Video: Common Rashes in Babies and Young Children

Most babies will develop some kind of mild skin condition or rash in the first year of their life, as their skin adapts to their new environment. In this brief video a family doctor talks about typical rashes, what to do, and when to seek medical treatment.

Editor’s Note: Video Highlights

  • Most rashes don’t have a serious underlying cause and will clear up on their own
  • Baby lying on blanket on floorOne of the most serious rashes, which needs immediate medical attention, is one which doesn’t disappear when you press a glass or tumbler on it and look through the glass (technique shown in the video)
    • This could be a sign of a condition called meningococcal septicaemia or meningitis.
  • Other signs that may indicate a serious rash include a high fever, a very irritable lethargic child, or a child who is reluctant to eat
  • If you are at all worried, you should see your pediatrician or call the emergency services to seek medical help
  • Common rashes covered in this video (with pictures) include:
    • Eczema (red, itchy, dry rash that cracks and is in elbows or behind knees)
      • Possibly see a doctor for advice
    • Ringworm (single, circular, red patch)
      • Can usually treat with cream from drugstore
    • Prickly heat or heat rash (itchy red rash)
      • Eliminate clothing layers – should disappear in a few days
    • Impetigo (crusty yellow lesions, which are spreading)
      • See a doctor – will require antibiotics
    • Chicken pox (red itchy spots that then become blisters)
      • Call your doctor and avoid contact with other children

For more information on babies and rashes, click on this link from NHS Choices.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 03-21-2016 to 03-27-2016

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Health News: Zika virus ‘implicated’ in large numbers of brain-damaged babies in Brazil  https://t.co/EdfcNpYYXU

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use Twitter and Facebook to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 15 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
It May Soon Be Illegal To Text And Walk In NJ.  https://t.co/dANDaMabuo

The Road Ahead For Special Needs Kids: Aging Out of School

ArcBARKS 2Although we continue to improve the educational opportunities and outcomes of our special needs kids, as they age out of school there are a whole new set of challenges ahead of them – and us. Many high-functioning individuals are very employable, and training and vocational programs may prepare some young adults for jobs. Others are lucky enough to be born into a family business which is familiar and comfortable and for which they have been training literally their entire lives. Some families get creative and start businesses based on the strengths and talents of their members with special needs.

Some of these businesses are small, operating out of a basement or even on the kitchen table. Some go on to bigger things, like Emma Lynam in Australia, who thanks to her mother is now the “Master Shredder.” Emma’s low reading level guarantees that she won’t be spying on her clients’ sensitive documents before destroying them. ArcBarks is a dog treat company in North Carolina started by a mom to give her son and others like him a productive way to use their time. Their treats are now sold in over 150 locations and online.

Rising Tide3Rising Tide car wash first caught my eye a few years ago. The family has taken their successful car wash beyond a local business that employs people on the spectrum. They are now doing speaking engagements and, through their Rising Tide U, offering presentations and information on how to start a business using the talents of people with autism, although the information would be useful for any other syndrome or diagnosis.

If you are not lucky enough to live near any wonderful programs or services you can still work on helping your special needs child (or teen or adult) gain skills that will lead to independence or even employment. Take an inventory of the skills this individual has mastered. Also take note of any passions – would this person be more willing to bake for people, or would knowing these treats were destined for dogs be an additional motivation? What chores does this individual do at home, and is it something others would be willing to pay for? A dad in Canada gets his nonverbal son hired to build IKEA furniture for people! What is in demand in your area – snow shoveling? Dog walking?

Another way to get training that can lead to employment is through volunteering. This also helps get the individual out into the community and avoids the issue of losing benefits if too much money is earned. An animal rescue in my area allows children to volunteer as long as a parent is with them (and as long as that parent signs a waiver, of course). Community events also offer training in Rising Tideplanting, landscaping and other activities that can translate to job skills. Donating items that are either gathered or made to charities can also be a tax deduction that may help the family finances.

Many parents and families of people with special needs find that working from home or running their own business also allows them the flexibility needed to handle appointments, therapy sessions or health challenges. It can be a challenging road but some people are finding creative, brilliant ways of navigation.

Why Does Your Child Bite …And What Can You Do?

Zwei Mädchen streiten auf dem SpielplatzWhile it’s shocking and probably embarrassing when your child bites, it’s not unusual behavior for young kids. When children are overcome with feelings such as anger, fear, frustration or disappointment, for example, because another child has possession of a toy they want, they don’t have the language to express it.

IN A NUTSHELL: 5 of the 10 reasons in Bloom – WHY KIDS BITE.

  1. They do not have the language, words or ability to express what they need to say.
  2. They are frustrated, upset or irritated, and biting seems to be the quickest way for them to communicate this.
  3. The child is overwhelmed by sensory input when several other children are present.
  4. Even though the child “knows” biting hurts on a cognitive level, he may not have developed the emotional maturity to control this urge when frustrated.
  5. At a young age, biting is normal and needs to be redirected.

YOU HELP THE CHILD by stating how he might feel and providing him with the solutions (new words, thoughts and behaviors) the child cannot find on his own. It’s important to help the child figure out, what thought, feeling or perception caused their escalation because awareness provides the opportunity to make a different choice next time.

***************************************************************************************************************

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Study: ‘Traumatic Childhoods’ Linked to Early Death as Adults

“Traumatic childhoods increase the risk of death before the age of 50 by up to 80%,” reports the Mail Online.

The news is based on research that followed children born during one week in 1958 to see whether they died prematurely (before a ge 50) and to see what adverse events they went through as children.

boy crying while parents fight in backgroundThe researchers looked at childhood adverse experiences as reported by parents and teachers when the children were 7, 11 and 16 years of age. These bad experiences included spending time in (foster*) care, suffering from neglect, parental separation, or having a family member in prison. The researchers also took into account factors such as socioeconomic status and lifestyle during childhood and when people were young adults.

Give children the best start in life

Children can’t help their circumstances. Whatever their background and experiences, one of the best things you can do for your child is to have them vaccinated against the common childhood diseases.

These often potentially fatal diseases, such as measles, can be prevented simply by a free injection available from the NHS.

Find out when to get your child vaccinated at your local GP practice.

Overall, adverse childhood experiences were associated with a higher risk of death before 50. For those who had suffered two adverse experiences, this risk was 57% higher for men and 80% higher for women, compared to those with no such experiences.

If there is a true link, we still don’t know the exact reasons. The researchers speculate that adverse events change the way the brain is wired or that people who have experienced adversity develop short-term coping strategies that lead to long-term health damage. However, this can’t be proved by the current study. It may be that as yet unaccounted for factors explain the link between adverse events and premature mortality.

Where did the story come from?

The study was carried out by researchers from INSERM (The French National Institute for health and medical research) and other French and British research organisations and universities. It was funded by the French Institut National du Cancer and the Institut de recherche en santé publique and La Ligue nationale contre le cancer.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Epidemiology.

The Mail Online mostly reported the results of this study accurately. However, it’s headline cherry-picked the highest premature mortality figures (those of women experiencing two or more adverse life variables). The coverage also failed to mention the limitations of the study design (although the study was large and used the most appropriate study design, cohort studies cannot show causation, only association).

What kind of research was this?

This was a cohort study. It examined whether events causing stress responses during childhood are linked to premature mortality – defined in this study as death before 50 years of age.

This is the ideal study design to investigate this issue, although it cannot prove that events causing stress responses during childhood cause premature mortality, as other factors, called confounders, could be responsible for any association seen.

What did the research involve?

The researchers used results from 7,816 men and 7,405 women who were part of a cohort study of people born during one week in 1958 in Great Britain (the 1958 National Child Development Study).

Information was collected when people were 7, 11, 16, 23, 33, 42, 46, and 50 years of age.

Childhood adverse experiences were reported by parents and teachers at 7, 11 and 16 years of age. The following were counted as adverse experiences:

  • Being put into (foster*) care by age 7, 11 or 16
  • Physical neglect, including being undernourished or dirty at ages 7 or 11
  • Having a family member in prison or on probation (at age 11) or in contact with the probation services (age seven or all) or being imprisoned or on probation at age 16
  • Being separated from their father or mother due to death, divorce or separation at 7, 11 or 16 years of age
  • Having a family member with a mental illness at ages 7, 11 or 16 or having someone in the household in contact with the mental health services at ages 7 or 11
  • Having a family member with an alcohol abuse problem at seven years of age

Deaths were monitored through death certificates. The researchers looked at the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and death before 50 years of age after controlling for “early life variables” and for characteristics at 23 years of age. These early life variables included:

  • Mother’s age at birth
  • The number of people per household
  • Whether the mother’s partner was employed in manual or non-manual labour
  • Mother’s educational level
  • Maternal smoking during pregnancy
  • Gender
  • Gestational age at birth
  • How many pregnancies the mother had previously had
  • Birth weight
  • Breastfeeding
  • Congenital conditions
  • Moderate/severe disabilities
  • Chronic respiratory or circulatory conditions
  • Sensory impairments
  • Special schooling

Characteristics at 23 years of age included:

  • Educational attainment
  • Occupational social class
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking status
  • Body mass index (BMI)

What were the basic results?

  • In the cohort, 70% of people had experienced no adverse childhood experiences, 22% had experienced one adverse childhood experience and 8% had experienced two or more adverse childhood experiences. Between the ages of 16 and 50 4.1% of men and 2.4% of women died.
  • In men, the risk of death was 57% higher among those who had experienced two or more adversities compared to those men who had experienced none (hazard ratio (HR) 1.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.13 to 2.18).
  • In women, the risk of premature mortality increased with increasing number of adverse experiences. Women with one childhood adverse experience had a 66% increased risk of death (HR 1.66, 95% CI 1.19 to 2.33) and women who had had two or more had an 80% increased risk (HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.95) compared to women who had had none.

How did the researchers interpret the results?

The researchers conclude that the results, “point towards early life stressful events, particularly in a child’s [family] environment, being risk factors for long term health across the lifecourse and premature mortality possibly via the mechanisms of biological embedding which may occur via social, neuro-cognitive or behavioural pathways.”

Conclusion

This large cohort study found that (after taking into account early life and young adult sociological and lifestyles) being exposed to adverse childhood events was associated with an increased risk of premature death.

In men, having two or more adverse childhood experiences was associated with a 57% higher risk of death by age 50, compared to men who had none. In women, one childhood adverse experience was associated with a 66% increased risk of death, two or more was associated with an 80% increased risk of death by age 50, compared to women who’d had none.

Although the study was large, collected data as it went along (prospectively), and used the most appropriate study design, cohort studies cannot show causation, only association. And as this was a long-term cohort study, it had to deal with a significant amount of missing data. It did this by assuming that data was missing at random.

If there is a true link between adverse events in childhood and premature death, the reasons for this remain unknown. The researchers suggest that childhood exposure to adverse experiences could affect brain or other biological system development. Or, they suggest, it could encourage behaviours which reduce stress in the short-term but increase mortality in the long-term. However, this is speculative.

It is possible that the study has not been able to fully account for all health-related or environmental factors that could be associated with both adverse events and premature death, and it could be these that influence the relationship.

Analysis by Bazian. Edited by NHS Choices. Follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter.

Summary

“Traumatic childhoods increase the risk of death before the age of 50 by up to 80%,” reports the Mail Online. The news is based on research that followed children born during one week in 1958.

Links to Headlines

Links to Science

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.

 



Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 03-14-2016 to 03-20-2016

twitter thumbIn this week’s Children’s Health News: Startling number of kids diagnosed with psychological disorders  https://t.co/22mKQkLKVF

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world. Each day we use Twitter and Facebook to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 15 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
E-Cigarettes: Hooking a New Generation https://t.co/A4y1w3227Z