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KidsDoc Newsletter from AllForKids

December-2009 & January-2010, Vol-1, Issue-22

By Dr. M.Vijayalakshmi M.D(Peds), M.D(USA), FAAP, DAA

Content Sources:

Centers for Disease Prevention and Control(CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics

Latest from AllForKids

AllForKids will be conducting a free spirometry camp third Saturday of every month, Please call 0484-645 2772 to register. Annual Influenza Vaccination (Flu Shot) for 2009-10 is now available at AllForKids. Please call ahead for appointments.


Parents often ask doctors if their children need a vitamin syrup. Some parents falsely believe that giving vitamins will increase the appetite of the child and cause weight gain.

Routine supplementation is not necessary for healthy growing children who consume a varied diet.Children who are at risk for nutritional deficiency include:

  1. Children with chronic diseases like liver or kidney disease, blood disorders like thalassemia or sickle cell diseases etc
  2. Children from deprived families.
  3. Children with failure to thrive.

If parents wish to give their children vitamin supplements they should ensure that the amount of minerals and vitamins in the preparation does not exceed the RDA(Recommended Dietary Allowance for age.

Fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A,D,E and K can cause toxic side effects if excessively consumed. These can get stored in the liver and other organs and cause serious problems.

Also because some of these preparations are attractive to children in terms of shape,color and taste hey should be stored safely and only administered by an adult.

We will discuss about a few minerals in this article


Calcium is specially important for the developing bones and muscles. The daily requirement of calcium varies from 500 mg for a 2 yr old to 1000 mg for a 10-18 year old.

Dairy products are the major sources of calcium. A helpful guide for parents is that 1 cup of milk that is about 250 ml will contain 250 mg of calcium. An alternative for children who do not drink milk is one cup of yogurt or one ounce(30grams ) of cheese.

Vegetables like beans, spinach ,broccoli also are good sources of calcium.

Parents should also remember that physical activity is important for bone health in addition to dietary intake. So encourage your children to run and play for at least 30-60 minutes on most days.


Iron deficiency anemia is one of the commonest nutritional disorders which is seen in developing countries.

Premature infants are at risk of anemia in the first year of life. After age of 4-6 months if complementary foods are not adequately instituted the breast fed baby could be at risk for iron deficiency. Older children with inadequate diet and pubertal girls could also be at risk.

Most children between 1 to 12 years need about 10 mg/day of iron. Girls over 14 years need about 15 mg of Iron daily.

Meat products are the richest sources of Iron. For vegetarians the options are spinach, oatmealbeans like soyabeens, dried raisins ,black eyes peas,avocados and eggs.

Iron supplementation is best done under a physician`s supervision. Iron overdose can be dangerous and even fatal.

Disease Focus Hepatitis A

There have been quite a few reports of Hepatitis(Jaundice) cases in healthy adults form in and around Cochin, many in students in hostels. Hepatitis A is one of the common food borne cause of jaundice.

It can affect children and adults. The symptoms can be very nonspecific and include fever, ,stomach pain, vomiting and yellow color to skin, eyes and urine. There is no specific medicine for treatment. Recovery occurs in 6-8 weeks.

The good news is that it is entirely preventable with vaccination. 2 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine can protect adults and children for up to 25 years. The vaccine is safe and can be administered after the age of 1 year.


From American Academy of Pediatrics

The following New Year tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).


  • I will clean up my toys.
  • I will brush my teeth twice a day, and wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
  • I won’t tease dogs – even friendly ones. I will avoid being bitten by keeping my fingers and face away from their mouths.

Kids, 5- to 12-years-old

  • I will drink milk and water, and limit soda and fruit drinks.
  • I will apply sunscreen before I go outdoors. I will try to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I’m playing sports.
  • I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
  • I will always wear a helmet when bicycling.
  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I’ll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
  • I’ll be nice to other kids. I’ll be friendly to kids who need friends – like someone who is shy, or is new to my school.
  • I’ll never give out personal information such as my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I’ll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without my parent’s permission.

Kids, 13-years-old and up

  • I will eat at least one fruit and one vegetable every day, and I will limit the amount of soda I drink.
  • I will take care of my body through physical activity and nutrition.
  • I will choose non-violent television shows and video games, and I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities.
  • I will help out in my community – through volunteering, working with community groups or by joining a group that helps people in need.
  • I will wipe negative “self talk” (i.e. “I can’t do it” or “I’m so dumb”) out of my vocabulary,
  • When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find constructive ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or discussing my problem with a parent or friend.
  • When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk with an adult about my choices.
  • When I notice my friends are struggling or engaging in risky behaviors, I will talk with a trusted adult and attempt to find a way that I can help them.
  • I will be careful about whom I choose to date, and always treat the other person with respect and without coercion or violence.
  • I will resist peer pressure to try drugs and alcohol.
  • I agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt.

Dosing errors because of the use of kitchen utensils to measure medicine doses

Using a kitchen spoon to measure medicines, like cough syrups, may make it harder to get the right dosage and lead to dosing errors.

A new study shows that the amount of liquid medicine a person pours into a kitchen spoon depends on the size of the spoon and frequently leads to overdosing or under-dosing.

The Food and Drugs Administration in the US recommends against using kitchen utensils to dose liquid medicines, but researchers say most people still use spoons when pouring medicine for themselves and their families.

Researchers say the consequences of a single dosing error in a teaspoon-sized serving of medicine may be normally be minimal but this may be substantial for children. But these types of overdosing and under-dosing errors are likely to accumulate among tired and sick people who are dosing themselves every four to eight hours for several days.

It is safer and much more effective to use a measuring cap, dosing spoon, measuring dropper, or dosing syringe to dispense liquid medicine than to assume the amount poured into a kitchen spoon is accurate.

Interested in accessing previous issues of our Newsletter? Please visit the following link http://www.allforkidsindia.com/allforkids/Newsletter/index.aspx


Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic

Opposite Sanskrit College,
Sanskrit College Road, Tripunithura-682301

Phone: 0484-645 2772, 0484-6492772
Website: www.allforkidsindia.com
e-mail: info@allforkidsindia.com

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