Summertime Safety Tips: Part Two!!!

best-family-camping-spots-in-the-southwest-us

Part Two of WP’s Summertime Safety Tips is here! This week’s theme: The Great Outdoors!

Bug Bites & Stings

Bug bites and stings are usually just annoying, causing temporary discomfort and pain, but no serious or lasting health problems. You can help prevent your child from getting a bug bite or sting by regularly vacuuming around the house, spraying your children with insect repellent when they go outside, staying on the trail (if your family goes hiking), wearing gloves while gardening, and reminding them to keep away from bee/wasp nests outside.

  • How to Treat Common Summer Bug Bites & Stings:
    • If stung by a bee or wasp, remove the bee’s stinger as quickly as possible using a scraping motion, without pinching the venom sac at the end of the stinger (note: wasps will not leave venom sacs on their stingers). Wash the area carefully with soap and water two to three times a day until the skin is healed. Use ice packs and ibuprofen for pain.
      • If your child has had an allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting in the past, see your health care provider for a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector (Epi-Pen).
    • If bitten by a spider, wash the area carefully with soap two to three times daily until the skin heals, and utilize cold compresses and ibuprofen for pain and discomfort. (Note: most every spider bite you/your child will get in North America is harmless)
    • If bitten by a tick, or if you find a tick on your child, use tweezers to grasp the tick firmly at its head/mouth, next to the skin. Pull firmly and steadily upward on the tick until it lets go (do NOT twist or jerk the tick), then swab the bite site with rubbing alcohol.
      • Do NOT use petroleum jelly or a lit match to kill and/or remove a tick. These methods may cause the tick to burrow deeper into your child’s skin

Camping Safety

Camping can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding bonding times with your family, but always be prepared for a trip to the woods!

  • Plan ahead and be aware of camping safety issues that apply to your campsite, like bug bites/stings, plants that can cause rashes, and exposure to heat/cold/wind/water/etc.
  • Look online for lists of go-to, essential camping gear and first aid equipment. It’s always better to be prepared and have a little extra to pack in the care then realize you don’t have the proper tools in case of an emergency.
  • Be sure to bring/pack lots of clean water from home for those sunny, hot days on the trail; cover the whole family in sunscreen, and wear skin protection like hats and lightweight cotton clothing
  • Even though it’s summer, the nights can get pretty cold when camping. Be sure to pack long sleeved clothing in case it gets chilly.
  • Teach your kids how to recognize landmarks at the campsite and on hikes to prevent them from getting lost. Teach them to remain where they are and stay calm if they are lost, and be sure to pack along some whistles for them to carry and use should they get separated from the group (three whistle blasts = universal help signal).
  • Be sure to scout your site before/as you set up camp for natural hazards, like bugs nests, ad other materials like trash and broken glass left behind by others
  • And ALWAYS be sure to scout your campsite again when your family packs up to go home. Be courteous to the next campers, and to the natural world around you, by leaving your campsite in a better state than you found it! #LeaveNoTrace

Fire Safety

Fire is present in several summer activites: grills, fire-pits in the back yard, tiki torches, s’mores over a campfire, etc. But be sure the whole family knows how to stay safe around fire, in its many forms, this summer!

  • Always keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach. Store flammable materials, such as gasoline, kerosene, and cleaning supplies, outside of your home and away from kids.
  • If you’re camping and plan to build a firepit, look for a clearing and/or previous campers’ firepits. During fire-hazard period and dry seasons, use portable stoves rather than campfires.
  • Have a designated adult be the “Fire Marshal” if your family is around a firepit/campfire, and remind your children that only the fire marshal can add fuel to, mess with, or get close to the fire. Be sure to establish a “Fire Circle” as well at a radius of about one or two yards, depending on the fire’s size and the age of your children.

In the case of an emergency while outdoors this summer, it’s important to remain calm. Always stay on the safe side when setting boundaries for family camping; the more remote your location, the more care you should take in choosing your activities. Good preparation before a trip can help you/your family keep a level head should an emergency arise, so be sure to do your homework beforehand and make sure your children/family know outdoor summer safety as well!

Summertime Safety Tips: Part One!!!

The weather in Chicago has been absolutely gorgeous these past couple of weeks – blue skies, sunshine, and warm breezes! Before you round up your family and head for the beach, park, or even the mountains this summer, read up on some of WP’s ways to make your days in the sun both safe and fun. Part One of WP’s Summertime Safety Tips will cover: Sun Exposure, Sunscreen Tips, Fireworks, and Water Safety!!

  1. Sun Safety

We all need some sun exposure — it’s the top source of vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones. But it doesn’t take much time in the sun for most people to get the vitamin D they need. Most kids get much of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18, so it’s important for parents to teach them how to enjoy fun in the sun safely.

Most sun damage occurs as a result of incidental exposure during day-to-day activities, not from being at the beach. Unprotected sun exposure is higher in risk for kids with:

  • lots of moles on their skin (or whose parents have a tendency to develop moles)
  • very fair skin and hair
  • a family history of skin cancer, including melanoma

TIP: The sun is at it’s strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM (12:00 noon is when the sun is brightest/highest in the sky, and 3:00 PM is when it’s hottest outside.  If kids are outside on a clear sunny day during this time, be sure to apply and reapply protective sunscreen — even if they’re just playing in the backyard.

Because infants have thinner skin and underdeveloped melanin, their skin burns more easily than that of older kids.

  • The best protection for babies under 6 months of age is shade, so they should be kept out of the sun whenever possible. If your baby must be in the sun, dress him or her in clothing that covers the body, including hats with wide brims to shadow the face, or utilize an umbrella. If your baby is younger than 6 months old and still has small areas of skin (like the face) exposed, you can use a tiny amount of sunscreen with a minimum SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 on those areas.

2. Sunscreen

With all the options available (organic or mineral? water-resistant or sweat-resistant? lotion or spray?), choosing a sunscreen for your kids can be tricky. But what matters most is the degree of protection it provides from UV rays.

  • Look for SPF numbers on the labels of sunscreens. Select an SPF of 30 or higher to prevent sunburn and tanning, both of which are signs of skin damage. Choose a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays (usually labeled as a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen).
  • Sunscreen sprays are convenient but should be used with caution. For starters, sprays are easy to breathe in, which can irritate the lungs. Some sprays also are flammable, so you need to avoid sparks or flames when applying them and wearing them. And, sprays make it hard to tell if you have applied enough sunscreen, which increases the risk of sunburn.

3. Fireworks Safety

With warm weather and family events, the Fourth of July can be a fun time with great memories. But before your family celebrates, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burn and eye injuries in kids and adults. The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home — period. Attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals.

Lighting fireworks at home isn’t even legal in many areas, so if you still want to use them, be sure to check with your local police department first. If they’re legal where you live, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold.
  • Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
  • Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.
  • Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.
  • Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.
  • Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
  • Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
  • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.

If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don’t flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention — your child’s eyesight may depend on it. If it’s a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Call your doctor immediately.

4. Water Safety

Pools, lakes, and beaches mean summer fun and cool relief from hot weather. But water also can be dangerous for kids if parents don’t take the proper precautions. The good news is there are many ways to keep your kids safe in the water, and make sure that they make the right choices when they’re on their own.

Kids, especially younger children, need constant supervision around water — whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, the beach, or a lake. Always watch children closely when they’re in or near any water.

  • If you’re not a swimmer yourself, it’s a good idea to take lessons and learn how to swim. And kids over 4 years old should learn, too (check the local recreation center for classes taught by qualified instructors). Kids who are younger (but older than age 1) also might benefit from swimming lessons, but check with your doctor first.
  • All kids need to be supervised while IN the water, no matter what their swimming skills. And infants, toddlers, and weak swimmers should have an adult swimmer within arm’s reach to provide “touch supervision.”

Oftentimes when kids and adults alike are enjoying some afternoon fun in the water they forget to hydrate, mainly because they’re surrounded by water!

  • Kids should drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to prevent dehydration. It’s easy to get dehydrated in the sun, especially when kids are active and sweating. Dizziness, feeling lightheaded, or nausea are just some of the signs of dehydration and overheating.

Beaches are some of the best places to take your family on a sunny summer afternoon, but be careful! A number of safety precautions should be taken to keep spirits afloat!

  • Teach kids to always swim when and where a lifeguard is on duty. They shouldn’t swim close to piers or pilings because sudden water movements may cause swimmers to collide with them.
  • Unlike the calm waters of a swimming pool, the beach has special dangers like currents and tides (yep – even in Lake Michigan). Check with the lifeguard when you arrive to find out about the water conditions.
  • While most Lake Michigan beaches provide plenty of soft sand to walk along, other ponds, rivers, and lakes your family may visit this summer oftentimes hide jagged rocks. And ALL public beaches run the risk of having trash and broken glass laying around. So make sure your children wear foot protection; even in the water, they should wear aqua socks or water shoes.
  • If you travel to the east or west coast this summer and find yourself on the beach, stronger currents and tides will be a risk to your family as they play in the water. Teach kids that if they’re caught in a rip current or undertow, they should swim parallel to the shore or should tread water and call for a lifeguard’s help.

And no matter where you’re enjoying some refreshing H2O, whether it’s a public/private pool, lake, pond, river, or ocean, ALWAYS remember to get the family out of the water when bad weather hits – especially if you hear thunder or see lightning.

 

We hope everyone’s summer get’s off to a great start this June! Be sure to check back again soon for Part Two of our Summer Safety Tips, which will cover Bug Bites & Stings, Woods/Camping, Fire Safety, and Outdoor Plants Knowledge!!!

Toss The Baby Monitor!

** Dr. Dan will be kicking off Weissbluth Pediatrics’ Speaker Series on May 9th at 6:30 PM at South Loop Elementary School with a talk on “Preparing Your Infant For Healthy Sleep”. The event is catered and open to parents/families both within and outside of our practice, however space is limited so an RSVP is required. Details can be found below!

fullsizerender

Oftentimes parents who are struggling to teach their child self-soothing techniques will use a baby monitor. They admit that they can “hear them anyway”, but they insist that the monitor helps reduce overnight anxiety. However, baby monitors sabotage parents who are sleep training their child in three different ways:

  1. The monitor itself has an LED power light that emits artificial light which, in the nursery, can disrupt the child’s sleep
  2. If the monitor has a video feed feature, one or both of the parents is liable to stay up all night watching their child on a back-lit screen, furthering their own exhaustion.
  3. Most importantly, the monitor lowers the threshold for which one of the parents thinks that their child needs them. Little sounds, movements, squeaks, and small noises are misinterpreted as the child being hungry, or in more discomfort than they actually are. This misinterpretation causes the parents to rush in too early before the child can soothe themselves, or it can make the parents think their child is ready to start the day before that truly is the case.

Except for certain specific medical cases, there is no indication that baby monitors prevent SIDS in otherwise healthy term infants. There are a small amount of scenarios wherein monitors are ok to use, and we’ll cover this and many other sleep topics for expectant and new parents at the first talk in our upcoming speaker series (RSVP link below!) – we look forward to seeing you there!

Loose that Baby Monitor!

Dr. Dan Weissbluth

 

To RSVP, please call 312-202-0361, and/or click here to head over to our Facebook event and select “Going”. We’ll be sure to send everyone who RSVP’s a follow up email to confirm their reserved spot for the talk! (*Note: if you are not part of our practice, we suggest calling to RSVP so that we can get your email on file to reserve your seat!*)

Spring Time in Chicago- Laura Kauffman, M.D., F.A.A.P.

girls-462072_960_720

 

Spring time means warmer days, flowers blooming, and seasonal allergies kicking into gear. If you’re seeing more runny noses, sneezing, and itchy eyes in your little one, it is likely he or she is experiencing symptoms of allergies. There are many ways to go about managing and preventing symptoms to help make you and your child feel much more comfortable. Talk with your doctor for more information and click the link below to read more.


https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/allergies-asthma/Pages/Allergies.aspx

 

 

Peanut Allergy Prevention – Dr. Paul Miller

The incidence of peanut allergy has been rising , as many parents know. Like its allergic cousins eczema and asthma, food allergy has been something to be managed rather than prevented. But a recent study suggests perhaps some help in our goal of prevention of food allergy.
Most food allergies are related to 6 foods: wheat, soy, egg, fish/shellfish, peanuts/tree nuts and cow’s milk. Medical wisdom had up until now recommended avoidance of allergenic foods within the first year of age.
The recent LEAP study through the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) suggests that early testing and introduction of peanut protein in those with high risk for peanut allergy is associated with 81% lower rates of allergy at 5 years of age.
Peanut allergy is particularly important because of its capacity to induce severe, anaphylactic reactions.
High risk groups include infants with moderate to severe eczema or known/documented egg allergy. Determining whether a child has an egg or existing peanut allergy will require either blood or skin testing.
Here’s a link to the new information for parents.
This is exciting news and we look forward to helping manage this aspect of your child’s diet with you.
In good health,
Paul A. Miller, MD

Things for Parents to Know About the 2016-2017 Flu Vaccine – Dr. Mina Kim

As we say hello to fall, let’s take a moment to talk about the flu. Influenza is a virus that causes illness even among the healthiest of kids (and adults). Every year, thousands of people are hospitalized, and just last year, 77 children died from complications associated with the flu. So protect your family and get vaccinated! Here are 5 things that every parent should know:

  1. Children can begin vaccination starting at 6 months old.  Parents of infants less than 6 mos should all be vaccinated to prevent exposing their baby to the flu

  2. The flu can take up to 1 week to be effective, so vaccinate early

  3. Most children with egg allergies can still get the flu vaccine

  4. Flumist (nasal flu vaccine) did not offer appropriate protection in the last few years and so is no longer approved for children

  5. The flu vaccine is a killed virus, so you cannot get the flu with the vaccine

For more information, please visit healthychildren.org – Prepare Your Family for Flu Season or give our office a call at 312-202-0300.

Dr Mina

Head Lice (Pediculosis capitis) – Paul Miller, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Did you know that Sept. is National Pediculosis Prevention month? Neither did I.But with school starting this week it is the right time to think about head lice and their prevention and treatment.

First of all it is important to note that although head lice are a nuisance they do not transmit disease. A local infection from scratching and spread to others are the main complications.

Secondly, there has been recent coverage of so-called ‘Super lice,’  resistant to the standard pyrethrin-based agents (Nix, Pronto, A200, RID). This is true, with a recent study (data collected 2013-2015) showing near universal resistance in most states, including IL. However, calling them ‘SuperLice’ is neither helpful nor correct.

There are several new effective prescription treatments available, but they are quite costly. Examples are Natroba (Spinosad 0.9% topical suspension), Ulesfia (Benzyl alcohol 5% lotion) and Sklice (Ivermectin 0.5% lotion). Topical Malathion is inexpensive but comes with concern of flammability and local irritation and is not indicated for use under 6 years of age. A two dose of oral Ivermectin has also been shown to be effective.

Perhaps a better alternative is to go back to non-chemical detection and treatment using wet combing. Although this technique is labor intensive it can be quite effective and avoids the expense and possible side effects of chemical treatments. This would also be the first line treatment for children under 2 years of age.

2 of the most widely recommended nit combs are the Fairy Tales Terminator and LiceMeister. The LiceMeister comb is marketed by the not-for-profit National Pediculosis Association (www.headlice.org). The Terminator comb can be found at Ulta stores and various sites on-line. Electric ‘bug zapper’ combs are generally not recommended.

Here is a link to a wet combing video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY4Nvab6uLM

There are several salons devoted to treating lice in the Chicagoland area (e.g. Nitpickers, Hair Fairies, LiceBusters, Disentangle) for those wishing to use their services.

The AAP recommends against a nit-free return to school for several reasons. These are discussed in the link below:

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/schools.html

In summary, if a lice infestation is suspected do a careful and thorough exam, including the front hairline, top of scalp as well as behind both ears and nape of neck. A wet combing session can also be helpful in both detecting and removing adult lice and nits.

Feel free to contact our office with any questions.