'kids' Parentelligence posts
As a gastroenterologist, trained with the knowledge of how the internal mechanics of the gut lining are designed to make it an effective barrier, I have always found it hard to accept this hypothesis. I wanted to share the findings of a recent publication showing that in a group of children known to have food allergies and gut inflammation, their GI tract was no more “leaky”, compared to the intestinal tracts of healthy children.
This week an important new study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that infants and toddlers exposed to peanut at a young age have a significantly lower risk of developing peanut allergy.
The study took place at King’s College in London, and involved 640 infants at high risk for developing peanut allergy (infants who already had severe eczema or egg allergy). Starting as early as 4 months of age, half of the babies in the study began eating peanut on a regular basis. The other half of babies completely avoided peanut until they were 5.
When the children in the study reached their fifth birthday, researchers compared the rates of peanut allergy in the two groups:
About 75% of injuries happen when more than one child at a time is on the trampoline. The smallest children are most at risk, because:
Toddler’s diarrhea occurs due to a relative immaturity of the intestinal tract of young children. Relatively speaking, sugars and some fluid get poorly absorbed. The stools often contain undigested food particles (carrots and corn being the most commonly noticed). The key differentiating factor that sets toddler’s diarrhea apart from other causes of diarrhea at this age is that except for loose stools, there are no other symptoms. There is no malabsorption of nutrients, so children with toddler’s diarrhea have normal growth and weight gain. Otherwise, they are perfectly healthy. There won’t be anything abnormal found during their physical exam. Tests are not generally needed, because those, too, will be normal.
Even though toddler’s diarrhea resolves on its own, I often tell families to follow the “4 Fs” as a guide to treatment:
When your child is hospitalized, it’s understandable that family and friends will want to visit. This is often a help to both the patient and the parent at the bedside. To maximize the benefit of this support, keep the following guidelines in mind:
Visiting hours: Check with your nurse for the visiting hours and let your nurse know when you are able to visit. If there are extenuating circumstances for your family’s situation (e.g., a parent works night or swing shift and can only visit before or after), let the nursing staff know.
A recent consensus statement written by international pediatric nutrition experts has recommended that infants and young children avoid rice-based drinks. This is due to the fact that some types of rice contain large concentrations of inorganic arsenic, a first-level carcinogen. There is no safe level of intake, because any exposure is risky. The longer the exposure to inorganic arsenic, the more toxic its effects.
The newly published report reminds us that rice and derived products such as starch, flour and syrup are used to fortify different foods, including drinks, purees, and snacks. These are foods often fed to infants and young children. Since most of the inorganic arsenic in rice is concentrated in the outer bran layers, the report also highlights that potentially, the most harmful type of exposure is that which comes from products manufactured from brown rice.
To reduce the harmful effects from arsenic exposure in rice-based foods, experts recommend the following:
On Monday the New York Times published an article about the FDA’s plan to research the safety of a very commonly prescribed medication, polyethylene glycol 3350 or PEG 3350 (most commonly known under the brand name, MiraLAX®). As a pediatric gastroenterologist who often recommends this medication, I wanted to share my personal thoughts after reading the article.
First of all, although the news was certainly a surprise to me, it was a pleasant one. I was ...