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guide-child-symptomsGuide to Your Childs Symptoms by American Academy of Pediatrics.
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Toddler Diarrhea

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Wednesday, April 09 2014
in Toddlers

Toddler's diarrhea is a common condition in children between the ages of 6 months and three years old. Its only symptoms are loose, watery stools, and although these children have chronic diarrhea, they have a normal appetite and are not considered contagious. Chronic diarrhea can be caused by drinking too much juice or food/drinks with high sugar content.

 It is recommended to limit sugary drinks and foods.  Reducing the fat and fiber in the diet may also help.

 

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Is it a cold or allergies?

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Wednesday, April 02 2014
in Info on illnesses

Colds are caused by hundreds of different viruses. When one of these viruses gets into your body, your immune system attacks. Some of the effects of this immune response are the classic symptoms of a cold, such as congestion and coughing.  The germs that cause colds are contagious. You can pick them up when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or you touch the germs with your hands.  Colds can last 10-14 days and do not respond to antibiotics.

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. For some reason, your body mistakes harmless substances -- such as mold or pollen -- for germs and attacks them. Your body releases chemicals such as histamine, just as it does when fighting a cold. This can cause swelling in your nasal passages, a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Allergies are not contagious, although some people may inherit a tendency to develop them.

Characteristic

Cold

Allergy

Duration

three-14 days

Days to months -- as long as you are exposed to the allergen

Time of year

Most often in the winter, but possible at any time

Any time of the year -- although the appearance of some allergens are seasonal

Onset of Symptoms

Symptoms take a few days to appear after infection with the virus.

Symptoms can begin immediately after exposure to the allergen

Cough

Often

Sometimes

Aches

Sometimes

Never

Fatigue

Sometimes

Sometimes

Fever

Sometimes

Never

Itchy, Watery eyes

Rarely

Often

Sore Throat

Often

Sometimes

Runny or Stuffy Nose

Often; usually yellow mucus

Often; usually clear mucus

 

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s symptoms please call the office.

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Insect Repellent and Kids

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Tuesday, April 01 2014
in Parenting Tips

It is the time of year that mosquitos are out and about in our yards.  It is important to protect yourself and your child from mosquito bites.  Many parents often ask if insect repellent is safe to use on their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents with DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old. Here are some helpful hints when using repellent on a child that is over 2 mo of age.

  • Apply insect repellent to your own hands and then rub them on your child. Avoid children's eyes and mouth and use it sparingly around their ears.
  • Do not apply repellent to children's hands. (Children may tend to put their hands in their mouths.)
  • Do not use insect repellent on open wounds
  • Do not allow young children to apply insect repellent to themselves; have an adult do it for them.
  • Keep repellents out of reach of children.
  • Avoid scented soaps and other things that might attract mosquitoes
  • Use mosquito netting over strollers to protect
  • Wash off insect repellents with soap and water once you bring your baby inside

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Cold Symptoms in Infants

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Thursday, March 27 2014
in Infants

Most infants will get a cold several times during the first 2 yrs of life.  Babies with a cold can have the following symptoms:

  • A low-grade fever of about 100.4 F
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Trouble nursing or taking a bottle due to nasal congestion

Unfortunately, there's no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics don't work against cold viruses. Treatment for the common cold in babies involves easing their symptoms.

The best you can do, is try to make your baby more comfortable.  Below are some home care measures that you can do. 

  • Use saline nasal drops followed by nasal suctioning to clear the nasal passages of mucus. 
  • Keep the air in your home moist by using a cool mist humidifier where your baby sleeps.
  • Elevate the head of your baby’s bed when sleeping.
  • Offer fluids frequently. 
  • Over-the-counter medications should generally be avoided in infants.
  • Fever-reducing medications may be used if needed.  Refer to the dosing chart on our website under the “Resources” tab.
  • Many parents like to use Camphor/Menthol Rubs or Vapor Rubs on their children’s chest for cough and congestion.  We do not recommend using these in children under age 2 and never for children with asthma or reactive airway disease. 
  • There are formulas specifically for babies over 3 months that do not contain camphor.  One example is called Baby Rub.  It contains aloe, eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil, and lavender oil.  We would recommend that you not use this on your baby’s face or neck.  You should always be cautious, as creams/oils can irritate sensitive skin. 


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Finger Foods for Babies

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Tuesday, March 25 2014
in Parenting Tips

By the time they're 9 months old, most babies are ready for more texture in their food and have developed the fine motor skills — the small, precise movements — needed to pick up small pieces of food and feed themselves.

Allow your child to self-feed as much as possible, though you'll still be helping out by spoon-feeding. Encouraging finger feeding helps your child learn about textures and independence.  If you have not already done so, it is time to introduce table/finger foods.  Do not limit your baby to just Gerber puffs.

By 9 months, most babies are ready to try table food and should be able to try many of the things that you eat.    Here are some suggestions.

  • Zucchini, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, or other well-cooked, soft veggies.   
  • Pieces of ripe banana, soft pears or peaches, and cooked apples
  • Well-cooked pasta
  • Dry cereals and crackers such as cheerios, graham crackers, & ritz crackers.  Ask yourself, does it melt in the mouth? Some dry cereals and crackers that are light and flaky will melt in the mouth.
  • Shredded cheeses  and  cottage cheese
  • Small pieces of soft, cooked beef, turkey, and chicken are other good choices

Food should be cut into small pieces. The sizes will vary depending on the food's texture.   You should avoid the following foods that can be choking hazards.

  • Pieces of raw vegetables or hard fruits
  • Whole grapes, berries, cherry or grape tomatoes (instead, peel and slice or cut in quarters)
  • Raisins and other dried fruit
  • Peanuts, nuts, and seeds
  • Peanut butter and other nut or seed butters
  • Whole hot dogs and sausages (peel and cut these in very small pieces)
  • Untoasted bread, especially white bread that sticks together
  • Chunks of cheese or meat
  • Candy (hard candy, jelly beans, gummies, chewing gum)
  • Popcorn, pretzels, corn chips, and other snack foods
  • Marshmallows

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Head Injuries

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Monday, March 17 2014
in Info on illnesses

Recently there has been a lot of media attention given to head injuries in pre-teen and teen athletes.  Schools, HealthCare providers, & Coaches all have a heightened awareness about this dangerous condition.  As a parent, what do I need to know?

A concussion is a form of mild brain injury that can occur after a blow to the head, such as a fall, but is most commonly associated with hits to the head during sports.  After the hit or blow to the head, a child with a concussion may lose consciousness, may forget things that happened before or after the injury (amnesia), could have a seizure, or could have one or more of the classic concussion symptoms described below.

•Physical symptoms - headaches, nausea, fatigue, visual problems, balance problems, sensitivity to light or noise, numbness and tingling, vomiting, dizziness

•Mental (thinking) symptoms - feeling mentally foggy, having problems concentrating or remembering, feeling slowed down

•Emotional symptoms - irritability, sadness, nervousness, or simply feeling more emotional

•Symptoms that affect sleep - drowsiness, sleeping more or less than usual, or having trouble falling asleep

More severe "red flag" symptoms that might indicate your child needs immediate medical attention might include a worsening headache, seizures, repeated vomiting, increasing confusion, or unusual changes in behavior, etc.

Parents, teachers, coaches, trainers, and a child who has had a concussion should be aware of all of these possible symptoms as he or she returns to school and sporting activities and should understand the importance of reporting all symptoms.  Experts now recommend a six-step gradual return to play plan for kids who have a concussion, with athletes moving to the next stage only if they remain free of all concussion symptoms.  Using this plan, the earliest a player with a concussion would be back in a normal game would be six days.

These return to play guidelines includes:

1. No activity - a recovery stage with complete physical and cognitive rest. This means no exercise or sports, but can also mean not going to school, or having a shortened day. This is a time to get lots of rest, get plenty of sleep, and eat well.

2. Light aerobic exercise to increase their heart rate (keep to less than 70% of maximum predicted heart rate), including walking, light jogging, swimming, or stationary cycling, but no resistance training.

3. Sport-specific exercise to add movement, such as skating drills or running drills, moderate jogging, brief running, moderate-intensity stationary cycling, but no head impact activities.

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Keeping Kids Busy on Road Trips

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Wednesday, March 12 2014
in Parenting Tips

Many families will be taking road trips during Spring Break this week.  Here are some ideas to keep kids busy and hopefully avoid the comments "how much longer until we get there" and "I'm bored".

http://travel.kaboose.com/road-trip-keem-them-busy.html

 

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Fever is Your Friend

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Friday, March 07 2014
in Info on illnesses

It’s 2 am. Your youngest child is upset and crying. And… they’re hot. The thermometer you have reads 102. You’re nervous. Your child is nervous. Fever can feel like your family’s worst enemy.

Believe it or not, and despite the fear often associated with it, fever is often your child’s friend.   Fever revs up the body’s immune system and activates it to fight off any viral or bacterial “invaders.”   So, when your child has a fever, it means her body is doing its job.  

Most pediatric experts agree: a fever is a temperature equal to or greater than 100.5 degrees.  That’s why when you make an appointment for your child for a “fever” we sometimes push you on the details: 100.2 you say?  Not a fever.  Felt your child and thought he was hot but didn’t take the temperature? Might have been a fever, but might not have.  We want to know, when possible, the actual temperature and how you took it (under the arm, in the mouth, in the ear, or on the skin).  Your child’s temperature depends on a number of factors, including how you take it. The closer we get to the core of the body, the more accurate it is. That’s why, when we measure the temperature of a baby, we often want to take the temperature in the baby’s bottom.  For older kids, a temperature taken in the mouth or the bottom is much more accurate than a temperature taken under the armpit.

A child’s age also matters a lot when it comes to fever.   Any child under a month of age needs to be evaluated by a doctor immediately if they have a fever, even if it only occurs once.

As kids get older and older, we are less concerned about low-grade fevers in otherwise healthy and vaccinated kids, but recommend an evaluation if your child has had a temperature for more than 2-3 days (or anytime you are concerned).  

Some things do worry us when it comes to fever. We worry when the fever lasts several days without a good explanation for it.  We worry when your child becomes dehydrated.  We worry when your child is lethargic. We worry when your child is not fully vaccinated.  Most of all, we worry about how your child “looks” overall, which is why we pay a lot of attention to this when you call or come in.  

It also doesn’t matter if the Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen you’ve been giving to treat your child’s fever makes it go away and stay away.  These medications are for your child’s comfort but don’t help to fight off the virus or bacteria your child has.  If they don’t completely eliminate the fever, it doesn’t mean they aren’t working, just that they wore off like they are supposed to.

Fever can be scary, but knowing what a fever does for the body is helpful. On average, kids will have 4 to 6 acute episodes of fever from birth to 2 years of age, so fever is here to stay, whether we like it or not. Think of it as an (often annoying, but very helpful) friend.

 

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Toddler Temper Tantrums

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Friday, March 07 2014
in Toddlers

Toddler temper tantrums are something very common. Between the ages of one and three, your previously sweet and loving toddler will have a change of personality. He may no longer be content to accept your rules for everything, but will want everything his own way. Quite frequently, this will result in a toddler temper tantrum. When a toddler starts having tantrums, the first thing the parents should do is decide what is important and what isn't important. Once you do decide what is important, don't give in. Make sure your rules are constant. A toddler has a tantrum to try and get what they want. If this usually works, they will continue to have tantrums. If, on the other, a tantrum never produces the result they want, they will soon give it up as ineffective. The following are a number of things you can do when your child is in the middle of a tantrum, without having to give in:

Ignore him.

Most tantrum-throwers are trying to attract attention. If you don't give him that attention, he will lose interest and stop the tantrum.

Send him to bed or to his room.

This gives both of you a cooling down period.

Leave him.

Obviously, don't take your eyes off the child if you do this in public.

Distract him.

Start to play with a new toy, get your child a drink, go outside for a walk. Do whatever it takes to get your toddler's mind off the problem.

Toddler temper tantrums are part of a child's development. They can't be completely avoided, but hopefully the amount of time your child spends in a tantrum can be reduced.

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Puberty

Posted by Shelly
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Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Thursday, February 20 2014
in Teen Info

Your daughter is asking about getting her first bra, and your son comes home from soccer practice smelling like he's been digging on a road crew all day. What's going on? Welcome to puberty, the time when kids sprout up & fill out. Pubertal changes usually happen between ages 10 and 14 for girls and ages 12 and 16 for boys.

  • In females:
    • The first sign of puberty is usually breast development.
    • Other signs are the growth of hair in the pubic area and armpits, and acne.
    • Menstruation (or a period) usually happens last, about 1-2 yrs after breast development begins.
  • In males:
    • Puberty usually begins with the testicles and penis getting bigger.
    • Then hair grows in the pubic area and armpits.
    • Muscles grow, the voice deepens, and acne and facial hair develop as puberty continues.

Just as those hormones change the way the body looks on the outside, they also create changes on the inside. During puberty, kids might feel confused or have strong emotions that they have never had before. Kids might feel overly sensitive or become upset easily. Some kids lose their tempers more often and get angry with their friends or families. They also may feel anxious about how their changing body looks. Sometimes it can be hard to deal with all these new emotions. It's important to know that the your body is adjusting to the new hormones, so is the mind. You can remind your child that people usually aren't trying to hurt their feelings or upset them on purpose. It might not be the family or friends — it might be your new "puberty brain" trying to adjust.

For more info check out this link. http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/growing/understanding_puberty.html

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Hives

Posted by Shelly
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Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Monday, February 17 2014
in Info on illnesses

What are hives?

Hives are pink or red bumps or slightly raised patches of skin.    Hives can appear in groups or clusters and might change locations in a matter of hours.  Hives usually itch, burn and/or sting.

What causes hives?

  • Allergic reaction to things like foods, medications, insect stings/bites, lotions, or other substances
  • Exposure to the cold
  • Exercise
  • Sun exposure
  • Nervousness or stress
  • Infections caused by viruses

What can I do for hives?

No matter what the cause, a case of hives can last anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.  Most of the time you never find out exactly what caused the hives.  Oral antihistamines and cool compresses can help with the itching. Hives can reoccur even while taking antihistamine medication. 

If your child has hives and begins to have trouble breathing, the lips or tongue swell, or if the hives become severe emergency care may be needed. 

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Diaper Rash

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Monday, February 10 2014
in Info on illnesses

Diaper rashes are common in babies between 4 and 15 months old. They may be noticed more when babies begin to eat solid foods.  Diaper rashes caused by infection with a yeast or fungus called Candida are very common in children. Candida is found everywhere in the environment.  It grows best in warm, moist places, such as under a diaper. A yeast-related diaper rash is more likely to occur in babies who:

•Are not kept clean and dry

•Are taking antibiotics, or whose mothers are taking antibiotics while breast feeding

•Have more frequent stools

Other causes of diaper rashes include:

•Acids in the stool (seen more often when the child has diarrhea)

•Ammonia (produced when bacteria break down urine)

•Diapers that are too tight or rub the skin

•Reactions to soaps and other products used to clean cloth diapers

•Too much moisture

You may notice the following in your child's diaper area:

•Bright red rash that gets bigger

•Fiery red and scaly areas on the scrotum and penis in boys

•Red or scaly areas on the labia and vagina in girls

•Pimples, blisters, ulcers, large bumps, or pus-filled sores

•Smaller red patches (called satellite lesions) that grow and blend in with the other patches

Diaper rashes usually do NOT spread beyond the edge of the diaper.

The best treatment for a diaper rash is to keep the diaper area clean and dry. This will also help prevent new diaper rashes.

•Always wash your hands after changing a diaper

• Diaper creams help keep moisture away from baby's skin when applied to completely clean, dry skin

•Avoid using wipes that have alcohol or perfume. They may dry out or irritate the skin more

•Do NOT use corn starch on your baby's bottom. It can make a yeast diaper rash worse

•Do NOT use talc (talcum powder). It can get into your baby's lungs

•Change your baby's diaper often, and as soon as possible after the baby urinates or passes stool

•Lay your baby on a towel without a diaper on whenever possible. The more time the baby can be kept out of a diaper, the better

•Pat the area dry or allow to air-dry

•Put diapers on loosely. Diapers that are too tight don't allow enough air and may rub and irritate the baby's waist or thighs

•Use water and a soft cloth or cotton ball to gently clean the diaper area with every diaper change. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the area. A squirt bottle of water may be used for sensitive areas

If you use cloth diapers:

•Avoid plastic or rubber pants over the diaper. They do not allow enough air to pass through

•Do NOT use fabric softeners or dryer sheets. They may make the rash worse

•When washing cloth diapers, rinse 2 or 3 times to remove all soap if your child already has a rash or has had one before

MEDICATIONS:

Diaper creams such as Triple Paste, Desitin, A&D ointment, Dr. Smith’s, & Boudreaux’s Butt Paste are good choices to treat diaper rash.  Topical antifungal skin creams and ointments will clear up infections caused by yeast.  Lotrimen AF and Triple Paste AF are available at your pharmacy without a prescription.

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How Long Do Cold Symptoms Last?

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Wednesday, February 05 2014
in Info on illnesses

How long will the cold symptoms last?

Most people think that the common cold will last a couple of days and then their child will be completely well and back to normal.  New research published in the British Medical Journal showed that in 90% of children, the common cold actually can take up to 15 days to resolve. This means that the sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, and cough may linger for some time.

What can I give my child for a cold?

  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids.
  • Use a cool mist humidifier at the bedside.  This adds moisture to the air and helps to ease nasal congestion.
  • Saline nasal drops followed by suctioning helps to clear mucus from nasal passages in babies.  Older children can use saline nasal spray as needed.
  • Over the counter decongestants may be helpful for children over age 4.
  • Many parents want antibiotics to fight colds, but colds are caused by viruses.  Antibiotics work in our bodies to treat bacterial infections and will not work against a common viral illness.

When should I worry?

  • Sometimes a bacterial infection does follow a cold virus. Signs that you may have a bacterial infection after a cold are pain around the face and eyes that may worsen when bending over and coughing up thick yellow or green mucus. These symptoms may also occur with a cold. But if they last for more than a week or are severe, you should schedule an appointment.
  • If your child has fever for more than 3 days, they should be seen in the office.
  • Schedule an appointment if your child is overly fussy, not eating well, if they are complaining of ear pain, or if you have other concerns.

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Should I give my baby acetaminophen before he gets his vaccines?

Posted by Shelly
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Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Wednesday, January 29 2014
in Pediatric News & New Research

Because receiving immunizations can cause a mild fever, many parents routinely give acetaminophen to children when they receive their vaccinations.  This common practice is actually not recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Fever is one of the signs that our body is generating an immune response and an immune response is part of what makes vaccines work to make us less susceptible to vaccine preventable diseases.   A recent medical study showed that receiving acetaminophen before vaccines could possibly reduce that immune response making the vaccines less effective.   Most children do well following vaccine administration and run only a low grade temperature or some do not run fever at all.  If your child is acting ill after vaccines or has risk febrile seizures, acetaminophen may be helpful in making them feel better.  Always talk to your child’s healthcare provider about questions such as this during your visit.

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Over the Counter Meds- What is What?

Posted by Shelly
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Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Wednesday, January 29 2014
in General Info

With so many medications available over the counter (OTC) how do you tell what is what?  Many parents have a hard time making sense of it all.  Below is a breakdown of the common ingredients & classes of OTC meds and what they are used for.

Fever Reducers/ Pain Relievers – These medications work to reduce fever and treat pain. Tylenol, Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Advil, & Motrin are examples of OTC fever reducers/pain relievers.

Antihistamines –Antihistamines counteract the effects of histamine, a chemical released by the body during allergic reactions.  Antihistamines can help to reduce itching, sneezing, and dry up a runny nose.  They can make people sleepy, but many infants and children sometimes become irritable after taking antihistamines.  Diphenhydramine, Brompheniramine, & Chlorpheniramine are common OTC antihistamines.

Decongestants - Decongestants are the medications that treat stuffy, congested noses.   It's important to note that decongestants do not relieve a runny or itchy nose.  Decongestants can make some children irritable.  Pseudoephedrine and Phenylepherine are common OTC decongestants.

Cough suppressant - Cough suppressants are intended to decrease coughing by acting on the brain to suppress the urge to cough.  Dextromethorphan is a common OTC cough medicine.

Expectorants – Expectorants thin mucus and make it easier to cough up.

Many cold, cough, and allergy products are a mixture of 2 of the above medications.  When choosing a cold medication for your child, remember…

  • For infants and children under age 4, use a cool mist humidifier in their room, normal saline & nasal suctioning as needed.
  • Cold medications are not recommended for children under age 4.
  • Children may have reactions to medications that alter their temperament.
  • Select meds that treat the symptoms that your older child is having.

If you have questions about medication dosing, visit our the “Resources” section of our website www.totdoc.com

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Creativity and Imaginative Play in Kids

Posted by Shelly
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Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Monday, January 20 2014
in Parenting Tips

Creativity and imaginative play are important parts of childhood.  This type of play promotes problem solving, helps develop critical thinking, enhances language skills, and helps to develop social skills.  The passive activities of going to the movies, watching TV, or interacting with electronic games are fun, but they can pull kids away from creative, imaginative play.  Here are ways to encourage creative and imaginative play:

  • Encourage mess- Crayons, play dough, finger paint, cutting and gluing all work on teaching kids about texture and develop fine motor skills.
  • Get moving- turn on the music and sing and dance.  Not only are these activities fun, but they also help burn off excess energy and help to develop coordination and balance.
  • Cook up something good- Let children measure and pour while cooking.  You can talk with them about shapes, fractions and math skills, learn about different cultural foods, food groups, and discuss healthy food choices.  Work some science into your cooking and show kids the change from liquid to solid form.
  • Build something – whether you are building something with blocks, making a tepee with chairs and blankets, or creating a fort from a cardboard box these activities teach kids about construction, develop gross and fine motor skills, and just may spark the inner interior decorator in your daughter.
  • Go on a nature hike – explore your yard and send kids on a scavenger hunt for types of plants, insects, or hidden treasure.  Give them a map or compass and teach them about direction as they search for things.
  • Repurpose items from your house – Instead of buying new furniture for your daughter’s Barbie house, use boxes, towels, and scrapbook paper to create your own furniture.  How about making a bow and arrow from sticks and string with your son.  Help your kids to create their own board game.  Make up the rules of the game and create a game board with construction paper.  These types of activities involve problem solving and creating thinking.

These are just some examples of ways to encourage your child’s creativity and imagination.  Share some of your ideas with us too.

 

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Helping Your Kids Develop Self Confidence

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Thursday, January 16 2014
in Parenting Tips

We all want our children to be happy, well adjusted, confident, and successful in life.  As parents we want our children to be the best soccer player, the fastest swimmer, be the best reader in their class or get into the best schools.  Many parents feel that creating a culture where every child is a winner will promote self-esteem in their kids, but ego inflation does not always equal self-confidence.

 

In cultures such as this, kids are not always encouraged to work harder.  The “everybody gets a trophy” mentality tells kids that they will get rewarded just for showing up.  Why should they put forth more effort if it is not necessary?  Does this mentality build healthy self-esteem or the sense of “I'm just fantastic, not because I did anything but just because I'm here”?  What happened to the philosophy of effort equals achievement?  And what about teaching kids how to lose gracefully and be a good sport?

The same principle can also be applied to children’s behavior and actions.  Sometimes as parents, we fail to hold our kids accountable for poor behavior or decisions because we are afraid our kids will think that we are being mean.  Oftentimes parents excuse their child’s bad behavior, finding it easier to blame others, including themselves, for their children's attitude or irresponsibility.   All kids will make mistakes or behave poorly, but it is important that kids are accountable for those mistakes or behaviors.   Parents can help kids achieve self-confidence through struggle and achievement, not through someone always telling them that they are number one or making excuses for their frequent outbursts.  Kids need to understand that all actions will result in a consequence.  Sometimes those consequences are positive and sometimes they are not.  It is a very important life lesson.  Self-confidence is developed when kids have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, understand that there are always winners & losers, and deal with the consequences caused by their actions.

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Young Children and Screen Time

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Thursday, January 16 2014
in Parenting Tips

From TV to smart phones to tablets, the lives of children and families are dominated by media exposure.  More and more families are purchasing tablets for their young children and letting kids routinely play on smartphones.

 

The first two years of your child’s life are especially important in the growth and development of the brain. During this time, children need positive interaction with other children and adults. This is especially true at younger ages, when learning to talk and play with others is so important. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages TV and other media use by children younger than 2 years and instead encourages interactive play for children.  Interactive play helps children develop social skills, gross and fine motor skills, and encourages language development and creativity.

For older children, total entertainment screen time should be limited to less than 1 to 2 hours per day of educational, nonviolent programs/games.   The AAP suggests that ALL screen time should be supervised by parents.

The AAP recommends that parents make a media use plan.  Media plans should include,

  • Mealtime and bedtime curfews for media devices
  • Screens should be kept out of kids’ bedrooms
  • A no-device rule during meals
  • A set family rules covering the use of the Internet and social media and cellphones and texting, including, which sites can be visited, who can be called and giving parental access to all social media  accounts.
  • Limits on  the amount of screen time for entertainment to less than two hours per day
  • Children younger than 2 shouldn't have any TV or Internet exposure

 

Information for this post was obtained from www.aap.org and    www.healthychildren.org

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#lovemykids #can'tgetthemofftheiPhone #whatisaparenttodo? (Parents, Kids, & Social Media)

Posted by Shelly
Shelly
Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Thursday, January 16 2014
in Parenting Tips

So your kids have graduated from play dough, Legos, and Barbie, to iPad and iPhone.  With electronic devices comes access to social media.  As a parent, it is important to set limits, rules, and be aware of what your kids are doing on social media sites and to understand what they are saying.

  • Tablets and smartphones are not toys; they are a tool and a privilege.  You pay for it; therefore, you own it and can take it away if needed.
  • Have Rules and set limits on usage
  1. Who your child is allowed to call?
  2. How many minutes is your child allowed to use each month?
  3. Is your child allowed to text?
  4. What apps is your child allowed to use?
  5. At what time each night must the smartphone/tablet usage stop?  It is a good idea to have a central charging station for the family.  This ensures that kids are not up late on their devices and that sleep is not interrupted from that midnight text from a friend.
  6. Can the child bring the smartphone to school? Use it when hanging out with friends?
  7. Have a no device at mealtime rule to encourage family interaction.  How many times have you seen families in a restaurant and everyone is on their device?
  8. What are the consequences for breaking the rules?
  • Stress Quality over Quantity
  1. Make sure that kids understand that the number of friends or followers is not important.  Don’t make the goal to get 1000 followers.  Stress to kids that social media is a great way to stay connected to your friends and family.  Only have followers that are close enough to you that you want to share your personal pictures and words with.
  • It is important to talk to kids about how to treat others while texting/posting.  Teach kids to ask themselves:
  1. Would I say the words I am texting/posting to a person's face?
  2. What would my parents think if they read this text?
  3. Could this photo I am sending cause embarrassment to me, my friends, my family or anyone else?
  4. Can my words be taken out of context and used to hurt me or someone else?
  5. Talk to kids about sexting or sending inappropriate pictures.
  6. A good rule to go by is:  If I would be embarrassed if Grandma saw it, don’t post it or send it.
  • Set privacy settings and don’t let kids tag their location when they post. This alerts people to where your children are.
  • Parents should become familiar with Instagram, Snap Chat, Facebook, Twitter, Ask FM, and any other social media site that your child gets on.
  • Friend or follow your child so that you see what is going on.
  • Know the lingo – figure out the hashtags and abbreviations, if you can LOL!
  • TTFN (That’s all for now)

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Teen Safety

Posted by Shelly
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Shelly Nalbone is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has worked with children fo
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on Thursday, January 09 2014
in Teen Info

Teen Safety

Dating

  • Get to know someone well before going on a date.  Date people that you know and trust.  Go out in groups as much as possible and to public places.  If you want to spend some time alone with the person you're seeing, wait until you've had a few dates and have set ground rules for alone time.
  • Talk with your parents.   Never go on a date without telling someone else. Even if it's a little annoying, let your mom, dad or another adult know when you’re going out. Be sure to tell your parents who you're going with, where you plan to go and what time you expect to return home, too.
  • It's a good policy to bring your cell phone along, and to leave your date's phone number with your parents, just in case anything goes wrong. Be prepared for the unexpected: You might need a ride home or need some extra cash.
  • If you feel uncomfortable about a situation on a date, say "no" clearly and confidently. You're always allowed to change your mind about something, too. If someone likes and respects you, they'll back off. Don't worry: They will most likely ask you out again. If your date doesn't respect your decision, stay safe by leaving the situation.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol while on a date.  Drugs and alcohol compromise your ability to make smart decisions and to escape dangerous situations. They can make you take risks you wouldn't usually take with your body, your car and your safety in general. They also prevent you from getting to know what your date is really like and keep your date from getting to know the real you.  Never accept a drink from someone.  Only drink from a glass that you have poured yourself.

Cell Phone/Internet

  • Do not give your cell phone number to people that you do not know.  Don't respond to text messages from numbers and people you don't know.
  • Do not take any cell phone pictures or video that is sexual in nature. First off, if they involve

nudity or partial nudity, they are illegal and classified as child pornography ‐ a felony offense in most states.  The intent of the parties does not matter, nor does whether permission was granted. Secondly, they have the tendency to get into the hands of the wrong people. Think about your reputation.

  • Do not send texts or capture pictures or video on your cell phone that you wouldn't feel comfortable sharing with your parents.  Ask yourself how you'd feel if the text you sent or the picture or video you captured were broadcast all across the school, and all across the Internet. Even if you personally don't send it around, others can and often do.
  • Keep your cell phone keypad locked (and the PIN or password safe and private), so that others can't grab it, unlock it, and use it to get you into trouble when you're not looking.
  • Be careful with on-line chat rooms/social media such as Facebook and Instagram.  If you do not know someone, do not communicate with them online.

 

Car Safety

  • Texting & Driving- It is dangerous!  Parents remember to set good example for your teen.  No text is worth losing your life over, or taking someone else's. If something is urgent, pull the vehicle over to a safe place before dealing with it.
  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Never get into a car with someone who has been drinking or taking drugs.  If you have been drinking or taking drugs, do not drive!  Call a responsible person to get a ride home.  Parents - It is always a good idea to have an agreement with your teen for a no questions asked ride home policy.  If they call and are asking for a ride home, go and get them, but skip the 3rd degree.  Sit down with your teen a couple of days later and talk about it.

 

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