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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 169-173

Mothers' perception and management of abdominal colic in infants in Enugu, Nigeria

Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus; University of Nigeria, Teaching Hospital Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
J M Chinawa
Department of Pediatrics, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus; University Of Nigeria, Teaching Hospital Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.110135

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Background: Abdominal colic is common in infants but generally harmless. The exact aetiology is unknown but it has been associated with vicious cycle of crying and swallowing of air by the infant. The excessive crying associated with it can result in a lot of distress for family members creating unnecessary panics. We sought to find the perception and management of abdominal colic by mothers in Enugu. Objective: Objective of this study is to determine the perception and 'home management' of abdominal colic in infants by mothers in Enugu, south-east Nigeria and the factors associated with them. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey involving 177 mothers that presented with their infants at the pediatric outpatient clinic of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla, Enugu between June and November 2011. A pretested questionnaire was used after obtaining their consent. Results: A total of one hundred and seventy-seven mothers participated in this study. They were aged 20 to 60 years with mean age of 34 ± 7.3 years. Most of them (99.4%) believed that babies can have abdominal colic. While 41.3% attributed no problems to colic, the rest believed that it causes loose/greenish stools (12.4%), fever (16.4%) and vomiting (9.6%) etc. Most of the mothers (87.7%) do apply medications for colic which range from paracetamol (33.1%), Gbomoro (16.2%), teething powder (15.4%), salt water (13.2%), Buscopan (7.7%) and gripe water (4.6%). Conclusions : Mothers attribute symptoms of childhood illnesses to abdominal colic. This may have led to unnecessary and sometimes harmful management. There is need for health education of mothers and potential mothers.

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