I think something that petrifies any parent is seeing their little ones struggling to breathe. Exploring is something all kids do. Putting things in their mouths is a necessity and no matter how hard we try to make things safe as parents, kids will find things floating around that they can swallow that you just wont see. Continue reading “What to do if your child chokes!”
One of the most common eye conditions we see in general practice is conjunctivitis. If you have had a child, the chances are that your kid has had a bout of this annoying eye condition.
The conjunctiva is a thin clear layer that covers the sclera “the white part of the eye” and the inner Continue reading “Conjunctivitis”
Eczema has got to be one of the most common skin condition we see in children. If you have children there is a very good chance that your child has had a bit of eczema growing up.
Eczema also known as “atopic dermatitis” is a condition that usually begins in the 1st year of life and is associated with dry and inflamed skin. There is no known cure for eczema but a majority of children will grow out of it by the time they reach school.
Put simply the problem with eczema is that skin is not able to maintain an appropriate moisture level. For reasons yet unknown moisture just keeps seeping through the skin, leading to dry skin, which then becomes inflamed and itchy. Children will then scratch their skin and if left unattended it is not uncommon for skin to become infected which further worsens symptoms. It’s a DAMN VICIOUS circle!
I often tell parents that there are two parts to dealing with eczema.
The first part is just the day-to-day things we can do as parents to help our kids manage their eczema.
These include the following
- Daily use of a moisturiser to skin whether inflamed or not(cheap is best, nothing is better than plain sorbolene in my opinion).
- Avoiding heat ( e.g. hot showers/baths)
- Avoiding irritant clothe (especially wool and harsh prickly fabrics)
- Trial of soap free shampoos
The second part is the treatment phase. What to do when things flare up.
While this is not the forum to give specific advice there are some general principles we use in treating eczema that has flared up.
- Moisturiser, Moisturiser, Moisturiser…. Sorbolene, Sorbolene, Sorbolene and truckloads of it, lacquer skin with the stuff.
- Your GP may give you a cortisone based cream, don’t be afraid to use it, use appropriate quantities. One finger tip covers roughly an area the size of your hands.
- Wet Wraps – your clinician may ask you to wrap your child’s skin in a wet wrap, these come in a variety of forms. Cheap crepe that is wet works well. Wrap the area that’s affected, this not only helps with pain and itch but helps with moisture retention.
- Itching will settle once the moisture is restored to the skin, but sometimes we do trial an antihistamine to help alleviate the itch.
- It is not uncommon for eczema to become infected, if infected your GP may prescribe a course of antibiotics to help.
- Adding a cup of salt, a small cup of bleach 4% and some baby bath oil to a bath may help with infected eczema.
With our patients we often will sit with the parents and have an eczema plan drawn up. This plan lists what to do and when to do it. What signs to look for and when to see your doctor. Preschools are catching on to this idea and I feel it’s actually a fantastic way to help manage this common condition.
Allergy testing is often on the minds of parents and rightly so. We often reassure parents that allergy testing is often only required for a select few patients. These are patients who are not responding to treatment or those with a very good history of allergy that predisposes them to eczema flare ups (e.g when my child has milk he flares up, when they don’t his eczema is well controlled). When it comes to allergies I often tell parents the history is way more important than the testing. A thorough history for allergies should be taken if suspicion is there by your GP.
Eczema is challenging for everyone involved, never feel like there is nothing you can do, there is always something you can do. A good relationship with your family doctor is paramount in dealing with this condition as you will see them over and over again as your child’s eczema waxes and wanes.
The advice provided on healthykid.com.au is of a general nature and in no way should replace your therapeutic relationship with your doctor
Measles is making a comeback and it has recently been in the news. What better way to tackle the topic than to do another question and answer blog post.
Q. What is Measles? Continue reading “Measles”
It’s that time of the year again, winter is just around the corner and you can hear the sniffles starting.
We thought it would be a good idea to do a question and answer blog post around the flu vaccine.
Q. What is the difference between a cold and influenza? Continue reading “Should kids get the flu vaccine?”
“Out of no where, the child that never cried in the arms of family and friends now unleashes a wave of yelling and screaming when you pass them on. It is frustrating and tiring to say the least.”
What just happened? You may ask yourself!
The simple answer, is Continue reading “My baby is so clingy….”
If you have ever sent your child to daycare you would have invariably heard about an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth (HFM).
So what is it and how do we manage it?
HFM is a highly contagious viral disease (mainly coxsackie virus A16) that is most common in children. Symptoms often Continue reading “Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease”