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Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Check out blog posts by Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” every week at Parents.com!
It all started with my Wellington, my middle child, having a simple fever, a rash, and the thing we all so often hear from our pediatricians: “How long has your child had a fever? If it’s been for five days or more, we will run some more tests.”
I have to admit I had no idea why this magic number of five days was so important, having never had any of my children ever run a fever for that long. The concern would come and go as quickly as the fever passed.
Well, not this time. Multiple doctor visits, two trips to the ER (one of which we left with a misdiagnosis of an allergic reaction to penicillin), an ambulance to a pediatric hospital, a lot of tests, some miracle medicine, an ecocardiogram, and several infectious-disease doctors and cardiologists later, it seems as though everything is going to be okay.
My son was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. It’s a disease of unknown cause that attacks the blood vessels and ultimately the heart if it is not treated within a critical window of time. My husband and I held our son in my arms while he received the medicine he needed, and we watched our little boy go from so sick and in pain to our smiley, cuddly laughing little boy once again. We will forever be thankful for the scientists who had done the work to learn how to cure this rare disease.
We are still recovering from the experience, and have a future of follow-ups ahead of us. But in looking at our experience, at what went right and what went wrong, I learned something so important: You know your child best. You must advocate for him (or her) if you believe him to be sick, and you must not give up until you get to the right doctor, to the proper care, and have the answers to your questions.
Wellington is going to be okay because of our perseverance and because of the access we had to the right doctors. Only in my nightmares do I think what could have happened if we hadn’t persisted and hadn’t listened to our gut that this was more than a common virus, this was not an allergic reaction, that something was very, very wrong.
Wells is back to his old ways, he’s eating like a champ, flirting with the ladies, and has a quest for adventure and learning that only a toddler could. I am thankful every day, and I know now to always listen to my gut.
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Monday, January 23rd, 2012
Note: This guest post is by Dr. Alanna Levine, a pediatrician and mom of two children. She is partnering with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, makers of Children’s Advil®, this cold and flu season on a fever education program.
With cold and flu season underway, many parents will have concerns when caring for their sick, feverish children. New national surveys of parents and pediatricians reveal that the actions many parents take to alleviate their child’s fever are not always in line with the most current recommendations made by doctors. Recently, the makers of Children’s Advil® conducted two online surveys, one given to 1,000 parents to find out how they treated their children’s fevers and a follow-up survey given to 250 pediatricians on their views of parents’ misperceptions and where education was needed. Based on the “Dose of Reality” study, follow the advice below to treat your child’s fever in safe ways.
1) Dose based on weight. The preferred way to dose a children’s fever reducer is to dose based on your child’s weight, yet more than one-third of parents (36 percent) surveyed dose based on their child’s age. Follow the dosing instructions on the medicine label, but if your child’s age and weight don’t match up, follow the weight dose. If you don’t know your child’s weight, follow the age dose.
2) Use a long lasting fever-reducing medication. Remember that the main goal of giving your child a fever reducer is to make him more comfortable, not to bring the temperature down to normal. It’s important to consider how long a medication will last. For example, products containing ibuprofen (like Children’s Advil®) provide up to eight hours of relief with just one dose.
3) Wait 24 hours after the fever breaks before sending a child back to school or daycare. More than half of the parents surveyed admitted to sending their child back to class less than 24 hours after the fever broke. Pediatricians advise that parents keep their child home from school or daycare until the she is fever-free for at least 24 hours.
1) Worry. Fever is the body’s normal response to an underlying infection and parents should talk to the pediatrician about the proper treatment. Definitely call the doctor if: a child is under three months of age and has a fever of 100 degrees or more; a child has a high fever over 103 degrees; or a child has had a persistent fever for more than a few days.
2) Give adult medication to a child. Nearly a quarter of the parents from the survey gave their child an adult over-the-counter medication and estimated the dose. This is dangerous. Children are not mini-adults and should only be given medication that has been formulated for them, unless specifically advised by the pediatrician.
3) Wake a child at night just to give fever medication. Pediatricians believe that feverish children who are sleeping comfortably should not be awakened to take fever medication. Instead, close monitoring is a good idea and parents should always check with the pediatrician.
For more information and a $1 coupon for Children’s Advil, visit www.childrensadvil.com or Facebook.com/ChildrensAdvil.
More about treating your children’s symptoms on Parents.com
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Children's Advil, cold and flu season, colds, fever, fever treatment, flu prevention, health, Health & Safety, sickness, treating fever | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Health & Safety
Monday, February 28th, 2011
X-Rays and Unshielded Infants
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Dr. Salvatore J. A. Sclafani of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn had noticed that newborns had been irradiated from head to toe — with no gonadal shielding —even when a simple chest x-ray was all that had been ordered. The errors at Downstate raise broader questions about the competence, training and oversight of technologists who operate radiological equipment that is becoming increasingly complex and powerful. With technologists in many states lightly regulated, or not at all, their own professional group is calling for greater oversight and standards. (New York Times)
New advice on children’s fevers: Ride it out
A new report published this month in Pediatrics states that not only is there no need to bring down a fever in an otherwise healthy child, but there is a downside to treating a fever – it can prolong the illness that originally sparked the high temperatures- unless the child was under the age of 3 months or had heart problems. (Today Moms)
Girls with migraines pack on extra pounds
A new study, published in the journal Headache, found that four of every ten women with childhood migraines had added at least 22 pounds since age 18, compared to three of ten women who never had the throbbing headaches. Migraines have been linked to obesity before, but the new results held up even after taking into account that kids plagued by headaches might have been heavier to begin with. It is the first to tie childhood migraines to later weight gain, according to the researchers. (MSNBC)
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior
A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it.
Lifting a Veil to see a Few Benefits of Fever
As many as 5 percent of children are at risk for seizures with fever and all run the risk of becoming extremely dehydrated, which in many cases is more damaging than the fever its self. Fevers are actually good indicators of a functioning immune system.
Autism risk rises in closely spaced pregnancies, study finds
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Columbia University researchers found that the risk of an autism diagnosis in a second-born child rose more than three-fold when the child was conceived within 12 months of the birth of the first baby, according to the study which was published online Monday in Pediatrics.
Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
I’m not a big fan of licensed products, but here’s one I might actually try: The Musical SpongeBob Digital Thermometer from BD (12 to $16) makes temp-taking a lot less intimidating for toddlers and preschoolers. It takes just 9 seconds to record a temperature readout, and plays the well-loved (by kids anyway) theme song to the show when it’s done. My 3-year-old daughter is always worried that the pointy thermometer is going to hurt, to a point where we often cut our losses by using a painless (but generally less accurate) ear thermometer. But I’m guessing she’ll trust SpongeBob, even if she doesn’t trust Daddy. Thanks to Daddy Types.
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