Ben Lloyd answers some questions from worried moms, such as lumps.
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Anastasia Baker: All mums and dads and worried about their children, are they crying too much, are they eating enough, isn’t it time they should be walking and so on. The problem for parents is when to know whether these problems want a trip to the doctor or whether that perfectly normal. Dr Ben Lloyd, a Consultant Paediatrician from London’s Royal Free Hospital is here today to put some of your worries to bed. Welcome, thanks for coming in today. Well, we got lots of questions from worried moms around the country and the first one is from a mom who is worried that her three-year old has got lumps on the back of their neck; they came up a few months ago and just won’t go away. And he is perfectly well apart from Exma, which is sometimes quite bad. But she keeps thinking that it could be cancer but he looks too well for it to be cancer, what would you say to her? Ben Lloyd: That’s a common problem, lumps in the neck is a surprisingly common problem. I think the key here is probably the Exma. Lumps in the neck almost always represent enlarged lymph glands, which one of the body’s first lines of defense against infection or inflammation. If you get an infected throat, a sore throat you get glands of the front of the neck. If you get an infected finger, you get in large glands in your armpit. The back of the neck, the callous concerned about lumps at the back of the neck, and that is a classic place for infect for lymph nodes associated with Exma to come up and I would guess that this Exma on the head and neck of this child. Cancer is a horrible word and I know lots of lots of parents are worried about it. Lumps in the neck can be cancer, very rarely. I think in my carried, I’ve seen two or probably three children who had cancer where the first sign was a lump in the neck. But in each of those cases, the lump was very big, it was like a plum and every week, I see one or two children with all of sized lumps in the neck. So how big the lumps are and if they are small they are normally – one wouldn’t do anything at all. In this case, I think it’s due to Exma. Anastasia Baker: So what can she do about it? Ben Lloyd: Well, I’ve given the good news. The bad news is there’s nothing to do about it; I mean the lumps are part of the body’s way of dealing with the Exma. And with children drags of Exma in the first years of life, so there’s a good chance, it’ll go away, and may go away even if the Exma stays. Anastasia Baker: Great. And here’s another one. My three year-old had some quite bad Asthma attacks and my doctor has put him on a steroid puffer. But she is unhappy about him taking steroids and in fact she doesn’t give him them not much. Is there any alternative to steroids? Ben Lloyd: Alright, probably the annual tend to his nose steroids. But that is a real alternative. And steroids and having in health, they are incredible effective. If a child has asthma, and you start inhale steroids as prevention then providing the steroids are given and providing the child does have proper asthma then the child’s asthma will almost certain to be transformed by the inhale steroids. But as your viewer is – many, many parents are concerned about the steroids – Anastasia Baker: It is such a small dose, isn’t that? Ben Lloyd: Well, that’s one of the points but the side effects of steroids as people know about which is for children it’s stunting of the growth, it’s weak bones, it could be high blood pressure, it can be being overweight, those side effects seen with steroids taken in large doses by mouth and it’s not what we’re talking about here, we are talking about small doses into the lungs. But I think it’s entirely reasonable still to worry about what the side effects are pumping steroids into a child’s lungs are twice a day for months and years. Anastasia Baker: It can not be years, I mean not they are for sort of short periods of time. Ben Lloyd: Yeah. I mean the inhale steroids for asthma, some children are lucky and can just take it when ther
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