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HEALTH AND YOU


2009/05/12

Q: My child suffers from motion sickness every time she gets into a car. As a parent, what can I do to make travelling easier for her?
— Winnie, Butterworth

Dr Foo: Car sickness is the most common form of motion sickness in children and can make travelling an unpleasant experience. Here are some measures you can take to alleviate the problem: - Drive smoothly and avoid sudden starts, stops or sharp turns at corners.

- Make sure your child is wellrested and give her a light snack before the trip.

- Avoid heavy meals or an empty stomach, which tend to aggravate the symptoms of motion sickness.

- Do not let your child move around in the car.

- Always place a young child in an approved car seat which faces forward if she is over a-year-old and seat her high enough to be able to look out the window. Encourage her to look at the direction of travel. Keep your child entertained with toys, music and singing to avert her attention away from her symptoms. Avoid activities such as reading, colouring or playing video games. If you are on a long trip, you may have to make frequent short stops.

- Keep your car well-ventilated and avoid offensive smells such as petrol or diesel fumes.

- Avoid hanging anything in the car that dangles or flashes light as it moves. Staring at such objects can contribute to motion sickness.

- If your child develops motion sickness, stop the car as soon as safely possible and let her lie on her back with eyes closed. Placing a cool towel on her forehead will help reduce the symptoms. If possible, let her out of the car and walk around until she feels better before resuming your journey.

Q: How can I cut the fat in my diet? — Susan, Kuantan Farah Dibah : Here are some tips to reduce the fat in your diet: - Choose low-fat dairy products whenever possible.

- Prepare foods by roasting, grilling, steaming, boiling, baking or light stirfrying.

Do not fry! - Remove all skin from poultry and trim all visible fat from meats.

- Limit your intake of red meat and avoid fatty meat including beef salami, beef bacon, sausages and hot dogs.

- Buy reduced-fat versions of margarine, mayonnaise and cheese.

Q: What are the options for treating cardiovascular disease? — Zakaria, Gombak Dr Rahman: I believe you are asking about coronary artery disease (CAD) treatment options. These include prevention, optimised medical therapy, angioplasty and coronary artery bypass grafting.

Prevention is divided into primary and secondary prevention.

Primary prevention is correcting the treatable risk factors for CAD in those with no evidence of disease yet such as smoking, obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia or dyslipidaemia, and diabetes mellitus. We need to make lifestyle modifications by diet change and regular aerobic exercise. Studies have shown that taking soluble aspirin daily prevents the development of CAD in both men and women.

Secondary prevention is for those who already have documented CAD to prevent relapse or progression of disease. This includes primary prevention steps plus drugs that protect the heart from a relapse: statins, aspirin, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and beta-blockers.

Those with significant coronary artery stenosis may require balloon coronary angioplasty with or without stenting.

For those with concomitant medical diseases like diabetes or severe and complicating coronary lesions, they need bypass graft for better outcomes.

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