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    Easy Baby Proofing Tips

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Baby proofing is about accident prevention. It is also about enjoying your home and your family. I would like to share some of my tips for accident prevention and safe kids. Baby proofing is best started in infancy. I ask parents to focus on one room, such as the living room. Make that room safe and use baby gates to limit baby's access to other, less safe, rooms.

    Developmentally, your child will first roll, then crawl, then pull to stand and eventually climb. Please keep these steps in mind when baby proofing. Start thinking about accident prevention. Remove anything small enough to fit through a toilet paper roll, as items this small are choking hazards. If they cannot be removed, then place them up high. Anything you can reach when on your hands and knees, your baby can reach when he or she pulls to stand. Parents of safe kids will crawl through the house on their hands and knees and look for potential hazards. Place plants up high to prevent ingestion. While all flowers are not poisonous, the potting soil may contain fertilizer which can be harmful.

    Baby proofing includes electronics. Unless you want your DVD player reprogrammed, it should be out of reach. Accident prevention includes covering electrical outlets and limiting use of extension cords. It also means you must check each cord and see what happens if a small child pulls on the cord. Replace any cords that appear frayed.

    To maintain an appropriate environment for safe kids, you will have to go back and check all this regularly. Remember, small items will return to your living room uninvited. Accident prevention involves having a system for this. Many parents will put a fish bowl or flower vase in the living room to "catch" such things. This bowl can be emptied daily or weekly.

    Once you have done all of this in a single room, gradually baby proof outward to other rooms. Having safe kids will mean using baby gates to keep small children out of certain rooms (kitchen) for quite some time.

    Baby proofing also means not holding your baby while drinking hot liquids. Medications should be kept in a locking tool box or tackle box. Cords for blinds need to be shortened. There are many more things that can be done for baby proofing. This is a good start. Keep your eyes open and you'll do fine.

    ~Dr Nan~

    5 Injury Resources to Know Just In Case

    Last updated 2 years ago

    If you would like helpful information related to our recent blog posts, read these recommended articles from around the web. For complete pediatric care in Independence, KS contact Dr. Nan Nuessle at (620) 330-8188 or online.

    How to Know if Your Child Is Getting Enough Sleep

    Last updated 2 years ago

    As people sleep, the body is able to repair itself from the day before. Children need much more sleep than adults, as their growing bodies require more rest to repair the tissues. During infancy, a child will sleep for most of the day—15-18 hours broken up into shorter segments. As the child grows, less sleep is required and it occurs in longer periods, eventually lasting through the night. It is not until the age of 12 that you should see your child adapting to a more standard sleep cycle of 8-9 hours per night.

    Helping your child develop a sleep schedule

    By encouraging a regularly scheduled bedtime and nap times, you will help your child build healthy sleeping habits. If sleep is occurring at random intervals throughout the day, the body and mind are unable to keep up with the constant irregularity. Establish a bedtime and stick to it with a routine that might include reading a story, taking a bath, and brushing the teeth. As your child gets older, allow more independence at bedtime but keep guidelines in place to support a healthy sleep schedule.

    Identifying childhood sleep disorders

    Childhood sleep disorders are not uncommon, as bedtime can cause anxiety in younger kids. Be aware of problems such as talking in the sleep, night terrors, bedwetting, and sleepwalking. Other strange behaviors that could indicate a sleep disorder are nightmares, crying, and frequently requesting to sleep in the parents’ bedroom. If you notice any activity of this nature, contact a doctor to learn about ways to treat sleep disorders in children.

    For more information about healthy sleep habits in children, check out Dr. Nan’s Pediatric Solutions. Contact us on our website or call (620) 330-8188 to explore our wide range of pediatric services.

    Histamines, Leukotrienes and Their Role in an Allergic Reaction

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Spring allergies can result in sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose and watery, itchy eyes. For many of us, this is our body's reaction to blooming flowers, bushes and trees. Unlike a cold, these symptoms can last 2-3 months. They can make us susceptible to infections and asthma attacks. It's very uncomfortable. In Spring, my thoughts turn not to love, but to facial tissue. The above symptoms describe a typical allergic reaction.

    Let's look at an allergic reaction on the cellular and subcellular level. Most of us know that allergens, the things to which we are allergic, trigger release of chemicals called histamines. The histamines come from white blood cells called mast cells and eosinophils. Mast cells act first. Mast cells also release other chemicals which cause inflammation and mucus production. These chemicals are leukotrienes and Prostaglandin E2. Later, eosinophils release more histamines and leukotrienes, as well as some proteins that lead to further mucus production. The key players are histamines and leukotrienes. Each chemical reaction triggers 2 or 3 more chemical reactions, many releasing more histamines and leukotrienes. It is much like when you are playing pool and you "break."

    For many years, treatment of Spring allergies consisted only of antihistamines. This was a problem for a couple of reasons. First generation antihistamines cause drowsiness, which limits their use. Also, they don't address the problem of mast cells and leukotrienes. Second generation antihistamines were a major breakthrough. They don't cause drowsiness. However, for many of us with Spring allergies, antihistamines are not enough. Two more classes of medication arrived on the scene. These are nasal steroids and mast cell (or leukotriene) inhibitors. Nasal steroids are not well absorbed into the body. They pretty much sit on the lining of the nose and decrease the inflammation which causes nasal congestion. It takes 3-5 days, on average, to get this effect. However, once you are on a nasal steroid for about 3 weeks, you get an additional benefit. The nasal steroids actually block the allergy receptors in the lining of the nose, preventing further allergic reaction. Mast cell inhibitors block the breakdown of mast cells, so that they cannot release leukotrienes.

    All of these allergy medications work very well together, but timing is also important. Once an allergic reaction starts, and histamines and leukotrienes are released, they cannot be put back. Allergy medications are best started 2-3 weeks before the allergy season. Also, mast cells inhibitors are best utilized with an antihistamine, not by themselves. If you have a child with Spring allergies and they are not yet on their medications, please start them right away. As always, contact your primary care provider if you have questions.

    Dr. Nan

     

    Video: About Children & Antibiotics

    Last updated 2 years ago

    Antibiotics can be incredibly helpful in curing some conditions, but they are not always good for treating childhood infections.

    This video explains the difference between viruses and infections so that you understand when antibiotics are appropriate for treatment. Common colds, strep throat, and influenza are not treatable with antibiotics, so they should not be prescribed for these conditions. If antibiotics are overprescribed, the body will build a resistance to them so they are less effective when actually needed.

    For more information about medication and treating illness in your child, contact Dr. Nan Nuessle at (620) 330-8188.

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