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Posts for category: Prevention

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
May 14, 2019
Category: Prevention
Tags: safety   sunburn   Sunblock   sun   burn   suntan  

Encourage your teen to avoid solar radiation between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M

This is when the ultraviolet rays are the harshest. The safest measure—stay indoors or seek shade—isn’t always practical. Next best? Protect that skin by wearing the proper clothing and sunscreen.

Light-colored, tightly woven clothing

Light-colored, tightly woven clothing reflects sunlight rather than absorbs it. A hat with a brim at least three inches wide also affords protection.

Get your teen into the habit of applying sunscreen

And not just when she goes to the beach and not just on bright, sunny days. Even when clouds obscure the sun, 80 percent of its UV light reaches the earth. You can singe your skin during the winter, too, since snow reflects 80 percent of the sun’s rays.

Sunscreens used to be classified according to their sun protection strength, which was expressed as a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) ranging from 2 to 50. The higher the number, the longer the user can stay in the sun without burning. So let’s say that your youngster typically burns in about fifteen minutes. A sunblock with an SPF of 15 would afford him 225 minutes (just under four hours) of safe exposure. If he is dark-complexioned and generally doesn’t burn for, say, forty minutes, the same product would enable him to spend six hundred worry-free minutes outdoors.

Having said that, no one should bake in the sun for that long, regardless of how much sunscreen he slathers on his skin. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has since pared down the categories to just three strengths: minimum (which corresponds to 2 SPF to 12 SPF), moderate (12 SPF to 30 SPF) and high (30 SPF or greater). Moderate strength is the sensible choice for most people.

Memo to Mom and Dad: Before purchasing sunscreen, look for the words “broad-spectrum” on the label; this assures you that the product screens out both types of ultraviolet light: UVA and UVB. UVA radiation doesn’t burn skin as readily as UVB—and the jury is still out on whether or not it contributes to skin cancer—but we do know that UVA rays penetrate tissue more deeply and age the skin.

Buying sunscreen is the first step; using it correctly is the second

Studies show than most sun worshipers use only about one-fifth to one-half as much sunscreen as they should. To thoroughly cover the entire body—including the ears and hands, which most people neglect—the general rule of thumb is to apply about one ounce of water-resistant lotion or cream fifteen to thirty minutes before going outdoors. Then generously reapply every two hours and immediately after swimming or strenuous activities.

Protect the eyes too

According to the American Optometric Association, sunglasses should block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light. Gray, green or brown lenses work best.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that teens periodically inspect their bodies for suspicious-looking moles

To do this, they’ll need a full-length mirror, a hand mirror, and a well-lit room.

  1. Standing in front of the full-length mirror, examine the front and back of the body. Then, with arms raised, do the same for the left side and the right side.
  2. Bend both elbows and carefully inspect the forearms, the back of the upper arms, and the palms of the hands.
  3. Next, look at the backs of the legs and the feet, the spaces between toes, and the soles of the feet.
  4. Hold up the hand mirror and examine the back of the neck and the scalp. Part hair to lift.
  5. Finally, check the back and the buttocks with the hand mirror.
  6. If you spot any unusual-looking moles, immediately make an appointment with your pediatrician. Skin cancers are eminently treatable when caught early.
By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
May 14, 2019
Category: Prevention
Tags: repellents   ticks   insects   bugs   mosquitos   camping   outdoors.  

Choosing an Insect Repellent for Your Child

 

Mosquitoes, biting flies, and tick bites can make children miserable. While most children have only mild reactions to insect bites, some children can become very sick.

One way to protect your child from biting insects is to use insect repellents. However, it’s important that insect repellents are used safely and correctly.

Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about types of repellents, DEET, using repellents safely, and other ways to protect your child from insect bites.

Types of Repellents

Insect repellents come in many forms, including aerosols, sprays, liquids, creams, and sticks. Some are made from chemicals and some have natural ingredients.

Insect repellents prevent bites from biting insects but not stinging insects. Biting insects include mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and biting flies. Stinging insects include bee​s, hornets, and wasps.​​Available Insect Repellents - Chart

NOTE: The following types of products are not effective repellents:

  • Wristbands soaked in chemical repellents

  • Garlic or vitamin B1 taken by mouth

  • Ultrasonic devices that give off sound waves designed to keep insects away

  • Bird or bat houses

  • Backyard bug zappers (Insects may actually be attracted to your yard). ​

About DEET

DEET is a chemical used in insect repellents. The amount of DEET in insect repellents varies from product to product, so it’s important to read the label of any product you use. The amount of DEET may range from less than 10% to more than 30%. DEET greater than 30% doesn’t offer any additional protection.

Studies show that products with higher amounts of DEET protect people longer. For example, products with amounts around 10% may repel pests for about 2 hours, while products with amounts of about 24% last an average of 5 hours. But studies also show that products with amounts of DEET greater than 30% don’t offer any extra protection.

The AAP recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger th​an 2 months.

Tips for Using Repellents Safely

Dos:

  • Read the label and follow all directions and precautions.

  • Only apply insect repellents on the outside of your child’s clothing and on exposed skin. Note: Permethrin-containing products should not be applied to skin.

  • Spray repellents in open areas to avoid breathing them in.

  • Use just enough repellent to cover your child’s clothing and exposed skin. Using more doesn’t make the repellent more effective. Avoid reapplying unless needed.

  • Help apply insect repellent on young children. Supervise older children when using these products.

  • Wash your children’s skin with soap and water to remove any repellent when they return indoors, and wash their clothing before they wear it again.

Dont's:

  • Never apply insect repellent to children younger than 2 months.

  • Never spray insect repellent directly onto your child’s face. Instead, spray a little on your hands first and then rub it on your child’s face. Avoid the eyes and mouth.

  • Do not spray insect repellent on cu​ts, wounds, or irritated skin.

  • Do not use products that combine DEET with sunscreen. The DEET may make the sun protection factor (SPF) less effective. These products can overexpose your child to DEET because the sunscreen needs to be reapplied often. 

Reactions to Insect Repellents

If you suspect that your child is having a reaction, such as a rash, to an insect repellent, stop using the product and wash your child’s skin with soap and water. Then call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 or your child’s doctor for help. If you go to your child’s doctor’s office, take the repellent container with you.

 

Other Ways to Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

While you can’t prevent all insect bites, you can reduce the number your child receives by following these guidelines:

  • Tell your child to avoid areas that attract flying insects, such as garbage cans, stagnant pools of water, and flowerbeds or orchards.

  • Dress your child in long pants, a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, socks, and closed shoes when you know your child will be exposed to insects. A broad-brimmed hat can help to keep insects away from the face. Mosquito netting may be used over baby carriers or strollers in areas whe​re your baby may be exposed to insects.

  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints because they seem to attract insects.

  • Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes, or hair sprays on your child because they may attract insects.

  • Keep door and window screens in good repair.

  • Check your child’s skin at the end of the day if you live in an area where ticks are present and your child has been playing outdoors.

  • Remember that the most effective repellent for ticks is permethrin. It should not be applied to skin but on your child’s clothing.

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
June 10, 2018
Category: Prevention

 

BHC From Header

AAP Summer Tips on Safety While Swimming and Enjoying the Sun
The lazy days of summer are just around the corner, and for many communities the public pool and beaches will be opening this weekend. While these summer activities are important for physical and mental health, parents should make sure they respect the dangers of swimming, excessive heat and the damaging rays of the sun. Sharing these tips from the AAP can help families enjoy a fun, and safe, summer.

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
May 14, 2018
Category: Prevention
Tags: repellents   ticks   removal   tweezers  

From the CDC:

If you find a tick attached to your skin, there's no need to panic. There are several tick removal devices on the market, but a plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively.

How to remove a tick

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin's surface as possible. Do NOT use your fingers!
  2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don't twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
  3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  4. Dispose of a live tick by submersing it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers

 

  clipart image of a tickAvoid folklore remedies such as "painting" the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly, or using heat to make the tick detach from the skin. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible–not waiting for it to detach.

 

Clipart image showing how to remove an embedded tick with a pair of tweezers.

Follow-up

If you develop a rash, fever or severe headache within a month of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.

And

Treating Tick Bites

Reassurance

  • Most tick bites are harmless.
  • The spread of disease by ticks is rare.
  • If the tick is still attached to the skin, it will need to be removed.
  • Covering the tick with petroleum jelly, nail polish, or rubbing alcohol doesn't work. Neither does touching the tick with a hot or cold object.
  • The best prevention of tick diseases is removal of the attached tick within 24-36 hrs.
  • Try one of the following techniques:

Wood Tick Removal: Try Soapy Cotton Ball First

  • Apply liquid soap to a cotton ball until it's soaked.
  • Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball.
  • Let it stay on the tick for 30 seconds.
  • The tick will usually be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.

Wood Tick Removal: Try Tweezers Second

  • Use tweezers and grasp the tick close to the skin (on its head).
  • Pull the wood tick straight upward without twisting or crushing it.
  • Maintain a steady pressure until it releases its grip.
  • If tweezers aren't available, use fingers, a loop of thread around the jaws, or a needle between the jaws for traction.

Deer Tick Removal

  • Tiny deer ticks need to be scraped off with a fingernail or credit card edge.

Tick's Head

  • If the wood tick's head breaks off in the skin, remove it.
  • Clean the skin with rubbing alcohol.
  • Use a sterile needle to uncover the head and lift it out.
  • If a small piece of the head remains, the skin will eventually shed it.
  • If most of the head is left, call your doctor.

Antibiotic Ointment

  • Wash the wound and your hands with soap and water after removal to prevent catching any tick disease.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin to the bite once (no prescription needed).

Expected Course

  • Tick bites normally don't itch or hurt. That's why they often go unnoticed.

Call Your Doctor If

  • You can't remove the tick or the tick's head.
  • Fever, rash and/or severe headache in the next 2-4 weeks.
  • Bite begins to look infected.
  • Your child becomes worse.

Preventing Tick Bites

Prevention

  • When hiking in tick-infested areas, wear long clothing and tuck the ends of pants into socks. Apply an insect repellent to shoes and socks.
  • Permethrin products applied to clothing are more effective than DEET products against ticks.

Tick Repellent for Skin: DEET [Dr. T likes Sawyer Family DEET Product]

  • DEET is an effective tick repellent.
  • Use 30% DEET for children and adolescents (American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation, 2003) (30% DEET protects for 6 hours).

Tick Repellent for Clothing: Permethrin [Dr. T likes the Sawyer Family Permethrin Product]

  • Permethrin-containing products (eg, Duranon, Permanone) are highly effective tick repellents.
  • An advantage over using DEET is that they are applied to and left on clothing instead of skin. Apply it to clothes, especially pants, cuffs, socks, and shoes. You can also put it on other outdoor items (eg, mosquito screen, sleeping bags).
  • Do not apply permethrin to skin (Reason: it's rapidly degraded on contact with skin).

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.