My Blog
By Charles H Geneslaw, MD
December 07, 2018
Category: Child Health
Tags: Sick Child   Urgent Care  

When To Take Your Child To Urgent Care

 

As a parent, you want to always do everything you can when your child is sick, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly how sick your child is, especially when they’re very young and can’t communicate what is bothering them. Urgent care or a trip to the hospital isn’t always needed for simple problems such as a cold, mild diarrhea, or mild fevers. So, when is it necessary to take your child to urgent care?

 

Urgent Care

 

Not all illnesses need an immediate visit with your pediatrician and it’s important for you to know what symptoms to look out for. Some symptoms that may require urgent care are:

 

  • Vomiting and diarrhea that lasts more than a few hours

  • Rash, especially with a fever

  • High fever

  • A cough or cold that lasts several days

  • Large cuts or gashes

  • Limping or the inability to move an arm or leg

  • Ear pain with fever

  • Ear drainage

  • A severe sore throat or swallowing problems

  • Sharp and persistent stomach or abdomen pain

  • Blood in urine

  • Blood in stool

  • Not being able to drink for more than 12 hours

  • Rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 2 months old

  • Fever and vomiting

  • Any pain that gets worse and doesn’t go away after several hours

 

While many illnesses may go away with love and nurturing after a few days, there are times when it is necessary to see your pediatrician as soon as possible. If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, be sure to call your pediatrician right away to find out if it is necessary for your child to go in for an appointment so that your child can get well as soon as possible.

December 04, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Happy Holidays to all! As a Jewish American, I still, like everybody else, so enjoy seeing all of the holiday decorations coming out. Who doesn’t get excited about this time of year?

Let’s review some highlights for indoor holiday decoration safety. My advise about outdoor decorations is actually very simple–the younger the child, the less involved in the decorating process, the better.

1. Trees

  • If using “artificial” make sure they are “fire resistant".
  • For live trees–fresh trees are green, have some sticky resin on the trunk, needles don’t snap in half when bent and don’t fall off if the tree is shaken.
  • Cut off approximately 2″ from the base and keep in water.
  • Keep away from fire or heat source like heaters, radiators.
  • Keep away from traffic areas like doorways.
  • Secure to walls with thin wire for stability.

2. Trimmings

  • Use only non-flammable.
  • Avoid sharp or breakable objects.
  • Avoid leaded materials (note–besides patriotism, “Made in America” is usually, but NOT ALWAYS, best).
  • Avoid small parts.
  • Avoid artificial candy or food.

3. Candles

  • Keep away from trees.
  • Keep away from paper.
  • Non-flammable holders.
  • Extinguish all flames if you go out or retire for the evening (this means YOU, fellow Jews celebrating with the Hannukah menorah!) .

4. Lights

  • Check for broken or cracked sockets.
  • Check wires.
  • Never use electric light on metal tree–the tree can conduct electricity causing shocks or fires.
  • Shut off all electric ornaments upon retiring for the evening.
  • Do not overload sockets–no more than 3 standard light sets per extension cord.

5. Paper

  • Don’t keep paper by open flame like fireplace or candles (DUH!!)
  • Do not burn used wrapping paper in fireplace.

6. Spun glass–“angel hair” decorations of sprayed artificial snow can be inhaled and cause serious lung injury.

7. Poinsettias are poisonous–is it really necessary to include them in decorating your house when there are young children around?

Bottom line that I remind all patients : Christmas decorations, and in particular, the tree, are the definition of “attractive nuisance”–little kids are drawn to them. I mean–that’s the point, isn’t it? So you cannot keep the child away from the tree. You must endeavor to keep the tree away from the kid.

Please keep all of these things in mind. And let’s make this the Happiest and HEALTHIEST Holiday Season yet!!

By Charles H Geneslaw, MD
November 19, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Let’s take note of 2 consumer products with troubled safety records for children.

The first is instant soup/”ramen” noodle preparations for microwave ovens. An 11 year study finds that 20% of all scald burn injuries presenting to the ER, 9500 children aged 4-12 each year, are caused by microwaved soup containers. The peak age is 7 years; girls make up 57% of injuries. Most burns occurred when the small package was opened after heating, spilling contents on the child, causing burns to the torso (40% of all injuries). The added water can quickly overheat and when tipped over can cause a scald wound. While most incidents result in only mild burns with full and uneventful recovery, still up to 10% were more severe, including those requiring scar management and skin grafting. So prudence is still the order of the day.

The authors recommend that improved product design, like smaller opening and wider base, will help to limit risk here. But, of course, there is no substitute for common sense: Don’t let younger children handle these products; close supervision for adolescents. Counsel them to focus on the task at hand–PUT THE DARN PHONE DOWN when using microwave and handling hot food.

The other warning references hover boards. Between 2015-16 researchers report almost 27,000 youth injuries treated in US Emergency Departments. As one might expect, boys predominate here (52%) wth peak incidence at age 12. Most injuries involved the upper extremity(34%) with fractures making up 40% of those problems; head injuries were second but the most common to result in hospitalization (14%). Burns from the board spontaneously catching fire was actually a rare occurrence. A frequent risk factor was “multitasking” involving–you guessed it–the child trying to use a smart phone or listen to music while operating the hover board. Wouldn’t it be at least a small welcome change if reading a book while hover boarding caused some of this problem(sorry, couldn’t resist)?

One added comment: this same study reported > 120,000 skateboard injuries in the ED over the same 2 year period; 75% of those among boys. One word: HELMETS!!

By Charles H Geneslaw, MD
November 19, 2018
Category: Child Health
Tags: Immunizations   Vaccinations  

The importance of immunizations

Childhood immunizations are one of the most important safeguards against communicable diseases and their serious, long-term complications. Your pediatrician closely adheres to the vaccination schedules published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Why? Well, there's nothing more important than your youngster's health and well-being, and immunizations effectively guard them.

Just what is an immunization?

Most immunizations are given as "shots," or injections, but some, such as the Rotavirus vaccine, are oral medications. However administered, vaccines boost your child's immune system in its battle against diseases which easily spread from person to person.

Each vaccine contains a small amount of a killed or weakened micro-organisms. These altered viruses or bacteria raise the body's defenses against a particular illness such as chicken pox. pneumonia, polio, tetanus, and more...up to 14 in all by time your child is two years old, says the CDC.

Are immunizations necessary?

Your pediatrician, his or her colleagues and decades of research prove that vaccines protect the health of individual children and of the community at large. Also called herd immunity, community immunity works best when as many babies and youngsters receive all their "shots" on schedule. Community immunity protects youngsters who cannot receive vaccines because of cancer treatment, HIV infection or other serious reason. It also shields the general population when people travel from countries which cannot provide access to these important medications.

Both the AAP and the CDC publish and recommend set vaccine schedules carried out at well-baby and well-child visits at the doctor's office. In addition, there is a "catch-up" schedule for children who have begun their immunizations late or had them interrupted by illness or other serious concern.

Your pediatrician's services

They're so important. Your child's doctor keeps your child's immunization records and can distribute them to schools, camps, college, sports, daycare and other organizations who require proof of up-to-date vaccines. The doctor also monitors your child for any adverse reactions, although typically, vaccines produce no more than:

  • Localized redness and soreness at the injection site
  • Low grade fever
  • Pain and swelling
  • Fussiness
Partner with your child's physician
 
He or she provides the preventive care your youngster needs for a healthy life. Examinations and immunizations are just parts of the comprehensive services your family receives when you go to your local pediatrician.
By Charles H Geneslaw, MD
November 05, 2018
Category: Child Health
Tags: Child Care   Cold   Flu  

Cold Vs. Flu

Is it a cold or the flu? When it comes to your child's health, your pediatrician provides great information and guidance on the most common illnesses plaguing families. If you are wondering about the exact nature of your child's illness and how to treat it, learn the differences between a cold and the flu and how to treat and prevent them.

What is a cold?

A cold is an upper respiratory viral infection lasting 5 to 7 days in both adults and children alike. Generally milder in intensity and shorter in duration than influenza, a cold causes:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • A runny nose
  • Tiredness
  • Low-grade fever
The Centers for Disease Control states that most healthy children experience 8 to 10 colds by the age of two years.
 
What is the flu?
 
The flu is a much more serious viral infection. Of sudden and intense onset, the flu usually comes with:
  • High fever
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Severe headache
  • Chills
Also, the flu lasts longer and debilitates sufferers. It carries dangerous complications, particularly with young children, the elderly, asthmatics, diabetics and those with weak immune systems.
 
Treating colds and the flu
 
Treating a cold involves rest, fluids and decongestants as needed. The onset of a cold is gradual, and so is recovery. Typically, your child will not need to visit the pediatrician if he or she has a simple cold. Simple symptom relief works well. However, high and persistent fever merits a call to your child's doctor.
 
Regarding the flu, your pediatrician may do an in-office Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Test (a throat or nasal swab) to confirm the diagnosis. They may prescribe antiviral medication and instruct on how to monitor a young child's symptoms. Keep your youngster well-hydrated, and administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed.
 
If flu symptoms escalate (labored respirations, severe headache, rapid heart rate or anything that seems unusual to you), take your child to the nearest hospital ER for evaluation. Pneumonia is a frequent and life-threatening complication of influenza.
 
Prevention is the best medicine
 
Protect all members of the family with these simple measures:
  1. Eat a healthy diet.
  2. Stay well-hydrated.
  3. Avoid crowds during peak cold and flu season.
  4. Keep your child home from daycare and school if he or she is sick.
  5. Teach your child to cover his or her mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  6. Don't share food or utensils, even with family members.
  7. Vaccinate against the flu. Ask your pediatrician for your child's "shot."
Trust your pediatrician
 
They work hard to prevent acute illnesses such as colds and the flu. The doctor and professional team are great resources for prevention, healing and overall well-being for your children.




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