Knowing the typical health issues that kids may experience is essential when it comes to their wellbeing. Understanding these problems can assist parents and caregivers in providing the proper care and obtaining timely medical attention for problems like low birth weight, infectious infections, mishaps, and poisoning. In this post, we'll examine a number of common health issues that affect kids and talk about their causes, symptoms, and required treatment.
Low Birth Weight
Low birth weight is a prevalent concern, especially in India, where the average birth weight of babies is lower than the international average. A baby's birth weight is a critical indicator of their growth and survival chances. Low birth weight is categorized into two types: preterm babies, born before 37 weeks of gestation, and small for date (SFD) babies, whose weight is below the 10th percentile for their gestational age. Factors contributing to low birth weight include maternal malnutrition, severe anemia, young age, and various other factors related to the mother, fetus, and placenta. Timely and proper care during the neonatal period and beyond can help these babies achieve normal growth and development.
Babies delivered to mothers who receive adequate nutrition typically weigh around 3.5 kg at birth. However, newborns in India typically weigh between 2.7 and 2.9 kilograms at delivery. Within an hour after the baby's delivery, the weight must be recorded. It affects the baby's growth and chances of survival.
Internationally, a low birth weight is one that is less than 2.5 kg (up to and including 2.499 kg), measured ideally within the first hour of life, before any considerable post-natal loss has taken place. Either a full-term or premature birth is possible. Low birth weight infants come in two different varieties.
Premature births, or those that occur before 37 weeks of gestation, are referred to as pre-term births. With the right treatment throughout the neonatal period and later, their intrauterine growth may be normal, meaning their weight, length, and development may be within normal ranges and development between 2 to 3 years of age. Preterm infants make up the majority of low birth rates in developed nations. Preterm births are frequently brought on by many pregnancies, severe illnesses, toxemia, teenage pregnancies, strenuous physical labor, etc., and in many cases the cause may not be discovered.
These infants may be delivered preterm or at term but are small for date (SFD). Their weight is below the gestational age's 10th percentile. They result from associated fetal growth. Most low birth weight infants in poor nations are undersized for their dates. There are numerous factors that are connected to this group of LBW newborns. These relate to the mother, fetus, and placenta, among others. Malnutrition, severe anemia, young age, small stature, multipara (mother had several prior pregnancies), close birth spacing, hypertension, toxemia, and malaria are mother-related problems. The majority of these factors are linked to the general low social, economic, and educational standing of women and individuals. Multiple gestations (twins or triplets), uterine infections, fetal abnormalities, and chromosomal abnormalities are the factors that are associated to the fetus. Placental abnormalities and insufficiency are among the placental-related issues.
Children can contract a number of infectious diseases that have a negative influence on their health and, in certain circumstances, have high fatality rates. Among the main infectious disorders found in children include diarrhea, acute respiratory infections (ARI), measles, pertussis (whooping cough), diphtheria, polio, tetanus, and tuberculosis. The occurrence and severity of many diseases can be decreased through preventive measures like immunization, good hygiene, and access to clean water.
Poisoning and mishaps
Children unfortunately have the risk of getting into accidents and getting poisoned because of dangers on the streets, in their homes, and at their schools. Children could be in danger from burns, wounds, drowning, poisoning, falls, electric shocks, and auto accidents. These risks can be reduced by providing a secure atmosphere, keeping watch over kids, and educating them about potential dangers.
Child health care encompasses comprehensive care for children from conception to birth and throughout their first five years. During this period, health workers play a vital role in ensuring that children receive adequate care, proper nourishment, regular monitoring of growth and development, and timely detection and treatment of any ailments. Educating mothers and family members about child care practices is also crucial for promoting children's health and well-being.
Care for children from conception to birth and afterward until the age of five is referred to as "child health care." After turning five, a team of school health programmers looks after the child's health. The school health team may or may not be comprised of health professionals working for MCH services.
The health of the child actually begins with the birth of the girl who will eventually become the child's mother. Services for children's health include antenatal pediatrics, neonatal care from birth to 28 days, infant care from one month to 12 months, toddler care from one year to two years, and pre-school child care beginning at age two.
Every youngster receives the necessary attention and nutrition.
Their development and growth are watched over, and any deviations are promptly discovered and corrected.
Ailments are quickly identified and treated to stop them from getting worse.
People with training provide care.
Mothers and other family members receive training and education in how to properly care for their children in order to advance their health.
This article provides information on children's health care at different ages.
The goal of fetal care during pregnancy is to ensure the delivery of a fully developed, alive, and healthy child. Prenatal care is crucial to preventing low birth weight, fetal diseases, newborn hypoxia, and congenital defects in addition to the mother's health. Preventing low birth weight and encouraging infants' normal growth and development are two major benefits of receiving enough and appropriate prenatal care, which includes nutrition.
In order to lower postnatal and neonatal death rates, newborn newborns must get care from the time of delivery until 28 days old. Obstetricians, pediatricians, and nursing staff work together as a multidisciplinary team to offer care at this time. Inadequate treatment during this crucial first week after birth might result in serious issues and high mortality rates. Many newborn deaths in the first week of life can be avoided with prompt and appropriate treatment.
From birth to 28 days, a newborn baby has to be cared after. The care provided during this time is crucial since it lowers postnatal and neonatal mortality. An obstetrician, a pediatrician, and nursing staff work as a team to provide care during this time. Proper care for neonates helps prevent 50–60% of all infant deaths, and more than half of these can be prevented during the first week of a baby's life. The first week after birth, and especially the first 24-48 hours, is very crucial because this period is very critical as lapses during this period can cause serious problems leading to high mortality.
Neonatal jaundice is a frequent illness in neonates and is characterized by yellowish staining of the skin and eyes from bilirubin pigment. Neonatal jaundice typically clears up on its own within 10 days. To lessen the severity, nonetheless, it could be important to take close observation and particular care measures. Neonatal jaundice can be treated by breastfeeding, indirect sunshine exposure, bili lights, and, in extreme cases, blood transfusions or medication.
Neonatal jaundice is the word for the yellowish bile pigment (bilirubin) staining of the newborn's skin and eye whites (sclerae). A certain amount of jaundice is typical in newborn infants. Due to the immaturity of the newborn's liver, which is unable to properly metabolize the bilirubin and prepare it for excretion into the urine, and the breakdown of red blood cells, which releases bilirubin into the blood, this occurs. The normal timing for the onset and resolution of newborn jaundice is between the second and fifth day of life. Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and physiologic jaundice of the neonate are other names for neonatal jaundice. Normal births can have it for up to 8 days, but preterm births can have it for about 14 days.
If the jaundice is light, it will go away by itself in 10 days. To lessen the intensity, you must, however, adhere to these procedures.
More frequently breastfeed the infant.
indirect sunlight exposure. Place the baby's cot or cradle as close as possible to a window that has a thin screen.
Put them under bili lights (a phototherapy device) so they can be exposed to a lot of colored light to help the bilirubin break down. Typically, blue light is employed for this purpose. Bilirubin can be broken down more effectively by green light.
Infant, toddler, and preschooler care
Infant, toddler, and pre-school years are all included in the care of children under the age of five. To evaluate their nutritional state, evaluate their health, and spot any variations from the norm, it is crucial to regularly monitor growth and development. The child's growth can be assessed by keeping track of anthropometric measurements like weight, height, head circumference, and chest circumference. Cognitive, emotional, and social milestones in development must also be monitored and supported with the right advice and treatments.
Monitoring of development and growth
Regularly tracking a child's growth and development is crucial. It shows the child's nutritional and physical health status. It assists in identifying any deviation from typical growth and development, allowing for the prompt implementation of corrective actions at the family and health center levels.
The word "growth of the child" refers to an increase in the size of the body, which is quantified by body weight, head length, arm and chest circumference, and height (length of the newborn). These measurements are referred to as 'anthropometrics' measurements. To determine whether a measure is within the usual range (+ or - 2 standard deviation), it is compared to the reference standards. The measures can also be evaluated in terms of percentile, or the proportion of people falling below a given level, for example. Limits at the 50th percentile are regarded as being at the third percentile and 97th percentile. The majority of children's weights (94%) that lie between these two ranges are regarded as normal.
By conducting cross-sectional investigations, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) establishes the reference criteria for Indian children. The WHO has established reference standards that can be applied to children under the age of five anywhere in the world.
The growth chart offers a lot of benefits. It can assist in:
With the mother's active participation, the child's growth and weight are regularly tracked.
Detecting the severity of childhood malnutrition
Taking the appropriate action based on the grade of malnutrition
moms and healthcare professionals should be informed on the value of routine weight checks and the prevention and treatment of malnutrition.
evaluating the efficacy of treatment options for pediatric malnutrition.
Children's growth fluctuates with age and may differ within each age group depending on a variety of endogenous and exogenous factors. Children's growth follows a specific pattern or path that makes use of anthropometric measurements. This pattern is briefly detailed below. In young children that are normally nourished and healthy, the first year of life is a time of fast growth.
Weight: Almost all newborns lose weight in the first three to four days after delivery before gaining it back seven to ten days later. For the first three months, weight gain is 25–30 gms per day; after that, it is less rapid. With the exception of kids with low birth weights, a baby's weight typically doubles after five months and triples after a year.
Low birth weight babies gain weight faster and by a factor of four in a year. The weight gain is not very rapid after a year.
For the first five to six months, many children's weight curves are excellent, and by this time, the birth weight has doubled. However, after this age, the growth curve tends to falter, or move in an erratic manner. This is due to the fact that a child cannot survive only on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding must be supplemented with the supplementary foods mentioned above.
The child's weight is influenced by his or her height. It is crucial to ascertain whether the child's weight is within the typical range. The youngster may be underweight or overweight given their height. The underweight in relation to height may signify malnutrition or emaciation.
Height: The height of a child can also be used to gauge their growth. The newborn baby is 50 cm (20 inches) tall. The first year's height gain is 25 cms, while the second year's growth is 12 cms. The rise is 9 cms, 7 cms, and 6 cms in the third, fourth, and fifth years, respectively. if height is shorter than age. Stunted growth is meant by this. In contrast to weight, malnutrition does not instantly influence height. It has been impacted by chronic malnutrition in the past. The precise measurement of height is crucial.
The size of the head and the size of the chest: These are also used to measure growth. At birth, the head measures about 34 cms (14"). The difference between the two is around 2 cm. Further growth causes the chest measurement to surpass the head measurement. When a youngster is undernourished, the chest circumference takes 3–4 years longer to catch up.
The center of the upper arm is measured while it is hanging loosely at the side of the body. This measurement is simple and helpful. The soft tissues around the midway are not compressed as the tape is applied immediately in a gentle but firm manner. From birth to one year, the circumference rapidly increases, going from roughly 11 cm to 12 cm. In well-nourished youngsters, it stays pretty steady at 16–17 cms until the fifth birthday. The fat of early infancy is replaced by muscles at this time. A measurement of less than 80% of the norm, or roughly 12.8 cm, denotes moderate to severe malnutrition. There is a colored strip you can use to gauge your arm circumference.
Children frequently have diarrhea, which is marked by a change in bowel habits, including more frequent and loose or watery stools. The risk of dehydration increases with diarrheal bouts. Dehydration symptoms include extreme thirst, sunken eyes, dry skin, decreased urine output, and lethargy need to be treated right away by a doctor. Drinking pure water, exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months, practicing good hygiene, and giving oral rehydration solutions (ORS) to replace fluids and electrolytes lost during diarrhea are all preventive practices.
Risk factors for diarrhea
Rapid fluid loss from diarrhea that leads to dehydration is the main worry. Being severely dehydrated is a medical emergency, therefore be aware of these symptoms:
excessive thirst and agitation
Dry skin, lips, and tongue
Reduced urine production and frequent transit of watery stools
Lack of energy or inadequate oral fluid uptake
A child with any of the aforementioned symptoms should be taken right away to the doctor. If the youngster has blood in his stools, you should also consult the doctor. Dysentery is the cause of this, hence the child needs to be given medication.
Diarrhea can be avoided by taking easy precautions like:
consuming pristine water
breastfeeding just during the first six months.
Avoid feeding the baby from a bottle.
washing the child's hands frequently, washing them before preparing food, and cleaning them after passing stools
Giving the youngster only freshly prepared food while keeping food items covered. If there is leftover food from one meal, it shouldn't be served to the child again at the subsequent meal.
avoiding eating food that has been prepared and served in an unclean environment
The least cheapest and most efficient way to treat diarrheal dehydration is with oral rehydration solutions.
An efficient oral rehydration solution can be created with items that are present in practically every home to prevent the child's body from losing too much liquid. Every time a watery stool is passed, the youngster should be given one of these beverages.
The ideal ingredients for these beverages (ideally those that have been boiled) are:
Sugars and/or starches as a source of energy and glucose
a little sodium and, ideally, a little potassium
The following traditional remedies are ideal drinks to stop a child from losing too much fluid during diarrhea and create highly effective oral rehydration solutions:
Gruels (dilutions of cooked grain and water) for breast milk
Rice water with carrots in kanji
If salt and sugar are available, they can also be used to make a very acceptable and efficient simple solution for rehydrating a youngster. If you can, add some mashed banana or 1/2 cup orange juice to boost the flavor and potassium content.
Homemade salt and sugar solutions recipe
Depending on the availability of the components and the size of the container, choose one of the following recipes to create a one-liter oral rehydration solution (ORS) at home using salt, sugar, and water:
Salt, one level teaspoon
Sugar, eight level teaspoons
5 cups (each cup containing approximately 200 ml) of clean, boiled, or drinkable water in the amount of one liter.
Stir the ingredients until the sugar and salt are dissolved. When watery diarrhea occurs, utilize this fast and effective home treatment as a suitable alternative to oral rehydration salts.
Understanding common pediatric health issues will help us better comprehend their causes, symptoms, and essential treatments. Children's health and wellbeing can be promoted by giving them appropriate nutrition, making sure their environment is safe, practicing excellent cleanliness, and getting medical help when needed. As our children grow and develop, keep in mind that prevention, early identification, and appropriate care are essential to protecting their health.