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SPRING/SUMMER PARENTING TIPS
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WINTER SEASONAL PARENTING TIPS
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If your child is injured, please give us a call before going to the ER or Urgent Care. Most times, we can take care of the injury without having you incurring the high charges of Urgent Care or the ER. A pediatrician is available each evening, weekend and holiday. In the evenings, a pediatrician is available until 9:00 PM for our American Fork Office and 10:00 PM for our Provo, Plaza, Orem and Timpanogos Offices. Please call your pediatrician’s office to make arrangements to be seen.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis (also called “hay fever”) is caused by common outdoor allergens — such as mold or trees, grass and weed pollens. Allergic rhinitis may also be triggered by allergens that are in your house, such as animal dander (tiny skin flakes and saliva), indoor mold, or the droppings of cockroaches or house dust mites — tiny creatures found in the home. Allergic rhinitis can last for more than 8-10 days and may include:
- A stuffy nose or a runny nose.
- Itchy nose, itchy eyes or watery eyes.
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Allergic Salute — Children use the palm of their hand to push their nose up as they try to stop the itching
- Coughing caused by clear mucus running down the back of your throat.
- Symptoms in the spring are usually caused by tree pollens.
- Symptoms in the summer are usually caused by grass and weed pollens.
- Symptoms in the late summer and fall are usually caused by ragweed.
- Symptoms all year are usually caused by dust mites, molds and animal dander (AAAAI).
Call your pediatrician to determine the medicine and treatment that is right for you.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000813.htm (MEDLINE PLUS)
http://www.aaaai.org/patients/resources/easy_reader/rhinitis.pdf (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology)
http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/allergies/weather/tenday/84604?x=16&y=10 (Weather Channel pollen count)
Fireworks are a fun way to celebrate special occasions. However, fireworks can be very dangerous if not handled correctly. Please treat fireworks with respect, read all of the cautions and warnings and use common sense. Lighting fireworks indoors, throwing them from automobiles and lighting multiple devices at the same time can lead to accidents and are not how fireworks are intended to be used. Always obey all local laws pertaining to the use of fireworks (NCFS).
http://www.fireworksafety.com/safety.htm (National Council on Fireworks Safety)
It’s that time of year when people are getting ready to open cabins and sheds for the summer. There is a risk of people being exposed to hantavirus. In order to avoid the disease, you should keep mice and rodents out of your house, trap all mice within your home, clean up after mice, wear protective clothing when cleaning up (UDoH).
http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/hantavirus/hanta.htm (Utah Department of Health)
In the summer, we normally keep our bodies cool by sweating and radiating heat through our skin. During hot weather, if the body’s internal temperature rises, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can result. If not treated quickly, heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke which can be fatal and must be treated by emergency medical help.
Small children are especially susceptible to heat illnesses. Make sure your children always drink plenty of water before and during any activity in hot weather, dress them in light-colored, loose clothing and avoid strenuous exercise from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM (KidsHealth).
Insect repellent helps reduce your exposure to mosquito bites that may carry West Nile virus or other diseases, and allows you to continue to play, work, and enjoy the outdoors with a lower risk of disease. The CDC has specific recommendations regarding insect repellents (CDC). For more information, see http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/mosquitorepellent.htm (CDC)
SKATE BOARD SAFETY
Skateboarding is a popular activity enjoyed by many young people. Practice skateboarding safely, wear a helmet and use protective equipment. It is a fun and healthy sport that can give you a low-impact aerobic workout. However, it's also an activity that causes many unintentional injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 15,600 persons need hospital emergency room treatment each year for injuries related to skateboarding. Fractures are a frequent type of injury. Deaths as a result of collisions with motor vehicles and from falls are also reported.
Irregular riding surfaces account for more than half of the skateboarding injuries caused by falls. Wrist injury is the number one injury, usually a sprain or a fracture. Skateboarders who have been skating for less than a week suffered one-third of the injuries. When experienced riders suffered injuries, it was usually from falls that were caused by rocks and other irregularities in the riding surface.
To improve skateboarding safety, a growing number of communities provide supervised skateboard parks. These may have professionally designed "bowls" and "ramps" or other designated skateboarding areas that are located away from motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic. For more information, see the links below (NSC, POSNA).
http://www.nsc.org/library/facts/sktebord.htm (National Safety Council)
http://www.orthoinfo.org/fact/thr_report.cfm?Thread_ID=373&topcategory=Sports (Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America)
Many camps and sporting activities require a physical before you can participate. Although sports or camp physicals done by someone other than your pediatrician can be convenient, we strongly recommend that you see your pediatrician who will do a complete physical. They provide an opportunity to screen for problems that affect adolescents. The physical with your pediatrician also gives you the opportunity to talk about such things as acne or chronic medical problems. Your pediatrician will take the time you won’t get in a sports physical (less thorough approaches) to also address such things a nutrition, development, safety and your health in general.
Please schedule your physical early to avoid the rush. Bring your forms with you and complete as much as you can of the form before your visit.
The warm weather opens up a whole new set of outdoor activities. These activities are not without their risks. The following link addresses bicycle, age specific, firearms, lawnmower, boat, playground, and pool safety.
Warm, sunny days are wonderful. But what may seem harmless can be very bad for you and your child. The sun is the main cause of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States. A child's skin is very delicate and can burn easily. Sunburns can be very painful and can cause a child to become sick. The sun's rays can also cause damage to the eyes.
What You Can Do
- Keep babies under 6 months of age out of direct sunlight.
- Choose a sunscreen made for children with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. You should put sunscreen on children as young as 2 months of age.
- Use hats and sunglasses to protect your child's head and eyes from the sun.
- Encourage the use of shaded areas for your child's outdoor activities between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun's rays are strongest.
- Dress your child in lightweight clothing that covers as much of the body as possible and practical. (AAP)
http://www.aad.org/public/Publications/pamphlets/Sunscreens.htm (American Academy of Dermatology)
Because of the high injury rate, Utah Valley Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not recommend the use of home trampolines. If you are considering buying a trampoline, you should consider other activities for your children instead. Before making your decision, be sure to read additional injury and safety information.
http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/pa/pa_trampinj_hhg.htm (C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital)
WEST NILE VIRUS
West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted by mosquito to humans, birds, horses and some other mammals. The most severe diseases caused by the West Nile virus are West Nile encephalitis, West Nile meningitis or West Nile meningoencephalitis. Encephalitis refers to an inflammation of the brain, meningitis refers to an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord, and meningoencephalitis refers to inflammation of the brain and the membrane surrounding it. West Nile Fever is another type of illness that can occur in people who become infected with the virus. It is characterized by fever, headache, tiredness, aches and sometimes rash. Although the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have been sick for several weeks (CDC).
The best and most effective way to protect your children from the disease is to prevent mosquitoes from biting. Protect yourself and your children from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most likely to bite. Use a mosquito repellant containing DEET. For children from 2 months to 12 years, use repellents containing up to 10% DEET. Do not put DEET on children’s hand or feet. Do not use DEET for children under 2 months (for more specific information on insect repellents, see the CDC link under insect repellent). For extra protection, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants (CDC).
See the links below for more information.
http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/wnv/Fact_Sheet/Fact_Sheet_061504.htm (Utah Health Department)
The winter seems to bring on coughs and colds. Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. It is best to wash your hands with soap and clean running water for 20 seconds. However, if soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product to clean your hands. Alcohol-based hand rubs significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and are fast acting.
For more information go to http://www.cdc.gov/cleanhands/
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia among infants and children under 1 year of age. Illness begins most frequently with fever, runny nose, cough, and sometimes wheezing. During their first RSV infection, between 25% and 40% of infants and young children have signs or symptoms of bronchiolitis or pneumonia, and 0.5% to 2% require hospitalization. Most children recover from illness in 8 to 15 days. The majority of children hospitalized for RSV infection are under 6 months of age.
RSV can make premature babies and children with other medical conditions very sick, even requiring hospitalization. Your pediatrician has a treatment that can protect these children. These treatments are given during the winter months.
For more information go to http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/respiratory/rsvfeat.htm
Flu season generally begins in late October and can last until May. Children are usually the first to get the FLU, and can carry it to their homes and places where they interact with others. FLU symptoms include: fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, extreme tiredness and cough. Some children will have nausea and vomiting. The FLU vaccine is available on a yearly basis. FLU vaccine is available at our offices beginning in October. Because supplies have increased, it is recommended that all children over the age of 6 months receive the flu vaccine.
For more information go to http://www.flufacts.com
Croup is a common winter illness that affects the respiratory system. Croup is a viral illness that causes inflammation of the voice box and windpipe. This makes breathing noisy and difficult. Children that are most likely to get croup are between 6 months and 3 years of age. Symptoms include barky cough with cold symptoms. More severe symptoms include gasping for air. Most cases of croup are mild, however croup can become serious and prevent your child from breathing effectively. If you suspect your child has croup contact your pediatrician or local urgent care facility immediately.
For more information go to http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial_viral/croup.html
SAFETY IN THE COLD, ICE, AND SNOW
Wintertime gives us an opportunity to participate in some fun and exciting activities that may not be available in other times of the year; such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, snow ball fights, and making snowmen. However, precautions and careful planning are needed to keep your family safe. Hypothermia, frostbite, and injuries can occur easily in the cold winter months. Being prepared with the right equipment and the right clothing can prevent most of these injuries.
For more information go to http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/winter_safety.html
AIR POLLUTION IN WINTER
Winter months can bring cold and snow. Winter can also bring a weather pattern that is called an inversion. An inversion is when the clouds and pollution are trapped in the valleys. During an inversion the pollution levels increase and can cause respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, bronchiolitis, colds, and asthma. Children are at higher risks than adults because they play outdoors, have faster breathing rates, and their lungs are still developing. When the air quality is poor, limit the child’s time outside, also watch for cold and respiratory illness. You can monitor your local newspaper and TV news to find out about the air quality in your area.
For more information go to http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/medical/allergies/ozone_asthma.html
HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS
Utah Valley Pediatrics wishes you Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The holidays are special time of year and are an exciting time of year for children of all ages. The American Academy of Pediatrics has posted some Christmas holiday tips regarding Christmas trees, lights, decorations, fireplaces, toy safety, and food safety. This can be found on the following web site: http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/novtips.htm
Halloween safety from the Red Cross
More holiday health and safety tips can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/index.htm