Posts Tagged ‘ Pediatrician ’

A Must-Read Car Safety Tip For Every Parent

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

You hope it never happens to you–but if God forbid you or whoever is driving your kids were in a car accident, rescue workers wouldn’t know how to identify the children. Adults at least have driver’s licenses, etc. Even if your babies were conscious, a toddler probably wouldn’t know her home address, phone number, etc.

A mom wrote a blog post about putting a sticker on your kids’ car seats that gives basic information. (For some reason, her blog URL won’t come up now.) Basically she said to put your child’s name, birth date, parents’ names, number, pediatrician’s number, and emergency contact information on it. If you have an older child who doesn’t have a car seat but is still too young to have an identification card, put the sticker somewhere obvious in your car.

There is a site–The Ohio Insurance Institute–who made the sticker shown above (called the TIKE emergency info car seat sticker) for people to print out. It’s on their website, along with the following explanation for why they made this sticker:

“In 1995 a six-month-old boy was involved in a head-on traffic collision while riding with a relative. The driver was left unconscious and the boy suffered a life-threatening head injury that required immediate surgery. Police did not know the child’s identity and were only able to trace his parents because an address book was located in the wreckage. Valuable time was lost due to this delay. The boy was airlifted to a nearby hospital for emergency brain surgery.  He has since fully recovered. This sticker is to be placed on the bottom of your child’s car seat to assist emergency personnel in identifying your child should an accident occur which disables the adults in your vehicle.”

It’s such a no-brainer to do this. One of those things where I think, Why didn’t I think of that? Anyway, pass this tip along.

 

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My Kids’ Health Crisis, Part 2

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

I hate to see my kids sick. Who does? I hate it even more when they are diagnosed with something “rare,” which is exactly what happened to Fia after the Wednesday doctor visit.  I left my last post off with Em’s pneumonia and the removal of Fia’s alleged tonsil stone, which was followed by a 105.5 fever.

Thursday morning I had to take them both back in. Emmett’s lungs were still “wet,” but they thought he sounded a little better. One down, one to go.

Fia however, now had a huge patch of white on her left tonsil, and it was really swollen and red. A different doctor saw us and said she had a peritonsillar abscess– something that is uncommon in a young child. She said that Fia now needed the hospital-grade antibiotic shot–the same one Em had the day before.

Note to self: Never tell your kid they won’t get a shot before taking them to the doctor. Technically, I told her she probably wouldn’t need one, so I didn’t swear it. But that didn’t help the wailing. Now she had to endure what she gleefully witnessed her brother getting the day before. A butt shot. She walked out limping–which the doctor said happens. However, Fia managed to dramatically limp for the next 36 hours. She’s my girl.

The pediatrician said we had to come back the next day to see if the swelling was down. She seemed worried. She also said the white stuff we thought was a tonsil stone was actually pus. She said this could turn into a serious infection that would require an ENT to surgically drain the abscess. If it got worse, she would need to be hooked up on antibiotics at the hospital with an IV line. You know when you are on a flight with turbulence and you look to the flight attendant for reassurance and she looks just as frightened as you? Well that is how I felt.

I don’t know what it is, but I somehow worry about Fia more than Emmett. Maybe because he’s such a wild boy who is capable of large-scale destruction while remaining indestructible himself. Fia is so lithe, and while tough and fearless, has a fragile, ethereal way about her. And she’s so damn sweet. Her latest thing is she wants to be a Superhero so she can help people. She has an empathy that I think is pretty remarkable for her age. Sometimes I think she’s too good to be true. Self-indulgent and narcissistic, I know. But it’s how I feel. I was really worried with this infection.

I went home and Googled the abscess. Why is it rare in children and what causes it? Leukemia is what came up on one site. I felt a sinking, sick feeling in my stomach. I stopped Googling. We all know Google is the devil at a time like this.

I watched her like a hawk. I bribed her with television then, 6 hours later, with a lollipop, to look twice in her throat. The swollen, pus-covered bulge wasn’t changing. Neither was her fever. I kept hoping the antibiotics would work.

The next morning she was no better, though I felt calmer for some reason.  It was also Friday. Once again, I took them both back. Em was still on the right track, though he had now developed an ear infection, despite being on oral antibiotics. Cue yet another butt shot. This time Fia didn’t grin. She grimaced. She even got her limp back–for dramatic effect perhaps?

The pediatricians sent us to the head ENT doctor at Children’s Hospital. They wanted us to see a specialist before going into the weekend. I scrambled to get a sitter for Emmett in case Fia needed surgery on the spot.

I have never been so happy in my life to hear the beautiful word: tonsillitis. That’s what he said it was. He said it was swollen more on one side, which could have made the pediatricians think abscess. But the white stuff wasn’t pus–it actually was a tonsil stone. It had just grown. He said it would go away in time. Now whether my pediatricians had averted an abscess by injecting her with antibiotics or not, we won’t ever know. I stand by everything they did, but I was gleeful to hear the words, “Go on home.”

We celebrated with ice cream. Doc said it was okay.

“Just the girls,” she said as she licked her “icing-on-the-cake-with-sprinkles” cone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Em would still barely eat and only take a bottle. Of course this meant diarrhea. Which meant diaper rash. So I found myself back in the throes of newborn territory. I have given them both Culturelle like candy. The doctors told me that right now probiotics are my best friends.

Despite all this, by Sunday, both kids were doing much better. We decided some fresh beach air would do them good. Off we went.

We played in the sand and splashed at the edge of the tide. Phil and I exchanged looks of relief. But fate wasn’t done with us yet.  We changed Emmett’s diaper in the back of the car. As I went to put his pants on, the wild-child-who-can’t-sit-still turned around and flung himself forward, falling face first onto the seat back. He stood up shrieking. Blood was streaming from the outer corner of his right eye.  We thought he sliced his eyeball. We threw them both in their car seats and rushed to the closest ER. He missed his eyelid by 1/8th of an inch.

When the boy is sick, he’s super cuddly. When he’s not, you have to be on a constant death watch. He would find danger in a padded room.

Ending the epic week in the Marina Del Ray emergency room begs the question: How many gods did I piss off in my previous life? I am burning 7 twigs tonight, one for each day of the week. I will recite “Ill luck is broken as these words are spoken.”

Yes, I’m resorting to fairy-magic, hippie-dippy crazy crap at this point. Why not? Of course if my luck doesn’t turn around, my twigs could catch fire and burn the house down…

 

 

 

Cartoon pic of sick kids via Shutterstock

 

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What’s The Proper Color For Snot??

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

I get a bit giddy when it comes to snot. Slightly obsessed too. I am also happy to report Fia is actually beginning to blow her nose. She can push out some good stuff when she’s in the mood and really tries. I also have to beg her. And bribe her.

But I’m a bit confused on the color for snot when it comes to sickness. I always thought that clear meant no infection and you could be around other kids, but yellow or green meant an infection/contagious. However, my friend just told me that both her son’s teachers and her pediatrician said the opposite. They said that when the snot is clear it is contagious, since the cold is just starting. Yellow and green snot means it’s on its way out and you’re okay.

I looked online and got more confused. WebMD lists so many colors and variations, I need a color wheel and more brain cells to break it down. Dr. Oz said the opposite of what my friend was told:

  • Clear/white: healthy
  • Yellow/green: bacterial or viral infection
  • Pink/red: bleeding or damaged tissue

So what’s the truth? Anyone?

I will tell you all about one device you must run out and get if you have a kid 3 or under. Not sure over 3 would tolerate it. Fia won’t. It is the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s a snot sucker called The Nose Frida. But YOU suck out your kids’ snot. It sounds primitive (and gross to some). But it was developed by doctors in Sweden and we all know the Swedes are brilliant. You put a tube in your kids nose. On the other end of the connecting tube, you put your mouth. Then you suck. What comes out and the gratification that follows is nothing short of glorious. For the sucker. Not the one being sucked. Emmett shrieks. But what kid likes any of that stuff? Fia of course always wants me to do it to Emmett because when it comes to her little brother, she’s a bit of a masochist.

Warning: It’s not for the faint of heart. Phil gets so grossed out, he can’t even be in the same room. I, on the other hand, confessed recently to being a picker. So I think if you have the “picker gene” you’ll be as excited as I am.

BTW– It’s totally hygienic because there is a filter by your end of the tube. You never swallow your kids’ snot. It’s impossible.

Okay, let me know your thoughts on the color of snot so we can continue what I hope will be a very lively discussion.

 

Use this handy quiz to decide whether your kid is too sick for school. Plus, find out which 12 sick kid symptoms you should never ignore.

Image of snotty baby via Shutterstock

Photo of Nose Frida from Amazon

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Why Can’t Kids Take Cough Medicine?

Friday, October 18th, 2013

I don’t want to wish away the time with my kids. I know it goes fast. But there is one thing I am seriously excited about when they turn 6: the ability to give them cough medicine.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t like to medicate if I don’t have to. Or, if alternative therapies worked, I’d be all game. But at times, there is absolutely nothing that helps Fia’s chronic cough. Last week her cough turned into walking pneumonia. I’m convinced it’s because of her coughing that hard for that long, night after night, not sleeping, that wears the whole body down. So what is worse? Giving them a small dose of cough medicine or letting it turn into this? Now she’s been on hard-core antibiotics for five days. Yes, the cough is gone, but did it have to get that far in the first place?

I get the body is supposed to learn to fight on its own and during the day it can. But at night when a kid is puking because he or she is coughing so hard? It’s just wrong. I mean, we’ve managed to build the Hadron Collider, figuring out the physics of the universe and yet I can’t give my kid relief in the night?

I got so fed up with her cough last week. This, after she was gurgling in her throat from all the mucus. I did the nebulizer twice, both inhalers, and had the humidifier turned up so high the moisture made it feel like the Amazon Jungle.  Emmett then started to cough so hard he started throwing up. So while Phil slept with her propped up on pillows, I slept holding Emmett upright in the rocking chair.

The next night, as it all started again, I gave Fia Benadryl. She slept like a baby. Em and I had to just plow through because being under 2, I get that he’s too little to do much.

But generally speaking, it’s so f–king frustrating I want to scream.

Months back when her cough was bad, the Vicks Vapor Rub on her feet was an absolute miracle. I still use it on both kids, but the results aren’t as impressive.

Fia has asthma fits that become exacerbated when she gets a cold. I’ve been to a pulmonologist and the pediatrician countless times. Everyone just kind of shrugs, since there is nothing they can do.

So why can’t we give our kids cough medicine? Because in 2007 the FDA looked at the limited studies and said that the amount required to help a cough is too strong to give kids under 6, Many of the pharmaceutical companies voluntarily recalled it for infants (which, frankly, is impressive for an industry that is all about money). The kids cough medicine you see on the shelves today won’t give any dosing for kids under 5 or 6. Now part of this decision is due in part to people not following directions properly and overdosing kids to a fatal level.

The thing is, it is hard to distinguish between all the medicines. I have to read the dosing sheet from my pediatrician’s office at least 3 times to make sure I’m doing it right. There is a huge, potentially life-threatening issue if you don’t distinguish between a regular formula of Motrin or acetaminophen and the concentrated drops.  This American Life had a heart-wrenching report on babies dying from mistakes in acetaminophen dosing.

Back when they took the medicine from the shelves, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association said the products were being pulled “out of an abundance of caution.”

It went on to say that…potential misuse of the medications, not product safety, is driving the voluntary withdrawal.

I asked my pediatrician about it and she said that all cough medicine has really been proven to do in young children is put them to sleep. Ack. Argh. That’s all I’m asking for: something where she can sleep and not be exhausted night after night from coughing. But she said if there is a cough that needs to work itself out and you are basically drugged asleep, it can be incredibly dangerous. So I’m not faulting all this, I’m just saying that for all of you who had kids before the rules changed, count yourselves lucky that you missed sleepless nights of aggravating coughs.

I’ve tried the homeopathic remedies and the humidifier. If’ it’s a minor cold they might work. But a major cough? She’s screwed.

So unless I decide to “go rogue” and just do it myself (which plenty of my friends have done, as did parents whose kids were born before 2007) I just have to wait 2 1/2 more years. Maybe on her 6th birthday I’ll do a goodbye cough-themed party.

Is anyone else frustrated about this? Or does anyone have any suggestions?

 

Pic of coughing kid via Shutterstock

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Is My Boy More Active Than Yours?

Friday, March 15th, 2013

 Emmett never stops. He is a tank, a brute of boundless energy.  At his 1-year check-up the pediatrician, who has been with him since birth, reiterated again that my dude may need Occupational Therapy to find ways to Slow.Him.Down. He is the most active child she’s seen that’s not on the spectrum or that has any mental or health issues.  Even changing his diaper has been a challenge since he was, oh, 5 months old. Thank god for his amazing temperament or I might consider selling him.

“You are going to have to run him twice a day. For at least an hour each time. He is the kind of kid who will need to be worn out. Every-single-day,” she said.

I pictured a horse let out to pasture. Or a dog during off-leash hours in the park. I then pictured Emmet’s face on both beasts. Yup. That’s my boy. I decided I needed to find an activity for us to do together. One that wasn’t awful.  Or disastrous (like Fia’s ballet class).This time I was smarter. I decided on Toddler Gymnastics. I should have thought of it sooner, since Fia goes to the same gym. I know the coaches, the facility, the drill.

He was the youngest one but kept up with the best of them. He loved the trampoline the most. He giggled incessantly. Of course he wouldn’t sit still and wait his turn. I had to pull him away and run him (yes, my horse) until it was his time. He hated the balance beam. It took both me and the coach to try and hold him upright. He kept doing the “baby flop”–you know, when they go limp. I’m sure because it would take too much concentration to walk slowly. I had no time to stare at the clock or dream about my lunch like I did in other mommy and me classes. But that’s a good thing. I hate being bored.

I took him early and we left late. I really thought I “ran” him good. Then we came home and he slept for 30 minutes. Should I put up my For Sale sign yet? WTF??

Three nights this week he has shrieked off and on for 3 hours. Phil and I have taken turns going in when we can’t take it anymore. He’s not sick. He’s not teething. He just wants to be held. He is one strong-willed little dude. And he knows it. I think in a test of wills he will win. Actually he already has. But man, he’s so damn cute and snuggly at times. He knows just when to turn on the charm to keep that For Sale sign at bay.

You all know I am a sleep training guru, but even I know when to throw in the towel. Since he won in the cry-it-out category, last night we switched tactics. I went in on the first wail around midnight. In less than 20 seconds I put his paci back in and laid him down. I said in a fairly stern voice, “Emmett, it’s night time.” I closed the door. He didn’t peep until around 3 am. I did it again. He slept until 7:15.

I think he just needs reassurance that we are there. Even when he’s running he pauses and looks back to check that I’m still with him. I’m usually a few paces behind, sweating. I am soon going to need a cane. Boys. Men. It’s hard to keep up with them. They are needy little f–kers. But impossible to resist.

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