Is hand, foot and mouth disease dangerous?
While the name might make this condition sound rather frightening, the truth is that many kids under the age of five develop this illness. This is because these viruses are quite contagious. Even though this most often impacts young children, this infection can also present in older children, teens, and even adults.
What are the symptoms?
The incubation period for hand, foot and mouth disease is about 3-6 days from exposure. At first, symptoms may appear mild and look similar to the common cold (e.g. runny nose, fever, and sore throat); however, blisters will then start to develop within the mouth and on the body (often the palms of the hands and soles of the feet).
How is it diagnosed?
A diagnosis is often made by a pediatrician through a simple physical evaluation. They will go through your child’s medical history, examine the blisters and ask questions about your child’s symptoms to determine whether this could be hand, foot and mouth disease. Some testing may be performed to rule out other conditions.
How is hand, foot and mouth disease treated?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a medication that will get rid of hand, foot and mouth disease. Like most viral infections, the infection just has to run its course; however, there are certain things your pediatrician may prescribe or recommend that you do to ease your child’s symptoms. For example, ibuprofen may be recommended to help ease the pain as well as your child’s fever. Of course, it’s always a good idea to speak with your pediatrician before you start your child on any medication, even over-the-counter medications.
If your child develops symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease it’s important that you see your pediatrician as soon as possible for an evaluation, as they will want to make sure that this is truly what’s causing their symptoms.
First, is it actually cradle cap?
It’s important to be able to pinpoint the signs and symptoms of cradle crap. This condition most often occurs within the first 2-4 weeks of a baby’s life. This condition is characterized by oily, scaly, white or yellow patches that may crust over. While it might look unpleasant it isn’t painful and shouldn’t itch, but may be slightly red. You may also find these scaly patches on other parts of the body including the nose, ears and groin.
If the patches are itchy or painful, this could be a sign of another skin condition that will warrant seeing your pediatrician for an accurate diagnosis.
Should I seek treatment from a pediatrician?
Your baby’s cradle cap should go away on its own with a few weeks or months. You can care for cradle cap by simply using a mild shampoo and by shampooing your baby’s scalp every few days, which can help to remove scales. It’s important that you don’t scrub or become too aggressive with the scalp; however, if your child’s symptoms are severe or aren’t responding to home care, then it’s time to turn to a pediatrician who can prescribe a special, medicated cream or shampoo.
If you ever have concerns about your child’s health or any symptoms they may have, even minor ones, it’s important to bring it up with a qualified pediatrician that can address these concerns and also provide a fast diagnosis. No concern is too small when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your child.
You Catch Them Squinting When Reading
When your eyes have trouble focusing on an image, squinting may actually help your child see or focus better. Your child may squint when reading anything far away such as a menu behind a restaurant counter or when reading the chalkboard at school. Your child’s teacher may even let you know that your child needed to move closer to the front to see what was written on the chalkboard. This is a telltale sign that your child needs to have their vision evaluated by their pediatrician.
Sitting Close to the TV
Another sign that your child may have trouble with their vision is if they put phones and other electronic devices close to their face to see it. Your child may also sit really close to the TV. These could be signs of nearsightedness.
If your child’s eyes have been overworked and straining all day your child might complain of frequent headaches, particularly in the evening.
Difficulties in School
When parents and teachers notice that their child is having trouble focusing on work they may immediately think that they have ADHD, but sometimes bad vision is actually the culprit. If your child can’t properly see the board, it’s no surprise that their attention focuses on other things. This is when you should talk to your child and find out if they are having trouble seeing the board. It might not be behavioral issues, it might just mean that they need to get an eye exam.
If you are noticing changes in your child’s vision, or if your child mentions having blurry vision or trouble seeing, you must schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible. While your pediatrician does have the tools necessary for hearing and vision screenings, they can also refer your child to a pediatric optometrist who can provide further and specialized vision testing and fit them with glasses, if necessary.
Vitamin D is critical for all of us, but especially children. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, as well as for the support and development of a healthy body. Children with severe vitamin D deficiencies may develop muscle weakness, delayed motor development, rickets, and fractures.
Unlike most vitamins, which we can often get through diet alone, vitamin D is acquired through time spent in the sun. You won’t find many foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Unfortunately, if you’re in a place that doesn’t get much sunlight then chances are good your child may not be getting enough vitamin D.
Children get about 80 percent of their vitamin D from sunlight. So if your child doesn’t spend much time outdoors (especially during the winter months) it’s a good idea to talk with your pediatrician about ways to ensure that your child is getting enough vitamin D.
Children with certain health problems such as cystic fibrosis or celiac disease, as well as children who’ve undergone bone surgeries may require more vitamin D. This is something you should discuss with your pediatrician. Children over 1-year-old need at least 600 IU of vitamin D (or more) a day. Ideally, children should get around 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
We also know that too much time in the sun can also pose risks for children, especially their skin. During the summer months, children only need a few minutes a day in the sun to get enough vitamin D. During the winter months, kids should get about 2-3 hours per week. Children under 6 months old should never be placed in direct sunlight.
Children with darker skin will also need to spend more time in the sun to produce the same levels of vitamin D as kids with lighter skin. Just sitting inside near windows won’t be enough for your child’s body to produce vitamin D.
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.
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.
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