Chickenpox (Varicella)

The Center for Disease Control shared that Chickenpox is a contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The virus spreads mainly by touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from chickenpox blisters, and possibly through tiny droplets from infected people that get into the air after they breathe or talk, for example. Symptoms of chickenpox include an itchy rash, fever, and tiredness. The disease can be serious, even fatal, for babies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. The best protection against chickenpox is two doses of the chickenpox vaccine. You can still get chickenpox if you’ve been vaccinated. However, you’ll likely have fewer blisters and little or no fever.

Key Facts

  • Chickenpox is a very contagious disease that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.
  • The classic symptom of chickenpox is a blister-like rash. You can have between 250 and 500 blisters all over your body.
  • Before the vaccine was available, about 4 million people in the United States would get chickenpox each year.
  • You can still get chickenpox if you’ve been vaccinated, but you’ll likely have fewer blisters and little or no fever.
  • CDC recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine. If you previously got one dose, make sure to get a second one.

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Make the transition to the school year less stressful

Transitioning from summer vacation to back-to-school can be an adjustment for both parents and children. With the carefree days of summer gone, getting back into a school year routine can be overwhelming and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

“Transitions for anyone can be stressful. Kids often react to stress in different ways from adults, and parents should watch for any significant changes in mood or behavior,” says Devin Carey, Ph.D., the pediatric psychologist at Lurie Children’s Primary Care — Town & Country Pediatrics.

“The anxiety of beginning the academic year tends to be the hardest when kids are starting a new school or during transitions, such as from elementary to middle school or middle school to high school,” says Carey.

“A lot of anxiety can be related to the unknown and uncertainties like, ‘Will I know anyone in my class?’ ‘What’s my teacher going to be like?’ ‘Am I going to have friends?'”

Stress can come not only from the fear of a new school but from the change in a child’s routine.

“It’s important for parents to recognize that some anxiety with a new school year is normal,” Carey says. “If there are no additional stressors, kids should adjust after a few weeks.”

Carey suggests that parents or caregivers prepare their child for the new school year by engaging in conversation before the first day.

“Help prepare your child ahead of time so the first day of school and first few weeks aren’t as overwhelming,” Carey says. “See what questions they might have. Ask them what they are looking forward to most. It’s important to balance the negative with the positive.” Read more

Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool in Summer

The Allstate Blog Team shared that if you are wondering how to keep your car cool during summer, there are plenty of simple things you can do. From maximizing your air conditioning to taking advantage of a shady spot when parking, the following tips can help you maintain a cooler vehicle on those hot and humid summer days.

Block Car Windows from the Sun

Cars can trap heat, causing the temperature inside them to quickly rise, says the National Weather Service. According to one test, a parked car’s temperature rose from 80 degrees to more than 94 degrees in about two minutes and reached 123 degrees within an hour. A car can reach up to 200 degrees inside, according to Consumer Reports.

Reducing the amount of heat entering through your windows may help keep your car cooler, making it more comfortable when it’s time to take a ride. Here are some tips to help keep your car cool in the summer:

  • Sun shades: Sun shades help block the direct rays coming into your vehicle, says Consumer Reports. This keeps the temperature slightly lower, which can help your car cool down more quickly once the vehicle is started.

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Self-Care: The Journey to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Paired with our expertise, the team at Jumo Health shared that encouraging a healthy lifestyle is essential for the growth and development of our youth. When we teach our kids self-care practices, they are likely to maintain these practices in order to evolve and thrive from adolescents into healthy adults. Self-care does not just pertain to physical health but it includes mental health as well. While childhood obesity and mental illness are not always mutually exclusive, they are commonly diagnosed as a result of the other.

Nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (aged 6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity. Children who suffer from obesity are teased more than their peers of healthy weight, and therefore are more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression and lower self-esteem. However, there are ways in which we can encourage our children to take care of their body and their mind. Here are three self-care practices to start incorporating into our everyday lives:

 

Power a Healthy Mindset with Knowledge

According to Sarah Katula, an Advanced Psychiatric Nurse, conversations about the mental health of another person should begin with a casual chat. This facilitates the opportunity for a loved one or friend to point out a noticed behavior without accusation. In the particular scenario of childhood obesity, this is a conversation that will likely be started by a parent who notices a change in their child. Coping with any diagnosis can be challenging, and growing up diagnosed with obesity has its own particular set of challenges. Read more

When Children Lose Control

Even well-meaning parents can inadvertently get in the way of a child learning these skills. When a parent avoids situations that are emotionally challenging, routinely gives in to tantrums or rushes in to fix things, the child loses the opportunity to practice and bolster their own coping abilities. “Kids need scaffolding and a support system in their parents, but they also need opportunities to learn how to tolerate and manage discomfort, which will help them in the long run,” said Susan Calkins, a professor of human development and family studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who has been studying emotional regulation in children for nearly 30 years.

For children, lessons in regulating emotion can be found in big challenges, like going away to camp, or in smaller ones, like sitting through a dinner out without the crutch of an electronic device. Fortunately, there are proven strategies that can help children to manage emotions, even in the heat of the moment.

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Protect Your Children: Store & Use Medicines Safely

The Center for Disease Control shared that each year, thousands of children are treated in emergency departments after finding and ingesting medicine, or after accidentally being given the wrong amount.  Learn how to keep children safe by practicing safe dosing and storage.

June is National Safety Month and a perfect opportunity for parents and caregivers of young children to remember the importance of safe medication use and storage.

Safe Medicine Use

“Dosing errors (when a parent or other caregiver gives too much or too little medicine) are the type of medication error that most often brings children into the Emergency Department.” says Dr. Shonna Yin, an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine.

When giving children liquid medicine, confusion about units of measurement can lead to large dosing errors.  For example, giving a child 5 teaspoons (tsp) instead of his/her prescribed dose of 5 milliliters (mL) would result in giving five times more than the prescribed dose!

To prevent dosing errors, medical professional organizations recommend using milliliters (mL) when prescribing oral liquid medicines and that mL units be the only units appearing on dosing instructions, labels, and dosing devices (such as oral syringes and dosing cups).

Spoons are for soup. Do not use household spoons to measure medicine. Use the oral syringe or dosing cup that comes with your liquid medicine. View large description and text >>

It’s important to always use the dosing device that comes with your children’s medicine to make sure that they get the right amount.

Household spoons should not be used to measure medicine since they come in so many different shapes and sizes. Open the silverware drawer and you might see teaspoons, tablespoons, soup spoons, grapefruit spoons with “teeth,” long-handled iced tea spoons for stirring a glass of cold tea on a hot summer day – you get the idea. Read more

Is my newborn normal?

Therese Gracey, M.D.Specialty: Pediatrics with Edwards-Elmhurst Health shared in their Healthy Driven blog that 

Moms know what a big change it is to have a newborn at home. You’ve waited for months for your baby to get here. Now she’s here and you aren’t quite sure what to make of this tiny creature.

During the first couple of weeks after you give birth, you may wonder: is this how a newborn is supposed to look and behave?

Here are some common newborn traits you should know, and some not-so-normal things to look out for:

  • Crying. All newborn babies cry, all the time. You’ll get familiar with your baby’s normal pattern of crying. Until then, make sure your newborn is fed, burped, has a clean diaper, and isn’t too cold or hot. You can also try holding, rocking, swaddling or singing to her.Contact your pediatrician: If your baby won’t stop crying after trying the above.
  • Breathing. Newborns tend to breathe through their noses, and their nasal passages are narrow. Your baby may breathe noisily, sneeze, or sound congested even when she doesn’t have a cold. A bulb syringe can help with clearing out her nasal passages.Contact your pediatrician right away: If your baby has trouble breathing. When in doubt, go to the ER or call 911.

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Adverse Drug Events in Children

The Center for Disease Control shared that an adverse drug event (ADE) is when someone is harmed by a medicine. Approximately 200,000 children (17 years old or younger) visit emergency departments each year because of adverse drug events.

Children less than 5 years old are more likely than older children to visit the emergency department for an adverse drug event, and each year one in every 150 two-year-olds visits an emergency department for a medication poisoning.

To reduce the risk of harm from adverse drug events in young children, parents should:

  • Use prescription and over-the-counter medicines only as directed.
  • Carefully give medicines as directed on the label or as instructed by a physician or pharmacist.
  • Make sure that safety caps are locked and that medications are kept in a place young children cannot reach or see.

Toddlers can be seriously harmed if they get into medicines when no adult is watching.

Finding and eating or drinking medicines, without adult supervision, is the main cause of emergency visits for adverse drug events among children less than 5 years old. Approximately 60,000 children less than 5 years old are brought to emergency departments each year because of unsupervised ingestions. Nearly 70% of emergency department visits for unsupervised medication ingestions by young children involve 1- or 2- year old children.

Tips for parents:

 

  • Store medications in a place that is too high for young children to reach or see.
  • Do not leave medicines out after using them (such as at a sick child’s bedside). Immediately return medicines to your safe storage location after each use.
  • Never leave children alone with medicines. If you are giving or taking medicine and you have to do something else, such as answer the phone, take the medicine with you.
  • Never tell children that medicine is candy so they’ll take it, even if your child does not like to take his or her medicine.
  • Remind babysitters, houseguests, and visitors to keep purses, bags, or coats that have medicines in them out of children’s reach and sight.
  • When purchasing medicines for young children, check to make sure they are in child-resistant packaging that you are comfortable using.  Make sure to fully re-secure the cap each time you use the medicine.
  • Put the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, on or near every home telephone and save it on your cell phone.

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