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Tips of the Week for July, 2018

Water Safety: Tips for Parents of Young Children
07-30-2018

 

Water Safety: Tips for Parents of Young Children

 

Water is one of the most ominous hazards your child will encounter. Young children can drown in only a few inches of water, even if they've had swimming instruction.

Swimming Lessons Are Not a Way to Prevent Drowning in Young Children

In the past, the AAP advised against swimming lessons for children ages 1 to 3 because there was little evidence that lessons prevented drowning or resulted in better swim skills, and there was concern parents would become less vigilant about supervising a child who had learned some swimming skills.

But new evidence shows that children ages 1 to 4 may be less likely to drown if they have had formal swimming instruction. The studies are small, and they don't define what type of lessons work best, so the AAP is not recommending mandatory swim lessons for all children ages 1 to 4 at this time. Instead, the new guidance recommends that parents should decide whether to enroll an individual child in swim lessons based on the child's frequency of exposure to water, emotional development, physical abilities, and certain health conditions related to pool water infections and pool chemicals.

The AAP does not recommend formal water safety programs for children younger than 1 year of age.

Safety training does not result in a significant increase in poolside safety skills of young children. If you do enroll a child under four years old in a swimming program, be sure the class you choose adheres to guidelines established by the national YMCA. Among other things, these guidelines forbid submersion of young children and encourage parents to participate in all activities. But remember that even a child who knows how to swim needs to be watched constantly.

Whenever Your Child is Near Water, Follow These Safety Rules:

  • Be aware of small bodies of water your child might encounter, such asbathtubs, fishponds, ditches, fountains, rain barrels, watering cans—​even the bucket you use when you wash the car. Empty containers of water when you're done using them. Children are drawn to places and things like these and need constant supervision to be sure they don't fall in.

  • Children who are swimming—even in a shallow toddler's pool—always should be watched by an adult, preferably one who knows CPR. The adult should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision" whenever infants, toddlers, or young children are in or around water. Empty and put away inflatable pools after each play session.

  • Enforce safety rules: No running near the pool and no pushing others underwater.

  • Don't allow your child to use inflatable toys or mattresses in place of a life jacketThese toys may deflate suddenly, or your child may slip off them into water that is too deep for him.

  • Be sure the deep and shallow ends of any pool your child swims in are clearly marked. Never allow your child to dive into the shallow end.

  • Backyard swimming pools, (including large, inflatable above-ground pools), should be completely surrounded with at least a 4-foot (1.2 meters) high fence that completely separates the pool from the house. The fence should have a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens away from the pool, with the latch at least 54 inches high. Check the gate frequently to be sure it is in good working order. Keep the gate closed and locked at all times. Be sure your child cannot manipulate the lock or climb the fence. No opening under the fence or between uprights should be more than 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Keep toys out of the pool area when not in use so that children are not tempted to try to get through the fence.

  • If your pool has a cover, remove it completely before swimming. Also, never allow your child to walk on the pool cover; water may have accumulated on it, making it as dangerous as the pool itself. Your child also could fall through and become trapped underneath. Do not use a pool cover in place of a four-sided fence, because it is not likely to be used appropriately and consistently.

  • Keep a safety ring with a rope beside the pool at all times. If possible, have a phone in the pool area with emergency numbers clearly marked.

  • Spas and hot tubs are dangerous for young children, who can easily drown or become overheated in them. Don't allow young children to use these facilities.

  • Your child should always wear a life jacket when he swims or rides in a boat.A life jacket fits properly if you can't lift it off over your child's head after he's been fastened into it. For the child under age five, particularly the non-swimmer, it also should have a flotation collar to keep the head upright and the face out of the water.

  • Adults should not drink alcohol when they are swimming. It presents a danger for them as well as for any children they might be supervising.

  • Be sure to eliminate distractions while children are in the water. Talking on the phone, working on the computer, and other tasks need to wait until children are out of the water. 

Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org:

 
Last Updated
 
6/12/2015
Source
 
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 6th Edition (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 www.Healthchildren.org

Pregnant Moms: Get Tested for Group B Strep
07-23-2018

 

Pregnant Moms: Get Tested for Group B Strep

 

​​​​​If you are pregnant, talk with your doctor or midwife about getting a group B strep (GBS) test when you are 35–37 weeks pregnant.

If you have GBS, your baby can get very sick and even die if you are not tested and treated.

How to Keep Your Baby Safe from GBS:

 Keep Your Baby Safe from Group B Strep - Action Plan

FAQs about GBS and the GBS Test:

What is GBS?

  • It is a common type of bacteria. GBS is often found in the vagina and rectum of healthy women of all races and ethnicities. In fact, about 1 in 4 women in the United States carry this type of bacteria. These bacteria can come and go naturally in the body.

If you have GBS bacteria in your body, you would not feel sick or have any symptoms. GBS is usually not harmful to you. Other people in the house, including kids, are not at risk of getting sick from GBS.

GBS can be passed on to babies during childbirth, and that's dangerous for them.

What is the GBS test?

  • This a test that is recommended for all pregnant women to get at 35–37 weeks to find out if they have GBS bacteria in their body.

Should I be tested for GBS before I am 35 weeks pregnant?

  • The GBS test is recommended between 35–37 weeks of pregnancy. If you think you might go into labor early, talk with your doctor or midwife about making a GBS plan.

Is there any risk to getting the GBS test?

  • There are no risks to being tested for GBS.

How does the doctor or midwife do the GBS test?

  • The test is an easy swab of the vagina and rectum that should not hurt.

What does it mean to "test positive" for GBS?

  • If you test positive, that does not mean you have an infection. It only means that you have these bacteria in your body. Testing positive for GBS does not mean that you are not clean. It does not mean that you have a sexually transmitted disease. The bacteria are not spread from food, sex, water, or anything that you might have come into contact with.

​If you tested positive for GBS, you will need to get to the hospital right away when your water breaks or you go into labor.

I tested positive. Why isn't my doctor or midwife giving me antibiotics immediately?

  • The antibiotic is only given during labor — you do not need to worry about getting it before you go into labor. Taking the medicine before you begin labor does not prevent the bacteria from spreading to your baby during childbirth. This is because the bacteria can grow back very fast.​​

How will my doctor or midwife protect my baby?

  • You will get antibiotics during labor by IV (through the vein).

​​Your baby's doctor will check on the baby once he or she is born. The baby likely won't need extra antibiotics or other medicine after birth, unless the doctor tells you that they are needed.

Will I need a GBS test only for my first pregnancy, or for every pregnancy?

  • Each time you are pregnant, you need to be tested for GBS. It doesn't matter if you did not have this type of bacteria before — each pregnancy is different.

Can I breastfeed if I tested positive for GBS?

  • Yes, women who test positive for GBS can breastfeed. Rarely, GBS can be spread to babies through breastmilk, but the benefits of breastfeeding are much greater than the risk of spreading GBS.

Additional Information & Resources:

 
 
Last Updated
 
6/29/2017
Source
 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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

Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child
07-16-2018

 

Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child

 

Mosquitoes, biting flies, and tick bites can make children miserable. While most children have only mild reactions to insect bites, some children can become very sick.

One way to protect your child from biting insects is to use insect repellents. However, it’s important that insect repellents are used safely and correctly.

Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about types of repellents, DEET, using repellents safely, and other ways to protect your child from insect bites.

Types of Repellents

Insect repellents come in many forms, including aerosols, sprays, liquids, creams, and sticks. Some are made from chemicals and some have natural ingredients.

Insect repellents prevent bites from biting insects but not stinging insects. Biting insects include mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and biting flies. Stinging insects include bee​s, hornets, and wasps.​​Available Insect Repellents - Chart

NOTE: The following types of products are not effective repellents:

  • Wristbands soaked in chemical repellents

  • Garlic or vitamin B1 taken by mouth

  • Ultrasonic devices that give off sound waves designed to keep insects away

  • Bird or bat houses

  • Backyard bug zappers (Insects may actually be attracted to your yard). ​

About DEET

DEET is a chemical used in insect repellents. The amount of DEET in insect repellents varies from product to product, so it’s important to read the label of any product you use. The amount of DEET may range from less than 10% to more than 30%. DEET greater than 30% doesn’t offer any additional protection.

Studies show that products with higher amounts of DEET protect people longer. For example, products with amounts around 10% may repel pests for about 2 hours, while products with amounts of about 24% last an average of 5 hours. But studies also show that products with amounts of DEET greater than 30% don’t offer any extra protection.

The AAP recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger th​an 2 months.

Tips for Using Repellents Safely

Dos:

  • Read the label and follow all directions and precautions.

  • Only apply insect repellents on the outside of your child’s clothing and on exposed skin. Note: Permethrin-containing products should not be applied to skin.

  • Spray repellents in open areas to avoid breathing them in.

  • Use just enough repellent to cover your child’s clothing and exposed skin. Using more doesn’t make the repellent more effective. Avoid reapplying unless needed.

  • Help apply insect repellent on young children. Supervise older children when using these products.

  • Wash your children’s skin with soap and water to remove any repellent when they return indoors, and wash their clothing before they wear it again.

Dont's:

  • Never apply insect repellent to children younger than 2 months.

  • Never spray insect repellent directly onto your child’s face. Instead, spray a little on your hands first and then rub it on your child’s face. Avoid the eyes and mouth.

  • Do not spray insect repellent on cu​ts, wounds, or irritated skin.

  • Do not use products that combine DEET with sunscreen. The DEET may make the sun protection factor (SPF) less effective. These products can overexpose your child to DEET because the sunscreen needs to be reapplied often.

Reactions to Insect Repellents

If you suspect that your child is having a reaction, such as a rash, to an insect repellent, stop using the product and wash your child’s skin with soap and water. Then call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 or your child’s doctor for help. If you go to your child’s doctor’s office, take the repellent container with you.

Other Ways to Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

While you can’t prevent all insect bites, you can reduce the number your child receives by following these guidelines:

  • Tell your child to avoid areas that attract flying insects, such as garbage cans, stagnant pools of water, and flowerbeds or orchards.

  • Dress your child in long pants, a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, socks, and closed shoes when you know your child will be exposed to insects. A broad-brimmed hat can help to keep insects away from the face. Mosquito netting may be used over baby carriers or strollers in areas whe​re your baby may be exposed to insects.

  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints because they seem to attract insects.

  • Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes, or hair sprays on your child because they may attract insects.

  • Keep door and window screens in good repair.

  • Check your child’s skin at the end of the day if you live in an area where ticks are present and your child has been playing outdoors.

  • Remember that the most effective repellent for ticks is permethrin. It should not be applied to skin but on your child’s clothing.

​​
 
Last Updated
 
3/1/2017
Source
 
A Parent's Guide to Insect Repellents (Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics, Reaffirmed 3/2016)
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.

Prevent Child Deaths in Hot Cars
07-10-2018

 

Prevent Child Deaths in Hot Cars

 
 
​​

​A child left in a hot car can die of heat stroke very quickly. But this tragedy can be prevented. Here are some facts about hot cars and keeping kids safe.

Facts about Child Heat Stroke in Cars

  • Heat stroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths in children under 15.
  • Heat stroke can happen when the body is not able to cool itself quickly enough.
  • A child's body heats up three to five times faster than an adult's does. 
    • When left in a hot car, a child's major organs begin to shut down when his temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit (F).
    • A child can die when his temperature reaches 107 degrees F.
  • Cars heat up quickly! In just 10 minutes, a car can heat up 20 degrees F.
  • Cracking a window and/or air conditioning does little to keep it cool once the car is turned off.
  • Heat stroke can happen when the outside temperature is as low as 57 degrees F.

Set Reminders!

Any parent or caregiver, even a very loving and attentive one, can forget a child is in the back seat. Being especially busy or distracted or having a change from the usual routine increases the risk. Here are some things you can do to prevent the unthinkable from happening to your child:

  • Always check the back seat and make sure all children are out of the car before locking it and walking away.
  • Avoid distractions while driving, especially cell phone use.
  • Be extra alert when there is a change in your routine, like when someone else is drivingyour child or you take a different route to work or child care.
  • Have your child care provider call if your child is more than 10 minutes late.
  • Put your cell phone, bag, or purse in the back seat, so you check the back seat when you arrive at your destination.
  • If someone else is driving your child, always check to make sure he has arrived safely.

Lock Your Car!

Keep your car locked when it is parked to prevent a curious child from entering when no one is around. Many hot car deaths have occurred when a child mistakenly locks himself inside. Here are some reminders for parents and caregivers:

  • Make sure children do not have easy access to your car keys. Store them out of a child's reach.
  • Teach children that cars are not safe places to play.  
  • Keep rear fold-down seats closed to prevent a child from crawling into the trunk from inside the car.
  • Remind children that cars, especially car trunks, should not be used for games like hide-and-seek.

Important Tip: If a child is missing, always check the pool first, and then the car, including the trunk!

Take Action if You See a Child Alone in a Car!

Protecting children is everyone's business! If you see an unattended child in a car and are concerned, you should immediately call 911.  

If the child is not responsive or is in pain, immediately:

  • Call 911.
  • Get the child out of the car.
  • Spray the child with cool water (not in an ice bath).

If the child is responsive:

  • Stay with the child until help arrives.
  • Have someone else search for the driver or ask the facility to page them.

Additional Information & Resources:

Last Updated
 
6/30/2015
Source
 
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2015)
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

Sun Safety: Information for Parents about Sunburn & Sunscreen
07-1-2018

 

Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen

 

 

It's good for children and adults to spend time playing and exercising outdoors, and it's important to do so safely.

Simple Rules to Protect your Family from Sunburns

  • Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find shade under a tree, an umbrella, or the stroller canopy.

  • When possible, dress yourself and your children in cool, comfortable clothing that covers the body, such as lightweight cotton pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats.

  • Select clothes made with a tight weave; they protect better than clothes with a looser weave. If you're not sure how tight a fabric's weave is, hold it up to see how much light shines through. The less light, the better. Or you can look for protective clothing labeled with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF).

  • Wear a hat with an all-around 3-inch brim to shield the face, ears, and back of the neck.

  • Limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when UV rays are strongest.

  • Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection. Look for child-sized sunglasses with UV protection for your child.

  • Use sunscreen.

  • Make sure everyone in your family knows how to protect his or her skin and eyes. Remember to set a good example by practicing sun safety yourself.

Sunscreen

Sunscreen can help protect the skin from sunburn and some skin cancers but only if used correctly. Keep in mind that sunscreen should be used for sun protection, not as a reason to stay in the sun longer.

How to Pick Sunscreen

  • Use a sunscreen that says "broad-spectrum" on the label; that means it will screen out both UVB and UVA rays.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 (up to SPF 50). An SPF of 15 or 30 should be fine for most people. More research studies are needed to test if sunscreen with more than SPF 50 offers any extra protection.
  • If possible, avoid the sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone because of concerns about mild hormonal properties. Remember, though, that it's important to take steps to prevent sunburn, so using any sunscreen is better than not using sunscreen at all.
  • For sensitive areas of the body, such as the nose, cheeks, tops of the ears, and shoulders, choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These products may stay visible on the skin even after you rub them in, and some come in fun colors that children enjoy.

How to Apply Sunscreen

  • Use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet, hands, and even backs of the knees. Rub it in well.

  • Put sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. It needs time to absorb into the skin.

  • Use sunscreen any time you or your child spend time outdoors. Remember that you can get sunburn even on cloudy days because up to 80% of the sun's UV rays can get through the clouds. Also, UV rays can bounce back from water, sand, snow, and concrete, so make sure you're protected.

  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. Because most people use too little sunscreen, make sure to apply a generous amount.

Sunscreen for Babies

  • For babies younger than 6 months: Use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face, if protective clothing and shade are not available.

  • For babies older than 6 months: Apply to all areas of the body, but be careful around the eyes. If your baby rubs sunscreen into her eyes, wipe her eyes and hands clean with a damp cloth. If the sunscreen irritates her skin, try a different brand or sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If a rash develops, talk with your child's doctor.

Sunburns

When to Call the Doctor

If your baby is younger than 1 year and gets sunburn, call your baby's doctor right away. For older children, call your child's doctor if there is blistering, pain, or fever.

How to Soothe Sunburn

Here are 5 ways to relieve discomfort from mild sunburn:

  • Give your child water or 100% fruit juice to replace lost fluids.

  • Use cool water to help your child's skin feel better.

  • Give your child pain medicine to relieve painful sunburns. (For a baby 6 months or younger, give acetaminophen. For a child older than 6 months, give either acetaminophen or ibuprofen.)

  • Only use medicated lotions if your child's doctor says it is OK.

  • Keep your child out of the sun until the sunburn is fully healed.​

Additional Information

 
Last Updated
 
4/1/2014
Source
 
Fun in the Sun: Keep Your Family Safe (Copyright © 2008 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 4/2014)
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

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