Frequently Asked Questions

Parent's Tips

Things you need to know

Sepsis a major concern for all parents. With improved recognition and treatment bundles outcomes improve. If interested (Ref-Article: GP Article ).
Concerns about long acting beta agonists (LABAs-salmeterol, formoterol) have been well documented. This NEJM paper gives reassurance that use in children is safe when combined with ICS (inhaled corticosteroid) therapy.(Ref-Article: GP Article ).
A child can go to school the day after diagnosis of ‘streptococcal throat’ if fever free and on oral antibiotics. If interested read further evidence in (Ref-Article: GP Article ).
whilst practice is safe it doesn’t appear to reduce your risk of egg allergy in the future. If Interested read more in GP articles this month.
New technology allows rapid testing to outrule streptococcal throat which does require antibiotics. If Interested read more in GP articles this month.
of eating disorders with evidence based guidance. Importance of family meal times!If Interested read more in GP articles this month..
This is not part of standard practice and little evidence to support this dosing.If interested read more inGP articles this month.
Good evidence that regular apple juice followed by the child’s favourite juice acceptable in mild gastroenteritis. If interested read more in GP articles this month.
New evidence does not support this claim. The use of hydrolysed formulas to reduce allergy risk remains controversial in young infants.If interested read further evidence in GP articles this month.
A child can go to school the day after diagnosis of 'streptococcal throat' if fever free and on oral antibiotics. If interested read further evidence in GP articles this month.
Beware restricted unsupervised diets in infants to treat dermatitis/eczema. If interested in recent research in this area read GP articles this month.
Despite earlier research suggesting breastfeeding prevents allergies and eczema, this isn't always the case in real life or in recent studies. If interested in further educationGP articles this month.
For the majority of asthmatics swimming is to be encouraged as the benefits outweigh any risks. Elite swimmers need specialist evaluation. If interested in further educationGP articles this month.
Adrenaline is the drug of choice for treating anaphylaxis. Read why inGP articles this month.
Previously, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Collaborative Antiviral Study Group found that among neonates with symptomatic congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease involving the central nervous system (CNS), 6 weeks of intravenous ganciclovir was associated with improved audiologic outcomes at age 6 months, but that this benefit could wane over time (J Pediatr 2003;143:16). They subsequently determined that oral valganciclovir - the prodrug of ganciclovir - could be substituted for ganciclovir. Now, in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted at 40 study sites, they have examined the possible benefits of extending treatment to 6 months. Ninety-six infants with symptomatic congenital CMV disease were randomized to receive oral valganciclovir, 16 mg per kg orally twice daily, either for 6 months or for 6 weeks, plus placebo for an additional 4.5 months. All had a gestational age of ?32 weeks, were aged ?30 days, and weighed ?1800 g at initiation of therapy. The primary endpoint - change in "best-ear" hearing between baseline and 6 months - was similar between groups. However, in assessments of changes in best- or total-ear hearing between baseline and 12 and 24 months, 6-month-group participants were more likely to show improvement or to have maintained normal hearing. The 6-month group also had better Bayley III language-composite and receptive-communication scale scores at 24 months. Viral load was lower in 6-month-group participants only during the period when they were receiving the drug and the others were receiving placebo. Rates of adverse events were similar between groups. Read more in GP Articles
Previous guidelines recommending that mothers should avoid peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding have now been withdrawn. Read why inGP articles this month.
The majority of respiratory/chest infections in children are caused by viruses. Therefore antibiotics won’t help. What will help is getting your child vaccinated against influenza virus. Please visit the full article in our GP Articles this month.
Please visit the full article in our GP Articles this month.
International Dietetic associations recommend infant weaning to solid food to commence between 4-6 months of age if an infant is formula fed.
Breast fed babies can be exclusively breast fed until 6 months. If interested in this area read results of a recent trial in the GP Articles this month.
Unsure if your child has a food allergy? The only sure way is to participate in full allergy testing but here is a GP Article on our GP Article page that will help you determine whether or not your child has a food allergy.
Parents often ask should they avoid peanuts in their child even though that child never had a reaction to peanut. Recent study suggest that early introduction of peanut, in high risk children, may be beneficial (Leap Study). This does NOT apply to children with proven nut allergy. If interested read more in GP articlesthis month.
Please download this PDF file courtesy of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: Preventing Allergies: What You Should Know About Your Baby’s Nutrition or read are GP Articles
If you are having any difficulty giving your child an inhaler, there are some very useful videos showing the proper methods to use available on the GP article page.
Most children with true egg allergy become tolerant ( can eat) egg over a period of time. This tolerance may be evident by age 2. If interested in recent breaking research in this area please see my recent GP article.
Parents are often very concerned about the right time to introduce a "low fat" milk into their child's diet.Please see my GP article this month for guidance.
There have been recent developments in new vaccines for gastroenteritis. They are not widely available here in Ireland yet but seem very effective. Please see my GP article this month for further information.
An association between two poorly understood conditions does NOT imply one causes the other. Further research is needed in particular prospective trials where a cohort of children are followed over time. No other recommendations can be made at this time. Read more in are GP Artical
Fruit consumption would appear to be protective against such conditions. For further information please reference the full article in our GP Section, which can be found in GP Articles.
  1. Always read labels. Today, food labels include important allergy information such as whether any additives contain milk protein or byproducts of wheat, or whether a food was produced in a facility that processes nuts. Still, you need to read every label, every time — even if you have purchased the item hundreds of times before. Manufacturers frequently change ingredients and an allergen may be part of a new formulation.
  2. Take care when cooking. If everyone in the household isn’t following an allergen-free diet, you want to be sure to avoid cross-contamination. It’s a good idea to have two sets of cooking and eating utensils — one exclusively for the allergic person — so that a knife used to cut a peanut butter sandwich isn’t inadvertently pressed into service buttering the toast of someone who’s allergic to peanuts. All dishes and utensils should be thoroughly washed in hot, soapy water between uses.
  3. Dine out defensively. It’s wise to let the manager or chef know about your food allergy before you order. People with food allergies often carry a chef card — a printed note specifying all the ingredients you are allergic to as well as a request that all dishes, utensils, and preparation surfaces be free from traces of that food. You can customize a template of such a card on the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network Web site, www.foodallergy.org. Fast food restaurants and coffee shops are no exception. Read labels and ask questions before deciding what to eat and drink.
  4. Formulate an action plan. Make a list of steps to take should you accidentally eat the food you are allergic to, and carry a printed copy of the plan with you.
  5. Wear a medical ID bracelet. Make sure it lists relevant information about your food allergy.
  6. Always carry your medication, ideally two doses. If your doctor has prescribed emergency medication for you (EpiPen or TwinJet) always take it with you and always carry two to be sure you’re prepared in case you get into trouble. Some people with food allergies also carry antihistamines. Don’t leave home without your medications.

Ref-Article: Harvard Health Publications; April 6, 2013. The full source article is available here.

Dietary flavonoids are abundant in plant-based foods including cocoa and chocolate. They have been shown to improve cognitive function, including a reduction in the risk of dementia, better performance on some cognitive tests, and improved cognitive function in elderly patients. This study correlated national chocolate consumption with the number of Nobel Laureates each country has produced per 10 million of population. Ref-Article: New England Journal of Medicine 2012; 367:1562-1564 October 18, 2012. The full article is available here.
Duration of total breast-feeding is more important than exclusive breast-feeding for prevention of asthma and allergies. (Ref-Article: Reviewing: Nwaru BI et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013 Jan 131:78
Consuming 2 cups of milk per day is sufficient to maintain healthy vitamin D levels without depleting iron levels for most children at northern latitudes. (Ref-Article: January 18, 2013 | Mary Wu Chang, MD. Reviewing: Maguire JL et al. Pediatrics 2013 Jan 131:e144
When a "cold" lingers parents often worry about a possible allergy. While symptoms for both overlap, some tip-offs for hay fever include:
  • A clear, watery nasal discharge
  • Itching of eyes, ears, nose or mouth
  • Spasms of sneezing
  • Fever is never from allergy
  • Avoidance of certain foods during pregnancy does not seem to have a significant effect in reducing allergic disease in children. However after birth, avoidance of certain foods in breast feeding mothers may reduce the chance of eczema in infants in some high risk groups. (Ref-Article: GP Article ).