Does Your Infant Need Iron?

Does your infant need iron? Oxygen is essential for the life of every cell in the body. When we breath, the oxygen in the air goes into our lungs. From our lungs, the oxygen is transported by our blood throughout the body. Actually hemoglobin; the red pigment found inside the red blood cells do this job. So what does iron do? Iron is a main component of hemoglobin. One hemoglobin molecule has four iron molecules.The oxygen temporarily binds with the iron molecule and is transported to our organs and tissues. Without iron, our body cannot produce hemoglobin. Low levels of this red substance in the blood is called anemia. Your baby probably doesn't need to take supplemental iron drops (at least not for the first four months). It depends on whether she's formula fed or breastfed and whether she's eating solid food. It's important for babies to get enough iron, because iron deficiency can cause serious delays in growth and development and have long-term effects. In general though, healthy, full-term infants get enough iron from their mother in the last trimester of pregnancy to last them for the first four months of life. Premature babies have less of an iron reserve and need … [Read more...]

Middle Ear Infections and Your Child

Middle ear infections (otitis media) are common infections in children and generally follow an upper respiratory tract infection (common cold).   In fact, this condition accounts for most of the antibiotic prescriptions written by pediatricians and other health care professionals. The ear is divided into three areas or compartments.  The external ear consists of the auricle (the part we can see) and the ear canal.   The middle area consists of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) and the space directly behind the eardrum which has the three smallest bones in our body.  These bones help transit sound to the inner ear cavity which contains our balance mechanism (cochlear) and other components to allow us to hear. The middle ear is naturally a warm and moist area that viruses and bacteria love to take up home.  They travel the course that generally begins in the nose or sinuses and the throat.  From there they can travel through the Eustachian tube (a sort or pressure valve) that runs from the back of the throat to the middle ear( When your ears “pop” while traveling to the mountains the Eustachian tube is doing its job)! Risk factors for developing an ear infection in young … [Read more...]