Strollers are designed to make life with little ones easier! But if they are not used properly, they can cause injuries to those little ones!
Do you realize that approximately 2 children go to the Emergency Room EVERY HOUR because of an injury caused by a stroller or carrier?? Most injuries occur when a child falls from the stroller or the stroller tips over. One study reported that 25% of children injured in this manner suffer serious injuries such as concussions and brain injuries, which can have long term effects on brain development.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to choose a stroller that meets all safety standards. The best way to ensure this is to buy a stroller that was manufactured after 2014, and then register your stroller so that you will receive any safety alerts or recall notices that may be issued.
If you own a stroller that was made before 2014, you can check to see if it has ever been recalled at www.cpsc.gov. That's when the rules were updated to correct safety problems, such as hinges that could pinch or even cut off little fingers; wheels that broke or fell off; parking break failures; locking mechanism problems; seat belt restraint problems; or flimsy/easily broken products.
Parents....you can also take the following precautions to keep those precious little ones safe:
- Always use the harness straps as described in the stroller instructions
- Store heavy items like diaper bags and purses in the basket underneath...not hanging from the handlebars which could cause the stroller to tip over
- Always set the brake when the stroller is parked
- Follow weight and age limits in the instructions
- Do not put young infants to sleep at home in strollers because they could move into positions that might cause them to suffocate
For more tips on selecting a safe stroller, visit www.bit.ly/2dnvTRy.
(Adapted from AAP News Parent Plus November 2016)
At pediatric offices across the nation, it is that time of year where we have a rush of sports physicals pouring in that need to be filled out for students wanting to enroll in a sport at their school. Physical activity is not only important for children’s physical health, but also for their social health while they learn important life lessons such as how to be a team player, what it means to be a “good sport”, and how to communicate with peers to reach an ultimate goal. While there are so many good things about being involved in sports, there are dangers to be aware of, as with anything we face in life! Dangers in sports activities are most known as broken bones and concussions. While broken bones are usually easily recognized, concussions are a bit more vague, making them difficult to identify but are equally as important to treat.
If your child is playing sports, whether in a game or at practice, and they lose consciousness or begin vomiting as a result of a head injury, immediately take them to be evaluated at the emergency room. According to Dr. Solari, if a person is hit in the head so hard that it causes them to lose consciousness or vomit, they probably have a concussion. But what about when your child hits his head hard, but does not lose consciousness? Is a concussion still a possibility? Dr. Solari says yes! If your child gets a hard blow to the head and is groggy, dizzy, light-headed or complains of a headache, remove your child from play immediately for the duration of the game or practice and schedule an appointment to be checked by your doctor the next day.
If it is determined that your child has a concussion, Dr. Solari stated that the child must not participate in any sports activities of any kind until all symptoms of the concussion have resolved. Some of these symptoms that must resolve may not appear until 24-72 hours after the injury. These symptoms are things such as blurred vision, trouble walking, problems remembering, irritability, or changes in normal sleep patterns. Once all symptoms of a concussion have resolved, your child can begin gradually working back in to sports activities, practices and games. If you begin to identify any of the symptoms returning during this time, you must pull your child back from the activities.
It is incredibly important to follow the treatment plan after your child has suffered a concussion. Children sometimes see doctors and coaches (and sometimes even their parents) as “the bad guys” because they will not allow them to participate until they are completely healed. This is not the case! Coaches are constantly getting more information and training on how to identify and treat concussions to protect the players that they care about. Doctors have devoted their lives to keeping people alive and healthy. Children need to know that when their coach or doctor tells them to take a break from sports, it is in their absolute best interest! If they do not follow the treatment plan and they begin playing again before their brain is ready, they could suffer what is known as Second-Impact Syndrome (a second concussion that occurs before the first has completely resolved) which can cause life-long problems and possibly even death. Their authority figures are not trying to be mean, but are only trying to protect them to live a full and happy life!
Keeping children safe is most important to coaches, pediatricians, and parents alike. Keeping a look-out for these symptoms and following treatment plans are critical to the health of your young athlete! While it may feel better to make your child avoid sports all-together, children highly benefit from getting involved in sports and the chances of a child getting a concussion from school-organized sports is very low. So have some fun and – let’s play ball!
When your child is sick, the first place you usually turn to is your doctor’s office. You know that you can trust your doctor to do everything he can to help your child find relief from his or her symptoms. But what about when your child is well? Do you think about taking your child to the doctor? You should! Well check-ups, otherwise known as routine visits, are vital to your child’s health!
Routine visits serve as a preventative! At your child’s check-up, it allows the doctor to do a full check of your child’s overall health instead of just focusing on the symptoms as they do when your child is sick. This helps the doctor detect problems early on, sometimes before any symptoms have even arisen. This puts you and your child at a great advantage! The earlier that a problem is found, the sooner treatment can be started which usually makes for a must faster and easier recovery. In addition to this, it is also customary for children to receive any vaccinations that are due at their routine visits. Doctor Solari says, “Vaccines have been one of the most important preventative health measures available to physicians throughout modern history. Vaccines have saved more lives than any other single medical advance.” Vaccines prevent children from getting deadly diseases before children even come in contact with the disease!
Routine visits provide opportunities for open communication between doctors and their patients. When you bring your child to their routine visit, Dr. Solari always allows for any questions that you may have about your child, whether it be questions regarding discipline, eating habits, or even medical concerns you may have from the media. Alternately, it gives Dr. Solari the opportunity to give you advice specific to the age of your child. The check-up visits give him an opportunity to talk about things that don’t come up at sick visits such as appropriate car seat information or what types of responsibilities your child is ready to take on. As your child matures, Dr. Solari takes the opportunity to begin to talk to them one-on-one. Beginning at your child’s 13-year check-up and through their teen years, Dr. Solari will have your child come into the exam room alone to give your child a chance to have open communication with him about things that they may be uncomfortable discussing in front of mom or dad. After a few minutes of this one-on-one discussion, Dr. Solari will then call the person accompanying the patient to the back to complete the exam. This gives your teen a chance to practice independence and prepare him or her for adulthood when they will no longer need someone to accompany them to the doctor.
Finally, routine visits allow Dr. Solari to give what medical experts refer to as “anticipatory guidance”. This is the term used to describe the advice given to parents to prepare them for the upcoming stages in their child’s life. First, Dr. Solari will check your child and give advice on his/her current health and stages. Before the visit is over though, Dr. Solari will begin to give advice in preparation for what is soon to come. For new moms and dads of babies, this appears as the advice given for what baby food will be next and when you should begin feeding your baby more solid foods. For children, this can be things such as when they may begin chores at home or how to handle temper tantrums. For parents of teenagers, Dr. Solari prepares them for the challenges they may face while making sure their teens are always wearing their seatbelt and making sure that they are getting plenty of rest at night. This can serve as a form of comfort for parents because we don’t always think about what’s ahead. Then, when the situations arise, parents can then put into practice what Dr. Solari prepared them for months in advance.
Routine visits are commonly overlooked and neglected as many people don’t see much of a correlation between their healthy children and the doctor’s office. In all reality, our children’s check-ups should be some of the most important visits we keep with our pediatrician! Mark their next routine visits on your calendar, teach your children to prioritize their doctor visits, and determine that your family will maintain a healthy lifestyle by keeping their well-visits. The medical care and information given at these visits are invaluable.
As we all know, babies do not come with an instruction manual. Oh, don't we all wish they did? It would be so much easier if we had a book we could reference that told us what each different-sounding cry means or how long you can hold your baby without spoiling her or even what some of the best health options are for him! Being a new parent is sometimes hard, especially when you just wish someone was there to even give you some kind of guideline to follow. Well, after speaking with Dr. Solari, we can offer a guideline for one of the common questions new parents have: "What should my baby eat and when?" When should a baby start on real foods? How long should I breast feed? When can a child start drinking regular milk? The following is a guideline to these question and more!
Newborns: Newborns should have a strict diet consisting only of breast milk, formula, or a combination of the two. "Breast is best," says Dr. Solari, but if you are unable to do so, formula is the next best thing. Don't get discouraged if you must formula feed or even supplement by feeding your newborn breast milk and formula. She is still getting all of the nutrition she needs to grow healthy and strong!
3-4 Months: Let the fun begin! You can start to introduce infant cereal. When first introducing cereal to your baby, create the mix to mostly be breast milk/formula (giving it more flavor). By making it more liquid to start, this will help your little one eat it a bit easier. As the days go by, slowly begin making the cereal a bit more "mushy" instead of "watery". Cereal, however, should not go into a baby's bottle, but rather be spoon-fed to get them used to eating from a spoon. A bottle of breast milk/formula may be in addition to the cereal as adults take drinks with their meal.
Despite the rumors, giving a baby infant cereal before 3-4 months of age will not help them "sleep through the night" or affect their sleep in any way. This is simply an old wives tale.
4-5 Months: Time for new flavors! At this age, while still drinking breast milk/formula, a baby can also start to try stage 1 foods. Put simply, these are just foods that have been pureed to almost liquid. At the beginning, only indroduce one food at a time. For example, give your child stage 1 carrots for 2-3 days. If he shows no signs of being allergic to carrots, then introduce green beans, giving him carrots and green beans for 2-3 days. If no allergies noted, continue with other foods in the same manner. Before long, he will be enjoying many different kinds of food!
6-8 Months: Getting better at this eating thing! Your growing baby can now start stage 2 foods. As you will see, these foods have a bit more texture to them. Not quite as "watery", but still not "chunky" - just somewhere in between. She should also still be getting plenty of breast milk/formula and can also now begin receiving finger-foods such as puffs and orginal Cheerios, and she can start trying very soft table foods like mashed potatoes!
9 Months: Well on their way! This is the time babies can begin stage 3 foods which contains whole pieces of food such as the small pieces of noodles in the Spaghetti Stage 3. He is now ready to begin trying more whole pieces of table foods that are softer and easy to "chew" even without any/all of his teeth. Remember to be giving your child breast milk or formula along with all these fun and exciting food adventures!
12 Months: Continue allowing them to try new foods and very slowly increasing the firmness as your toddler starts getting more teeth and getting used to chewing her food. When she turns one year old, her body will be abe to process whole milk.While it is perfectly healthy to stop breast milk/formula at this age and make the complete switch to whole milk, it is also perfectly healthy to continue with breast milk/formula. The main thing to avoid at this age is 2% milk or 1% milk. A toddler needs whole milk until she turns 2 years old, at which she can begin drinking whatever kind of milk the rest of the family drinks!
Hopefully having this general feeding guideline will take one less worry off of new parent's plates. Introducing new foods and discovering your baby's favorite tastes are a fun adventure for children and parents alike! Sometimes feeding time can be messy as they first learn how to eat while most of it rolls down their chin, then trying to begin feeding themselves, but always enjoy meal time together. They won't be little for long!
A friend of mine introduced me to a game. A Facebook game. However, instead of asking others to play, he was warning anyone that would listen of this very dangerous game. It’s a popular trend in which mainly teens and pre-teens are getting involved. It’s called the “Fire Challenge”. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t. But, as probably most of you, I haveheard of the Cinnamon Challenge, the Ice Challenge, and most recently, the Cold Water Challenge. The Fire Challenge, however, takes these games to a whole new level.
There is a myth making its rounds in correlation with the Fire Challenge which states that when rubbing alcohol is put on your skin, only the alcohol and fumes will burn, not your skin. In the Fire Challenge, the person accepting the challenge pours flammable liquid (usually rubbing alcohol or something similar) onto their bare skin while standing in a bathtub (believing that if all goes wrong, they can simply turn the shower on). Then, they take a lighter and ignite the liquid, which then, to their surprise and dismay, engulfs their bodies in flames. To most adults (there have been some adults to participate), the thought of doing such a thing to your body is unfathomable. As adults, we are able to see the lasting consequences of such an idea. However, the pre-teens and teens are not considering the end result. Teens are challenging, or rather daring, each other to participate. Some are saying that it is peer pressure that is causing this trend to rise. Others are blaming social media sites as these teens are uploading their videos of the Fire Challenge to Facebook, YouTube, and others in hopes of a chance to have a video go viral. Since this trend began, numerous participants around America have been rushed to the hospital for second and third degree burns. Sadly, a 15 year old boy died from injuries due to participating.
Fire Marshals all over the country are urging parents to be aware of what your kids are doing and what they may be viewing or getting involved with on the internet. Take precautionary measures by speaking with your children today, even if they have not heard of the trend yet. Here are some facts about the Fire Challenge and burn injuries that you may want to share with your child:
- The myth surrounding the fire challenge is wrong. Pouring flammable liquid on your skin, such as rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover WILL burn your skin, even to the second and third degree!
- Second degree burns are also known as partial-thickness burns meaning that the top several layers of skin are burnt. This causes swelling and blistering and is very painful.
- Third degree burns are also known as full-thickness burns meaning that the full thickness of the skin is destroyed down to the muscle underneath. This causes permanent scarring, possible permanent damage (such as nerve damage), and, depending on the severity, can cause death.
- Flammable liquid is what causes the combustion and then allows the fire to spread at rapid rates. So rapid, in fact, that it makes logical thinking almost impossible. The people doing the burn challenge are unable to think clearly enough to even turn on the shower. People instinctually run when on fire which is what many of the participants do in their videos, being unable to help themselves at all.
As parents, this should bring awareness to the effects of peer pressure on our children. It should also serve as a reminder to always be aware of what our children are viewing online. Take time to talk with your children today about the long-lasting damage that the Fire Challenge and other peer-pressured events can cause and prepare them on how to simply say “no”.
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