Cow’s Milk and Iron Deficiency: Why Cow’s Milk May Not Be Good For Your Child

As an expectant mother with persistently low haemoglobin levels, I was intrigued to discover from my own research that there is a link between cow’s milk and iron deficiency anaemia.

I grew up subscribing to the general wisdom that cow’s milk is a rich source of calcium and iron. I was even on the school milk programme, getting my daily dose of plain and flavoured milk in pyramid-shaped packs. Yet, after years of faithfully drinking milk, I am still iron deficient and borderline anaemic. When I looked up the literature, I discovered to my surprise just how much research there is that supports the finding that cow’s milk is associated with iron deficiency in children.

How can something conventionally regarded as indispensable to good health harm you?

Firstly, it has been found that for an infant under 6 months of age, over-consumption of milk irritates the intestines and causes the loss of blood in the intestinal tract. The exact reason for this blood loss is unclear, but it is postulated that the culprit is a particular protein found in the milk. Over time, this loss of blood stores results in iron deficiency. Thus, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child be at least a year old before being given cow’s milk.

Secondly, milk’s lack of bioavailability makes it hard for the body to absorb the levels of iron required for optimum health, thus causing iron deficiency. In mild cases, iron deficiency has been associated with a decrease in attention span (and a rise in incidences of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), alertness and learning ability. If the iron deficiency is severe, it can lead to anaemia. Iron deficiency is also known to increase a child’s susceptibility to lead poisoning, especially for those living in older homes.

Thirdly, cow’s milk products are inherently low in iron, containing about only 0.1 mg per 8-ounce serving. When you compare this figure with the US Recommended Daily Allowance of 15 mg per day for an infant less than a year old, what it means is that an infant would need 150 servings of milk a day to get the required amount of iron! An over-reliance on milk as the primary source of iron also means that the child’s appetite for other iron-rich foods (which should form part of a balanced and healthy diet) is dampened.

What then is a conscientious parent to do? Thankfully, there are many good alternative sources of iron readily available commercially. Look out for them on your next visit to the supermarket:

For young children

  • Iron-fortified infant formula
  • Iron-fortified cereals

For the whole family

  • Liver and lean meats
  • Seafood such as sardines
  • Dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes and raisins
  • Nuts
  • Beans, especially lima beans
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach
  • Black strap molasses
  • Whole grains

The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that a young child can get iron deficiency anaemia if he is given cow’s milk too early, particularly if he is not given an iron supplement or iron-rich food. Most toddlers get all the calories and calcium they need from 16-24 ounces of milk a day, and no child requires more than 32 ounces of milk a day.

Making sure your child has a balanced diet is essential to his health and wellbeing as he grows. This includes a diet that contains adequate amounts of iron to help prevent iron deficiency and its associated problems.

Pediatric EMR Software and It’s Features

An Electronic Medical Record system is an integral part of Pediatric healthcare practices. A specialized EMR system serves all the needs of a Pediatrician. To know more about it, first we need to know what an EMR is.

Children are special patients. Each and every growth, changes in body and problems are to be medically comprehended and monitored to provide best treatment. Pediatricians have to access a varied range of pediatric medical charts to calculate the BMI or the Body Mass Index and the growth patterns of a child’s body. Pediatric Specific EMR Features include:

o Immunization and health maintenance reminders for better treatment
o Document/Image Management
o Online Patient portal
o Specific Pediatric dosage calculations
o Client/Server or ASP based
o E & M based coding assistance
o Computer based management of Documents and images
o Child growth chart (electronic)
o Prescriptions (PDR based)

And a variety of other Pediatric based EMR features.

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RevenueXL brings to you experienced, proven and best Pediatric EMR software in the market. This EMR software is imbued with a variety of features which makes the Pediatrician’s clinical methods far more automated and easier and helps in providing better clinical services to patients. The software from RevenueXL software runs E & M coder and super bill which are specialized features of Pediatric solutions. The EMR software can be customized to meet the Pediatrician’s needs.

Features of Pediatric EMR software:

o Categorization of Child examination charts according to age and gender to make vaccination and other immunizations easier to track and remember.
o X-rays, ultrasonography, MRI, ECG and other medical images can be stored into electronic charts and can be accessed at just a click. Medical notes can also be created and stored along with these to make monitoring easier.
o Consent forms can be printed out and electronic signature of the patient can also be taken easily.
o Schedule, appointments and billing can be done easily with the EMR software.
o Doctors’ handwriting is very illegible. If you are tired of the chemist asking you to read it out, this software with prescription writing will be a great help. The prescriptions can be faxed or emailed to the pharmacy directly.
o Electronic and integrated dosage calculator makes medicine dosage comprehensive and easier.

Pediatric EMR templates

Customized pediatric templates (specific to different division of medicine) include the following –

o Abdominal pain templates
o Conjunctivitis templates
o Food poisoning templates
o Appendicitis templates
o ENT (ear, nose and tongue) templates
o Viral fever templates
o Sick child exam templates
o Growth chart templates

Contact today itself for customized solutions for pediatric treatments. We assure you all sort of integrated solutions for specific pediatric problems.

How to Choose the Right Pediatric Dentist For Your Child

A dental office visit can be a scary experience for many adults, so imagine how your child must feel. Unfortunately, children can be affected by oral health problems too, so it’s important for them to see a dental practitioner regularly, and starting from a young age. Regular visits will not only put your child at ease; a dentist that specializes in pediatrics can also help instill good oral hygiene habits in your child that will last a lifetime.

How They Differ From A Family Practice

A pediatric dentist specializes in the oral health of children from infants to adolescents. They must undergo an additional two years of training after completing their four-year degree to become a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery). During this time, dentists learn about the special oral needs of children including the process of tooth replacement, how to teach children good oral hygiene skills, and how to calm children’s nerves.

Children should start seeing a dental practitioner as soon as their first teeth come in, at around 6 months. Because so much change occurs in a child’s mouth, it is recommended that they continue to see a pediatric dentist through adolescence.

The Search Process

A good first step when choosing a pediatric dentist for your child is to ask for recommendations. Ask other parents at your child’s daycare or school. A reputable dentist is one that has an established clientele and receives new patients via word-of-mouth: the best kind of advertising that money can’t buy.

Next, schedule a consultation with a pediatric dentist that is a potential candidate. No work should be done during this visit. Take this opportunity to see how he or she interacts with your child. They should take a personal interest in your child’s oral health, and should be warm and friendly. Take note of how your child reacts to the dentist. To make your child as comfortable as possible, it is best to establish a relationship with a dentist that your child can continue to see throughout his or her adolescent years.

What To Expect

Take a look around the office. It should be kid-friendly, warm and inviting; the staff should be the same. To make children feel comfortable, the office should have books, games, kid-sized furniture and children’s television shows on. Next, take a look at the equipment the dentist uses to perform dental procedures. It should be small, just as a child’s mouth is smaller than an adult’s.

If you have found a pediatric dentist that takes a personal interest in your child’s oral health, it will be evident from the beginning. A good professional will take extra time to explain procedures to your child in a way he or she can understand. They will also show your child how to practice good oral hygiene habits such as brushing, flossing and rinsing. Habits that will last a lifetime if properly reinforced.

Improving Vaccination For Kids Through Pediatric EHRs

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) have been successfully utilized to improve the quality of patient care by delivering effective health services. Similar results have been seen in pediatric care, where vaccination coverage among children has increased significantly.

The quality of pediatric care is determined by the rate of childhood immunization. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) has given a schedule for childhood and adolescent immunization. Under this complex schedule, children are required to receive 19 vaccinations within 24 months of their birth; sometimes five vaccinations in a single visit to the pediatrician.

Among different reasons for difficulties in successfully following the vaccination schedule is unavailability of data at different healthcare facilities. According to a study, more than 22% of preschool children are administered vaccinations in more than one practice. The study also revealed that often parents misplace vaccination records or forget to bring them at time of visit to the pediatrician, which leaves pediatricians clueless about earlier vaccinations.

This issue has been solved to a large extent with the help of specialty pediatric EMR.

EMR Alerts for vaccination

Pediatric EMR software has specially embedded alerts and reminders for the clinical staff of the practice that will enable nurses or physician assistant to access the previous history of vaccination of the patient at each visit.

These alerts are usually embedded in the registration forms and provider notes, so that nurses or pediatricians can set them for the next vaccination date. Once the patient comes for the visit, the front-desk staff or nurse can review the immunization status – vaccination received, missed and remaining left – on a single click.

Pediatric EMR is designed so that pediatrician can review immunization status of patients at each visit and based on the data, can administer vaccination. Specialty EMR for pediatrics has diagnosis codes for vaccination embedded in the system, which populate automatically when the physicians orders for one.

EMR vaccination recall system

Before the health technology revolution, children who missed their vaccinations were tracked through a paper log – in most cases these paper trails had a dead end. With the implementation of a pediatric EMR, the clinical staff at the practice could follow-up on the patients who fail to turn up for the vaccinations.

Different staff members can access the log created in the EMR, which decreases the possibility of missing the follow-up on the patient.

EMR Vaccination reports

Pediatric EMR Software specifically made for pediatricians generate monthly reports about vaccination status of patients. These reports have the immunization status of patients less than 24 month old, missing one or more vaccinations. These patients are high priority for pediatricians, as the missing vaccinations have to be administered in order to complete the schedule on time.

EMR interoperability

As mentioned earlier, children were at risk of missing vaccinations before of lack of data available or pediatricians’ accessibility to data. Children would get vaccinated at different healthcare facilities, which make it difficult for pediatricians to keep record of their immunization status.

EMRs have made it possible to keep track of complete vaccination data of children. The system allows data sharing between health facilities and necessary stakeholders, which enable pediatricians to review past vaccinations given to the patient or missed.

This way patient – new or old – is administered vaccine according to their data and alerts are set in the software for future vaccines.