April 2009Vol-1, Issue-16
KidsDoc Monthly Newsletter from AllForKids
April -2009,Vol -1,Issue-16
By Dr. M.Vijayalakshmi M.D(Peds), M.D(USA), FAAP, DAA
AllForKids has moved to a New Location in Tripunithura
On April 6th we moved to a new location at Tripunithura. Our new location is on Sanskrit College Road, Above Jyothi Gas, Opposite to Sanskrit college. Coming from Vyttila you can reach us by making the first right turn after Varkeys. If you are coming from Vaikom road following one-way through the bus stand you can reach us by coming through the straight road at Statue junction instead of turning left towards the temple.
Other than our physical location everything else will remain the same including our quality of service, friendly staff, telephone numbers and everything else that you have got accustomed about AllForKids. Thank you all for your continued patronage.
April is Autism awareness month
Autism or Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of related brain-based disorders that affect a child's behavior, social, and communication skills. The ASD include Autistic disorder , Asperger syndrome and non-specified PDD (pervasive developmental disorders).
About 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASDs are lifelong conditions with no known cure. However with special help, children with ASD can progress developmentally and learn new skills. Some children may improve so much that they no longer meet the criteria for ASD, although milder symptoms may often persist. The importance of early and continuous surveillance and screening for ASD to ensure that children are identified and provided special assistance. The sooner autism is identified, the sooner an intervention program can start and the better the results will be.
In most developed countries the infrastructure to identify and intervene on ASDs exists. The outlook for children for ASD is slowly improving in India with support infrastructure starting to come up now.
Traveling Abroad – plan ahead for your health and safety
More and more of us from India are making overseas vacation trips every year. It is very exciting to make such trips off course. Unless you plan ahead the experience of getting sick while abroad can become doubly painful and expensive. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind.
Travel Health and Medical Evacuation Insurance and out of pocket expenses
- Medical care while traveling abroad can be very expensive
- Travelers are responsible for hospital and other medical expenses incurred during their trip. Check your health insurance plan to see if they will cover your health needs abroad.
- Think about purchasing overseas travel insurance for your trip
- Be prepared to pay out of pocket at the time you receive any medical services while traveling, even if you do have insurance. Usually the travel insurance plans want you to pay for the expenses yourself and you will be reimbursed later.
Note: Personally, my family always uses Overseas travel insurance form United India Insurance for any travel abroad. Please check with your agent for the most appropriate insurance for your needs.
Talk to/ visit your doctor before any lengthy overseas travel with your children
The doctor will be able to check your/child’s medical condition and advise of any specific steps to be taken. Also the doctor will be able to check your vaccination records to make sure that your child is up-to-date on recommended vaccinations
Be up-to-date on vaccinations
Carry a basic health/medical kit with you for basic needs like treating a fever, head ache or cuts and bruises
Here are some items that are recommended for carrying with on overseas trips:
- Personal prescription medications in their original containers (copies of all prescriptions should be carried, including the generic names for medications, and a note from the prescribing physician on letterhead stationery for controlled substances and injectable medications)
- Antimalarial medications( if applicable)
- Over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication
- Antibiotic for self-treatment of moderate to severe diarrhea
- Decongestant, alone or in combination with antihistamine
- Anti-motion sickness medication
- A digital thermometer
- Paracetamol, ibuprofen, or other medication for pain or fever
- Cough suppressant/expectorant
- Throat lozenges
- Antifungal and antibacterial ointments or creams
- Epinephrine auto-injector (e.g., EpiPen), if there is a history of severe allergic reaction.
Disease Focus – Mumps
Mumps is a viral illness caused by the mumps virus.
Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite; followed by swelling of salivary glands. The parotid salivary glands which are located within your cheek, near your jaw line, below your ears are most frequently affected.
Mumps can sometimes cause serious complications like:
- Inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/meningitis)
- Inflammation of the testicles
- Inflammation of the ovaries and/or breasts
- Spontaneous abortion
- Deafness, usually permanent
The mumps virus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory secretions and saliva.
The infectious period that an infected person can transmit mumps to a non-infected person is from 3 days before symptoms appear to about 9 days after the symptoms appear. The incubation time, which is the period from when a person is exposed to virus to the onset of any symptoms, can usually vary from 16 to 18 days.
Currently, there is no specific treatment for mumps.
The mumps vaccine, which is contained in the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, can prevent this disease.
Children should get 2 doses of MMR vaccine:
- The first dose at 12-15 months of age
- The second dose at 4-6 years of age
- These are the recommended ages. But children can get the second dose at any age, as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
As an adult you do NOT need the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR) if:
- You had blood tests that show you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella.
- You are a male born before 1957 or a female born before 1957 who is sure she is not having more children, has already had rubella vaccine, or has had a positive rubella test.
- You already had two doses of MMR or one dose of MMR plus a second dose of measles vaccine.
- You already had one dose of MMR and are not at high risk of measles or mumps exposure.
- You are a college student, or other student beyond high school.
- You work in a hospital or other medical facility
- You travel internationally, or are a passenger on a cruise ship.
- You are a woman of childbearing age.
Early hearing detection and intervention in babies
Problems in hearing can happen in either frequency or intensity, or both. Hearing loss severity is based on how well a person can hear the frequencies or intensities most often associated with speech. Severity can be described as mild, moderate, severe, or profound. The term “deaf” is sometimes used to describe someone who has an approximately 90 dB or greater hearing loss or who cannot use hearing to process speech and language information, even with the use of hearing aids.
Hearing loss can affect a child’s speech, language, cognitive, and psychosocial development. Treatment is most successful if the hearing loss is identified early—through newborn screening done during the first few months of life.
All newborns should be screened for hearing loss. More and more hospitals are screening babies before they go home.
- Babies should be screened before they leave the hospital or before 1 month of age.
- If a baby does not pass the screening, he or she should get a follow-up evaluation before 3 months.
- Babies who are deaf or hard of hearing should receive services before they are 6 months old. These services help babies develop speech, language, and social skills.
There are two main types of screenings used:
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing focuses only on the function of the inner ear, the acoustic nerve, and the brain pathways that are associated with hearing. This test is used for babies, children, and adults. For this test, electrodes are placed on the individual’s head (similar to electrodes placed around the heart when an electrocardiogram is done), and brain wave activity in response to sound is recorded. Because this test does not rely on behavior, the adult or child being tested can be sound asleep during the test.
Behavioral Audiometry Evaluation tests the function of all parts of the ear, including the acoustic nerve and the brain pathways involved in hearing. Infants and toddlers are observed for changes in their behavior such as sucking a pacifier, quieting, or searching for the sound. They are rewarded for the correct response by getting to watch an animated toy (this is called visual reinforcement audiometry). Sometimes older children are given a more play-like activity (this is called conditioned play audiometry). The child being tested must be awake and cooperative during this test.
Interested in accessing previous issues of our Newsletter? Please visit the following link http://www.allforkidsindia.com/allforkids/Newsletter/index.aspx