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Posts for category: Child's Safety

By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
February 28, 2022
Category: Child's Safety
Tags: Peanut Allergy  
Peanut Allergies in ChildrenIn the past 15 years, we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of children with peanuts allergies, so it goes without saying that most parents are worried about giving their children peanuts; however, is the peanut a food to avoid, even in children that aren’t presenting with allergies? How do you know if your child has an allergy to peanuts? A pediatrician can provide you with the information you need on peanut allergies.

Is it safe to incorporate peanuts into my child’s diet?

Research shows that introducing a small number of peanut products to your baby’s diet may actually reduce their risk for an allergy. This means everything from adding a little bit of peanut butter to peanut powder to their food. You can introduce your child to peanut-based products at around 4-6 months old.

Is my child at risk for a peanut allergy?

It is important to recognize if your child is at high risk for a peanut allergy. If your child has an egg allergy or has severe eczema they may be more likely to have a peanut allergy and should be properly screened by a pediatrician, as even trace amounts of peanut products could cause a reaction. A skin or blood test may be performed to check your child’s response to peanuts and look for allergy signs.

What are the signs of a peanut allergy in children?

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, often coming on suddenly and lasting for hours. Mild symptoms may include hives on the face and mouth or a rash. Signs of a more severe allergic reaction include:
  • Widespread hives
  • Tongue or facial swelling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of the lips
If your child is experiencing symptoms of a severe peanut allergy it’s important to call 911 or to head to your local emergency room for immediate medical attention.

My child has a peanut allergy. Now what?

While there isn’t a way to cure a peanut allergy the best treatment option is to simply avoid consuming peanuts and peanut products. Your child’s pediatrician can provide you with an extensive list of products your child will need to avoid. Make sure that they also don’t share food with other kids at school. Your pediatrician may also prescribe an EpiPen, which is to be used if your child has a severe allergic reaction. Your pediatrician may also recommend that your child see a pediatric allergist who can provide further and more specialized recommendations.

If your child is showing signs of a peanut allergy, call your child’s pediatrician today to schedule an evaluation. If you simply have questions about incorporating peanuts into your child’s diet to reduce their risk for an allergy, your pediatrician can also provide you with expert advice.
By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
January 28, 2022
Category: Child's Safety
Tags: Chickenpox  
ChickenpoxThe infamous chickenpox, a virus known to cause itchy blisters all over the body. It most often happens to school-age kids, but unfortunately, if you’ve never had this infection as a kid you could get it as an adult. There is a chickenpox vaccine that children should get from their pediatrician. The first dose is administered between 12-15 months old and the second and final dose is given between 4-6 years old. While the vaccine is designed to protect kids against the virus, sometimes children can still get a milder form.

What are the signs and symptoms of chickenpox?

Chickenpox is notorious for causing fluid-filled and intensely itchy blisters on the body. Chickenpox blisters typically appear about 10 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus, and symptoms can last up to 10 days. In the beginning, your child may only show symptoms of a cold including loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, headache, and overall malaise. They may also experience a stomachache or sore throat. These symptoms will often appear before the rash.

The rash often starts on the face or stomach and then spreads throughout the rest of the body. Once the blisters break open, they will crust over and eventually fall off. It’s important that kids do not scratch these blisters, as this can lead to infections and scarring.

Is there a way to treat chickenpox?

Since chickenpox is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not be effective at treating this infection. Most treatment options are aimed at providing relief from symptoms while the body gets rid of the infection. If your child is at risk for complications related to chickenpox, their pediatrician may prescribe antiviral medication. Simple home care can help to alleviate discomfort due to chickenpox. This includes taking oatmeal baths and applying cold compresses to the blisters.

Is chickenpox preventable?

Absolutely. There is a chickenpox vaccine that all kids can and should get from their pediatrician. Even if kids still end up getting chickenpox after getting the vaccine, their symptoms will be much milder. If your child has already had chickenpox then they do not need to get vaccinated as they already have lifelong immunity.

If you have questions or concerns about chickenpox, or whether your child should get vaccinated, don’t hesitate to call your child’s pediatrician to learn more.
By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
November 04, 2021
Category: Child's Safety
Tags: Concussion  
ConcussionA concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs as a result of a blow to the head. Since concussions can be serious, it’s important that you’re able to recognize the telltale signs of a concussion so you can seek immediate treatment. While your pediatrician may be able to provide you with immediate treatment, any serious symptoms should be addressed right away at your nearest emergency room.

What can cause a concussion?

The majority of concussions in children occur while playing sports; however, a traumatic injury or accident such as a car accident or bad fall can also leave your child dealing with a head injury. Some concussions may lead to a loss of consciousness, but most of the time this isn’t the case.

What are the warning signs?

Some of the most common symptoms of a concussion include:
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of balance or unsteadiness
  • Trouble with cognition, particularly attention, focus, and memory
A child may look dazed or slur their speech. They may also be more irritable and fussy, as well as sensitive to certain lights or noises.

If your child is alert and responds and acts normally these are often signs that the head injury is mild and probably won’t require emergency care; however, even if your child doesn’t require urgent care you should schedule an appointment to see your child’s pediatrician within the next 48 hours.

When is a concussion considered an emergency?

You should take your child to the ER right away if they develop these symptoms after a head injury:
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness for more than 30 seconds
  • A worsening headache
  • Fluid draining from the eyes or ears
  • Vision problems including dilated pupils
  • Persistent tinnitus
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Changes in behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble with coordination such as stumbling or falling
  • Seizures
  • Persistent dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Disorientation
If your child is showing signs of a concussion, we understand how scary this can be. Don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician right away, who can advise you as to what next steps to take.
By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
September 01, 2021
Category: Child's Safety
Hand, Foot and Mouth DiseaseHand, foot and mouth disease isn’t a childhood infection that’s often discussed but should be. After all, this communicable viral infection is more common in young children than most people realize. If you are concerned about hand, foot and mouth disease, or would simply like to know more, your pediatrician can certainly provide you with the information you need. In the meantime, here are some FAQS that can help you get the facts on this contagious infection.

Is hand, foot and mouth disease dangerous?

While the name might make this condition sound rather frightening, the truth is that many kids under the age of five develop this illness. This is because these viruses are quite contagious. Even though this most often impacts young children, this infection can also present in older children, teens, and even adults.

What are the symptoms?

The incubation period for hand, foot and mouth disease is about 3-6 days from exposure. At first, symptoms may appear mild and look similar to the common cold (e.g. runny nose, fever, and sore throat); however, blisters will then start to develop within the mouth and on the body (often the palms of the hands and soles of the feet).

How is it diagnosed?

A diagnosis is often made by a pediatrician through a simple physical evaluation. They will go through your child’s medical history, examine the blisters and ask questions about your child’s symptoms to determine whether this could be hand, foot and mouth disease. Some testing may be performed to rule out other conditions.

How is hand, foot and mouth disease treated?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a medication that will get rid of hand, foot and mouth disease. Like most viral infections, the infection just has to run its course; however, there are certain things your pediatrician may prescribe or recommend that you do to ease your child’s symptoms. For example, ibuprofen may be recommended to help ease the pain as well as your child’s fever. Of course, it’s always a good idea to speak with your pediatrician before you start your child on any medication, even over-the-counter medications.

If your child develops symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease it’s important that you see your pediatrician as soon as possible for an evaluation, as they will want to make sure that this is truly what’s causing their symptoms.
By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
June 25, 2021
Category: Child's Safety
Preventing Pediatric Heat StrokeClimate change has certainly caused the temperatures to climb here in the US, especially during the summer. While we know that kids love to play outdoors, when temperatures are high this could increase your child’s risk for heat exhaustion and heatstroke. While we certainly don’t want to wreck your child’s fun, you must be keeping your child safe from the heat. If you do have any concerns about symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician right away.

Any temperature over 90F poses a serious health risk, especially to kids. When temperatures are at or above 90F here’s what you can do to keep your little ones safe:

Find an air-conditioned environment: If you don’t have AC in your home, it’s important to find a space that does. Make an action plan for where you can go if the temperatures become so high that you cannot safely stay in your home. You may need to stay with someone who does have AC or find free spaces such as a public library, which should also have AC.

Drink (lots of) water: You and your children must be also drinking enough water, especially on those super-hot days. While kids should normally get eight 8-oz glasses of water if a child is particularly active or it’s hot out, they must be drinking even more water to replenish what’s being lost.
Infants who are still breastfeeding should also be given additional breast milk, especially if they are under 6 months old. It’s also important to recognize the warning signs of dehydration in kids. If your child or infant is showing these warning signs, you need to call your pediatrician right away.

Wear the appropriate clothes: Just as you need a coat and gloves to protect your skin during the cold winter months, you also need to wear the appropriate clothes for those brutally hot days. Make sure your child is wearing light-colored clothes made from lightweight, absorbent materials that will wick away sweat. Since kids are less likely to sweat than adults, it’s important to keep them in the coolest and lightest clothes possible.

Stay cool: Whether jumping through the sprinkler system or simply hopping in a cold shower, there are easy steps you can take to help your child cool down when they complain of being too hot! If there is a swimming pool nearby, this is also a great and fun way to keep cool.

Whether you have questions about keeping your child safe during the summer months or you simply need to schedule their next well-child visit, a pediatrician is going to be the first doctor you turn to for your child’s health and wellbeing. Keeping your child safe this summer doesn’t have to be difficult, but if you have questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call.