Posts for: August, 2019
From the American Academy of Pediatrics
Spending time outdoors is a common activity on spring breaks or summer vacations, but remember to protect against the sun’s rays. Everyone is at risk for sunburn. Children especially need to be protected from the sun’s burning rays, since most sun damage occurs in childhood. Like other burns, sunburn will leave the skin red, warm, and painful. In severe cases, it may cause blistering, fever, chills, headache, and a general feeling of illness. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers tips to keep children safe in the sun.
Sun Safety for Babies Under 6 Months
- Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sunlight. Move your baby to the shade under a tree, umbrella or stroller canopy. Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs and use brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn.
- When adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least 15 SPF (sun protection factor) on infants under 6 months to small areas, such as the infant's face and the back of the hands. Remember it takes 30 minutes to be effective.
- If an infant gets sunburn, apply cool compresses to the affected area.
Sun Safety for Kids
- The first, and best, line of defense against harmful ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure is covering up. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours - between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Select clothes made of tightly woven fabrics. Cotton clothing is both cool and protective.
- Try to find a wide-brimmed hat that can shade the cheeks, chin, ears andback of the neck. Sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection are also a good idea for protecting your child's eyes.
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater to areas of your child's skin that aren't covered by clothing. Before applying, test the sunscreen on your child's back for an allergic reaction. Apply carefully around the eyes, avoiding eyelids. If a rash develops, talk with your pediatrician.
- Be sure to apply enough sunscreen -- about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
- If your child gets sunburn that results in blistering, pain or fever, contact your pediatrician.
Sun Safety for the Family
- The sun's rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to keep out of the sun during those hours.
- The sun's damaging UV rays can bounce back from sand, water, snow or concrete; so be particularly careful of these areas.
- Wear commercially available sun-protective clothing, like swim shirts.
- Most of the sun's rays can come through the clouds on an overcast day; so use sun protection even on cloudy days.
- When choosing a sunscreen, look for the words "broad-spectrum" on the label - it means that the sunscreen will protect against both ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen and reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating or towel drying. You may want to select a sunscreen that does not contain the ingredient oxybenzone, a sunscreen chemical that may have hormonal properties.
- Zinc oxide, a very effective sunscreen, can be used as extra protection on the nose, cheeks, top of the ears and on the shoulders.
- Use a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. The additional benefits of using sunscreen with SPF 50+ are limited.
- Rub sunscreen in well, making sure to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet and hands, and even the backs of the knees.
- Put on sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors - it needs time to work on the skin.
- Sunscreens should be used for sun protection and not as a reason to stay in the sun longer.
Drowning Is Leading Cause Of Unintentional Deaths Among Children Between Ages Of One And Four
The Washington Post (7/4) reported, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional deaths among children between” the ages of one and four. What’s more, “for every child who drowns, another five visit the emergency department for a nonfatal injury associated with submersion.” Currently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is running “a national public education campaign aimed to reduce child drownings and swimming pool entrapments.” Called Pool Safely, the campaign “was designed to educate parents and children about pool risks – and how to sidestep them without giving up the pursuit of summer fun.”
According to the Washington Post (7/5), Sarah Denny, “lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Prevention of Drowning policy statement,” feels that “parents need to start by honestly acknowledging that drowning is a threat to their children.” Denny said, “If your child has swimming lessons, don’t assume that they’re drown-proof; assume they need supervision.” She added, “Parents must be aware of the risks and take proper precautions,” including knowing that drowning “happens both when children are expected to be around water and when they’re not expected to be around water,” such as when a child sneaks into a pool enclosure. The AAP “recommends four-sided” pool “fencing with a minimum height of four feet and self-closing, self-latching gates” which should be “shut and locked” during non-swim times.
Even though Summer is almost over, it's never too late to be aware!
This is an excellent article from The Child Mind Institute on Setting Healthy Limits on Your Child's Video Games. An excellent article on How to prevent (or overcome) problems with gaming. I recommend it to you.
CDC Announces 71 More Measles Cases.
The AP (4/22) reports that there were 71 more measles cases in the US last week, and 68 of them were in New York, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have now been 626 total cases so far this year, and the article points out that there were 667 cases in all of 2014 and 963 in 1994.
The Wall Street Journal (4/22, Subscription Publication) reports that health officials expect this year’s total to surpass that of 2014, which would make 2019 the worst year since 2000 when the disease stopped continuous circulation and was declared eliminated. The article notes that the largest outbreak so far this year has been centered in New York City’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and that New York City has ordered people living in certain neighborhoods to be vaccinated or pay a $1,000 fine.
ABC News (4/22) reports on its website that 194 of this year’s cases have been in New York’s Rockland County and according to local health officials, 80.8% of those infected in the county never received an MMR vaccine.
Reuters (4/22) reports that last week, Iowa and Tennessee reported their first cases of measles this year.
USA Today (4/22) reports that Peter Marks, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement that the reemergence of measles “deeply concerns us.” Marks added, “We cannot state strongly enough: The overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vaccines are among the most effective and safest interventions to both prevent individual illness and protect public health. Vaccinating against measles, mumps and rubella not only protects us and our children, it protects people who can’t be vaccinated, including children with compromised immune systems due to illness and its treatment, such as cancer.”
NBC News (4/22) reports on its website that Dr. Steven J. Goldstein, a pediatrician in Brooklyn and president of the New York Chapter 2 of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said the measles outbreak is straining families and their physicians, “When there is a child in your practice with measles or it turns out the child has measles later, you have to close the office and investigate; you have to contact everybody who was in the practice at or around the time of exposure. Everyone needs to be notified about that possible exposure.”
Measles outbreaks in the United States are ongoing. For data as of August 15, visit Measles Cases and Outbreaks.
Most measles cases in the U.S. are related to international travel. Make sure you and your loved ones are protected before you travel internationally.
Visit Measles: For Travelers.