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Top 10 Parenting Concerns Every Pediatrician Faces

During Samaira’s first three years, the monthly pediatrician visits used to feel like my exam as a mom. Till the doctor said that she had gained weight and height since the last visit and every issue I came to him with was “common”, I used to feel like I am failing the Mommy Test! 

Now I am much more relaxed but I know the feeling when you are scared out of your wits whether the rash of your baby’s cheek is something dangerous and a three-day milk strike is just apocalypse. (And my husband is a doctor! Go figure! ). Fabida is tackling the top 10 common Parenting concerns every pediatrician hears from new and experienced parents and what they really mean.

This post is by Fabida Abdulla, the regular contributor to The Mom Views and blogger at Shocks and Shoes. Fab writes about parenting, baking, shopping and all the little joys in life. 

Don’t ever tell the mother of a newborn that her baby’s smile is just gas.  ~Jill Woodhull

 Well, you wouldn’t dare to, would you? :-). New Moms love to think that the little bundles in their arms are smiling because the angels are singing and not because of little gaseous releases from their backsides!

But when your little prince or princess is not smiling or feeling well, most Moms (and Dads) panic. They rush to the pediatrician, day or night, rain or shine. And they’ll not rest till they hear the words, “It’s nothing, she’ll get better in a day or two”.

Pediatricians hear a wide range of complaints. Here’s a list of the ten most common complaints (in reverse order) heard by pediatric doctors in India and what they actually mean.

 10. Behavioral problems like tantrums, nail biting and thumb sucking

Seen mainly in preschoolers and early school goers, the most common reasons are attention seeking and anemia. Plain boredom can also cause nail biting and thumb sucking. If none of these, it’s probably a psychological problem, like a disruption in the child’s life – moving house, new baby, Mom going back to work, grandma going away etc.

9. Skin rashes – itching, boils or warts

Common reasons include insect bites or an allergy to something – dust, pollen or food. Be aware of what your child was eating at the time the rash erupts, so that you can identify the food he’s allergic too.

8. Headache

Seen predominantly in children of school age, there are a variety of reasons. It could be something medical like migraine, a fall, sinusitis, vision problems or something simple like watching too much TV, too many computer games or even too much chocolate :-).

7. Constipation & Loose motions

Both conditions are equally common and occur across all age groups.

Constipation is usually due to three main reasons. 1) Too lazy to go potty 2) Too little fiber and too much processed food 3) Insufficient water intake.

Loose motions arouse more panic in parents and are mostly due to 1) Food poisoning 2) Indigestion 3) Bad hygiene.

6. Tummy Pain

If seen in infants at around 3 months, it is usually due to evening colic which is fairly common. Propping up the child and burping him eases the discomfort. Formula fed babies also have a higher tendency for tummy trouble.

In school going children, aside from medical reasons, it is a common way of attention seeking or to avoid certain situations – certain foods, or going to school.

5. Breath holding

This is something that really scares parents, but is not really that dangerous. In babies, they often cry extremely loudly when hungry or in pain, and can end up holding their breath for a few seconds.

In preschoolers, it’s usually a part of tantrums – also used as an effective ploy to manipulate parents since they know holding their breath is going to terrify whoever is watching!

 4. Vomiting

Vomiting is a common complaint all parents go running to the pediatrician for, and with good reason – vomiting is not to be taken lightly. It is even considered more dangerous than loose motions.

Common reasons for vomiting are over feeding, food allergy, food poisoning or in some cases, a fall.

3. Fever-cough-cold

A combination of fever-cough-cold is extremely common at the doctor’s. Seen across all ages, it is generally seasonal; seen at the onset of monsoon, winter, flowering season and start of school. Doctors suggest waiting a day or two before rushing to a doctor.

2. Not growing/gaining height

I guess we have to thank the Complan ads for this one. Many parents complain that their child simply isn’t growing. There isn’t an easy answer to this problem; doctors need to consider family history, diet and other medical reasons.

1. Not eating anything

Every Mom’s favorite complaint. “My child doesn’t eat anything” or “My child eats only junk food!”

 Doctors say the problem here is mainly with the parents. Right from the time of weaning, all food groups need to be introduced and parents need to take it easy on the sugar. If you don’t provide the child with junk food, he will not develop a taste for it. Also, maintaining meal timings is crucial, as is regulating snacks.

I’m sure many of these sound familiar!! As you can see,  they are indeed common, so stop

worrying when the kids are unwell and trust your pediatrician. 



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