Kids and TMJ – Aren’t They Too Young For That?

Last updated on August 29th, 2015 at 04:35 pm

TMJ (tempero-mandibular joint) disorder occurs when the chewing muscles and the joints of the jaw fail to work together properly causing a number of symptoms. These symptoms include: headaches, jaw pain, fatigue, clenching and/or grinding of the teeth, clicking or popping of the jaw, tinnitus, earaches and pain in the neck, back and face.

There are a number of things that can contribute to the cause of TMJ disorder. Malocclusion (the misalignment of teeth), bruxism (clenching /grinding), stress and accidents with damage to the face, head or neck can all contribute to TMJ.

Children who may be predisposed to TMJ or have malocclusion may not experience pain until later in their teen years. Early prevention and treatment is key to avoiding later dysfunction, pain and more costly treatments. Luckily there are a few simple ways to determine if TMJ may be an issue for you child. In addition to the panoramic xray your dentist will likely take of your child’s teeth, there are also the cephalometric xray, tomographic xray and CT scans that can be taken to determine the position of the jaw joints. Impressions of the teeth may be taken to allow your dentist to study your child’s bite to determine if malocclusion is an issue. The treatments may range from a simple appliance called a splint to help reposition the jaw or full orthodontics to correct the bite.

An important thing to consider is that recent research shows TMJ is often undiagnosed by medical doctors. The reason for this is that TMJ symptoms mimic the symptoms of more serious illnesses such as aneurysms and migraines. These more harmful diagnoses should be ruled out before considering TMJ treatment.

As always, make sure your child is receiving a complete and thorough exam at every dental checkup. Early detection reduces the risk of life long pain and costly treatments. Ask your dentist if your child may be at risk.

Tomorrow, Rise of the Guardians is the AMC Sensory Friendly Film

Last updated on December 10th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Once a month, AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and with other special needs ”Sensory Friendly Movie Screenings“ – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy their favorite “family-friendly” films in a safe and accepting environment.

The movie auditoriums will have their lights turned up and the sound turned down. Families will be able to bring in snacks to match their child’s dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, casein-free, etc.), there are no advertisements or previews before the movie and it’s totally acceptable to get up and dance, walk, shout, talk to each other…and even sing – in other words, AMC’s “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced during movie screenings unless the safety of the audience is questioned.

Does it make a difference? Absolutely! “It can be challenging enough to bring ANY child to a movie theater” says PedSafe Special Needs Parenting Expert Rosie Reeves. “For a parent with a special needs child attempting an outing like this may seem overwhelming. And yet getting out, being with the community and sharing in an experience with an audience can be invaluable for just such children”.

On Saturday December 8th at 10am local time, Rise of the Guardians will be screened as part of the Autism Society “Sensory Friendly Movie Screenings” program. Tickets are $4 to $6 depending on the location. To find a theatre near you, here is a list of AMC theatres nationwide participating in this fabulous program (note: to access list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).


Editor’s note: Although Rise of the Guardians has been chosen by the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly screening, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for thematic elements and some mildly scary action. As always, please check the IMDB Parent’s Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your child.

Your Day-by-day Flu Guide

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 04:43 pm

For many families, battling the flu is a seasonal rite of passage: Up to one in five children will suffer through a bout this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “But it can be a scary experience for any mom,” says Dr. Kelly Orringer, a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan. “Your child can get very sick, very fast.”

To help ease your worries, we asked the experts to spell out what day-by-day flu symptoms to expect, how you should treat them, and when to call your pediatrician. By arming yourself with the flu facts, you can stop fretting – and start taking charge!

Day 1: Initial Flu Symptoms Appear

The first signs of flu are a runny nose, chills and body aches,” says Dr. Stanley Grogg, a professor of pediatrics at Oklahoma State University and a spokesman for the American Osteopathic Association. “A child will feel pretty miserable within a 24-hour span.” To prepare for the next few days, stock up on blankets and soft tissues that won’t irritate the area around your child’s nose and increase discomfort.

Be sure to call your pediatrician too: Your little one is already contagious, says Grogg, so if you have a family member who is at risk for complications of the flu – for example, an infant under the age of 6 months, or a senior citizen older than 65 – an antiviral medication may be necessary. The course of two pills, which prevent the spread of flu, is most effective within 48 hours of the onset of your child’s symptoms.

In addition, Grogg says you should take your child to the doctor if, at any point during the duration of the flu, your child runs a fever higher than 105 F, experiences painful, labored breathing, or stops drinking. Moms have good instincts about their kids, so if something feels really wrong, trust your gut and call your pediatrician.

Day 2: Your Child Runs a Fever

On the second day, a child usually starts running a high fever,” says Grogg. “She’ll also experience fatigue and a wet cough.” He advises bringing down her fever and easing aches with acetaminophen or ibuprofen — but avoid aspirin. “Giving a feverish child aspirin has been linked to a rare, but dangerous, condition called Reye’s syndrome,” he says.

To prevent dehydration, Grogg recommends making sure that your child is drinking enough. Place a water bottle next to her bed and give her ice pops made with 100-percent fruit juice. And because most children also lose their appetite, he also suggests feeding her calorie-dense treats, like chocolate milk and smoothies.

Days 3 to 5: Symptoms Worsen

Is your child super-sick? That’s normal. “This is when flu symptoms are at their worst,” explains Orringer. Your kid may also start experiencing gastrointestinal problems, like vomiting and diarrhea; continue giving your child plenty of fluids and ibuprofen or acetaminophen, says Orringer. “For children older than 6, over-the-counter oral medications can provide relief.” Other methods she recommends to ease the suffering:

  • Brewing tea with honey (can help soothe a sore throat and cough)
  • Using a saline spray and running a humidifier (can lessen congestion
  • Applying a topical cough-relief rub (can help your child sleep better)

Days 6 to 10: Recuperation Begins

At last – your child should start feeling better. But if he’s not showing improvement, call your pediatrician, says Grogg.

Your kid is also less contagious during this time, says Grogg, so it’s safe to let him play with his siblings and friends again. Once your child’s temperature is below 100 F for 24 hours (without the aid of acetaminophen or ibuprofen) and he no longer has an uncontrollable cough, Grogg recommends sending him back to school.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 11-26-2012 to 12-02-2012

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 04:44 pm

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 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 who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 15 news-worthy events.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

Why Deadly Measles Is on the Rise and what you need to know about it

Keep Your Family Safe: How to Detect & Avoid Gas Emergencies

Last updated on September 13th, 2015 at 12:12 am

As we steamroll into the winter months and the holiday season it is almost certain that there will be more reason to use the gas supplied to your home. Whether it’s in the form of cooking more with your gas stove or using your gas furnace to heat your home or your water heater, winter is prime time for gas usage and also gas emergencies. Have you ever come home to the sound of hissing or a rotten egg smell in your home or garage? Well if you have you should know that the rotten egg smell was put there by the gas company to alert you that gas is leaking in the area and there is a problem.

What can cause gas to leak in my home? The gas coming into your home is usually piped in and can be piped to all areas of your house depending on your home. The gas leak itself may be from something as simple as the pilot light being out in your stove or water heater, or it can be as complicated as a broken gas pipe in the area due to digging or construction. Regardless of what caused the gas leak you need to be aware that this is a dangerous situation and remove yourself and everyone else with you from the situation. Next you should call 911 from OUTSIDE your home and let the fire department determine what the problem is and if necessary work with the gas company to resolve the matter. The few minutes it takes for the fire department to arrive and assess the situation could mean the difference between life and death for you or your family.

How can I know if there is gas leaking into my home while I am there? Since not all gas coming into your home has a smell, meaning there are a few types of gases and some are odorless and tasteless such as Carbon Monoxide, being aware of the signs of a gas exposure are key. If someone has been in an enclosed area with machinery or a motor and is now having shortness of breath, chest pain, red puffy cheeks, lightheadedness or any of these symptoms, remove them from the area, ventilate the area and do not hesitate to call 911, these symptoms can happen quickly and emergency attention may be needed. A good way to monitor the gas levels in your home is a gas detector. Gas detectors are an inexpensive way to monitor the levels of gas in your home and are available in combination form to detect more than just one type of gas and alert you before gas levels become life threatening. These detectors are available at any hardware store and possibly through your alarm monitoring company as well.

Where can I place gas detectors in my home to be most effective? When it comes to keeping your family safe there can never be enough, but think of placing them like you would smoke alarms. placing detectors outside of bedroom areas, any bedroom above a garage is a must as a car may be left running for some time, in areas where things are heated such as the kitchen or work shed, and the rule for a gas detector sounding its alarms is very easy to remember. If you hear it go off then you and your family get out! There are many stories in the news about carbon monoxide poisonings and people dying and had they had properly placed/functioning gas detectors it is reasonable to think some if not all of these sad situations could have been avoided.

Please be safe …and have a Merry Christmas!