3 things every parent should know
Studies now show an association between exposure to phthalates and development of many chronic conditions like asthma, breast cancer, attention-deficit, hyperactivity disorder, Type 2 diabetes, neuro-developmental disorders, low IQ, altered reproductive development and autism spectrum disorder
3 to 7, peak ages for childhood cancers
Children are not born with cancer. However, Dr William Macharia, a Nairobi-based pediatric oncologist explains that something could go wrong during cell division and multiplication (cell replication) after conception. Referred to as a genetic accident, it becomes like a time bomb and can be triggered by anything in future, resulting in a cancer. “It’s like a landmine,” he says. “You don’t even know it exists until someone steps on it and it explodes.”
A trigger could be a viral infection or anything affecting the child’s health. The peak age for childhood cancers is between three and seven years, he says. This is not enough time for anything from the environment to cause cancer seeing as it takes about 20 to 30 years to develop cancer. What a parent can do? Feel the child all over and look out for any swellings or abnormalities. “Since there is no cancer screening for children, a parent should be very alert,” he says. 1. Cancer of the eye can be picked early by shining a torch in your child’s eye. “If you see a reflection from the black part of the eye (like a cat’s eyes), consult a doctor immediately,” he advises. 2. Expectant mums should also avoid radiation rays as they could lead to genetic accidents. 3. Children born with genetic abnormalities are at a higher risk. Children with Down Syndrome are at a high risk of leukemia.
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