If the child is 2 years old or older, then the amount should be between 100 and 200m(20-40 teaspoons). Only the dehydration part has been addressed up till now. Another thing that is used for treating diarrhea in kids is zinc, which is very useful in this case. If the child has an age between 6 months and 5 years, then one 10mg zinc tablet should be given each day for 10 days. If the age is between 2 months and 6 months, then half a zinc tablet should be given per day for 10 days. To dissolve the zinc tablet, a small amount(1-2 teaspoons) of clean water, ORS, or expressed breast milk can be used. The thing that is to be remembered is that home treatment of diarrhea basically means more fluid and more food. However if there are excessive symptoms of dehydration, then the child must be taken to a hospital.Breastfeeding must not be stopped in diarrhea. N.B- Based on IMCI protocol

Nutritional Suppliments For Preterm, Low Birth Weight Infants

All preterm, low birth weight infants must get a variety of supplements after birth. Folic acid, Zinc and Calcium should be given up to forty weeks, and Multivitamin and Iron up to a year. Suppose, one’s baby was born after 30 weeks of conception, i.e. ten weeks before the average delivery date. If so, Folic acid, Zinc & Calcium should be given for eight weeks(40-32=8). Again, if one’s baby was born at the 34th week, i.e. six weeks prior to term delivery, the baby will have to receive these supplements for four weeks(40-36=4). However, Multivitamin and Iron should be continued for a year; the exception being Iron,which should be given from the 45th day after the birth of the baby.

             DRUGS                                AMOUNT     WHEN TO START     HOW  LONG TO


DROP VPLEX(Multivitamin) 5 drops ,once daily 15th day of age Up to 1 year of age
TAB.FOLISON5mg(Folic acid) ¼ th tab,once daily 15th day of age **
SYP.PEP(Zinc) 10 drops,once daily 15th day of age **
TAB.CALBO JUNIOR250mg(Calcium) ½ tab,once daily 15th day of age **
DROP COMPIRON(Iron) 2 drops,once daily 45th day of age Upto 1 year of age

**To be continued according to gestational age as mentioned above.

Brand name of drugs is used for reader’s better understanding.

All supplements can be mixed with expressed breast milk.



First haircut of your newborn

There isn’t any hard and first rule or strict recommendation for giving a newborn a haircut. However pediatricians generally give some advice about what rules can be followed. Firstly, the first haircut should be given 2 to 3 months after birth. As about 30% heat loss of the body occurs through the baby’s head, the hair acts as insulator and prevents heat loss. Maintaining a satisfactory body temperature is vital for the baby. Secondly, on giving a haircut, there is the possibility of the scalp (skin of the head) getting cut; consequently it creates conditions for infection. Thirdly, parents should refrain from giving their newborn a haircut in winter.

Oil massage of a newborn

Since ancient times, our grandparents have been practicing the habit of massaging every newborn with oil before giving them their baths. Research has shown that this practice actually helps in the physical development of a child. Oil massage is  recommended by Bangladesh Neonatal Forum. However in most cases it is seen that the massaging is done with mustard oil (locally called ‘SARISAR TEL’).This practice is totally wrong! Pure mustard oil causes pain for babies, as babies have really soft skin, and creates an intense burning sensation. Therefore instead of using mustard oil, only oil that is not harmful to babies’ skin should be applied, such as olive oil, Johnson’s baby oil or oil that is locally manufactured for babies only.Oil massage can be given two times everyday-once in the morning(before bath) & once in the evening.It should not be given in open air because direct air contact can reduce body temparature of the baby.Therefore,massage the baby under sunlight(in the morning) that comes inside the room penetrating the closed glass windows.

Disadvantages of too frequent feeding

Many mothers tend to breastfeed their babies within 10 to 15 minutes after a feeding session. This is wrong. Frequent feeding results in less milk production; milk can only be produced in large amounts when the baby sucks in a relatively great amount of milk, making the mother’s breast empty. Rate of milk production partly depends on how much milk is leaving the breasts. Secondly, the baby swallows air during breastfeeding. As a result, their hunger dies after having only a small volume of milk. Their stomach gets empty earlier and the baby cries again because of hunger. So babies should be fed at intervals of 1.5 to 2 hours. This leads to adequate amount of milk collecting in the mother’s breast, which in turn ensures the baby getting more milk, and it remains in the baby’s stomach for a longer period of time. Thus the baby won’t cry out for food. Having dealt with all that, there is still one more method that can come in handy: in order to take out the air that has been swallowed, the baby can be assisted to belch after each feeding session.

How frequently a mother should feed her newborn

Those who have become mothers for the first time are always worried about the feeding of their newborn. As is often the case, whenever their babies cry, mothers tend to breastfeed them, even if it is within intervals of 10-15 minutes each time. This isn’t right. The thing that comes with breastfeeding so frequently is, babies tend to suck a lot of air as well besides the milk. As a result, their hunger dies after having only a small volume of milk. Therefore their stomach gets empty after a short time and the baby cries because of hunger once again. So babies should be fed at intervals of 1.5 to 2 hours. Consequently babies will swallow a lot of milk and it will remain in the stomach for a long time. Mothers need to make sure that their babies get at least 8-10 feeding sessions within 24 hours. Each and every cry of a child is not always for food and mothers have to realize that. There are some common ways to determine whether  babies are getting  adequate feed -a baby will urinate 6-8 times within 24 hours; babies will behave naturally(their activities, reflexes, sleep & stool output will be normal);and they will have regular weight gain.

Nightime Feeding Worries

Most mothers are anxious about feeding their babies at night. After delivery every mother needs adequate rest, but they can’t sleep peacefully at night because they are always worried about night time feeding. They get sick; many of them undergo blood pressure increases. Therefore a logical solution to this is truly necessary.  Newborn child has to be given at least 8-10 feeds within 24 hours. Therefore if the babies are breastfed starting from 6.00am-12.00 midnight in intervals of 1.5-2hours each time, the baby can easily get the 10 feeds it requires per day. Now the question remains whether the baby has to be fed from 12 midnight till 6’oclock in the morning. A healthy term newborn does not necessarily need breastfeeding during this time. However if the baby spontaneously wakes up from sleep and cries out for feeding, then they can be fed. But forcefully waking the babies up for feeding isn’t necessary. Therefore mothers can sleep peacefully for these 6 hours.

P.S. This feeding pattern can be changed in situations for premature babies, sick newborn, and hospitalized newborn.

Origin of ‘Rx’

The symbol ‘Rx’ originated from the latin word ‘recipe’,which meant-‘You Take It’.The  Egyptians had a tradition of using the talisman-‘ The Eye Of Horus’.Named after the health God Horus himself,this talisman was established as a very effective relief inducing medication.It had to be made from a variety of substances.Popular belief is that, it was first created as a replica of the Eye Of Horus itself.Then after many transformations it changed into the symbol Rx.Later on the astronomers used the symbol Rx to represent Jupitar,also using it as a means of protection from danger.The christians accepted it as a part of their religion. Babylonian physicians used  the symbol of the health god Marduk in their prescriptions in order to please him.Marduk’s symbol was Rx.Whatever the reason, this tradition still hasnt faltered.Even now doctors start of writing their prescriptions with the word Rx.