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Prevention

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 […]

Physical Activity: A Key Ingredient to Keeping Kids at a Healthy Weight, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Physical Activity: A Key Ingredient to Keeping Kids at a Healthy Weight

Last year’s social distancing restrictions left many families cooped up inside. With more time indoors, screen-time increased and physical activity declined for many families. With the weather heating up, and outdoor restrictions lifting, many are eager to get back to their regular summer activities. Benefits of Being Active When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits: strong muscles and bones weight control decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes better sleep a better outlook on life Healthy, active kids are also more likely to do better in school. And physical competence builds self-esteem at every age. Additionally, regular physical activity improves mental health. It can have a positive impact on reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and ADHD. Exercise can boost overall mood. Getting outside to local parks and finding nearby recreation centers […]

Button Batteries

Button Batteries: Small in Size, Big in Dangers to Children

The child ingestion rate of button batteries is on the rise. More than 3,500 incidents of button battery ingestion are reported to U.S. poison control centers each year. The most serious injuries are usually associated with 20 mm diameter batteries, about the size of a nickel. They are dangerous to toddlers and kids because they are easy to swallow or be inserted into their nose or ears. Serious injuries and even death can result if the button battery is not removed in time. What Are Button Batteries? Button batteries are small, round, and shiny batteries that are found in numerous household items like: Hearing aids Remotes controls Toys Holiday decorations Watches Flameless candles Bathroom scales What Can Happen If Ingested? If swallowed, chemicals in the batteries can cause serious burns when swallowed or get stuck in the body. According to HealthyChildren.org, when the battery makes contact with bodily fluids, it generates […]

What You Could Miss If You Skip Your Child's Well Visit

What You Could Miss If You Skip Your Child’s Well Visit

Your family has been doing their part and staying home as much as possible to prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19. But messages can get confusing about whether you should take your child to their doctor for a pediatric well visit or check-up. Even during a pandemic, it’s important for kids to have their growth, development, and well-being tracked. What You Could Be Missing by Skipping Your Child’s Well Visit Physical Exam: A regular physical exam can help your doctor pick up hard-to-detect issues like high blood pressure, heart murmur, lumps and bumps, ear and hearing issues, and even cavities. Assessment of Growth: During a check-up, your healthcare provider will track height, weight, and BMI. These measurements can tell them if your child has any medical issues that impact growth. Assessment of Development: A development exam looks at parts of your child’s functioning, including things like reasoning and understanding, […]

Protect Your Family From the Flu

Protect Your Family From the Flu

This year, it’s more important than ever to get the flu vaccine. There has been so much focus on COVID-19 this year that many people may not even realize that flu season has already begun. For many people, the flu is more than a seasonal annoyance, it can be dangerous. And as COVID-19 continues to spread during this 2020-2021 flu season, it’s extra important to get a flu vaccine for all family members as soon as possible. The flu virus spreads easily from person to person. It gets into our lungs and airways and can turn into serious illnesses like pneumonia. The flu is especially dangerous for babies. It can also be serious for kids and adults with health problems like asthma or diabetes. Why Does My Family Need a Flu Vaccine This Year? Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you from the flu, it also helps protect the […]

10 Tips for a Safe Halloween This Year

10 Tips for a Safe Halloween This Year

2020…the year of cancellations. But as the pandemic continues, we have adapted. Fun activities are returning in safe and creative ways—drive-in concerts, anyone? As summer fades to fall, the question is beginning to swirl: Can we have Halloween? The simple answer is yes, so long as everyone follows some basic safety measures. The tips below apply to all ghouls and goblins, big and small! Ditch the Candy Bowl Quite possibly the most important thing you can do is forgo the “communal” candy bowl. Whether you usually hand out candy from the bowl or let kiddos dig in and grab their favorites, it’s just too tricky for trick-or-treating this year. A candy bowl cannot be contact-free. So what’s the alternative? Grab-and-Go Set up a table, decorate it if you wish, and place the wrapped candy out on the table individually, allowing kids to come up and pick their favorites without touching […]

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Your Teen Boys, Powered by Nemours Children's Health System

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Your Teen Boys

For several decades, much of the focus on body image disorders has focused on females. In American society, the feminine ideal is to appear thin. Males, however, are encouraged to be muscular. Lately, we are witnessing a shift in how males perceive their bodies. Boys Feel the Pressure Too Many of today’s young males want a strong body; specifically, they want more muscles. With action figures such as Batman, Captain America, and Superman to magazine covers boasting “Double your muscle!” and “Bigger arms now!” it’s no wonder that teens view being chiseled and ripped as the ideal male body image. It’s one thing to play with an action figure or peruse a magazine, but it’s quite another to think obsessively about becoming muscle-bound and to diet and exercise compulsively to look this way. Sound like obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)? Yes. Sound like an eating disorder? Yes. What Is Muscle Dysmorphic […]

Teens and Distracted Driving

Teens and Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents in teenagers and young drivers. According to NHTSA, each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. In 2017, 3,166 people were killed in a crash involving a distracted driver. These statistics are frightening. Parents should talk to the young drivers in their family about distracted driving and methods to avoid tragedy. Taking Your Mind Off the Road Most of us are guilty of distracted driving at one time or another. It happens maybe more than we’d like to admit — we drive while letting another activity take our attention away from focusing on the road. When your brain is thinking about anything other than what is happening on the road, it makes it difficult to react during a potential crash. This […]

7 Flu Myths, Debunked

7 Common Flu Myths, Debunked

When flu season hits, what usually follows is a barrage of flu myths and misinformation. The flu, which is often accompanied by a fever, a cough, a sore throat and congestion, is a severe illness that kills between 20,000 and 30,000 Americans each year — including children. “Some people feel that it’s not a big deal and they can tough it out, but some kids are hospitalized due to pneumonia because of the flu, and others die every year because of it,” said Dr. Jonathan Miller, general pediatrician and Medical Director of Value-Based Care at Nemours Children’s Health System. “It’s a very serious disease.” The flu can lead to pneumonia, inflammation of the heart or brain, organ failure, or sepsis, all of which can result in death. That’s why it’s so important to take proper precautions against catching or spreading the flu, including getting the influenza vaccine and staying home […]

Keep MyPlate in Mind for the Holidays

Keep MyPlate in Mind for the Holidays

The holiday season is a wonderful time to celebrate traditions with family and friends. But it can also be a tricky time, when we veer off track from our health goals at various social events with all of the delicious food and beverages. Keeping Myplate in mind around the holidays is a helpful way to control portions while still enjoying your family traditions. MyPlate reminds us to make: half of the plate fruits and vegetables a quarter of the plate include protein and the other quarter to include grains or a starchy vegetable. How to Stay on Track During the Holidays Snacks: Consider having a healthy snack before you leave for that holiday gathering. Your snack should include a fiber and protein source so it is guaranteed to help you feel fuller, longer. This will also help with portion control and ensure you are still satisfying your holiday cravings and […]

Helping Kids Avoid a College Campus Outbreak

Helping Kids Avoid a College Campus Outbreak

This time of year always reminds me of American humorist Erma Bombeck, who once wrote: “I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: ‘Checkout time is 18 years.’” When our teenagers go to college, we want them to acquire many things: new friends with diverse backgrounds, expanded interests, more independence, and, if they have time, an education. What we don’t want them to get? Sick. In a college campus outbreak. What’s an Outbreak? An outbreak is the occurrence of cases of disease in excess of what would normally be expected in a defined community, geographical area or season. A recent example of a college campus outbreak–last year’s mumps outbreak at Temple University. Here are some other real examples: Case 1: Meningitis  A student was rushed to the hospital after presenting to the student health center with a headache, stiff neck, and fever. Diagnosis: […]

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. […]

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