Crestwood Pediatric Associates
Katherine Abbott, MD February 2019
There is an outbreak of measles across the country, centered in Washington State. The outbreak is in 10 states including California, Colorado, Georgia, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, New York, Texas, and Washington. However, the epicenter is in Washington State, in King County, in the city of Seattle. The most disturbing aspect of this is that the 49 cases diagnosed there to date are in unvaccinated children. This outbreak could have been prevented!
One of the unanticipated outcomes of the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine is that people have forgotten how serious measles can be. Before the MMR vaccine was available, measles caused 2 million deaths annually across the globe. Now it causes 110,000 deaths annually primarily in impoverished areas with limited access to health care.
Measles is highly contagious. It is spread through the air with a cough or a sneeze. This makes it contagious in school settings, the grocery store, and yes, in the waiting rooms of doctor’s offices. Due to this reason, we do not allow people who do not vaccinate against MMR to become patients in our practice. We feel this is our duty, to protect your children, our patients, against the vaccine preventable disease measles.
Measles presents clinically as a high fever, cough, runny nose, headache, light sensitivity and a classic red rash on the neck, face and trunk. The primary complication resulting in death, in 1 out of 500 patients is pneumonia. Please call our office if your child travels to one of these regions and is exhibiting this constellation of clinical symptoms.
Laurie Wolf, CPNP, October 2018
It’s time to bring out the pumpkins and candy! Be prepared for a safe night out with your ghosts and goblins with these safety tips.
As spring approaches, so does the onset of allergy season. While allergy symptoms can occur at any time of the year, many find that the spring allergy season brings on the worst of their symptoms. Allergy symptoms can include headaches, runny noses, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, and red/watery eyes.
Common medications to treat allergy symptoms include:
* Antihistamines: Taken orally can help with watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing. Some types of antihistamines may cause drowsiness.
* Nasal Corticosteroids –Very effective for control allergy symptoms, especially when symptoms are chronic. They must be used daily for maximal effectiveness.
If your child suffers from allergy symptoms yearly in the spring, start medications before the onset of symptoms for the best control. An easy start date to remember is St. Patrick’s Day annually. Pollen driven allergies tend to begin within a few weeks after, and you may avoid the sudden onset of severe symptoms.
For severe allergy symptoms, finding out what your child is allergic to may help to find the ideal treatment for symptoms. Allergy testing may be indicated for your child at the advice of your pediatric provider. Nasal allergy symptoms can be caused by both indoor (dust mites, pets, insects/pests) and/or outdoor allergens (pollens). Molds may also trigger nasal allergy symptoms, and can be found both indoors and outdoors.
Avoiding allergens that cause symptoms in your child is a key part of treatment. If your child is allergic to a pet in your home, vacuum frequently and keep the animal out of your child’s room. If dust or exposures to insects/pests are a trigger, frequent dusting and vacuuming may help to decrease symptoms.
Dust mites are frequently an allergy trigger. Large amounts of them are found in bedding, upholstered furniture, and rugs. Bedding such as mattresses and pillows should be contained in allergen-proof coverings. Bed linens, including blankets and bed coverings, should be washed every 1 to 2 weeks in hot water. Dusting with dust trapping cloths and frequent vacuuming may also help with symptom control.
For outdoor allergens (pollens), limiting exposure is an important part of symptoms control. During warm weather use air conditioners and keep windows closed if possible. Shower or bathe every evening or after outside exposures. This including washing hair which can trap large amounts of allergens. If grass pollens trigger symptoms, try to stay indoors when grass is being mowed and avoid playing in clippings or areas of very tall grasses.
There are a large number of over the counter and prescription therapies to treat allergy symptoms. . Consult with your provider for further help in determining the best method of controlling your child’s allergies. Enjoy your spring!
Jennifer Bradford DO, FAAP January 2019
Flu, or Influenza, is an illness caused by a respiratory virus.
When someone with the flu coughs or sneezes, the virus is spread into the air and the people nearby can inhale it; it can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth or rubbing your eyes.
Symptoms of the flu can last a week or more and include:
People who have the flu are usually much sicker than those who have the common cold though sometimes the symptoms can look similar.
Common complications of the flu include ear infections and pneumonia.
Children with chronic health conditions (like asthma, cancer, Crohn’s disease, etc) have the greatest risk of complications from the flu; they are also more likely to be hospitalized.
Tylenol or Motrin can help decrease a child’s fever and help decrease body aches. Make sure your child is old enough to take these medicines first before giving them. Avoid aspirin use in children.
Rest and fluids are very important in treating children with the flu.
Tamiflu is an anti-viral medication that can help decrease the length of time you are sick with the flu by 1.5 days, but it needs to be started within 48 hours of fever onset.
The best way to prevent the flu is to receive the flu vaccine for those 6 months of age and older and to wash your hands frequently!
If children still get the flu even if they have had their flu vaccine, they usually have a much more milder course and recover more quickly!
Make sure you wash your hands!
School is out and it’s time for some summer fun! For most families, this includes lots of swimming in either community pools or a backyard pool on a fairly regular basis. Here are some key safety points to keep in mind to keep the kids safe while swimming this summer:
- An adult who is able to swim (and preferably who is CPR-trained as well!) should always be present at the pool actively watching older children swim and actually in the pool with infants and toddlers free from any distractions like smart phones, house/yard work, socializing, and alcohol.
- Remember that inflatable swimming aids (“floaties”) are not a substitute for approved life jackets and offer a false sense of security.
- It is a good idea to have a few rules for playing in the pool if you do have your own backyard pool. These might include no running on the pool deck, no diving, no electrical appliances near or in the pool, no toys near the pool when not using the pool, and no tricycles or bicycles near the pool, and of course, no using the pool without an adult physically present as mentioned above.
- If you do have your own pool, one of the best ways to protect children in addition to having adult supervision, is having a fence completely around the pool to prevent any accidents.
- Remember that children over the age of 1 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swim lessons, but such lessons should not be considered to “drown proof” any child. Adult supervision is always needed!
So, grab your swimsuits, have fun this summer at the pool, and always stay safe!
We at Crestwood Pediatric Associates are concerned about the increasing use by our patients of retail based clinics or urgent care centers. Here are some important things to consider before you go:
Parents are often unsure when a problem arises when our office is closed if it can wait till the office opens in the morning. We have 24/7 on-call physicians that can help you make the decision to go to an urgent care center or ER, or if it can wait till the office opens in the morning.
We understand that children get sick at night and on the weekend. Our office is open until 9 PM most nights and on Saturday morning to give maximum flexibility in scheduling to our patients.
We remain your partner in your child’s care. We want what is best for your child as do you. Please consider the above carefully the next time you consider going to an Urgent Care Center.