How to Prevent Your Baby from Developing Plagiocephaly

A newborn baby has a soft and delicate head due to which it tends to develop a deformity because of continuous pressure. The deformity usually occurs as a flat spot on the baby’s head. Development of such a deformity in newborn babies is known as plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome. This syndrome is usually seen when babies spend more time lying down in one position for a long time, which results in continuous exertion of pressure on that particular area, ultimately resulting in a flat spot. A flat head can also be a result of pressure exerted on the baby’s head during its passage from the birth canal during vaginal delivery. Such deformities tend to rectify within six weeks after birth.

Increased incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) lead to “Back to Sleep” campaign under which parents were instructed to make their babies sleep on their back. Practicing this approach definitely reduced the occurrence of SIDS however, it led to increased incidence of flat heads among babies. Even though this deformity does not cause brain damage, it is a cause of concern.

Prevention of Plagiocephaly

The most common form of plagiocephaly is positional plagiocephaly. This develops when a baby is placed on a mattress with its face up for a long time, and continuous pressure is exerted on a particular area of the head. As babies are incapable of moving their heads in different directions, pressure on a single area leads to the development of a flat spot. Here are a few ways to prevent this problem in babies.

Include a fair amount of “tummy time” when your baby is awake. Mothers should make their babies practice to be on their tummy because many babies do not like it. Starting their tummy time right away will help

Immune System Boosters

Immune system boosters

The human body has its own defense mechanism to fight disease-causing pathogens and prevent illnesses. This mechanism comprises cells, tissues, organs, and cell products, like antibodies, which are collectively known as the immune system of the body. This system identifies disease-causing microbes, and destroys them to protect the body from their attack. A strong immune system can perform all these functions perfectly, whereas a weak one may make the body prone to infections.

In short, a healthy immune system helps you lead a healthy life. There is no single, sure-shot way to boost the immune system, as various factors, like diet, lifestyle habits, age, etc., are linked to its function.
How to Boost the Immune System
Immune System
Most of us do not realize the importance of the immune system during the pink of our health. Once this system gets weakened, it fails to protect the body from diseases. There are so many factors that are linked to healthy functioning of the immune system. They include adequate exercise, balanced diet, good hygiene, adequate sleep, good mental health, and ideal body weight.

The most important among them is a healthy and balanced diet, which includes foods that boost immunity. There are many natural immune system boosters, like fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and fish. Herbal ones include garlic, basil, ginseng, and sage. As there is no specific food or herb, which can provide you with all the minerals and vitamins to boost the immune system, a balanced diet is very much important.

Given below are some of the vital factors that can affect the immune system.
Regular Exercise
This is one of the important aspects of healthy living. Regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight, lower cholesterol levels, and improves circulation and cardiovascular health. Physical activity

Immune System Facts

Stress harms the immune system

Did You Know?
One of the early descriptions of immunological memory dates back to the fifth century BC, when Thucydides published in his book ‘History of the Peloponnesian War’, an observation, that soldiers who had recovered from a disease were the best nurses for the freshly affected soldiers, because the recovered soldiers never caught the same disease twice, and if they did, it was never fatal.
The human body is an amazing machine that has evolved into a multicellular and complex structure from a single cell. It is self-sufficient and performs every physical, biological, chemical function without any glitch. The human body takes the required vitamins and minerals to carry out the basic body functions and mechanisms from healthy food and drinks that we consume.

The healthy body is like Fort Knox, with an excellent defense mechanism to overcome any external threat by pathogens or toxic substances. This defense mechanism is called the immune system. An active immune system prevents bacteria, viruses, fungi, as well as other harmful pathogens from entering our body as well as fighting the ones that have entered. The immune system consists of various cells, tissues and organs that work together to keep the body protected from pathogens. Let us have a look at the various organs and cells of the immune system.
Organs of the Immune System
The major tissues and organs involved in the immune processes are mainly classified into primary and secondary lymphoid organs. The primary lymphoid organs include bone marrow and thymus, whereas the secondary lymphoid organs include the lymph nodes and spleen.
Bone marrow cells
Bone Marrow
The bone marrow is the production house for blood cells, namely B cells, natural killer cells, immature thymocytes, red blood cells and platelets. This process

How to Prepare Your Child for Surgery

If your child needs surgery and you have opted for elective surgery, then you have time on your hands to explain to your child all about the procedure. It’s advisable to talk to them about the hospital procedures and the surgery, it will make you less anxious. Explain in kid-friendly terms why he has to undergo the surgery. It’s human nature to fear the unknown. So if they know what is going to happen and why it is going to happen, they will be less scared. So to put their fears to rest, you as a parent should educate yourself about the surgery, so that you are in a better position to answer your child. To do that, schedule a visit with the doctor and ask all questions pertaining to the procedure and if there are any risks associated with the surgery. Find out if the hospital rules allow parents to be present in the operating room when the surgery is being carried out, and whether you can stay back for the night if the child is not discharged the same day. Once you gather all the right information, help your child understand all the unknown facts.

Preparing Your Child for Surgery

Dealing with Infants
Even though they can’t yet talk, infants are very sensitive to their surroundings and can easily get disturbed by the hospital environment. They are acutely sensitive to the pitch of their caregivers’ voice and their mannerisms. So if you are tensed, your infant will feel the stress too. Lower your anxiety levels, remain calm and composed, and stick to a routine to help your infant cope better with the surgery. Carry their security blanket if they are used to one, whether it’s the pacifier, a favorite blanket, or a stuffed toy.

Cell-mediated Immunity Vs. Humoral Immunity

Difference between cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity

Did You Know?
Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a specific marker that sticks out on the membrane of every cell in the human body; this marker indicates that the cell belongs to the body. This helps the immune system identify the pathogen or foreign invader.
A healthy immune system is essential for our survival, as we are constantly exposed to pathogens or disease-causing agents. The skin and the mucous membranes serve as the first line of defense, whereas phagocytes, macrophages, non-phagocytic leukocytes, complementary proteins, chemokines, etc., come to the rescue when the pathogens make it past the physical barriers such as the skin or the mucous membranes. However, these are responsible for generalized response to infections, and are a part of the non-specific or innate immune system. The specific/adaptive immune system is the third line of defense, which caters to the infections or threats that cannot be handled by the innate immune system. Only vertebrates have specific immune responses, which are characterized by a targeted response against a specific pathogen.

The specific immunity facilitates a targeted response against a specific pathogen. Together, innate immunity and adaptive immunity are responsible for immune responses that protect the body from dangerous cells (cancerous cells), allergens, foreign bodies, pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites), etc. The adaptive immune system includes immune responses called ‘cell-mediated immunity’ and ‘humoral immunity’, which recognize specific antigens. The term ‘antigens’ is derived from the term ‘antibody generator’, and refers to substances which trigger an immune response or the production of antibodies by the immune system. An interesting feature of the adaptive immunity is that after neutralizing the foreign invader or pathogen, a few B cells or T cells stay in the body as memory cells. If the same pathogen

Diseases Caused by Viruses

Micro-organisms are all around us. We cannot see them, but they have the ability to alter our lives and bring them to a standstill. If you’ve ever seen a virus (and there is little to no possibility of that), you will definitely be amazed at how a speck of almost nothing is responsible for so many diseases and disorders, not only in humans, but also in plants, animals and even bacteria (don’t they belong to the micro-organism family too?). The peculiar characteristic of viruses, is that they multiply only in living organisms. That is one of the primary reasons why they are present almost everywhere. Most infectious diseases are caused by viruses, or a combination of viruses and bacteria. Many of them are curable, but some are really dangerous, and can prove to be fatal too. Hence, it is important to know about these diseases and take the necessary precautions against them. Small and simple habits can make a big difference and can help you prevent an onslaught of conditions that can leave you weak and listless. Let us take a look at extensive lists of diseases that viruses can cause in almost any living organism.

Diseases in Humans

Only proper hygiene and care can help prevent these diseases. While some of them are easily preventable and curable, some can prove to be fatal if not diagnosed and treated on time. Hence, a viral infection must never be taken lightly.

• Mumps
• Dengue
• Rabies
• Zoster
• Roseola
• Smallpox
• Shingles
• Swine Flu
• Influenza
• Zika Fever
• Chickenpox
• Flat Warts
• Chikungunya
• Hepatitis B
• Hepatitis C
• Hepatitis D
• Hepatitis E
• Viral Fevers
• Lábrea Fever
• Plantar Wart
• Common Warts
• Yellow

Preventive Measures for Shaken Baby Syndrome

As alert citizens, we come across several cases of early infant deaths. The cause is most often stated as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). On a closer look, we realize that there could be more to this unusual death than SIDS. Shaken baby syndrome is a critical form of child abuse where the child suffers because of parental frustrations. Often children cry endlessly and without any control. A parent, a nanny or a caregiver may become extremely angry and frustrated during such situations and may end up shaking the baby really violently so as to bring the child under control. This results into SBS, which has a high mortality rate if the problem is neglected.

How Serious is Shaken Baby Syndrome Problem?
The approximate number of SBS is still unknown. Cases of SBS often go unnoticed, however it accounts for approximately 10% of early child death cases. Children with an age as less as 3 months have been victims of this problem. In some rare cases, the problem may persist till early adolescence. There are some cases of SBS reported in newborn babies as well. As stated earlier, SBS involves violent shaking of the child. Some common effects of this could be spinal cord injuries, retinal hemorrhages, permanent brain injury and early death. Approximately 25% of SBS cases end up in child death, due to lack of proper medication.

Understanding and Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
It is important to first understand what triggers shaken baby syndrome to help prevent it. Shaken baby syndrome is commonly seen in children who have physical deformities, learning disabilities, in adopted or foster care children, etc. If the parental frustration is not on account of any of these problems, then the problem might be triggered on account of factors such as

Dust Allergy Symptoms

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an allergy as “exaggerated or pathological immunological reaction (as by sneezing, difficult breathing, itching, or skin rashes) to substances, situations, or physical states that are without comparable effect on the average individual”.

The immune systems of some people are programmed to overreact as soon as they come in contact with a particular substance. The body reacts to indicate that it does not accept that particular substance, and tries to get rid of the substance as soon as possible. These specific substances are called allergens and the reaction they evoke is called an allergy. These substances might be harmless to most people, but people allergic to them register these allergens as foreign bodies and their immune system reacts to fight these allergens off.

Dust Allergy

Dust allergy is the most common of all allergies. Statistics by the National Institutes of Health show that, more than 20 million Americans are allergic to dust.

A person allergic to dust will react to almost every allergen present in the atmosphere, like dust mites, cat or dog fur, mold, animal dander, pollen, etc. These allergens usually trigger symptoms of a dust allergy either immediately or, within a few hours of coming in contact with the patient.

Allergies are not developed instantly when you come in contact with the allergen for the very first time. The body first identifies the allergen and generates antibodies that will react to it. It then prepares the body to be sensitive to that particular allergen. This process of developing a predisposition against allergens is known as sensitization. The process of sensitization might be an instantaneous development or it may take years.

Mild Symptoms of Dust Allergy

◆ Sneezing
If a person is allergic to dust, he/she will start sneezing as soon as the body registers the presence

Anthrax Disease – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Anthrax disease is one of the oldest diseases known to humankind. This disease, also known as Sixth Plague, occurred in grazing animals and was widespread in countries of Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, etc., where it claimed hundreds of thousands of animal and human lives. In vitro production of anthrax spores has been used as biological weapons by certain terrorist groups threatening the lives of millions.

About Anthrax

Anthrax is an acute and an infectious disease occurring in ruminant animals who survive on plant-based foods like sheep, goats, cows, buffaloes, etc. However, the anthrax spores/strains can be transmitted to human race when in contact with infected animals or on consumption of their products. This causes them to be infected and ultimately be diseased. The causative agent of anthrax is a rod-shaped bacterium Bacillus anthracis which is a Gram-positive bacteria. Anthrax can spread from one animal to another animal or human beings, through air inhaled or food/meat contaminated with spores. The bacterium has an ability to change forms (e.g., spores) and become dormant when exposed to extreme conditions of temperature, light, etc., and live for a longer period in that form. Once the spores enter into the new host’s body or come in contact with a suitable environment, the bacteria becomes active.

How Does It Spread?

As already mentioned, anthrax is an infectious disease and can spread in two main ways:

Through direct contact with the skin or tissues of an infected animal/human to a healthy animal/human (there have been no known cases of this disease-spreading from one person to another)
By inhaling the air in which bacterium of this disease is active

In some cases, the incubation period after exposure to the bacteria can be as long as 57-60 days (in case of contact with the skin of an infected person/animal)

Stuffy Nose Remedies for Babies

Stuffy nose remedy for babies

A congested nose in an infant can be quite troublesome and needs to be treated at the earliest. However, there is no cause for alarm as a stuffy nose can be relieved quickly, that too using household ingredients.

Before you begin trying to relieve your baby’s congested nose, keep in mind that babies are too young for over-the-counter drugs. So, if your baby is less than three months old, you should avoid using drugs or medicines usually handed over-the-counter for colds, the same goes for various liquid decongestants, which may be effective in adults but should not be used for babies, if there are other options available.

Let’s take a look at some home remedies, which can be helpful in treating your baby’s blocked nose.

♨ A Steamy Solution

Steam breathing or vapor bath is one of the best ways to relieve a blocked nose in infants. Exposure to steam can help loosen the mucus blocking the baby’s nose. The mucus then drips out on its own, clearing the nasal passage and making it easier for your baby to breathe. It is not necessary to bathe the child, just sitting with him near a steaming tub can work as a humidifier, clearing his nose. You can also prepare some steam, by boiling water in a vessel and holding it carefully near the baby’s nose, whatever you feel is safe for your baby.

● Saline Drops

Saline water is another popular stuffy nose remedy for toddlers. You can buy a ready-made saline water kit or prepare one at home. To make homemade saline water, all you need to do is prepare a mixture of one cup warm water and a half teaspoon of table salt. With the help of a dropper put a few drops of the