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Category: Health Needs Of Students

Does the needle scare you from getting vaccinated



Does the needle scare you from getting vaccinated

Dr Paula Goel, Pediatrician & adolescent Physician , Fayth Clinic


‘A needle makes my blood run cold’ . Does the needle scare you , so that you avoid doing blood tests or taking any injections which are required including vaccinations .




Many are deathly afraid of a needle that could save their lives. So scary, in fact, that studies show the needle averse individuals  routinely skip medical procedures — vaccines, tooth removal, blood tests — that they know are good for them. 16 % of adults avoid the injections  because of it

Here are some  tips to distract you :

immunization for students going abroad

  1. Distract yourself while you’re waiting.Bring along a game, book, music, or movie — something you’ll get completely caught up in so you’re not sitting in the waiting room thinking about the shot..
  2. Concentrate on taking slow, deep breaths.Breathe all the way down into your belly. Deep breathing can help people relax — and concentrating on something other than the shot can take your mind off it.
  3. Focus intently on something in the room.Find a picture, poster, or a sign on the wall. Concentrate on the details. Whatever it takes, keep focusing on something other than the shot until it’s over.
  4. Research shows that coughing once before and once during the shot can help some people feel less pain.
  5. Relax your arm.If you’re tense, it can make a shot hurt more — especially if you tense up the area where you’re getting the shot
  6. Don’t shame or humiliate. Acknowledge the fear as genuine and help your child work through it, even if it requires seeing a therapist
  7. Counseling for needle anxiety, is like any other phobias, through cognitive behavioral therapy Instead of avoiding pictures of needles, psychologists steadily expose patients to more and more images of needles. They progress to using fake but realistic needles to simulate the process of receiving an injection, even using real alcohol wipes.
  8. Experts and vaccine advocates say there are other, short-term solutions, including using pain-blocking gels, intentionally tensing and relaxing muscles repeatedly to induce relaxation, mindfulness, and flat-out distraction.
  9. Another technique is to press the thumb firmly into the child’s arm, producing a temporary soreness than can mask the sensation of the flu shot.
  10. If your child is truly needle-phobic, talk to your doctor about whether anti-anxiety medication is needed.
  11. If your child is simply anxious, try distractions: play games, ask questions, tell stories, sing songs, blow bubbles, show a movie or a cellphone video. Pre-schoolers can be caressed in a parent’s arms and comforted gently.
  12. Don’t lie to your child that the doctor’s visit won’t involve a shot or that that the shot will be absolutely painless. Dishonesty and trickery could exacerbate your child’s fear and distrust
  13. Sometimes people feel lightheaded or faint after getting a shot. If you feel funny, sit or lie down and rest for 15 minutes.
  14. Don’t hesitate to tell the doctor or nurse that you’re nervous before getting the shot. Medical professionals are used to people who are afraid of shots and they’ll be able to help you relax.

So , we hope some of these pointers will help you to deal with your fear of the needle and hopefully help you to get through medical procedures with less stress.

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Mail Us : enquiries@faythclinic.com
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Parental guidelines for overweight & Obesity in children & eens



Dr Paula Goel, Pediatrician & Adolescent Physician, Director,

Fayth Clinic, Mumbai


Overweight and obesity are a significant public health concern even for children and teenagers.  The prevalence of obesity for children and adolescents aged 2-19 years is 18.5% and affects about 13.7 million children and adolescents in USA, whereas in India it is about 14%  and growing . With the COVID lockdown, the incidence has further increased.

Overweight is defined as increased weight for age, height and gender of child. Standard charts like IAP, WHO , NCHS, UNICEF ,CDC which have  weight and height for age and gender, are used to identify overweight and obesity in children and teenagers .  WHO has declared Obesity as a disease process in 1998, requiring treatment.

Overweight & obesity in children & teenagers is associated with multiple health problems.

 Physical health problems include early onset high blood pressure, pre diabetes high serum insulin levels , high lipids (total cholesterol and  triglycerides) , acne , hair loss , irregular menses , PCOS ,fungal infections , joint problems and respiratory infections.

Pre diabetes is increased, especially if family history is present.


Emotional health problems may arise as many children & teenagers are subjected to vicious attacks of peer pressure and bullying due to their weight. They may face isolation due to a lack of friends in the real world. As a result, loneliness creeps in and they spend long hours on media with more “cyber friends” than real friends, and may indulge in compensatory overeating as a “feel good factor”. Eventually they develop body image issues

All this would finally leads to low self esteem, lack of self confidence, anxiety, depression, lack of focus, aggression and/or passive aggressive behavior.

This can present with scholastic backwardness in form of poor academic achievement. Metabolic consequences of obesity and psychological impact are higher in girls.


Causes of overweight & obesity are multi-factorial, commonest being lack of physical activity, over eating (large portion size), eating high caloric diet, long hours spent on media (TV, Internet, social media, gaming), hormonal problems, medical problems like thyroid abnormalities, anemia and other genetic problems, and family history of obesity .

Whatever is the cause of overweight & obesity, it is essential that child be diagnosed, investigated and treated accordingly.

Parents must watch for certain physical signs and symptoms:

Lethargy , fatigue , joint pains , breathlessness , lack of interest and focus , easy crying ,  sudden bouts of anger and temper , prolonged periods of locking themselves up in room , asking meals to be served in room instead of having meals with family , self abuse in terms of over eating , physical hurt to self , wearing very loose clothes , not responding to spoken words .


Evaluation of overweight or obese child/teenager include :

  • Medical evaluation and diagnostic tests including blood evaluation , ECG , lung function tests , Ambulatory BP if required ( in teenager )
  • Nutritional assessment of eating habits in form of frequency of eating out , intake of calories , frequency and portion size of energy rich foods, intake of fruits and vegetables, number of meals /day and skipped meals if any .
  • Identify media addiction
  • Exercise protocols to be customized per child/teenager as per their requirement
  • Counseling including cognitive behavior counseling , dietary & lifestyle modification counseling , which will include child/teenager as well as parents ( entire family )


Parental Tips :

  • Spend adequate time with your child /teen . Be present for your child.
  • Communicate with your child
  • Meal times should be happy time with all family members.
  • Meals should not be eaten in front of TV or in bedroom.
  • Breakfast must be the most important meal of the day .
  • Small 5-6 meals / day should be taken which consists of 3 main meals and 2-3 small snacks which are balanced with right proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, fat and adequate amount of water .
  • Starchy food with high glycemic index should be reduced, increase intake of high fibred diet.
  • Force feeding should not be done. It is ok to leave some food on plate
  • Holiday times should be used for cleaning house or community activity which allows the child to have some form of activity instead of waking up late and sitting in front of TV
  • Child should accompany parents at times for food shopping and learn to read food labels before buying processed food
  • Dieting in children and adolescents is not healthy as this is the growth phase
  • Healthy eating behavioral practice should be encouraged for the whole family


Prevention forms the key and can be achieved by

  • Increase activity ,
  • Reduce time on TV, media .
  • Family activities like meal planning and physical activity together goes a long way to motivate children.
  • Parents should set an example and avoid junk food themselves.
  • Food should not be used as a motivator to motivate child to perform well on any activity
  • Parents should keep watch, as it does not take time for overweight children and teens to become obese .
  • Weight maintenance over a period of time (maybe 2 years) without weight gain, in the right zone for age will lead to balancing of weight for height and allow the body to grow without micronutrient deficiency.


 Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine Unit of Fayth Clinic  ensures that  Overweight & Obesity in Children and teenagers  are treated under the  National Guidelines laid down by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics which leads to healthy weight loss and prevents the complications of obesity.  This enables the child /teenager to adopt healthy lifestyle changes leading to healthy eating practices, coping skills, develop healthy body image and to deal with peer pressure in the most effective way.

Other Services include: vaccinations, Pediatric & adolescent OPD, treatment of PCOS, Acne, thyroid, short stature, poor academic performance, counseling etc


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Health Needs Of Students Studying Abroad

Overseas study programs are increasing in availability and geographic diversity; they offer students an exciting opportunity for learning and cultural exchange. For students planning to study abroad, the preparations don’t end after selecting an institution, filling up forms, applying for scholarships, writing exams, applying for a visa and booking air tickets. Future international students should also spend some time to research the health needs, risks and resources available in their destination country.

Students may be at increased risk of sickness due to the environmental and cultural differences, such as climate extremes, inadequate sanitation, food choices and travel problems. Insurance requirements and Medical care quality can vary widely from one country to another. Students need to take different pre-departure measures to prepare themselves, depending on their destination.

Here are few often overlooked health-care-related questions students should consider as they plan their international studies.

Will I need to purchase health insurance?

This important aspect is often overlooked but it is always sensible to pack a safety net. Reputed overseas University websites generally contain information about health insurance requirements and options for international students. While having an insurance policy is a must in universities in the US and Schengen area, it is optional in the UK and South East Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.

Some countries don’t mandate the international students to purchase insurance as they have public health care systems. For example, Sweden allows international students staying for a year or longer to receive public health benefits simply by registering with the Swedish Tax Agency. Other countries, such as Germany and Australia require foreign students to have insurance coverage.

What vaccinations do I need?

Medical professionals can help students determine what vaccines they will need based on any pre-existing health conditions, where they are going, and what they will be doing. Students going abroad for longer periods of time should have full physical and dental exams before they leave. Several universities/ countries have specific vaccination requirements that need to be fulfilled before arrival.

Health needs of students studying abroad


The three categories of vaccines to consider are required, recommended and routine.The yellow fever vaccine is an example of a required vaccination and it is required for entry into parts of South America and Africa. The recommended vaccinations include the classic travel vaccines for most developing countries where the health infrastructure is poor would be typhoid and hepatitis A. Students routine immunizations differs with respect to countries and in the U.S. for example, it includes Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Meningococcal, Mumps and the flu.

Documentation of all immunizations should be taken and may be necessary at your host university. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the up-to-date health information and vaccination requirements regarding the locations to which they plan to travel.

Mental Health considerations

Overseas study programs can be a rewarding and challenging experience for all students. However, it can also present Acculturative stress for students due to culture shock, unfamiliarity, removal from home support system and language barriers. However, what can be even more challenging is the exposure to a massive degree of cultural diversity inside and outside the classrooms. Students may also stumble upon great difficulties in adapting to unfamiliar teaching styles or getting along with peers endorsing different – if not incompatible –worldviews and values. Even for enthusiastic students without a history of mental health conditions, this can influence their overall wellbeing.

Prior to departure, students should consult a mental health practitioner about their intended study abroad plans, including which countries they would visit, what you would be doing, and the duration of the program. Students can get an idea of the types of support resources for their mental health that will be required for the duration of their study abroad program.

Health considerations

Should I bring any over-the-counter medications?

Prescription medications in one country may be prohibited or illegal in another. Students can contact consulates or embassies to find out if certain medications can be legally used abroad.Before leaving the country, students should get a signed prescription that contains both the medication’s generic and brand names.

Food isn’t just functional, it’s emotional

Two common ways to become sick while abroad are eating and drinking contaminated food and beverages. Nowadays, Students from many countries are increasingly interested in local, organic, healthy food choices – and many universities are responding in kind. The desire for home cuisine goes deeper than just craving certain tastes. The significance of home foods may not seem so important while at home, the strength of the link between diet and identity often becomes very clear when you stay abroad for long periods. Students may be overwhelmed by the choices they make around food, especially if they are experiencing other symptoms of culture shock such as loneliness and homesickness. It is indispensable that you research the diet and cuisine of the country you are in, to see how you can satisfy your personal dietary needs.

Health Needs Of Students Mumbai

Precautionary measures:

Self-care should be a daily priority and always be prepared. For the students who are prone to seasonal allergies or have digestive problems, always take precautionary measures. Asians especially students from India can’t bear the extreme cold climate of western countries. Collect warm clothes and keep flu medicines before winter begins in their country. Take vitamin C, drink hot beverages to keep yourself healthy and hydrate your body well with sufficient water. Exercising regularly is an individual choice but the health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore particularly for students. You also need to assess the risk of what’s prevalent in that country in terms of infectious diseases.

Studying abroad will undoubtedly be a magical experience of your life. It is a quintessential experience that every college student wants to have before trudging off to the “real world” of life. Precious few chances come along to go see another world and it’s a privilege to travel, hop on planes, explore new places, new culture and get some new friends. That’s why it can be so disappointing when your poor health while studying abroad gets in the way of you enjoying the expedition of your lifetime. Take care of your health and equip yourself with the people as well as tools you need to have the best trip possible.

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Mail Us : enquiries@faythclinic.com
Book Your Appointment Here : faythclinic.com/book-appointment

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