Your Child

Pogo-stick Recall

accident, injury, recall, safety

A very popular toy has been recalled due to safety. Thousands of Pogo-sticks, a favorite toy for decade are being recalled because the pins that hold the springs in place could break causing falls and lacerations.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product. Name of Product: Pogo Sticks Units: About 169,000 Distributor: Bravo Sports, of Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Hazard: The bottom of the pogo stick's frame tube can break or come apart and a pin holding the spring in place can break, posing laceration and fall hazards to consumers. Incidents/Injuries: Bravo has received 123 reports of incidents involving the pogo sticks, including nine reports of injuries. Injuries include one report of a child who chipped a tooth and required stitches for a facial laceration, another child who chipped a tooth and one child who fell after the pogo stick broke and knocked out a tooth. Description: This recall involves the Rocket Stick Pogo, Pop Stick Pogo, Monster Stick Pogo and Twin Stick Pogo. They were sold in red, green and blue colors. Rocket, Pop, Monster or Twin are printed on the stem and on the foot pedals. Only pogo sticks with manufacturing date codes between 04/01/2010 - 046HE and 10/31/2010 - 046HE are included in the recall. The manufacturing date code is located on a white label underneath the foot pedal or on the stem of the pogo near the foot pedals. Sold at: Mass merchandisers nationwide and online by Web retailers from May 2010 through March 2011 for between $25 and $40. Manufactured in: China Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled pogo sticks and contact Bravo to receive a full refund. Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Bravo toll-free at (877) 992-9905 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.bravopogorecall.com

Your Child

Recall: MZB Children’s Watches Due to Rash, Chemical Burns

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They are cute, keep time and appeal to children who want to own a watch. But, these watches have a defect that can expose children to serious skin irritations including chemical burns.

Nearly two million MZB Children’s “Light Up” Watches have been recalled because the case-back of the watch can detach and expose the interior to water posing a risk of skin irritation, redness, rashes or chemical burns.

This recall involves 303 styles of “Light Up” watches that are identified by style number. A complete list of the serial numbers is listed on the firm’s website http://www.regcen.com. The watches have a flexible plastic wristband sold in multiple colors including pink, pink with white snowflakes, green, blue and navy blue. “MZB” and the style number are printed on the case-back of the watches.

The firm has received 11 reports of skin irritations or chemical burns. Six of these consumers have required medical treatment.

The watches were sold at Kmart, Kohl’s, Walmart and other retailers nationwide from October 2012 through June 2015 for between $5 and $20.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled watches away from children and contact MZB for a refund.

MZB can be reached by calling their toll free number at (888) 770-7085 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.mzb.com and click on Product Safety Notice tab at the top of the homepage for more information.

Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2015/MZB-Recalls-Childrens-Watches/

Your Child

Cleaning Your Child's Ears

Earwax is a helpful and natural part of your body's defenses. It protects your ear canal by trapping dirt and slowing the growth of bacteria. It's not known why some people experience earwax blockage or why earwax blockage often occurs in only one ear.There you are, admiring your beautiful child, and suddenly you notice a glob of wax in her ear! You wonder… should I clean it out?  The simple answer is no. The more complex answer is maybe… but only under the direction of your pediatrician.

On the one hand, earwax buildup can be acutely uncomfortable; on the other, cleaning the ear risks causing infection or damaging the baby's delicate eardrum. Did you know that earwax is actually beneficial? Earwax is a helpful and natural part of your body's defenses. It protects your ear canal by trapping dirt and slowing the growth of bacteria. It's not known why some people experience earwax blockage or why earwax blockage often occurs in only one ear. The substance  is a combination of several chemicals (including cholesterol) that's secreted by many of the same glands that help keep the body's skin moist and hydrated. It's manufactured in the outer ear canal but carried towards the ear's edge by the movement of the jaw, taking dirt, dust and other harmful agents along with it. Earwax varies among different ethnic groups. Among Asians and Native Americans, earwax is flaky and gray. Caucasian and Afro-centric people typically have earwax that is damp and honey- or brown-colored. Cleaning baby's delicate ears Instead of giving into the temptation to grab a Q-tip and gently trying to remove the wax, parents are strongly encouraged to let their baby's doctors clean the child's ears during routine wellness visits. They'll use special instrumentation that won't prove a danger to puncturing or scratching the eardrum. If wax buildup becomes a problem, ask your pediatrician for his or her recommended method. This way you can be sure of the procedure. Excessive earwax around the ear canal can put pressure on baby's eardrum, resulting in balance problems and severe discomfort. Never insert a cotton swab, your finger, or any other cleaning implement into your child's ear canal. Even light contact is enough to scratch the eardrum. Moreover, cotton swabs can pack the dirt, dust, and other harmful particulate matter closer to the eardrum, actually increasing the risk of infection. Some health care item manufacturers promote special bell-shaped swabs for cleaning the baby's outer ear. While these are safety-tested to present no danger to the child's inner ear, parents should still use them with caution. Earwax buildup can be slowed simply by keeping the child's ear and neck area clean. Parents can even use a cotton swab or ball dipped in warm water or peroxide around the ear bud and neck area for maximum cleanliness. Just make sure that none gets inside the ear canal. There's an old saying that still holds true today: "Never put anything smaller than your elbow in your (or your child's) ear!"

Your Child

Can Location Affect Children's Weight?

Living near a fast-food outlet doesn't make children overweight, nor does living near a supermarket stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables make them thin, new research shows.Living near a fast-food outlet doesn't make children overweight, nor does living near a supermarket stocked with freshfruitsandvegetables make them thin, new research shows. A study conducted by researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis looked at a decade of data on more than 60,000 children aged 3 to 18.

The researchers compared the children'sweights before and after fast-food outlets or supermarkets opened near their homes. The study found that living near a fast-food outlet had little effect on weightgain and living near a supermarket wasn't associated with lower weight. The researchers also found that living near certain recreational facilities, such as fitness areas, kickball diamonds and volleyball courts, was associated with lower body-mass index (BMI). For example, an eight-year-old boy who lived near one of these facilities could reduce his weight by three to six pounds, the researchers calculated. But living near track and field facilities was linked to weight gain, they discovered. The findings were published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. "This study contradicts anecdotal information and provides scientifically verified insights into a wide range of variables that we hope will help physicians and public policy makers fight childhoodobesity more effectively," study first author Robert Sandy, a professor of economics and assistant executive vice president of Indiana University, said in a school news release. He noted that previous studies looked at a single moment in time, not a decade of data. "Previousstudies did not benefit from the wide range of information we acquired such as details of both sick- and well-doctor visits, changes in a child's address, annual food-service establishment inspection data, aerial photographs of neighborhoods and crime statistics over time. And other studies have not taken into account, as we did, families' self-selecting their locations, for example, families who value exercise may be more likely to live near a park," Sandy said.

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Your Child

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

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It’s that time of year– goblins, ghouls, pirates and princesses will be making their way through neighborhoods with outstretched hands and shy giggles.  Yep, Halloween is here!

Along with the kid’s fun comes parental responsibility. While you can’t protect your little one from every danger, there are steps you can take to help make this holiday safer.

Preventing fires and burns.

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

Store bought costumes rarely fit properly, so you may need to make some adjustments.

  • Adjust costumes to ensure a good fit. Long skirts or capes can drag on the ground and cause falls.
  • Secure hats, scarves and masks to ensure that your child can see everything that is going on around them. Also, check to see that nothing is keeping your child from breathing properly. Masks and some super-hero helmets can fir too tightly, making it hard to breathe.
  • Make sure that swords, canes or sticks are not sharp.

Colored contacts have become popular with some older children. Often the packets these contacts come in have advertising on the package claiming that, “One size fits all.” They don’t.  These lenses are illegal in some states, but can be found online. They may cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye infections. Avoid these at all costs.

Making your home a safe place for trick or treaters

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

How old should children be before they can be unaccompanied by an adult? There is no correct answer to that question. An adult should always accompany young children. When your child is about ten, they may start asking to go with their friends. There are some questions to think about before you decide to let them.

  • What is your child’s maturity level? Do they normally act pretty responsible and make good choices?
  • Who are the friends they want to go with and what is their maturity level?
  • What area are they going to be trick-or-treating in?  Will it be local or in an area your child may not be familiar with?
  • What time to they plan to start and be back home? Give your child a definite time.

Whether your child is with you - or out with friends - make sure someone has a charged cell phone with them.  You want be prepared in case of an emergency.

Halloween has changed over the years and lots of parents now take their children to specific places that host Halloween parties and activities, but whether it’s in a controlled environment or out on the streets, it’s still smart to keep safety first.

Sources: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx

 Dr. Karen Sherman, http://www.hitchedmag.com/article.php?id=365

Image: http://halloweenpictures2015z.org/halloween-image.html

 

 

Your Child

Kid’s Tummy Ache Most-Likely Constipation

2.00 to read

It’s a common ailment – particularly around the time your little one is supposed to get ready for school – the illusive tummy ache. Is it real or just a made up reason to avoid going to school?  Knowing your child very well is probably the only way you’re going to know for sure, but you should also take into account how severe the pain appears to be. 

Turns out that a recent study found that constipation is the most common reason for abdominal pain among children going to the emergency room.

Appendicitis is always a concern when someone complains of bad stomach pains but researchers noted that only about 4 percent of the children, who went to the ER with a tummy ache, were diagnosed with appendicitis.

The study, led by Kerry Caperell, MD, of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, looked at the outcomes of children who went to the emergency room for abdominal pain.

The researchers investigated the medical records of 9,424 children, aged 1 to 18, who went to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh emergency department for abdominal pain during a two-year period.

They found that more than half of the children received multiple diagnoses for their complaints. Appendicitis was less common among younger children, but constipation was commonly diagnosed for all ages.

More than 20 percent of the children were diagnosed with constipation and for kids, ages 5-12 years of age; the diagnosis went up to 25 percent.

Diagnosing causes of abdominal pain in children can often be difficult, especially the younger they are," said Chris Galloway, MD, a dailyRx expert who specializes in emergency medicine.

"Fortunately common causes are still common and constipation is a frequent diagnosis we make in the ER, and can be quite distressing for your child," Dr. Galloway said. "Consult your pediatrician if your child has abdominal pain."

Older children seem to have more serious ailments and were more likely to remain in the hospital and have an operation related to the reason they went to the ER.

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.

What causes constipation in children? Constipation is common in children and typically is not an indicator of bowel problems late in life, but can be very uncomfortable. If your child has had a painful bowel movement because the stool was hard and difficult to pass, he or she may try to hold their stools. This creates a viscous cycle, where bowel movements are painful, so he holds them in, causing his stools to be even larger and harder, which causes more pain when it finally does pass. Many parents mistake the behaviors that children develop to hold in stool as straining to have a bowel movement, but they are usually stiffening their muscles or fidgeting as an attempt to hold their stool in and avoid a painful bowel movement.

Children with special needs, such as spina bifida, Down syndrome, mental retardation and cerebral palsy, often experience constipation that may be related to certain medications.

Infants that are constipated should be evaluated by their pediatrician.

Making changes in your child’s diet can often treat constipation. Fiber is important for good bowel movements in children as well as adults. The usual recommendation is that children should have 5-6 grams of fiber plus their age in years each day. So a 4 year old should have 9-10 grams of fiber each day.

Sometimes dairy products can cause constipation. Cow’s milk, yogurt and cheese can cause constipation and how much is too much is something that parents have to experiment with. Some children can drink a lot of milk and never get constipated, while others don’t have to drink much at all before they end up with a bad tummy ache. For children that drink a lot of milk, soy milk is a good alternative, as it is usually much less constipating than cow's milk.

Vegetables that are high in fiber include beans, especially baked, kidney, navy, pinto and lima beans, sweet potatoes, peas, turnip greens and raw tomatoes. Other foods that are good for children with constipation include vegetable soups (lots of fiber and added fluid), and popcorn. Extra bran can also be helpful, including bran cereals, bran muffins, shredded wheat, graham crackers, and whole wheat bread.

It takes awhile for dietary changes to help manage constipation; in the meantime there are some common medications that can be administered. Be sure and only give the recommended pediatric doses. A child’s age can play a role in which medications your pediatrician will recommend so check with him or her first before trying any over-the counter medicines.

Sources: http://www.dailyrx.com/abdominal-pain-children-emergency-room-was-most-commonly-constipation

http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/conditions/l/aa081200.htm

Your Child

New Retailers Added to Peanut Butter Recall

1.45 to read

A recent recall for peanut butter manufactured by Sunland Inc., and sold at Trader Joe’s, has expanded its list of grocery stores and nuts and butters. The peanut butter originally recalled is “Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted Peanut Butter.”

Sunland Inc. has widened its recall of peanut butter and almond butter to include cashew butters, tahini and blanched and roasted peanut products. The company, which sells its nuts and nut butters to large groceries and other food distributors around the country, recalled products under multiple brand names last month after salmonella illnesses were linked to Trader Joe's Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter, one of the brands it manufactures.

In addition to Trader Joe's, the recall includes some nut butters and nut products sold at Whole Foods Market, Target, Safeway, Fresh & Easy, Harry and David, Sprouts, Heinen's, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, Giant Food of Landover, Md. and several other stores. Some of those retailers used Sunland ingredients in items they prepared and packaged themselves.

The FDA has listed product names in alphabetical order on their website at http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/CORENetwork/ucm320413.htm.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are now 30 salmonella illnesses in 19 states that can be traced to the Trader Joe's peanut butter. No other foods have been linked to the illnesses, but Sunland recalled other products manufactured on the same equipment as the Trader Joe's product.

Some of the brand names included in the recall are Target's Archer Farms, Safeway's Open Nature, Earth Balance, Fresh & Easy, Late July, Heinen's, Joseph's, Natural Value, Naturally More, Peanut Power Butter, Serious Food, Snaclite Power, Sprouts Farmers Market, Sprouts, Sunland and Dogsbutter.

Sunland's recall includes 101 products, and several retailers have issued additional recalls including items made with Sunland ingredients.

Almost two-thirds of people who reported being ill from the products, were children under the age of 10. Children are often given peanut butter as a healthy snack or treat.  

Those sickened reported becoming ill between, June 11 to September 11th.

The salmonella bacteria can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 hours to 72 hours after infection. It is most dangerous to children, the elderly and others with weak immune systems.

If you have one of these products, you can return it to the store where it was purchased, or you can throw it out.  If it in doubt, throw it out. Salmonella can make someone, especially a child, very ill.

Sources: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/peanut-butter-recall-includes-major-retailers/story?id=17370232#.UGsiJrQuqcM

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/CORENetwork/ucm320413.htm.

Your Child

Getting Ready for a New School Year!

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As summer break begins to wind down, preparations for a new school year are gearing up.  Whether it’s the first day of school for your little one or your teen’s first year of college, making the transition from vacation to a daily schedule requires some pre-planning.

Typically, the most difficult changeover for everyone is getting used to a regulated bedtime routine. Getting enough sleep will help family members handle the switch better. I know that’s much easier said than done, but it's worth the effort. Now is a good time to start preparing for a new school year schedule.

As pediatrician, Dr. Sue Hubbard, has said previously in her kidsdr.com Daily Dose article, a couple of weeks before the start of a new school year is when families should start getting used to a new schedule.

“In order to try and minimize grouchy and tired children (and parents too) during those first days of school, going to bed on time will be a necessity. Working on re-adjusting betimes now will also make the transition from summer schedule to school schedule a little easier. If your children have been staying up later than usual, try pushing the bedtime back by 15 minutes each night and gradually shifting the bedtime to the “normal” hour. At the same time, especially for older children, you will need to awaken them a little earlier each day to re-set their clocks for early morning awakening,” Hubbard noted.

Another important detail to take care of before school begins is making sure your child is current on all immunizations. Each state has its own requirements and exemptions. In Texas for instance:

K-12 grades are required to have - the Tetanus/ Diphtheria/ Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, the Polio vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine, and the varicella vaccine. K through 6th grade are also required to get the Hepatitis A vaccine and 7th through 12 grades, a meningococcal vaccine.

Also highly recommended, but not a state law requirement, is the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination (HPV) for boys and girls.

You can find out exactly what your state’s school immunization program is by logging onto http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/awardee-imz-websites.html and clicking on your state.

And lets not forget our college bound students! Universities have their own policies, but these vaccines and booster shots are highly recommended by physicians and most universities: Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY), Tdap, HPV vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine. Be sure to check with your child’s school to see what specific vaccines are required or suggested.

The first day of school for kindergarteners and / or first-graders can be unsettling for kids and parents. Here are a few ways you can help your child face the uncertainty:

·      Remind your child that there are probably a lot of students who are uneasy about the first day of school. This may be at any age. Teachers know that students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.

·      Point out the positive aspects of starting school.  She'll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.

·      Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your student can walk to school or ride on the bus.

·      If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school with your child before the first day.

·      If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk with him or her) to school and pick them up on the first day.

Nutrition is an important factor in children doing well in school. During the summer break kids often get off schedule with their eating habits. Start the early morning routine at least a week before school actually starts so that everyone has a chance to get used to having and preparing breakfast early.

Studies have shown that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches are more alert throughout the school day and earn higher grades than those who have an unhealthy diet. 

Back-to-school- shopping, new schedule arrangements, homework time and space, immunizations, after-school sports and activities – they’re all part of a new school year.

One way to help keep everybody on track is with a calendar that is placed where everyone can see it and update it.

Here’s to a new school year that is full of learning, exciting experiences and good grades!

Source: http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Back-to-School-Tips.aspx

 

Your Child

Whooping Cough Vaccine Effectiveness Fades

2:00

While the measles outbreak was making headlines around the country, another vaccine related outbreak was already an epidemic.

In the last five years, state health officials twice declared whooping cough (also known as pertussis) an epidemic – once in 2010 and again in 2014. Eleven thousand people were sickened and three infants died.

Whooping cough is a serious infection of the respiratory system caused by bacterium. It is easily spread from person to person.

Symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, fever and severe coughing that can sometimes end in the “whooping” sound when a person gasps for air.

Pertussis mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old before immunizations, and kids 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has started to fade.

Although whooping cough can also make adults very ill, sometimes leading to pneumonia and hospitalization, another major concern is that adults are the most common source of infection in infants.

An analysis of a recent whooping cough epidemic in Washington state shows that the effectiveness of the Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)  used to fight the illness waned significantly over time.

For adolescents who received all their shots, effectiveness within one year of the final booster was 73 percent. The effectiveness rate plummeted to 34 percent within two to four years.

The vaccine has changed over the years and those changes may be responsible for the fading effectiveness. The pertussis protection is from the acellular pertussis vaccine. It was introduced in 1997 to replace the whole-cell vaccine, which caused more side effects. Monday's report confirms earlier analysis that the acellular pertussis vaccine may be safer, but less effective, than the old one.

The latest analysis does not mean or even suggest that children and adults should not get the pertussis vaccine. Someone who is vaccinated, but becomes sick with whooping cough, should have a less severe course of illness. The Tdap vaccine is also recommended for college students who did not receive the vaccine as a preteen or teen.

The authors said that new vaccines are "likely needed to reduce the burden of pertussis disease." But Dr. Art Reingold, who leads the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices group on pertussis, said he doesn't know of any pertussis vaccine development in the pipeline.

An added dose doesn’t seem to help either according to research that was presented to the ACIP group. "(An additional dose) would have very little impact on pertussis," Reingold said, "in terms of cases prevented."

Unvaccinated babies are at the highest risk for whooping cough. Since infants can’t be vaccinated until they are 2 months old, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that women get the Tdap vaccine during the last trimester of their pregnancy.

"Babies will be born with circulating antibodies," Reingold said, "and there's pretty good evidence that that will reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in babies."

Reingold also drew an interesting distinction between measles and pertussis having to do with herd immunity. If a large enough percentage of the population is immunized against measles, both individuals and the broader community are protected against outbreak. That's because the measles vaccine protects you against the virus that actually causes the measles illness.

But in pertussis, toxins that are released by bacteria cause the disease. The pertussis vaccine protects you against those toxins, but may not prevent you from spreading the bacteria to others — and causing illness in them.

While the vaccine is helpful in reducing symptoms, Reingold believes that "Pertussis is not going to go away with the current vaccine."

Sometimes there can be a bit of confusion between the DTaP and Tdap vaccines; the letters are similar and they are used to help prevent the same diseases.

DTaP is the vaccine that helps children younger than 7 - years  - old develop immunity to diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Tdap is the booster immunization given at age 11 that offers continued protection.

The Tdap vaccine is the one discussed in this study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Sources: Lisa Aliferis, http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/05/05/404407258/whooping-cough-vaccines-protection-fades-quickly

http://www.webmd.com/children/vaccines/dtap-and-tdap-vaccines

 

 

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