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Tips of the Week for March, 2013

Tips for Poison Prevention and Treatment
03-25-2013

Each year, approximately 2.4 million people – more than half under age 6 – swallow or have contact with a poisonous substance. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some important tips to prevent and to treat exposures to poison.

To poison proof your home:

Most poisonings occur when parents or caregivers are home but not paying attention. The most dangerous potential poisons are medicines, cleaning products, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, pesticides, furniture polish, gasoline, kerosene and lamp oil. Be especially vigilant when there is a change in routine. Holidays, visits to and from grandparents’ homes, and other special events may bring greater risk of poisoning if the usual safeguards are defeated or not in place.

  • Store medicine, cleaners, paints/varnishes and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children.
  • Install a safety latch – that locks when you close the door – on child-accessible cabinets containing harmful products.
  • Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps. Discard unused medication.
  • Never refer to medicine as “candy” or another appealing name.
  • Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage.
  • Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.
  • Keep coal, wood or kerosene stoves in safe working order.
  • Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Secure remote controls, key fobs, greeting cards, and musical children’s books. These and other devices may contain small button-cell batteries that can cause injury if ingested.

Treatment

If your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If your child has come in contact with poison, and has mild or no symptoms, call your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222

Different types and methods of poisoning require different, immediate treatment:

  • Swallowed poison – Remove the item from the child, and have the child spit out any remaining substance. Do not make your child vomit. Do not use syrup of ipecac.
  • Skin poison -- Remove the child’s clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Eye poison -- Flush the child’s eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water into the inner corner for 15 minutes.
  • Poisonous fumes – Take the child outside or into fresh air immediately. If the child has stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not stop until the child breathes on his or her own, or until someone can take over.

 Provided by www.healthychildren.org

Published 3/12/2013 12:00 AM

 


Tips for Poison Prevention and Treatment
03-19-2013

Each year, approximately 2.4 million people – more than half under age 6 – swallow or have contact with a poisonous substance. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some important tips to prevent and to treat exposures to poison.

To poison proof your home:

Most poisonings occur when parents or caregivers are home but not paying attention. The most dangerous potential poisons are medicines, cleaning products, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, pesticides, furniture polish, gasoline, kerosene and lamp oil. Be especially vigilant when there is a change in routine. Holidays, visits to and from grandparents’ homes, and other special events may bring greater risk of poisoning if the usual safeguards are defeated or not in place.

  • Store medicine, cleaners, paints/varnishes and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children.
  • Install a safety latch – that locks when you close the door – on child-accessible cabinets containing harmful products.
  • Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps. Discard unused medication.
  • Never refer to medicine as “candy” or another appealing name.
  • Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage.
  • Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.
  • Keep coal, wood or kerosene stoves in safe working order.
  • Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Secure remote controls, key fobs, greeting cards, and musical children’s books. These and other devices may contain small button-cell batteries that can cause injury if ingested.

Treatment

If your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If your child has come in contact with poison, and has mild or no symptoms, call your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222

Different types and methods of poisoning require different, immediate treatment:

  • Swallowed poison – Remove the item from the child, and have the child spit out any remaining substance. Do not make your child vomit. Do not use syrup of ipecac.
  • Skin poison -- Remove the child’s clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.
  • Eye poison -- Flush the child’s eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water into the inner corner for 15 minutes.
  • Poisonous fumes – Take the child outside or into fresh air immediately. If the child has stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not stop until the child breathes on his or her own, or until someone can take over.

 Provided by www.healthchildren.org

Published

3/12/2013 12:00 AM

 


Sleep and Mental Health
03-12-2013

Sleep has become a casualty of modern life. The 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health showed that 15 million US children and teens get inadequate sleep. Teenagers aren’t’ the only ones accumulating sleep deficits. Adults get about 10% less sleep every night than our great grandparents did and bout 60 to 90 minutes less than what is desirable. Workers with long commutes get up earlier and arrive home later, limiting the number of hours available for sleep (and increasing the risk of nodding off behind the wheel). Even once they make it to bed, more than 15% of adults in the United States experience insomnia or have trouble sleeping.

If you are excessively sleepy or you just don’t feel well rested in the morning, what can you do about it? Fortunately, there are many things we can do to improve sleep as individuals, family members, and a community. Here’s a checklist to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Sleeping Environment

  • Get comfy. Make sure your bed and bedding are comfortable.
  • Remove distractions. Get the TV out of the bedroom. Avoid watching or listening to upsetting, violent, or scary materials within 2 hours of bedtime. That includes the news, conflict-filled talk shows, and high-anxiety dramas. Use the bed only for sleep and intimacy, not for TV, reading, working, talking on the phone, or playing electronic games.
  • Soothing sounds. Listen to relaxing music, sound from nature, or the sound of silence. Keep the noise level down. Consider earplugs if you can’t control the environment.
  • Security and safety. Before you head for bed, make sure your doors are locked, the stove is off, the iron in unplugged, the water taps are turned off, and there are no bogeymen under bed (just kidding on this last one, but it does help to go through a routine to ensure you’ve done what you can to ensure your personal safety).
  • Darker is better. Turn the light off. Darkness promotes sleep and healthy levels of melatonin, an important hormone that regulates sleep and wakefulness.
  • Keep it cool. Cool room temperatures promote sleep and minimize interfering itchy sensations.
  • Smell the roses, or better yet, lavender or chamomile. Soothing scents such as lavender have proven effective in helping people fall asleep, even in noisy intensive care units.
  • Warm it up. A person warmed passively by a hot bath or sauna (not from intense exercise) falls asleep more quickly than someone who is cold. Even just a hot foot bath has proven helpful to ensuring good night’s sleep in a scientific study; so even if for some reason you can’t soak your entire body, consider a warm foot bath before bed to help you drift into dreamland. Keep the body warm and the room cool.

Sleeping Routines

  • Consider eating a light snack containing a protein (eg, seeds, nuts, low-fat milk, hard-boiled eggs) and a complex carbohydrate (eg, whole grain cracker or toast, slices of fruit or vegetables) within 2 hours before bed.
  • Take a warm bath or shower within an hour before bedtime.
  • Make it routine. Head to bed at the same time daily.
  • Read something soothing, reassuring, or inspiring. Save the action/adventure stories, headline news, and murder mysteries for daytime reading.
  • Manage your stress constructively. Practice mediation, autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, prayer, counting your blessings, extending good will to others, or other relaxing stress management techniques.
  • Keep a journal. Write down or record any worries, anger, irritations, or other negative perceptions. Get them out of your head, set them aside, and let them wait until tomorrow. Write down or record a list of things you appreciate or for which you are grateful. Make notes about little kindnesses you have observed in others or offered to others. Did someone smile at you today? Offer a handshake? Ask how you were? Open a door? Let you go first? Just noting small acts of kindness can help us feel better and more connected to other people. This helps us feel more positive and secure.

During the Day

  • Limit daytime naps to 45 minutes, maximum.
  • Expose yourself to bright light in the morning; this helps set your biological clock so you’ll be tired in the evening. Avoid bright lights before bed.
  • Exercise during the day; yoga or other slow, meditative exercises may be helpful in the afternoon or evening.
  • Check with your doctor. Make sure you can breathe easily at night; congestions and obstructions to breathing reduce restful sleep. If you snore, ask your doctor to check for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. If you have a painful or itchy condition, discuss optimal management with your health professionals. Review your medications (if any) to make sure they aren’t the culprit.

What Else Can You Do?

  • Consider a cup of calming herbal tea such as chamomile, lemon balm, hops, or passion flower.
  • Talk with your clinician about trying valerian, melatonin, tryptophan, or 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) supplements.
  • Get a massage or at least a hand, foot, shoulder, or back rub from someone you trust.
  • Consider trying acupuncture, especially if pain makes it hard for you to sleep. (Sleepiness and a sense of calm and relaxation are side effects of acupuncture.)
  • Ask your clinician about cranial electrotherapy stimulation or electrosleep.

What to Avoid

  • Avoid alcohol within 4 hours before bedtime (alcohol use just before bed can lead to rebound wakefulness 2-4 hours later).
  • Avoid caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid heavy or spicy foods 4 hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise within 2 hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid stimulating TV, electronic games, and arguments within an hour of bedtime.

If you can’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed, leave the bedroom, and try one of these strategies – snack, warm bath, soothing music, inspiring book, making a list or jotting in a diary.

 Provided by www.healthychildren.org

Author

Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH, FAAP

Last Updated

9/28/2012

Source

Mental Health, Naturally: The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body (Copyright © 2010 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.

 

 

 


The Scoop on Ready-to-Eat Breakfast Cereals
03-04-2013

Breakfast cereals are undeniably quick, easy, and popular. More importantly, many fit the ideal of low-calorie, high nutrient-dense foods, and research supports the notion that ready-to eat cereals can improve children’s overall nutritional well-being, lower their risk of becoming overweight, and even contribute to improved brain power. Especially when paired with milk, cereals in general are one of the biggest sources of some very important nutrients in children’s diets, including fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, iron, and zinc.

That said, it’s important to select your children’s breakfast cereals wisely. A recent study examining the nutritional quality of cereals found that cereals created for and marketed specifically to children tend to contain more sugar and sodium and less of the important nutrients. So what does that mean when it comes to serving cereal?

You can still scoop away, but do so with the following goals in mind:

  • Look beyond the eye-catching packages of children’s cereal. While cartoon characters can be mighty appealing, cereals not specifically marketed to children tend to contain more fiber and less sugar.
  • Find cereals with a fiber content of at least 2 (if not 5) grams per serving.
  • Focus on finding cereals that contain no more than 10 to 12 grams of sugar per serving. Think your kids won’t go for it? Think again. A 2011 study of children’s breakfast eating behaviors found, among other things, that children were equally happy with the cereals they were served, regardless of whether they were given high- or low-sugar cereals. Even when children in the low-sugar cereal group added extra sugar, they still ended up consuming far less sugar than the high-sugar cereal group.
  • Consider sweetening cereal naturally by simply adding cut up fruits like bananas, strawberries, or peaches. In fact, children served low-sugar cereals are more likely to balance out their breakfasts by adding fresh fruit to their bowls.
  • Go for whole grains whenever possible. Fortunately, it’s getting much easier to do so, as many of the major cereal manufacturers are making whole grains more readily available.

 

Last Updated 2/28/2013 – www.brightfutures.org

 

Source Food Fights, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2012 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

 


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