Today’s Q&A

1) My two year old is very small, and appears to be underweight for his age. What could be the cause, as I look after him very well?

Before I can answer your question, I have one for you: Is your child truly small or does he just appear that way to you? You need to have him properly weighed and measured by his pediatrician to see if he is really underweight. Also, you need to consider if you or your childs father are small.  If so, then your child may be normal just genetically small.  If your child is underweight, then your pediatrician will start to investigate the issue.  First the doctor will ask about your child’s diet.  It is very important you answer him fully and completely.  You may feel as though you are feeding your child properly but he may be lacking in some nutrients.  Your child may have an endocrine problem such as a growth hormone or thyroid problem- these can cause growth delays, but can be treated.  Your pediatrician can do blood tests to check for these or other issues.


2) Is aspirin safe in children? I always find it works better for my headaches than paracetamol. Yes, aspirin is safe for children, EXCEPT if your child has the flu or similar illness.  Giving aspirin in this case could cause a serious complication called Reye’s syndrome which can cause brain or liver damage.  This does not happen with Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) which is why it is usually preferred for treating fevers in children.


3) What are the glands in your neck? Mine keep coming up and getting sore every time I get a cold. Is this normai?

The “glands” in the neck are actually not glands at all.  They are really lymph nodes.  Lymph nodes are located all over the body, not just in the neck (they are just easy to feel there).  Lymph nodes make and store infection-fighting white blood cells.  That is why they swell whenever you get a cold.  Your body is trying to fight off the infection by producing more infection-fighting cells.





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