Keep kids healthy this spring - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Keep kids healthy this spring

While your kids are finally enjoying the warmer weather make sure to check them for some of spring's telltale ailments. © iStockphoto.com/Catherine Yeulet While your kids are finally enjoying the warmer weather make sure to check them for some of spring's telltale ailments. © iStockphoto.com/Catherine Yeulet
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Themes for WaterFire Sharon announced

    Themes for WaterFire Sharon announced

    SHARON, Pa. - WaterFire Sharon will return this summer to the Shenango River. The three big events will have several themes.  The theme on July 19th will be "Elements", August 23rd's theme will be "Origins"More >>
    SHARON, Pa. - WaterFire Sharon will return this summer to the Shenango River. The three big events will have several themes.  The theme on July 19th will be "Elements", August 23rd's theme will be "Origins"More >>
  • Hundreds expected to help with clean up of Dave Grohl Alley

    Hundreds expected to help with clean up of Dave Grohl Alley

    WARREN, Ohio - Hundreds are expected to show up in Warren on Saturday to take part in clean-up effort, after a vandal was caught on camera damaging a tribute to a Warren-born musician.From noon until 4More >>
    WARREN, Ohio - Hundreds are expected to show up in Warren on Saturday to take part in a clean-up effort, after a vandal was caught on camera damaging a tribute to a Warren-born musician.More >>
  • Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    Motorists reminded of more Amish buggies on the roads

    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.  Vehicles are often using the same lanes as Amish buggies and localMore >>
    LISBON, Ohio - Orange barrels won't be the only thing motorists will have to watch for while traveling throughout Columbiana County.More >>


By
Sarah Mahoney
 

Most mothers rely on traditional harbingers of spring, like songbirds and daffodils, to tell that the seasons are changing. But Jean Tate has a different way of observing it: "First, my 8-year-old son's eyes start to get watery and itchy," says Tate, who lives in suburban Minneapolis. "Then, there's the sneezing. And if we're not careful to give him the over-the-counter medications the doctor recommends to control his spring allergies, his asthma can flare up."

Allergies -- which lead the parade into school-nurse offices this time of year, according to Sandi Delack, president of the National Association of School Nurses -- are just one of many ailments that pop up in springtime. Between them and accidents, poison ivy and tick bites, and other seasonal ailments, pediatrician and emergency room visits surge as the temperature rises. Here's how to protect your kids:

1. Intensify your tick patrol.

Tiny ticks carry huge health risks, so be sure to check your kids frequently after they've been outside. Most bites don't need medical attention -- just remove the tick with tweezers, getting as close to the skin as possible.

But "if you live in an area that is endemic for Lyme disease and you removed a deer tick," you should call a doctor, says Dr. Matthew Gammons, a physician at the Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic in Rutland and spokesperson for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Also, if the area around the bite looks infected, red or swollen; if it's painful; or if your child develops a fever or rash (even if it's not near the bite), get to the doctor. Your doctor may put your child on antibiotics or just ask you to watch for symptoms.

And don't worry about lumps. "Often, parents think there's a retained tick part under the skin," says Gammons, "but the area is just swollen. This is very common and usually related to the glue-like substance some ticks secrete."

2. Police poison ivy.

Spring means that poison ivy, identified by its three leaves and reddish color, is staking its claim. Because kids are so eager to scurry through the woods, they're at high risk.

It may take a couple of exposures to the plant for a rash to develop, but once it does (usually after 12 to 72 hours), you can soothe the itch with cool or lukewarm water, using over-the-counter products and taking baths with oatmeal or baking soda mixtures. If the reaction is severe, head for your doctor or the emergency room. To prevent the problem, show your kids pictures of poison ivy so they can recognize -- and learn to avoid -- the enemy.

3. Find out about fifth disease.


A viral rash illness, fifth disease is very common among kids between ages 5 and 15, although symptoms are often so mild that kids may not realize they're sick. And yet, many parents are taken by surprise when their child wakes up with flaming red cheeks. (It's also known as "slapped cheek disease" because of that telltale facial rash.)

This springtime illness typically starts with a low fever; after about a week, the facial rash appears. At that point, the contagious period is already over. But your child will then likely get a lacy rash all over her body, which can come and go for up to three weeks.

Because it's viral, the only treatment is TLC: fluids, pain relievers and plenty of rest. (Note: While it's not a big deal for children, fifth disease poses a big risk to pregnant women. If you know your child has been exposed, keep her away from any moms-to-be.)

4. Audit allergens.


Pollens and molds fill the air in the spring, causing sneezing, itching, watery eyes, nasal congestion and headaches. "For mild seasonal allergies, over-the-counter treatment is usually adequate," says Gammons. "But if they're causing sleep troubles, worsening asthma or interfering with your child's quality of life, they should be evaluated by a physician."

You can also monitor how much pollen is in your region each day and keep your child indoors more on days when levels are high. Just go to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's Web site and look for your region under Pollen Counts.

Copyright (c) 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved. 

Sarah Mahoney Sarah Mahoney is a contributing editor at Parents and Prevention magazines. Her work also appears regularly in Family Circle and Good Housekeeping.

  • Around the WebMore>>

  • Ohio teacher fired over comment on black president

    Ohio teacher fired over comment on black president

    CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio teacher has been fired following allegations that he told a black student who said he wanted to become president that the nation didn't need another black president.The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1kIkFmQ ) the Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 on Thursday to fire science teacher Gil Voigt.Voigt didn't immediately return a call for comment Friday but has said the student misquoted him.Voigt, who is white, says what he actually told the teen was th...More >>
    CINCINNATI (AP) - An Ohio teacher has been fired following allegations that he told a black student who said he wanted to become president that the nation didn't need another black president.The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/1kIkFmQ ) the Fairfield Board of Education voted 4-0 on Thursday to fire science teacher Gil Voigt.Voigt didn't immediately return a call for comment Friday but has said the student misquoted him.Voigt, who is white, says what he actually told the teen was th...More >>
  • 13-1/2 pound boy born at southeastern Pa. hospital

    13-1/2 pound boy born at southeastern Pa. hospital

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:54 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:54:06 GMT
    DREXEL HILL, Pa. (AP) - A woman has given birth to a more than 13-pound baby at a southeastern Pennsylvania hospital.Officials at Delaware County Memorial Hospital say Brian and Danielle Dwyer's son born Monday is the largest baby they can recall there.Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer tipped the scales at 13 pounds, 8-1/2 ounces.The couple loved the "Where's Waldo?" books as children, so that's where they got their son's first name.Brian Dwyer said the middle name Mysterious is because Waldo was ...More >>
    DREXEL HILL, Pa. (AP) - A woman has given birth to a more than 13-pound baby at a southeastern Pennsylvania hospital.Officials at Delaware County Memorial Hospital say Brian and Danielle Dwyer's son born Monday is the largest baby they can recall there.Waldo James Mysterious Dwyer tipped the scales at 13 pounds, 8-1/2 ounces.The couple loved the "Where's Waldo?" books as children, so that's where they got their son's first name.Brian Dwyer said the middle name Mysterious is because Waldo was ...More >>
  • Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:44:23 GMT
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...More >>
    YORK, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania high school student is in hot water for asking Miss America to prom during a question and answer session at school.Eighteen-year-old Patrick Farves said he received three days of in-school suspension Thursday because he asked Nina Davuluri to prom.The senior at Central York High School stood up and popped the prom question, then walked to the stage with a plastic flower. Davuluri just laughed and the students cheered.School officials heard about Farves' plan in...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms