Children's FAQ's

# 1. How Can I Tell If My Child Has Allergies or a Common Cold?

Symptoms of allergies and colds can be similar, but here's how to tell the difference:

Symptoms: Both allergies and colds cause symptoms of sneezing, congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, fatigue, and headaches. However, colds often cause symptoms one at a time: first sneezing, then a runny nose, and then congestion. Allergies cause symptoms that occur all at once.

Duration of symptoms: Cold symptoms generally last from seven to 10 days, whereas allergy symptoms continue as long as a person is exposed to the allergy-causing agent. Allergy symptoms may subside soon after elimination of allergen exposure. Colds may cause yellowish nasal discharge, suggesting an infectious cause. Allergies generally cause clear, thin, watery mucus discharge.

Sneezing: Sneezing is a more common allergy symptom, especially when sneezing occurs two or three times in a row.

Time of year: Colds are more common during the winter months, whereas allergies are more common in the spring through the fall, when plants are pollinating.

Presence of a fever: Colds may be accompanied by a fever, but allergies are not usually associated with a fever.

# 2. Is having a seizure the same as having epilepsy?

Not necessarily. In general, seizures do not indicate epilepsy if they only occur as a result of a temporary medical condition such as a high fever, low blood sugar, or immediately following a brain concussion. Among people who experience a seizure under such circumstances, without a history of seizures at other times, there is usually no need for ongoing treatment for epilepsy, only a need to treat the underlying medical condition.

# 3. What is a food allergy?

A food allergy is an adverse immune system reaction that occurs soon after exposure to a certain food. The immune response can be severe and life threatening. Although the immune system normally protects people from germs, in people with food allergies, the immune system mistakenly responds to food as if it were harmful.

# 4. When should my child see a pediatric rheumatologist?

If your child has complaints of pain in the musculoskeletal system (joints, muscles, bones, or tendons), other symptoms of arthritis, or an autoimmune disorder. Children are not just small adults. Their bodies are growing and have unique medical needs. A pediatric rheumatologist is experienced in interpreting your child's:

  • Unexplained musculoskeletal pain
  • Unexplained physical findings, such as rash, fever, anemia,weakness,weight loss, fatigue, or loss of appetite

# 5. Why are Ear Tubes needed?

Tubes are placed when a child has recurrent or chronic ear infections. Up to 90% of children will get an ear infection in their first few years of life. Tubes are recommended when a child experiences:

  • Four or more ear infections within 6 months
  • Seven or more infections within a year
  • Three or more infections a year for 3 years
  • Persistent ear fluid lasting 3 months or more
  • Recurrent otitis with speech delay
  • Cleft palate or other craniofacial anomalies and have persistent fluid

# 6. When should I have my child's eyes checked?

Children should have their vision checked by a pediatrician, as part of regular well-child care. A doctor will refer your child to a specialist in ophthalmology if they see any sign of amblyopia, difficulty in measuring vision, if they suspect an abnormality of the alignment or structure of the eyes or if there is a family history of vision problems. Ophthalmologists can perform a complete eye exam on children of any age.

# 7. What is a Speech-Language therapist?

Speech-language therapists work to prevent, assess and treat communication, language and swallowing disorders in children, adolescents, and adults. Depending on the area of difficulties, speech therapy may focus on improving several different areas such as speech production, understanding language and expressing language, reading, spelling, social skills, swallowing etc.

# 8. Do Speech and Language disorders affect learning?

Speech, language and communication skills are crucial to learning and academic success. Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. The ability to communicate with peers and adults in the educational setting is essential for a student to succeed in school.

# 9. What is a Speech or Language Delay & Disorder?

Speech refers to the actual process of making sounds, using such organs and structures as the lungs, vocal cords, mouth, tongue, teeth, etc. A speech delay refers to a delay in the development or use of the mechanisms that produce speech. Language has to do with meanings, rather than sounds. Language delay refers to a delay in the development or use of the knowledge of language. The delay can be expressive, receptive, or both.

Speech and language delays are the most common developmental problem among preschool children. It affects 5 – 10% of preschool kids.

# 10. Is my child's speech and language normal?

Language milestones vary widely. As a rule though, a typical 2-year-old should use around 100 words. Young children understand the meaning of many words before they are able to produce these same words. Children start putting two words together such as "mommy go" or "red car" between 14 and 28 months. At 24 months, a toddler will understand up to 900 words, and will produce about 9 or 10 different sounds, such as M, P, B, T, and D. As a general rule, children should be understandable 100% of the time by age 4. However, many children have some "later developing" sounds that they have not yet mastered, such as R, or TH.

# 11. How can I help improve my child's speech and language skills at home?

  • Speak clearly and at a slow rate.
  • Use lots of facial expressions
  • Be at his eye level (even when it is on the floor)
  • Talk about the things the child is playing with.
  • Follow your child’s lead in play.
  • When your child says something that is not accurate, repeat what he says correctly.
  • Play sounds games if your child is interested.
  • Tell your child when you don't understand what she has said but let him know that you will listen and try to understand.

# 12. At what age should I seek out help for my child?

A Speech-Language Therapist works with children from infancy to adolescence. If you are concerned about your child's communication skills, please call us to find out if your child should be seen for a language / communication assessment.

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The Children's Medical Centre


1064 Al Wasl Road,
Umm Suqeim 2,
P.O. Box 215524,
United Arab Emirates.