Practical Parenting

Eye Drops Made Simple (Pedcast)

The following is an archived pedcast, originally post in 2010 but still relevant for parents today.

Life is tough enough when you have children. Here is a simple tip for making your child’s experience with eye drops a little less traumatic.

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Less Cold and Cough Medicine in Children Means Fewer ED Visits (Article)

 

Cold and cough medications (CCMs) have been linked to a high number of emergency department visits and rare cases of deaths in infants and children. It is for this reason that manufacturers and government agencies stopped recommending these medications be used for children less than four years of age. In 2007, manufacturers voluntarily withdrew infant cough and cold medications sold over the counter from the US market. In 2008, the US government acted to revise labels of over the counter CCMs to warn against use by children < 4 years. These new recommendations and labeling revisions have been followed by efforts to educate parents about the dangers of giving over the counter CCMs to infants.

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Driveway Disasters (Article)

The combination of driveways and your children can be a deadly one. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye while a parent is performing a mundane task like backing their car out of the driveway; disaster can sadly be just feet away. We all know how much kids love playing outside in the driveway. This puts them squarely in a dangerous zone where they can be injured by a moving car. It’s an alarmingly easy mistake to make that happens frequently. So many families have been devastated when their children are injured or killed by the family car.


In the U.S., fifty children are backed over every week. Of these fifty, two are fatally injured, and most victims are between only twelve and twenty three months old; they are just little innocent toddlers who have no awareness of the danger a moving car poses. They just innocently toddle out into the driveway following their parents, right in the way of the moving vehicle. Most accidents occur when drivers cannot see children in their car’s blind spot, the space behind the car that is not visible from the driver’s seat. Since trucks, vans, and SUVS have the largest blind spots, the majority of accidents are attributed to these vehicles. Fortunately, with more awareness, most of these accidents are preventable.


Here are a few easy tips to ensure that your children are kept safe in your driveway.


  • Always walk all the way around your car before backing out of the driveway. These few seconds could save your child’s life.
  • When young children get in or out of the car, hold their hands and guide them to a safe area where the driver can easily see them.
  • When you’re behind the wheel, remember to back up slowly and always pay attention to your mirrors.
  • Consider purchasing a car that is equipped with a back-up camera and alarm, especially when your children are very young.


Hopefully, all these measures will reduce the number of children who are injured where they should be the safest…their own homes. The prevention of such accidents is possible and in our hands. This is a problem that we can fix!


Your comments are welcome at my blog, www.docsmo.com. Until next time.


Smo Notes:

1.http://www.kidsandcars.org/userfiles/dangers/backovers-fact-sheet.pdf

Written collaboratively by Keri Register and Paul Smolen M.D.

News; Cavities Rising among Children (Article)

 

For decades, the teeth of children in America have been getting stronger and more resistant to decay, until recently. Repairing dental decay in children was one of the mainstays of dentistry until the turn of the century. With the advent of fluoridated water and toothpaste, better dental care, and parents ensuring good dental hygiene, the age of cavities in children’s teeth was rapidly coming to a close. I remember just 20 years ago, hearing my pediatric dental colleagues complaining they had nothing to do without children getting cavities. They were either morphing into orthodontists or going out of business.

 

But here we go again. In the past ten years, dentists have begun to notice an uptick in the number of children with cavities, enough so, that the American Dental Association recently began recommending topical fluoride toothpaste be used in children under age three years of age. Prior to this new recommendation, fluoride toothpaste was forbidden for young children because of the fear that they would get too much fluoride in the enamel of their teeth, a condition known as fluorosis. Fluoride toothpastes have a lot of fluoride and if a young child eats the toothpaste, this can overload their teeth with this mineral, turning their teeth to a brown color. But experts have recently decided that a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste topically put on a young child’ s teeth is very unlikely to cause fluorosis and very likely to make dental decay more unlikely in children.

 

So the great fluoride debate continues, with the pendulum swinging back toward limited topical fluoride use as soon as a child’s teeth erupt.  But I have a better idea. I believe that if parents would eliminate almost all snacks, give their children water instead of any juices (even diluted) or sugary drinks, and stop giving them gummy and other sugar containing vitamins, dental decay would again, disappear. I believe if these things happened, we wouldn’t be having the need for this new ADA recommendation. But what do I know?

 

I welcome your comments on my blog, www.docsmo.com. If you have dental stories or other ideas how to improve our children’s dental health, fire away. Join the conversation. If you are a pediatric dentist, please give us your perspective. Until next time.