My Blog
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
February 06, 2018
Category: Children's Safety
Tags: Car Seats  
There are many mistakes that can be made when it comes to installing and using car seats. From the time your baby is born until they are old enough to sit alone, a car seat is crucial for protecting your
Car Seatschild in the car during travel. Knowing how to safely install a car seat, as well as buckling your child can be difficult as they grow. In this article you will find many tips, as well as mistakes you can make when it comes to car seat safety. With help from your pediatrician, let’s take a look at important safety information.

If you are going to be using a used car seat, make sure to research the seats history. Things to check for is if it comes with instructions and a label showing the manufacturer, if it has been recalled, if it is more than six years old, if it has no visible damage or missing parts, and if it has never been in a moderate or severe crash. If you don’t know the history, don’t use it.

Properly placing the car seat is vital. The safest place for your child’s car seat is in the back seat, away from active air bags. A child who rides forward facing in a car seat can also be harmed by air bags. If only one seat is being installed in the back seat, place it in the middle, rather than next to a door to minimize the risk of injury during a crash.

Do not use your car seat as a place for your child to sleep at home. Studies have shown that sitting upright in a car seat too often might compress a newborn’s chest and lead to lower levels of oxygen. Sitting in a car seat for lengthy periods of time can also cause the development of a flat spot on the back of the head, as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Correctly buckling your child in a car seat is also very important. Be sure to read the car seat instructions and the vehicle’s owner’s manual section on car seats. The car seat should not move more than one inch when moved from side to side.

Keep your child rear facing as long as possible. Riding rear faced is recommended until the child reaches the age of 2, or 35 pounds.

A frightening statistic from the CDC says, “Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States.” Many of these could have been prevented by proper car seat installation and buckling. To learn more information about car seat safety, contact your pediatrician today!
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
January 02, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Insect Repellant   Bug Spray   DEET  

Insect Repellents and Your Kids

Warmer weather means fun time outside, making memories, but it also means, bugs, bugs, bugs! One solution for repelling bugs is using bug spray, but is it safe for your children? Insect repellentsInsect Repellent come in many forms such as aerosols, sprays, liquids, creams and sticks. Some are made from chemicals, while others have natural ingredients. Repellents work for insects that bite such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, biting fleas, but does not work for insects that sting like bees, hornets, and wasps.
 
Listed below are the different types of insect repellents on the market, as well as explanations on whether or not it is safe for your child to use them.
  • Chemical repellents with DEET: Considered the best defense against biting insects. It works for about 2 to 5 hours. Caution should be used when applying DEET repellent to children.
  • Picaridin and essential oil repellents: Works for about 3 to 8 hours. Still needs more studies to show how well it repels ticks. Since it is made from essential oils, allergic reactions can occur.
  • Chemical repellents with permethrin: A repellent that kills ticks on contact. Survives several washings and should only be applied on clothing.
  • Non-effective repellents: Wristbands with chemical repellents, garlic or vitamin B1 taken by mouth, ultrasonic devices that give off sound, bird or bat houses, and backyard bug zappers.

How to Use Repellents Safely

When using repellents for your children it is important to know how to properly use them. According to your pediatrician in, it is important to: 
  • Read the label and follow the directions
  • Only apply the repellent outside of clothing and on exposed skin
  • Spray in an open area
  • Use only enough to cover your child’s clothing and exposed skin
  • An adult should always apply insect repellent on your child
  • Wash your child with soap and water to remove the repellent when your child returns indoors
 
If you want to take extra steps besides using insect repellents, there are many steps that you can take to avoid insect bites. These protective measures include:
 
  • Dressing your child in thin, loose-fitting, long-sleeve clothing that doesn't include bright colors
  • Encouraging your child to wear socks and shoes instead of sandals
  • Avoiding spending time outdoors during the evening to early morning hours (dusk to dawn). This is when mosquitoes tend to bite the most
  • Avoiding scented soaps and other things that might attract mosquitoes and other bugs
  • Using a bug screen over your child's stroller
  • Controlling mosquitoes and other insects where your child plays
 
Using insect repellent can make playing outside much more enjoyable for your child. If you still have questions or concerns about your child and insect repellent, contact your pediatrician today!
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
December 01, 2017
Category: Children's Safety
Tags: Backyard Safety  
Playing in the backyard is a popular pastime for children in the summertime. Just like every activity for your child, you want them to be safe and protected. There are numerous precautions you can take to childproof your backyard for safe play. 
 
According to our pediatrician, it is important to do the following to protect your child from harm:
  1. Carefully inspect your playground equipment. It is recommended that you have a proper shock-absorbing surface underneath your playground. Also, be sure that the play set is properly anchored to the ground, that surfaces are smooth, that there are no protruding bolts and that all “S” shaped hooks are closed all of the way.
     
  2. If you have a sandbox for your child, you will want to line it with landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing up and to simplify water drainage. Covering the sandbox is also a good idea in order to keep pets and rodents, as well as their droppings, out of the sandbox.
     
  3. Be sure all landscape supplies and equipment are stored and secured in a locked shed.
     
  4. Pools are vital when it comes to backyard safety. Be sure your pool is properly barricaded. Install a fence that is at least four feet tall and make sure there are no weak areas that your child can squeeze through. The gate to the pool should also have a self-locking mechanism so that your child cannot open it. Pool alarms can be purchased to alert you if your child has opened the gate or if someone has fallen into the pool. Remove steps and ladders if the pool is not in use.
     
  5. Check the fences in your yard. Be sure there is no loose hardware, splinters and missing slats.
     
  6. Outdoor furniture should be checked to make sure it is sturdy and safe. Garden swings should properly be secured to the ground.
     
  7. Outdoor electric outlets should have childproof outlets so that your child cannot open it.
     
  8. An outdoor grill or barbecue should be stored and secured when not in use. Propane tanks, matches and lighter fluid, as well as sharp utensils, should not be accessible to your child at any time. Also, never leave the cooking area unsupervised when using the grill.
     
  9. A simple outdoor safety precaution is to ensure your child wears proper footwear and snug fit clothing. Clothing that is loose fit or has drawstrings and accessories can easily become caught on play equipment.
     
  10. Talk to your child about rules and boundaries when playing outside. This can help your child play safe by establishing areas that are off limits, rules for slides, play equipment and other toys.
     
  11. Check out the plants in your backyard to be sure none of them are poisonous.
Supervising your child is also greatly recommended to avoid backyard play injuries. Although we can take many measures to ensure our child is safe, injuries can still occur that are out of our control. If you believe your child has suffered an injury, always contact your pediatrician immediately.
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
November 01, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Asthma  
Does your child ever wheeze, cough or feel tightness in the chest? If so, your child may be suffering from asthma. For most kids breathing is simple. They breathe in through their nose and out through
their mouths with the air going into the windpipe, which then travels through the airways and into the lungs. However, children who suffer from asthma do not have as much of an easy time breathing, as their airways are very sensitive, making breathing a lot more difficult.  
 
And when your child has an asthma flare-up, or an asthma attack, it can be alarming and nerve-wracking. When an asthma attack occurs, a person’s airways get swollen and narrower, making it harder for air to get in and out of the longs. By understanding asthma, and asthma attacks, you can help your child breathe easier and better.  

What Causes My Child’s Asthma Flare-Up?

Various triggers can cause your child’s asthma flare-up. Some kids are sensitive to allergens, which are substances that cause allergic reactions in the airways. Some common allergens for kids with asthma include:
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Pollen
There are a lot of children who suffer from asthma flare-ups when they are near furry animals, such as dogs and cats because they have what is called animal dander in their fur. This dander is a type of dandruff that is a trigger that can cause a powerful reaction in the airways. 
 
Some substances can trigger flare-ups because they irritate the airways. These substances include:
  • Perfume
  • Chalk dust
  • Cigarette smoke

Treating Asthma 

If your child has asthma, they should try to avoid things that can cause their airways to tighten. Some triggers, such as cats, colds and chalk dust, can’t always be avoided. In instances where the trigger cannot be avoided medication can help your child manage their asthma. Not everyone’s asthma is the same, but there are different types of medicine available to help treat and manage asthma.  
 
When treating asthma it is not like curing a sore throat or an earache, when everybody gets the same medicine. Instead, your child’s pediatrician will think about the causes of your child’s asthma flare-ups, how fast they happen and how serious they are. With that, your pediatrician will decide on the best kind of treatment for your child.  
 
Some children will take asthma medication only once in a while, when they have a flare-up. This treatment is referred to rescue medicine because it works fast to open the airways, so that the person can breathe properly. Other kids may need to take controller medicine every day, which works to keep flare-ups from happening.  
 
If your child is suffering from asthma, visit your pediatrician for further diagnosis and treatment. Depending on the asthma triggers, your pediatrician may prescribe an inhaler or other forms of treatment to help your child breathe better. 
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
October 02, 2017
Category: Pediatric Safety
Tags: Baby Care   Infants   Newborn Baby   Car Seat  

Bringing Your Newborn HomePreparing yourself for childbirth is important, but what about when you first leave the hospital with your newborn? With pregnancy taking a full nine months, expectant parents need all the time they can to prepare themselves for the big event. However, in the rush to paint the nursery and buy baby furniture, you may have overlooked some of the essentials of bringing your newborn baby home. There is no official instruction manual for becoming a parent, but with help from your pediatrician, you can ensure continual health throughout your child’s lifetime. 

Leaving the Hospital

Often, moms-to-be will pack clothes for the trip home before even going to the hospital. Plan to bring loose-fitting clothing for yourself, because you most likely won’t fit in your pre-pregnancy clothes. Babies are frequently overdressed for their first trip home. In warm weather, it is practical to dress your baby in a t-shirt and diaper and to wrap them in a baby blanket. Hats are not necessary, but they can be a cute finishing touch, especially for the first picture in the hospital. 

If it is cold, add a snowsuit and an extra blanket for your baby. Chances are much better that you will bring home a calm, contented baby if you do not spend too much time at the hospital trying to dress your newborn in a complicated outfit that requires pushing and pulling your baby’s arms and legs. If you have not already made arrangements with your baby’s pediatrician, make sure to ask when the baby’s first checkup should be scheduled before you leave the hospital.  

The Car Ride Home

The most important item for the tip home with your newborn is a proper child safety seat (car seat). Every state requires parents to have a safety seat before leaving the hospital because it is one of the best ways to protect your baby. Even for a short trip, it is never safe for one of you to hold your baby in your arms while the other drives. Your baby could be pulled from your arms and thrown against the dashboard by a quick stop.  

Infant-only seats are designed for rear-facing use only and fit infants better than convertible seats. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants and toddlers ride in rear-facing seats until they are 2-years-old or until they have reached the maximum weight and height limits recommended by the manufacturer. Never put a rear-facing infant or convertible seat in the front seat of your car – always use the rear seat.

Complications

If your child becomes ill shortly after you bring them home from the hospital, you want to have a good working relationship with a doctor you trust and respect. You have nine months to plan, so come in and talk to us! Opening a dialogue with your new pediatrician is the best way to start what will be a long relationship based in keeping your child healthy and happy.

With your baby at home, watch for these signs that it is time to call your pediatrician:

  • Breathing faster or irregular
  • Notice blueness or a darkness on the lips or face
  • Newborn has a fever
  • Newborn’s body temperature has dropped
  • See signs of dehydration
  • Baby’s belly button or circumcision area looks infected

Although most babies remain perfectly healthy after they are discharged from the hospital, it is important to watch for any signs of illness and take your child to your pediatrician for evaluation within a day or two of leaving the hospital.  





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