Kate Cronan, MD, Author at Nemours Blog

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Kate Cronan, MD

RSV on the Rise: What Parents Need to Know

RSV on the Rise: What Parents Need to Know

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge, doctors are warning about another well-known respiratory illness, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), spreading among infants and young children. There has been an unusual summertime uptick in RSV cases. And it’s happening at the same time as the Delta variant of coronavirus is infecting young children and teens. Cases of RSV in kids and older adults usually occur in fall through early spring. But due to a reduced spread of RSV during the winter months of 2020-2021 — because of quarantine and masking guidelines — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that many cases are now surfacing earlier this year. Most children get an RSV infection by the age of two. As some areas lift mask mandates and other restrictions, there is a reappearance of the virus occurring. That means older infants and young children who would have gotten it last […]

Pool safety, powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Water Safety

Drowning is a leading cause of injury-related death in children ages one to four, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Safe Kids Worldwide notes that more than half of drowning deaths in children happen in those ages 0 to 4. Nearly 1,000 U.S. children under 20 years old lose their lives to drowning each year. It’s important to know that drownings can happen quickly. The many rules written about pool safety come down to the same important guideline: Kids should always be supervised in and around water, no matter what their swimming skill levels. Young children especially must be watched—they can drown in less than 2 inches of water. That means drowning can happen when and where you’d least expect it. Get Them Swimming Early According to the policy statement, “Evidence reveals that many children older than 1 year will benefit from swim lessons.” And classes taught by qualified instructors at […]

Frequently Asked Questions During COVID-19: Health, School, and Travel for Summer/Fall 2020

Frequently Asked Questions During COVID-19: Health, School, and Travel for Summer/Fall 2020

The end of summer is usually a time for excitement and anticipation for kids and their families. But this year, many families are feeling anxious as fall approaches. In this second part in a series of frequently asked questions about kids and COVID-19, we’ll talk more about how your children can be safest during the back-to-school season. Should I send my child to school? Both the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agree that it is very important for students to be physically present at school, if it is safe to do so. Every state, as well as individual school districts, has plans for the re-opening of schools in 2020, and parents should weigh the benefits of in-class versus online participation for their children when given that option. If possible, take time to discuss with teachers and administrators the best practices that […]

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, […]

Teen girl smoking e-cigarettes

E-Cigarettes and Juuling: Teen Use Reaching “Epidemic Proportions”

In September, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced bold new steps to address what they call an “epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.” The new enforcement actions aim directly at the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to kids. Warnings and fines were sent to retailers who are selling Juul and e-cigarettes to minors. This article explains what you need to know about “vaping.” What are E-Cigarettes? Electronic cigarettes (or “e-cigs”) are battery-operated, nicotine-dispensing devices. They’re marketed as a safe alternative to smoking. But they’re not safe because they usually put nicotine — a highly addictive drug — into the body. They also mimic the act of smoking a real cigarette, possibly making it harder to quit. How Do E-Cigarettes Work? E-cigarettes use cartridges filled with a liquid that contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. A heating device inside the e-cigarette turns the liquid into vapor to be inhaled. […]

What’s New in Sunscreen, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

What’s New in Sunscreen

With summer well underway, it’s important we remember to lather on sunscreen and cover up with brimmed hats, long sleeves, and sunglasses before heading out in the sun. But when picking a sunscreen, you may not be thinking about what type of ingredients in that sunscreen protect you from the sun. You may have heard about physical and chemical sunscreens. Both types have their own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s important to learn the difference between the two. No matter which kind of sunscreen you choose, it’s always important to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Physical Sunscreen Physical sunscreen (also known as mineral sunscreen) sits on top of your skin, so it’s not absorbed into the bloodstream. It acts as a barrier that blocks the sun’s rays. The active ingredients that are found in this type of sunscreen are zinc oxide and titanium oxide, both of which are […]

The dangers of leaving kids in a hot car, powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Preventing Hot Car Death in Children

In 2018, a disturbing record was set in the U.S. – 52 children died as a result of being left inside a hot car. You may think a hot car death could never happen to you or your family. But most parents or caregivers who left a sleeping baby or child in a car did it unintentionally and unknowingly. You can ensure that a tragedy like this doesn’t happen by creating a plan to help you avoid distraction. The Dangers of Leaving Children in the Car The first thing to remember is that never, at any time, should you leave infants, children or someone who has special needs in a parked car. Even if you’ll only be gone a few minutes; even if the windows are cracked open; even if it’s not that hot outside. Conditions inside a hot, parked car form a type of greenhouse effect where the temperature […]

Doctors, Including This One, Push for Baby Walker Ban, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Doctors, Including This One, Push for Baby Walker Ban

We’ve all seen them, maybe even used them at some point. The infant walker. Usually a round or square structure with a seat in the middle, the baby walker has “legs” with wheels, so baby can move around and also play with the many activities on the attached tray. They seem innocent, even helpful to baby’s development. But from 1990 to 2014, nearly 230,676 babies under 15 months old were treated in emergency departments for walker-related injuries. Risks of Baby Walker Use The number one risk from baby walkers is falling down stairs, followed by falling out of the walker. The majority of injuries are to the head and neck. But there are also other risks because while in the walker babies can reach for things that are normally too high—things like pot handles on stove tops or a tablecloth where there is hot coffee on a table. The concern […]

Giving the Right Toy: Gift Ideas for Kids of Any Age, Powered by Nemours Chiildren's Health System

Giving the Right Toy: Gift Ideas for Kids of Any Age

Play is extremely important in children’s social, mental,physical and emotional development so choosing the right toys to give to them can be challenging. When giving the right toy to a child, think of the toys as learning tools that should match their age, help them develop social and motor skills, and be stimulating, safe and fun. Choosing a gift that is both fun and educational can be difficult and will depend on what age and stage the child is in. Use this guide to help you find the perfect toys for the children in your life. Toys for Baby (Age 0 to 12 Months) During their first 12 months, babies are developing new motor skills, so as they grow, play becomes more coordinated and involved. At about four months, babies begin to reach for and grasp objects, like rattles. From six to seven months, they can transfer that rattle between […]

Halloween Safety Tips, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is such a fun time–for kids and grownups! Before you send your little monsters out trick-or-treating, here are some quick and easy Halloween safety tips to make sure your kiddos enjoy all Halloween treats this year. Dressing Your Little Ghouls & Goblins Choose a light-colored costume that’s easily seen at night. Add reflective tape or glow-in-the-dark tape to the costume and to the trick-or-treat bag. Only buy costumes labeled “flame-retardant.” This means the material won’t burn. If you make your own costume, use nylon or polyester materials, which are flame-retardant. Make sure wigs and beards don’t cover your kids’ eyes, noses, or mouths. Masks can make it hard for kids to see and breathe. Instead, try using non-toxic face paint or makeup. Don’t use colored or decorative contact lenses, unless they’re prescribed by a licensed eye doctor. Put a nametag – with your phone number – on your children’s […]

6 Sun Safety Tips: How Kids Can Have Fun in the Sun and Be Sun-Safe, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

6 Sun Safety Tips: How Kids Can Have Fun in the Sun and Be Sun-Safe

All kids need time outside. It’s good for them to play and exercise, get fresh air, and spend a bit of time in the sun, so their bodies can make vitamin D, which helps all of us absorb calcium for strong and healthy bones. But too much sun exposure can be dangerous, especially to children. Damage from exposure to the sun builds up over time, so knowing about sun safety and how to protect your child from the sun should start early. No Tan is a Healthy Tan The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. When your kids spend too much time exposed to UV rays without protection, they can also damage their eyes and immune systems. And just one blistering sunburn in childhood could double the risk of getting melanoma (the most serious skin cancer) later in life. The intensity of […]

Know About CHS: Vomiting Syndrome Linked to Marijuana, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Know About CHS: Vomiting Syndrome Linked to Marijuana

Your teenager is sick to his stomach. Really sick, throwing up as much as four or five times in an hour. If your teen is a heavy marijuana user, he might have cannabinoid hyperemesis (CHS). What Is CHS? Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is a scientific way of describing the body’s reaction when someone uses a lot of marijuana (cannabis) over a long period of time. Emesis means vomiting. Hyper means excessive. It’s a clinical way of saying that people with CHS throw up a lot because of heavy marijuana use. Some people take years to develop CHS. But 1 in 3 people with CHS have used marijuana for less than a year. The only way to stop CHS is to stop using marijuana. Why has CHS become a problem in recent years? A blog post published in The Lancet suggests it might be because marijuana produced today is much stronger than in […]

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