Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Heat burns: First Aid

Health Tip: Handling Burns
Would you know what to do if a family member got a thermal burn?
That's the term for a burn caused by contact with open flame, hot liquid, a hot surface, or other source of high heat.
Do you know the 4 C's of burn care (Univ of Missouri)?
Cool the wound, Clean the wound, Cover the wound and Call the doctor

The Shriners Hospitals for Children suggests these steps (HealthDayNews) :

Get the victim away from the heat source as quickly and safely as possible.
Cool the burn with cold water ( not ICE/ icewater).
Cover the area with a sterile pad or clean sheet.
Maintain the person's body temperature and
take the victim to the nearest medical facility.
Do not apply oils, sprays or ointments to a serious burn.
Some other do's and dont's:

For eye burns, seek medical opinion immediately, do NOT put eye drops/ ointments
In case of a small burn, you may apply an antiseptic cream before seeking medical advice
If the burn is larger than the size of the palm (in adults) do seek out a doctor
DO NOT puncture blisters, they are sterile and prevent infection
In case of limb burns, remove constricting things like rings, bangles, belt, boots etc. as it may be difficult to remove them later due to swelling

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Five essential tools for your PC online

This is still the 'daily dose for kids by docgaurav'; and there is only one reason for this particular article to be here.......coz it is my blog!
FIVE Essential Software for PC on the Internet
Today the worth of a PC has been enhanced manifold with the availability of the Internet. However with every silver lining comes a dark cloud, and the easy availability of the Internet has lead to an increase in virus attacks and security breaches. Not a day goes by when we do not hear about hackers disabling major websites, or causing a loss of millions of dollars by unleashing virus attacks.
You maybe wondering where you fit in all this? You are probably a single PC user having an Office / Home PC, keeping your accounts and games on the PC, a little bit of academic research and surfing the net for some fun. Why would a hacker/ virus be bothered with you? Unfortunately nowadays no one is safe, as many net users have found to their dismay. We in India are especially prone as many of the virus attacks may occur through pirated software that abound on an average Indian PC. Opening an email attachment can easily spread a virus to your computer, destroying your precious data. So how do you ensure protection of your PC from the online threat?Here is a list of software that MUST be installed on your PC if you are connected to the Internet.
1. LATEST UPDATE of your WINDOWS Operating System: Easiest and probably the single most effective way of making your computer safe. If you are a ‘genuine’ WINDOWS user then you can order the CD from the Microsoft website, or download the updates from their website. However since this is a large download (upto 256 MB for Windows XP service pack 2), it might be better idea to purchase a computer magazine that would be carrying the latest update (for example the DIGIT magazine Sept 2004 CD & DVD have the latest Windows XP service pack 2). If you do not upgrade the Windows Operating System, even the latest Antivirus may not be able to prevent certain types of security breaches in your computer.
Category: FREE; Website: windowsupdate.microsoft.com
2. Antivirus: Most people know about these, however it is extremely important not only to have a good antivirus but also to update it on a frequent basis (daily to once a week). Run the virus scan frequently to check for any hidden virus.
PAID; McAfee (www.mcafee.com); Norton Antivirus (www.symantec.com)
FREE; AVG Antivirus (www.grisoft.com); Avast (www.avast.com); Bitdefender (www.bitdefender.com); H+BEDV antivirus (www.free-av.com)
3. Spyware removal tools: Spyware are certain programs that get installed on your computer without your knowledge and permission. They slow down the computer, the Internet and also may lead to more junk (spam) mail in you email. They may even track your internet usage (spy on you!) and report this information back to their owner without your knowledge. How do they come to your PC? Most likely as ‘bundled’ software with some FREE programs or with some pirated software. Use spyware removal tool and run and update it frequently (just like the antivirus) to help your PC run smoothly for years!
Category:FREE: Ad-aware (www.lavasoft.de), Spybot Search and Destroy (www.security.kolla.de),
4. Firewall: These are software used to prevent unauthorized people (hackers) from gaining access to your computer. They work by checking the flow of information from Internet to your PC and vica versa (somewhat like a wall around a fort with gates and guards checking every passerby!). You would be surprised at the number of times your computer is “scanned” while you are surfing the internet. Another advantage with a firewall is that they prevent unauthorized programs (like spyware) in your computer from sending information outside without your knowledge. The risk of a virus-like attack is substantially reduced with the addition of a firewall. Interestingly WINDOWS XP Service pack 2 update contains a free firewall
Category: PAID: Mcafee Internet Security Suite (www.mcafee.com); Norton Internet Security (www.symantec.com)
FREE: Zonealarm (www.zonelabs.com); Kerio (www.kerio.com); Outpost (www.agnitum.com); Sygate personal firewall (www.sygate.com)
5. Others: These software may not directly protect your computer online but make your Internet browsing much more fun
a. Downloadable Toolbars: Yahoo and Google have downloadable toolbars that allow you to search the internet from your web browser instantaneously. Apart from the ‘search’ function they also have interesting features like “auto-complete form” (a real time saver) feature of the Google tool bar, and the anti-spyware feature, popup blocker and a host of other features of the Yahoo toolbar.
FREE: Yahoo (toolbar.yahoo.com); Google (www.toolbar.google.com)
b. Spam Filters: These are programs that make your life easier by scanning incoming mails (on Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express etc.) on your computer and automatically separate the junk mail from the important ones. A real time saver tool for the regular e mail user
Category:PAID: Cloudmark Spamnet (www.cloudmark.com); Mcafee Spam killer (www.mcafee.com); Norton Antispam (www.symantec.com/antispam)
FREE: Spam assassin (www. Spamassassin.org); Spamihilator (http://www.spamihilator.com)

I hope that this article stimulates some of you to take action to protect your PC. To paraphrase ‘even if one PC stays uninfected after taking action on the basis of this article I would feel vindicated’
Dr. Gaurav Gupta

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Winter tips: Colds and FLU

It is going to be winter in the northern hemisphere; and the winter chill not only cheers, but brings about snotty noses, colds and coughs too!
New York-Presbyterian Hospital offers some information to help you sort through the facts and fictions of colds and flu.
To begin, colds and flu are different. A cold is usually an upper respiratory tract infection. Symptoms include a sore throat, head congestion, sinus pain, and low-grade fever. Flu symptoms usually include a higher fever, a sore throat, cough and body aches.
A cold usually lasts two to three days while a flu can last as long as a week. Flu can lead to more serious health complications, especially in the elderly and people with asthma.
Here are some facts about colds and flu
The best way to prevent a cold is to wash your hands and to avoid people with colds.
You can't catch a cold by staying outside in the cold too long. You catch a cold by touching something that's been touched by someone infected with a cold or by breathing in moisture that's been coughed out by someone with a cold.
People get colds more often in the winter because they spend more time indoors in contact with one another.
Antibiotics cannot cure a cold or flu, which are caused by viruses.
The best way to defend against the flu is to get a flu shot.
There is no vaccine against the common cold.
If you have the flu, don't go to work. If you go to work, you'll expose your colleagues to flu infection. Stay home where you can rest and recover.
Flu shots cannot give you the flu. They may cause mild flu-like symptoms, but this is rare.
If you are not sure whether you needit read this article on FLU vaccine

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

SAMPLE MENU for a 1 year old Indian Baby

SAMPLE MENU for a 1 year old Indian Baby

6:00 AM MILK (100-125ML)



12:00AM YOGHURT: 100-125 ML





10:00 PM MILK (100 ML)

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

General principles of discipline

Parents' are sometimes caught in a dilemma on the issue of disciplining the child. Not only do we find parents having differences, but also not being clear about age-appropriate 'punishments'.
There are a few guielins that need to be remembered while disciplining a child. While every child is different, most children need to be given consistent, clear rules and expectations about behavior.
The following are some general principles about discipline:

Discipline needs to begin as soon as the child is mobile - pulling up and
Young infants rely on their parents to provide a safe environment.
Discipline should be age-focused and should teach age-appropriate behaviors.
Try to recognize and praise desirable behavior.
Be a good role model for your child.
After the discipline occurs, hug your child. Make sure the child knows it is the behavior you are not happy with, not the child.
Physical punishment is not needed or appropriate.
Rewards for good behavior should be immediate.
Decrease unwanted behavior: It is important to remember not to reward a child or give positive reinforcement for an inappropriate or undesired behavior. For example, if a child is having a temper tantrum, giving him/her a cookie to be quiet is rewarding the child for this behavior. In order to help decrease the chance of unwanted behavior, consider the following:
Do not reinforce the behavior; simply ignore the child.
The behavior may have to result in an unpleasant consequence, such as punishment.
Active punishment has two forms, including the following:
Denying the child privileges or desired activities, such as decreasing TV time or no dessert
Undesirable or uncomfortable activities can be required of the child, such as doing chores or having "time-out"
The behavior can result in natural consequences. For example, a child who will not eat may go to bed hungry.
It is generally accepted that spanking and other forms of physical punishment are not helpful. These types of discipline teach the child aggressive behaviors and poor conflict management.
Methods of discipline:
Discipline methods often depend on the age of the child, and how much the child understands his/her behavior. The following are some suggestions for discipline techniques for each age group:
Infants and toddlers: Safety is the main concern.
Infants will respond to a loud, firm voice saying "no."
Provide a safe environment that decreases the chances of things being broken by the child.
After saying "no," direct your child to an acceptable behavior, such as a toy.
Do not reward inappropriate behavior. Ignore temper tantrums, but confront other problems, such as biting or hitting.
Praise and reward appropriate behavior.
Preschoolers: Preschoolers need clear and consistent rules.
This age group needs time to prepare for the next activity. Give your child a warning before it is time to stop playing.
Preschoolers need lots of explanation as to why things are being done.
Use time-out for inappropriate behavior (make them sit in a corner or their own room for approximately a minute per year of their age, for example in a 3 year old child the time-out period needs to be 3 minutes).
Use praise for appropriate behavior.
School-aged children:School-aged children need the above rules and guidelines plus the following: Give your child chances to explain his/her side and opinion and opportunities to express their feelings and concerns.
Give your child choices when possible and appropriate.
Give your child chances to help solve problems together regarding their behavior.
Adolescents: This age group needs patient and understanding parents as they test all limits.
Adolescents need to be told the long-term outcomes of inappropriate behaviors.
Adolescents need to be involved with limit-setting, based on their maturity.
This article has been published from an excellent pediatric resource at cincinnatichildren's hospital website.
For more information on kids plesae visit us Charak Clinics

Friday, October 01, 2004

Weaning food recipes

There was a time when a pediatrician would not be caught dead writing about "weaning food recipes"! In India, the joint family system used to take care of these issues quite effectively. With the advent of Nuclear families however I get more and more requests on when & how to wean, what foods to use and avoid etc.
Lets start with the principles of weaning:

  1. Start at around 6 months, definitely not before 4 months.
  2. Weaning means not only shifting from exclusive breast feed to other foods, but also involves the introduction of the "chewable" food concept, which means that we need to give semi-solid foods so as to acclimatize the child to chewing and swallowing.
  3. Start with a single new food item, so that in case your child vomits/does not like it you know what food to avoid for a little while.
  4. The quantity would be around 1-2 teaspoons initially, twice a day. Preferably the mid morning (9-11:00 AM feedtime) & evening (5:00-7:00 PM) time.
  5. Increase quantity over a week and then try something new.
  6. In case the child does not accept the new food, RELAX, take 2 deep breaths and try something else. Re-introduce the same food after a month and there is every chance that the child may take it!
  7. Start with food items like watery daal (arhar/ moong) with a little bit of daal in it (the "chewable food" concept)
  8. Other items that may be added include suji kheer, dalia (porridge), mashed potato, mashed banana, liquid khichdi, boiled and mashed apple and pear, soups of potato, tomato etc.
  9. Thicker things like mixed vegetables, egg, chicken soup may be introduced by around 9 months
  10. The aim is to get the child on home-made foods (without special preparations) by the age of 1 year

Any foods to avoid?
Hmmm... Do not add any salt initially but later you may give a mild taste to the bland food that is being cooked. A little bit of sugar is quite alright though. Always avoid seeds for small kids as they may get stuck in the throat. No outside food/ water as far as possible.

How long should breast feed be continued?
For around 2 years, give or take a few months

What about CERELAC, FAREX and other commercial weaning foods?
There is no advantage of these commercial weaning foods over home-made foods. The disadvantage is that there would always be some added preservatives (even though they may safe in kids) and that an year down the line you would have to wean your child off these weaning foods!
The only reason these may be preferred would the time saved in preparation of home-made weaning foods for a working mother.

Do remember that weaning is new time for everyone, and just like not many people like to change a routine, the kids too have an "adjustment period" before the weaning can be successful. Be patient, and enjoy the experience since it is a UNIQUE one!

More on weaning recipes in the future