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How Vaccines Prevent Diseases: a Message from the CDC.
The diseases that vaccines prevent can be dangerous, or even deadly. Vaccines reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to disease. When germs, such as bacteria or viruses, invade the body, they attack and multiply. This invasion is called an infection, and the infection is what causes illness. The immune system then has to fight the infection. Once it fights off the infection, the body is left with a supply of cells that help recognize and fight that disease in the future. Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection, but this “imitation” infection does not cause illness. It does, however, cause the immune system to develop the same response as it does to a real infection so the body can recognize and fight the vaccine-preventable disease in the future. Sometimes, after getting a vaccine, the imitation infection can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.
Vaccines are the single best thing that parents can do to protect their child and insure good health. The viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable disease and death still exist; they have not disappeared. Vaccines dramatically reduce the number of people who get infectious diseases and the complications these diseases produce
Parents, we can now file your insurance (we accept most insurance plans) for your flu vaccine. Please bring your insurance card when you come for your appointment.a
Life Jackets Save Lives.
Many of you know our very own, Dr. Dobson. What you may not know, however, is that a couple of years ago his family experienced a horrible tragedy involving his wife’s brother and son. His brother-in-law, Brian Keese, and son Nathan (8 years), went on a father/son camping trip together. During this outing they decided to go out on their boat and for some unexplained reason did not have on life jackets. Tragically, their boat capsized at some point and they both drowned. As a result of their loss, the Keese and Dobson families have become very involved in increasing the awareness of life jacket use and overall water safety.
Remember, your kids grow every year. We URGE you to check their weight and each year have them properly fitted for their very own life jacket. And WEAR IT…whether they are in a boat, on a dock, near the water, or even at the pool or waterpark. Life Jackets Save Lives. Click here to read more about how to fit a life jacket and more information about overall water safety.
With warm weather and family events, holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July and other celebrations can be a fun time with great memories. But before your family celebrates, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burn and eye injuries in kids and adults. The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home — period. Attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals. There are many free fireworks displays across the upstate including a great one in downtown Greenville! For more ideas, check with your local church, recreation organization, newspaper or community calendar. If you do choose to have light fireworks at your home, please keep these safety tips in mind:
- Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give older kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800° Fahrenheit (982° Celsius) — hot enough to melt gold.
- Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer’s name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place. Illegal fireworks usually go by the names M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarterpounder. These explosives were banned in 1966, but still account for many fireworks injuries.
- Never try to make your own fireworks.
- Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
- Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.
- Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.
- Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.
- Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.
- Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
- Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
- While most are okay, some children have very sensitive ears. Protect your kid’s ears from the loud booms and noise of fireworks.
- Think about your pets, too! Animals have very sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.
If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately call 911 or go directly to the hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don’t flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention — your child’s eyesight may depend on it. If it’s a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you’ll enjoy them much more knowing your family is safe. Take extra precautions this holiday season and it will be a blast! (in a good way!)
Whether you are traveling across country or across town, having safe happy kids makes all the difference for everyone. Click these links for more information about:
Travel Tips – From the American Academy of Pediatrics, good advice on flying, road trips, and international travel with kids
Flying with Baby – Great information on high altitude crying, how to help with ear pressure and even how to find a pediatrician if you need one
Car Seat Safety Video – How to properly fit a 5 point harness
Common Car Seat Mistakes to Avoid – How to properly install a car seat and position infants
Here are a few extra tips when traveling:
- Take our phone number with you! 864-272-0388 We always have a Parkside provider on call for emergencies if you need us and we can access your child’s medical records anytime.
- If you are out of town and need to see a doctor, go to a pediatrician or hospital facility. While “quick care” is convenient and fine sometimes for adults, most don’t have a pediatric provider and it is very important that the person treating your child and writing prescriptions knows what to prescribe and at what dose when it comes to babies and children.
- Remember to have fun (as much as possible) with your kids while traveling. Use the time waiting on a flight or in the car to get to know your kids better. Turn off the electronic games and parents turn your phones off for just a little while. Sometime the best part of the trip, is the trip!
- Is your child big enough to be out of a booster? (remember it is height and weight, not age) Take this quick 5 Step Test to be sure.
When? No matter what the activity, if anyone – kids or adults – plan on being outside form more than 10 minutes, they should have on sunscreen. Apply at least 15-30 minutes before exposure and be sure to wash off all sunscreen before going to bed. Babies – Be careful to limit sun exposure and when applying sunscreen, DO NOT put anywhere near their mouth, eyes or hands. Babies tend to rub their eyes and put fingers in their mouths. Put them in wide brimmed hats if possible. Also, be sure to use sunscreens made for babies. These do not contain certain oils that in some babies could cause an adverse reaction. SPF – We recommend the highest SPF you can find and waterproof is the best, even if you don’t plan on swimming. Many sunscreens go up to a 70 or even 100 SPF. There are also many types of clothing available for swimming that have a sun protection factor. If using these, you still need to put on sunscreen. Areas to protect – Be sure to protect all areas that are exposed. Many people forget to apply to the top of the head, back of the neck, ears and even tops of feet. All those can burn quickly. What to do and when to see your pediatrician? Do not apply any sort of gel or Vaseline to the burned skin. This actually seals the burn and makes it worse. It is fine to give Motrin or Tylenol for pain. If any portion of the skin is bright red, begins to blister or a rash appears it is important to see your pediatrician. There are prescription creams and other things that can help a severe burn.
Overheating, Dehydration and Blood Sugar
Overheating – The hotter the day, the more frequent the breaks. Babies overheat quickly. Car seats and strollers are made to protect your baby and they do not circulate the air well. Take baby out frequently to cool off. Put them in cool clothing and hats, we do not recommend using blankets in hot temps. Let them play with a cool wash cloth too! Hydration – STAYING HYDRATED is critical! Have kids take a break from play time to get water or even a fun treat like popsicles. We do not recommend soft drinks or lots of juice because of the significant quantity of sugar. Many times when kids are playing they can lose track of time. Set your phone, watch or even kitchen timer to remind yourself and the kids to take a break. Moms – especially those who are nursing – remember to keep you hydrated as well. Blood Sugar – Kids playing hard don’t realize they are hungry or in the summer it seems “too hot” to eat. This is an important thing to keep in mind as a parent. We have all had our kids come to us and they feel sick and don’t know why or who are just “starving!” Many times this is because their blood sugar has dropped. To help avoid this, make sure they are getting a good balanced breakfast and not just pancakes and syrup. Also, keep snacks handy and plan snack breaks throughout the day and play time to protect against a sugar low. Fruit is a great snack for hydration and maintaining blood sugar. What to do and when to see your pediatrician? If you suspect your child is overheated, dehydrated or is experiencing a significant drop in their blood sugar, get some sort of liquid in them immediately. In these cases, we suggest a sports drink or juice since they provide a rapid recovery because of the sugar content. If your child doesn’t “perk up” after 10-15 minutes, you might want to call your pediatrician. Severe dehydration, overheating and low blood sugar, are ALL serious and if left untreated can be fatal.
It is easy to lose track of time while in the pool. Plan for breaks, snacks and sunscreen!
- Hydration – Being in a pool definitely helps kids stay cooler, however they run the risk of dehydration because of the continuous physical activity. Remember to take frequent breaks and hydrate.
- Sunscreen – Even though it says “waterproof” it isn’t. Reapply!
- Ears – Protect your child’s ears from the water by using custom ear molds or generic ear plugs.
- Exhaustion It is very important to keep your eyes on all kids in the pool, even if they are “good swimmers.” When kids play in the pool they don’t notice their body’s cues as well as they might in a normal situation. Look out for kids who are getting tired, who might not be feeling well or simply need to take a break. These kids need to rest, rehydrate and sometimes need a snack.
Bites, Stings, Cuts and Scrapes
We live in the south and there are bugs! This should not stop your kids and yourself from getting that much needed outside play time. Accidents will also happen, be prepared. First AID – Keep a first aid kit handy and stocked for any bites, stings and minor cuts and scrapes. Also, something to help with itching is always good like an After Bite cream or Benadryl. The American Red Cross is a great resource for first aid check lists and information. Bug Spray – If needed, you can apply bug spray before going out to play. Do it outside because it is well ventilated. In small children, apply it to their socks, shoes and even strollers for babies. NEVER near the face or hands. There are even bug repellents that come in a wipe that helps with application. WASH off all repellent before eating and bed time. Safety – Before you turn the kids loose to play, survey your yard and play area for:
- Fire ant mounds and wasp nests- treat before kids play in the area
- Any safety concerns – broken fences, gates, playground equipment, etc.
What to do and when to see your pediatrician? Call your pediatrician immediately if a cut doesn’t stop bleeding after cleaning and applying a bandage or you see any signs of allergic reaction to a bite or sting. These include excessive redness, swelling or rash. If there is ANY SIGN OF breathing trouble, call 911.
The most important thing is to HAVE FUN. Get your kids moving! One of the most harmful things you can do is allow your child to sit in front of a screen all day. Go on a walk, have an outdoor adventure, just PLAY!
- Healthy Children
- Center for Disease Control
- American Association of Pediatrics
- Kids Health
- Child Safety Seat State Law