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Why is my son getting frequent upper respiratory tract infection?

Q: My child is 3 and a half years old. He suffers from frequent sore throat and resultant fever due to congestion of throat. Doctors have prescribed antibiotics of Amoxel Group (since he suffers from Gilbert's Syndrome). His appetite is also poor due to which he is not putting on weight. How can his immune system be developed so that he does not catch cold so frequently? What kind of diet will help him gain weight?

A:It is normal for a 3-year-old child to suffer from up to 5 episodes of upper respiratory tract infection in a year. Most of these are viral and require only drugs to control the fever and nasal congestion. Antibiotics are usually not required. A 3.5 year old child should weigh around 14 -15 kg and have a height of around 95-100 cm. However, there is a wide range of normalcy. Often, thin children are otherwise healthy. A pediatrician should be able to assess your child after examination if he is otherwise healthy. There is no specific diet for developing the immune system. A child should eat the normal home cooked food, with emphasis on cereals, pulses, milk and milk products and fresh vegetables and fruits. Let the child decide the amount he wants to eat. Let him have meals with other family members in his own plate and avoid force-feeding. Also avoid too much of fats and sweets.

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