Monthly Archives: February 2017

Tips to Win the Bedtime Battle With Your Kids

Welcome to the world of parenthood where bedtime becomes a power struggle between the child and the parent. What’s a sleep-deprived parent to do? Fret not. We’ve got some really simple and effective tips for getting your kid into bed on time, every time.

(For issues related to bed-wetting click here)

Bed is only for sleeping

Do not use bed for all the activities like playing, eating etc. It should be strictly used for sleeping

Avoid products with caffeine before sleep

Do not put hungry child to bed

No TV/Laptop/I pad in bedroom

These electronic gadgets distracts children a lot. It makes sleeping more difficult

Casting the monsters away

Switch on a dim night light to ward off those lurking shadows that fuel scary dreams. A stuffed toy will give a sense of security and a goodnight cuddle just might do the trick. It works all the time.

Ambient temperature

Wrestling with the blanket can make even that thin trace of sleep, vanish. Make sure you have the AC or the fan on at just the right temperature – not too cold nor too hot.

Make up a story

Give your children the solace they need by singing a lullaby or reading out a favorite story. Add a fun twist with a made-up fairy tale where your child is the prince/princess. Stories are a super way to doze into dreams high on imagination.

Exhaust the energy

Keep your kids on their toes by letting them dance to some fun music during the day. Playing a vigorous game or learning karate will tire them out and get them to sleep as soon as their head touches the pillow.

Ditch the sugar

Sugary treats too close to bedtime are a strict no-no. A sugar high will put your child into hyperactive mode. Curb those cravings by allowing them to munch on candy only during the day.

Seal the deal

Some smart kids need a deal to be struck before you can get them into their beds. Offer to buy something off their wishlist, or make a promise to take them out the very next day. Looking forward to something puts their mind at ease and seals the deal.

Always stay one step ahead with these tips to get them into bed. Remember to establish firm boundaries to discipline them into their own bedtime routine. So what are you waiting for? Set the ball rolling and be on the winning side of the bedtime battle!

15 Things which you should not say to “Stay at HOME MOMS”

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Moms who decide to stay at home are in no way inferior to moms who work. If they are staying at home, it does not mean that they are not smart enough to work outside. It’s a Choice which they have made voluntarily, so that they can spend quality time with their kids and family. (15 things you should never say to “working moms”) 

Parenting is a full time job. And many mothers opt to stay at home to take good care of their baby. Many a times thoughtless words from observers can hurt feelings of “stay at home moms”. Honestly speaking both set of moms face challenges and no one has an easy life. In this blog will focus on Home moms and next blog will focus on challenges faced by working mothers.

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Here I am listing few statements which are commonly made by friends and relative which should best be avoided when talking to Home moms.

  1. So you are just a MOM: Any person making such foolish statement must never have raised a baby. We all know it is a full time job (24X7X365 days).

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  1. Why did you wasted money on studies and got a degree if you were planning to sit at home: Purpose of getting a degree is not only to earn good money rather it is to become a good human being who can inculcate good habits in next generation. And any day if need arise, they can get back to work.
  2. You husband must be earning a lot, so that you can relax at home: Any family where mom decides to stay at home make a lot of sacrifices in order to spend quality time with kids. It does not mean they earn a lot, it means they spend wisely. And besides mom is working full time at home, not relaxing.

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  1. You are lucky you do not have to work: No mom who decides to stay at home is sitting idle. They are on their toes all the time. They are working constantly. They have to look after meals for baby, do laundry, arrange stuff, do grocery, fix appointment with doctor and the list is endless.
  1. I can never stay at home, I need a life: All the ladies need life. Everyone loves to spend time with people, look for intellectual discussion, adult talk. That is why their sacrifice is more evident; isn’t it.

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  1. Your home should be spotless if spend whole day at home. Home mothers have whole lot of things to do. Priority is always kids, their health and their intellectual development, sensory as well as motor development. Kids will always be making a mess of home. Drawing on wall, cloths here and there, sussu & potty, spitting out meals, laundry etc.
  1. As you are home mom and you have lot of time, could you help me with…..? Friendly neighbors might always be looking to take advantage of you in order to get their stuff done.
  1. You must be enjoying and spending lot of time with friends and on social networking. Those who think, staying at home means plenty of time for themselves are mistaken big time. Reality is that many a time it gets worse, as moms too need a break.

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  1. If you are tired, why do you not sleep when your baby takes a nap. When baby sleep, moms usually have a long list of “to do things”. Prepare a meal, do the laundry, fold the cloth, look after mother in law and other elders at home and the list is endless.
  1. What do you do with all the free time you have; I will get bored staying at home. Believe me, you won’t know where time flies. If you are really looking after your babies 24 hours a day will be less.
  1. My husband is not that rich, I cannot afford to stay at home. Nobody minds extra money to spend and it’s never enough. Moms who decide to stay at home plans to spend wisely and are willing to make sacrifices in life.
  1. So this is the reason your baby is so clingy and cannot live without you. Babies always like to stay with person whom so ever spends the most quality time with them. It could be caregiver in case of working moms (eg grandmother, or even maid).

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  1. When are planning to get real job in life. Home moms will always tell you that “This is the real life”. Turning a little kid into a grown up responsible and sensible adult is the real job (or toughest job). Inculcating good habits in kids, encouraging your child to do good for humanity and good for society is tough in present circumstances.
  1. Had I been home, my house would be neat and clean. Then why do you try it. It’s all about priority. Babies will write all over the wall, spill milk, do hell lot of stuff to turn house upside down.
  1. That explains why you look so mumsy? Home moms never groom up properly. It does not mean they cannot or they do not want to. It’s just they want to dress the way it is most comfortable for them and their babies. So that they can feed them properly, do household stuff.

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It’s a big sacrifice a mother is making for her kids and family. We should always RESPECT “Home moms” and appreciate them rather than criticizing or making sarcastic remarks.

Working 24X 7 X 365 days a year without any financial gain is a big task; not many have the capability or patience to do that.

I ask many moms than what is the reward for which you work? What is the driving force which keeps you going?

Answer is simple, loud and clear. “Smile of my little angels face” which makes them forgets everything and wipes away all the tears and gives them energy to go on and on”

 

 

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

“Healthy moms, Healthy Kids”

 

 

Picking the Perfect Nanny for Your Child

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Finding a good nanny is very hard in real life, here are some key points that you should keep in mind when getting started with your nanny search.

Make a list

Start off by putting together a list of the qualities that are important to you. For example, do you want your nanny to be well versed in your mother tongue, full time/part time or a good cook? This will help you weed out the not-so-suitable from the suitable candidates.

Do your research

Spread the word among your friends and family that you are looking for a nanny. Hiring a candidate who is referred through a known source is always better. Contact nanny agencies only after thoroughly checking up on them and asking for references on social media sites.

Interview

Make a list of all the questions you want to ask your nanny. For instance, what would you do if my child is unable to sleep? or what would you do if my child refuses to eat his lunch? This person is going to be spending a lot of time with your child, so if you’re unhappy with their appearance, mannerisms or anything else, move on.

Observe

Allow the nanny to interact with your child. Observe without interfering, so that you can assess whether the nanny and the child are able to bond and whether the nanny’s skills are up to the mark. Remember, your nanny will be responsible for playing a big role in shaping your child’s behavior, education, and cultural development.

Do not compromise, but rather, take your time looking for the right person. Be patient, that one perfect nanny is definitely out there!

6 Kid-Friendly Snacks for Fuss-Free Travel

mayaclinic_holiday food

You’re all set to go on a fabulous road trip, but then there’s that one question — ‘What to give the kids if they get hungry while travelling?’. Believe it or not, we’ve got some quick, nutrient-packed snacks that can come to the rescue (These are way better than store bought chips )!

  • Fruits
  • Roasted Makhane
  • Banana chips
  • Dry Fruits (Avoid in very small babies)
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds/Sunflower seeds
  • Khakra
  • Biscuits
  • Pop Corn
  • Granola bars

It’s an all-time favorite with kids in western countries. Low on sugar and high in fiber, they’re a great way to enhance nutrient uptake while on the move. Team them up with mini yogurt cups for an added calcium boost.

Kiddy cereal (Honey loops/chocos /oat-bites)

Breakfast need not be an ordeal. Think outside the box by carrying with you store brought kiddie cereal. Make a nifty necklace out of ring cereal and have your kids wear it while travelling. They will have a blast snacking on these neck munchies.

Celery sticks with peanut butter

Stuff a half-filled jar of peanut butter with celery sticks and carry it with you while on the move. When hungry, pull out a stick and let them munch away. Full of protein, vitamins, and energy, this yummy snack will ensure a fuss-free travelling experience.

Baby carrots with sour cream

Cut and peel a few baby carrots and store them in an airtight container along with a small cup of sour cream. Yummy ‘and’ healthy! What more could you ask for?

Spinach and cheese wraps

Cook some chopped spinach with cheese and spread it out onto whole wheat pita bread. Cut them into mini rolls and store them in an air-tight container along with napkins. Remember to pull this one out first as they don’t store too well.

Banana bon-bons

Slice up some bananas, dip them in the kids’ favorite yoghurt and roll them up in crushed crackers. Freeze them overnight in an airtight container and carry along. They are great for road trips as they defrost slowly.

So for your next grand adventure or holiday, try these simple recipes to appease the kiddie hunger pangs.

Bon voyage!

Tips to Prevent Motion Sickness

Motion sickness as we all know happens while traveling. It is more common in young children. Simple definition is nausea and fatigue which is caused by motion of head. It is associated with disorientation as well.

Motion sickness is very common while traveling especially to hilly areas. It can happen in any mode of transportation.

Symptoms can start suddenly or gradually. Most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating etc. It usually stops as soon as we journey is completed. More frequent travellers have less of these symptoms.

How to prevent it

  • Try to occupy the seat where minimum motion will be felt. Seating arrangement should be such that you are as close to front as possible, so that you can see through the front of car and focus on the road and destination.
  • Stay clear of sick people; it may sound mean but if you have other people vomiting around you, there is high chances you will yourself end vomiting.
  • Do not eat heavy, oily meals just before the journey.
  • Road Trip: better to sit in front seat or drive yourself
  • Train travel: Window seat and face forward
  • Plane travel: Seat over front edge of wing is better. Direct the air vent flow towards your face
  • By water (Ship): Try to get front or middle cabin which is near the water level.

Treatment options:

  • Focus on distant stationary object. Do not stress yourself and avoid reading.
  • Try to keep your head still
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid spicy food or heavy meals
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Drink carbonated beverage to help settle stomach or Eat dry crackers

Drugs:

  • Antihistaminics: 30 to 60 minutes prior to journey
  • Transdermal Patch
  • Hyosine (Buscopan)
  • Phenergan (Promthazine)

These drugs should be given only under medical supervision after advice from your doctor.

 

regards

Dr Rahul Varma

Making the Holidays and Vacation Time Safe for Kids

Child's drawing happy family on the holiday car trip

With winter vacation round the corner, this is the time where most of the families plan a holiday with family and friends. It could be your favorite tourist destination or home town visit to grandparents. Lot of travelling, odd time sleep, special traditions and awesome food and hectic schedule; it all can take a toll on the health of your little ones.

Here are few tips which might come handy in making holidays memorable and preventing emergency visits to hospital.

  • Choking and swallowing: avoid keeping foods which can cause choking near young kids. In less than 3-4 years old kids, peanuts, ground nuts, any small round items like tree decoration, small toys can be very dangerous, if accidentally swallowed. Danger of these items going into lungs and causing breathing difficulty. We get lots of Emergency room visits for the same, it might even need bronchscopy to remove these items.
  • Poisoning: Lots of accidental ingestion of poisonous decorative items, which might look very attractive to small babies (eg Christmas decorative items, toilet cleaner, floor cleaner). Sometime kids might accidentally drink alcohol based drinks (left over of party), dispose of all those stuff safely, before going to sleep.
  • Fire: Accident burn injuries are common near bonfire. Whenever partying make sure kids are under constant supervision.
  • Road safety tips to avoid accidents: Use Car seats for small kids and proper size seat belts for older kids (it can be life saving in case of accidents on long road trips).
  • Accidents: Keep fancy decoration items which are easily breakable out of reach of children. Keep children under constant supervisions. Outdoor activities of kids need to be monitored too.
  • Kit of emergency drugs to be kept safely with you before travelling. Common medicines for vomiting, gas , fever can be kept to be used in case of emergency before you are able to consult any doctor.
  • Maintain general Hygiene measures at all time and follow universal precautions. It is always advisable to have a general check up done with your doctor before you head for long holidays.

Happy Holidaying

Common Feeding Problems

Feeding problems occur for a number of reasons, many of which vary according to age. Most of these challenges can be met through proper breastfeeding instruction from your doctor. It may come as a surprise, then, if your baby develops a resistance to feeding weeks or even months after you thought this was no longer a problem.

Tastes Change

One thing to consider when this happens is whether the taste of your breast milk has changed. Breast milk taste can change for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • New or different food in your diet
  • Medication you are taking
  • Pregnancy in the mother, which sometimes causes nursing babies to wean themselves a few weeks or months after the mother conceives
  • Strenuous exercise, which can lead to a temporary buildup of lactic acid
  • Breast infection, such as mastitis
  • Change in the taste of your skin caused by using lotion, cream, or oil on your breasts

Avoiding the new food, changing or stopping your medication if possible, exercising less strenuously, or refraining from applying oil or lotion to your breasts may be all that is necessary to encourage your baby to breastfeed at his normal rate again. If you have mastitis, seek treatment from your doctor right away and encourage your baby to breastfeed in order to drain your breasts. Once the infection has been treated and has passed, the taste of your breast milk will return to normal. You may be able to help your baby adjust to the new taste of your breast milk during pregnancy if you are persistent and patient and hold off on offering formula as an alternative.

If your baby starts to engage in frenzied short feedings that seem to signal frantic hunger, it may simply mean that your let-down reflex is occurring more slowly than she would like. If this is the case, try massaging your breast and expressing a little milk before you begin a feeding. This way, your milk will flow faster from the very beginning of the feeding and your baby will feel more satisfied.

Stress

If you do not believe that the taste of your breast milk has been altered or that your let-down reflex is causing the problem, consider whether you are experiencing a high level of tension or stress. Such emotional discomfort can be communicated to your baby, preventing her from settling down to feed well. Of course, we cannot always eradicate stress from our lives, but for the moments preceding breastfeeding, do your best to put upsetting thoughts out of your mind. Relaxed sessions not only will help your baby get more milk but may decrease your own stress level. Breastfeeding your baby and holding her skin to skin often promote a sense of well-being. Meanwhile, consider ways in which you might improve the general tenor of your day-to-day life.

Illness

It is also possible that your baby’s own condition may be making it harder for her to breastfeed. Decreased interest in feeding—possibly accompanied by lethargy, fever, vomiting or diarrhea, cough, or difficulty breathing—may indicate an illness. Consult your pediatrician or family physician if your baby resists feeding or you have any concerns that your infant may be sick.

Illness in your infant may affect your baby’s feeding pattern and desire to nurse, thus decreasing the amount of breast milk she receives. If she has a cold, clogged nostrils may make it difficult for her to breathe while feeding, or an ear infection may make nursing painful. Clearing the infant’s nasal passages with a bulb syringe prior to feeding may help with temporary nasal congestion. Teething can cause gum pain when nursing. Thrush can make nursing painful and requires a pediatrician’s attention.

Spitting Up

Some babies take in a great deal of milk but then spit up what appears to be a large part of it after each feeding. Spitting up is common during or after feeding, and some babies spit up more easily than others. There is generally no need to be concerned, however, that your baby’s spitting up is preventing her from getting enough milk.

Spitting up (as well as hiccups) can be minimized by keeping your breastfeeding sessions as calm, quiet, and leisurely as possible. Avoid interruptions, sudden noises, bright lights, and other distractions. Try to hold your baby more upright during and right after feedings, and attempt to burp her after she finishes each breast. Don’t jostle or play vigorously with her immediately after she has breastfed.

If she vomits forcefully a number of times or if you notice blood or a dark green color when she vomits, call your pediatrician right away.

Occasional small spit-ups or wet burps are generally more a laundry problem than a medical one. Fortunately, spit-up breast milk is less likely to smell sour or cause clothing to stain than infant formula. If you are worried that she is spitting up too much, consult your pediatrician, who will monitor her weight and check for any signs of more serious illness.

Dehydration

As always, the best way to be sure your baby is getting enough milk is to monitor her physical condition, her weight gain, and the content of her diapers. It is very important to call your pediatrician if you notice that your child is not showing usual interest in feeding, she has a dry mouth or eyes, or she is producing fewer wet diapers than usual. These may be signs of dehydration. Severe dehydration, while uncommon in adequately breastfed infants, can be extremely dangerous or even life-threatening and is most likely to occur when a young baby refuses to feed or is experiencing frequent vomiting or diarrhea.

 

regards

Dr Rahul

stay healthy

constipation in children

Constipation is an extremely common childhood condition. One I deal with almost on a daily
basis in clinic and one that can be surprisingly hard to get control of..

Parents are often at a loss on what to do about something that is causing their child significant
discomfort, but also something they feel should be relatively easy to treat.

The trick is to always be one step ahead of constipation when it comes to your child.

Here are some surprising truths about constipation:

  • It can really hurt and be a source of significant, recurrent abdominal pain. After a
    thorough history and physcial exam (sometimes even an x-ray, depending on the
    situation), parents are shocked to find out, that, yes excess and blocked stool is the culprit
    for the tears and complaints of pain.
  • A child can be constipated in spite of reported daily bowel movements. Often, parents
    will discount constipation as a cause of their child’s stomach pains because the child will
    report having a somewhat “normal” bowel movement. However, if the stools are small,
    hard, and difficult to pass; this could be a sign that your child is not completely emptying
    his bowels. Having abnormally large and infrequent stools is another sign of constipation.
    In both instances, stools are typically hard to pass and the child may start withholding
    which will only worsen the condition.
  • On the flipside, your child may only have bowel movements every 2-3 days and not be
    constipated. The defining features are not necessarily based on frequency but more on
    symptoms such as abdominal pain, hard and difficult to pass stools, blood streaked stools,
    or a fear of going to the bathroom due to the anticipated pain.

When children are most prone to it:

  • Transitioning to solid foods and whole milk.
  • Potty training
  • School entry

Stay one step ahead with these tips:

  • Make your child’s daily meals full of fiber rich foods. Think whole fruits, whole grains,
    fiber cereals, and green/leafy vegetables.
  • Water, water, and more water. Keep a refillable water bottle on hand and encourage your
    child to drink frequently.
  • Moderate milk intake. Too much of a good thing can be bad for your child’s digestion.
    Instead of filling up on fiber rich foods, she is filling up on this. After the age of 1 year, 500 ml per day is more than enough.
  • Make a smoothie: if you have a picky eater…have her drink her fiber. Add whole fruits,
    some skim milk, yogurt, and a splash of juice.
  • Try a daily “P” juice (prune or pear) for breakfast to get things back on track.
  • A daily fiber supplement can help fill in the fiber gap.
  • Exercise. Get your kids outside (or inside) and moving for a good hour per day.

Laxatives

Sometimes, your child just needs a laxative to get back on track. Discuss this possibility with
your child’s pediatrician. Once the cycle of constipation has set in, dietary changes alone may
not turn it around. Be sure to adhere to the plan outlined with your pediatrician and continue with
the constipation fighting foods above.

Discuss with your doctor and follow instruction carefully.. Incomplete treatment can lead to poor growth.

Regards

Dr Rahul Varma

 

What newer Vaccines are there for my child ?

Good day parents

As a parent u all must be aware of vaccines which u all must be giving to your child. There are various newer vaccines which keep coming in market after research and development. there are some painless vaccines too. It is your right to get information  regarding various new vaccines available for your child for better growth and prevention of infections.

traditionally following vaccines were given by govt of India in Delhi NCR:  BCG, polio drops , DwPT/DTwP (which causes pain and fever , usually lasting for 24 to 48 hours ),Hepatits B,  measles, MMR, typhoid.

Latest Immunization schedule as per Indian academy of pediatrics have added few more vaccines which are gentle DTaP along with Hib and IPV( Injectable polio vaccine) , Rotavirus, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis A, chicken pox . and in high risk children Flu, Meningococcal.

DTP:

One important thing which I wanted to emphasis that whether U give traditional DTP or gentle DTaP both has equal efficacy in Indian circumstance, only difference being in the side effects. So the huge amount of difference in cost is to prevent side effect only( these sypmtoms of fever and pain can be managed easily by giving crocin/ paracetamol). So its for u to decide which one to go for as medically both are equally potent. It all depends on your abilities to handle a baby who is cranky .

IPV:

injectable polio vaccine is the best option for complete protection of your baby in present circumstances. In countries where polio has been eradicated IPV is the only option available.

Rotavirus:

This vaccine helps in preventing against diarrhea / loose motion. But giving this vaccine does not mean that your baby will not have diarrhea ever in life. This vaccine only prevent against Rota Virus, which is a virus which causes serious diarrhea usually needing admission in hospital and IV fluids. .And this being a viral illness is difficult to prevent.

Hepatitis A:

Jaundice is very commonly seen in India through out calender year with peak in rainy season. This vaccine prevents against jaundice, as no matter how cautious you are, once in a while we all dine out and drink water from unreliable sources which can cause jaundice. So this vaccine is strongly recommended.

Chicken Pox:

regarding this disease you all know that it can cause rashes on face with permanent scaring. when this disease occurs in adult age group , it is much more severe, so this vaccine is also recommended by IAP.

Pneumococcal vaccine:

This organism causes , serious infections, which include ASOM (ear infection), Pneumonia, Meningitis (brain infection). And once child gets infection due to this pneumococcal , it invariably needs IV antibiotic ( ranging from 7 to 14 days). Some people promote this vaccine as vaccine against Pneumonia, but again it does not means that if U give this vaccine your child will never have Pneumonia (as there are many organism which can cause Pneumonia). The main problem with this vaccine is huge cost, if cost is not an issue then this vaccine must be given , atleast before your child starts going to play school.

 

Haemophilus influenzae type B:

This vaccine is being given along with DTP universally these days, now even govt of India has introduced this vaccine in pilot project in Delhi, so it is being given along with DTP and Hepatits B. A must vaccine for your child.

Flu:

Its a seasonal vaccine which needs to be given every year in high risk group. Flu keeps changing its structure every few year. eg you must have heard of Bird flu many years back, later swine flu few years back (latest vaccine covers against swine flu ) but few  year down the line some new virus will come.

Meningococcal :

Latest vaccine against this disease is Menactra, which is highly efficacious vaccine but the most expensive vaccine in children till date with MRP of 4500Rs. But this disease has very high mortality (can cause death within 24 hours), 2nd only to Rabies. Although incidence of this disease is low, but considering its high mortality , it can be given if cost is not an issue. Delhi had lots of cases in out break few years back.

you can send in your queries regarding any vaccine to me  and I will try to give you unbaised opinion about it.

Stay Healthy and prevent Diseases

Dr. Rahul

My newborn’s vaccination schedule. Why do infants need so many vaccines so quickly?

  • Newborns need multiple vaccines because infectious diseases can cause more-serious problems in infants than in older children.
  • While maternal antibodies help protect newborns from many diseases, this immunity begins to disappear as quickly as one month after birth. In addition, children don’t receive maternal immunity from certain diseases, such as whooping cough. If a child isn’t vaccinated and is exposed to a disease, he or she might become sick and spread the illness.
  • Avoid altering your child’s recommended vaccination schedule. Research shows that it’s safe for infants and young children to receive multiple vaccines at the same time, as recommended by ( IAP) Indian Academy of Pediatrics and (CDC) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccination schedule.
  • Remember, newborns and young children can be exposed to diseases from family members, care providers and other close contacts, as well as during routine outings — such as trips to the grocery store, nearby park and family functions etc. Many vaccines can be given even if your child has a mild illness, such as a cold or mild fever. Consult your child’s doctor regularly to keep your child’s vaccination status up to date.

stay healthy and stop the spread of vaccine preventable disease

regards

Dr. Rahul Varma