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By Coppell Pediatric Associates, PA
August 05, 2019
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Car Seats  

Kids may complain about being restrained in the car, but car seats and booster seats save lives. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that using a car or booster seat in a passenger car reduces the risk of fatal injury 71 percent in children younger than 1 and 54 percent in toddlers ages 1 to 4. The statistics are just as impressive for older kids.

What type of seat should I use for my child?

Infants and toddlers should ride in rear-facing seats until they reach the highest weight or height recommended by the manufacturer. In the past, children were routinely removed from rear-facing seats when they were 2, even if they didn't meet height or weight limits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed their guidelines and now recommend that kids remain in the seats as long as possible.

Toddlers and pre-schoolers who have reached the maximum height or weight limits for rear-facing seats should use forward-facing car seats. Again, the seats should be used until the child reaches the maximum height and weight recommendations.

Once kids are too tall or heavy for car seats, they will transition to booster seats. Booster seats should be used until children are 4'9" tall and 8 to 12 years old. Older children can begin using seat belts at that point but should sit in the back seat when possible, particularly if they're younger than 13.

How can I tell if the car seat is installed correctly?

Both car and booster seats should be securely fashioned with a latch system or seat belt. If the seat moves back and forth freely, it's not installed correctly. Properly installed seats should move no more than an inch in any direction.

My child's legs seem too long for the car seat. What should I do?

You may wonder if your child should move up to the next seat or a booster seat if your child's feet touch the back of car seat. As long as your child is shorter than the maximum height for the seat, he or she should remain in the current seat.

Should my child use a secondhand car seat?

Passing a seat down to your next child can be a good idea if your children are only a few years apart in age. Before you reuse a seat for a younger child, make sure that it hasn't expired or been recalled since you bought it. Throw away car and booster seats after accidents, even minor ones. The seat may look perfectly fine but may be damaged internally.

Buying secondhand car seats online or at yard sales should be avoided. You won't necessarily know if the seat has been in an accident or if it has defective latches or restraints.

Using car seats consistently, whether you're going to the grocery store or taking a cross-country trip, can help your child avoid serious injuries due to traffic accidents. Talk to your child's pediatrician if you have questions about the seats.

By Coppell Pediatric Associates, PA
July 16, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Mono  

Has your child been uncharacteristically fatigued as of late? Whereas before they were running and jumping around, now they seem more sluggish and uninterested. Perhaps this weary state has also been accompanied by a recurrent sore throat and headaches? If so, your child may be afflicted by Mononucleosis—a condition better known as Mono. 

Although Mono isn’t generally a serious illness, it can both be extraordinarily uncomfortable and contagious. Read on to learn about this condition’s potential symptoms and treatment options, and make sure to call your local pediatrician if you are at all concerned that your child has developed Mono.

Mono: Basic Background and Symptoms

Generally caused by exposure to the Epstein-Barr Virus, Mono is an infectious illness often spread through the exchange of bodily fluids, especially saliva—a characteristic that has led to its nickname, “the kissing disease.”

As mentioned above, fatigue is the most common symptom of Mono. However, there are a few additional symptoms that can point to its presence, including:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Recurring headaches
  • Sore throat, accompanied by white patches in the neck
  • Light sensitivity

If your child has exhibited these signs, make an appointment with your pediatrician so that you can obtain a proper diagnosis. 

Treatment Options

Due to Mono being caused by a virus, antibiotics cannot treat the condition. Instead, doctors recommend the following measures:

  • Lots and lots of rest, particularly bed rest during the condition’s beginning stages
  • Refraining from any strenuous activity (especially sports, but also school if the fatigue is too much to handle)
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to help relieve any throat or fever discomfort
  • Taking multi-vitamins to strengthen the immune system

Concerned? Give Us a Call

Mono can be an extremely uncomfortable experience, and the sooner you pinpoint your child’s condition, the sooner they can find relief. If you are worried that your little one has developed Mono, give your local pediatrician a call today.

 

5 Things You Need to Know About Water Parks, But Probably Don't

There are 1,300 water parks in the United States, and 85 million people visit them each year. 

As a parent, it's important to know what to look for if you are planning a trip to an indoor

or outdoor water park.

Here is some information and reminders from the American Academy of Pediatrics to

help keep your family safe and healthy.

1. Know the rules.

Water slides are the number one cause of injuries at water parks. So, follow ride directions.

Rules like "feet first" are there for a reason―to keep riders safe.

In 2015, 4,200 people visited hospitals for water park-related injuries with the most

common being scrapes, cuts, broken bones, concussions, and spinal injuries.

 

Always pay attention to the size and weight restrictions on water park rides. Riders who are

too small can be thrown from the ride. Riders that exceed the maximums can get stuck in

chutes or build up excessive speed and exit the ride too fast. Also, watch for the maximum

number of riders allowed. If signs say limited to two riders per ride, don't pile four on

trying to break a record. Make sure your children understand the need to follow the rules.

2. Know your swimmer.

National data shows fatal and nonfatal drownings have occurred at U.S. water parks.

It can happen to anyone. 

Know the risks and take steps to prevent a drowning tragedy.

What water park feature carries the biggest drowning risk?

The answer: wave pools. Wave pools can be dangerous for smaller children or

weak swimmers and can be chaotic with large numbers of people bobbing in the

water. This can also make it very difficult to spot a swimmer in trouble, who

could look like just another swimmer enjoying the waves. Close parental supervision

is all the more important. Parents, stay within arm's reach of young or weak swimmers.

Keep your eyes on your children, and strongly consider putting your swimmer in a

life jacket.

 

3. Know what's in the water.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people have

about 0.14 grams of feces on their bottoms that can rinse off and contaminate water.

The CDC also reports that in one year, 58% of public pools tested positive for E. coli―

a marker of fecal contamination. Yuck! Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium) has a

high tolerance to chlorine that enables this parasite to survive for long periods in

chlorinated

swimming pool water. Both E. coli and Crypto can make swimmers very ill, sometimes

leading to hospitalization.

​What parents can do to prevent water-borne illnesses:

  • Teach your child never to drink pool water. Provide clean drinking water

  • if children are thirsty.

  • Take your child for bathroom breaks about once an hour.

  • Check swim diapers every 30-60 minutes.

  • Avoid sitting on water jets.

  • If your child is ill―especially with diarrhea―do not visit the water park.

  • Shower before swimming, particularly if your child has been playing in other areas

  • of the water park such as sandboxes, can help rinse bacteria from the skin

  • and reduce contamination.

  • Shower again before heading home. Doing this removes chlorine from the skin,

  • helping to prevent skin irritation.

 

4. Know who is watching—and who's not.

Did you know that the federal government does not monitor or regulate fixed-site

amusement parks―many of which contain water parks? It's unfortunately true! In

1980, Congress handed over control of these parks to state and local governments. Federal s

afety officials are not allowed to address safety problems at these parks, so a patchwork of

local and state authorities bear the responsibility of safety oversight for amusement

park rides. This means there is no consistent standard of regulation.

So, what does this mean? Should parents be worried? 

Each state decides what level of regulation and monitoring they want to assume. Some

states are strict, but other states elect for minimum involvement, making some parks

self-regulated. In fact, pop-up carnivals have more government regulation than fixed-site

amusement parks!

The AAP suggests looking into how the water park of your choice is monitored and

regulated. 

SaferParks.org has a list of how amusement parks are regulated by each state. There is

also a chart showing how injuries are to be reported and whether there are public records

of reported injuries.

 

5. Think outside the pool.

So now that you've considered swim rules, swimmer safety, and health issues, there are

a few more general tips that can help ensure your day at the park remains positive.

As always, it's important to bring and use sunscreen if you will be outdoors. You should also

bring water to keep everyone hydrated.

​Here are a few more ideas to keep everyone safe and happy:

  • Whether it's an indoor or outdoor park, water shoes can be a good investment.

  • Pool deck surfaces can get slippery from a mix of water and sunscreen. Water shoes

  • can give little feet extra traction and protect them from surfaces that can be rough

  • such as pool bottoms.

  • Schedule in activity breaks throughout the day. Kids burn about 288 calories an

  • hour playing in the pool. That kind of activity level can tire young swimmers, so it's

  • important to exit the water periodically and rest. This is a good time to recharge in the

  • shade with a snack and a bathroom break.

  • Walk, don't run. Pool decks are slippery, and parks can get crowded.

  • Get a map of the park and identify a meeting spot in case your family gets separated.

  • Children and others who lack strong swim skills should also wear life jackets

  • when at a pool or water park. Some parks require swimmers to wear these, and staff c

  • an help you ensure the device is the right size and fitted correctly for your child. Even

  • when they wear life jackets, young children and those who cannot swim well need an

  • adult who can swim within arm's reach providing touch supervision.

  • Remember that lifeguards are just one layer of prevention against drowning. 

  • Close, attentive, capable supervision when your child is in or around water is essential.

  •  Even when they wear life jackets, young children and those who cannot swim well need

  • an adult who can swim within arm’s reach providing touch supervision.

 

Additional Information:  

 
Last Updated
 
6/4/2019
Source
 
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2019)
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.
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By Coppell Pediatric Associates, PA
July 02, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Child Care   Physical Exam  

Once your child is born it’s amazing just how quickly they grow and develop. It seems like you blink and suddenly they are talking and walking. During these important milestones it’s also important to have a pediatrician that you turn to regularly to make sure that these developmental milestones are being met and that your child is healthy. After all, if there are any problems you want to find out as soon as possible when early medical interventions can make all the difference.

From the moment your child is born until 2 years old, your pediatrician will most likely want to see them every six months for wellness check ups. After your child turns 2 years old you should still bring them in once a year for a routine physical exam and preventive care. Along with checking your child’s vital signs and monitoring their height and weight your pediatrician will also check hearing, eyesight, respiration, cardiac activity and reflexes.

A physical exam will check all systems of your child’s body to make sure that everything is functioning properly. If your child’s doctor does detect a problem it can be treated immediately. Along with a physical exam your child will also undergo any additional screenings and vaccinations that are necessary for maintaining optimal health.

Furthermore, your pediatrician can also recommend workout routines and appropriate physical activity for your child based on their current health and lifestyle, as well as recommendations on diet, sleeping habits and even their emotional and behavioral health. Even if a pediatrician won’t be able to fully treat all conditions they can still refer your child to a specialist who will be able to handle a specific health problem or injury.

Once a child is old enough to go to school it’s also important that parents schedule their child’s sports physical so that they can participate in physical activity and school sports. An annual sports physical can detect past injuries and other problems that could affect your child’s ability to participate in certain activities.

These physical exams are often mandatory before a child can play school sports; however, even if it isn’t mandatory you should still bring your child in once a year for a comprehensive sports physical to make sure that they are healthy enough for certain physical activity.

Make sure your child is seeing their pediatrician regularly for care, not just when they are sick but also to ward away infections and other health problems. Schedule your child’s next physical exam today.

By Coppell Pediatric Associates, PA
June 17, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Diabetes  

If your child has just been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important that you have a pediatrician you can turn to in order to create a customized and effective treatment plan. While diabetes cannot be cured, diagnosing, and treating your child’s diabetes as soon as possible is key to helping them maintain a long, healthy and happy life.

There are two different kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, usually happens during childhood. This autoimmune disorder occurs when the body attacks the pancreas so that it doesn’t produce insulin. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in adults; however, children can also develop type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, with the increase in childhood obesity our doctors are seeing a rise in type 2 diabetes in children, as well. The pancreas of children and teens with type 2 diabetes does produce insulin but the body just doesn’t properly respond to it.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Both types of diabetes often present with the same symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased hunger and thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurry vision
  • Sores and cuts that don’t heal properly

Other symptoms may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Numbness or tingling

Treating Type 1 Diabetes

There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Since your child’s body doesn’t produce insulin this means that they will need to receive daily insulin injections. Along with taking these injections, you will need to monitor your child’s blood sugar every day to make sure their levels aren’t too high or don’t drop too quickly.

Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Even though children and teens with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin, the body doesn’t respond properly to it. Because of this, your child will need to take daily medication to maintain healthy glucose levels. As with type 1 diabetes, daily blood sugar monitoring is necessary to make sure that the medication your pediatrician prescribed is effective.

Along with taking medication, there are certain lifestyle modifications that can also go a long way to controlling your child’s type 2 diabetes. In fact, sometimes type 2 can be reversed with a healthy diet and regular exercise alone, depending on the severity. Lifestyle modifications include:

  • Eating a healthy balanced diet
  • Limiting sugar and carbs, which can spike blood sugar
  • Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day most days of the week
  • Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight

If your child is experiencing symptoms of diabetes or if you have questions about the best way to treat your little one’s diabetes don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for an appointment.





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