Friday, July 27, 2012

Dogs & Pups—Safety in Summer Time

There are close to 5 million dog bites each year in the United States (!!!!) with 800,000 requiring medical care; half of those are children. Dog bites are most frequent in summer months, likely because children are outdoors more often and playing in environments where dogs are present (parks, beaches, etc). Also, dogs themselves can have moods—and hot weather may lead to increased agitation and aggression, So, however cute and adorable doggies are, there are also important safety considerations—and summer is a great time for us to explore safety around doggies on the One Sassy Doctor blog. Here are some interesting facts and tips!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Realities of Water Safety

Water is fun! There’s a whole lot of developmental exploration and play that takes place in a bathtub or swimming pool. As we all know, however, water and safety are two words that go back to back.
As we’d expect, babies who are under 12 months of age are most likely to drown in a bathtub, toilet or a bucket. Babies can drown in just a teeny bit of water and can happen in seconds.

Drowning is the second cause of unintentional injury-related death among children between the ages of 1 and 14 (2005-U.S. Centers for Disease Control). In 2005, drowning accounted for 30% of unintentional deaths in children ages 1 to 4 years old. In University of Chicago economist Dr. Steven Levitt’s book “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything”, the professor says that children are 100 times more likely to die in a given year from swimming pool accidents than gun accidents.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to Protect Babies from Overheating

Over-bundled babies concern me more than babies who may be a little bit “chilly”—overheating can lead to unnecessary fever evaluations (checking blood, urine and spinal fluid) because of elevated body temperature as well as serious medical issues. In fact, over bundling and excessive overheating is a risk factor for unexpected infant death. Summer is a time to think about the appropriate amount of clothing for babies and toddlers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Signs of Overheating in Babies & Toddlers

Summer is a time to learn the signs of overheating (also known as heat stroke). It doesn't take much to offset overheating, and it’s an important issue for parents to be aware of. Heat-related illness results in many children being admitted to emergency departments each year and also is a cause of infant and child mortality. This can happen in babies, toddlers and parents—and the symptoms are actually quite similar. In our next post we will explore some easy ways to avoid overheating—today we will share some tips on recognizing overheating or heat stroke:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to Choose and Use Sunscreen

When my now 5 and 9 year old twins were young, sun screen before 6 months was a huge no-no —now the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending sunscreen for infants under 6 months because the risk of skin cancer outweighs the concern over possible irritation of the skin. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

“For babies younger than 6 months, use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face and the backs of the hands, if protective clothing and shade are not available”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sun Protection in Infants & Toddlers—Practical Aspects

Here are eight Sassy suggestions for keeping infants and toddlers protected from the sun. If you do them all, your baby will be protected, and may also look like James Bond (think sunglasses, hat, and covered clothes…you get the picture):
  1. Be shady! Summer time is all about the pool, the beach, and outings at the park—always be conscious of sun exposure and seek out shady areas when possible. If at the beach, assure there is an umbrella or other safe cover to shade baby. As we talked about in our last posting, baby skin needs protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever outside.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sun Protection in Infants & Toddlers—The Evidence: Part Two

In our last posting, we began to explore the landmark 2011 article by Dr. Amy Paller published in the journal Pediatrics: "New Insights About Infant and Toddler Skin: Implications for Sun Protection". Today, we’ll explore the three common negative effects of sun exposure.

We all know sunburns hurt, but what really happens to the skin itself and why is sun exposure harmful. Is skin cancer the only negative consequence of sun exposure? Before we go back to Dr. Paller’s article, let’s explore what Ultra Violet Radiation is all about:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sun Protection in Infants & Toddlers—The Evidence: Part One

It is widely known that sun exposure is closely linked to skin cancer in adults. What about babies and toddlers? With information being relayed to parents about the importance of sun exposure for small babies with elevated bilirubin, and for the Vitamin D required for healthy growing bones, it can be confusing. How much sun is healthy and okay? What are the true risks of sun exposure in young children?

In the next two postings on One Sassy Doctor, we’ll review the fantastic research article from the 2011 Dr. Amy Paller published in the journal Pediatrics: "New Insights About Infant and Toddler Skin: Implications for Sun Protection." There is tremendous evidence support from research linking excessive sun exposure in the baby and toddler years to skin cancer later in life. Some interesting facts: