Archive for the ‘ Child Health Assessment ’ Category

Parenting in the times of CoVid Lockdown

Saturday, April 25th, 2020

With the nation-wide lockdown firmly in place, families are struggling with having their children at home all day. Happily, for many, school exams are cancelled and the pressure to study has been taken away for now. Yet for some the spectre of summer exams still looms.

Here are a few important things to remember now, and to take with you for the future.

  • IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA – Parenting during these times has taken on a whole new meaning with 24×7 access to social media. A barrage of WhatsApp messages telling of websites and apps that will not only keep your child busy but will also energise his/her brain on holiday. For parents who are already struggling to keep children busy, are these forwards helping?  Maybe, maybe not.
  • DISCIPLINE – For a child, some things should be non-negotiable e.g. food timings, study schedules, daily exercise, and proper behaviour. Let the child figure out the rest. Rigid formats can be a wet blanket. Not everything gets done every day, but let the child decide the schedules and how to get each of the activities done, based upon their preference.
  • COMPASSION – Allow your children to use this time to explore as they please. This could be a golden period that they might never get again.  Don’t be very strict about all the rules, all the time, about what they should do through the day.
  • DO THINGS FUN – Then there are the things you can do together for fun, like cooking, playing video games or indoor board games. Reading out stories to them, if the children are very small, is also a good way of spending time with them
  • SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY – Teach them about social responsibility, by telling them, that we are staying home for the good of the nation and its people, and not just our loved ones.
  • DO NOT COMPARE – We expect too much of ourselves – cut yourself some slack. Don’t constantly compare yourself or your child to others. No one is a perfect parent!
  • TURN OFF THE CONSTANT ADVICE – ignore advice that doesn’t sit right with you, or that you simply don’t have the energy to follow! Do what you think is best for you.
  • ALLOW THE CHILDREN TO GUIDE YOU –Allow children to be happy in their own way. Ask your child what they need to feel happy. Letting your children being a part of some of your decisions lets them know that what they think and feel matters to you. Seeing the children happy is one of the best feelings in the world!
  • TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST – If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t look after anyone else. The same is true now, and always. Your emotional reserve needs to be functioning at its highest level so you can be there for your children when they really need you. Taking time out for yourself in order to avoid over-committing and over-extending is also a really good habit to demonstrate to your children. Children learn from not only what the parents say, but also by watching what they do. Happy Healthy Parents make Happy Healthy Children.
  • WELCOME THE NEW GENERATION – Generation Z is the post-Millennial generation defined as those born at or after the turn of this century. It should definitely be easier for Generation Z to stay indoors and be connected via the virtual world than the previous generations. Generation Z is different from previous generations in that they are more global and diverse. They have countless platforms and channels where Generation Z can connect and contribute.  Humanity has always looked to its youth for innovation, but today it’s happening faster and more frequent than ever before. As technology and connectivity rapidly evolves, so will the emerging generations.

-This blog is written by Dr. Shaunak Ajinkya, Consultant, Psychiatrist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Read his entire profile at:

A Vigilant Outlook

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Regular physical examination of your child by a paediatrician is crucial as it can help in the prevention or early diagnosis of many health problems. Here’s an overview on some of the warning signs in children, which if not taken care on time could be a matter of great concern.

Seeing Eye To Eye

Vision problems are common among school-age kids. Your child’s vision is essential for his/her success at school. If the vision suffers, so will the schoolwork and overall performance in academics. Therefore, parents and teachers should be aware of the common signs of the possible vision concerns.

Warning Signs

  • Complains of blurred or double vision
  • Bumps into objects
  • Red eyes or watery eyes
  • Encrusted eyelids
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Rubs eye frequently
  • Headaches or tired eyes
  • Squints or tilts the head to see better
  • Consistently sits too close to the TV or holds a book too close to the eyes
  • Gets lower grades than usual
What Should You Do?

Schedule an appointment with your optometrist or ophthalmologist if your child exhibits any of these signs. A consultation with your doctor may reveal that your child has refractive errors that can be easily corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.


According to the American Optometric Association, children should have an eye exam no later than 6 months of age. Unless problems are detected, the next exam should be at age three, then again before entering school, and every two years thereafter. However, if your child requires eyeglasses or contact lenses, it is advisable to schedule visits every 12 months or as advised by the treating doctor.

Fine Tuning The Frequency

Hearing loss is again common in school age children, and this can affect their ability to comprehend and use language. Many children have hearing loss that fluctuates due to recurring ear infections. Other predisposing factors include congenital abnormalities, head trauma and infections like meningitis.

Warning Signs

  • Poor response or no response to any voice at normal speaking level
  • Absence of startle response to loud sounds
  • Difficulty following instructions or requests despite listening attentively
  • Reduced or absent responses to environmental noises like car horns, approaching footsteps, telephone rings, opening or closing of the doors
  • Consistently setting the volume at an unusually high level while watching
  • television or listening to the radio/music
  • Slow language and speech development
What Should You Do?

If you suspect your child has a hearing loss, you should consult your paediatrician, who may refer you to a specialist. Some types of conductive hearing loss can be corrected with surgery or by the removal of impacted ear wax, while the others may require a different treatment approach based on the pathology.


Listening to very loud music, especially with earphones, can permanently damage your child’s hearing ability.

Understanding Learning Disability

Learning Disability (LD) is a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems. Learning disabilities tend to be diagnosed when children reach school age, and can affect children both academically and socially.

Warning Signs

  • Trouble learning the alphabet, spellings, rhyming words or connecting letters to their sounds
  • Unable to understand what he or she reads
  • Very messy handwriting
  • Struggles to express ideas in writing
  • Learns language late with limited vocabulary
  • Difficulty in following directions
  • Gets confused over math symbols and misreads numbers
  • Behaves inappropriately in social situations
What Should You Do?

If a child shows any one of these signs, teachers and parents may want to investigate more. The child might have to be examined and evaluated by a doctor to see if he or she has learning disability.

Be Positive

Parents support to their children can make a huge difference. And the good news is that parents involvement in the educational process, both at school and home, can ensure optimal progress in the academic performance of their children.