From The Desk Of dr.Dan

Influenza Activity 2013-2014

 

The “flu” season is in full gear now. Influenza infection started in the southern United States but has now spread north to the Midwest and other regions.

 

The good news is that the vaccine strains in the flu shots and intranasal flu vaccines are good matches for the predominant circulating strains. It is not too late to be immunized. The influenza immunizations are fifty to seventy percent effective in preventing the flu and are the only means to prevent it. So don’t hesitate, vaccinate!

 

New Car Seat Requirements for 2014

 

  • There are new changes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding car seat restraint that take effect in 2014.

 

  • There is a common child seat system call LATCH, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. Instead of threading the seat belt through a bulky car seat, the seat is secured by latches that hook into tethers on the top and bottom of the car’s back seat (Either the LATCH system is used or the seat belt, never both).

 

 

  • The NHTSA revision call for parents of children ages three and up not to use the lower anchors if children and their car seat have a combined weight of 65 pounds or more. Effective February, 2014, the new rule will be instituted because the strength of the lower anchors cannot be guaranteed in an automobile accident. The rule only applies to the lower anchor; the top anchor (tether) may still be used or you can secure the seat using the seat belt.

 

  • Whenever you are in doubt about the proper instillation of your car seat contact an expert in this area. Appointments can be made by calling station 131 (Mifflin Township) at 614-471-0542.

Car Seats & Safety

 

  • Each year thousands of young children are injured or killed in car crashes. It is extremely important to always have your infant or child ride in a properly installed car safety seat. The type of seat you use depends on your child’s age, size, and the type of vehicle you have.

 

  • All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer. These children can then ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness as long as possible. All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing unit for their car seat (usually at 4-5 years old) should use a booster seat. When children are equal to or greater than 4 feet 9 inches in height (usually at 8-12 years of age) they can use a lap and shoulder seat belt.

 

  • All children should ride in the back seat until 13 years of age. Two tests can detect possible problems with car seat installation: the inch test and pinch test. A properly installed car seat should not be able to be moved an inch side-to-side or front-to-back at base; and you should not be able to pinch together any excess webbing at child’s shoulder.

 

In our Gahanna community we have excellent resources to check that car seats are properly installed. Mifflin Township Division of Fire employs a certified child passenger safety technician who can help ensure proper instillation. To schedule an appointment, call 614-471-0542. Healthychildren.org also is an excellent website for car seat and other safety and health information.

 

Your Child's Sleep Problems

 

Sleep problems can be some of the most difficult pediatric problems. Following are some helpful hints in dealing with your child’s sleep problems.

 

  • Babies should sleep on their backs; as they learn to roll over they will sleep as they desire.

 

  • Day-night confusion is common in newborns, but dissipates by six weeks of age.

 

  • Try to have your infant sleep in his/her crib and in their own bedroom by two to three months of age. Allow them to learn how to fall asleep on their own by this time and not rely on a pacifier or rocking to sleep.

 

  • Toddlers usually convert from two naps per day to one nap per day by fifteen to eighteen months. Most children give up their one nap per day by two to three years.

 

  • Below is a list of how many hours of sleep per night children need.
  • Newborns sleep 15-18 hours per day
  • 1-4 week old sleep 15-16 hours per day
  • 1-4 month old sleep 14-15 hours per day
  • 4-12 month old sleep 14 hours per day
  • 1-3 year old sleeps 12-14 hours per day
  • 3-6 year old sleeps 10-12 hours per day
  • 7-12 year old sleeps 10-11 hours per day
  • 12-18 year old sleeps 8-9 hours per day

 

A very good reference book for sleep issues is:

 

Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems

by Richard Ferber, M.D.

Cold Weather Injuries

 

Exposure to cold can produce various injuries as a result of our inability to adapt to cold. People can develop localized injury to a body part (frostnip or frostbite) and generalized cooling of the whole body (hypothermia). Children are at increased risk of cold weather-related injuries.

 

  • Frostnip is a mild cold weather-related injury that typically affects the face, ears, toes, and fingers. The affected area may be pale and the child may complain of itching, burning, or pain. Numbness or tingling are frequently present. Simple rewarming restores normal color and sensation and there is no permanent tissue damage.

 

  • Frostbite occurs when there is freezing of body tissue, usually the hands, feet, nose, ears, cheeks, and chin. Frostbite injuries can be superficial (involving the skin and subcutaneous tissues) or deep (involving tendons, muscles, nerves, and even bone). Superficial frostbite injuries have a better prognosis.

 

  • The signs and symptoms of frostbite vary, depending on the severity of the injury. The first signs often include pain, burning, tingling, numbness, and pale-colored skin. Clear-colored skin blisters may develop. As the injury progresses to deeper tissues the following signs and symptoms may develop: complete loss of sensation and then function; pale, yellowish, bluish, gray or mottled skin color; blood-filled skin blisters; and firm or hard feeling skin and tissue.

 

 

Treatment

 

  • Move indoors and remove all wet clothing and constrictive clothing and footwear.

 

  • Avoid massaging or rubbing the area.

 

  • Frostnip will improve by breathing into hands, placing hands in your armpits, or submerging your hands in warm water.

 

  • Frostbite injuries require immediate medical attention at a health care facility. Loosely wrap the affected area in a sterile dressing or clean blanket. Cotton or gauze may be placed between fingers and toes. At the hospital rapid rewarming in a tub of warm water that is between 104-108 degrees Fahrenheit is the treatment of choice. If frostbite is present, hypothermia may also be a problem and requires special treatment. Never rewarm and thaw the area if there is a risk that it may refreeze.

 

  • Remember that the best treatment is prevention. The frequency of frostbite injuries increase at temperatures below 14 degrees F. Risk of frostbite becomes even greater at wind chill temperatures of -13 degrees F; and a wind chill of -49 degrees F will cause skin to freeze very rapidly. So do not allow your children to play outside in very cold weather. Have them wear warm clothing and dress in layers. Undergarments should wick moisture away from the skin. Thick cotton garments should be chosen for the second layer with a tightly woven moisture-resistant outer layer. Bring children in at regular intervals and check fingers and noses for signs of frostnip or frostbite. And make sure your children stay dry; wet clothes increase chance of heat loss.

 

Winter is a great time for fun, invigorating outdoor activities. Just be aware that the cold can harm your children if you are not careful.

 

 

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Contact Us

 

470 Silver Lane

Suite B

Gahanna, OH 43230

Phone: (614) 933-0980 Fax: (614) 933-0334