Q?Is breastfeeding a significant factor for the health of my child?

It certainly provides a major contribution towards the great health of any child. Practicing pediatrician James Sears, MD strongly supports this well-studied medical claim in his popular books, which include The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family and The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two. Breastfeeding also helps to greatly improve the health of any nursing mother, too.

One of the things that Sears stresses is that mother’s breast milk – high in antibody-rich colostrum, vitamins and protein – greatly guards babies from such nasty intruders as pneumonia; ear, nose and throat infections; airborne allergies as well as coughs and colds. Dr. Sears even goes so far to say that sudden infant death syndrome, better knows as SIDS, can be largely prevented by breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding actually helps mothers who provide milk for their babies in several ways. It increases bone strength, reduces the chances of Type II diabetes and lessens the chances of the mother getting breast cancer down the line. DR. Sears even goes so far to say that the act of breastfeeding helps many mothers lose the last of their pregnancy weight and of course, helps moms and their little ones to bond.

Breastfeeding isn’t for all mothers, however. There are some physical, medical and other reasons that may prevent a new mom from being able to provide breast milk, in which case mothers may use baby formula that is a great replacement. Mother’s, their partners and their doctor can all help to decide which choice is the way to go for them.

Q?What can I do to stop sudden infant death syndrome?

Millions of beautiful babies are born every year, however, nearly 2,000 of them die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) between the ages of one month and one year old in the United States. Doctors and specialists have provided a few sound methods to help lessen the risk of SIDS in your baby. These include making sure that your baby sleeps on its back when going to sleep in the evening – or even for little naps. Be sure to never smoke or allow smoldering items near your baby at any time. Also, make certain that your baby sleeps on a solid cushion, as well as be sure to remove bed covers, toys or other objects that might block a child’s breathing.

A significant way to decrease the risk of SIDS, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control, is for a baby to regularly breastfeed and also receive immunization shots.
Over the last few years, there has been drop of half the death rate in babies in the U.S. from SIDS, as well as dramatic drop – down to 15% – in babies who sleep on their stomachs. Over three thousand infants are now being saved from SIDS annually because of these precautions in recent years.

Q?Is childhood autism caused by immunization shots?

Many medical professionals and parents have argued the connection between the occurrence of autism in children and immunization. According to the NICHHD, the most up-to-date medical studies indicate that vaccines for the most common childhood diseases – such as rubella, measles, mumps, and polio – do not in fact directly cause autism. One of the primary studies that defended the connection between vaccinations and the disease was withdrawn by its author whose medical license was also revoked. There are others who firmly believe that a mercury-containing vaccine preservative called thimersol, is still the culprit for the increasing occurrence of autism. As of 2012, still no studies have revealed that autism is caused by any current vaccines used on infants and children.

Q?What’s the best way to help my son or daughter from becoming ill when they are in school or at a day care facility?

While children can become ill for a number of reasons when they are in school or are attending day care, there are a few strong preventative measures they should take on a regular basis. Top on that list is the washing of hands. Children should lather themselves up completely with warm water and soap for more then twenty seconds, then rinse off completely at least a few times per day.

As a parent, when you look for a day care center for your child, try to determine what the school rules are regarding the washing of hands for both faculty and students. Make sure there are enough working sinks throughout the school so kids don’t have an excuse not to wash. New York doctor, Neil Schachter, the writer of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu, of Mount Sinai Hospital, stresses this and other related care for children to prevent sickness. The American Medical Association indicated that more than half of all teachers routinely wipe down common areas and surfaces with disinfectant to help reduce germs in the classroom, so go ahead and check with your children’s teachers to see if they do the same.

Q?What’s the best way for me to determine if my daughter or son has come down with a flu or cold?

While many symptoms between colds and the flu overlap greatly, you’ll be able to tell when your child is struck by the latter because of its overall strength. Look out for significant tiredness, muscles pains, high temperature and airy coughs. When a kid has a simple cold, they usually have congested noses or leaky noses and often don’t last more than a few days. A flu, on the other hand can dramatically decrease the strength of your child’s immune system, causing heavy bacteria build-up, pneumonia and much more. While commonly prescribes by some doctors, oral antibiotic medication does not wipe our either a flue or a cold – even though the body may generate more bacteria than normal when your child is ill.

Q?How can I help to reduce or eliminate the series of ear infections that my daughter or son has developed?

Many kids of all ages have developed chronic earaches and ear infections. While some physicians have suggested ways to significantly boost a child’s immune system through a natural diet and supplements, others suggest the use of regular antibiotics to eliminate bacteria that cause painful earaches and inflammation. Dr. James Sears, writer of the popular The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest for the Whole Family says that children who develop persistent ear infections that number 3-4 annually may choose a low dosage, as such.

Alternatively, in some cases, some doctors suggest that children with chronic ear infections utilize ear tubes that help reduce middle ear pressure, allow a child to hear more easily and eliminates fluid build-up within the ear. These tubes can be easily inserted under full anesthesia by an ENT doctor and work for up to a year, depending on you child’s prognosis. Feel free to discuss this option with your doctor.

Q?What is the best way to make sure that my daughter or son does not become grossly overweight or obese?

In the last decade, child obesity has reached an all-time high across the United States. One of the most important thing for parents to do to prevent the massive weight gain that has taken over many of America’s children is to provide guidance and eat as they would want their children to – to stay trim and healthy. It is important for all of the family to have fun together and participate in scheduled physical activity. The AOA or American Obesity Association also strongly notes to cut down idle “activities” like watching TV or playing video games. It is important not to isolate children who have gained unnecessary pounds and instead of requiring them to eat a unique healthy diet, have the whole family eat similarly to support one another. Doing it together will help your kids eat great the rest of their lives and be healthy!

Q?If I think that my daughter or son has ADHD, what exactly is the thing to do?

Current statistics show that almost 1 in twenty kids in the U.S. may have ADHA or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Many of the disease’s symptoms include impulsive behavior, lack of sustained attention, and may lead to outbursts, restlessness and learning deficiencies.

When those symptoms are recognized, be sure to bring your child to a local pediatrician or psychologist. The doctor should see your kid both in their examination office, at school and even at home – to gauge their symptoms in different environments. There are many ways to help reduce or eliminate ADHD, which include behavior and cognitive therapy, the application of medicine, as well as support from teachers, mom, dad and the overall education experience that your child receives.

Q?What’s the best way to determine if my daughter or son is depressed?

Just like mom and dad and other adults, children can become depressed for may reasons. Be sure to be on the lookout for these symptoms:

  • Trouble with concentration
  • Guilty feelings
  • Difficulty in speaking or expressing themselves
  • Loss of all hope
  • Regular sorrow, crying jags
  • Frequent boredom
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of interest
  • Alienation from friends, relatives and family
  • Growth of hate, anger and aggression
  • Sickness complaints – whether false or true
  • Attempt to leave home
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • No energy
  • Trouble with relationships

When, as a parent, you see these indicators, speak with your doctor in order to find the best mental health physician for your child. When you and your doctor detect these symptoms and address them early, it will go a long way to solving depression issues for your daughter or son.