Ask the Expert, Parenting, Parenting Hacks

Ask the Expert – Dr. Praveen Lal, Pediatrics 

Back after a while and with something super exciting this time. Firstly because it means I can actually be helpful and post stuff that *really* would be useful for a lot of people and secondly because it’s the much needed push for me to be regular at this blogging thing.

So let me tell you what this is all about. This series is my humble attempt at helping you meet the pros from various fields (mostly related to parenting) and get your questions answered.

Every Alternate Sunday, starting this week, you get to virtually ‘Meet the Expert’ and hopefully we can get some of your long term queries/questions answered too.

So, without further ado, let us ‘meet’ the first expert and one of the most lovely people I have had to opportunity to get to know here in Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Praveen Sreekanthalal, Specialist General Pediatrics:

Dr. Praveen is one of the most grounded and knowledgeable Pediatricians we have met and clearly is our favorite. He has handled one too many of my ‘who even let you have a baby’ kind of questions and has still always patiently answered them all and reassured me about things I have panicked about for no reason. What I also love about him is that he doesn’t blindly give you a long prescription for everything. He’s super friendly and gentle with babies, toddlers and parents alike. I can’t recommend him enough if you are in Abu Dhabi.
So, here’s the little Q&A Session with him, for you guys:


1.Tell us more about yourself:

Dr. Praveen completed his MBBS from Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai; DCH from PSG Medical college, Coimbatore; DNB from Govt Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram; Fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology from The Madras Medical Mission, Chennai. He has over 10 years as a Pediatrician and currently works as a Specialist Pediatrician at NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

2.What interested you to take up Pediatrics?

I was fortunate to work under few brilliant teachers who influenced me into this wonderful field of medicine. What makes pediatrics more rewarding and different from other branches of medicine is that in pediatrics, the Doctor gets an opportunity to interact with the whole family. The added advantage is that I get to spend time with kids all day. 

3. With winter in full swing right now, what would be your best advice for parents?

Children are more prone to allergic cough, bronchitis and wheezing during winter.

  • Dress up kids in layers.
  • Keep them hydrated.
  • Apply moisturizers after bath and frequently for children with dry skin.
  • Stay indoors when it is cold and windy particularly for children who are prone to allergies and wheezing.
  • Make sure the child’s vaccination is up to date.
  • Keep your child away from people who have flu symptoms.
  • Adequate sleep at night is as important as physical activity during the day.

4. What do you think is the most common misconception among parents these days with respect to a kid’s health?

Many parents assume that their child’s immune system is ‘weak’ when the child develops frequent respiratory infections. It is important to remember that a normal child can have up to 6-10 colds per year.

Natural immunity can be boosted up by offering a healthy diet and encouraging physical activity rather than supplementing multivitamin drops or syrups.

5. A lot of parents worry about their baby/toddler’s food habits and weight gain. What would be your advice for them?

Unlike in the past, we see more children who are overweight and obese than underweight. The reason for this shift is poor dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle.

  • For infants, age appropriate food along with breastfeeding should be encouraged.
  • Toddlers are normally picky eaters, but if their growth and development is appropriate for age (according to growth charts), then parents need not worry much. Limit sweets and empty calories. Encourage high fibre, iron rich foods for toddlers.
  • Whole milk may be offered after the baby is one but restrict the quantity to maximum two cups per day.

6. Can you share with us, some tips and guidelines for the general well being of babies and toddlers?

  • Breastfeed
  • Offer age appropriate foods/solids(after 6 months of age). Color your child’s plate with veggies and fruits. Avoid junk and fast food.
  • Say no to tabs/video games. Encourage physical activity. Take them out and in the process get your dose of dose of Vitamin D, for free!
  • Vaccinate

7. If there is *one* piece of advice you have to give parents, what would it be?

Find time to go outdoors and play with your children. Stay away from tabs and tv games. Avoid self treatment. Say no to junk. 


Thank you Dr. Praveen for your time and agreeing to be a part of this series.

I hope this was helpful for all you moms, dads, grandparents, uncles and aunts reading this. Do you have more questions that you are looking for an answer? Comment below!

I’ll be back with another lovely person next week. Do you have questions for anyone specific you are looking to get answered? Let me know and I’ll try my best to help you out. Promise!

2 thoughts on “Ask the Expert – Dr. Praveen Lal, Pediatrics ”

  1. Absolutely wonderful effort and this looks very helpful for mothers like me who worry every now and then after queries regarding their child’s fuss over food etc.. 😊😊


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