Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Edie | 2012-01-12


Two birds with one stone

Dear Prof

Compliments of the season to you!

My almost 10 month old has been having an “ off”  tummy ever since we’ ve been on holiday (2 weeks). We were on the South Coast and although I tried to avoid the water, obviously it was impossible with the LO on the beach and the bath. Last weekend he also ate some potting soil and it seemed to make his tummy worse. I took him to the GP on Monday, who said that I should just increase his pro-biotics and fluids and feed him mash, carrots, apple and banana etc. It seemed to be getting a bit better, but last night it became worse again. He is not vomiting, but has really bad tummy ache. I gave him some buscopan.
He also cut his two middle teeth at the top during this same time and I see the ones next to it is very close to cutting. So,
1. Could it be something really bad that he brought back from holiday? Should I take him back and ask for tests to be done?
2. Maybe something to do with his teeth, I know it is not the teething itself, but most probably something he ate?
3. The GP said that he most probably has an iron deficiency, because he ate the potting soil. But, is this def so? Because, can’ t it maybe be due to his age (sticking everything in his mouth) or the teething? I don’ t want to give him an iron supplement unnecessarily, or wouldn’ t it be a problem? He has a healthy appetite.

And also, my almost 3 yr old also started complaining about pain is his pubic area while on holiday. He also had an upset stomach, (def the water then??), but his is better now. I asked whether it hurt while he was wee-ing, but he said no. The GP tested for UTI but it was negative. He also said that his stomach was still sounding grumbly and I had to treat him the same. But yesterday I saw him holding his penis the whole time, even while running and playing. It seemed to be, more out of discomfort than just the normal “ making sure everything is still there” . I asked him whether it hurt but he said no, but I saw that the tip was quite red this morning. What else can it be? He has been potty trained for six months now and since that day he also did not go during the night. I just wonder whether he is holding in his wee too long, because although he still drinks some milk before bed he’ ll not want to go to the bathroom until the next morning. He drinks lots of fluids, but even when we drove down to the coast he only went once during the whole drive! Is this normal?

Thanks a lot


Expert's Reply



Thank you. You have put your concerns about your boys very clearly. It is possible that your baby son has picked up a bacterial infection such as salmonella or campylobacter while in KZN on holiday. This is not due to his teeth. Eating potting soil is not a good idea when you already have diarrhoea.He may well be iron deficient as eating soil is a symptom of iron deficiency anaemia. Your baby's stools should be tested for possible bacterial infection. At the same time he should have blood tests done to find out if he is anaemic.
Your 3 year old son is certainly a surprise in that he can long periods without passing urine in spite of drinking lots of water. This may just be due to the very hot weather we are having, but it is difficult to be sure about this.He should have a repeat urine test.If his complaints persist it would be best to ask your paediatrician to see him.

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