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Is your child prone to colds?
Dr Prakash Vaidya
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March 14, 2007

Part I: Understanding your baby's problems

What do you do when your child refuses to drink milk and vomits when he/she does?


According to paediatrician Dr Prakash Vaidya, vomiting after feeds is very common. "Such vomiting can be due to a condition called GE reflux, where the valve between the foodpipe (esophagus) and stomach is loose, allowing the stomach contents to go back to the foodpipe. The valve becomes normal with age (by nine months), so the condition is self-limiting."


Dr Vaidya addressed child health-related queries in a chat with Get Ahead readers on March 7.


For those who missed the chat, here's the transcript.

 Dr Prakash Vaidya says, Hi, this is Dr Prakash Vaidya and I am ready to take your questions.

Sai asked, My Son is two years and four months old. He was not well for the whole month of February. Initially it started with viral fever like symptoms but after going through chest X ray and multiple blood tests for Typhoid, Malaria jaundice all came negative, doctor said that he had some bacterial infection. We stay in Pune, but now he doesn't have ay fever but night time his sleep is disturbed and he has this throat problem he usually gets up and has cough though little but this the every day trend, Is this due to pollution or should I go for some specific allergy test? Can you suggest some good allergy testing labs?

Dr Prakash Vaidya answers Going by the history it appears that your son could have two possible problems: (a) a post nasal drip which could cause this persistent cough, or (b) Airway Hyper-reactivity. Allergy tests are not called for just now, but probably a bronchodilator drug might help. This decision is best taken on a clinical basis by your paediatrician. Meanwhile it would be better to avoid mosquito repellent coils or mats for the time being.



Jyothi asked, Hello Sir, my three-year old daughter has an unperforated hymen which was noticed when she was about seven months old. She has been advised for a laser surgery before her puberty. Please advise.

Dr Prakash Vaidya answers, I would wait till she grows up before taking a decision, probably before her onset of menses (which can be judged by her development). It is also possible that the hymen may spontaneously open and solve the problem naturally. So no immediate intervention is necessary.



Sanjana asked, hi, my son is three and a half years old. From last ten months he is suffering from cold and cough after a gap of 15 days. He starts this without any pre symptom. We also had done multiple blood tests for asthma and all. They are absolutely normal so what could be the reason of cold and cough after every 15 days?

Dr Prakash Vaidya answers, Let's get one thing clear. Asthma is a clinical diagnosis, so there are no blood tests that will 'diagnose' asthma. Cold and cough recurrently can still indicate asthma, but I would need a lot more details, coupled with a clinical evaluation to come to a conclusion. Large adenoids could also be the cause of recurrent coughs and colds. If your son's cough, which are worse at night, is triggered off by exercise, crying etc, and there is no fever during the episode, then this could well be asthma and can be effectively treated by modern medicine.



Bhaskar asked, My son is two months old. Recently he has started spitting milk after every feed and sometimes even vomiting out with a lot of force. This usually happens during the night time. Please advice.

Dr Prakash Vaidya answers, Vomiting after feeds is very common. Such vomiting can be due to a condition called GE reflux, where the valve between the foodpipe (esophagus) and stomach is loose, allowing the stomach contents to go back to the foodpipe. The valve becomes normal with age (by nine months), so the condition is self-limiting. Your son will require specific treatment if (a) his weight gain is poor or (b) if he has other symptoms like recurrent coughs or if he has a very severe reflux, which may cause choking.



Ruby asked, my daughter is two years old. Her stool is very hard. Please suggest what to do.

Dr Prakash Vaidya answers, Hard stools are due to a combination of factors and can be treated by (a) increasing water intake (b) increasing fibre rich food like fruits and vegetables in her diet. Children who are fussy can be given popcorn, cornflakes, wheat flakes and chana, all of which contain fibre. Her milk intake should not exceed half a litre a day. Stop bottle-feeding (if you haven't already). Apart from this, you could give her Lactulose five ml daily to begin with. If she fails to pass stools for more than two days, give her five mg of Bisacodyl suppository. The treatment could take two or three weeks before improvement can be noticed.



Sheetal asked, hello sir my son is four years old, but he always suffers from some or other health problem. Mainly he suffers from cold and cough due that he sometimes have breathing problems. At that time I have to give him inhalers. He is allergic to milk and milk products too. So what do you suggest?

Dr Prakash Vaidya answers, If there is a confirmed allergy to milk and milk products, certainly your son must avoid these. But many times it is only a perception, that there is allergy, and milk is not the culprit. If your son gets rashes or itching or redness of the skin around the mouth after consuming milk products, the diagnosis of milk allergy is certain. Inhalers for coughs and 'breathing problems' are safe, effective and do not have side effects.  



Rocko asked, my 24 months toddler does not eat properly and she is anaemic? What should I do?

Dr Prakash Vaidya answers, 'Not eating properly' is a complaint that many mothers come to paediatricians for. The most important thing is to document the growth of the child. In my practice, every child is monitored on a standard height and weight chart. Many mothers who feel that their child is not eating well are pleasantly surprised when they see the growth chart telling a different story. If your baby is anaemic, you need to go to a paediatrician who can advise whether it is simple iron deficiency, or something else. Do insist on a chart detailing your child's weight and height.



Part I: Understanding your baby's problems


An MD (Ped) and DCH, Dr Vaidya is has been practising medicine for 20 years, and is a consulting paediatrician at Wockhardt Hospital, Mulund. His special interests include paediatric pulmonology (breathing and lung diseases like chronic cough, difficulty in breathing, recurring pneumonia and noisy breathing) paediatric rheumatology (diseases that cause pain, stiffness and swelling in joints as well as in muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones and skin).

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