Posts for category: Children's Safety
By Grace Pediatrics
October 20, 2021
Tags: Bike Safety
Just like responsible parents, our pediatricians are interested in keeping your children well – this includes helping your kids stay safe while riding their bikes. The National Safety Council reports a 6% increase in bike accidents in recent years, likely due to increased traffic, population density in urban areas, and a variety of other causes. There are 80 million bicyclists now sharing the road with motorized vehicles, and your children are among them.
How to Keep Kids Safe When Biking
There are a few ways that your pediatrician recommends for teaching bicycle safety to your children:
- Help your kids stay visible to drivers: There are a few factors that can cause a driver not to view your child on a road, aside from texting while driving. Children are usually lower in a driver's sightlines, and they are also vying for a driver’s attention among many other road distractions such as traffic signals, construction, and more. By clothing your children in bright colors, or even having them wear a brightly colored safety vest while riding, you can call a driver’s attention to their presence, thus avoiding an accident. Also, be sure that your child’s bike has reflectors on the rear and front of the pedals and possibly on the seat and handlebars.
- Encourage your child to wear a bike helmet. Helmets can protect the brain and reduce head injuries should they accidentally be hit by a driver. A properly fitting helmet should be buckled under the chin, and shouldn’t wiggle more than an inch when worn.
- Teach your kids to be proactive cyclists. When riding, teach your children to watch out for parked cars that might open their doors, road hazards, common traffic flows, and rules that motorists usually follow. This can be a precursor to their learning to drive and will equip them with a sense of what drivers are most likely to do so that they can act accordingly while bicycling.
You can talk to your pediatrician about additional ways to keep your children safe when out riding their bikes. There is nothing more important than keeping your children safe, and bicycle safety is an important way to do it.
By Grace Pediatrics
June 29, 2021
Climate change has certainly caused the temperatures to climb here in the US, especially during the summer. While we know that kids love to play outdoors, when temperatures are high this could increase your child’s risk for heat exhaustion and heatstroke. While we certainly don’t want to wreck your child’s fun, you must be keeping your child safe from the heat. If you do have any concerns about symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician right away.
Any temperature over 90F poses a serious health risk, especially to kids. When temperatures are at or above 90F here’s what you can do to keep your little ones safe:
Find an air-conditioned environment: If you don’t have AC in your home, it’s important to find a space that does. Make an action plan for where you can go if the temperatures become so high that you cannot safely stay in your home. You may need to stay with someone who does have AC or find free spaces such as a public library, which should also have AC.
Drink (lots of) water: You and your children must be also drinking enough water, especially on those super-hot days. While kids should normally get eight 8-oz glasses of water if a child is particularly active or it’s hot out, they must be drinking even more water to replenish what’s being lost.
Infants who are still breastfeeding should also be given additional breast milk, especially if they are under 6 months old. It’s also important to recognize the warning signs of dehydration in kids. If your child or infant is showing these warning signs, you need to call your pediatrician right away.
Wear the appropriate clothes: Just as you need a coat and gloves to protect your skin during the cold winter months, you also need to wear the appropriate clothes for those brutally hot days. Make sure your child is wearing light-colored clothes made from lightweight, absorbent materials that will wick away sweat. Since kids are less likely to sweat than adults, it’s important to keep them in the coolest and lightest clothes possible.
Stay cool: Whether jumping through the sprinkler system or simply hopping in a cold shower, there are easy steps you can take to help your child cool down when they complain of being too hot! If there is a swimming pool nearby, this is also a great and fun way to keep cool.
Whether you have questions about keeping your child safe during the summer months or you simply need to schedule their next well-child visit, a pediatrician is going to be the first doctor you turn to for your child’s health and wellbeing. Keeping your child safe this summer doesn’t have to be difficult, but if you have questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call.
By Grace Pediatrics
June 02, 2021
We understand that bringing your child in for a shot certainly isn’t fun for anyone, but keeping your child updated on vaccines is one of the most effective ways to protect them against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases. As soon as your child is born, they will begin to get a series of vaccines, which they will continue to get until they reach adulthood. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your child immunizations, including when to have them vaccinated and which vaccinations they will need at what age.
Getting Your Child Immunized
The CDC is your go-to for all accurate and updated information regarding childhood vaccines. They offer a variety of charts for kids 18 years old and younger that can easily help you determine what vaccines your child needs to get and at what age. Of course, your pediatrician also knows exactly what vaccines your kids need when they visit the office, so these charts are just for you to stay in the know. Of course, if you have any questions about upcoming vaccines for your child, don’t hesitate to talk with their pediatrician.
Throughout your child’s first 18 years of life, they will receive a series of vaccinations including:
- Hepatitis A & B
- DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough)
- Hib (meningitis, epiglottitis, and pneumonia)
- Meningococcal (for bacterial meningitis)
- MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
- Pneumococcal (pneumonia, ear infections, and meningitis)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
Your child may also want to get the influenza virus once a year to protect themselves and their family members from the flu.
The Safety and Efficacy of Childhood Immunizations
We understand that some parents may be on the fence about vaccines. In fact, this is a common concern that pediatricians hear, and it’s best to talk with your child’s doctor who is well-informed about childhood immunizations. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it can lead parents to avoid certain vaccines that could put their child at risk for more serious health problems. While some immunizations can cause minor side effects these are so minor compared to the repercussions of not having your child vaccinated.
Do you have questions about your child’s upcoming vaccine? Need to schedule your child’s next wellness visit? Keeping your little ones fully vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect them and keep them safe and healthy. A pediatrician can provide you with valuable information and insight into childhood vaccines.
By Grace Pediatrics
February 17, 2021
We all know how accident-prone kids can be. They get bruises, bumps, cuts, and scrapes from time and time. Most of the time, these boo-boos are nothing to worry about, but sometimes a cut or laceration may require turning to your pediatrician for stitches. Does your child need stitches? We know it isn’t always easy to tell. Here are some telltale signs that your child might need stitches,
- Apply pressure to the cut for five minutes. If it’s still bleeding after five minutes, it probably needs stitches
- The cut is more than ½-inch deep or longer
- The cut is around their eye
- The cut is on their face or neck and is longer than ¼ inch
- The cut is gaping open
- There is an object sticking out of it, including debris or glass
- The cut is spurting blood
Any cut that spurts blood could be a sign of a nicked artery. Immediately apply pressure to the area and head to your local ER for immediate medical attention.
When should I call the pediatrician?
If in doubt about whether or not your child may need stitches, call your pediatrician. With the introduction of telehealth visits, many pediatricians can now look at images of the injury or wound through a simple online appointment and determine whether the child or teen needs to come in for stitches. While the warning signs above are telltale indicators that your child may need stitches, even if the cut doesn’t need stitches, you should still see the doctor if:
- The cut was made by a rusty or metal object
- There is redness, swelling, pus, or other signs of infection
- The child has been bitten by an animal
- The cut hasn’t healed within 10 days
- There is still severe pain after a few hours
Cuts and wounds made by metal, rusty, or dirty objects may require your child to get a tetanus shot. This is why you should see your pediatrician right away, as it’s important for them to get this shot within 2-3 days after the injury.
If you still aren’t sure whether or not your child should get stitches, it doesn’t hurt to give your pediatrician a call. Let us know the symptoms your child is experiencing, and we can determine if their injury requires a closer look from our team. Call us today; we can deal with your child’s urgent medical matters.
By Grace Pediatrics
January 22, 2021
Tags: Tetanus Shot
All children need to get a tetanus shot. When we think of tetanus we often think of rusty nails; however, this bacterium isn’t just found on rusty metal items, it also lives in soil and dirt. If bacteria come in contact with a wound or opening in the skin this can lead to a serious infection. If your child, like many, enjoys running around outside barefoot, they must be keeping up with their tetanus shots.
When should my child get their first tetanus shot?
While tetanus can cause some serious symptoms including “lockjaw," it is completely preventable with a vaccination. The DTaP vaccine is used to prevent tetanus (along with diphtheria and pertussis) and your child will get their first series of shots at 2, 4, and 6 months. Your child will also need another tetanus shot between the ages of 15 to 18 months old and between 4-6 years old.
Children should continue to get a tetanus shot during their annual pediatric checkup until they turn 18 years old. Instead of getting the DTap vaccine, which they got as a young child, they will get the Tdap booster shot that still protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.
Once your child reaches adulthood, they will get a Td vaccination, which will protect them against tetanus and diphtheria.
What are the signs and symptoms of tetanus?
Most children will develop symptoms within two weeks of exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms of tetanus include,
- Painful and severe muscle spasms
- Shoulder, jaw, and neck stiffness
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing
- Rapid heart rate
If left untreated, tetanus can be life-threatening so it’s important to bring your child in right away if they develop any of these symptoms.
If it’s time for your child’s next tetanus shot, your pediatrician will be able to administer the vaccine either during their next routine checkup or at a separate important. You must be keeping up with your child’s vaccine schedule so that they are fully protected against potentially dangerous communicable diseases.