Category Archives for "Child’s Health"

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Birth Defect: Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a congenital heart defect present at birth. It is a rare heart condition that affects the lower left chamber of the heart. the left ventricle is very small, the valves on the left side of the heart (aortic and mitral do not work properly and the main artery leaving the heart (aorta) is smaller than normal. This condition means that the left side of the heart will not be able to pump effectively to pump blood to the body, so the right side of the heart must do more work to compensate.

In a day or two after birth the natural openings between the right and left sides of the heart close. This closing which occurs naturally and normally does not affect the normal healthy new-born, can prove fatal to the baby with this congenital heart condition as now the right side of the heart no longer has a way to pump blood to the body. Medication can be given to prevent the holes from closing between the left and the right sides. A heart transplant or heart surgery will be necessary to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome if the baby is to survive. In the past, few babies survived; now the outlook is more promising for these babies.


Critically ill at birth

Greyish-blue skin colour

Rapid and difficulty breathing

Poor feeding

Hands and feet are cold


If the natural holes on the left and right sides (foramen ovale and ductus arteriosus) are allowed to close the baby will go into shock and may die.

Symptoms of shock:

Clammy and cool skin that may also be pale or grey in colour

Rapid and weak pulse

Slow, shallow or very rapid breathing

Dilated pupils (eyes)

Eyes that seem to stare (lack lustier)

May be conscious or unconscious

A baby in shock needs medical treatment right away as this is an emergency.


The causes are unknown. All that is known is that it occurs during foetal development.

Genetics does play a role in hypoplastic left heart syndrome.


Having one or more children who have hypoplstic left heart syndrome

Seeking Medical Attention:

If your baby has any of these symptoms seek medical attention immediately:

Skin colour - grey or blue

Breathing that is rapid or seems difficult in any way.

Does not feed well

Hands and feet are cold

Baby is always sleepy

Shock symptoms are an emergency and must be given immediate medical care:

cold, clammy skin that is blue or grey in colour

rapid and weak pulse

breathing that is not normal (slow, shallow, or very rapid)

Pupils of the eyes are dilated

Eyes appear to be lack lustre and as if they are starring

Prenatal Screening:

Today there is advanced ultrasound technology that can detect heart defects like hypoplastic left heart syndrome. This condition can often by detected by ultrasound as early as the first trimester.

Diagnosis after birth:

A physician or other healthcare professional may suspect hypoplastic left heart syndrome, if the baby is grey or bluish in skin colour or has difficulty breathing or if the medical professional hears a heart murmur.

An echocardiogram will be performed to help make the diagnosis. This test will reveal the smaller than normal left ventricle and aorta and also track the blood flow from right ventricle into the aorta. Other heart defects can also be detected by the echocardiogram.

Constipated Baby

Constipated Baby: What To Do

How can you tell if you have a constipated baby?

What causes baby constipation, and what can you do about it?

We will answer these questions in this article.

Do You Have A Constipated Baby?

Parents are always very aware of a baby's bowel movements. It's natural to be concerned when you open a diaper and see that things have changed, or if you notice that your baby seems to be straining to pass something. A certain amount of variation in a baby's BMs is normal, just like it is for adults. But babies can suffer from constipation too.

Here are the signs to look out for.

Signs Of A Constipated Baby

The medical definition of constipation involves going 3 days or more without a bowel movement (BM).

This applies to babies too.

In addition, a baby who is suffering from constipation will usually show some or all of the following signs:

- Baby seems to be in pain or uncomfortable before a BM: more than regular straining
- The output is small, hard and dry, like pellets
- Baby has less appetite
- Baby's belly is hard and she suffers from bad-smelling wind

If feces are blocking the bowel there may be some diarrhea-like liquid which forces its way around the blockage. A blockage can be a serious matter so even if you see some liquid, do not assume this means that everything is OK again.

http://peekbaby.comWhat Causes Constipation In Babies?

Breast-fed babies do not generally get constipation.

A constipated baby is more likely to be having milk formula or solid food.

Solid food includes anything that is liquidized or blended into mush. It is not the texture of the food that is important but the ingredients. Sometimes the problem may be that the food does not contain enough fibre.

Or if your baby's diet has recently changed, either by the introduction of solid foods or by feeding different foods than she is used to, that can be the cause of baby constipation.

It is also possible that a constipated baby has a medical condition or illness.

This could include an intestinal blockage, food allergies, digestive issues or rare malformations of the digestive system.

For this reason it is important to take a constipated baby to the doctor's office.

Treatment For A Constipated Baby

A constipated baby should always be seen by a doctor to rule out underlying medical issues.

These are some of the treatments that a doctor might suggest:

1. If your baby is formula-fed, first check that you are making the formula correctly, with the right amount of water. Between feeds, offer the baby water that has been boiled and cooled. Consider switching brands of milk formula.

2. If your baby is eating solids, give her water or diluted juice to drink between meals. Add a little more fiber to her diet by chopping or blending fresh or dried fruit (especially prunes) into her meals. Juice does not contain fiber.

3. Gently rotate the constipated baby's legs in a cycling motion, to help matter travel through the digestive system.

4. Bath the baby, then gently massage her stomach, using cream or oil. Start at the navel and gradually work outwards in a clockwise motion. Stop if the baby doesn't seem to like it.

5. A laxative may be prescribed if the baby seems to be suffering discomfort or pain, but do not give your constipated baby laxatives unless the doctor recommends it.

This is a video that address specifically constipation and gas relief in babies. Please use this at your discration, this is not a medical advice, so if you have any other questions or concers please contact your health care provider. If done correctly you may be able to help your baby relieve abdominal pain connected with consitaption, gas, or colic.
potty training advice, please Click Here!

Child Obesity

It must be every parent nightmare seeing the headlines published by the National Obesity Forum stating that their children are likely to die before them.

The point is, if someone is fat? …. Were they born that way or is it a result of poor learned lifestyle choices at an early stage of development by an over indulgence of rich dense foods and inadequate exercise.

This article will take a look at the nutritional stages of childhood and current research concerning obesity in children.

Why is it important to consider if the child is simple plumb and just carrying around a certain amount of fat to cope with environmental or seasonal factors or do they harvest the seeds of fatness that will remain throughout the individual life.

There has been many studies carried out to investigate childhood obesity and most have attempted to focus on the role of heredity but on the whole, these have been complicated by the different ways parents rear their young which takes in cultural, poverty and geographical location to mention a few of these variables .

Some of these issues have been resolved by twin studies because it is reasonable to assume that a pair of twins will be reared in more or less the same way by their parents.

This is why studies of twins are of such interest to genetics, especially if they were separated at birth.

One such milestone carried out sometime ago looked at overweight parents and found that almost half the children would be overweight if one parent within the household was overweight but this percentage rose to 80% if both parents were also obese. From those studies, it certainly looks like the fine thread of nature and nurture runs throughout the genetic predisposition on one hand and poor nutritional control or education on the other.

A current study by Paediatric Research on overweight mothers found higher levels of fat within their offspring livers which has the likelihood of them acquiring a lifelong metabolic condition such as diabetes. MR I scan on babies at a London hospital found a strong correlation between the amounts of fat in the child’s liver cells and this increased in direct proportion to their mother’s body mass index (BMI)

fat childrenThis study pointed out that almost half of the British women of child bearing age was either overweight or in some cases clinically obese and therefore pre-programming their future children to become obese themselves. Having a sick child can be both psychologically and financially difficult within single or two parent families when continual time off work is required to look after the child or take them to attend medical appointments.

Is your child fat or just (puppy fat) chubby

Those within a certain age may remember Billy Bunter whom everybody found so funny in fiction, but also so tragic in fact. The politically correct party has attempted to hide this false image from our television set but in reality; it is well documented that overweight people are less successful in job interviews and have fewer choices in life.

Some children have glandular problems, but most are perfectly healthy overall but simple very fat and their condition is very difficult to control with drugs, diets or behavioural therapies.

Some of them will grow out of their weight problem, but unfortunately, many don’t. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that long hours of maternal employment was a key indicator of childhood obesity because their children had less access to healthy food and activity.

There is over whelming evidence that obesity in children has been on the increase for many years, a British study in 1998 found 23,951 children obese, whereas 10 years later this study was repeated and the total number rose to 85,302. Many had been treated for clinical obesity in hospital.

Anxiety and eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia has also been observed in children who then became obese adults. An interesting remark was made within this study - parents who impose strict faddy diets or Yo yo, from one diet to another send out the wrong messages to their children that food is dangerous and complex.

It has been suggested that your weight will eventually be determined upon the number of fat cells you have has a child. Fat cells (adipose tissue) is critical for the individual survival and has a number of vital functions. We are born with two different types of fat cells, one being a specialised fat cell (brown fat) which has thermogenic (heat production) properties and mostly located on the upper part of the back. This tissue is more obvious at birth and provides heat to the baby and is compensatory for the loss of our fur during evolution.

This enables the child to adapt to its new and possible hostile environment following gestation. The theory behind some of the high fat diets is that this brown fat is being retained this way and any excess calories accumulated are being removed more easily by this metabolic activity in the form of heat.

Another fat cell is the white fat tissue that is abundant and also has an important function within the body but it has rightly had some bad press coverage due to health issues and being cosmetically unpleasing to the eye. The theory is that the white fat cells have a blueprint in which the capability to hold excess calories is determined during childhood.

It has been postulated that overeating as a child will programme the capacity or volume of these cells to retain more potential energy reservoir / capacity in the future and the child will remain fat for evermore.

child health and dietThere are certain periods in a child’s life when they tend to accumulate a lot more fat but remember that childhood is a time of rapid growth and development with increased demands for energy, protein and essential fats with nutrients such as iron and calcium is needed. During the first nine months, there is rapid growth and the numbers of fat cells then increase, being more obvious in males.

After this initial fattening up period within infancy, fat will be lost in both gender until the ages of eight or ten years of age. Although the total numbers of fat cells themselves will not decrease and girls lose more body fat than boys during this period. There have been some conflicting evidence on breastfed children and bottle fed babies during this stage in which nature’s plumping up process could carry the individual into obesity in later life.

It appears that the critical period for programming obesity could be after the age of ten in males and puberty in females. This certainly looks like over nutrition during this stage could influence the filling capacity of fat cells to be determined in preparation for any food shortages that fails to emerge but the over abundance of nutrients sends out the wrong messages. At this stage, white adipose organ is more sensitive in receiving a lifelong message in controlling this potential reservoir of energy which becomes extremely resistant to change after this period.

In girls, their body weight is closely related to the age at which menstruation starts and a fat child could mature earlier than a thin child. The period of menstruation will also be related to the date the long-bones stop growing. Young girls who take the contraceptive pill hormone will also gain weight.