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Ages & Stages

Breastfeeding and COVID

Breastfeeding and COVID-19

Breast milk is nature’s perfect food for a newborn. It contains the right amount of nutrients, immune-boosting antibodies, and is easily digested. Babies who are breastfed tend to have fewer bouts of diarrhea or constipation, less reflux, more protection against ear infections, pneumonia, and asthma, and a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  The benefits of breast milk seem to be endless. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends to start breastfeeding as early as one hour after birth and to continue exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. They also recommend continuing breastfeeding even after solid foods are introduced, until at least 1 year of age.  Can You Breastfeeding If Positive for COVID-19? But what if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19? Is it safe to start or continue breastfeeding? While there are still so many unknowns when it comes to coronavirus, it’s widely known that you can spread COVID-19 to your infant through tiny […]

Expert Question and Answer

Expert Q&A: COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids

In this video, recorded on June 2, 2021, Kenneth Alexander, MD, PhD, Division Chief, Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital, and April Novotny, RN, MSN, CEN, CENP, Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President of Clinical Services at Lakeland Regional Health, share the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine for kids, as well as insights on how COVID-19 has been impacting children and what parents can do to help their children have a safe summer and a successful return to school in the fall. Learn more about: How COVID-19 is impacting kids today How to talk with your teen about the COVID-19 vaccine Why your child shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as routine vaccines Tips for safely rejoining society after being vaccinated If you have a question for Dr. Alexander, post it in the comments section on Facebook. If my child already had covid, do they still need the […]

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) in Children

While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19 and suffered complications from the virus, very few have been hospitalized, and adults still make up most of the known cases to date. However, there are still many unknowns about the virus and new information unfolds every day. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (commonly known as MIS-C or PMIS) is a serious condition that has occurred in some children who have contracted COVID-19. This complication causes a significant inflammatory response in a child’s body that can cause a fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and signs of shock. MIS-C typically presents several weeks after a COVID-19 exposure or infection. Know the Signs of COVID-19 The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally shown mild symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and cough. Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and headache have […]

Expert Question and Answer

Expert Q&A: Kids and COVID-19

During this Q&A session, pediatric cardiologists Gul Dadlani, MD, and Deepika Thacker, MD, answer questions from parents about kids and COVID-19. While COVID-19 transmission rates in children have been lower than adults, it can still be significant for your child. Symptoms are typically milder in children, and children can also be asymptomatic. Q: How will the COVID-19 variants affect children? A: Multiple variants of the virus are circulating globally. The UK variant (B.1.1.7) is reported to be more contagious and serious. Cases caused by the South African variant (B.1.351) and Brazilian variant (P.1) were reported in January 2021. There have been no signs of more serious disease in children caused by these variants yet, but only time will tell. Visit cdc.gov to stay up to date on the latest information about variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Q: Why are the rates rising in kids? A: As rates of COVID-19 cases […]

COVID-19: Are teens super-spreaders?

COVID-19: Are teens super-spreaders?

SARS COV2 PCR: DETECTED! This is a lab result no one wants to get. If teens test positive for COVID-19, whatever semblance of normality they may have, such as in-person school or after-school sports, vanishes instantly. For typical teenagers, “temporary” is not in their mindset. Their adolescent brains are still developing and they may still believe that what happens today will last forever. Teens may feel that being forced to quarantine is punishment. Teens may not recognize that they have COVID-19 since symptoms may be mild or absent. If they do have symptoms, they may not tell anyone as they do not want to face the consequences of a positive test. Some teens may choose not to reveal their contacts; contact tracing could result in family, coaches, teachers, and peers also requiring testing and possible quarantining. In the November issue of Pediatric News, Margaret Thew, DNP, FNP-BC stated that some […]

COVID quarantine: an emotional tipping point for teens

COVID-19 Quarantine: an Emotional Tipping Point for Teens

Fall is usually a busy and fun time of year for our teens. Back-to-school shopping, high school football, track meets, student government elections, band, orchestra, choir, drama, debate club, homecoming, Halloween, haunted houses … #normallifewemissyou. But teens are actually missing a lot more. They’re missing opportunities to work on the critical tasks that help them mature emotionally: Acceptance of one’s body image (height, weight, and sexual development); they can’t master this task if they have more free time to become obsessed with their bodies and convinced that there’s a problem. Achieving independence from their parents; they can’t master this task if they’re quarantined together. Growing through peer interactions; they can’t master this task if they’re not socializing in groups. Establishing their identities, including sexual identities; they can’t master this task six feet apart. What happens when they don’t master these tasks? Many problems. A few examples: At 3 p.m., a […]

How Can Children Socialize During a Summer Pandemic?

How Can Children Socialize During a Summer Pandemic?

Your family’s summer plans during the COVID-19 pandemic have likely been canceled or at least shuffled around. In the first part of a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs), below are answers and ideas about how your children can socialize during the summer and out-of-school months. Can my children have playdates? For social distancing to truly work, there shouldn’t be playdates, especially inside your home. The best option is still to do a virtual playdate via FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype. A good compromise is an outdoor playdate, where you can keep that six-foot distance. Get a few kids together for a bike ride or hike. Remember to have rules: be sure that kids over 2 years wear face masks when possible make sure that they wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. If you decide that an indoor playdate is a good choice for your family, […]

A boy pretends to be an airplane while his dad lifts him in the air.

Keeping Your Kids Busy During Social Distancing

Healthy Ways to Avoid Crowds and Keep Kids Engaged during the Coronavirus Pandemic The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic has changed Americans’ daily lives due to cancellations and closures just as many parents and kids prepared for spring break. Schools and other organizations are now closed for at least two weeks in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Kids are thrilled, but parents are… well, not. Here are some things parents can do with kids while avoiding crowds, and coronavirus, and keeping some level of sanity. Make a nature bracelet.When I was little, my grandmother took me on “nature walks” in her neighborhood. She made a bracelet for me out of tape, turned sticky side out, and I would pick flower petals, leaves, blades of grass, and other items from nature to “decorate” my bracelet. Put on a show with homemade puppets.We’ve all created puppets out of cotton […]

What to Tell Your Kids About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What to Tell Your Kids About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Help Kids Understand What it Is COVID-19 is a new disease that is caused by a coronavirus. Coronaviruses cause a number of different illnesses, from colds to more serious respiratory tract infections. Because this is a new illness, we’re still learning about it. But we do know that COVID-19 causes a fever, cough and trouble breathing. We also know that it spreads very easily when people who have it cough or sneeze, sending tiny droplets into the air. That’s why it’s important to do things to stop it from spreading, like washing our hands a lot and staying away from other people if we feel sick. For most people, the illness is not serious. People might feel a bit like they have the flu and can recover at home with rest and fluids. Some people do get very sick, though. These people can get help and expert advice from their […]

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