Today is World Autism Awareness Day, and I think revisiting THIS post may be worthwhile. There are links to some great articles. We love all of our patients with autism, and want you to know that we are thinking about you today.
One of the leading experts in childhood development and the media (who, by the way, wrote The Elephant in the Living Room, one of my favorite books about TV and children) has come out with an opinion statement saying that iPad use in children under two may be a-okay. He recommended limiting it to 30-60 minutes a day, and makes a distinction between passive watching and engaged interaction. He suggests a few questions to help you determine if the time your child spends is potentially beneficial, or just a time drain.
1. Can the device/app respond differently to different actions of the child?
2. Can the device/app behave differently for each child or each time it is used?
3. Can the device/app move a child along a continuum that advances in complexity?
4. Does the device/app enable or facilitate adults and children playing together?
5. Is the device transported easily and available in different venues?
Most (all?) of us have used some sort of media as a 'babysitter' in a pinch. It's nice to know that it doesn't always have to turn their brains to mush.
Apparently it is Get Smart About Antibiotics Week (who knew!?!) When your kid is sick you just want them BETTER. And fast. And it is tempting to want an antibiotic just in case it will help. But more often than not, the pink stuff is just going to cause diarrhea. Knowing when to use an antibiotic and when to wait can be tricky. We found this great article from HealthyChildren.org. They've got some other great links on their site, so check it out if for more info.
If your child has a sore throat, cough, or runny nose, you might expect the doctor to prescribe antibiotics. But most of the time, children don’t need antibiotics to treat a respiratory illness. In fact, antibiotics can do more harm than good. Here’s why:
Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses.
If your child has a bacterial infection, antibiotics may help. But if your child has a virus, antibiotics will not help your child feel better or keep others from getting sick.
Most colds and flus are viruses.
Chest colds, such as bronchitis, are also usually caused by viruses. Bronchitis is a cough with a lot of thick, sticky phlegm or mucus. Cigarette smoke and particles in the air can also cause bronchitis. But bacteria are not usually the cause.
Most sinus infections (sinusitis) are also from viruses. The symptoms are a lot of mucus in the nose and post-nasal drip. Mucus that is colored does not necessarily mean your child has a bacterial infection.
In most cases, antibiotics will not help your child.
Usually, antibiotics do not work against colds, flu, bronchitis, or sinus infections because these are viruses. Sometimes bacteria cause sinus infections, but even then the infection usually clears up on its own in a week or so. Many common ear infections also clear up on their own without antibiotics.Some sore throats, like strep throat, are bacterial infections. Symptoms include fever, redness, and trouble swallowing. However, most children who have these symptoms do not have strep throat. Your child should have a strep test to confirm that it’s strep, and then, if they’re needed, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
Antibiotics have risks.
Side effects from antibiotics are a common reason that children go to the emergency room. The drugs can cause diarrhea or vomiting, and about 5 in 100 children have allergies to them. Some of these allergic reactions can be serious and life threatening.
Overusing antibiotics also encourages stronger bacteria to grow. The stronger bacteria do not respond to antibiotics. This means that the next time your child needs antibiotics for a bacterial infection, they will not work as well. This is sometimes called “antibiotic resistance.” The stronger bacteria can spread from your child to other family members and schoolmates, causing infections that are more difficult to cure and more costly to treat.
Antibiotics are a waste of money if used incorrectly.
Most antibiotics do not cost a lot. But money spent on drugs that are not needed is money wasted. Also, in severe cases, treatment of infections that are antibiotic-resistant can cost as much as $29,000.When does your child need antibiotics?
Your child may need antibiotics if:
A cough does not get better in 14 days.
A bacterial form of pneumonia or whooping cough (pertussis) is diagnosed.
Symptoms of a sinus infection do not get better in ten days, or they get better and then worse again.
Your child has a yellow-green nasal discharge and a fever of at least 102° F for several days in a row.
Your child has strep throat, based on a rapid strep test or a throat culture. Antibiotics should not be prescribed unless one of the tests shows strep. Strep cannot be diagnosed just by looking at the throat.
October is National Bully Awareness Month, and we just finished up Bully Awareness Week at Southpoint. The first step, as with most issues, is recognition. Thankfully, bullying is something more and more people are talking about. Hopefully it will become less of an issue for our kids as we all stand together to stomp out bullying.