Child Health & Safety News 6/11: # Suicidal Kids Hospitalized Double

Last updated on July 3rd, 2020 at 03:09 pm

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Health News: A record number of children died of flu this season. This is the highest number in a flu season excluding pandemic years. Approx 80% had not received a flu vaccination this season

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 social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we overlook something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. Still, quite a bit happens every day – so to make sure you don’t miss anything, we offer you a recap of this week’s top 20 events & stories.

  • Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution
  • Want Your Child To Eat (Almost) Everything? There Is A Way 2018-6-10
  • Instead of Freaking Out When Daycare Raises Tuition Follow These Tips 2018-6-10
  • Firefighters install child safety equipment in family homes 2018-6-09
  • “One out of two of America’s children will have a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder – things like addictions, ADHD, anxiety disorders, depression, etc. by age 18,” 2018-6-09

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News Headline of the Week
A recent study on mental health by Greg Plemmons, M.D. at VUMC children, found that the number of school-age children and adolescents hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or attempts has more than doubled since 2008.

  • When Jordan found out she had scoliosis, it was the scariest day of her life. Learn how she turned it all around and learned to love what made her unique: 2018-6-08
  • The Father’s experience in the NICU | 2018-6-08
  • Outdoor Fun for Allergic Kids? Absolutely! Just Be Prepared 2018-6-08
  • Tomorrow morning, SOLO: A Star Wars Story is #SensoryFriendlyat AMC 2018-6-08
  • The Sleep Fairy and 4 Other Tricks to Help Your Kid Sleep – Great advice from the Cleveland Clinic 2018-6-07
  • Special Siblings: How a Child Sees Special Needs – Thurs Time Capsule 05/11 2018-6-07
  • What Budget Cuts Mean for Third Graders in a Rural U.S, School 2018-6-06
  • How To Manage Atopic Eczema – An Itchy, Scaly Children’s Rash 2018-6-06
  • Artist Reimagines Disney Princesses As Career Women And It’s Everything 2018-6-05
  • Summer puts special emphasis on water safety with kids 2018-6-04
  • How to Teach Your Kids Empathy-Building Skills 2018-6-04
  • Video on child hunger shows kids reacting to the fact that 1 in 5 children in the U.S. is hungry – terrific to see them offer their ideas on solutions 2018-6-04


Do I Want My Dog to be Protective of My Child?

Last updated on June 22nd, 2018 at 01:51 am

Our children bring out the protectiveness in all of us. Having the family dog act as protector of our children, although it may sound appealing, this role or “job” can easily backfire.

Being a companion for a family is a sort of “second career” for dogs compared to what they may have been originally bred to do – herding, hunting, etc. Some breeds have had an easier time switching from working dog to companion animal. Other breeds may look for more work to fill their time!

If you don’t give your dog something to do (long walks, training, ball retrieving, swimming, chew toys) they will often come up with their own job.

All they may need is a little encouragement to jump into a role, such as “protector”, but it may be challenging to control how serious they take this new position. The consequences can be detrimental to both the family members and the dog.

For instance, if the dog decides that a growl or bark is not effective to remove or control an individual, they may go straight for the bite. Consequences for the family of the dog can be serious, ranging from medical bills to pay to being sued. For the dog, consequences may be even more serious, as biting incidents can result in a dog being euthanized.

Dogs can naturally come by their “jobs” in the family by chance or when given some intended or unintended direction. An example is when a dog alerts you by barking when someone comes to the door or walks past your house. This is a very innate behavior for most dogs.

Sometimes people start their dog on a new behavior by accident. For example, let’s say you have a new tiny puppy and one day it growls and barks at someone. Everyone giggles and laughs because it looks so cute seeing this adorable puppy acting so tough.

Your unintended response of positive feedback communicates to the puppy that he did a great job. The consequence might be that as the dog matures, he won’t let people come near anyone in the family. It happens!

A few examples of this can be when family or friends come to the house for a visit or celebration, such as for a birthday party or holiday, and the dog can not determine whether or not some of these individuals are friend or foe. I’ve known dog owners who could not leave their children with a friendly babysitter in the house without fear of a bite or nip to the sitter from the dog. Of course, the dog is just trying to be protective and do its job.

Even other children are not exempt from suspicion and can be subject to “corrections” from the dog. Dog owners can become hostage to their own dog and find themselves having to manage their situations by removing the dog to other rooms, crates or kennels, hoping nothing goes wrong when someone visits the home.

Further, if we see a questionable or negative behavior from our dog and don’t disallow it or give guidance, the dog will likely believe it’s an approved behavior. When we allow a dog to growl or exhibit some other display of protection towards a stranger who is approaching your child, you may think, “I like this!” However, when given the green light, dogs may have trouble discriminating between good and bad situations.

If you have given them the role to protect your child, whether intended or not, they will make decisions on their own. Unfortunately, they may not make good choices.

For instance, an old lady with a walker or cane can look as menacing to a dog as an intruder with a weapon.

Even after a dog is familiar with specific family or friends, each occasion can be a unique for the dog. For example, Uncle Bob, who the dog knows, comes for a visit with a new baseball bat and glove for his nephew or niece. In this case the dog may see the baseball bat as suspicious, and therefore jumps in to defend the family biting Uncle Bob in the process. Now Uncle Bob doesn’t want to visit unless the dog is contained.

My advice is, don’t go out of your way to encourage your dog to act protectively. If your dog has started this naturally, be sure you do some training with your dog so you can communicate effectively with them to help them understand their role when interacting with people. If you’re unable to provide this leadership with your dog, it’s important for the safety of friends, family, and strangers, that you seek assistance from an experienced trainer who can help you.

SOLO: A Star Wars Story is Sensory Friendly 2x This Month at AMC

Last updated on June 22nd, 2018 at 01:50 am

New sensory friendly logoSince 2007, AMC Entertainment (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other special needs “Sensory Friendly Films” every month – a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fun new films in a safe and accepting environment. Tomorrow, Solo: A Star Wars Story is Sensory Friendly at AMC.

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! Imagine …no need to shhhhh your child. No angry stares from other movie goers. Many parents think twice before bringing a child to a movie theater. Add to that your child’s special needs and it can easily become cause for parental panic. But on this one day a month, for this one screening, everyone is there to relax and have a good time, everyone expects to be surrounded by kids – with and without special needs – and the movie theater policy becomes “Tolerance is Golden“.

Families affected by autism or other special needs can view a sensory friendly screening of Solo: A Star Wars Story on Saturday, June 9th at 10am and Tuesday, June 12th at 7pm (local time). Tickets are typically $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 full list, please scroll to the bottom of the page).

Also coming in June: The Incredibles 2 (Sat 5/23); Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Tues 5/26)


Editor’s note: Although Solo: A Star Wars Story has been chosen by the AMC and the Autism Society as this month’s Sensory Friendly Film, we do want parents to know that it is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for sequences of sci-fi action/violence . As always, please check the IMDB Parents Guide for a more detailed description of this film to determine if it is right for you and your family.

Outdoor Fun for Allergic Kids? Absolutely! Just Be Prepared

Last updated on June 22nd, 2018 at 01:50 am

After the cooler weather subsides and winter seems far behind us, many of us are all too ready to head out into the sunshine. The feeling of freedom from monitoring our indoor allergies, the wonderful warmth on our skin during warmer days and splashing around in a pool make our days a little less nerve-wracking. For parents, watching our children run freely and breathing fresh air leaves us exhaling and settling into a season of hopeful happiness. For children, it’s a time of year to peel off your socks, kick off those shoes and rip off the heavy clothing so that they can feel the sunshine on their faces again.

Without thinking, we bound into the next season but where there is an all too perfect scenario, there may be some circumstances that catch us off guard. Of course those with allergies always have that silent voice in the back of their mind telling them to be cautious, to be prepared. But what about symptoms that leave us concerned and unsure of what the safety of our health is? How do we know what to watch for so that we can be as prepared as possible and be able to tackle it with less anxiety?

Knowledge about allergies and allergy triggers is always being updated. The best way to combat a situation is to have the necessary information to assess the situation before or as it happens. Although it is impossible to know everything that could happen, there are some factors that may be able to be prevented or, in the very least, considered so that you stay calm and save the meltdowns for another time. A key element to remember is that not all symptoms come from foods.

Urticaria Also known as hives. Anyone with food allergies often associate hives with coming in contact or ingesting an allergic food. Because hives are commonly a red flag to what we need to avoid next to prevent anaphylaxis, the appearance of hives may cause us to jump to the worst case scenario. Without a doubt, always err on the side of caution first however urticaria can also appear from other triggers that may not be as severe or life-threatening. Some forms of urticaria are caused by:

  • Water – Aquagenic urticaria are hives that appear when the skin comes into contact with water, regardless of the temperature. Once the water is removed, the hives usually disappear within approximately 30 minutes.
  • Sunlight– Also known as photosensitivity, this form of urticaria is believed to be caused by the immune system reacting to sun-exposed skin as it thinks it’s a foreign item. Exposure time that sets off the reaction can begin with as little as just a few moments in the sunlight. Because the severity of exposure varies from person to person, it is best to discuss your symptoms with your physician.
  • Plants– Our skin is delicate and since it’s our first line of defense, it makes our skin more prone to fighting off anything that feels unlike what is supposed to be us. This means that sometimes just passing by a plant that you are allergic to or other plants with oils (such as poison ivy or oak) tells our skin that there is an invader about. You can protect yourself with long sleeves and pants, get tested for environmental allergies and always wash up with soap and water to avoid spreading to other areas of your body that was not exposed.

Alpha-Gal allergy has been an increasing story lately. For those who haven’t heard, this is an allergy to red meat but also (possibly) due to some ingredients in medications that “includes antibodies derived from animals” from the bite of the lone star tick. Most of the symptoms of alpha-gal allergy are similar to typical allergic reactions however anaphylaxis is said to be delayed after eating red meat versus an immediate onset that happens with typical food allergies. While many of us are trying to avoid ticks due to Lyme Disease, the thought of developing an allergy to foods from a non-food source introduces a brand new set of fears. Avoiding ticks is a given but consulting with a physician and having two auto injectors on hand for possible future anaphylaxis is a must along with a new food plan that will not include red meats or medications that contain ingredients from mammals. Auto injectors are typically prescribed for those with food allergies and although this allergy may be somewhat difficult to pinpoint, having two auto injectors to prepare you in the event that a future allergic reaction occurs will keep you one step ahead of an unexpected emergency but two steps ahead of your immune system’s safety as well.

With all of this being said, don’t fear the warmer weather, embrace it. Teach your family how to spot symptoms and how to play safely. Always use the buddy system and carry all of your necessary allergy medications to be one step ahead of the unexpected. Above all, remain calm and remember that life is too short to let any allergy keep you from spending time with your family.

How To Manage Atopic Eczema – An Itchy, Scaly Children’s Rash

Last updated on June 11th, 2018 at 11:58 am

Atopic eczema (atopic dermatitis) is the most common form of eczema, a condition that causes the skin to become itchy, red, dry and cracked.

Atopic eczema is more common in children, often developing before their first birthday.

However, it may also develop for the first time in adults. It’s usually a long-term (chronic) condition, although it can improve significantly, or even clear completely, in some children as they get older.

Symptoms of atopic eczema

Atopic eczema causes the skin to become itchy, dry, cracked, sore and red. Some people only have small patches of dry skin, but others may experience widespread red, inflamed skin all over the body.

Although atopic eczema can affect any part of the body, it most often affects the hands, insides of the elbows, backs of the knees and the face and scalp in children.

People with atopic eczema usually have periods when symptoms are less noticeable, as well as periods when symptoms become more severe (flare-ups).

Read about the symptoms of atopic eczema

When to seek medical advice

See your GP (*physician) if you have symptoms of atopic eczema. They’ll usually be able to diagnose atopic eczema by looking at your skin and asking questions such as:

  • whether the rash is itchy and where it appears
  • when the symptoms first began
  • whether it comes and goes over time
  • whether there’s a history of atopic eczema in your family
  • whether you have any other conditions, such as allergies or asthma
  • whether something in your diet or lifestyle may be contributing to your symptoms

Typically, to be diagnosed with atopic eczema you should have had an itchy skin condition in the last 12 months and three or more of the following:

  • visibly irritated red skin in the creases of your skin – such as the insides of your elbows or behind your knees (or on the cheeks, outsides of elbows, or fronts of the knees in children aged 18 months or under) at the time of examination by a health professional
  • a history of skin irritation occurring in the same areas mentioned above
  • generally dry skin in the last 12 months
  • a history of asthma or hay fever – children under four must have an immediate relative, such as a parent, brother or sister, who has one of these conditions
  • the condition started before the age of two (this does not apply to children under the age of four)

Causes of atopic eczema

The exact cause of atopic eczema is unknown, but it’s clear it is not down to one single thing. Atopic eczema often occurs in people who get allergies – “atopic” means sensitivity to allergens.

It can run in families, and often develops alongside other conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.

The symptoms of atopic eczema often have certain triggers, such as soaps, detergents, stress and the weather. Sometimes food allergies can play a part, especially in young children with severe eczema.

You may be asked to keep a food diary to try to determine whether a specific food makes your symptoms worse. Allergy tests aren’t usually needed, although they’re sometimes helpful in identifying whether a food allergy may be triggering symptoms.

Read about the causes of atopic eczema.

Treating atopic eczema

Treatment for atopic eczema can help to relieve the symptoms and many cases improve over time.

However, there’s currently no cure and severe eczema often has a significant impact on daily life, which may be difficult to cope with physically and mentally. There’s also an increased risk of skin infections.

Many different treatments can be used to control symptoms and manage eczema, including:

  • self care techniques, such as reducing scratching and avoiding triggers
  • emollients (moisturising treatments) – used on a daily basis for dry skin
  • topical corticosteroids – used to reduce swelling, redness and itching during flare-ups

Read about treating atopic eczema and complications of atopic eczema.

Other types of eczema

Eczema is the name for a group of skin conditions that cause dry, irritated skin. Other types of eczema include:

  • discoid eczema – a type of eczema that occurs in circular or oval patches on the skin
  • contact dermatitis – a type of eczema that occurs when the body comes into contact with a particular substance
  • varicose eczema – a type of eczema that most often affects the lower legs and is caused by problems with the flow of blood through the leg veins
  • seborrhoeic eczema – a type of eczema where red, scaly patches develop on the sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears and scalp
  • dyshidrotic eczema (pompholyx) – a type of eczema that causes tiny blisters to erupt across the palms of the hands

Editor’s Note:

* Clarification Provided for our U.S. Readers

NHS Choices logo




Child Health & Safety News 6/4: New Marshmallow Test New Result

Last updated on June 11th, 2018 at 11:59 am

twitter thumbIn this week’s Child Safety News: A Quarter Of Kids Regret Live Videos They Post On Apps: Here’s How Parents Can Help

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 social media to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we overlook something, but overall we think we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. Still, quite a bit happens every day – so to make sure you don’t miss anything, we offer you a recap of this week’s top 30 events & stories.

  • The Positive Role of Heroes in Children’s Lives 2018-6-03
  • If you’re not ready to delete Facebook, here are 13 simple things you and your kids can do on your social accounts, phones, and devices to keep data safe. 2018-6-03
  • A physician lurked on Facebook mom groups. Here’s what she found. 2018-6-03
  • Grand Challenges Canada will invest over 10 million Canadian dollar to test new ideas to address challenges in women’s and children’s health in developing countries 2018-6-03
  • Teens, Social Media & Technology Report 2018 YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens. Fully 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online ‘almost constantly’ 2018-6-03
  • Study: Parenting, child care services have most potential to help low-income families 2018-6-02
  • Teenage depression: If a parent doesn’t get treatment for a child, is that abuse? 2018-6-02
  • Summer Gross Motor Planning – Printable Summer Activity Calendars | Pink Oatmeal 2018-6-02
  • Health ‘time bomb’ of 22,000 UK children who are severely obese at 11 2018-6-02
  • Music Therapy for Children – helps kids cope with their treatment by entertaining and distracting them 2018-6-01

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News TOP Headline of the Week
Marshmallow test’ may not pick out successful kids, after all
replicating the test with new technology showed surprising results.

  • Safety expert warns about Mermaid Tail swim toy…if they have one, only use it for photo ops, and make sure you’re in the water with them 2018-6-01
  • Is My Child the Right age for Social Media? 2018-6-01
  • Nigeria: Vaccination Still Eludes 75% of Children – Report 2018-6-01
  • 7 Steps to Getting Your Child to Stop Sleeping In Your Bed 2018-5-31
  • Ray Ray’s Story: A Call to Action for Parents and Caregivers – Thurs Time Capsule 10/11 – 2018-5-31
  • How Can I Find the Best Pediatric Surgeon for My Child? 2018-5-31
  • Enrich your grandbaby’s first year! Milestones you can share! 2018-5-30
  • Telemedicine helps improve participation in clinical trials through the use of step-by-step video to achieve informed consent, telemedicine appts, online symptom diaries and e-fund transfers 2018-5-30
  • First Pediatric Liver Transplant Performed in Central Florida Surgeons and support staff from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh traveled to Orlando to train the team and assist 2018-5-30

PedSafe Child Health & Safety News #2 Headline of the Week
What’s the Best Place in the World to Be a Kid? Not the U.S. – it ranks between Belarus & Russia – 36 out of 175 on the Save the Children report

  • Study: Bath Oils for Childhood Eczema Provide No Medical Benefit 2018-5-30
  • The Surprising Benefit Of Moving And Grooving With Your Kid 2018-5-29
  • Canon USA helps launch child protection campaign May 25th was National Missing Children’s Day 2018-5-29
  • How the #MeToo Movement Opens Conversations Between Parents and Kids Instead of teaching “no means no”…teach “yes means yes”. Someone may not be able to say NO…Unless they can say YES you do NOT have consent 2018-5-29
  • Promoting Oral Health in Childhood: A Quality Improvement Project 2018-5-28
  • Advice for Parents: Find Nap Mats Without Flame Retardant Chemicals What kind of impact would you think switching mats had? 2018-5-28
  • Would You Buy Your Special Needs Child a Dog Chew Toy? 2018-5-28
  • Medical student seeks to ensure access to preferred contraceptive methods 2018-5-28