Saturday, March 21, 2009

Home remedies to soothe your child's cold symptoms

by Allison Bond

Figure 1

Cough and cold medicines specifically made for children under age 2 recently were removed from store shelves due to the potential for misuse. In addition, a panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration has recommended against giving over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to children under age 6.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers parents plenty of advice on how to soothe their child's symptoms without medication:

  • When your child has a cold, make sure he or she gets plenty of rest and drinks extra fluids.
  • Use a suction bulb to clear the nose of a child too young to blow his own, and help or encourage an older child to blow his or her nose.
  • Consider using saline nose drops to soften the mucus. Drops can be made by adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup (8 ounces) of warm water. Use two to three drops per nostril at least four times a day or as often as needed for children over age 1. Kids under age 1 need only one drop at a time.
  • Protect the skin around stuffy noses with petroleum jelly.
  • Treat a fever and its accompanying aches and pains with ibuprofen or acetaminophen for children over age 6 months. Follow the recommended dosage by age. However, never give pain relievers to children who are vomiting continuously or dehydrated.
  • Sore throats can be remedied with cough drops or hard candy for children over age 4, and with warm chicken broth for kids over age 1.
  • Contact your pediatrician at the first signs of illness for infants younger than 3 months of age.
Original article found here

Crib Bumpers

Crib bumpers in the night: a hazard to infants

Allison Bond

Figure 1

As a parent, your primary aim is to protect your child and that includes providing a safe sleeping environment. But the pillow-like crib bumpers often used to prevent bruising can pose serious risks to your child's safety.

A September 2007 study in the Journal of Pediatrics concluded that crib and bassinet bumpers are unsafe because they can suffocate or strangle an infant.

Parents should keep pillows—including crib bumpers—and other soft materials out of their baby's sleeping area, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the "Back to Sleep" campaign, which reduced Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) deaths by more than 40% between 1992 and 2000. Additionally, data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Com mission show it is extremely rare for the contact between an infant and the sides of the crib to cause long-term injury.

So while crib bumpers may give parents a feeling of security, in reality these soft objects pose a serious safety risk to infants.

The AAP, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and First Candle SIDS Alliance offer these additional tips to parents with children in cribs:

  • Always put your baby to sleep on his or her back.
  • Until age 6 months, move your baby's crib near your bed.
  • Don't overdress your baby for naps or bedtime. (One-piece sleepers work best; young children generally need one more layer of clothing than an adult might need.)
  • Remove loose bedding (blankets, pillows, sheepskins, etc.) from your child's sleeping area. If a blanket must be used for warmth, tuck it in around the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby's chest.
Original article found here

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Splish Splash

Drowning is the second most common cause of injury death for children age 0 to 14 in the United States. A new study just came out that found formal swimming lessons were strongly associated with a lower risk of drowning for preschool children age 1 to 4 years old. So sign up for those lessons, and head to the pool!

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's not too late!

It looks like Influenza is going to come late this year. According to state epidemiologists, it has not yet peaked and you still have time to get your flu shot.
Here at Southpoint we still have influenza vaccine available, although we do not have the thimerosal-free vaccine that we typically use for children under three years old. (I will still be giving my 6 month-old her booster with the non-thimerosal-free vaccine, however!)

Adult vaccines are also available. Check out this article in the Deseret News for more information.
-Dr. Packer

Should we stay or should we go???

The AAP recently came out with new guidelines for when you should keep your child home from school, daycare and other group activities.

Check them out here.

(You have to create a login to access this site, but it is easy and free, and you don't get spam or other unwanted mail.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Problem With Alternative Vaccination Schedules

You might like reading The Problem With Dr. Bob's Alternate Vaccine Schedule, by Paul Offit, MD and Charlotte A. Moser.
It is a detailed examination of the logic behind proposed alternate vaccination schedules, and why it doesn't hold up very well to evidence-based medicine.