Posts for: September, 2016
Too many parents wrongly assume that the sun is only dangerous when it’s shining brightly. The fact is, the sun’s rays are dangerous no matter what time of the year, and too much exposure during childhood can lead to serious problems later in life.
Parents should pay special care to protect their kids when playing outdoors. Here are a few simple tips to prevent overexposure to the sun:
Keep babies younger than six months out of direct sunlight, protected by the shade of a tree or an umbrella.
When possible, find a shaded area or take a break indoors to avoid sun exposure for extended periods of time.
Limit outdoor play
UV rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so it’s best to avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun during midday.
Protective clothing that cover the arms and legs and wide brim hats can keep kids protected from sun damage.
Always apply sunscreen
Choose a sunscreen made for kids with a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. Apply to all areas of the body and reapply every few hours.
Sunburn is an obvious sign of sun damage, but a child doesn’t have to get a burn to experience the negative consequences of too much exposure to the sun. The effects of chronic sun exposure can also contribute to wrinkles, freckles, toughening of the skin and even cancer later in adulthood. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just one blistering sunburn in childhood more than doubles a person's chances of developing skin cancer later in life.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By setting good examples and teaching kids the importance of sun safety now, parents can significantly lower their child’s risk of developing skin cancer and other signs of sun damage as an adult.
Always talk to you pediatrician if you have questions or concerns about sun safety and prevention.
Parents play a vital role in protecting the health of their children. Childhood asthma is the most common chronic condition in children and babies but can often present itself in ways that make diagnosis difficult. Learn the signs and symptoms of asthma and find out how your pediatrician at West End Pediatrics in Alexandria, VA can help.
Signs and Symptoms of Asthma in Children
Some tell-tale signs your child may be suffering from asthma include:
- night-time coughing fits
- coughing fits caused by exercise
- tightness in the chest
- shortness of breath throughout the day or during sleep
Some of these symptoms also indicate the presence of other childhood illnesses like an upper respiratory infection or a cold. However, your pediatrician can help you diagnose and treat asthma. Diagnosis depends on several factors, including tests determining pulmonary functionality, exercise tests, allergy tests and imagining techniques like x-rays.
Pediatric Asthma Treatment in Alexandria, VA
If you suspect your child has asthma, you should schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible. Treating pediatric asthma depends on the patient and the severity of their case. Frequent follow-up examinations to monitor progress and assess the effectiveness of the medications prescribed are usually necessary while determining the correct treatment plan for your child.
Long-term treatment often include medications such as corticosteroids or leukotriene modifiers. Some inhalers combine several medications to administer several different medicines at once. A pill taken daily can also help control asthma by controlling the muscles around the airway. Short-term medications are also available for immediate relief of asthma symptoms.
For more information on asthma, please contact Dr. Lisa Rainey, Dr. Perdita Taylor-Zapata and Dr. Denyse Bailey at West End Pediatrics in Alexandria, VA. Call (703) 823-7400 to schedule your appointment with your pediatrician today!
Jaundice is a common condition in newborns, caused by excess yellow pigment in the blood called bilirubin, which is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. When bilirubin is produced faster than a newborn’s liver can break it down, the baby’s skin and eyes will appear yellow in color.
In most cases, jaundice disappears without treatment and does not harm the baby. However, if the infant’s bilirubin levels get too high, jaundice can pose a risk of brain damage. It is for this reason that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all infants should be examined for jaundice within a few days of birth.
Is it Jaundice?
When parents leave the hospital with their newborn, they will want to look for signs of jaundice in the days following, as the condition usually appears around the second or third day of life. Most parents will be able to detect jaundice simply by looking at the baby’s skin under natural daylight. If you notice your newborn’s skin or eyes looking yellow, you should contact your pediatrician to see if jaundice is present.
Also, call your pediatrician immediately if your jaundiced newborn’s condition intensifies or spreads. The following symptoms may be warning signs of dangerously high levels of bilirubin that require prompt treatment.
- Skin appears very yellow
- Infant becomes hard to wake or fussy
- Poor feeding
- Abnormal behavior
While most infants with jaundice do not require treatment, in more moderate to severe cases treatment will be recommended. Some infants can be treated by phototherapy, a special light treatment that exposes the baby’s skin to get rid of the excess bilirubin. Infants who do not respond to phototherapy or who continue to have rising bilirubin levels may be treated with a blood transfusion.
Always talk to your pediatrician if you have questions about newborn jaundice.