Thursday, July 1, 2010


What is a vaccine ?

Vaccines stimulate our immune system to produce antibodies without us having to become infected with the actual disease.

it contain:

  • a suspending fluid to carry the vaccine into the body
  • preservatives and stabilisers so the vaccine can be stored safely
  • an adjuvant to improve the body's immune response.
  • live attenuated/killed organism or its proteins
These antibodies are specific for disease causing organisms and help our body to fight against these organisms when they infect us in future.

What is the benefit ?

A vaccinated child body has the antibodies against the organism,so it body fight better to prevent the organism to cause the disease and the child remain immune to the disease.

Vaccines are saving millions of lives each year from deadly diseases.

On larger scale,if all children are immune in a group and the organism cannot infect.And if our body happen to be only place where organism can live,as in case of POLIO VIRUS,the organism find no place to grow and multiply.So the organism is eradicated from the group,hence the disease.

Till now we have eradicated SMALLPOX from world,and trying hard for POLIO.

So,by vaccination you are protecting your child as well as helping the world to eradicate specific diseases !! 

What is the danger ?

Although every vaccine passes through purity and sterility tests, some reaction either inherent to the vaccine or as a sequel to its administration may occur rarely.

Even walking on road can hurt you by road accident.That doesn't mean that you will stop walking on road,so vaccination benefit is very huge as compared to its rare reaction.So vaccination is a must for every child to pevent and eradicate disease.

VaccineTypeAdverse Reactions
BCGlive attenuatedaxillary adenitis (swelling in the armpits)
OPVlive attenuatednone
DPTkilledfever, excessive crying, encephalopathy, seizures
Measleslive attenuatedfever, rash
MMRlive attenuatedfever, rash, arthralgia (pain in the joints)
Hepatitis Brecombinantpain, erythema

When to give and which disease ?

BirthBCG, OPV, Hepatitis B
6 weeksDTP, OPV+IPV, Hepatitis B, Hib, PCV
10 weeksDTP, OPV+IPV, Hib, PCV
14 weeksDTP, OPV+IPV, Hepatitis B, Hib, PCV
9 monthsMeasles
1 yearVaricella
15 monthsMMR, PCV Booster
16 months
Hib Booster
18 monthsDTP Booster, OPV+IPV Booster
2 yearsTyphoid
2 years 1 monthHepatitis A
2 years 7 monthsHepatitis A
5 yearsDTP Booster, OPV Booster, Typhoid
10 yearsTdap, HPV
BCGTuberculosis (Bacillus Calmette Guerin) for TB
OPVoral polio vaccine for POLIO
Hepatitis BHepatitis B 
DTPDiphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis
HibPneumonia, Meningitis, Bacteremia (Haemophilus Influenzae Type B)
MMRMeasles, Mumps, Rubella
PCVBacterial diseases causing pneumonia, meningitis etc., (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine)
VaricellaChicken Pox
Hepatitis AHepatitis A
HPVHuman Papilloma Virus causing cervical cancer
RotavirusRotavirus diarrhoea

Where to give ?

Vaccinate your child where the cold chain is properly maintained,hence the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Govt. hospital have all basic vaccines.


PROTECT your CHILD as well as 


Friday, June 4, 2010

Common Cold in children

Running nose,sneezes,sore throat and annoying cough, the common cold catches all children from time to time.It is one of the most common illnesses that affect children. 
Most children have three to ten episodes a year, and it can cause a lot of misery, school absenteeism, and expense. The disease itself is mild, and children recover with treatment, without treatment, and in spite of treatment. !!

Almost all colds are caused by viruses. The most common culprit is the rhinovirus. Other viruses that also cause the common cold are coronaviruses, parainfluenza viruses, influenza viruses, adenoviruses, reovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus. While we often worry about a child having a throat infection (strep throat), the typical cold is quite different from that bacterial infection.

People with colds release the virus from the nose  by nose blowing and sneezing. These viruses then settle on doorknobs, toys, table tops, etc, and reach the hands of other people. From the hands, they are carried to the mouth or nose, and start an infection. The cold viruses can also be breathed in.
Children are more prone to get such infections, because:

  • Their immunity is lower.They share toys and other virus sources.
  • They get intimate with friends.
  • The wash hands less frequently than adults.

Despite what we have believed for a long time, getting chilled or wet does not cause a cold. Colds are also not spread by cold weather, changes in the weather, open windows, or various types of food.


  • Nasal discharge — at first watery, then thick.
  • Nasal stuffiness and difficulty in breathing, feeding, and sleeping.
  • Fever.
  • Restlessness.
  • Feeling unwell, tired, and miserable.
  • Poor appetite.
  • Pain throat.
  • Cough.
  • Headache and bodyache.
  • Poor sleep.
  • Eye redness, irritation, and watering.          


Most children who have colds do not develop complications. However, parents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of potential complications.
Ear infection — Between 5 and 15 percent of children with a cold develop a bacterial or viral ear infection. If a child develops a fever (temperature greater than 100.4º F or 38º C) after the first three days of cold symptoms, an ear infection may be to blame.
Asthma — Colds can cause wheezing in children who have not wheezed before, or worsening of asthma in children who have a history of this condition.
Sinusitis — Children who have nasal congestion that does not improve over the course of 14 days may have a bacterial sinus infection.
Pneumonia — Children who develop a fever after the first three days of cold symptoms may have bacterial pneumonia, especially if the child also has a cough and is breathing rapidly.


  • Very high or prolonged fever.
  • Behavior changes, including irritability or lethargy (decreased responsiveness); this usually requires immediate medical attention.
  • Poor feeding/eating.
  • Fast breathing — this is an emergency.
  • Cold persisting over 2 weeks.
  • Severe earache


The secret is to amuse the child till the cold gets better. Strong medicine is not really required;
indeed,no medicine is required to cure it.
Some things do help, though. The child often has high fever on the first day or two of a cold. Fever medicine like paracetamol (acetaminophen) can bring down the fever, and relieve the headache and bodyache these children often have.
A blocked nose can be very uncomfortable. Small babies, especially, find it hard to breathe, breastfeed, and sleep. Salt water or decongestant nose drops provide quick relief, and are quite safe when used for short periods.
cough syrup with antihistaminics may help.
To antibiotic or not?  Almost all colds are caused by viruses. Antibiotics have no effect on them unless there is a bacterial complication. Also, most colds are at their worst for a couple of days, and then get better on their own. Antibiotics do not reduce the duration of the illness, or reduce the complications. These drugs are expensive, have side effects, and frequent use helps the germs to become resistant, which is a problem for all of us.


Simple hygiene measures can help to prevent infection with the viruses that cause colds. These measures include:
  • Hand washing is an essential and highly effective way to prevent the spread of infection. Hands should be wet with water and plain soap, and rubbed together for 15 to 30 seconds. It is not necessary to use antibacterial hand soap. Teach children to wash their hands before and after eating and after coughing or sneezing.
  • Alcohol-based hand rubs are a good alternative for disinfecting hands if a sink is not available. Hand rubs should be spread over the entire surface of hands, fingers, and wrists until dry, and may be used several times. These rubs can be used repeatedly without skin irritation or loss of effectiveness.
  • It may be difficult or impossible to completely avoid people who are ill, although parents should try to limit direct contact. In addition, infants or children who are sick should not be sent to day care or school as this can potentially cause others to become ill.
  • Using a household cleaner that kills viruses (such as phenol/alcohol) may help to reduce viral transmission.


FLU/Influenza is an acute infection caused by any of three types of viruses (A, B, or C). Type A strains are associated with the most severe disease. Many people confuse influenza or flu with the common cold. In 2009, a new type A strain emerged called H1N1. Because there is little immunity in the human population, to the H1N1 strain, it has the ability to spread easily from person to person worldwide and sicken even more people than a usual seasonal strain. When this happens, it is called a pandemic.

Flu vs. Colds: By Symptoms
Was the onset of illness …sudden?slow?
Does your child have a …high fever?no (or mild) fever?
Is your child's exhaustion level …severe?mild?
Is your child's head …achy?headache-free?
Is your child's appetite …decreased?normal?
Are your child's muscles …achy?fine?
Does your child have …chills?no chills?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Acute Diarrhea in Children.

If your baby passes more than her normal number of stools, and the stools are liquid, it's diarrhea.

If your baby passes a formed motion or two after every feed, and is growing and gaining weight normally, it isn't diarrhea.

Diarrhea is common among children – most children have three – five episodes of the disease yearly. Diarrheal disorders, i.e. infectious diarrheas, are responsible for a large proportion (18 percent) of childhood deaths. Globally, diarrhea ranks after pneumonia as the second leading cause of death, especially among children under five years of age.

Breast fed babies rarely get diarrhea. Not only is breastfeeding clean and hygienic, breast milk itself contains anti infective substances. 

What Causes Diarrhea?

Diarrhea occurs when you have repeated, watery bowel movements. This is the reason why it is most commonly known as loose motions.

Diarrhea is usually the result of a gastrointestinal infection caused by pathogens such as bacteria, virus or other parasites. There are a number of ways in which your child – or you for that matter – can catch these germs. These include:

  • Contaminated food or water.

  • Direct contact with a person who is suffering from diarrhea.

  • Contact with germs left behind on surfaces, such as floors, walls, toys, or furniture.

These are some of the risk factors for diarrhea in children:

  • Lack of breast feeding

  • Poor food hygiene

  • Bottle feeding

  • Malnourishment

  • Infections like measles

    • Apart from these, there are other causes of diarrhea such as changes in diet or use of antibiotics, but these are not infectious types of diarrhea.

    • Care of the child with diarrhea

Most of the episode of diarrhea can be managed at home with simple remedy.

What does a child need during diarrhea? Nourishment is important. Continue feeding the diet she is used to, in small, frequent, meals if necessary. diarrhea is associated with reduced digestion, and a child needs, more, not less, food. Food will not worsen the diarrhea, but will improve the nutrition and general well being of the child.

Water is very important. If the stools are profuse and frequent, dehydration is a real danger. Only plain water is not good, alternate with fruit juices, coconut water, buttermilk, thin dals, etc. Boiled water with sugar and salt is helpful. You can also use the World Health Organisation formula Oral Rehydration Solution sachets available at medical stores. 

Sometimes the diarrhea is so severe that the child becomes dull and disinterested, stops passing urine, and refuses all food and drink. This is an emergency. Take the child to your doctor or a hospital immediately, no matter what time it is. She may need admission for a day or two for intravenous therapy and tests. 

Never buy diarrhea stopping pills from medical stores. These usually act by paralysing the gut, and are dangerous. Most diarrhea is self limiting and mild, and does not need drug therapy. However, every episode of diarrhea has the potential to be serious, and should never be taken lightly.

Warning signs

Dehydration due to diarrhea is mostly responsible for mortality due to this illness. It is important for parents to be able to recognize symptoms of dehydration to treat it promptly and prevent complications. These are some of the signs of dehydration in your child:

  • Restlessness or irritability

  • Lethargy or inactivity

  • Dryness in the mouth with increased thirst

  • Sunken eyes

  • Decreased urine

  • Cold hands and feet

    You should call your doctor in the following cases:

  • If your child is younger than six months old and is suffering from the problem.

  • If the diarrhea persists or becomes more severe.

  • If the stools are bloody or have mucus.

  • If your child is running a high temperature (102°F or higher).

  • If the vomiting refuses to stop.

  • If your child refuses to eat or drink.

  • If your child shows symptoms of dehydration including sunken eye pockets, dry or cold skin, listlessness or fatigue, no urine or very little urine that is dark yellow, dry lips, fewer or no tears while crying.


no dehydration : can be managed at home with ORS.

some dehydration:managed with ORS,but should be supervised.

Severe dehydration: urgent hospitalization. 

How to prevent

Diarrhea, like many other infections, is an unavoidable part of growing up. All the same, taking some simple precautionary measures can help you to minimize the risks for your child.

  • Breastfeed your is not only clean and hygenic,it also contain antiffective substances.

  • Vaccinate for rotavirus. Vaccinating children below six months against rotavirus can protect them against this common diarrheal infection.

  • Make hand washing a habit. Children routinely pick up germs while playing. When they put their hands in their mouths, these germs enter their bodies and infect them. Regular washing, especially before eating, is the surest way to prevent these infections.

  • Guard against food and water contamination. Boil drinking water to make it safe for your children. Avoid food that is not prepared or stored in hygienic conditions. Also, scrupulously wash all raw foods such as fruits or vegetables.

  • Take precautions with pets. Help your children follow simple hygiene rules while playing with pets, such as washing hands afterwards.

  • Take care while traveling. Children are often more vulnerable to infections while traveling. Drinking only bottled water and avoiding food from suspicious sources may help to reduce the risk of infections