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 paediatrician, 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”.
Paediatricians 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. Behavioural problems like tantrums, nail biting and thumb sucking
Seen mainly in preschoolers and early school goers, the most common reasons are attention seeking and anaemia. 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.
Seen predominantly in children of school age, there are a variety of reasons. It could be something medical like a 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 fibre 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!
Vomiting is a common complaint all parents go running to the paediatrician 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 overfeeding, food allergy, food poisoning or in some cases, a fall.
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 the 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.