Health conditions that negatively affect babies, young children and adolescents are clinically referred to as ‘pediatric diseases’. Untreated pediatric diseases may prove fatal and can also impact their overall development in terms of physical as well as mental health. This is why early treatment is necessary in order to prevent any unfortunate circumstances and complications. Parents must stay careful and report to well-experienced pediatric doctors right away on observing any kind of abnormal symptoms in their children.
Different Types of Pediatric Diseases
The following points elaborate some of the most common types of pediatric diseases.
- Childhood Obesity – Childhood obesity is a medical issue that arises when height and weight of children are out of proportion. Main parameter that can determine if child is overweight or obese is body mass index ratio (BMI). BMI gives standard values of weight according to age group and height of children. When BMI exceeds normal range, respective child is considered to be obese. Improper diet, lack of exercise, genetic factors, and even stress could fuel up the probability of occurrence of childhood obesity. On the contrary, eating a healthy diet and being physically active can significantly help children in maintaining proper weight. When these methods do not work, doctors may recommend intake of certain medications. In severe instances, a weight-loss surgery may prove beneficial for children struggling with childhood obesity.
- Osteomyelitis – In medical terms, infection in a bone is known as ‘osteomyelitis’. Infections may spread to bones through bloodstream or they may occur after any physical injury especially when a child’s body is exposed to germs. Children suffering from an underlying osteomyelitis may experience symptoms such as chills, fever, irritability, pain, swelling, and redness around infected bone site. Primary treatment options for osteomyelitis include consumption of antibiotics and Pain-controlling medications. When these treatments fail to help children, then a surgical procedure for cleaning the affected bone site may be recommended by the doctors.
- Epilepsy – Epilepsy can be simply defined as a neurological condition that usually results in episodes of seizures in children. Medical practitioners believe that genetic influence, prenatal or any serious physical trauma to brain are mainly responsible for the development of epilepsy in children. A staring spell, temporary confusion, loss of consciousness, and uncontrolled body movements are the most prominent symptoms associated with Unfortunately, epilepsy cannot be cured completely but its symptoms can be managed with the help of medications and a specialized diet that contains high-fat level and less carbohydrates, known as ketogenic diet. In some cases, doctors may perform a surgery and remove the portion where seizures mainly occur. A therapy known as vagus nerve stimulation may also help in minimizing symptoms of epilepsy.
- Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy is a congenital condition that emerges when brain gets damaged during its developmental stages. Cerebral palsy may adversely impact muscle tone, posture, and normal movement in children. It may lead to symptoms like stiffening of muscles, eating or swallowing difficulty, tremors, and lack of coordination of muscles. Doctors blame genetic mutations, maternal infections, head injury and health problems like asphyxia for the prevalence of cerebral palsy in small infants and children. Assistive therapies like physical therapy, language therapy, occupational therapy, and clinical counseling may help children live a quality life. Doctors may recommend some medications or any orthopedic surgery in order to help children manage the symptoms of cerebral palsy.
- Brain Tumors – Brain tumors occur when abnormal cells begin to grow and multiply in brain of children. Exact cause of brain tumors is still a mystery. However, doctors state that family history and exposure to ionizing radiation can lead to brain tumors in children. Children suffering from an undiscovered brain tumor may experience symptoms such as unexplained nausea, frequent headaches, balancing difficulties, speech problems, behavioral changes, and confusion. Parents should visit a well-qualified doctor at the earliest for avoiding serious complications. Key treatment options for brain tumors include medications, tumor removal surgery, radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy and chemotherapy. Doctors perform the most suitable treatment depending on overall health and size of brain tumors in children.
- Hydrocephalus – When the amount of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that cushions brain exceeds its normal ratio and creates immense pressure, it gives rise to a condition known as ‘hydrocephalus’. Rapid increase in circumference of head, fussiness, seizures, excessive sleepiness, poor feeding, irritability and muscle spasms are the major symptoms of hydrocephalus in children. Tumors in brain, bacterial infections, stroke, and head injury may raise the chances of hydrocephalus condition in children. Hydrocephalus in children can be easily treated by shunt surgery or a neuro-endoscopy procedure called endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) surgery.
- Hip Dysplasia – Hip dysplasia or developmental dysplasia of hip (DDH) is one of the most common problems in children. Hip dysplasia occurs when ball-and-socket joint in babies fail to form properly during pregnancy phase while they are in mother’s womb. Hip dysplasia may result in body imbalance and disabling conditions if not treated timely. Uneven folds of fats around thigh area, leg length discrepancy, and less flexibility of hips are the main warning signs of hip dysplasia. In mild cases, respective orthopedic doctors may recommend use of soft braces like ‘Pavlik harness’ in order to position the legs in an appropriate manner. In severe cases, they may suggest surgical procedures like osteotomy and hip replacement surgery.
- Neuroblastoma – Neuroblastoma is a cancerous disease that comes into existence when certain nerve cells called as ‘neuroblasts’ present in neck or spinal cord of children begin to form and multiply in an abnormal manner. Precise cause of neuroblastoma is not yet known. However, children with faulty genes are likely to develop neuroblastoma. Condition of neuroblastoma can be easily identified in children with the help of symptoms such as swollen abdomen, bluish lumps on skin, bulging eye, fatigue, limping, and diarrhea. Main treatment options for neuroblastoma include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In advanced stages, doctors may advise children to undergo immunotherapy and stem cell transplant procedures for stopping the growth of harmful cells in their body.
Pediatric Diseases in Gulf Countries
Gulf countries like Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Egypt and many more are world-wide praised for their amazingly beautiful locations, skyscrapers, and rich cultural heritage. However, when we speak about healthcare provisions of Gulf countries, they are extremely expensive and beyond reach of a common man. From last few decades, prevalence of pediatric diseases has increased in Gulf countries. As a matter of fact, World Health Organization has stated that nearly 50 percent children in UAE are struggling with pediatric disorders like childhood obesity. Medical tourism from Gulf countries to other destinations like India may prove beneficial for people who cannot afford high-end treatments at their native place. Indian hospitals follow international standards for maintaining finest quality of pediatric disease treatments. Furthermore, pediatric disease treatment cost in India is also less in comparison with prices that Gulf countries usually demand.
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