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Posts for tag: safety

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
May 14, 2019
Category: Safety
Tags: safety   First Aid   Emergencies  

By: Kathleen Berchelmann, MD, FAAP

Every year the summer arrives with full force in my ER: cutstickspoison ivy, infected bug bitessunburnseye injuriesbroken bones, and all other kinds of summer fun gone wrong. Luckily, you can easily treat or prevent much of the summer craziness if you are prepared.

Being prepared means you need a "Dr. Mom" first aid kit and know how to use it. Although pre-made store-bought first aid kits are a good start, these kits typically lack many items you'll need for your family.

Shopping List for Your Summer First Aid Kit

So to help you get ready, I have prepared a shopping list below for your summer first aid kit. Get it built now, so that you spend your summer having fun, not in the ER.

  • Pre-made first aid kit: It's cheapest and easiest to start by buying a pre-made kit, because otherwise it is difficult to find small packages of all the different kinds of gauze, tape, and antibiotic ointment you will need. Find a large kit with a sturdy container with extra space to hold all the things you will add to it. Or, get a small duffle bag or backpack to hold your first-aid kit, and start by putting the pre-made kit in the bag. Be sure the pre-made kit includes Band-Aids, gauze, tape, antibiotic ointment, and anti-itch or steroid ointment.
  • Water bottle for cleaning out wounds: The first thing you'll need to do with a crying kid is clean out their wound. And the nearest water source is probably too far to walk. You can use your water bottle to treat dehydration, too.
  • Benadryl (Diphenhydramine): Benadryl is probably the most important over-the-counter medication to have in your first aid kit—it's a first line treatment for insect bites, hives, and other allergic reactions that can be deadly. Some premade kits will include Benadryl tablets, but if you have young children be sure to include a bottle of liquid, Children's Benadryl or the generic equivalent. Benadryl is also a great treatment for an attack of seasonal allergies
  • EpiPen: If you have a family member with a history of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), ask your physician for a prescription. I keep mine in the outside pocket of my first aid kit for quick, easy access.
  • Numbing spray: Wound numbing spray can be purchased over-the-counter at any pharmacy and can really save-the-day when a child is burned, sunburned, or has a painful cut or scrape.
  • Prescription medication: Ask your physician for an extra prescription for any medication you use frequently, especially asthma and allergy medications. Keep the extra supply in your car first-aid kit. You'll be grateful when you can stay at your child's sporting event rather than head home for an inhaler or other medication.
  • Ibuprofen and Tylenol: Most pre-made kits include these standard pain medications, but you will have to add the liquid kind for children.
  • Dramamine, nausea medication: There's an easy fix for vomiting, car sick kids—nausea medication. Don't leave home without it. You'll kick yourself for not having it while you clean the vomit out of your car.
  • Sunblock: The worst sunburns occur when you least expect it—at sports events, or while doing yard work. Have some 30+ sunblock ready to cover those little spots on your ears and neck that your hat doesn't cover. Include some SPF lip balm or ChapStick, too.
  • Bug spray: The best protection comes from a repellant that contains 30% DEET. Insect bites are annoying at best, but at worst they get scratched and infected. We are seeing a growing number of insect bites that become infected with the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA, which is difficult to treat.
  • Afrin nasal spray for nosebleeds: Although I generally don't recommend Afrin nasal spray for congestion related to allergies or illness, Afrin is a quick fix for a nosebleed. This medication causes the capillaries in the nose to constrict, thereby limiting the blood flow to the nasal mucosa and stopping the bleeding.
  • Hydrocortisone ointment: This inexpensive over-the-counter medication will treat almost anything that itches—insect bites, poison ivy, etc. If you stop the itch, the kids won't scratch, and you reduce the risk of secondary infection.
  • Flashlight/headlamp: If you don't have a reliable light on your cell phone, include an LED flashlight or headlamp. You can buy these very affordably now, even at the dollar store. A flashlight is not just for nighttime injuries—you'll need a bright light to get a good look at splinters, or look in kids' mouths, ears, etc.
  • Baby wipes: Even if your kids are out of diapers, a pack of baby wipes is infinitely useful in the car, especially for keeping hands clean and wiping noses.
  • ChapStick: ChapStick or lip balm can sooth cold sores, lip injuries, and sunburned lips in addition to regular chapped lips. You'll be glad you have it when you child complains about their chapped lips for the sixth time in ten minutes while you are on a family outing.
  • Clean towel: A nice clean towel is perfect for setting up your first-aid station while you dress a wound or remove a splinter. It's also useful for containing bleeding on bigger injuries. Consider a highly absorbent microfiber towel that can be stuffed into a small space.
  • Feminine hygiene supplies: Besides their obvious uses, tampons and maxi pads are very helpful for wound management and are an essential part of any first aid kit. Did you know that the modern tampon was invented in the 1800's for management of bullet wounds? An OB-style tampon can very effectively treat a persistent nosebleed. The smallest OB tampons fit nicely in the nose. Bleeding wounds can be easily controlled with a maxi-pad held in place with an ace wrap.
  • Premade finger splint: Not sure if that finger is broken or not? Just put it in a pre-made finger splint until you get your child to the doctor. You can buy premade finger splints at any pharmacy.
  • Alcohol wipes: I mostly use these for sterilizing my first aid kit instruments, such as tweezers and scissors. They are also useful for cleaning skin before trying to remove splinters.
  • ACE bandage: Although a first line treatment for sprains and strains, ACE bandages are also useful for holding bandages in place on bigger wounds, and holding splints on fractures.
  • Small scissors: For cutting dressings to the right size, cutting medical tape, opening packages, trimming fingernails and hangnails, etc.
  • A bottle of Gatorade: Very useful for hypoglycemia, dehydration, etc. Also useful as an occasional bribe for an over-tired, hungry child.
  • Ziploc bags: Ziplocs are essential for keeping track of teeth that fall out or are knocked out. Did you pull a tick off your child? Stick it in the Ziploc bag for later identification. Certain kinds of ticks are more likely to carry pathogens that cause Lyme disease and other illnesses.
  • Tweezers & small magnifying glass: I mostly use these for removing splinters, but occasionally they are necessary to remove bugs from ears, fishing hooks from fingers, etc. Of note, tweezers are NOT the best way to remove a tick—tweezers often cause you to remove the tick body and leave the head in the skin. The best way to remove a small deer tick is to scrape it off with a credit card. You can clean the credit card first with your alcohol wipes. Here's more on how to remove a tick.

Keep Your First Aid Kit in Your Car

You'll never have to remember to pack it. If you need something while you are at home, just go out and get it. If you have more than one family car, consider making a first aid kit for each car.

Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org:

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: Safety
Tags: safety   parenting   texting   Driving  

Two-Thirds Of Parents Surveyed Have Read Texts While Driving, And More Than Half Have Also Written Texts, Researchers Say

 

Reuters (5/13) reports, “More than half of U.S. parents believe it’s unsafe to text while driving, but most of them do it anyway,” researchers concluded after surveying “435 parents in 45 U.S. states.” The study revealed that “52 percent of millennial parents (22 to 37 years old) and 58 percent of older parents said they thought it was ‘never’ safe to text and drive,” but nearly “two-thirds of parents have read texts while driving, and more than half of them have also written texts.” What’s more, “roughly three in four parents said they didn’t recall their child’s pediatrician speaking to them about distracted driving or the dangers of texting while driving.” The findings were published online in a research letter in JAMA Pediatrics. HealthDay (5/13) also covers the study.

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
May 14, 2019
Category: Safety
Tags: safety   Guns   Weapons   Storage  

Safe Storage Of Guns Could Prevent Up To A Third Of Gun Suicides And Accidental Child Deaths, Researchers Say

 

In the New York Times (5/13) “The Upshot,” Aaron E. Carroll, MD, a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana School of Medicine, writes, “Legislators and gun safety advocates often focus on how guns are” bought, even though “many lives could be saved, especially among children, if they looked more at how they are stored.” Just in the past decade alone, “guns killed more than 14,000 American children.” In new research, investigators have found that “even a modest increase in owners who lock up their guns would pay off in an outsize drop in gun deaths.”

        

CNN (5/13) reports, “US households with children do not safely store firearms in the way the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends: locked up and unloaded.” Were parents simply to lock up “all their guns, then up to a third of gun suicides and accidental deaths among children and teens could be avoided, researchers” estimated. The findings were published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

       

The New York Daily News (5/13) also covers the study.

        

FURTHER READING

Study: Safe gun storage prevents child and teen deaths 

By contactus@priority-pediatrics.com
October 16, 2018
Category: Immunizations

Misinformation About the HPV Vaccine Keeps Vaccination Rates Low

The Overwhelming Safety of the HPV Vaccine

Paul A. Offit, MD

September 07, 2018

No vaccine has suffered more from misinformation and ill-founded concerns than the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Antivaccine activists have claimed that HPV vaccine causes chronic pain syndromes, chronic fatigue, sudden death, and a variety of autoimmune disorders. In addition, activists have gone so far as to claim that the HPV vaccine increases risky sexual behavior. These claims are often supported by the media as well as by substandard studies published in predatory journals. Indeed, on December 4, 2013, Katie Couric, in a segment titled "HPV Vaccine Controversy," interviewed two mothers: One claimed that the vaccine had caused her daughter to suffer chronic fatigue, the other that the vaccine had caused an otherwise unexplained death.

As a consequence of such fears, immunization rates for the HPV vaccine remain low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 53% of girls and 44% of boys have received the recommended doses.[1] As currently constructed, the HPV vaccine—which contains the L1 surface protein from nine different strains—will prevent about 29,000 cases of HPV-associated cancers and 5000 deaths a year.[2] Unfortunately, because only about half of US adolescents have received this vaccine, every year about 15,000 people are destined to suffer and 2000 to die from a preventable cancer.

To the credit of the scientific and medical communities, millions of dollars have been spent on studies examining the safety of the HPV vaccine. Pre-licensure, about 30,000 people were studied for 7 years.[2] Post-licensure, more than 1 million people have been formally studied, examining all manner of chronic pain and fatigue syndromes as well as more than a dozen different rheumatologic diseases.[3,4,5,6] Not surprisingly, the HPV vaccine has not been found to cause any chronic or debilitating condition. Indeed, the HPV vaccine is probably the world's best-studied, modern-day vaccine.

Another Unwarranted Concern Debunked: Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

One concern recently raised by antivaccine activists is that the HPV vaccine causes primary ovarian insufficiency. How this concern was born remains a mystery. HPV doesn't infect the ovaries. And the HPV L1 surface protein doesn't mimic proteins on ovarian cells, which would at least make an autoimmune disease biologically plausible. Nonetheless, the fear persists. To address this concern, researchers at Kaiser Permanente Northwest examined a cohort of 199,078 female patients, finding 120 with a diagnosis of primary ovarian insufficiency.[7] The researchers found no statistically significant elevation of risk for ovarian failure following receipt of the HPV vaccine. They also didn't find an increased risk following receipt of the Tdap, MenACWY, or inactivated influenza vaccines.

The Kaiser Permanente study can now be added to the mountain of evidence that should reassure clinicians and parents that the HPV vaccine is safe. HPV, on the other hand, isn't safe. And until we dramatically increase immunization rates against this common, devastating infection, children will continue to suffer our ignorance.

·References

Medscape Infectious Diseases © 2018 WebMD, LLC