Top Shadow

Tips of the Week for October, 2014

Decorative Contact Lenses: What Teens and Parents Need to Know

You may want to look like your favorite movie star or singer or have the perfect look for Halloween, but changing the look of your eyes with decorative contact lenses could cause a lot of damage to your eyesight.

Read more from the American Academy of Pediatrics about how to protect your eyes from harm.

What are decorative contact lenses?

Decorative contact lenses are considered medical devices. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees their safety and effectiveness, just like regular contact lenses. Though they only change the look of your eyes and do not correct your vision, an exam, a prescription, and proper lens care are important.

Decorative contact lenses are sometimes called:

  • Fashion contact lenses
  • Halloween contact lenses
  • Color contact lenses
  • Cosmetic contact lenses
  • Theatrical contact lenses

How can decorative contact lenses harm my eyes?

Wearing decorative contact lenses can be risky, just like the contact lenses that correct your vision.

The risks of not using contact lenses correctly include:

Also, if you are wearing any contact lenses you got without a prescription, even if they feel fine, they still could be causing damage to your eyes.

What you need to know before putting on decorative contact lenses:

If you plan on wearing decorative contact lenses, even if only for a special event, you need to make sure that you:

  1. Get an eye exam. The fit of your contact lenses is very important. A wrong fit can cause damage to your eyes. Be sure to always go for follow-up eye exams.
  2. Get a prescription. Your eye doctor will write you a prescription for all contact lenses, including decorative lenses. The prescription should include the brand name, correct lens measurements, and expiration date.
  3. Know how to care for your contact lenses. Follow the instructions for wearing, cleaning, and disinfecting that come with your contact lenses. If you do not receive instructions, ask your eye doctor for them.
  4. Only buy contact lenses from a company that sells FDA-cleared or approved contact lenses and requires you to provide a prescription. Anyone selling you contact lenses must get your prescription and verify it with your doctor. They should request not only the prescription but the name of your doctor and a phone number. If they don’t ask for this information, they are breaking federal law and could be selling you illegal contact lenses.
  5. Call your eye doctor right away and remove your contact lenses if your eyes are red or have ongoing pain or discharge! Redness of, pain in, and discharge from the eyes are signs of an eye infection. If you think you have an eye infection from your contact lenses, remove them and see a licensed eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) right away! An eye infection could become serious and cause you to become blind if it is not treated.

Remember—buying contact lenses without a prescription is dangerous!

There are a lot of products that you can buy without a prescription, but they may not be safe or legal. Never buy contact lenses from a street vendor, beauty supply store, flea market, novelty store, or Halloween store. Also, never share contacts with anyone else.

Protect your eyes by having an eye exam, getting a prescription, and buying contact lenses from a legal source.

Information provided by  For additional information and links, please go to

 Last Updated 5/29/2014


Decorative Contact Lenses: What Teens and Parents Need to Know (Copyright © 2013. 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.


Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help ensure they have a safe holiday.

All Dressed Up:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.

Carving a Niche:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

Home Safe Home:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

On the Trick-or-Treat Trail:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind trick-or-treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags. 
    • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
    • Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

Healthy Halloween:

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

Healthy Children Radio: Halloween Safety (Audio)

Whether dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, or having parties with their friends, most kids love Halloween. But did you know that Halloween is also a time when more children than usual end up in the emergency room due to falls, traffic collisions and other injuries? All the sweets in the house (and at school) can also wreak havoc on a child's teeth and healthy diet.


To help ensure your child’s Halloween is both safe and healthy, pediatrician Corinn Cross, MD, FAAP joins the Healthy Children show on RadioMD with some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Segment 1: Halloween Safety Tips from the AAP

 All information provided by  For additional information, links, and audio, please go to


10/8/2014 12:00 AM


Developmental Milestones of Early Literacy

In the spirit of making both good eating and reading a part of every healthy childhood, the following is a quick book-related look at the well-defined developmental milestones of early literacy.

Younger Than 6 Months: Never Too Young

Unlike solid foods, it is never too early to start reading with your baby. Who cares if it’s the sports page or Elmo—it will be the time you share together that counts, so have fun with it!

6–12 Months: Developing a Taste for Books

Whatever babies are interested in at this age, they predictably put straight in their mouths. Books are no exception. Now that your baby can sit in your lap; grab for a book; and show her interest by batting at, turning, or gumming the pages, you’ll find yourself especially appreciative of board books for their drool-proof nature.

1–2 Years: Becoming Routine

As with food, your child will now figure out there’s a lot more she can do with books than just put them in her mouth. As she makes a point of holding them, turning them right-side up, and carrying them to you to read time after time, you can start relating what’s in her books to her real-life experiences—pointing to pictures and asking simple yet pointed questions like, “Where’s the pea? Can you find the pea?” Before you know it, she’ll be answering your questions, filling in the ends of each sentence, and reciting her VeggieTales back to you. As with meals, don’t expect a long attention span, since it’s the quality of the time spent that really matters, not the quantity.

2–3 Years: Read, Read, and Read Again

Two-year-olds thrive on routine and love to master the power of predictability, so don’t be surprised if yours is less than willing to try something new and instead wants to read the same story over and over (and over) again. If bedtime books have now become a habit—great! This is one habit you’ll never need to break. 

Additional Resources:

 Information provided by  For additional information and links, please go to


Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP

Last Updated



Heading Home With Your Newborn, 2nd Edition (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.


Ebola: What Parents Need to Know

Recently, a patient in Texas was diagnosed with the Ebola virus—the first diagnosis in the United States.

In an effort to share accurate information and tips, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clarifies what Ebola is and what parents can do to protect their children.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a viral infection, yet it is very rare and is not easy to transmit from person to person. There is a serious outbreak in West Africa, however, in part due to lack of germ prevention and access to adequate medical supplies.  

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Ebola?

Ebola typically starts suddenly with a fever but symptoms can also include a severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising. The time from infection with the virus to the onset of symptoms is from 2 to 21 days (with 8 to 10 days being most common). A person with the Ebola virus can infect others as soon as they begin to have symptoms. Early-stage Ebola disease may be confused with other infectious diseases (e.g., flu) because the initial symptoms are similar to those seen with other viral infections.

How is Ebola Spread?

Unlike the flu, Ebola is not spread through the air or water. The chances of you or your children becoming infected are slim. Ebola is only transmitted through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person or from objects like needles that have been in contact with infected body fluids. This means it does not spread through air, food, water, or by touching things like money and keyboards. See Q&A's on Ebola Trans​mission on

Can Ebola Be Prevented?

Yes, killing the virus is easy. The Ebola virus can be killed with soap and water, heat, or a disinfectant or sanitizing agent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), washing hands frequently or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good precaution. This is perhaps the most important message for children to learn and share.

Because people in West Africa may not be able to follow these precautions and may not have access to soap and water, Ebola has continued to spread.

Important Message for Parents:

It is much easier to catch to the flu or other respiratory viruses than Ebola. For example, based on the Ebola statistics we have right now, it is likely that flu will cause far more illness and deaths around the globe than Ebola will.

News Coverage

Understandably, there is heavy coverage in the media about the spread of Ebola. However, it is a good idea to limit young children's exposure to news stories about it. This way, parents can decide what information they want to share based on their child's level of understanding. Here are some things to remind your children if they are concerned:

  • They are safe.
  • Our health care system is among the best in the world for taking care of sick people.
  • Ebola is rare and does not exist everywhere. When cases are found, the person with the infection is taken to a safe place to be cared for so that he can get better and not make anyone else sick.
  • Doctors and scientists who know a lot about Ebola are working hard to find ways to prevent or cure this illness.

Social Media

With many children and teens spending a lot of time on social media, there is also the risk that they could read something online about Ebola that they do not understand and may become unnecessarily alarmed. Pay close attention to what your children are seeing online. Talk to your children and help them avoid graphic exposure to the media.

Keeping Calm

News about the spread of diseases can be alarming, even for adults. Keep yourself well informed so that your own fears are under control. Talk with your children in ways that make sense to them so they don't become overly concerned or afraid.​

Healthy Children Radio: Ebola (Audio)

Infectious disease specialist Yvonne Maldonado, MD, FAAP, joins the Healthy Children show on RadioMD to explain the Ebola virus, what people in the U.S. need to know, and how hospitals here are prepared to handle a highly contagious virus. 1: Ebola Virus: What Parents Need to Know

Additional Information:

​Information provided by – To view links or listen to audio, please go to the following web address:


Last Updated  - 10/6/2014



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.


Bottom Shadow
Copyright 2010 by Goldsboro Pediatrics. All rights reserved.
Web Design by Evolve, Inc.
Bottom Shadow