baby pain relief
Safety

Guide to baby pain relief

Learning when to give pain relief and how to identify the medication you should use to address specific symptoms will not only help to soothe your child, but it will also give you confidence in your ability to properly care for your infant. Find out about the most common causes of pain in babies plus some effective soothing strategies.

Pain relief suspensions can help with teething troubles and fevers, but don’t be tempted to turn to the medicine cabinet every time your baby is cranky, as his immune system must be given a chance to fight the illness first.

Baby pain relief safety tips:

  • Use the right product, strength and dose for the child’s age and weight. Recommended doses, according to the child’s age and weight, are given on the product packaging.
  • Different products, and different forms of a product, may vary in strength, so always read the package carefully for the dosing instructions specific to the product you’re giving.
  • Don’t keep giving the pain relief for more than 48 hours unless specifically advised to by a doctor.
  • Use the measure provided – or if there isn’t one, a metric medicine measure – to pour the dose.
  • Make sure the bottle cap is on securely after use, and keep it in a safe place out of the reach of children.
  • Check labels of all medicines, as paracetamol or ibuprofen can appear as an ingredient in a variety of medications (like cough syrup) and you don’t want to double up.
  • If you don’t know how to measure or use a product, or if you don’t understand the label, ask your pharmacist for help.

Medication don’ts

Do not give aspirin to children under age 18. Giving aspirin to a child can cause a rare, life threatening condition called Reye’s syndrome. Never give an aspirin containing product to your child unless your doctor recommends it.

Do not use cough and cold products for children under two. These products often have more than one ingredient, such as a decongestant, antihistamine, expectorant, cough suppressant, or pain reliever. According to the FDA, the benefits of these products are not worth the risks of serious side effects that can happen from using too much of them in children age two and under. Many manufacturers have voluntarily raised the age limit and recommend that these medicines not be given to children under the age of four.

More like this:

Soothing your baby’s pain
Treating baby’s high temperature
Common baby stomach troubles

ASK LUCY

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….

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Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.