child illnesses and symptoms information
Recent Illnesses Seen

Note: This section will be updated as trends in illnesses are seen.

If we see a significant increase in strep cases or flu during a short time period, then we may put a notice in this section. If we had a serious food poisoning incident that others may be affected by or a significant number of viral cases with the same symptoms we might put a notice in this section, too. It is a warning for parents to be on the look out for certain symptoms or take extra precautions, so that hopefully they can get treatment sooner or avoid their child becoming ill altogether.

Strep

Strep throat is an infection of the pharynx. The pharynx is the part of the throat that connects the mouth and voice box. Strep throat is caused by a group of bacteria known as the streptococcal bacteria. If untreated, a strep throat can lead to serious complications, such as rheumatic fever.

Strep throat accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all sore throats. Anyone can get the disease but it is most common among school age children and certain groups of adults. Adults at higher risk include smokers; people who are unusually tired, and those who live in damp, crowded conditions.

Strep throat occurs most often between November and April. The disease passes directly from person to person and coughing, sneezing, or close contact can transfer it from one person to another. If someone in a household has strep throat there is a one in four chance that another person in the household will get the infection, too.

Strep throat is caused by various types of bacteria called Group A streptococcal bacteria. These bacteria cause other common infections also, such as tonsillitis and scarlet fever.

Symptoms

The first symptoms of strep throat appear one to five days after a person is infected. The symptoms are no different from any other kind of sore throat. They include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, nausea, a feeling of tiredness, and swollen lymph glands. The patient's tonsils will be swollen and have bright red with white or yellow patches on them. A person with strep throat often has bad breath. Strep throat can often spread and cause an infection to the tonsils.

Some people with the disease may have few or no symptoms of strep throat. Many young children may get a headache or stomachache, but show no signs of having a sore throat. Other patients develop a high fever along with a sunburn-like rash on the face and upper body, and their tongues may become right red. This form of the infection is known as scarlet fever. Scarlet fever is no more dangerous than strep throat and both illnesses are treated the same way.

A serious complication of strep throat is rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever occurs most often in children between the ages of five and fifteen. However, rheumatic fever is relatively rare and is seldom a problem if strep throat is treated properly and quickly.

Diagnosis

The first steps in diagnosing strep throat are a patient history and physical examination. The doctor will ask if the patient has been around other people with the infection. He or she will also examine the patient's throat and chest. The doctor will also try to eliminate other potential causes of the symptoms, such as bronchitis or sinus infection.:

Two kinds of tests are available for strep throat. Both involve taking a throat culture, which is done by using a cotton swab to remove a sample of tissue from the sore area in the throat. The sample can then be used for a rapid strep test or a culture.

The rapid test shows whether streptococcal bacteria are present in the throat. The results are available in about twenty minutes. The advantage of the test is the speed with which a diagnosis can be made. There is room for error in the rapid test.

For this reason, the throat culture is often used for a second test. In this test, the sample obtained from the throat is allowed to grow in a warm, moist place for a period of twenty-four to forty-eight hours. During this period, the bacteria reproduce and grow. They reach a size where they can be studied under a microscope to see what types of bacteria are present. This test produces a much higher rate of accuracy in determining whether a patient has strep throat.

Treatment

Strep throat is treated with antibiotics. Penicillin is the most common antibiotic used. The penicillin is usually given orally. The usual treatment lasts for ten days. Patients are advised to be sure that they take all of the medication given. If they stop too soon, the infection may return. Penicillin is sometimes be given by injection. A long-lasting form of the drug (Bicillin) may have the same effect as a 10-day treatment with pills.

About 10 percent of the time, penicillin is not effective against the strep bacteria. In that case, another antibiotic is prescribed. People who are allergic to penicillin may also require an alternative. Other antibiotics used in such cases include amoxicillin, clindamycin, erythromycin, or cephalosporin.

Though strep throat usually gets better on its own after four or five days, antibiotics are usually prescribed anyway, to prevent complications such as rheumatic fever from developing.

Home Care for Strep Throat

Some simple home care treatments can be used to make a patient with strep throat more comfortable. These treatments are used in addition to, not in place of, antibiotics. These home treatments include:

  • Pain killers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Aspirin should not be given to children because of the risk of Reye's syndrome(see Reye's syndrome entry).
  • Gargling with double strength tea or warm salt water
  • Drinking plenty of fluids, excepting for acidic fluids such as orange or grapefruit juice
  • Eating soft, nutritious foods, such as noodle soup
  • Avoiding smoking and second hand smoke
  • Resting until the fever is gone and then resuming normal activities gradually
  • Using a room humidifier.

Most throat lozenges and sprays available in drug stores should be avoided. They are likely to make a strep throat worse.

After Treatment

Patients with strep throat usually begin feeling better about twenty-four hours after first taking antibiotics. Symptoms rarely last longer than five days.

People remain contagious until they have been taking antibiotics for twenty-four hours. Children should not return to school until they are no longer contagious. Food handlers should not work during the same time period. People who are not treated with antibiotics may continue to spread strep bacteria for several months.

Prevention

The risk of passing strep throat from one person to another can be reduced by some simple actions, such as:

  • Washing hands frequently and well, especially after nose blowing or sneezing and before handling foods
  • Disposing of used tissues properly
  • Avoiding close contact with someone who has strep throat
  • Not sharing food and eating utensils with other people
  • Not smoking


For additional Information please click on the links below:

Poison Ivy

Both indoor and outdoor plants can be poisonous. You should know the plants inside your home and outside. Poisonous plants inside your home should be removed. Teach your children that they should NEVER eat berries, mushrooms, flowers, or leaves that they find outside. They should never put there hands in there mouth, eat, or rub their eyes after touching plants until they have thoroughly washed their hands.

Though deceptively attractive, some common flowers and plants can give you headaches, cause convulsions or simply kill you, according to the "Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants" (Springer, 2007). Children under 6 are especially vulnerable; they account for 85 percent of all calls to poison centers, though the most commonly consumed culprits in poison cases are cosmetics, personal care products, cleansers and pills. Most plants are safe, but here are some you need to know about. They might be in your own yard or even in the house.

Poison ivy is the plant that can cause an itchy rash. Did you know that poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac all contain the same rash-causing substance that is in Poison Ivy?

It's called urushiol, a colorless, odorless oil (called resin) contained in the leaves of the plants.

Look Out for Poison Plants
These plants can be anywhere - from the woods to your own backyard. The green leaves of poison plants blend right in with other plants and brush, so it's possible to sit down in a patch of poison ivy and not even notice. You might notice later, of course, when you start to itch!

Note: It's not enough just to know what one kind of poison ivy looks like. Poison ivy comes in several types - and may look different depending on the time of year.

The leaves of these poison plants release urushiol when they're "injured," meaning if they get bumped, torn, or brushed up against. Once the urushiol has been released, it can easily get on a person's skin, where it often causes trouble. When the oil is released, the leaves may appear shiny or you may see black spots of resin on them.

It's also possible to get this kind of rash without ever stepping into the woods or directly touching one of the plants. Here's how: Urushiol can be transferred from one person to another. Plus, a person can pick it up from anything that's come in contact with the oil, including your dog that likes to roam the woods! Urushiol even can travel through the air if someone burns some of the plants to clear brush.

Symptoms

Urushiol is considered an allergen because it causes an allergic reaction - the rash and sometimes swelling. Not everyone will get a reaction, but about 60% to 80% of people will.

This reaction can appear within hours of touching the plant or as late as 5 days later. Typically, the skin becomes red and swollen and blisters will appear. It's itchy, too. After a few days, the blisters may become crusty and start to flake off. It takes 1 to 2 weeks to heal.

Call Your Doctor
It's a good idea to consult with your doctor if you have any kind of rash, especially if you have a fever, too. The doctor might want you to come in for an office visit.

If your rash was caused by poison ivy or a similar plant, the doctor may prescribe cool showers and calamine lotion. In more severe cases, a liquid or pill medicine called an antihistamine may be needed to decrease itching and redness. A steroid, another kind of medicine, may be prescribed in some cases. This medicine may be applied directly to the rash or taken in a pill or liquid form.

Prevention

The best approach is to avoid getting the rash in the first place. Here are some good steps to take.

  • Learn to identify poison ivy, oak, and sumac, so you can steer clear of them. (Be especially careful, if the leaves look shiny.)
  • Avoid areas where you know these plants live.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants when you're in areas that could contain poison plants.

If you come into contact with urushiol oil, try to wash it off your skin right away. But don't take a bath! If you do, the oil can get in the bath water and spread to other areas of your body. Take a shower instead, and be sure to use soap. And if your dog has been out exploring the woods, you might want to give it a shower, too!

For additional Information please click on the links below:

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn't make enough insulin or can't use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugar to build up in your blood.

Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Symptoms

People who think they might have diabetes must visit a physician for diagnosis. They might have SOME or NONE of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Sudden vision changes
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired much of the time
  • Very dry skin
  • Sores that are slow to heal
  • More infections than usual.

Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pains may accompany some of these symptoms in the abrupt onset of insulin-dependent diabetes, now called type 1 diabetes.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, which was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or juvenile-onset diabetes, may account for 5% to 10% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes, which was previously called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or adult-onset diabetes, may account for about 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. If not treated, it can cause problems for mothers and babies. Gestational diabetes develops in 2% to 5% of all pregnancies, but usually disappears when a pregnancy is over.

Other types of diabetes resulting from specific genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and other illnesses may account for 1% to 2% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include: older age, obesity, family history of diabetes prior history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, physical inactivity, and race/ethnicity. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk for type 2 diabetes.

Risk factors are less well defined for type 1 diabetes than for type 2 diabetes, but auto-immune, genetic, and environmental factors are involved in developing this type of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes occurs more frequently in African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, and people with a family history of diabetes than in other groups. Obesity is also associated with higher risk. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at increased risk for later developing type 2 diabetes. In some studies, nearly 40% of women with a history of gestational diabetes developed diabetes in the future.

Other types of diabetes, which may account for 1% to 2% of all diagnosed cases, result from specific genetic syndromes, surgery, drugs, malnutrition, infections, and other illnesses.

Treatment

Healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin injections are the basic therapies for type 1 diabetes. The amount of insulin taken must be balanced with food intake and daily activities. Blood glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood glucose testing.

Healthy eating, physical activity, and blood glucose testing are the basic therapies for type 2 diabetes. In addition, many people with type 2 diabetes require oral medication, insulin, or both to control their blood glucose levels.

People with diabetes must take responsibility for their day-to-day care, and keep blood glucose levels from going too low or too high.

People with diabetes should see a health care provider who will monitor their diabetes control and help them learn to manage their diabetes. In addition, people with diabetes may see endocrinologists, who may specialize in diabetes care; ophthalmologists for eye examinations; podiatrists for routine foot care; and dietitians and diabetes educators who teach the skills needed for daily diabetes management.

The Diabetes Overview fact sheet from the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse has additional information

Causes of Type 1 Diabetes

The causes of type 1 diabetes appear to be much different than those for type 2 diabetes, though the exact mechanisms for developing both diseases are unknown. The appearance of type 1 diabetes is suspected to follow exposure to an "environmental trigger," such as an unidentified virus, stimulating an immune attack against the beta cells of the pancreas in some genetically predisposed people.

For more information about the immune system, visit these pages from The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Web site:


For more information on Genetics and Disease, visit:

Prevention

A number of studies have shown that regular physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes also appears to be associated with obesity.

Researchers are making progress in identifying the exact genetics and "triggers" that predispose some individuals to develop type 1 diabetes, but prevention remains elusive.

Future Cure/Research

In response to the growing health burden of diabetes, the diabetes community has three choices: prevent diabetes; cure diabetes; and improve the quality of care of people with diabetes to prevent devastating complications. All three approaches are actively being pursued by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are involved in prevention activities. The NIH is involved in research to cure both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, especially type 1. CDC focuses most of its programs on being sure that the proven science is put into daily practice for people with diabetes. The basic idea is that if all the important research and science are not applied meaningfully in the daily lives of people with diabetes, then the research is, in essence, wasted.

Several approaches to "cure" diabetes are being pursued:

  • Pancreas transplantation
  • Islet cell transplantation (islet cells produce insulin)
  • Artificial pancreas development
  • Genetic manipulation (fat or muscle cells that don't normally make insulin have a human insulin gene inserted - then these "pseudo" islet cells are transplanted into people with type 1 diabetes).


Each of these approaches still has a lot of challenges, such as preventing immune rejection; finding an adequate number of insulin cells; keeping cells alive; and others. But progress is being made in all areas.

For additional Information please click on the links below:

Influenza (FLU)

Symptoms

Initially, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. Colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. Colds can be a nuisance, but you usually feel much worse with the flu.

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever over 101 F in adults, and often as high as 103 to 105 F in children
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry cough
  • Muscular aches and pains, especially in your back, arms and legs
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea and vomiting in children

Risk factors

Infants, young children, and people over 50 are considered at high risk for complications of influenza.

You're also at increased risk of influenza or its complications if you:

  • Are a resident of a nursing home or other long term care facility
  • Have a chronic disorder such as diabetes or heart, kidney or lung disease
  • Have a weakened immune system such as from medications or HIV infection
  • Will be pregnant during flu season
  • Work in a health care facility where you're more likely to be exposed to the flu virus
  • Children on long-term aspirin therapy also may be at greater risk.


The flu vaccine is safe for children 6 months and older. If your child isn't at risk of the flu, but lives with someone who is, you still may want to have your child vaccinated. That way, your child is less likely to infect others. The more people immunized, the less likely it is that the flu will spread through a community.

Prevention

These steps can help you stay healthy, even at the height of flu season:

  • Get an annual flu vaccination. The best time to be vaccinated is October or November. This allows your body time to develop antibodies to the flu virus before peak flu season, which in the Northern Hemisphere is usually December through March. Keep in mind that the flu vaccine doesn't offer complete protection, especially for older adults, but it can reduce the risk and severity of illness. In any given year, the flu shot may be 70 percent to 90 percent effective in young, otherwise healthy people, but is far less effective in older adults. Health experts still recommend vaccinations for people over 50, because the flu shot may reduce the risk of flu-related complications, hospitalizations and deaths.

    Healthy people ages 2 to 49 alternatively may receive the flu vaccine via a nasal spray called FluMist. It protects against the same strains of influenza that the flu shot does. Like the flu shot, FluMist is given every year. Because FluMist contains live, but weakened, flu viruses, it shouldn't be used by pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems and those with chronic illnesses. A study in 2006 found that giving nasal spray vaccine to school-age children helped to reduce the spread of flu in the community. And in 2007, researchers compared the effectiveness of FluMist with the flu shot in children ages 6 months to 5 years. The children treated with FluMist experienced about half as many cases of flu as did those treated with the shot. In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved FluMist for children older than 2 years who don't have asthma or recurrent wheezing. Consult with your doctor about which form of vaccination may be best for you or your child.

    You can get the flu vaccine from your doctor, at public health centers, and many pharmacies. In some areas, flu vaccines are also available at senior or community centers and at supermarkets.

  • Wash your hands. Thorough and frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent many common infections. Scrub your hands vigorously for at least 15 seconds, rinse well and turn off the faucet with a paper towel. Or use an alcohol-based hand gel containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

  • Eat right, sleep tight. A poor diet and poor sleep both lower your immunity and make you more vulnerable to infections. A balanced diet that emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and small amounts of lean protein works best for most people. On the other hand, the amount of sleep needed for a healthy immune system varies from person to person. In general, adults seem to do best on seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Older children and teens need more rest - between nine and 10 hours every night.

  • Exercise regularly. Regular cardiovascular exercise - walking, biking, aerobics - boosts your immune system. Exercise won't prevent every infection, but if you do come down with the flu, you may have less-severe symptoms and recover more quickly than do people who aren't as fit.

  • Limit air travel. Researchers say that the pronounced drop in air travel that occurred in the fall of 2001 slowed the spread of the flu and delayed the start of flu season by several weeks. Ordinarily, new flu strains spread rapidly in November, during the height of the holiday travel season, so you may be able to reduce your risk by limiting air travel during the late fall.

  • Avoid crowds during flu season. Flu spreads easily wherever people congregate - in child care centers, schools, office buildings, auditoriums, even cruise ships. By avoiding crowds whenever possible during peak flu season, you reduce your chances of infection.

Cold or Flu?

People often are confused about the difference between a cold and the flu. For someone who gets a cold, there's no benefit to going to the doctor. A cold is a viral infection that's limited to the head and neck and may include a cough. The most common symptoms are nasal congestion, scratchy throat and some pressure near the ears and in the face. With a cold, the symptoms typically pass within about 7 days, although a mild cough and some congestion might persist for a longer time.

The flu is a total-body illness that is, also, caused by a virus. It makes a person feel completely wiped out and sick all over - in every muscle and in the head. A fever is also common with the flu. A flu infection usually puts a person in bed - rendering them too sick to function - within a day or two. Most cases of the flu last for 10 to 14 days, though it's common to have a cough that lingers longer.

  • Treating a cold or the flu at home. Both a cold and the flu are viruses that run their course and don't require antibiotic treatment. As a cold runs its course, it's important to drink plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration and keep the mucus from getting too thick. It's also important to get rest, so that the body can reserve its energy to fight the infection. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as acetaminophen can help remedy any pain, and antihistamines and decongestants can help with the other symptoms.

DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN if you have the flu since a rare but serious complication called Reye's syndrome may occur.

For those who are elderly, pregnant or have a compromised immune system, the flu can develop into a more serious illness - so it's important to see a doctor!

  • Sinus pressure does not necessarily equal sinus infection. It's common to experience some pressure and pain near the ears and in the face with both a cold and the flu. This is due to viral congestion. It's very common for people to mistake the pressure and pain for sinus infections and to come running to the doctor for an antibiotic.
  • Complications that can develop from colds and the flu. Colds can cause some complications that may warrant a trip to the doctor. If after 5 to 7 days your cold symptoms appear to be worsening instead of clearing up, a secondary infection may have developed.

These infections tend to develop because congestion in the head causes blockages, and bacteria in the blocked area start growing. In kids, it's common for these blockages to lead to bacterial ear infections signaled by pain near the ear. Adults tend to develop true bacterial sinus infections with pain near the nose. And those who are smokers or who have asthma can also develop bacterial bronchitis. They may start to cough up green or yellow mucus. These infections can clear up on their own, but it may be a good idea to see a doctor.

The flu can also lead to secondary infections, especially in the elderly, very young children and others who are vulnerable or have compromised immune systems. If the symptoms seem to be getting worse - and not better - during the second week of the illness, it's a good idea to call the doctor.

You've got the flu. Now what? Lots of rest and plenty of fluids are generally all you need to treat it. Occasionally, you might need to take your treatment up a notch with an antiviral medication.

Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services if:

  • A baby younger than 3 months has a high fever.
  • You are having trouble breathing or feel very short of breath.
  • You have a severe headache or stiff neck and are confused or having trouble staying awake.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have an extremely high fever.
  • Your fever lasts for longer than 3 days.
  • You are finding it harder and harder to breathe.
  • Wheezing develops.
  • New pain develops or pain localizes to one area, such as an ear, the throat, the chest, or the sinuses.
  • Symptoms persist in spite of home treatment.
  • Symptoms become more severe or frequent.

Watchful Waiting

In most healthy people, the flu will go away in 5 to 7 days, although fatigue can last much longer. Although you may feel very sick, home treatment is usually all that is needed. If it is flu season, you may just want to treat your symptoms at home. Early treatment (within 48 hours of your first symptoms) with antiviral medications may reduce the severity of influenza. However, it is not certain whether antiviral medications can prevent serious flu-related complications. Also, not all antiviral medicines work against all strains of the flu. Talk to your doctor if you think you may need an antiviral medicine.

Treatment

Unlike some other infections, the flu doesn't usually require medical treatment. In most healthy people, influenza (flu) will go away in 5 to 7 days. The worst flu symptoms usually last 3 to 4 days.

Home treatment to ease symptoms and prevent complications is usually all that is needed. Watch closely for symptoms of a bacterial infection, such as nasal drainage that changes from clear to color after 5 to 7 days and symptoms that return or get worse.

Babies, older adults, and people who have chronic health problems are more likely to have complications from the flu, and they may need to see a doctor for care beyond home treatment. Your child's doctor may prescribe an antiviral medicine (if symptoms are reported within 48 hours of the onset of illness), but these medicines usually only shorten the course of the infection by just 1 or 2 days.

People at high risk of complications are encouraged to contact a doctor within 48 hours of their first symptoms to find out whether they need antiviral medication to shorten the illness. They, also, should call a doctor to receive medication if they have been exposed to the flu.

So how can you help your child feel better in the meantime?

  • Offer your child plenty of fluids (fever, which can be associated with the flu, can lead to dehydration). If your child is tired of drinking plain water, try ice pops, icy drinks mixed in a blender, and soft fruits (like melons or grapes) to keep him or her hydrated.

  • Encourage your child to rest in bed, with a supply of magazines, books, quiet music, and perhaps a favorite movie.

  • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for your child's aches and pains (DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN unless your child's doctor directs you to do so).

  • Dress your child in layers. When your child feels warm, you can peel a layer or two, and when he or she feels chilly, layers can be easily added.

  • Have your child call a close relative or far-away friend to help lift your child's spirits.

  • Help your child by taking care of yourself and the other people in your family! If you haven't done so, ask your doctor whether you (and other family members) should get a flu shot. Also, wash your hands thoroughly and often, especially after picking up used tissues.

If your child's doctor recommends a prescription medicine to ease your child's symptoms, be sure to call before you go to your local pharmacy. The flu can strongly affect many areas of the United States, many pharmacies may have difficulty keeping certain medicines in stock.

Getting a Flu Shot

Vaccine (FLU Shot) - A flu vaccine is your best chance to avoid the flu. It's best to get a flu shot each October or November, before flu season starts. This can be done at your doctor's office or a health clinic. Drugstores, senior centers, and workplaces often offer flu shots, too.

    Yearly immunization with the inactivated influenza vaccine (flu shot) or the nasal spray flu vaccine (FluMist) prevents flu infection and its complications in most people.

All people in high-risk groups and those who could transmit the virus to them, because of regular contact are strongly encouraged to get the flu shot.

Almost every community has a program that offers flu shots at low cost during the months of October and November. You, also, can get a flu shot during a routine visit to a doctor during the same months. Many health clinics have set hours during October and November for people to get flu shots without needing to make an appointment.

Although antiviral medicines sometimes prevent the flu, they do not work in the same way as a yearly immunization and should not replace a flu shot or dose of FluMist.

The flu (influenza) is caused by a virus that's easy to spread. And it can be more dangerous than you think.

Flu Facts

  • The flu shot will not give you the flu.
  • The flu is caused by a virus. It can't be treated with antibiotics.
  • The flu can be life-threatening, especially for people in high-risk groups. About 36,000 people die of complications from the flu each year.
  • Influenza is not the same as a "stomach flu" the 24-hour bug that causes vomiting and diarrhea. This is most likely due to a GI (gastrointestinal) infection-not the flu.

How Does a Flu Shot Protect You?

There are many strains (types) of flu viruses. Medical experts predict which 3 strains are most likely to make people sick each year. Flu shots are made from these strains. When you get a flu shot, inactivated ("killed") flu viruses are injected into your body. These cannot give you the flu. But they do prompt your body to make antibodies to fight these flu strains. If you're exposed to the same strains later in the flu season, the antibodies will fight off the germs.

If Flu Shots Are Limited

Almost anyone can (and should) get a flu shot. But if supplies are limited, these high-risk groups have priority:

  • People over 65
  • Babies 6 months to 59 months
  • Children on long-term aspirin therapy
  • People with chronic health problems (such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, asthma, or heart failure)
  • People receiving certain medical treatments
  • People who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • Women who will be pregnant during flu season (winter)
  • Caregivers and household contacts of babies younger than 6 months
  • Healthcare workers
  • People over 50 (if enough is available)
  • People who have contact with high-risk groups (if enough is available)

Who Can't Get a Flu Shot?

  • Babies younger than 6 months
  • People severely allergic to eggs
  • People who have had bad reactions to flu vaccination (including Guillain-Barré syndrome)
  • A person who has a high fever (the shot can be given after the fever goes away).

Another Type of Flu Vaccine

Some years there aren't enough flu shots to go around. If this happens and you're not in a high- risk group, you may be able to get a nasal vaccine instead. This new type of flu vaccine is a fine mist that's sprayed into your nose.

FluMist is approved for use by healthy people who are 2 to 49 years old. You should not use FluMist if you:

  • Have heart disease.
  • Have lung disease, including asthma.
  • Have diabetes or kidney disease.
  • Have a disease or take a medicine that causes problems with your immune system.
  • Have had Guillain-Barré syndrome.
  • Are pregnant.
  • Have ever had an allergic reaction to FluMist or to eggs.
  • Are younger than age 20 and you take aspirin or products with aspirin in them.

Vaccinating Children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine for children who are at increased risk of complications from influenza, including:

  • Children between the ages of 6 months and 59 months
  • Children who have a chronic medical condition, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS or kidney disease

The CDC also recommends the flu vaccine for all caregivers and close household contacts - including siblings - of children in these high-risk groups. This reduces a child's potential exposure to the influenza virus.

The flu vaccine is available in two forms:

  • The flu shot, which is approved for use in children 6 months and older
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine (FluMist), which is approved for use in children 2 years and older

Some research suggests that the nasal spray vaccine may be more effective than the flu shot in preventing influenza in children. Consult with your doctor about which form of vaccination may be best for your children.

Children younger than 9 years require two doses of the flu vaccine one month apart if it's the first time they've been vaccinated for influenza. This is important, because only one dose does not provide adequate protection. The best time to get a flu shot is before the start of flu season.

When to Get Vaccinated

The flu vaccine is usually offered between September and mid-November. Even though it's ideal to get vaccinated early, the flu shot can still be helpful later. So, it's important to contact your doctor or local public health department for information on the availability of the vaccine.

Although the flu season is from November to April, with most cases occurring between late December and early March, the flu vaccine is usually offered between September and mid-November. Getting the shot before the flu season is in full-force gives the body a chance to build up immunity to, or protection from, the virus.

Even though it's ideal to get vaccinated early, the flu shot can still be helpful later. Even as late as January, there are still 2 or 3 months left in the flu season, so it's still a good idea to get protection.

Who Is Considered High Risk?

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the CDC currently recommend that these high-risk groups be given the flu shot:

  • children 6 to 23 months old
  • anyone 65 and older
  • women who will be pregnant during the flu season
  • anyone who lives or works with infants under 6 months old
  • residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes any adult or child with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma
  • health-care personnel who have direct contact with patients
  • children - from 6 months to 18 years - on long-term aspirin therapy
  • out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of anyone in any of the high-risk groups

These high-risk children and adults should ideally visit their doctors in October, so they're adequately protected before flu season hits. For children under 9 who are getting a flu shot for the first time, it's given in two separate shots 1 month apart. It can take 1 to 2 weeks for the flu shot to become effective, so it's best to try to get the flu shot as soon as possible if your child's or family's doctor thinks it's necessary.

Those who should not get a flu shot include:

  • infants under 6 months old
  • Anyone who's severely allergic to eggs and egg products (The ingredients for flu shots are actually grown inside eggs. If your child is allergic to eggs or egg products, let your child's doctor know before he or she gets a flu shot.)
  • anyone who's ever had a severe reaction to a flu vaccination
  • anyone who has Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), a rare medical condition that affects the immune system and nerves
  • anyone who's sick with a fever

Another non-shot option called the nasal mist vaccine came on the market in 2003 and is now approved for use in 5- to 49-year-olds. But this nasal mist isn't for everyone, and can't be used on high-risk children and adults. Check with your child's doctor to see if your child can - or should - get this type of flu vaccine.

Are There Side Effects?

Most people do not experience any side effects from the flu shot. According to the CDC, less than one third of people vaccinated have soreness or swelling at the site of the shot or mild side effects, such as headache or low-grade fever.

Where Can My Family Get Flu Shots?

Flu shots are available at:

  • many health care settings, including doctors' offices and public, employee, and university health clinics
  • pharmacies
  • supermarkets
  • community groups

If you have an HMO or POS health insurance plan, be sure to check with your primary care doctors before having your child vaccinated against the flu anywhere outside your doctor's office, since most HMOs or POSs will pay for the shot only if it's given through their plan. Flu shots are covered by Medicaid for children and are generally covered by most insurances for people and children in other high-risk groups. For others, flu shots may cost anywhere from $10 to $50. If you've opted to get the nasal mist flu vaccine for your child, you'll also need to check that your insurance plan covers it.

For additional Information please click on the links below:

Colds

Colds are the most common illness among children of all ages. Although this respiratory virus lasts only for a week or so, colds can make most children feel under the weather.

A cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. More than 200 different viruses can cause a cold, but the rhinovirus is the most common culprit. Because colds are viral infections, antibiotics, which treat bacterial infections, are not useful for treatment.

Colds are not dangerous in healthy children, but they can be in newborns. Colds usually go away in four to 10 days without any special treatment. It is impossible for children to build up a resistance against all cold viruses, because of the great number of viruses that can cause colds and new cold viruses that continue to develop.

Statistics show that preschool-aged children have around nine colds per year, kindergartners can have 12 colds per year, and adolescents and adults have about seven colds per year. Cold season runs from September until March or April, so children usually catch most cold viruses during these months.

Sometimes fatigue, stress, or the type of cold virus may promote a bacterial infection somewhere in a child's body, such as the lungs, throat, ears, or sinuses. The bacterial infection weakens the body's immune system and requires treatment with an antibiotic.

Symptoms

With children, most colds begin abruptly. Your child may wake up with symptoms of watery nasal mucus, sneezing, fatigue, and sometimes fever. Because of the postnasal drip, your child may have a sore throat and cough, symptoms that are common in children's colds. The cold virus can affect your child's sinuses, throat, bronchial tubes, and ears. With a cold, children may also have diarrhea and vomiting.

During the early stages of a cold, your child may be very irritable and complain of a headache and congestion. As the cold progresses, the mucus secretions from the sinuses may turn darker and thicker. (Dark mucus with a cold virus does not necessarily mean that you have developed a bacterial infection, so don't beg your doctor for an antibiotic.)

Your child may, also, develop a mild cough, which could last for several days. A mild cough is a common cold symptom. The cough won't get much worse, but this common cold symptom is likely to last into the second week of your cold. If you suffer with asthma or other lung problem, a cold may make it worse. If you are coughing up dark mucus -- or if you are feeling a lot of distress low down in your lungs -- you may have a bacterial infection. It's a good idea to touch base with your doctor to find out if you need to be seen.

Usually, there is no fever with common cold symptoms. In fact, fever and more severe symptoms may indicate that you have the flu and not a cold.

Common cold symptoms usually start between one and three days after you are infected by a cold virus. Typically, they last for about three to seven days. At that point, the worst is over, but you may feel congested for a week or more. During the first three days that you have common cold symptoms, you are contagious. This means you can pass the cold virus to those you come in contact with.

Is It Allergies?

Sometimes you might mistake symptoms of the common cold for allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. If your cold symptoms begin quickly and are over within one to two weeks, chances are it's a cold -- not allergy. If the symptoms last longer than two weeks, check with your doctor to see if you've developed an allergy.

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. For some reason, your body overreacts to substances such as mold or pollen. It then releases chemicals such as histamine. This can cause swelling in your nasal passages, a runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Allergies are not contagious, although some people may inherit a tendency to develop them.

Common Cold Complications

When normal cold symptoms turn into sinusitis, bronchitis, sore throat, or ear infections, you may need medical treatment.

Sinus Infection

When your nasal congestion and postnasal drip continue long after your cold should be over, you may have a sinus infection (sinusitis). You will need to see your pediatrician to treat a sinus infection.

Bronchitis (Chest Cold)

Can't stop coughing? Tight chest? You might have a chest cold or bronchitis. You will need to see your pediatrician to treat a bronchitis.

Strep Throat or Tonsillitis

Scratchy, irritated throat? Swollen tonsils? If a sore throat continues after other symptoms have resolved themselves, then you need to see your pediatrician to determine if you have strep throat or tonsillitis.

Ear Infection

If you've ever had an ear infection, you know how painful it can be. You will need to see your pediatrician get treatment for your child's ear infection.

Other Complications

Asthma can be a problem for children with colds. Other complications, such as viral pneumonia and Reye's syndrome, can occur, although these are not as common.

Children with asthma have a difficult time with a cold. That's because with a cold the airways are inflamed and can easily become constricted. If your child has asthma, be sure to talk to your child's doctor when cold symptoms begin. That way you can make sure asthma treatment is effective.

Viral pneumonia is an infection and inflammation of the lungs and is one of the most serious complications of the flu and, occasionally, the common cold. Symptoms of viral pneumonia include a low-grade fever (less than 102 degrees), coughing up mucus, achiness, and tiredness.

Reye's syndrome is a rare but serious disease that can occur in children. While the causes of Reye's syndrome are unknown, it seems to occur when aspirin is administered to treat viral illnesses. Swelling of the brain and changes in blood chemicals because of liver damage can affect the entire body. Symptoms of Reye's syndrome include drowsiness, confusion, seizures, coma, and in severe cases, death.

Treatment

Colds are self-limiting. They usually go away on their own without special medical treatment. Home treatments include the following:

  • Making sure your child gets plenty of rest.
  • Giving your child plenty of liquids.
  • Using a humidifier in your child's bedroom at night. The humid environment will help to keep your child's nose and chest clear, making it easier to breathe.
  • Using acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lower fever and reduce aches. Both are available in children's formulations.

Do not give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever. Aspirin may increase the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare disorder that occurs almost exclusively in children under the age of 15. It can cause severe liver and brain damage.

Talk with your doctor before giving any child under age 6 an over-the-counter cold or flu medicine. In very young children with congestion, you can use a nasal bulb to gently remove mucus. You may also spray three drops of saline nasal spray into each nostril.

Remember! Antibiotics do not work in treating a cold. Antibiotics kill bacterial infections, but colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria.

Children and Cold Medicines

The FDA advisory panel has recommended that no cold or cough medicines be used in children under 2.

The cold medicines in question include:

  • Cough suppressants (dextromethorphan or DM)
  • Cough expectorants (guaifenesin)
  • Decongestants (pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine)
  • Antihistamines (such as brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine maleate, diphenhydramine [Benadryl] and others)

Drug manufacturers have now agreed to stop marketing kids' cold medicines to parents with children under age 2. While cold medicines may still be on drugstore shelves, the FDA recommends not using them in children under age 2. Other experts say that parents should not use cold medicine in children under age 6 unless a doctor recommends it.

Contact Your Pediatrician

You should call the doctor if your child is not getting better after a few days of symptoms. You should call the doctor if your child experiences a high fever, vomiting, chills and shakes, a hacking cough, or extreme fatigue. These may be signs of something worse than the common cold -- it could be influenza or something more severe. In addition, if your child has asthma, diabetes, or other chronic health condition, call your doctor to touch base about medications, cold symptoms, and managing your child's medical condition.

Prevention

The best way to prevent children from catching colds is to teach them proper hand washing. The common cold is spread mostly by hand-to-hand contact. For example, a child with a cold blows or touches his or her nose and then touches your child, who then becomes infected with the cold virus.

The common cold is also spread by infected objects that are good cold carriers, including door handles, stair railings, books, pens, video game remotes, and a computer keyboard and mouse. The common cold virus can live on objects for several hours, allowing time for your child to touch the object and then rub his or her eyes or nose.

Studies show that proper hand washing does prevent the risk of catching a cold. Teach your child to wash his or her hands after every bathroom trip, before every meal, and after playing at school or at home. The CDC recommends singing "Happy Birthday to You" twice, as that's the length of time it takes (20 seconds) to slough germs off hands while washing hands with warm soapy water.

If your child has a cold, it's still important to protect others from catching the cold. If your child shows cold symptoms, it is wise to keep your child home from school and avoid contact with other children to keep the cold from spreading. You should also encourage your child to cover his or her mouth when sneezing and to use a tissue for nose blowing. If a tissue is unavailable, teach your child to cough in his or her sleeve. Stress to children the importance of hand washing after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing to prevent spreading the virus.

For additional Information please click on the links below:

Croup

"Croup" is the term used to describe the harsh cough that accompanies a respiratory illness. Croup is a respiratory infection that affects children under age 5, mainly during fall and winter months. Symptoms are most severe in children under age 3. Croup may last from five to six days, depending on the severity of the infection, and may have other complications such as ear infection or pneumonia.

Croup is most commonly caused by viruses such as influenza, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus [RSV], measles, and adenovirus. Rarely croup can be caused by bacteria. This infection causes the upper airways to swell, making it difficult to breathe.

Symptoms

The symptoms of croup include the following:

  • A harsh or seal-like "barking" cough that often becomes worse at night
  • Stridor, a harsh, raspy vibrating sound when breathing in
  • Difficulty breathing
  • High fever, up to 104 degrees
  • Restlessness or nervousness at night or when it becomes harder to breathe

Although there are recognizable signs of croup, any illness that complicates your child's breathing should be evaluated by your child's doctor.

Treatment

While there is no cure for croup, some steps you can take to improve your child's breathing include increasing the moisture or humidity of the air he is breathing. This can be done by taking your child into the bathroom, closing all of the doors and windows and turning on all of the hot water. This will fill the room with steam and warm moisture and may help loosen the mucus and soothe the inflammation in his throat. Be sure to stay with your child and keep him away from direct contact with the hot water. This treatment may take up to 15-20 minutes to become effective. Keep in mind that it will not make the cough go away, it should, however, help him breath better.

Another way to improve your child's breathing is to take him outside, where the air will be cooler and probably more humid than the dry air inside the house. A cool mist humidifier may also help.

Also, the following are suggested:

  • Do not allow anyone to smoke around your child or in your home.
  • Give your child all medicines as instructed by the doctor.
  • Use a cool mist vaporizer if your doctor recommends it. It will help to soothe dry and irritated airways.
  • Allow your child to rest as needed.
  • Call the doctor if your child's symptoms worsen or begin to return.

Cough medicines are usually not helpful in children with croup.

You should seek help from your physician if your child isn't improving with these measures or if he is having a lot of trouble breathing. Some signs that your child is having difficulty breathing, include a fast breathing rate, flaring of his nostrils, retracting (where you can see the muscles moving in and out between his ribs and at the base of his neck), being lethargic or inconsolable, making the harsh, stridor noise when he is breathing in, or if he is turning blue. You should seek emergency care for any of these signs.

When severe cases of croup require hospitalization, care may include breathing treatments with aerosols; a cool mist tent; rest; and medications given by mouth, intravenously (IV), or by injection.

Prevention

Croup can be spread by physical contact or through the air.

To help prevent its spread, do the following:

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly after caring for your child.
  • Try washing toys between each use.
  • Encourage your child to cover his or her mouth and nose during coughs and sneezes.
  • Keep your child home from school or day care when he or she is ill or if outbreaks occur.
  • Throw away used tissues.
  • Do not share food, cups, glasses, or eating utensils.

For additional Information please click on the links below:

Ear Infections

Most children have had an ear infection by the age of 3 years. The most common childhood ear infections affect the middle ear. Viruses or bacteria get inside the middle ear and cause an infection or inflammation (swelling). Doctors diagnose ear infections by looking at the ear drum (tympanic membrane).

Symptoms

A middle ear infection often occurs after another illness such as a cold. Along with the usual symptoms of a cold, including fever, sore throat, lack of energy and loss of appetite, children with ear infections often:

  • have earaches
  • are irritable (fussy)
  • have trouble sleeping
  • tug or pull at their ears
  • have a lack of response to quiet sounds

Other symptoms, though less common, are as follows:

  • fluid draining from their ears
  • loss of balance.

Treatment

Middle ear infections in children younger than 2 years of age are usually treated with antibiotics. If a child is older than 2 years and the ear infection isn't causing too much discomfort, the doctor may recommend a painkiller, such as acetaminophen, and may re-examine the child 2 or 3 days later to see whether he or she needs antibiotics.

Most ear infections are not serious and heal well. When antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial ear infections, your doctor will choose one this is specific for the type of bacteria causing the infection.

Most children feel better within the first 2 or 3 days after starting an antibiotic. But to cure the infection, they must take all the medication prescribed. Your child may need to return for another examination so that the doctor can see whether the infection has cleared.

Possible Complications

Sometimes, fluid may stay in the middle ear for several weeks after the infection has cleared. This may cause temporary hearing loss. Usually, the fluid drains on its own and hearing improves without additional medical treatment. In the meantime, your child could develop another ear infection and have to seek further treatment.

If fluid remains in the ear for more than several months and causes hearing loss, speech and language delay could occur in children younger than 3 years of age. Sometimes it may be necessary to insert a tube through the ear drum and into the middle ear to drain the fluid. This operation is usually done by an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon. This operation is short in duration and children usually don't have to stay in the hospital overnight.

Call Your Pediatrician

If your child is taking antibiotics for an ear infection, call your doctor if your child:

  • still has an earache, even after two to three days of treatment
  • has a fever over 39°C (102°F), or a fever that lasts more than three days
  • is very sleepy
  • is still fussy or cranky
  • is breathing quickly or has trouble breathing
  • isn't hearing well.

Prevention

Although most ear infections are caused by colds, other factors can make them more frequent. These factors include the following:

  • exposure to cigarette smoke
  • using a pacifier (soother) too frequently
  • bottle feeding while lying down
  • allergies

Ask your doctor how to reduce the chance of ear infections in your child, such as through vaccination against pneumococcus, one of the most common bacteria that can cause ear infections.

For additional Information please click on the links below:

Rotavirus

What is rotavirus?

Rotavirus is an extremely common and highly contagious stomach virus, and it can be serious.

What are the symptoms of rotavirus infection?

A case of rotavirus may include fever, vomiting, upset stomach, and watery diarrhea that can last from 3 to 9 days. In a severe case, a child may experience more than 20 episodes of diarrhea or vomiting in a day. Because babies are so small, these symptoms can quickly lead to a loss of body fluids called dehydration.

Is rotavirus infection serious?

Rotavirus can be serious because of the dehydration it can cause. If your baby has a severe case and becomes dehydrated, it can be life threatening. Your doctor can't predict which babies will have serious cases of rotavirus. Every year in the United States, rotavirus sends approximately 250,000 children under age 5 to the emergency room and up to 70,000 to the hospital.

Is my child at risk of being infected with rotavirus?

Rotavirus is very easy to catch. It can survive on surfaces for a long time. The virus is easily spread through contaminated hands or objects. Babies are at particular risk from rotavirus, with most severe cases occurring between 6 months and 2 years of age. Nearly all children in the United States are infected by the time they're 5 years old.

If rotavirus is so common, why haven't I heard of it?

You may not have heard the term "rotavirus," but you are probably very familiar with the diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and upset stomach it can cause. When a child has these symptoms, the doctor may not test to find out the cause because it usually won't change the treatment.

What can I do about rotavirus?

One of the best things you can do for your baby is to get the information you need early. If your baby gets a rotavirus infection, it is important to try to prevent dehydration. While illness may be mild in many cases, in severe cases a child may need to go to the hospital or emergency room for treatment.

Call your doctor if your child shows signs of rotavirus infection.

For additional Information please click on the links below:

Head Lice

The most common symptom of head lice is itching, especially behind the ears or at the back of the neck. However, an itchy scalp may also be a symptom of other conditions such as eczema, dandruff, or allergic reactions to hair products.

Head lice are often difficult to find. A positive diagnosis of an active case of head lice can only be made if you find live lice. Nits can remain on the hair for months but do not indicate an active infestation.

How to check for head lice?

To check your child for head lice, follow these steps:

  • Seat your child in a brightly lit room, in an area where you can easily examine the head from different angles.
  • Part the hair and look at your child's scalp. Nits will look like small white or yellow-brown specks. They will be firmly attached to the hair. Nits may be easier to see at the hairline at the back of the neck or behind the ears. Live lice will move quickly away from the light.
  • Comb through your child's hair in small sections using a fine-tooth comb. After each comb-through, wipe the comb on a wet paper towel. Examine the scalp, comb, and paper towel carefully.

You may need to use a magnifying glass. It is often difficult to tell the difference between dandruff or other hair debris and nits. However, dandruff is much easier to comb out of the hair while nits are much harder to remove.

Treatment for head lice

In the past, the only way to get rid of head lice was to comb them out or, in some cases, shave the child's head. Today, chemical treatments for head lice are available and can be found at your local drug or discount store. Most of these products contain 1% permethrin as a cream rinse, which has proven to be a very effective treatment for head lice. Although head lice treatments also are available by prescription, they are not usually the first choice for treating head lice.

In general, there are 3 steps in treating head lice. Because it is possible for head lice to show resistance to these treatments, see your pediatrician if you have followed these steps but your child still has live lice.

Step 1: Kill the lice.

Head lice treatments come in a variety of forms such as shampoo, cream rinse, gel, and mousse. Most need to be applied to dry hair because wet hair can dilute the chemicals in the treatment. Keep the treatment on the hair for the full amount of time recommended by the manufacturer. While lice treatments are effective at killing live lice, they may not always kill all of the eggs. For this reason, a second treatment is usually necessary 7 to 10 days after the first treatment.

Step 2: Comb out the nits.

This step is not necessary to prevent lice from spreading; however, it may make you and your child feel better knowing the nits are removed. It may also prevent your child from being misdiagnosed with an active case of head lice. And it will help prevent your child from becoming reinfested from any eggs that were not killed at first.

Nits can be combed out after the treatment has been applied to the hair. Many products include a special comb. Carefully read the directions that come with the treatment for proper combing instructions.

Combing out the nits often takes a great deal of time and patience. During this step you may want to give your child something to do, such as a book to read.

Continue to check your child's hair daily for 2 weeks after treatment. If you still see nits in your child's hair, use a fine-tooth comb (or try using your fingernail) to remove them.

Step 3: Prevent lice from spreading.

You do not need to throw away any items belonging to your child, but you may want to follow these prevention tips

  • Wash your child's clothes, towels, hats, and bed linens in hot water and dry on high heat.
  • Soak combs and brushes in boiling hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Vacuum furniture, carpeting, car seats, and other fabrics that your child was in contact with 24 to 48 hours before treatment.
  • Items that your child has been in very close contact with that cannot be washed, such as stuffed animals or toys, can be placed in a plastic bag for 2 weeks (by which time any live lice would die).
  • Do not spray pesticides in your home because they can expose your family to dangerous chemicals.
  • Check other members of your household for lice and, if present, treat these persons and manage their personal items as outlined previously.

Remember that live lice cannot live more than 24 to 48 hours off the head, so extraordinary cleaning measures are usually not necessary. It is better to spend the time properly treating the child with head lice.

Home remedies

You may have heard of home remedies that involve "washing" your child's hair with thick or oily substances such as petroleum jelly, mayonnaise, tub margarine, herbal oils, or olive oil and leaving it on the hair overnight (the child sleeps wearing a shower cap). The theory is that coating the hair with these substances will smother the lice. These remedies have not been scientifically proven to work. However, they certainly won't hurt your child. Home treatments that should be avoided include coating your child's hair with any toxic or highly flammable substances such as gasoline or kerosene, or using products that are intended for use on animals.

Remember

While having head lice may be embarrassing to you or your child, it does not put your child at risk for any serious health problems. If your child has head lice, work quickly to treat the condition and prevent the lice from spreading. You may need to repeat the treatment to ensure all the lice are gone.

If you are unsure about how to detect head lice, suspect your child has lice, have tried to treat a case of head lice only to have them return, or have additional questions about treating head lice, call your pediatrician

For additional Information please click on the links below:

Pediatric Drug Dosages

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Acetaminophen is the main ingredient in Tylenol and Tempra. It is used as a pain reliever and fever reducer. It should NOT be used in children under 2 months of age.

IMPORTANT WARNING

Children's and infants' needs are different-and so are their medicines.

Because it's more difficult to get medicine in an infant's mouth, infant medicines are more concentrated than children's-as much as three times more concentrated than children's formulas. So if you give infants' medicine to a child using anything other than the dropper that came with the product, you could risk giving too much. This can lead to permanent liver damage. Make certain that you use the appropriate medicine and the measuring dropper that came with it.

This medication is used to relieve fever, sore throats, and minor pains.

READ ALL WARNINGS AND COMPLETE DOSING INSTRUCTIONS ON MEDICATION PACKAGING

Tylenol is a common brand name for Acetaminophen. The following products can be used every 4- 6 hours as needed:

Tylenol

If possible use weight to dose; otherwise ues age.  Use only the dosing device provided.
Concentrated Tylenol Infants' Drops Concentrated Tylenol Infants' Drops Children's Tylenol Suspension Children's Tylenol Suspension Children's Tylenol Meltaway Tablets Jr. Tylenol Meltaway Tablets
  DYE FREE   DYE FREE    
Weight Age            
6-11 lbs. 0-3 mos (0.4mL) (0.4mL) ------- ------- ------- -------
12-17 lbs 4-11 mos (0.8mL) (0.8mL) 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp ------- -------
18-23 lbs 12-23 mos 1.2mL (0.8+0.4mL) 1.2mL (0.8+0.4mL) 3/4 tsp 3/4 tsp ------- -------
24-35 lbs 2-3 yrs 1.6mL (0.8+0.8mL) 1.6mL (0.8+0.8mL) 1 Tsp or 5mL 1 Tsp or 5mL 2 Tablets -------
36-47 lbs 4-5 yrs ------- ------- 1 1/2 Tsp or 7.5mL 1 1/2 Tsp or 7.5mL 3 Tabletss -------
48-59 lbs 6-8 yrs ------- ------- 2 Tsp or 10mL 2 Tsp or 10mL 4 Tablets 2 Tablets
60-71 lbs 9-10 yrss ------- ------- 2 1/2 Tsp or 12.5mL 2 1/2 Tsp or 12.5mL 5 Tablets 2 1/2 Tablets
72-95 lbs 11 yrs ------- ------- 3 Tsp or 15 mL 3 Tsp or 15 mL 6 Tablets 3 Tablets
96 lbs and over 12 yrs ------- ------- ------- ------- ------- 4 Tablets
Do Not does more than 5 times in 24 Hours

Do not use with any other product containing acetaminophen.

Keep all medication out of the reach of children. Use only as directed Always read and follow labeled directions. If you have questions, contact your healthcare professional.

NOTE: If possible, use weight to determine medication dose, otherwise use age. To arrive at the correct dose weigh your child before giving TYLENOL. All dosages may be repeated every 4 hours, but not more than 5 times daily.A healthcare professional should be consulted for dosing for children under the age of 2 years.

*All products may be dosed every 4 hours, if needed.

*Infants' Tylenol Drops are more concentrated than Children's Tylenol Liquids. The Infants' Concentrated Drops have been specifically designed for use only with enclosed dropper. Do not use any other dosing device with this product. Shake well before using; fill to prescribed level and dispense liquid slowly into child's mouth, toward inner cheek. Use original bottle cap or dropper to maintain child resistance.

*Children's Tylenol Liquids and Children's Tylenol Plus Liquids are less concentrated than Infrants' Tylenol Concentrated Drops. The Children's Tylenol Liquids have been specifically designed for use with the enclosed measuring cup to dose this product. Shake well before using.

*Children's Tylenol Meltaway Tablets are not the same concentration as Junior Strength Tylenol Meltaway Tablets; dissolve in mouth or chew before swallowing.

*Jr. Tylenol Meltaway Tablets contain 160 mg of acetaminophen while Children's Tylenol Meltaway Tablets contain 80 mg of acetaminophen; dissolve in mouth or chew before swallowing.

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Benadryl (diphenhydramine)

This medication can be used for allergies, to dry up a runny nose, or for itching associated with hives or certain rashes.

READ ALL WARNINGS AND COMPLETE DOSING INSTRUCTIONS ON MEDICATION PACKAGING

Benadryl usually makes children sleepy, but in about 5% of patients causes a “paradoxical” reaction and makes them hyper. Since the medicine may make your child sleepy, some people try to use a slightly lower dose during the day, with the full dose given at night.

Benadryl can be given every 6 - 8 hours as needed.

Antihistamine ONLY Benadryl Allergy Liquid 12.5mg/5ml Benadryl Dye-Free Allergy Liquid 12.5 mg/5ml Benadryl Allergy Chewable 12.5mg/tab
Flavor Cherry Bubble Gum Grape
Dosing Frequency Every 4-6 hours Every 4-6 hours Every 4-6 hours
Under 3 months Consult your doctor Consult your doctor Consult your doctor
4-11 mos
12-17 lbs
1/4 tsp 1/4 tsp  
12-23 mos
18-23 lbs
1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp 1/2 tab
2-3 yrs
24-35 lbs
3/4 tsp 3/4 tsp 3/4 tab
4-5 yrs
36-47 lbs
1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tab
6-8 yrs
48-59 lbs
1 1/4 tsp 1 1/4 tsp 1 1/4 tab
9-10 yrs
60-71 lbs
1 1/2 tsp 1 1/2 tsp 1 1/2 tab
11 yrs
71-95 lbs
1 3/4 tsp 1 3/4 tsp 1 3/4 tab
12 + yrs
96 + lbs
2 tsp 2 tsp 2 tabs

 

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Ibuprofen is the active ingredient in Advil and Motrin.

Ibuprofen is used to decrease pain and swelling and to reduce fevers.

READ ALL WARNINGS AND COMPLETE DOSING INSTRUCTIONS ON MEDICATION PACKAGING

NOTE: It should not be used in children less than 6 months old without discussing first with your practitioner.

All of these products can be given every 6 - 8 hours as needed:

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR IBUPROFEN INFANT AND PEDIATRIC DROPS DOSAGE:

Note: as of February 2003, Motrin changed their dropper to a syringe that is identical to the Advil syringe. The old dropper was like the Pediacare Fever Drops - if you have the old dropper, just follow the instructions for the Pediacare drops, below.

    Different dropper sizes: Pediacare Fever Drops come with a 1.25ml (¼ tsp) dropper, whereas Motrin and Advil Infant's Drops come with a 1.875ml syringe for dosing. The amount you are giving is the same, you are just giving it in a different sized dropper.
  • Pediacare: ½ dropper = 0.625ml, and 1 dropper = 1.25ml
  • sAdvil/Motrin Infant drops: 1/3 syringe = 0.625ml, 2/3 syringe = 1.25ml, and 1 syringe = 1.875ml.

Don't let the dropper/syringe difference confuse you. The milligram amount you are giving is the same, you are just giving it in a different sized syringe.

If you're in doubt about how much to give, you can use the milligram dosage column on the left to double-check yourself.

Weight Milligram Dosage Pediacare drops 50mg/1.25ml Advil/Motrin Drops 50mg/1.25ml Children's liquid 100mg/5ml Chewable Tablets 50mg each Junior strength Caps or chews 100mg each
9-10 lbs 25mg 1/2 dropper (0.625) 1/3 syringe (0.625ml) N/A N/A N/A
11-16 lbs 50mg 1 dropper (1.25ml) 2/3 syringe (1.25ml) 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) N/A N/A
17-21 lbs 75mg 1 1/2 dropper (1.25ml + 0.625ml) 1 syringe (1.875ml) 3/4 tsp (3.75ml) N/A N/A
22-26 lbs 100mg 2 droppers (2 x 1.25ml) 1 1/3 syringe (1.85ml + 0.625ml) 1 tsp (5ml) 2 tablets 1 tablet
27-32 lbs 125mg 2 1/2 droppers (2 x 1.25ml + 0.625ml) 1 2/3 syringe (1.875ml + 01.25ml) 1 1/4 tsp (6.25ml) 2 1/2 tablets   
33-37 lbs 150mg 3 droppers (3 x 1.25ml) 2 syringes (2 x 1.875ml) 1 1/2 tsp (7.5ml) 3 tablets 1 1/2 tablet
38-42 lbs 175mg 3 1/2 droppers (3 x 1.25ml + 0.625ml) 2 1/3 syringes (2 x 1.875ml + 0.625ml) 1 3/4 tsp (8.75ml) 3 1/2 tablets   
43-53 lbs 200mg 4 droppers (4 x 1.25ml) 2 2/3 syringes (2 x 1.875ml + 1.25ml) 2 tsp (10ml) 4 tablets 2 tablets
54-64 lbs 250mg Use liquid or tablets Use liquids or tablets 2 1/2 tsp (12.5ml) 5 tablets 2 1/2 tablets
65-75 lbs 300mg       3 tsp (15ml) 6 tablets 3 tablets
76-86 lbs 350mg       3 1/2 tsp (17.5ml) 7 tablets 3 1/2 tablets
87-95 lbs 400mg       4 tsp (20ml) 8 tablets 4 tablets
> 95 lbs   Give Adult Dose    

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Triaminic


These over the counter products are commonly used for colds and allergies.

READ ALL WARNINGS AND COMPLETE DOSING INSTRUCTIONS ON MEDICATION PACKAGING

The recommended dosage is shown below. Triaminic is given every 6-8 hours as needed.

Note: It is important to know what components you are using (antihistamine, cough suppressant, etc...) and to make sure you do not mix it with other medicines containing the same components. If you have any questions on which product to use, please contact our office.

Formulations Active Ingredients per 5 ml (1 tsp) Under 2 yrs
Under 24 lbs
2 to 6 yrs
24 to 47 lbs
6 to 12 yrs
48 to 95 lbs
12 years
+ 96 lbs
Cold & Allergy Phenylpropanolamine 6.25 mg
Chlorpheniramine 7.5 mg
X X 10 ml
2 tsps.
20 ml
4 tsps
AM Pseudoephedrine 15 mg
Dextromethorphan 7.5 mg
X 1 tsp 2 tsp 4 tsp
Night-Time Pseudoephedrine 15mg
Dextromethorphan 7.5mg
Chlorpheniramine 1mg
X X 2 tsp 4 tsp
DM Phenylpropanolamine 6.25 mg
Dextromethorphan 5mg
X 1 tsp 2 tsp 4 tsp
Sore Throat Acetaminophen 160mg
Pseudoephedrine 15mg
Dextromethorphan 7.5mg
X 1 tsp 2 tsp 4 tsp
Sever Cold & Fever Acetaminophen 160mg
Pseudoephedrine 15mg
Dextromethorphan 7.5mg
CChlorpheniramine 1mg
X X 2 tsp 4 tsp

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Dimetapp - We do not recommend the combination medications that contain acetaminophen (a fever reducer) as these forms complicate appropriate dosing of fever medicines.

READ ALL WARNINGS AND COMPLETE DOSING INSTRUCTIONS ON MEDICATION PACKAGING

The Elixir is a combination antihistamine and decongestant that tastes good and generally does not make children “hyper” like the decongestant Sudafed often does. Look for the Dimetapp Cold & Allergy Elixir (not the infant drops), and refer to the following dosage chart:

DIMETAPP® Decongestant infant drops Elixir DM
Class Decongestant Decongestant
Antihistamine
Decongestant
Antihistamine Cough
Suppressant
Active ingredients Pseudoephedrine Pseudoephedrine
Brompheniramine
Pseudoephedrine
Brompheniramine
Dextromethorphan
12-17 lbs 0.8 ml 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp
18-23 lbs 1.2 ml 3/4 tsp 3/4 tsp
2-6 years old 1.6 ml 1 tsp 1 tsp
6-12 years old    2 tsp 2 tsp
12 years and older      3 tsp 3 tsp

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Delsym is a dextromethorphan/cough suppressant


This medication is used to suppress coughs, last 12 hours.

Stop use and ask a doctor if cough lasts more than seven days, cough comes back, or occurs with fever, rash, or headache that lasts. These could be signs of a serious condition.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

READ ALL WARNINGS AND COMPLETE DOSING INSTRUCTIONS ON MEDICATION PACKAGING

DOSING DIRECTIONS: Shake bottle well before use. Dose as follows or as directed by a doctor.

AGE (YEAR) DOSE (1 teaspoon = 5mL) TOTAL DAILY VOLUME
Under 2 Years Consult Physician Consult Physician
2 to Under 6 1/2 teaspoonful Every 12 Hours Not to Exceed 1 teaspoon Every 24 Hours
6 to Under 12 1 teaspoonful Every 12 Hours Not to Exceed 2 teaspoon Every 24 Hours
12 and Older 2 teaspoonfuls Every 12 Hours Not to Exceed 4 teaspoon Every 24 Hours

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Guaifenesin is a mucous thinner and expectorant, which can be very helpful in loosening mucus and helping children cough their mucous clear from their lower respiratory tract. This is the main ingredient in a liquid form in Robitussin Chest Congestion Guaifenesin Syrup, or Mucinex Liquid, or in Mucinex "mini-melt" form or tablets.

Please read dosages carefully as there are different strengths in these preparations.

Note: "Mini-melts" are NOT meant to be chewed. Mini-melts are to be put on the tongue and allowed to dissolve.

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Robitussin® Chest Congestion Guaifenesin Syrup, USPis the original Robitussin® expectorant formula that loosens and relieves chest congestion, to make coughs more productive.

READ ALL WARNINGS AND COMPLETE DOSING INSTRUCTIONS ON MEDICATION PACKAGING

Do not use in a child under 2 years of age

    Ask a doctor before use if you have
  • cough that occurs with too much phlegm (mucus)
  • cough that lasts or is chronic such as occurs with smoking, asthma
    Stop use and ask a doctor if
  • cough lasts more than 7 days
  • comes back
  • is accompanied by fever, rash, or persistent headache

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

Robitussin® Chest Congestion Guaifenesin Syrup, USP Directions

age dose
adults and children 12 years and older 2 - 4 teaspoons every 4 hours
children 6 years to under 12 years 1 - 2 teaspoons every 4 hours
children 2 years to under 6 years 1/2 - 1 teaspoons every 4 hours
children under 2 years do not use

DO NOT take more than 6 doses in any 24-hour period

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Mucinex Products

READ ALL WARNINGS AND COMPLETE DOSING INSTRUCTIONS ON MEDICATION PACKAGING

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)Mucinex Liquid breaks up the mucus that causes chest congestion. (Ages 2-11)

Recommended dosage for Mucinex Liquid (100 mg guaifenesin)
Children 6 years to under 12 years
Children 2 years to under 6 years
Children under 2 years
1 to 2 teaspoons every 4 hours
1/2 to 1 teaspoons every 4 hours
Do not use

DO NOT use more than 6 times in any 24 hour period.Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)

    Mucinex Cough Liquid is for chest congestion and coughing. The cherry-flavored Mucinex Cough combines an expectorant with a cough suppressant. Mucinex Cough breaks up the mucus that causes chest congestion and controls cough. And it's:
  • Alcohol-free
  • Non-drowsy formula
Recommended dosage for Mucinex Liquid Cough(100mg guaifenesin, 5mg dextromethorphan HBr)
Children 6 years to under 12 years
Children 2 years to under 6 years
Children under 2 years
1 to 2 teaspoons every 4 hours
1/2 to 1 teaspoons every 4 hours
Do not use

DO NOT use more than 6 times in any 24 hour period.Pill Bottle Image (Section Divider)

    Mucinex Mini-Melts breaks up the mucus that causes chest congestion.They can help clear out excess mucus. Mini-Melts are a unique form of Mucinex designed especially for younger kids. Just empty the entire contents of the packet onto tongue and swallow.
  • Breaks up the mucus that causes chest congestion
  • Single-ingredient medicine, so you know exactly what your child is taking
  • Non-drowsy formula
  • Available in 2 strengths: Grape flavor Children's for younger kids and Bubble Gum flavor for kids
Recommended dosage for Children's Mucinex Mini-Melts (50 mg guaifenesin)
Twelve years and over
Children 6 years to under 12 years
Children 2 years to under 6 years
Children under 2 years
2 to 4 packets every 4 hours
2 to 4 packets every 4 hours
1 to 2 packets every 4 hours
Do not use

DO NOT use more than 6 times in any 24 hour period.

Metric Conversion Table

It is extremely important to know how to convert teaspoons to milliliters. The following is a brief guide:

    Teaspoon = tsp; milliliters = ml; tablespoon = tbsp
  • 1 tsp = 5 ml = 5 cc = 1/3 tbsp
  • 1/2 tsp = 2.5 ml = 2.5 cc
  • 1 1/2 tsp = 7.5 ml = 7.5 cc = 1/2 tbsp
  • 3 tsp = 15 ml = 1 tbsp = 1/2 ounce
Fever

Fever is a symptom or sign that a child's immune system is trying to fight off an infection or illness. A fever can make a child miserable and uncomfortable.

Newborn fevers (infants less than 2 months old) are treated differently than older children. A low grade fever in an infant this young could signal a serious infection such as a kidney infection or a systemic infection like group B strep. All infants under 2 months with a rectal temperature over 100 need to be seen by a pediatrician or healthcare facility immediately so they can have the necessary tests to rule out bacterial infection. Also, because bacteria in newborns can more easily pass into the spinal fluid, a spinal tap may be needed to determine that the child is not in the process of developing meningitis.

For young infants, temperatures should be taken rectally. Place the infant on its abdomen or on its back with knees to chest. Insert a thermometer gently into the anus about 1/4 of an inch. Squeeze the buttocks together to keep the thermometer in place instead of holding it in your hand. . You can remove it in about 30 seconds or when you hear a digital thermometer beep.

Axillary temperatures can be used for toddlers and older children. Put a standard thermometer under the child's arm so it touches both layers of skin. Hold it for one minute or until digital thermometer beeps.

Tympanic thermometers usually read slightly high if a child is crying. Sometimes you will get a 103 or 104 reading when the child is actually 102. The temperature reading can, also, be underestimated if there is a lot of wax in the ears, or the child is moving.

Note: Feeling the child's forehead or kissing their cheek is not a reliable way to tell if your child has a fever.

Contact your pediatrician for any of the following fevers:
birth - 3 months 100 ° F rectal temp
3 months - 12 months 101 ° F rectal temp
Any child with a temperature of 102.5 ° F or higher

Regardless of your child’s age, you should contact your pediatrician if a fever of any level has persisted for longer than three days. If your child is not drinking, can not be comforted, is irritable, cries constantly, cannot sleep, and is not feeding well, please contact your pediatrician immediately. If your child is having difficulty breathing, is lethargic, is having a seizure, or has a convulsion call 911 immediately.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is the sudden increase in the looseness and frequency of bowel movements. In most cases, diarrhea is caused by a virus. It can be mild (loose or mushy stools) to severe (constant watery stool). A green stool indicates very rapid passage of contents through the gastrointestinal tract. Diarrhea can last from several days to a week.

There is usually no need to stop diarrhea with medications. Children should be given such medication only under the direction of the physician. Diarrhea is often accompanied by vomiting. Diarrhea can be contagious. Make sure you wash your hands after changing diapers and that you and your child both wash your hands after using the toilet.

The most frequent problem diarrhea causes is that your child may get dehydrated. In general, fluids should not be restricted when a child has diarrhea.

Signs of dehydration:

  • dry mouth
  • absence of tears
  • decrease in urine (none in 8 hours)
  • darker colored urine

Call your pediatric provider if:

  • there are any signs of dehydration
  • children less than one year old have more than 8 bowel movements in 8 hours
  • diarrhea is watery and child vomits clear fluid 3 or more times
  • the fever lasts more than 3 days
  • mild diarrhea lasts for more than 7 days
Diaper Rash

Diaper rash is a common occurrence for most infants. The rash can vary from mild to severe. It is caused by irritation of the skin from urine and bowel movements. Changing an infant’s diaper immediately after your child has urinated and/or had a bowel movement and cleansing the skin thoroughly are the most effective measures you can take to prevent diaper rash. Using petroleum jelly or a diaper cream to protect the skin prior to putting a fresh diaper on can also help protect your child's sensitive skin from developing a diaper rash. In the event that your child develops a diaper rash, with proper care and treatment, the rash is usually better in 3-5 days.

To aid in caring for diaper rash:

  • Change diapers frequently. Make sure your baby's bottom is completely dry before closing up the fresh diaper.
  • Increase air exposure. Leave baby's bottom exposed to air for 15 minutes 4 times per day, either during naps or after a bowel movement. Put a towel or diaper under your baby. When diaper is on, fasten it loosely.
  • Rinse skin with warm water and a wash cloth. Do not use diaper wipes when your baby has a diaper rash, because they have alcohol on them and can burn and exacerbate the condition. If the rash is quite raw, use warm water soaks for 15 minutes 3 times per day.
  • If the rash is bright red, weeping, continues to look worse, or does not respond in 3 days of warm water cleansing and air exposure, your child may have a yeast infection. Please, contact your pediatrician for an appointment.

CONTACT YOUR PEDIATRICIAN

  • If the rash has yellow pus, pimples, blisters, spreading redness or open sores.
  • If the rash is red, weeping, or bleeding
  • If the rash doesn't improve in 3 days
Constipation

Constipation occurs when bowel movements are abnormally hard and infrequent and are accompanied by pain and discomfort.

Large or hard bowel movements without pain are normal. It is a common practice for babies to grunt, push, strain, draw up their legs, squat, and become flushed in the face during passage of bowel movements, but they shouldn't cry. If they are straining, you can assist your baby by holding their knees toward or against the chest to give them something to push against. Your baby, over time, will go through bowel pattern changes. They might change from having bowel movements 3 - 4 times every day to having one bowel movement every 3 - 4 days. This is normal as long as the stool stays soft and/or your child is not in pain.

Constipation can usually be relieved or diminished with changes to your child’s diet. You may want to try gradually increasing your child’s water/liquid intake. If your child is eating solid foods, increase the amount of high fiber foods that they eat. This includes fruits and vegetables like prunes, apricots, raisins, plums, peas, beans, etc.. Increase their whole grain foods like cereals, whole grain muffins, graham crackers, oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat bread. You should limit the amount of bananas, cheese, white bread and potatoes that they get. Just try a few changes at a time until the issue has been resolved.

If your child is 1 year old or younger, give one ounce of water per each month of age (not to exceed a total of 6 ounces) each day. If this does not work, then you can try to give 2 ounces of a 50/50 blend of water and fruit juice (apple, white grape, or pear) each day.

If your child is older than one year of age, increase their water intake to 4-5 glasses per day. Also, you may give apple and/or prune juice twice a day.

CONTACT YOUR PEDIATRICIAN

  • If your child has cramps and/or pain that lasts over 2 hours.
  • If your child doesn't have a bowel movement in 2-3 days after diet changes.
  • If your child has blood in the stool.
  • If your child begins to vomit, run a fever, or other symptoms manifest themselves.
  • DO NOT use any laxatives, enemas, or suppositories without consulting your pediatrician.
Gas

All babies experience gas and gas pains during their infancy. Excessive gassiness can be caused by exposure to gas producing foods, an underdeveloped digestive system, or air bubbles that become caught in the infant's stomach. Finding relief for your baby's gas will make him a much more content baby.

Steps recommended to help relieve gas pains:

  • Burp your infant often. In order to relieve and prevent gas, a baby needs to be burped during feedings. This will reduce the amount of air that becomes trapped in the stomach.
  • Consider your infant’s diet or your diet if breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding and your baby seems to get gas after you eat a particular food, you should avoid it. Once the baby begins solids, eliminate any foods that his tummy does not tolerate well.
  • Apply pressure to the stomach area. Lightly pressing on a baby's tummy can help them pass the trapped gas.
  • Work his legs. Pumping your infant's legs back and forth while he lays on his back will help him experience less gas pains.
  • Give gas relief drops. These over the counter drops contain simethicone which has been found to help treat gas pain. Mylicon is a popular manufacturer of simethicone drops.

Different ways of holding your baby

Hold your baby with one hand, with his back against your stomach. With your free hand hold your baby`s one leg up so his/her knee is against his/her stomach. This will help your baby. The football hold - hold your baby with face down resting her/his chin in your hand, on your forearm with baby’s legs straddling your elbow. Gentle pressure placed on your baby’s stomach can help baby’s gas.

Massage - Rub from ribcage to diaper one hand after the other, 15 times. Then bend baby`s legs to her/his stomach, count to 15. Then rub your baby`s stomach in a clockwise motion, 15 times. Bend baby`s legs to her/his stomach, count to 15. You can repeat this up to 3 times a day.

Bicycle move - Lay your baby on her/his back and move her/his legs like a bicycle. Make sure your baby lays on something soft and comfy.

Congestion

Congestion is as an upper respiratory infection. In this category are such things as colds, blocked stuffy noses, congestive deafness, and sinus problems.

Treatment:

Love those liquids. Drink more water and juices to loosen up and liquefy the increased mucus that's stuck down in your lungs.

Go full steam. Holing up in the bathroom and turning on the hot water may provide some relief if you have an infection. The hot, moist air may make you feel better. But some people feel worse after exposing themselves to steam. It's a matter of trial and error.

Try some tea. Have something warm to help loosen lung secretions. Enjoy some tea with a little honey and lemon, for example. It's also soothing on your irritated throat. In addition, caffeine in tea or coffee may help open up your air passages.

Take something for your cough. Over-the-counter cough syrups containing guaifenesin help thin out the mucus lodged in your lungs, making it easier to cough up.

Suppress the suppressants. If your lungs feel clogged with mucus and you're already hacking, leave cough suppressants on the shelf. You're supposed to cough and get rid of that gunk.

Widen the bronchial highway. If your physician diagnoses your congestion as asthma you'll be given bronchodilating inhalers or pills to help you breathe easier.

Don't play doctor. One of the most counterproductive self-treatment steps is to rummage through the medicine cabinet and take a few old antibiotics from infections gone by. Those antibiotics have made whatever bug you have down there stronger. The last time you took that drug, the bugs were warned that it was in the environment and they built up their defenses against it. You have to go after those bugs with something the little devils don't expect. We, also, urge you to take the antibiotics your doctor prescribes for the full course of treatment: seven to ten days. Stopping earlier—even if you feel better—means you won't kill all the bugs.

For additional Information please click on the links below:

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