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Tips of the Week for February, 2016

Car Seats: Information for Families
02-29-2016

One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when riding in a vehicle. Each year, thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. But with so many different seats on the market, many parents find this overwhelming.

The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child's age and size and the type of vehicle you have. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about choosing the most appropriate car seat for your child.

Please click on the link below for up to date car seat information.  All information has been provided by HealthyChildren.org.

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx

Fluoride Varnish: What Parents Need to Know
02-22-2016

Healthy gums and teeth are important to your child's overall health. This is why your child's doctor will talk with you about good dental habits even before your child's first tooth appears.  

Once your child has a tooth, your doctor may recommend that your child receive fluoride varnish treatments in the pediatrician's office to help prevent tooth decay. This can be done 2 to 4 times per year. The number of treatments depends on how likely it is that your child may get a cavity.  

Pediatricians are trained to apply fluoride varnish because many young children do not see or have access to a dentist until they are older. If your child is seeing a dentist at a young age, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, fluoride varnish may be applied in a dental office instead. 

Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about fluoride varnish. 

What is Fluoride Varnish?

Fluoride varnish is a dental treatment that can help prevent tooth decay, slow it down, or stop it from getting worse. Fluoride varnish is made with fluoride, a mineral that can strengthen tooth enamel (outer coating on teeth).  

Keep in mind that fluoride varnish treatments cannot completely prevent cavities. Fluoride varnish treatments can best help prevent decay when a child is also brushing using the right amount of toothpaste with fluoride, flossing regularly, getting regular dental care, and eating a healthy diet.  

Is Fluoride Varnish Safe?

Fluoride varnish is safe and used by dentists and doctors all over the world to help prevent tooth decay in children. Only a small amount is used, and hardly any fluoride is swallowed. It is quickly applied and hardens. Then it is brushed off after 4 to 12 hours.  

Some brands of fluoride varnish make teeth look yellow. Other brands make teeth look dull. However, the color of your child's teeth will return to normal after the fluoride varnish is brushed off. Most children like the taste. 

How is Fluoride Varnish Put on the Teeth?

Fluoride varnish is painted on the top and sides of each tooth with a small brush. It is sticky but hardens once it comes in contact with saliva. Your child may feel the hardened varnish with his tongue but will not be able to lick the varnish off.  

It does not hurt when the varnish is applied. However, young children may still cry before or during the procedure. Fortunately, brushing on the varnish takes only a few minutes. Also, applying the varnish may be easier when a child is crying because his mouth will be slightly open.  

You may be asked to hold your child in your lap while you are placed knee-to-knee with the person applying the varnish. 

How Do I Care for My Child's Teeth After Fluoride Varnish is Applied?

Here are general guidelines on how to care for your child's teeth after fluoride varnish is applied. Check with your child's doctor for any other special instructions. 

  • Your child can eat and drink right after the fluoride varnish is applied. But only give your child soft foods and cold or warm (not hot) foods or liquids.
  • Do not brush or floss teeth for at least 4 to 6 hours. Your child's doctor may tell you to wait until the next morning to brush or floss. Remind your child to spit when rinsing, if he knows how to spit.

Remember:

Steps to good dental health include: 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants receive oral health risk assessments by 6 months of age. Infants at higher risk of early dental caries should be referred to a dentist as early as 6 months of age and no later than 6 months after the first tooth erupts or 12 months of age (whichever comes first) to establish their dental home. Every child should have a dental home established by 12 months of age. 

Additional Information:

Last Updated

11/21/2015

Source

Fluoride Varnish Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

 

All information provided by HealthyChildren.org.  For additional information including links and audio, please go to the following site:  https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/Fluoride-Varnish-What-Parents-Need-to-Know.aspx

 

First Aid for Burns: Parent FAQs
02-15-2016

What you should do when your child gets a burn depends on how severe the burn is. Simply put, there are three levels of burns; knowing how to treat each of them quickly and efficiently is crucial.

  • First degree. The skin turns red, but it does not blister. It is somewhat painful, like a sunburn.
  • Second degree. The outer layer of skin is burned, and some part of the dermis is damaged. The burn will be very painful and will likely develop blisters.
  • Third degree. The skin will be charred or white. The epidermis and dermis (top two layers of skin) are irreversibly damaged.

Any electrical burn or a burn where the skin is charred, leathery, burned away, or has no feeling is severe and should receive medical attention right away. Any blistering, swollen burn that covers an area larger than the size of your child's hand, or a burn that is on the hand, foot, face, genitals, or over a joint is a serious injury and should be seen immediately by a pediatrician or in an emergency room. If you are worried about a burn, even if it doesn't look like any of the above types of burns, a pediatrician should see it.

My child has a minor burn. How should I treat it?

Most small, blistering burns can treated and cared for at home. If you have any questions about whether a burn can be taken care of at home, discuss with your doctor. 

Here's what to do:

  1. Cool the burn. Run cool running water over the burn for about five minutes. This helps stop the burning process and decreases pain and swelling. Do not put ice on a burn. Do not rub a burn, because this can worsen the injury. Do not break blisters as this can increase the risk of infection at the burn site.
  2. Cover the burn. Cover the burned area with a clean bandage that will not stick to the burned site. This helps decrease the risk of infection and decreases pain.
  3. Protect the burn. Keep the burn site clean with gentle washing with soap and water. Do not apply any ointments to the burn site unless instructed by your pediatrician. Never apply butter, greases, or other home remedies to a burn before discussing with your pediatrician, as these can increase the risk of infection as well.

If my child's burn is still painful after I have cooled it for 5 minutes and covered it, what should I do?

The chances are the burn will still be painful. Don't forget to give your child some pain medicine and reassure your child to remain calm.

Will my child's burn leave a scar?

The deeper the burn, the more likely that it will scar. Minor burns that do not blister usually heal without scarring. Burns that form blisters sometimes form a scar or may heal a different color than the surrounding skin.

To minimize scarring, keep burns covered until they have healed with new skin and do not weep any fluid. After this time, it is OK to keep the burn uncovered, but it should protected from any sun for one year to avoid skin darkening. Sun protection can be coverage with clothing or sunscreen.

Did you know?

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 75% of burns in young children are from liquid, hot tap water, or steam. Another 20% are considered "contact" burns from touching a hot object like a clothes iron or hair appliance. Learn ways to prevent burns and keep kids safe.

Additional Information:

Last Updated

10/2/2015

Source

Section on Plastic Surgery (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

 

All information provided by Healthychildren.org.  For additional information including links and audio, please go to the following website:  https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/First-Aid-For-Burns.aspx

 

Brush, Book, Bed: How to Structure Your Child’s Nighttime Routine
02-09-2016

Brush, Book, Bed: How to Structure Your Child’s Nighttime Routine

Brush, Book, Bed, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), has a simple and clear message for parents:

  1. Each night, help your children to brush their teeth.
  2. Read a favorite book (or two)!
  3. Get to bed at a regular time each night.

Having a predictable nighttime routine will help them understand and learn to expect what comes next. Additionally, routines may ease the stress that some families experience at nighttime.

The resources below will help you get started with your child's Brush, Book, Bed routine!

BRUSH 

All young children need help with brushing from an adult to make sure a good job is done. When possible, teach children to spit out extra toothpaste, but don't rinse with water first. The little bit of toothpaste left behind is good for their teeth! Once teeth touch, they can also be flossed. Visit your dentist regularly starting with your child's first birthday or sooner if there are concerns. Your pediatrician can answer questions about oral health, too. Remember, the last thing to touch the teeth before bed is the toothbrush!

  • As soon as baby is born, you can start good oral health practices. If possible, use a soft washcloth to wipe your baby's gums after feedings. Remember not to put babies to bed with a bottle filled with milk. And, when it is time to introduce solids, choose healthy foods to reduce the risk of tooth decay
  • For children under age 3: As soon as you see a tooth in your baby's mouth you can start to BRUSH! Use a smear (grain of rice) of toothpaste with fluoride 2 times per day.
  • For children ages 3–6: Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. It is OK to let them practice with the brush, but you get your turn too.

Additional Information on Children's Oral Health:

BOOK 

After toothbrushing and before bed, find a comfortable spot to sit and read with your child. Spending some time, even just 15 minutes each day, to read aloud together will help improve your child's language development and social-emotional skills. Make up your own stories, use silly voices, sing songs, and just enjoy this special bonding time with your child. Visit your local library or bookstore, and give your child the opportunity to explore different kinds of books.

Remember, it is never too early to share books with your child. As your child ages, so will the kind of books he or she enjoys. Take a look at these tips for sharing books with your child at each stage of development!

Additional Information on Early Literacy:

BED 

Sleep is very important to your child's health and well-being. In fact, good sleep habits start from birth. However, getting young children to sleep (and to stay asleep) is often one of the most daunting tasks of parenthood. Regardless of your child's age, the key is to have a predictable series of steps that help him wind down from the day. 

Set regular bedtimes (and, if appropriate, nap times) and stick to them. Do not wait for your child to start rubbing his eyes or yawning — that's probably too late. Putting your child to bed even 15 to 20 minutes earlier can make a big difference and ensure everyone has a good night's rest.

Additional Information on Healthy Sleep for Babies & Children:

Last Updated

11/21/2015

Source

American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2014)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

 

All information provided by HealthyChildren.org.  For additional information including links and audio, please go to the following link:  https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/Brush-Book-Bed.aspx

 

Brushing Up on Oral Health: Never Too Early to Start
02-01-2016

As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other children's organizations report, tooth decay (also called early childhood caries, or ECC) is the most common chronic children's disease in the country. As a result, it is very important that parents work with their pediatrician to establish good oral health care from the first weeks of their baby's life. Although most of us think of dental care in relation to our own dentists, parents will be working closely with their pediatrician even earlier than with a dentist.

Since pediatricians see young infants and children frequently for preventive health care visits, they are in an excellent position to identify children at risk for dental health problems, coordinate appropriate care and parent education, and refer affected and high-risk children to pediatric dentists.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that dental caries is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever in children. More than 40 percent of children have tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten. Children with dental caries in their baby teeth are at much greater risk for cavities in their adult teeth.

Health care professionals know that tooth decay is a disease that is, by and large, preventable. Because of how it is caused and when it begins, however, steps to prevent it ideally should begin prenatally with pregnant women and continue with the mother and young child, beginning when the infant is approximately 6 months of age. Pediatricians have become increasingly aware that their own proactive efforts to provide education and good oral health screenings can help prevent needless tooth decay in infants.

For parents who wish to establish good dental health for their infants, the following general guidelines may be of help:

  • Fluoride and Your Child: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in many foods, and it also is added to the drinking water in some cities and towns. It can benefit dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks that can cause tooth decay. It also reduces the ability of plaque bacteria to produce acid. Check with your local water utility agency to find out if your water has fluoride in it. If it doesn't, ask your doctor if you should get a prescription for fluoride drops or chewable tablets for your child.
  • Check and Clean Your Baby's Teeth: Healthy teeth should be all one color. If you see spots or stains on the teeth, take your baby to your dentist. As soon as your child has a tooth begin to use a smear (size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste. Clean the teeth at least twice a day. It's best to clean them right after breakfast and before bedtime. Once your child turns 3 you can begin to use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When you child is able, teach him to spit out the excess toothpaste, but don't rinse with water. As your child gets older let her use her own toothbrush. It is best if you put the toothpaste on the toothbrush until your child is about age 6. Until children are 7 or 8 years old, you will need to help them brush. Try brushing their teeth first and then letting them finish.
  • Feed Your Baby Healthy Food: Choose drinks and foods that do not have a lot of sugar in them. Give your child fruits and vegetables instead of candy and cookies. Be careful with dried fruits, such as raisins, since they easily stick to the grooves of the teeth and can cause cavities if not thoroughly brushed off the teeth.
  • Prevent Tooth Decay: Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle at night or at naptime. (If you do put your baby to bed with a bottle, fill it only with water). Milk, formula, juices and other sweet drinks, such as soda, all have sugar in them. Sucking on a bottle filled with liquids that have sugar in them can cause tooth decay. During the day, do not give your baby a bottle filled with sweet drinks to use like a pacifier. If your baby uses a pacifier, do not dip it in anything sweet like sugar or honey. Near his first birthday, you should teach your child to drink from a cup instead of a bottle.
  • Talk With Your Pediatrician About Making a Dental Home: Since your pediatrician will be seeing your baby from the first days and weeks of life, plan to discuss when and how you should later develop a "dental home"—a dentist who can give consistent, high-quality, professional care—just as you have a "medical home" with your pediatrician. Usually, your dentist will want to see a child by his first birthday or within six months of the first tooth's emergence. At this first visit, your dentist can easily check your child's teeth and determine the frequency of future dental checkups.

Last Updated

10/3/2014

Source

Adapted from Healthy Children Magazine, Winter 2007

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

 

All information provided by HealthyChildren.org.  For additional information including links and audio, please go to the following web address:  https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/Brushing-Up-on-Oral-Health-Never-Too-Early-to-Start.aspx

 

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