Coughs and colds are infectious diseases that are very common in children. However, there are some children who have frequent or persistent cough. There may be a number of diseases like tuberculosis and respiratory infections that may cause this, particularly in children living in slums and overcrowded areas.

A habit is a strong behaviour pattern that is repeated over and over again. Habits may develop as entertainment for a bored child or, more commonly, as a coping mechanism to soothe anxiety. Sucking is a normal phenomenon in early occasional infancy. Thumb sucking when the child is hungry, disturbed and lonely, or is satisfying his urge for sucking, is a perfectly acceptable and normal phenomenon in children less than a year old.

When children feel frustrated, angry, or disappointed, they often express themselves by crying, screaming, breaking things, rolling on the floor, whining, holding their breath, kicking or hitting. Parents may feel angry, helpless or embarrassed at such behaviour. Temper tantrums are a normal part of a child's development as he learns self-control. in fact, all children have tantrums between the ages of 1 and 3. It is generally seen that by age 4 tantrums usually stop.

Many people think that school is a place where the child learns to read, write, do arithmetic, memorise facts about geography, history and science. It is much more than this. A school is not just a place where the child learns these subjects. It is also a place where he learns to get on with people and is thus preparing for adult life.

From sharing the womb to discovering the world together, twins are two individuals bound to each other by nature. When a couple is told that they are expecting twins, it is not surprising if they feel a little ambivalent. Everyone knows that looking after one baby is a full time job, but two at the same time can be truly daunting. Twins may be double the trouble, but they are also double the joy.

The social development of the child is as important as her physical and intellectual development. The child must be able to communicate and interact with other people. Every baby has a unique personality waiting to develop. Watching the baby grow is like meeting a whole new person. Every baby has her own likes and dislikes

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as the sudden death of an infant under one year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough case investigation, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history. SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between one month and one year of age. Most SIDS deaths occur between the ages of two and four months.

Spitting up does not indicate a problem unless the baby is choking on the food, is spitting up excessively large amounts of milk or there is failure to gain weight.

Speech is a component of language by which humans communicate with each other through spoken words. Language also has other components which aid communication but are not verbal in nature.

A child with LD is usually admitted to a special school or integrated within a normal school with classes for special children. Since their educational needs are different from their non-disabled peers, they may be given special academic sessions in an integrated set up. In all other activities, they participate with other children.

A baby’s mind is like a sponge, constantly soaking up information. Everything is a new and exciting experience for a newborn baby. She is always absorbing information through her five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.

Autism is a communication disorder characterised by a child's inability to relate to the outside world - physically and emotionally. These children are usually hypersensitive to external environmental stimuli and seem to be withdrawn into an inside world only they have access to. In such a situation, autistic children need special and individualised care from their parents and other caregivers. Here are some guidelines to help deal with an autistic child's needs.

 Every parent knows it is difficult to get children to eat nutritious food, whether it is a toddler who wants nothing but instant noodles or a teenager who lives on junk food and soft drinks. Children need to eat frequently to sustain their high energy levels and keep their bodies growing.

Watching a baby grow is a fascinating and unique experience for the parents. A child's growth is a complex and continuous process. They should be able to do certain things at certain ages. These are called developmental milestones. As a parent, it is important to realize that no two children develop at the same rate. It is, therefore, futile to worry that the child next door can do this and that, while ones own child cannot. At the ages noted for different activities, the child should be observed for some time.

Down’s syndrome, also known as “mongolism”, a term no longer used due to its racial connotations, is an abnormality of the chromosomes. Also called Trisomy 21, it is caused due to erroneous disjunction of chromosomes during cell division. Chromosomes are present in all cells of the body and occur in pairs – one coming from each parent

In every child, the development of speech and language is an ongoing process, beginning at birth. The period from 0-5 years is recognized as important for all aspects of development in a child, including ‘hearing’ , ‘language’ and ‘speech’. The development of communication skill is essential for every child’s emotional, social and intellectual development.

The first sound that a newborn makes is that of a cry. This is a good sign; it means that he is healthy and breathing well. During the first few weeks, crying is the only way a baby can communicate, and soon the mother is able to distinguish between different cries. At first you wonder if he is hungry, wet or sick. Or does he have indigestion.

Raising a childRaising a child is one of the most responsible and satisfying tasks for a human being. Each person's knowledge of how to bring up a child usually comes from her surroundings and her own upbringing. Parents should express their love for their children, as well as provide them with the continued support they need to become self-assured and happy. It is also important that parents set reasonable expectations for their children.

Backpacks are a popular and practical way for children and teenagers to carry schoolbooks and supplies. When used correctly, backpacks can be a good way to carry the necessities of the school day. They are designed to distribute the weight of the load among some of the body’s strongest muscles.

Babies are totally dependent on us to look after them. During the first year the baby relies on his mother to feed him, move him from place to place, keep him clean, talk to him, and most important of all, love him. Well-cared for babies grow up to have fewer problems later, and a well-cared-for child is in turn likely to look after his or her own children well.

Enuresis or bed wetting is the involuntary passage of urine beyond the age of anticipated control that is usually 5-6 years. 15-20% of children 5 years of age wet their beds. Nearly 5% of 10 year olds will wet, and 1% of adolescents and adults continue to wet. It is twice as common in boys as in girls. Bedwetting also seems to run in families.

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a biologically based disorder, which involves a pattern of decreased attention span interspersed with periods of hyperactivity and impulsivity. Both ADD and ADHD are similar conditions and are often difficult to distinguish in children.

  • What is Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
  • What are the causes?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is it diagnosed?
  • What is the treatment?
  • What are the long term implications of the condition?

Some famous Hollywood movies depicting an autistic character:

# Some famous Hollywood movies depicting an autistic character:The boy who could fly - 1968
# Rainman (starring Dustin Hoffman) - 1988
# Little man Tate - 1991
Cancer that originates in the stomach is called stomach cancer. It can develop in any part of the stomach and from there spread to other parts of the body. Stomach cancer is one of the most quickly spreading cancers and may spread to other organs like the liver and lungs.

  • What is stomach cancer?
  • How is it caused?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is it diagnosed?
  • What is the treatment?
  • What are the side effects of treatment?

The uterus or the womb is the organ in which the foetus grows during pregnancy. The two most cancer prone parts of the uterus are the endometrium - the inner lining of the uterus, and the cervix - the birth canal. When the cancer begins in the endometrium first, it is called endometrial cancer, and when it starts in the cervix, it is called cervical cancer. In the later stages, endometrial cancer involving the cervix presents as cervical cancer.

  • How is it caused?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is it diagnosed?
  • What is the treatment?

Cancer that develops in the larynx or the voice box or in any other part of the wind pipe is known as laryngeal or throat cancer. The throat region consists of two main tubes – the oesophagus (food pipe) and the wind pipe. The larynx is at the top of the wind pipe.

  • What is throat cancer?
  • How is it caused?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is it diagnosed?
  • What is the treatment?

Skin cancer is a condition in which there is an uncontrolled cancerous multiplication of skin cells. The skin is the body’s shield against most foreign materials and is made up of many layers – the outermost layer called the epidermis and the next layer is called the dermis. Skin cancer usually originates in the cells of the epidermis called the basal cells.

  • What is skin cancer?
  • How is it caused?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How is it diagnosed?
  • What is the treatment?

Radiotherapy is the principal treatment for various skin cancers; cancers of the mouth, nasal cavity, pharynx and larynx; brain tumours and many gynaecological, lung cancers, and prostate cancers.

  • What are the types of radiotherapy?
  • What is radiotherapy used for?
  • What are the side effects of radiotherapy?
  • What is radiotherapy?

A Pap smear is a test that checks for changes in the cells of the cervix. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Other terms for Pap smear are Papanicolaou smear, Pap test, and cervical smear. The main purpose of the Pap test is to find abnormal cell changes that may arise from cervical cancer or before cancer develops.

  • What is a Pap smear?
  • What is a pelvic exam?
  • Why is a Pap smear important?
  • How to prepare for a Pap smear?
  • How is a Pap test done?
  • What happens after the procedure?

Cancer that begins in the cells of the pancreas is called pancreatic cancer. It usually begins in the channels that carry pancreatic juices. This type is called Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer. In another form, the cancer begins in the cells that produce insulin and is called Islet cell Pancreatic Cancer.


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