How do I help my baby who swallowed soap?

Dear Doctor;My one-year-old son swallowed a bit of Johnson soap and became so ill. He can’t even take his milk now because he vomits it yet it’s the only thing he loves. What should I do to help him recover? Ninnette 26.

Dear Doctor;

My one-year-old son swallowed a bit of Johnson soap and became so ill. He can’t even take his milk now because he vomits it yet it’s the only thing he loves. What should I do to help him recover? Ninnette 26.

Dear Ninnette,

Johnson baby soap and other baby care products are not safe and baby-friendly as they claim to be. They contain many chemicals which cause irritation of the inner lining of digestive tract thus causing vomiting and or diarrhea. Over long term, some of these chemicals can cause neurotoxicity and respiratory problems. If your child likes to eat it frequently, he probably needs more iron and calcium. As a child grows their demand for iron and calcium increases. Failing to meet this demand, a child can develops ‘pica’, an eating disorder characterised by the eating of non-edible substances such as clay, mud and soap. You can give him food items rich in iron and calcium and also food supplements after consulting a pediatrician.


My son is allergic to some foods, canDear Doctor;

I had my first and second born through C-section. It’s two years since my last birth and my husband wants us to have our third born already. Is the timing okay given the fact that I had my second born two years ago? Confused Mother.

Dear Confused Mother,

I think you should not use the term, “confused” for yourself. Your apprehension is natural reaction to the caesarean sections you had earlier. Every C-section carries the risks seen in all major abdominal surgery. It tends to weaken the strength of abdominal muscles leading to incisional hernia. Another real risk is formation of post operative adhesions. Adhesions around intestines can lead to intestinal occlusion, which can be fatal.

As such, two-to-five-year spacing is considered good enough between two children. This gives enough time for the body to recoup and the mother to nurture the new baby very well. You have not specified why you had to undergo C-section before. If the cause is still persisting, you may have to deliver the third time child also by C-section. This will add on to the potential hazards of a C-section. My advice is that you can wait more for a year or so, then try for the third child. As soon as you conceive, you should consult an obstetrician, be regular about antenatal check-ups and care and proper diet and rest.


Why does saliva flow my mouth in bed?

Dear Doctor;

Most nights when I sleep, I wake up in the middle of the night with my mouth full of saliva and other nights I wake up with a lot of phlegm-like saliva on my pillow. But when I sleep with a scarf around my neck, it doesn’t happen. What could be my problem and what can I do about it? Mutabazi, 31.

Dear Mutabazi,

What you are suffering from is hypersialorrhoea, a condition of excess saliva production. This commonly occurs due to gastroesophageal reflex disease, where along with excess saliva, one may bring out bile. Infections of the throat, teeth or any portion inside the mouth or oral cavity also result in excess salivation. Trauma to any of the tooth can also lead to this condition. During pregnancy one can get hypersialorrhoea due to hormonal changes. Treatment rests with treating the cause. You need to get your mouth examined for any infection or minor trauma.


How do I tame these pimples?

Dear Doctor;

I have big swollen scary pimples. What should I do about them? I have gone to dermatologists and it’s all been futile. I am using some creams now but wondering what foods should I eat and what foods I avoid to prevent the pimples from increasing or swelling further? Grace.

Dear Grace,

If you are a teenager, acne and pimples are part of growing up. Size and number of pimples varies from person to person. As such one can analyze as to eating which kinds of food aggravates acne and skipping what reduces them. Fried foods like chips, wafers, pasta, cheese are said to aggravate pimples. Fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and cereals are substances that will help to reduce pimples.


What is numbing my toes?

Dear Doctor;

Lately, I feel some numbness in my toes and can’t even fold them well. What could be the problem, what should I do about it and which kind of specialist should I look out for? Harris 27, Gikondo

Dear Harris,

What you are suffering from is a peripheral neuropathy. It could be due to some local cause such as trauma in the past or wearing very tight shoes. Alcohol consumption and diabetes are some other reasons which can cause peripheral neuropathy at your age. 

Try taking some supplements of vitamin B. complex for at least a month. Whole grains and nuts are rich sources of vitamin B and would help you. Get tested for diabetes and avoid alcohol.  You need to consult a neurophysician for this problem.


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