Infections in premature babies

Newborns are  prone to infections . However premature infants are  at increased risk because of their immature immune system. As a result , they are not adequately able to fight off bacteria, fungi , viruses and other organisms that cause infections.

premature babies

Some babies are born with infections  they got from their mom, while others  develop infections from the environment especially those who have vascular catheter .

Microorganism that live on the skin normally can cause an infection if they enter the body through catheters or tubes inserted into the baby’s body. These tubes and catheters are usually essential for the babies to receive the required medications and nutritions  and a painless way to draw blood for tests. read more

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn

Persistent pulmonary hypertension is also known as   persistent fetal circulation. It is when a newborn’s circulation  reverts back to the circulation of a fetus where much of the blood flow bypasses the lungs. It usually occurs in newborns after a difficult birth or birth  asphyxia.

newborn

What are the symptoms ?

Symptoms include the following :

  • Baby appears sick at delivery and the first few hours after birth.
  • Rapid heart rate and breathing.
  • Blue coloring of the skin.
  • Low blood oxygen levels.
  • Hands and feet that are cool to touch .
  • Low blood pressure throughout the body.

Who is at risk ?

Factors that increases an baby’s  risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension include the following :

  • Meconium aspiration : This occurs when the baby breathes in its own sticky poop (meconium).
  • Lack of oxygen before and during birth.
  • Respiratory distress syndrome : This occurs in infants who do not have a fully developed lungs.
  • Infection

How is it diagnosed ?

These  tests may be used to diagnose persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn . read more

An Overview on Your Baby’s Hearing, Speech and Vision

Hearing , speech and vision are an essential part of your child’s life. A  newborn’s eyesight is immature. The baby later develops  the ability to focus. Hearing appears  early in fetal development  and is important for the  progression of speech and language.  It is important to monitor your child’s ability  to see, hear and speak . This is an important part of the health of your growing child.

newborn

The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following screening  stages . read more

Managing Poor Sleep Habits in Children

It is easy for children to adopt unhealthy sleep habits.  These tips will help you when your child  does not want to go to bed or is having trouble staying in bed.

poor sleep habits

  • If your child cries, reassure the child calmly that she is fine and that its time to go to the bed .Then  leave the room.
  • Do not give your child  a bottle or pick the child up.
  • If your child continues to cry, stretch out the time between trips to the room. Do not do anything but talk calmly and leave.
  • Your child will calm down and go to sleep if you stick to this routine. It may take several nights for the child to get use  to the new plan.
  • If your child is use to getting a large amount of milk during night time, cut down the amount of milk in the bottle by 1/2 to 1 ounce each night until the bottle is completely empty and then take it away.
  • It is possible for some children to get out of the normal routine during sickness  or travel. You should quickly return to good sleeping habits when things get back to normal.
  • read more

    Meconium Aspiration Syndrome

    Meconium is a newborn’s first stool. Meconium aspiration syndrome is when a newborn breathes  a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid into the lungs around the time of delivery. It is the leading cause of severe illness and death in newborns. It usually occurs when the infant is stressed during labor especially if he/she is past due.

    newborn

    What are the symptoms of meconium aspiration syndrome ?

    Symptoms include the following :

    • Bluish skin color
    • Breathing problems
    • Limpness in the infant after birth
    • Dark, greenish staining or streaking of the amniotic fluid or the obvious presence of meconium in the amniotic fluid

    How is meconium aspiration syndrome diagnosed ?

    This condition can be diagnosed in the following situations

    • Before childbirth , when the fetal monitor shows a slow heart rate.
    • At birth , meconium can be seen in the amniotic fluid.
    • Abnormal breath sounds, especially coarse, crackly sounds, are heard through a stethoscope.
    • A chest x-ray may show patchy or streaky areas on the lungs.
    • A blood gas analysis shows low blood acidity, decreased oxygen and increased carbon dioxide.

    How is meconium aspiration syndrome treated ?

    As soon as the head of the newborn is seen during delivery, his/her mouth will be suctioned. Further treatment may be necessary if  there is thick meconium staining and fetal distress. The newborn may be placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit NICU or special care nursery.  Other treatment options include : read more

    Slow Weight Gain in Babies

    Weight gain is one of the many signs of good health in a baby.  It is possible for a perfectly healthy baby to gain weight slowly because its just  his/her  unique growth pattern. In other cases, the cause of poor growth in children is not known. If your baby is not gaining weight according to a certain pattern, you should talk to your doctor or lactation consultant. Your provider will try to find out if the slow growth rate in  your child is normal  or the result of something else.

    baby's weight read more

    Getting Your Newborn a Birth Certificate

    How to get your newborn a birth certificate

    A birth certificate is one of the most important documents your baby will ever own. The hospital will help you prepare and send a completed birth certificate to the Department of Public  Health for proper registration .

    newborn

    To obtain your child’s birth certificate, you have to visit your county’s  department of vital records  for an order form. To locate the Vital Records office for your state, call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at 800-232-4636 or visit their website to access a database of links to state offices. Some hospitals will provide you with an order form during your hospital stay. There is no limit to the number of certificates you can order. read more

    Causes of Bad Breath in Children and How to Avoid It

    Bad breath also know as halitosis  in children is often caused by bacterial building up between the teeth or the back of the tongue. There  may be other causes such food the child eats, medical condition and so on. If bad breath persists, consult your doctor.

    bad breath

    Causes of bad breath in children

    Some of the common causes of bad breath in children include the following :

    • Poor oral hygiene : If the child doesnt brush and floss frequently, it can result in bad breath.
    • Dry mouth : Saliva cleanses the mouth. If your child is  producing less saliva than normal, it can result in this condition.
    • Bacteria on the tongue : Most odor causing bacteria reside on the tongue. If the child doesnt brush his tongue, odor causing bacteria will accumulate and result in bad breath.
    • Mouth breathing : Breathing though the mouth can prevent saliva from washing away bacteria that result in bad breath.
    • Mouth infections : Bad breath can result from   cavities, plaque build up , mouth sores or oral hygiene.
    • Medications : Certain medications can result in this condition because they break down in a way that releases chemicals that result in bad breath.
    • Certain foods :  If the child consumes foods that have strong odor such as garlic, onions and specific spices,  it can have an impact of the freshness of breath.
    • A medical condition :  If your child is suffering from allergies, a sinus infection , tonsillitis or other conditions, it can result in sticky  breath.

    How to avoid bad breath

    You can avoid bad breath in children by doing the following :

    • Your child should brush twice a day with an American Dental Association ADA accepted fluoride toothpaste to promote  fresh breath. It is important to supervise smaller kids so that they brush well and do not swallow the toothpaste.
    • Floss daily  in order to remove odor causing food particles from the teeth.
    •  It is important that the child brushes her  tongue as bacteria can collect and grow on the tongue.
    • It is important to change your child’s toothbrush  every few months. This is because dull bristles  cannot effectively remove plaque and debris from the teeth.
    •  You should also schedule regular checkups  and professional cleanings with the dentist.

    Most of the time bad breath goes away with good oral hygiene. However , some children may experience chronic bad breath. In this case , if your dentist determines if  everything is fine with  your child’s oral health, he will refer the child to a primary care  physician  for additional testing to diagnose the underlying cause of halitosis. read more

    Eye Contact in Babies

    One of the most magical moments of being a new parents is when your baby makes eye contact with you. Parents notice the first direct eye contact around 6 to 8 weeks of age. However there is a wider range which is considered normal.

    eye contact

    Why is eye contact important ?

    Eye contact indicates  that the  baby’s neurological development is progressing normally. When a baby makes eye contact, it shows that she knows what a face is and understands that facial expression can  indicate how a person feels.

    It also makes bonding stronger between parents and child. This is because it shows you that your baby doesn’t know who you are or how important your life is. read more

    Treating Your Baby’s Drool Rash

    Drooling is common especially when a baby is teething. All that saliva can give your child  drool rash which is a raised , red rash most commonly found on the face . It can also extend to the neck  and chest if your child drools a lot. This rash is harmless, however there are ways to clear it up.

    drool rash

    How to clear up drool rash

    You should keep the baby’s skin clean to improve drool rash. A clean, cloth diaper or baby washcloth is absorbent and gentle and wont irritate already sensitive skin. You have to focus on all affected areas. Use warm water and gently pat the skin dry. Rubbing it will further irritate the skin. Don’t forget about the folds in your baby’s neck. Be sure to get the baby’s skin completely dry after washing it. read more