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Less Is More

November 2018

Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses.

If your child has a sore throat, cough, or runny nose, you might expect the doctor to prescribe antibiotics. But most of the time, children don’t need antibiotics to treat a respiratory illness. In fact, antibiotics can do more harm than good. Here’s why: Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses. If your child has a bacterial infection, antibiotics may help. But if your child has a virus, antibiotics will not help your child feel better or keep others from getting sick. Antibiotics kill bacteria and cure infections caused by bacteria, such as strep throat. Viruses are completely unaffected by antibiotics. Remember, we have nursing staff available to answer questions as well as daily sick check appointments with providers.

Colds and flu are caused by viruses.

Chest colds, such as bronchitis, are also caused by viruses. Bronchitis is a cough with a lot of thick, sticky phlegm or mucus. Cigarette smoke and particles in the air can also cause bronchitis. But bacteria are rarely the cause.

Most sinus infections are also caused by viruses. The symptoms are a lot of mucus in the nose and post-nasal drip. Mucus that is colored does not necessarily mean your child has a bacterial infection.

Your child may need antibiotics if:

A bacterial form of pneumonia or whooping cough is diagnosed by your child’s doctor.

Symptoms of a sinus infection do not get better in 10 to 14 days, or they get better and then worse again.

Your child has a yellow-green nasal discharge and a fever of at least 102° F for several days in a row without any improvement in their symptoms.

Your child has strep throat, after using strict criteria to determine if testing is indicated and based on a positive rapid strep test or throat culture. Antibiotics should not be prescribed unless one of these tests shows the strep throat bacteria. Strep cannot be diagnosed just by looking at the throat.

Less Is More

October 2018

Flu is the short term for influenza. It is an illness caused by a respiratory virus. The infection can spread rapidly through communities as the virus is passed from person to person. When someone with the flu coughs or sneezes, the influenza virus gets into the air, and people nearby, including children, can inhale it. The virus also can be spread when your child touches a contaminated hard surface, such as a door handle, and then places his hand or fingers in his nose/mouth or rubs his eye.

The flu season usually starts in October and ends in May. When there is an outbreak or epidemic, usually during the winter months, the illness tends to be most pronounced in preschool or school-aged children. Adult caregivers are easily exposed and can contract the disease. The virus usually is transmitted in the first several days of the illness.

All influenza viruses cause a respiratory illness that can last a week or more. Flu symptoms include:

The Flu vaccine is for the respiratory influenza viruses, not the common stomach flu viruses that cause fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

After the first few days of these symptoms, a sore throat, stuffy nose, and continuing cough become most evident. The flu can last a week or even longer. A child with a common cold usually has a lower fever, a runny nose, and only a small amount of coughing. Children with the flu—or adults, for that matter—usually feel much sicker, achier, and more miserable.

Healthy people, especially children, get over the flu in about a week or two, without any lingering problems. However, you might suspect a complication if your child says that his ear hurts or that he feels pressure in his face and head or if his cough and fever persist beyond 2 weeks. Talk with your child’s doctor if your child has ear pain, a cough that won’t go away, or a fever that won’t go away.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that an influenza vaccine be given annually to all children starting at six months of age. Children 6 month through 8 years old may need two doses of the vaccine given at least four weeks apart. Children 9 years of age and older only need one dose.

Flu vaccines are especially important for children at high risk for complications from the flu such as those with a chronic disease such as asthma, heart disease, and decreased immune system function due to a primary condition or from medications such as steroids, renal disease, or diabetes mellitus.

All eligible children may receive the inactivated flu shot. All adults should receive the flu vaccine yearly; this is especially important for adults who live in the same household as someone who has a high risk for flu complications or who care for children under the age of five.

Less Is More

September 2018

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurologically-based disability that affects a child’s social skills, communication, and behavior. There are several apps available for smart phones and tablets that teach and aid families with an autistic child. Here is a sampling of apps that are available for iOS and android devices.

:prose                                                   $29.99              Communication

1 on 1: Communication Easy                       Free                 Behavioral Intervention

A BuZoo Story                                       $15.00               Functional Skills

ABA Data Notebook – Skills Version         Free                 Functional Skills

ABA Datasheets: PIR                             Free                 Behavioral Intervention

ABA Find It!                                          $0.99                Behavioral Intervention

ABA Timer                                            $9.99                Behavioral Intervention

ABC, Talk With Me                                 Free                 Social Skills

Able AAC Free                                       Free                 Social Skills

Able Jr AAC                                          $49.99              Communication

Activity Timer                                        $0.99                Functional Skills

Aiko & Egor: Animation 4 Autism              Free                 Social Skills

All About Me Storybook                          $2.99                Functional Skills

Alpha Writer                                         $4.99                Communication

ASL (American Sign Language) Dictionary   $4.99                Communication

Auditory Processing Studio                      $2.99                Functional Skills

AuTeachism                                           Free                 Behavioral Intervention

Autism Emotion                                      Free                 Social Skills

Autism Learing Games: Camp Discovery     Free                 Functional Skills

Avakid: See Me Go Potty                         $1.99                 Functional Skills

Avatalker AAC                                       $189.99             Social Skills

Avaz for Autism                                     $199.99             Functional Skills

Baby Tweets-First Words                       Free                 Communication

Bag Game                                               $1.99                 Social Skills

bcalm                                                    Free                 Functional Skills

Behavior Tracker                                   $29.99              Behavioral Intervention

Behavior World                                      $0.99                Social Skills

Between the Lines Level 1                                   $15.99               Social Skills

Big Blue Box Farm                                   $1.99                 Functional Skills

BoardBuilder                                          $4.99                Behavioral Intervention

Brainy Skills WH Game                            $0.99                Functional Skills

Choice Boards                                        Free                 Communication

Choiceworks                                           $6.99                Functional Skills

Chore Monster                                       Free                 Social Skills

Chore Pad HD                                         $4.99                Functional Skills

ChoreMonster                                        Free                 Functional Skills

Class Dojo                                              Free                 Social Skills

Color Countdown                                      Free                 Functional Skills

Communicate Easy                                   $2.99                Behavioral Intervention

Communication Toolbox                             $14.99               Behavioral Intervention

CommunicoTool 2 Free                             Free                 Functional Skills

Computers at Work iPad App                    $39.99              Functional Skills

Cough Drops                                           Free                 Communication

Dollars & Cents iPad App                          $39.99              Functional Skills

Drillaby Articulation Game                       $5.99/$24.99     Communication

EASe Personal Listening Therapy              $39.99              Functional Skills

Easy Questions                                      Free                 Social Skills

Educational Zolo                                      $1.99                 Functional Skills

Emotion Cards                                        $0.99                Social Skills

Emotionary By Me.Mu                              Free                 Social Skills

Everyday Skills – Pocket Edition               $19.99               Functional Skills

Expressions for Autism by EdNinja           Free                 Social Skills

FastMall – Shopping Malls                         $0.99                Functional Skills

Feelings with Milo                                   Free                 Social Skills

FindMe                                                  Free                 Social Skills

First and Then                                       $1.99                 Behavioral Intervention

Freefall Money                                       $1.99                 Functional Skills

Freefall Spelling                                     $1.99                 Functional Skills

Fun Timer                                              $0.99                Social Skills

Geo Challenge: Flags, Maps                       Free                 Functional Skills

Give Me 5!                                             $5.99                Social Skills

Go Go Games                                          $3.99                Behavioral Intervention

Grace Picture Exchange                           $2.99                Communication

Greenday                                               Free                 Behavioral Intervention

Grocery Gadget – Shopping List                Free                 Functional Skills

Handy Speech                                        $29.99              Social Skills

Happy Geese                                          Free                 Social Skills

I am a child: Just Like You                      $1.99                 Functional Skills

I Can Do Apps Bundle 1                            $12.99               Functional Skills

I Can Have Conversations With You!         $7.99                Social Skills

I Create…Social Skills Stories                  $4.99                Behavioral Intervention

I Get… My Schedules At School               $4.99                Functional Skills

I Get…Cooking                                        $4.99                Functional Skills

I Get…My School Schedules                     $4.99                Behavioral Intervention

iasku                                                     $4.99                Communication

iAssist Communicator                              $0.99                Communication

iCan Toliet Training Program                     $0.99                Functional Skills

ICME:Inner Contextual Mindful Express   Free                 Communication

iComm                                                    Free                 Communication

iCommunicate                                          $49.99              Communication

iCreate…Social Skills Stories                    $4.99                Social Skills

iDress for Weather                               $1.99                 Functional Skills

IF…Emotional IQ Game                           Free                 Behavioral Intervention

iKatha                                                   Free                 Social Skills

ILNE-Autism Series                               Free/$0.99        Communication

iModeling                                               $9.99                Functional Skills

Infiniteach Autism Core Skills                  Free                 Social Skills

innerVoice                                              Free/$19.99       Communication

inPromptu                                               Free                 Functional Skills

Intro to Colors                                       $4.99                Communication

Intro to Letters                                                $4.99                Communication

iPraiseU                                                 $0.99                Social Skills

iPrompts                                                $49.99              Social Skills

iRecognize                                             Free                 Functional Skills

iSpeakUpStory                                       $2.99                Social Skills

iSpotPro for KIDS                                  $2.99                Social Skills

Kids Writing Pad                                     $2.99                Communication

Learn Emotions                                       Free                 Social Skills

Learn With Rufus                                   $0.99                Social Skills

Learny Food: Motivation for Picky Eaters  $2.99                Functional Skills

LetMeTalk                                             Free                 Social Skills

Let’s Face It Scrapbook                         Free                 Social Skills

Lets Talk!                                              Free                 Communication

Likes and Dislikes                                   $0.99                Communication

Little Star Conversation Story                 $2.99                Social Skills

LittleStar Toliet and Potty Train Story     $2.99                Functional Skills

LittleStar Hairdresser Story                  $2.99                Behavioral Intervention

LittleStar Sleep Time Story                    $2.99                Behavioral Intervention

LittleStar Toliet and Potty Training          $2.99                Behavioral Intervention

LittleStar Trying New Foods                    $2.99                Behavioral Intervention

Look In My Eyes:Train Engineer               $2.99                Social Skills

Magnus Cards                                         Free                 Functional Skills

MakeChange                                           $1.99                 Functional Skills

Match & Find                                         $7.99                Functional Skills

MatchTime iPad App                                $39.99              Functional Skills

Meet Heckerty                                      Free                 Social Skills

Mi-Stories: Stories for Transitions          Free                 Social Skills

Model Me Going Places                            Free                 Functional Skills

My Daily Tasks                                       $12.99               Social Skills

My Healthy Smile                                   $1.99                 Functional Skills

My Life Skills Box                                  Free                 Social Skills

My Talk Tools                                         $99.99              Communication

My Visual Timetable                                $2.99                Communication

My Words                                             $3.99                Communication

MyFamilyNPals                                        Free                 Functional Skills

MyRountine                                            Free                 Functional Skills

MySocius                                               $24.99              Communication

Next Dollar Up                                       $5.99                Functional Skills

Nightingale                                            Free                 Behavioral Intervention

Niki Talk                                               Free                 Communication

OneVoice                                               Free                 Communication

Patty Shulka Kids Music                           Free                 Functional Skills

PECS Phase iii                                         $7.99                Functional Skills

Pictello                                                  $19.99               Social Skills

Picture AAC                                           $29.99              Communication

Posco AAC                                             Free                 Communication

Practicing Street Crossing                       $0.99                Functional Skills

Predictable                                            $159.99             Communication

Present A Choice                                                Free                 Behavioral Intervention

Proloquo2Go                                            $249.99             Communication

ProxTalker App                                      Free                 Communication

Put It Away                                           Free                 Functional Skills

Quick Talk AAC                                      $24.99              Communication

QuickCues by Fraser                               Free                 Social Skills

R+Remind                                               $0.99                Social Skills

Receptive Labels                                                Free                 Behavioral Intervention

Rhythm Rooms                                        Free                 Communication

S.E.E. Social Emotional Exchange              $9.99                Social Skills

Scene & Heard                                       $49.99              Communication

See.Touch.Learn                                     $9.99                Behavioral Intervention

SENspeller                                            $9.99                Functional Skills

Sequences For Autism                             $4.99                Social Skills

Shopping List Generator                          $0.99                Functional Skills

Should You Eat Cookies In The Bathtub?   $0.99                Social Skills

Sign Language With Sammi Signs!              Free                 Communication

Sign Me A Story                                     $7.99                Communication

Skill Champ                                            Free                 Social Skills

Sleep Champ by Zanders                          $3.99                Behavioral Intervention

Smart Fish: Frequent Flyer                      $2.99                Social Skills

Smart Steps Mobile                                Free                 Behavioral Intervention

Social Adventures App                            $7.99                Social Skills

Social Cue                                              $29.99              Social Skills

Social Emotional Exchange (SEE)               $9.99                Behavioral Intervention

Social Skill Builder                                  $9.99                Social Skills

Social Skills For Autism                           Free                 Social Skills

Social Stories Creator                             Free                 Social Skills

SonicPics                                                $1.99                 Social Skills

Sosh                                                     $39.99              Social Skills

Sounding Board                                       $1.99                 Communication

Speak it!                                                $12.99               Communication

Special Numbers                                     $12.99               Functional Skills

Special Stories                                       $12.99               Social Skills

Special Words                                        $12.99               Communication

Speech Box                                            $19.99               Communication

SpeechHero AAC                                    $2.99                Communication

SpeechPrompts                                       $19.99               Social Skills

StepByStep from SOAR Therapy             $9.99                Functional Skills

Stories About Me                                   $3.99                Social Skills

Stories2Learn                                        $13.99               Social Skills

Story Wheel                                          Free                 Communication

StoryMaker for Social Stories                 $39.99              Social Skills

storysmart1: Trudy Goes to the Beach      $3.99                Social Skills

Street Smarts                                       $0.99                Behavioral Intervention

SuperStars – Strengths for Kids              $39.99              Social Skills

tionTalk Around It                                  $1.99                 Communication

Talking Train                                          $79.99              Social Skills

Talkingtiles                                            Free                 Social Skills

TalkTablet – Symbol Based AAC/Speech   $49.99              Communication

Tantrum Tracker                                    $0.99                Behavioral Intervention

TapSpeak Button                                                Free                 Communication

Teach Me Time                                      $1.99                 Functional Skills

Tellagami                                               $19.99               Social Skills

The iModeling Boundaries App                  Free                 Social Skills

The Planner Guide                                   Free                 Social Skills

The Tree I See – Interactive Storybook  $3.99                Social Skills

The Zones of Regulation                          $5.99                Social Skills

The-NO-App                                          Free                 Functional Skills

This for That: Visual Schedules    Free     Free                 Behavioral Intervention

Tim(mer) Stock -Simple Timer                  Free                 Functional Skills

Time For Bed Little Ted                          $2.99                Functional Skills

TOBY Autism Therapy                            $25.99              Social Skills

Token Economy                                       $9.99                Behavioral Intervention

Touch & Say                                           Free                 Social Skills

Touch-Animals                                        Free                 Communication

TouchChat                                             $4.99                Communication

Touch-Colors                                          Free                 Communication

Touch-Emotions                                      Free                 Communication

Touch-Numbers                                      $1.99                 Functional Skills

Touch-Shapes                                         $1.99                 Communication

Touch-Words                                         $1.99                 Communication

Training Faces                                        $2.99                Social Skills

uChoose                                                 $5.99                Social Skills

VAST Autism 1                                       $12.99               Communication

VizZle Player                                          Free                 Behavioral Intervention

Voice4u                                                 $0.99                Communication

VolaFriends                                            Free                 Social Skills

Volume Sanity                                         $1.99                 Behavioral Intervention

Wait4it                                                 $1.99                 Communication

We Learn He, She and They                    $1.99                 Functional Skills

Words with Ibbleobble                           $1.99                 Social Skills

Working4                                               $0.99                Behavioral Intervention

ZacZoo                                                  $0.99                Behavioral Intervention

Zody’s World: The Clock Catastrophe       $7.99                Social Skills

Less Is More

August 2018

Fall sports are about to start and one of the common injuries we see are concussions. A concussion is any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. Concussions are typically caused by a blow or jolt to the head. Concussions can happen in any sport but more often occur in collision sports, such as football, rugby, or ice hockey. They also are common in contact sports that don’t require helmets, such as soccer, basketball, wrestling, and lacrosse.

Sports-relates concussions in youth athletes are underreported. Coaches, parents and teachers often fail to recognize the signs of concussions in young athletes. Coaches and athletic trainers should be trained in the identification of concussions, and refer any student athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion to a licensed physician.

Below are some facts regarding concussions according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

After a concussion has been diagnosed, it is important for the athlete and parent/guardian to understand symptoms to look for.

Signs to be observed by the parent/guardian are:

Symptoms reported by the athlete:

When should you call for help? Call 911 if your athlete has a seizure, passes out or is confused or hard to wake up. Call your Dr. immediately if your athlete has new or worse vomiting, seems less alert, or has new weakness or numbness in any part of the body. Watch closely for changes in your athlete’s health and be sure to contact your doctor if your athlete does not get better as expected or has any new symptoms, such as headaches, trouble concentrating, or changes in mood.

Less Is More

SUN & BUGS – June 2018

June brings more sunny days and weather that takes people out doors. As parents, it is very important that we protect children from harmful UV rays and biting insects. Keep your family safe from the sun and bugs by following these tips!

Sun Prevention for Babies Under 6 Months:

Avoiding sun exposure and dressing infants in long pants, sleeves and brimmed hats is best. However when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to small areas.

Sun Prevention Children Over 6 Months:

*Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside and use sunscreen that is at least 15 SPF (Sun Protection Factor), even on cloudy days.

*Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.

*Be sure to apply enough sunscreen – about one ounce per sitting.

*Wear sunglasses.

*Limit your sun exposure between 10am to 4pm when UV rays are strongest.

*Still, the first and best defense against sun is covering up.

A sunburn is skin damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most sunburns cause mild pain and redness but only affect the outer layer of skin. These are called first-degree burns. These sunburns are usually mild and can be treated at home. Skin that is red and painful and that swells up and blisters may mean that the deep skin layers and nerve endings have been damaged. These are second-degree burns. This type of sunburn is usually more painful and takes longer to heal.

How to Treat a Sunburn At Home:

*Use cool cloths on the sunburned areas.

*Take cool showers.

*Apply soothing lotions with aloe vera.

*A sunburn can cause a mild fever and headache. Lying down in a cool and quite room or increasing fluids may relieve the headache.

*Take anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce pain, swelling and fever. These includes ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).

*Use lotion to relieve the itching when skin peels. There is nothing you can do to stop skin from peeling after sunburn. It is part of the healing process.

When to Call the Dr.:

*There are signs of dehydration: sunken eyes, dry mouth, and passing only a little dark urine.

*There are signs of infection: increased pain, swelling, warmth or redness, red streaks leading from the area, pus draining from the area, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin, and/or a fever.

*Sunburn is not getting better.

Also, this time of year it is important to protect children from bug bites. Follow the following Bug Safety Tips to have a bite free summer.

Prevention:

*Avoid scented soaps, perfumes, or hair sprays.

*Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.

*Avoid dressing in bright colors or flowery prints.

*To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently scrape it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail.

*Use insect repellents containing DEET when needed to prevent insect-related. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease and mosquitos can transmit West Nile virus, Zitka virus, Chikungunya virus and other viruses.

*The concentration of DEET in products may range from less than 10% to over 30%. The benefits of DEET reach a peak at a concentration of 30%, the maximum concentration currently recommended for infants and children. DEET should not be used on children under 2 months of age.

*The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product, so read the label of any product you purchase. For more information on DEET: www.aapnews.org/cgi/content/full/e200399v1

*When outside in the evenings or other times when there are a lot of mosquitos present, cover up with long sleeved shirts, pants and socks to prevent bites.

Less Is More

May 2018

As the weather improves and your children start to spend more time outdoors, teach them the safety basics of their bicycles, skateboards and hoverboards.

 

Bicycle Myths and Facts

Myth: My child doesn’t need to wear a helmet on short rides around the neighborhood.

Fact: Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home.

Myth: A football helmet will work just as well as a bicycle helmet.

Fact: Only a bicycle helmet is made specifically to protect the head from any fall that may occur while biking.

Myth: I need to buy a bicycle for my child to grow into.

Fact: Oversized bikes are especially dangerous. Your child does not have the skills and coordination needed to handle a bigger bike and may lose control.

Myth: It’s safer for my child to ride facing traffic.

Fact: Your child should always ride on the right, with traffic. Riding against traffic confuses or surprises drivers.

Myth: Bike reflectors and a reflective vest will make it safe for my child to ride at night.

Fact: It’s never safe for your child to ride a bike at night. Night riding requires special skills and special equipment.

Myth: I don’t need to teach my child all of this bicycle safety stuff. I was never injured as a child. Biking is just meant to be fun.

Fact: Riding a bike is fun – if it’s done safely. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize hundreds of thousands of children are seriously injured each year in bicycle falls.

 

Skateboard Safety

The use of skateboards by children has increased significantly in recent years. Not only do these young skateboarders have a high center of gravity, but they do poorly at breaking their falls.

As a result, there has been a rise in the number of skateboard-related injuries, including those to the arms, legs, head, and neck. In one study of five- to nine-year-olds who received medical treatment, only one third of skateboard injuries were classified as minor; the remaining two thirds were labeled moderate or severe.
If your child rides a skateboard, she should wear a helmet and protective padding and wrist guards to minimize the chances of injury. Also, she should never ride the skateboard in or near traffic. Homemade ramps have proven particularly dangerous for youngsters.

Hoverboard Safety Tips

  1. Wear a helmet and when you are just starting out you should wear elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. 2. Calibrate your hoverboard. 3. Stand Correctly: Stand in the middle, not too much toe or heel with the widest stance possible. 4. Step back to disembark. 5. Look ahead: Maintain a straight posture and look straight ahead, not down.

Less Is More: April 2018

April is Autism Awareness Month. Here are some facts about Autism.

What is Autism?

Autism Facts & Stats

Safety is a major concern for most parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD . Here are safety facts:

Wandering/Elopement

Source: Interactive Autism Network Research Report: Elopement and Wandering (2011)
Source: National Autism Association, Lethal Outcomes in ASD Wandering (2012)

Restraint/Seclusion

Source: United States Government Accountability Office, Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Center (2009)

Bullying

Source: Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing (2009)

Sexual Abuse

Less Is More: March 2018

Asthma & Allergen Triggers

March is a good month for parents to revisit their children’s allergy and asthmatic needs. Spring often brings outdoor allergens that can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. Treatment can be more difficult in children because triggers can change throughout childhood. Most triggers can be broken down into two categories: outdoor allergens like pollens and mold spores and indoor allergens like animal dander, house dust mites, cockroaches, mold, tobacco smoke, and strong odors or sprays.

How to avoid outdoor triggers:

How to avoid indoor triggers: 

 

All asthma attacks can’t be avoided, but being aware of your child’s triggers and trying to manage their environment to avoid these triggers are important to dodging attacks. Remember that your child’s airways or breathing tubes are sensitive and the sides of the airways in the lungs can become inflamed, sore, thick and swollen when introduced to allergens. This makes it harder for your child to breathe. The goal of treating asthma is keeping your child’s symptoms under control long term avoiding doctor appointments, the hospital and missed days of school.

In addition to avoidance, allergies can be treated by quick relief medications like antihistamines. Antihistamines (diphenhydramine, loratadine, and cetirizine) treat symptoms associated with allergies to decrease nasal congestion, itchy/watery eyes, and sneezing. Nasal steroids (Flonase and Nasonex) can be used daily during allergy season to prevent allergy symptoms.

There are two ways to treat asthma when it comes to allergens: Quick Relief medication and Long Term Control medications. When your child’s asthma is triggered, a medication that can open the child’s airways is the best response. Quick relief drugs are called Adrenergic Bronchodilators. These medications relax the tightened muscles around the airways and are usually administered by inhalation. Inhalation can be administered through an aerosol inhaler (sometimes with a spacer) or through a nebulizer. Long term control can be achieved through preventative medications to reduce the reaction to asthma triggers. Medications used to prevent asthma attacks include steroids and leukotriene modifiers (LTMs).

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention there were 13.8 million asthma-related missed school days in 2013 and this number is statistically rising each year. For parents, it is important to recognize and avoid your child’s triggers, use long term control medications and follow up with Children’s Medical Group when your child’s management plan is not working. Educate your child on how to manage their asthma when age appropriate. Teaching them to avoid triggers, to tell an adult when they have symptoms, and knowing where their medications are and how to properly administer them is very important. Keep your child’s school up to date with your child’s prognosis and provide them with any medication needed to manage symptoms.

Less Is More: February 2018

For some children, the change in season brings with it a shift in mood. Is it a passing phase, or something more serious? Here’s what you need to know about depression, SAD, and your child.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) — often referred to as “winter depression” — is a subtype of depression that follows a seasonal pattern. The most common form of SAD occurs in winter, although some people do experience symptoms during spring and summer.

People with SAD may crave comfort foods, including simple carbs such as pasta, breads, and sugar. With excess unhealthy calories and a lack of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, fatigue often sets in. They may become depressed and irritable. Eventually, they are no longer able to maintain their regular lifestyle. They may withdraw socially and no longer enjoy things that used to be fun. It’s as if a person’s batteries have just run down. For parents, SAD can obviously have a sharp impact on the ability to be an effective parent.

Children and adolescents can also suffer these symptoms. They may experience feelings of low self-worth and hopelessness. Children with depression struggle to concentrate on their schoolwork. Their grades may drop, worsening feelings of low self-esteem. Symptoms that last more than two weeks are cause for concern.

Researchers have not pinpointed what causes SAD. There is some evidence pointing to a disruption of a person’s “circadian rhythm” — the body’s natural cycle of sleeping and waking. As the days shorten, the decreasing amount of light can throw off the body’s natural clock, triggering depression. Sunlight also plays a role in the brain’s production of melatonin and serotonin. During winter, your body produces more melatonin (which encourages sleep) and less serotonin (which fights depression). Researchers do not know why some people are more susceptible to SAD than others.

Several effective treatments can help child sufferers of SAD. Simply bringing more sunlight into your life can treat mild cases. Spend time outdoors everyday, even on cloudy days. Open window shades in your home. Exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet, one low in simple carbohydrates and high in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.

Parents of children with depression should participate in their child’s treatment and recovery. Learn about the disorder and share what you learn with your child. Make sure your child completes his treatment everyday, no matter what form your doctor prescribes.

Plan low-key quality time together. Your child won’t have the energy for an arcade, but reading a book or playing a family board game can be fun. Encourage your child to get exercise and spend time outdoors. Plan daily walks together. Fix healthy meals for your family, and establish a set bedtime to ensure he gets enough sleep and the same amount of sleep every night.

Your fatigued child will probably need help with his homework. Take time to work through schoolwork together, and communicate your child’s situation to his teachers. Be patient with your child and reassure him that these issues will get better.

Whether noticing symptoms of SAD in yourself or depression in your child, take it seriously. Treating this disorder early and diligently can turn the dark days of winter into a pleasant time of togetherness for your family. Parents can contact our office and talk to one our Care Managers for further assistance.

Source: www.aap.org & www.healthychildren.org

Less Is More: January 2018

Whether winter brings severe storms, light dustings or just cold temperatures, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm.

Winter Sports and Activities

Ice Skating

Sledding

Snow Skiing and Snowboarding

Snowmobiling

Sun Protection

Less Is More: December 2017

Tips for deSTRESSing your Holiday Season:

Tips for Eating Health this Holiday Season:

As parents, we have the unique role of guiding how our children eat. Since parents do the majority of the grocery shopping and cooking for the household, below are some tips for you when making decisions for your child’s diet.

Count calories, not just fat.

Despite the increased emphasis on fat content, the mathematics of weight loss and weight gain remains unchanged: Take in more energy than you expend, and the balance gets stored as body fat, regardless of whether the calories came primarily from fat, protein or carbohydrate.

The same guidelines that help adults cut back on calories will work for their children.

Monitor portion size. As the fat content of many foods has gone down, portion sizes have been growing steadily larger without anyone seeming to notice. Today’s “supersized” order of french-fries would have fed three hungry teens when you were a kid!

Eat slowly, eat less. Youngsters will feel more satiated if they eat at a leisurely pace, take smaller bites and chew their food thoroughly, and swallow one mouthful at a time. Warm foods, too, tend to be more filling than cold items.

Learn to read the nutrition facts labels. Direct your teenager’s attention to serving sizes, the number of servings per package, and the amount of calories per serving.

Add fiber to meals. Vegetables, fruits, grains and other fibrous foods are filling yet low in calories.

Drink ice water instead of soft drinks, which make up 8 percent of the average youngster’s daily caloric intake.

Snack healthfully. All teenagers snack to some degree; it is unrealistic to completely eliminate that aspect of their eating habits. However, keeping a supply of low-calorie snack food in the house will help in this area.

Scale back on fast foods. An adolescent can squander an entire day’s calories on a single fast-food meal.

Allow for occasional indulgences. For a teenager to decide that she’s never going to eat sweets or fatty foods again is unrealistic. Those foods can be permitted every so often, like for special occasions or eating out at a restaurant.