Screen time for children

  1. What is the possible impact of children spending excessive hours on screen, can you list few?

The American Association of Pediatrics identifies screen time as time spent using digital media for entertainment purposes. Other uses of media, such as online homework, doesn’t count as screen time. Owning a smartphone or tablet has now become a common practice even with young school going children. As much as it is a relief for children that summer vacations are just around the corner, this time could be rather worrisome for parents with them thinking of ways to keep their children engaged during the two months. Kids of every age spend hours before a TV, phone or tablet which is not always a bad thing. What decides the effect of screen time on children is the kind of program they watch and how much time they spend watching the same.

Children use electronic devices for different purposes, a few being; to play video games and computer games, texting, using social media, playing hand-held games, to watch cartoons or shows and even to complete homework.

Excessive use of electronic devices and screen time has an impact on various aspects of a child’s development, namely;

  • Disrupted sleep cycle resulting in lack of adequate sleep
  • Brain developments issues and behavioral problems
  • Obesity
  • Poor performance at school
  • Anti-social activities like crime, sex, violence etc. that are commonly depicted on TV/shows that may have a negative impact on children, particularly adolescents

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Can Energy Drinks Harm Young Kids?

The topic of energy drinks and their effects on the health of children has been widely discussed and studied in different contexts throughout the past decade.

While some recognize these energizing beverages to be downright threatening to the health of young ones, many others consider the disadvantages under different lights.

A good number of pediatricians in Dubai side with the Canadian study on the matter. Held at the University of Waterloo and directed by Professor David Hammond, the study was conducted on a pool of teenagers and youngsters between the ages of 12 and 24, on a total 2055 people. It talks about the harmful effects of caffeine and other ingredients present in many energy drinks. The consequences could range from headaches, palpitations and rapid heart rate to seizures in a few rare cases. (more…)

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The Harmful Effects Of Passive Smoking

If you smoke or have a family member who does, passive smoking and its effects on those who live with you must have crossed your mind at times. And it should!

The non-smokers who face tobacco smoke at work or home develop 25-30% higher chances of suffering from heart diseases. Passive smoking poses a major health concern and can turn fatal if the non-smoker in question is already sick and at high risk for heart diseases.

The Cardiology doctors in Dubai suggest keeping expecting mothers away from smokers. If a pregnant lady is exposed to cigarette smoke, the baby could have low birth weight and higher chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

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Kidney Diseases In Children

There are millions of people worldwide affected by kidney problems, and children are not immune to them. In fact, the early onset of kidney diseases in children makes them more prone to growth and developmental abnormalities. Although the widespread use of ultrasound scans in pregnancy has helped in identifying structural kidney problems, facilitating early intervention is still a work in progress.

Kidney diseases affecting children are commonly due to the congenital malformations of the urinary system. This could lead to children being born with smaller than normal kidneys or abnormally shaped kidneys as well. There could also be an issue with the urinary valves which lead to the obstruction of the urine flow and permanent damage to the kidneys. These may be a reason for recurrent childhood infections which may persist despite multiple antibiotic courses.

Nephrotic syndrome: This is one of the common childhood kidney problems. Here, the child presents with swelling all over the body due to low blood proteins which have leaked through the urine. If not detected and treated on time it could lead to complications like severe infections, early hypertension, and clotting of blood vessels.

Acute kidney failure:  In this condition, there is a drop in the urine volume along with retention of toxic waste products in the blood. In children, a common cause of acute kidney failure is acute glomerulonephritis. The child may complain of discoloration of urine along with body swelling and high blood pressure. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is another cause of acute kidney failure in children which can progress to dialysis.

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Parent’s guide to oral hygiene in children

Oral hygiene in children is as important as their overall health. Teaching children dental hygiene at a very young age is an investment that will reap great benefits in the future. In order to do that, ensure that you as parents set a good example and follow good oral hygiene yourselves. Moreover, there is no need to wait until your child develops all teeth and grows older in order to ensure good oral hygiene. Your baby’s tooth can get decayed as early as they appear, if not taken good care of.

Healthy oral practices are best instilled when your child is young. As challenging as it may be to teach your child to maintain healthy oral habits, try and make learning fun and engaging. A few tips to encourage dental hygiene in kids are;

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