Shyness is felt as a mix of emotions, including fear and interest, tension and pleasantness. There may be an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Shyness can be a normal, adaptive response to social experience. By being somewhat shy, children can withdraw temporarily and gain a sense of control

Rickets is a disorder in which there is softening and weakening of the bones of children, primarily caused by the lack of vitamin D or calcium and phosphate. It is most likely to occur during periods of rapid growth when the body requires high levels of calcium and phosphate. It is usually seen in young children 6 to 24 months old and is uncommon in newborns.

Poliomyelitis or polio, is an infection caused by the poliovirus leading to nerve damage and muscle paralysis. Transmission of the poliovirus occurs by contact with infected secretions from the nose and throat (airborne), or contact by the faeces (faeco-oral). The virus enters mouth and nose, multiplies in the throat or digestive tract, and spreads through the blood to the rest of the body.

Otitis media, or middle ear infection is a condition which occurs when the eustachian tube becomes swollen as a result of cold, a throat infection, or an allergic reaction causing fluid to accumulate in the middle ear. If this gets infected, it may lead to an inflamed eardrum and a build up of pus and mucous behind the ear drum. At times, the pressure in the middle ear becomes so high that the eardrum bursts, resulting in pus and blood drainage from the ear.

Nosebleed or epistaxis is bleeding from the nose due to damage to the tiny and delicate blood vessels. Nosebleeds can affect all ages, but are twice as common in children as in adults. Nosebleeds occur more frequently in winters when infections are common or in extreme hot conditions. Sometimes bleeding from the nose may occur in patients who have suffered a head injury. In these cases, prompt medical advice must be sought.

Absence of a normal anal opening occurs in about 1 in 5000 births. The diagnosis is apparent shortly after birth by a routine physical examination. The cause of this abnormality is unknown. Babies who have imperforate anus may also have other congenital anomalies.

Children with other health problems may need to avoid certain vaccines or get them later than usual. For example, children with certain types of cancers or problems with their immune systems should not get live virus vaccines like the MMR, varicella (chicken pox), or oral polio vaccines

 Hypospadias is a defect in which urine passes from an opening sited not at the tip of the penis but from somewhere on the under surface of the shaft. This is a common birth defect and occurs in about 1 of 250 male births.

The testes originally develop in the back of the abdominal cavity of the foetus. Later they descend to the scrotum. During their passage out of the abdomen they drag with them a sleeve of peritoneum, the thin membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. This sleeve is present on both sides, the left and the right.

Haemangiomas are noncancerous, abnormally dense collections of dilated small blood vessels that may occur in the skin or internal organs. They may be present at the time of birth or may develop shortly after. They mostly resolve on their own by 5 to10 years of age but some may take several years to disappear. Haemangiomas on the face may be disfiguring and may interfere with vision.

Hirschsprung’s disease is a disorder present from birth that is characterised by an obstruction of the large intestine or colon caused by uncoordinated muscular movement of the bowel.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that is seen in children born to mothers who consume large quantities of alcohol during their pregnancy. Earlier it was believed that these symptoms were caused due to malnutrition, but it was later confirmed that they were due to excessive alcohol consumption. These problems may be physical, mental, or behavioural

Parents get too worried about their kids’ fevers. When a fever strikes a child most parents overmedicate, use cold baths unnecessarily and check temperatures too frequently. Fever is the body's defence mechanism against either viruses or bacteria. It is an important way by which the body fights infection. The body tries to create so much heat that the virus or the bacteria cannot survive. Having a temperature helps the child fight illness.

Children who are running a high fever may have a fit. This is called a febrile seizure. This usually happens during the first few hours of a fever. The child may have a strange look for a few moments, then stiffen, twitch, and roll his eyes. Following this he may not respond to what is being said to him for a short time. After the seizure, he quickly returns to normal. The seizure usually lasts less than 1 minute. Febrile seizures rarely happen more than once within a 24-hour period.

Epilepsy is a disorder of the nervous system in which seizures (also called fits) or convulsions occur repeatedly in a person. These seizures are caused due to the abnormal release of an electric charge in the brain. Information between the nerve cells are transmitted in the form of electric impulses. Sometimes when these charges become too large, a seizure occurs.

Never spank, hit, or slap a child of any age. Babies and toddlers are especially unlikely to be able to make any connection between their behaviour and the physical punishment. They will only feel the pain of the spanking. Do not forget that children learn by watching you. Make sure that your behaviour is perfect as it has a strong impact on the child’s behaviour.
The first semi-solid foods are normally introduced at 6 months of age. It is important to make this transition to semi-solid foods an enjoyable one. The amount of food offered and swallowed in the beginning is a teaspoon or so. Patience is needed when babies are first introduced to semi-solids.

What are its causes in children?Diarrhoea in children is most commonly caused by one of several diarrhoea-causing viruses. It usually gets better by itself within a week. In some children specific bacteria or parasites may cause diarrhoea. Amongst these are Shigella, Salmonella, Vibrio cholerae (cholera) and Clostridium.

Congenital heart disease or CHD is a group of abnormalities of the heart, which are present in the child from birth. Though these defects are present before birth, they may not be immediately in the child. The defects of the heart may be in the chambers of the heart, rate of heartbeat or the blood vessels that carry blood to and from the heart.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry defines “Conduct Disorder” as a group of behavioural and emotional problems in youngsters. Those with this disorder find it really difficult to follow rules and behave in a socially acceptable way. Others often view children with conduct disorder as bad or delinquent, rather than mentally ill.

Chickenpox is a viral illness that generally starts with a fever. There are multiple small, red bumps on the skin that become thin-walled blisters filled with water. These become cloudy blisters or open sores and finally dry up with brown crusts (all within 24 hours).

Bowel movements may vary for each individual and across cultures depending on the intake of fibre in the diet. Normal bowel movements may vary from 3 per day to 3 per week. When a person has infrequent or hard stools or has to exert considerable effort while passing stool, he may be said to have constipation.

Clefts of the lip and palate are frequent birth defects. In a cleft lip, also called 'hare lip', there is an obvious gap dividing the upper lip on one or both sides. This may be incomplete and presents as only a notch in the lip but, more commonly, the defect extends to the nostril, the upper gum margin and even the palate, that is the roof of the mouth.

Children and television:Children between the ages two and 11 spend an average of one full day per week watching television. This is a very familiar scenario in many Indian homes today. With both parents away at work, in the urban, middle class families this trend is very common. Even when parents are at home, watching television is still the favoured family pastime

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders resulting from brain damage that occurs before, during or shortly after birth. It is characterised by loss of movement and nerve functions. Those affected by it have problems in mobility (crawling, creeping, walking), use of hands (eating, writing, dressing) and communication.

Children with constipation have bowel movements that are hard, dry and painful to pass. These stools may occur every day or may be infrequent. The condition is very common, occurring in at least 2% of 7-year-old children, and probably similar numbers in other age groups

The common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper airways including the nose, voice box, throat, windpipes and the lungs. There are more than two hundred viruses that can cause colds and are commonly known as rhinoviruses or the nose viruses

The appendix is a finger-like structure at the junction of the small and large intestines. It serves no function in the human body. Inflammation of the appendix is called appendicitis. This is a common surgical emergency in children that requires prompt medical attention and hospitalisation.

Abusive head trauma (AHT) is a form of inflicted traumatic brain injury, which can be caused by direct blows to the head, dropping or throwing a child, or shaking a child vigrously.


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