Consultant Q&A with Paediatric Rheumatologist Dr Nathan Hasson
During Consultant Q&A BOOST PHYSIO asks leading Paediatric Rheumatologist Dr Nathan Hasson some topical questions relating to
children’s physical health. Dr Nathan Hasson is a Consultant in General Paediatrics and a Consultant in Paediatric Rheumatology, having worked as a Consultant in General Paediatrics at Ealing Hospital, before moving to Great Ormond Street Hospital in Paediatric Rheumatology.
He specialises in all types of paediatric conditions as well as all aspects of paediatric rheumatology but in particular Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Dr Hasson also sees patients privately at The Garden Hospital in Hendon NW4. You can see Dr Hasson’s website here.
BOOST PHYSIO: How often are the aches and pains that children complain about caused by a serious medical condition?
Dr Hasson: These days the majority of children, probably over 95% of those that I see with aches and pains in their joints, limbs or back are caused by non-serious conditions usually related to weakness of muscles. 1:1000 children suffer from juvenile arthritis and other rare diseases such as leukaemia, and bone tumours cause pain but these are very very rare.
BOOST PHYSIO: As a paediatric rheumatologist one area you specialise in is kids with Hypermobility- what is your advice to their parents?
Dr Hasson: Hypermobility is a useful thing to have. All the best sportsmen and women, as well as gymnasts, dancers, and musicians are supple. However if people are weak as well as hypermobile, then this causes them a lot of problems especially pain, stiffness, tiredness and problems with balance. Infants can walk late, after 18 months, and with an abnormal gait usually intoeing or tip toeing.
BOOST PHYSIO: Is the “computer and TV generation” causing children health issues?
Dr Hasson: Yes. With more time spent in class, more homework, less time doing sports, less cycling and walking to school, and safety concerns about letting children out of the house to play, as well as TV and computers, this generation are physically weaker than past generations and obesity and low vitamin D levels are also related to this as they do less activity and spend less time outdoors.
BOOST PHYSIO: What is your view on the Department of Health guideline that kids have at least 1hr of exercise every day?
Dr Hasson: This is the absolute minimum and it needs to be moderate to vigorous exercise such as running, swimming, cycling in addition to walking. Hypermobile children probably need to be doing 2-3 hours a day of sport or exercise.
BOOST PHYSIO is experienced in dealing with musculo-skeletal problems and injuries affecting kids including hypermobility. Further information on our website about hypermobility is here.
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