Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Q & A

You've probably heard about swine flu already. We don't currently have any cases in Utah, but it's hard to predict how influenza will act. We are still seeing lots of cases of both Influenza A and B.
A good link to answer your questions about swine flu is here, at the www.cdc.gov website.
If your child has fever, chills, runny nose, cough or vomiting, it would be a good idea to have them come in to the office within the first 48 hours of illness so we can test them for influenza and possibly treat with antivirals. If it has been longer than 48 hours, you can watch them at home if they're doing OK, or call for an appointment if you have concerns.
Dr. Lash

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's Baaaack...

No, not the sun, although this sunny Sunday was a welcome relief from the cold and wet weather we've been having. What's back is Influenza A. We have seen a bump in flu cases this past week at our office. This strain seems a little different though... we've seen lots of older kids who complain mostly of severe muscle aches and fever, but have fairly mild runny nose and cough. We were a little puzzled until we had a few rapid flu tests come back positive.
If your child has flu-like symptoms, we can do a rapid flu test within the first 48 hours of fever. If it shows up positive, their are anti-viral drugs that we can use to make the flu symptoms milder and shorter, but only if we start them in the first two days. After that the horse has left the barn, so to speak. Family members can also be put on anti-virals preventatively to avoid catching influenza from their household contact. One reminder: anti-viral drugs can't be used on infants under the age of 12 months.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Got Colic?

Don't give up, there may be hope! A new study showed that breastfed infants with colic responded to a group of probiotics called "Lactobacillus reuteri." In this study, after 28 days of receiving probiotics, the average daily crying time was 51 minutes compared with 145 minutes in infants receiving Mylicon. 51 minutes is not ideal, but it's better than 145!

Colic is defined as more than three hours of crying on more than three days in the week, typically occuring in the evening hours.

Probiotics (as opposed to antibiotics) restore the healthy bacteria that we all naturally have in our body. One theory as to why babies get colic is that it is an inbalance in the digestive system, so it makes sense that restoring the bacteria balance might help.

Lactobacillus is available in multiple forms. When my infant was colicky, I tried Udo's Infant's Probiotics. I purchased it at a health food store, and I felt like it made a difference. The dose is 1/2 teaspoon a day. You can dissolve the powder in a little water and feed it to your baby in a bottle or with a syringe. Good luck!

Keep your toddler in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 (not 1)

Lori O’Keefe
Correspondent

New research indicates that toddlers are more than five times safer riding rear-facing in a car safety seat up to their second birthday. Following are some safety tips for car seat use:

All infants should ride rear-facing in either an infant car seat or convertible seat.

If an infant car seat is used, the infant should be switched to a rear-facing convertible car seat once the maximum height (when the infant’s head is within 1 inch of the top of the seat) and weight (usually 22 pounds to 32 pounds) have been reached for that infant seat as suggested by the car seat manufacturer.

Toddlers should remain rear-facing in a convertible car seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommended for the model, or at least the age of 2.

To see if your car seat is installed properly and to find a certified passenger safety technician in your area, visit www.seatcheck.org or www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm. You also can call 866-SEATCHECK (866-732-8243) or 888-327-4236.

Original article found here