Trick-or-treating with food allergies

by Lindsay Lambarth, DO
Baylor College of Medicine, PGY-2
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Did you know that almost 40 percent of children with food allergies have experienced severe reactions? And that in the United States, 170 different foods and ingredients have been identified as the cause of allergic reactions?

Halloween can be a difficult time for children with food allergies due to the high risk of reaction when ingredients are not monitored closely.  To help keep trick-or-treating safe for children with food allergies, the Teal Pumpkin Project was created.  Teal pumpkins serve as a symbol of safety during Halloween for children with food allergies and indicate that non-food items are available.

How can you participate?

  1. Place a teal pumpkin in front of your home (classroom, office, or wherever treats are provided this season) to show that you have non-food items available.
  2. Provide non-food treats such as pencils or stickers for trick-or-treaters.
  3. Display a flyer or poster to inform others of what the teal pumpkin stands for. Follow the link below for free resources and flyers to print.

https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/free-resources

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Walk to school safely with these 10 tips

October is Walk to School Month

By Jacqueline Khalaf, RN
Injury Prevention and Community Outreach Coordinator
Trauma Department, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Walking to and from school can be great exercise for children of all ages. If you’re lucky enough to live only a few blocks from your child’s school, here are a few tips to consider to make sure your child is safe when walking to and from school:

  1. Walk on sidewalks when possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible.
  2. Children under 10 should not cross the street without an adult.
  3. Don’t be distracted by phones and other devices. Eyes up!
  4. Be aware of your surroundings. Be on the lookout for loose animals, strangers, and traffic.
  5. Always cross as crosswalks. Don’t run. You are more likely to fall if you are running.
  6. Look left-right-left and ensure vehicles stop at crosswalks before you cross the street.
  7. Make eye contact and wave to the motorist. If they wave back, this indicates they have seen you.
  8. Consider your second-edge — sometimes crossing happens mid-block instead of at crosswalks, such as between two parked cars. Make sure to stop at the edge of the vehicle (second edge) to look left-right-left again so that you see approaching traffic and drivers see you.
  9. Hold the hands of little ones when crossing the street. Young children may play or run, not understanding the dangers of crossing the street.
  10. Make sure children are visible using reflective equipment, lights, or wearing bright colors when it is darker outside.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide. (2016). Safety Tips. Retrieved from https:/www.safekids.org/safetytips.

 

Is your child’s car seat the right fit?

By Jacqueline Khalaf, RN
Injury Prevention and Community Outreach Coordinator
Trauma Department, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio
Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician

Child Passenger Safety Week is acknowledged in September. Here are some tips to keep kids properly restrained in vehicles.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety:
All children younger than eight years old, unless taller than 4’ 9”, are required to be in the appropriate child safety seat system whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle. The safety seat system MUST be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Continue reading “Is your child’s car seat the right fit?”

September is Sepsis Awareness Month

By Dr. David Newby
Emergency Medicine Physician

Sepsis takes the lives of over 18 children each day in the U.S. yet many Americans are unaware of this serious condition that can result in fatal complications.

Sepsis Alliance’s annual sepsis awareness survey reveals awareness of sepsis reached a new high with 65 percent of U.S. adults reporting they have heard the term sepsis, compared to 44 percent four years ago. Unfortunately, the survey results also show that sepsis symptoms are not well known, with only 12 percent of those surveyed knowing the symptoms of sepsis. And there is a lack of urgency in seeking medical attention, despite sepsis taking more than 270,000 lives a year in the U.S.

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Eight reasons you should take your child to a children’s ER

By Maria Perez-Johnson, D.O.
Emergency Physician

As a pediatric emergency physician, I am often asked by family and friends when they should go to the emergency room. As a caveat, I often reply whenever you feel you need to go – whether for reassurance of a minor ailment or for a more major emergency.  That’s why The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio has three emergency centers just for children that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all weekends and all holidays. We never close!

We understand that children are not just little adults. In an emergency, they need to see a doctor who treats children. We treat newborns all the way up to age 17. Adults and children can experience the same symptoms, but for children they could indicate a different or more serious condition. Here are some major and minor instances where you must go directly to your nearest emergency room:

  1. Any newborn with a fever. This is a special and worrisome time for new babies. Any infant less than 28 days old with a temperature of 100.4 degrees needs medical attention. No matter how you take the baby’s temperature (armpit, forehead, frontal sensors, or rectally), a temperature of 100.4 warrants a complete and emergent assessment by a physician. Continue reading “Eight reasons you should take your child to a children’s ER”

August 24: Mental Health Awareness Day

Mental health and our youth: bringing awareness to an under-reported issue

Blog provided by the following Baylor College of Medicine Pediatric Residents at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio: Dr. Nga Tang, PGY1; Dr. Alyssa Estes, PGY1; Dr. Matthew Sattler, PGY1; Dr. Christian Molony, PGY1; Dr. Ashley Gabriel, PGY2; Dr. Andrew Milera, PGY2; Dr. Cody Clary, PGY2; Dr. Amanda Scully, PGY2; Dr. Lauren Kjolhede, PGY3; Dr. Ann Marie Mojica, PGY3; Dr. Pedro Zavala, PGY3

Children’s mental health is an important part of their well-being and overall health as they grow and develop into adults. Anxiety, depression, bullying, suicide, social media exposure, addiction, and even school shootings are all issues that our children face today.

A common denominator is that all are related to mental health. But how often do we truly address mental health on a daily basis? What if we discover that our children need help? It can seem a daunting task, but we hope we can shed light on this day set aside to reflect on mental health and share resources to help our children and families when they need it most.

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Part III: How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good

This is the third in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

In this final blog in my series, let’s explore ways that you can maintain your child’s good behavior through positive comments and by making the most of the time you spend with each other.

1. Praising versus rewarding
2. Special time
3. Modeling

Continue reading “Part III: How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good”

Part II: How to survive and thrive as a parent: De-emphasizing the bad

This is the second in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

In this blog, we will explore how you can focus on positive reinforcement and avoid placing attention on negative behaviors by:

1. Eliminating the “Nos,” the “don’ts,” and the “can’ts”
2. Focusing on what they should do
3. Picking your battles
4. Addressing the emotions not the behavior

Continue reading “Part II: How to survive and thrive as a parent: De-emphasizing the bad”

How to survive and thrive as a parent: Reinforcing the good, de-emphasizing the bad, and preventing the ugly

This is the first in a three-part blog series.

By Elissa Gonzalez, M.D., M.P.H.
Pediatric Resident, PGY3
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Part 1: Preventing the Ugly

By ugly, I mean the uncontrollable tantrums, the fighting, the hitting, and the angry outbursts. When we can prevent our child’s ugly behavior, we as parents are preserving our own sanity every day. Here are some guidelines to help prevent these episodes; however, this will not eliminate these behaviors completely since your children are human after all.

  1. Bonding
  2. Emotions
  3. Routine
  4. Anticipation
  5. Meeting needs

Bonding.  First you must bond. Establishing a strong connection with your child is an important factor in changing negative behaviors and maintaining positive behaviors. With younger children, maintaining a positive warm tone through play and getting down at eye level can help with building connections. In older children, showing interest in their daily activities and being flexible (listening and negotiating) can serve the same purpose. Sharing in decision-making is helpful for understanding each other and empowering your child at any age.

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Diez razones por las cuales los pediatras dicen: “la leche materna es mejor”

Por Danielle Roberts, M.D.
Residente de Pediatría, PGY2
Baylor College of Medicine
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

En la vida, darle la bienvenida a un bebé al mundo puede ser una de las experiencias más emocionantes y también aterradoras. Muchos padres planean la llegada de su hijo por meses, desde cómo anunciarán el embarazo a los familiares, cuándo será la licencia materna y paterna, preparar el cuarto del bebé…y la lista continúa. Llegará una boquita más para alimentar y es muy importante pensar en qué va a comer el nuevo bebé. Es posible que usted haya escuchado de los muchos beneficios de la leche materna; ¿sabía que hay docenas de maneras en la cuales la leche materna puede ayudar a los bebés y a sus padres?

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