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All kids get a fever at some point or another. This may sound like a bad thing, but it’s good because it can help your child’s immune system fight the infection they are struggling with. Still, it’s important to make sure your son or daughter receives the proper treatment and care necessary to make a full recovery. Whether you’re an adult or a child, fevers are brutal to deal with, but fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid, treat, and prevent them!
We all have been with a person who is sick and asks to feel their head, checking to see if they feel warm. This is a common method to see if someone is “burning” up and has a fever. However, for it to actually be a fever, the body’s temperature must be 100.4°F (38°C) or higher. The various and most accurate ways of measuring a temperature are rectal, armpit, ear, forehead, and mouth. Adults sometimes get a slightly different number, so the number that means a child has a fever is a little different too.
Other signs that your child might be suffering from a fever would be having chills, cold sweats, flushed skin, above-average temperature, or acting differently. Due to the discomfort, they are feeling your child may become fussy or cranky.
Typically, fevers in kids are caused by an infection. The cool thing is that a fever will help the body by stimulating the immune system to fight the infection. Healthcare experts also believe the higher the temperature, the harder it will be for germs to grow. A couple of other reasons kids may suffer from fevers would be due to immunizations, a child who is teething, and believe it or not, overdressing. Infants, more specifically newborns, may get fevers if they’re overdressed, wrapped in a blanket, or a hot environment because they don’t regulate their body temperature as well as older kids.
Treating a fever with medicine isn’t needed if a child is still playing, drinking, and doesn’t have pain. You should supply your child with medicine only when a fever causes them discomfort or prevents them from drinking fluids. It’s worth mentioning that when your child does have a fever, keep an eye on them, help them to rest, and keep offering fluids. This is so they can make up for the fluids they lose from sweating. Oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte, are a good choice. You also can give water, soup, ice pops, and flavored gelatin. Avoid drinks with caffeine, including colas and tea, which can make dehydration worse by making kids pee more often. Let kids eat what they want (in reasonable amounts), but don’t force it if they don’t feel like eating much!
Making sure your child stays hydrated isn’t the only thing you can do. Having them wear lightweight clothing and stay covered with a light sheet or blanket can also help. It’s important to remember to keep the room at a comfortable temperature and make sure they get plenty of rest. Staying in bed all day isn’t necessary, but a sick child should take it easy.
The temperature that should trigger a call to your child’s healthcare provider depends on their age, the illness, and whether they have other symptoms. In general, call their provider if your child is younger than 3 months old with a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, 3 months or older with a temperature higher than 102.2°F (39°C), or at any age but has a health problem like cancer or sickle cell disease and has a fever.
In most cases, your child will be back to their old self within a couple of days. For older babies and kids, the way they act is more important than the reading on your thermometer or what symptoms they’re exhibiting. Don’t be alarmed if your son or daughter is a bit cranky when they have a fever. This is completely normal and should be anticipated, but if you are ever in doubt about what to do, or if your child is acting ill in a way that concerns you, the experts at Chai Care will happily take a look!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.
Sometimes your child will be sneezing or wheezing, and you might shrug it off, believing it to be nothing more than a simple allergy. However, there is the possibility that your son or daughter may have a health issue – asthma. This can cause bothersome daily symptoms that interfere with play, sports, school, and sleep, making unmanaged asthma dangerous. Unfortunately, childhood asthma can’t be cured, and symptoms can continue into adulthood, but with the right treatment and by staying informed, your child can keep their symptoms under control and prevent damage to growing lungs.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease. It affects your airways and the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. When you have asthma, your airways can become inflamed and narrowed. This can cause wheezing, coughing, and tightness in your chest. When these symptoms get worse than usual, it is called an asthma attack or flare-up.
Typically, asthma starts during childhood, usually before the age of 5. Asthma is something many children suffer from and is actually the most common chronic disease in childhood. Depending on the severity of their asthma, it can cause children to miss school and even end up in the hospital.
Even though there are many different variables that may cause a child to suffer from asthma, a few of the most popular reasons would be being exposed to secondhand smoke when their mother is pregnant with them, genetics, and family history. Children are more likely to have asthma if one of their parents has it, especially if it’s the mother, or having other diseases or conditions such as obesity and allergies.
The most common symptoms of asthma are frequent coughing that worsens when your child has a viral infection, occurs while your child is asleep, or is triggered by exercise or cold air, a whistling or wheezing sound when breathing out, shortness of breath, chest congestion or tightness, and rapid breathing. It’s important to mention that your child may experience other symptoms that are disguised as something different and if these issues don’t seem to be going away, contact their healthcare provider.
It can be tricky to diagnose asthma in children, especially if they are toddlers. Asthma has similar symptoms as other childhood conditions and some children may not demonstrate symptoms very often, so it may seem like they are having respiratory infections instead. However, if your healthcare provider were to test your child for asthma they would do a physical exam, check your child’s medical history, take a chest X-ray, and do lung function tests. If you have a young child who cannot do lung function tests, their healthcare provider may suggest doing a trial of asthma medicines. This involves giving your child the recommended medicines for several weeks to see whether the symptoms get better.
Depending on the severity of your child’s asthma their treatment will vary. There is also a chance their allergist may prescribe them two different medications. The first is quick relief. All children with asthma need quick-relief medicine to treat coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or an asthma attack. Your child should always have this medicine with them (typically an inhaler) and use it at the first sign of symptoms. The second is preventative controllers. Many children with asthma also need to take a controller daily to prevent asthma symptoms and attacks. Your child may need a controller if they are using quick-relief medication too often or frequently need oral corticosteroids such as prednisone for asthma attacks.
It’s best to take your child to their healthcare provider if you see any signs of asthma because early treatment will help control their symptoms and possibly prevent asthma attacks. If you notice coughing that is constant, intermittent, or seems linked to physical activity, wheezing or whistling sounds when your child breathes out, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, complaints of chest tightness, and repeated episodes of suspected bronchitis or pneumonia take your son or daughter to their provider for proper testing. If your child is diagnosed with asthma, creating an asthma plan can help you, family and friends monitor their symptoms and know what to do if an asthma attack occurs.
In severe cases, you might see your child’s chest and sides pulling inward as he or she tries to breathe. They might also have an increased heartbeat, sweating, and chest pain. Seek emergency care if your child must stop in midsentence to catch his or her breath, is using abdominal muscles to breathe, or has widened nostrils when breathing in. Even if your son or daughter hasn’t been diagnosed with asthma, seek medical attention if he or she has trouble breathing. Although episodes of asthma vary in seriousness, asthma attacks can start with coughing, which progresses to wheezing and labored breathing.
The best way to prevent an asthma attack is with careful planning and avoiding asthma triggers such as allergens and irritants that trigger asthma symptoms. Exposure to tobacco smoke during infancy is a strong risk factor for childhood asthma, as well as a common trigger of asthma attacks. It is also important to encourage your child to be active. If their asthma is well-controlled, regular physical activity can help the lungs to work more efficiently. Lastly, urge a proactive lifestyle. Being overweight can worsen asthma symptoms, and it puts your child at risk of other health problems.
Asthma is a tricky illness because, for some, it’s more serious than it is for others, and if your son or daughter is one of the lucky ones who only have minor issues, they can potentially evolve into more serious problems later in life. It is your duty as a parent to stay on top of it so your child can learn and adapt to any potential new symptoms, but not to worry, the staff at Chai Care will always be here to help your child with any everyday health issue that they find themselves facing!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.Jan 31, 2023
Understanding the symptoms of your child’s illness or injury is extremely important but knowing the different forms of medication and remedies they need to heal their wounds is crucial to their overall health. Most parents know the typical over-the-counter drugs to use for at-home care, however, new drugs come out every year, making it that much more important to stay informed on how to best treat your child in today’s world—in this case nebulizer treatment.
A nebulizer is a device that sprays a fine, liquid mist of medicine. It is often used in younger children who can’t use inhalers. The device has an air compressor, a cup for medicine, and tubing connected to a mouthpiece or mask. Your child breathes in the medicine through the mouthpiece or mask. Each treatment takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. There are several different types of nebulizers used for asthma medicine: jet nebulizers, ultrasonic nebulizers, and mesh nebulizers. It’s important to know that the instructions can be slightly different for each. So, make sure you know how to use your child’s nebulizer.
Nebulizer treatment can be tricky at times which makes the following steps important to know when giving treatment to your child. Still, you should speak to your child’s healthcare provider for specific instructions, but usage will vary depending on the child’s symptoms.
First things first, wash your hands and gather the recommended supplies which are medicine to be nebulized and additional nebulizing solution such as sterile saline. Then, grab your nebulizer set. This is the nebulizer cup, mouthpiece or mask, and tubing to connect to the nebulizer machine. Find a quiet activity for your child to do while he or she sits up for the treatment such as reading a book, drawing, or playing a quiet game.
After this, place the nebulizer on a flat surface, the best place would be on a table or the floor. Then, plug the unit into a wall outlet and connect the tubing to the nebulizer machine, and finally put the medicine into the nebulizer cup and screw the cap on securely. Some medicine may be premixed. Other medicine may need to be measured. Connect the other end of the air tubing to the nebulizer cup, connect the mouthpiece or face mask to the nebulizer cup, and now turn the machine on. It’s important to check to make sure a fine mist of medicine is coming through the face mask or mouthpiece. Most nebulizer cups need to be held upright to work correctly.
Place the mouthpiece in your child’s mouth with their lips sealed around the mouthpiece and make sure to encourage your child to take slow deep breaths in and out of their mouth. The mist should disappear with each breath.
Place the mask over your child’s mouth and nose. The adjustable elastic band may be used to hold the mask in place and make sure your child takes deep breaths in and out for the entire treatment. Instruct your child to continue slow, deep breaths until all the medicine in the nebulizer cup is gone. You may need to tap the sides of the nebulizer cup to make sure all medicine is given. Once you have done this, turn the nebulizer machine off and check your child’s peak flow and make sure to measure it before and after the treatment.
It’s important to stay with your child during their nebulizer treatment and if your child vomits or has a severe coughing spell, stop the treatment. Make sure your child rests for a few minutes, then resume the treatment. Check the filter on the nebulizer machine once a week to ensure it is clean and sanitary. When it becomes discolored, replace it with a new filter. Always keep spare nebulizer supplies at home. Before you run out, call your medical supply company.
Sometimes babies and little kids have trouble getting asthma treatments with a nebulizer. Kids need to sit still for anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes while they breathe in the medicine. Every parent with a toddler knows just how hard that can be.
Using a nebulizer should become a daily routine. Use the nebulizer at the same time each day, so your child knows to expect it. Some parents give treatment time a fun name, to make it exciting. You can do things like read stories, watch movies or play with toys during nebulizer time to make your child feel more comfortable
If your child is afraid of the mask, you can turn it into a game, saying it’s a superhero mask and will give them special powers. Maybe throw on Spider-Man or an Avengers movie so they can really engage with your story. There are also masks you can buy that are shaped like animals and cool creatures!
If your child is old enough, have them help you put the mask on, hold the tubing, and turn the machine on and make sure to congratulate your child for a job well done!
Not every child will handle nebulizer treatment the same which is why listening to your son or daughter is so important. Some children can sit still for long periods of time while others fuss around and will become agitated. Treatment such as this one requires patience and concentration, making you that much more important to the healing process. The good news is if you do find yourselves struggling to use a nebulizer, the experts at Chai Care will happily guide you through all the steps and your child will be healthy in no time!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.
After the rise of COVID-19, it is hard to not be frightened of contagious viruses and infections. Our world can be an unforgiving place and when it comes to protecting our youth, things can be that much more intimidating. The truth of the matter is that at some point your child is going to get sick and when that happens you should be informed as much as humanly possible. With that being said, measles should be at the top of your list.
Measles is an extremely contagious respiratory infection. It causes a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms. Measles is rare in the United States thanks to widespread immunization, but millions of cases happen worldwide every year.
Measles (also called rubeola) is caused by a virus, so there is no specific medical treatment for it—the virus has to run its course. A child who is sick with measles should drink plenty of liquids, get lots of rest, and stay home from school or daycare to prevent the spreading of the infection.
The first symptoms of a measles infection are usually a hacking cough, runny nose, high fever, and red eyes. Kids also may have small red spots with blue-white centers inside the mouth before the rash starts.
The rash breaks out 3–5 days after symptoms start, sometimes along with a high fever of up to 104°F (40°C). The red or reddish-brown rash usually begins as flat red spots on the forehead. It spreads to the rest of the face, then down the neck and torso to the arms, legs, and feet. The fever and rash slowly go away after a few days.
Measles is very contagious. Believe it or not, 9 out of 10 people who aren’t vaccinated for measles will get it if they are near an infected person.
Measles spreads when people breathe in or have direct contact with the virus-infected fluid. It can pass through droplets sprayed into the air when someone with measles sneezes or coughs. Someone exposed to the virus usually shows symptoms 7–14 days later.
Children with measles can spread the disease from 4 days before the rash starts until about 4 days after that. They’re most contagious when they have a fever, runny nose, and cough. Those with weak immune systems due to other conditions (like HIV and AIDS) can spread the measles virus until they recover.
Even though there is no specific medical treatment for measles, you can help your child by encouraging extra rest and giving them a non-aspirin fever medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Also, children with measles should be kept away from others for 4 days after their rash appears. For those with a weak immune system, this should continue until they make a full recovery, and all symptoms are gone.
A measles infection can last for several weeks. Symptoms usually start 7–14 days after someone is exposed to the virus.
The best way to protect your kids is to make sure they’re immunized against measles. For most children, measles protection is part of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine (MMRV) given when they’re 12 to 15 months old and again when they’re 4 to 6 years old. The vaccine can be given to babies as young as 6 months old if they will be traveling internationally. It’s important to speak to your healthcare provider to see when the vaccine is needed.
Widespread immunization has made measles rare in the U.S., but outbreaks still happen. With that being said, measles outbreaks have been increasing worldwide, mostly due to people not being vaccinated. It’s important for all kids who can get the vaccine to get it on time. At-risk people (such as those with weak immune systems) can’t get the vaccine. But when a lot of other people are immunized against a disease, it protects them, prevents the disease from spreading, and helps prevent outbreaks.
Even though we are fortunate enough to live in a country that is mostly protected from measles, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms because it’s still possible to contract it. The truth is, we would rather live our lives in peace and not worry about such things, which is why the experts at Chai Care have your back. If you ever believe your child or loved one to be infected with measles or struggling with a different everyday medical emergency, our dedicated staff will always be here to offer a helping hand!
Probably the most notorious and most well-known illness a childhood illness catches is chickenpox. This infection is virtually unavoidable and when a child does contract it, you’ll be the first to know due to its obvious symptoms and your child complaining of severe discomfort. It’s one of those nasty viruses that almost every person suffers from when they are a youngster but even though it is treatable, it is important to know the signs and symptoms to not spread it to any other children.
So, what exactly is Chickenpox? Essentially, it is a viral infection that causes your child to have a fever and an itchy rash with spots all over their body. Once upon a time, chickenpox was a common childhood illness in the United States, especially in kids under age 12, but thankfully it is much rarer now, thanks to the varicella vaccine.
Chickenpox is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This virus also can cause a painful skin rash called shingles (herpes zoster) later in life. After someone has had chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the nervous system for the rest of a person’s life. It’s worth mentioning that the virus can reactivate later in life as shingles, however, kids who are vaccinated against chickenpox are much less likely to develop shingles when they get older.
Typically, chickenpox starts without the classic rash, with a fever, headache, sore throat, or stomachache. These symptoms may last for a few days, with the fever in the 101°–102°F range. After this, the red, itchy skin rash usually starts on the belly or back and face. After this, it spreads to almost everywhere else on the body, including the scalp, mouth, arms, legs, and genitals.
The rash begins with many small red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites. They appear in waves over 2 to 4 days, then develop into thin-walled blisters filled with fluid. The blister walls break, leaving open sores, which finally crust over to become dry, brown scabs. All three stages of the chickenpox rash (red bumps, blisters, and scabs) appear on the body at the same time. Sometimes the rash may spread wider or be more severe in kids who have weak immune systems or skin disorders like eczema.
Thankfully, symptoms are usually mild among children but may be life-threatening to children, adults, and people with impaired immune systems or healthy infants. Symptoms to look out for are fatigue, irritability, an itchy, red rash that progresses to tiny, fluid-filled blisters, fever, decreased appetite, muscle and/or joint pain, and a cough or runny nose.
The symptoms of chickenpox may resemble other skin problems or medical conditions. Making it important to consult your child’s healthcare provider for a legitimate diagnosis.
Chickenpox is very contagious. Most kids with a sibling who’s infected will most likely contract it and will show symptoms about 2 weeks after the first child does. If you do have multiple children, make sure the child with chickenpox covers their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Because chickenpox is so contagious, a child who has it should stay home and rest until the rash is completely gone and all the blisters have dried. This takes about 1 week, but if you are unsure about whether your child is ready to return to school, ask your healthcare provider.
Medical professionals can usually diagnose chickenpox just by looking at the obvious rash. From there, they can guide you in watching for complications and in choosing different medicine to ease your child’s itching. It’s important that if you take your child to their healthcare provider to let the staff know ahead of time that your child might have chickenpox to not expose other kids in the office — for some children, a chickenpox infection could cause serious complications.
Since a virus causes chickenpox, antibiotics cannot treat it. But antibiotics are needed if bacteria infect the sores. This usually happens when kids scratch and pick at the blisters. An antiviral medicine might be prescribed for people with chickenpox who are at risk for complications, but this will depend on the child’s age, health, the extent of the infection, and the timing of treatment.
The great news is that chickenpox can be prevented! Most children who get the chickenpox vaccine will not get chickenpox. And if they do get chickenpox, their symptoms will be much milder. Healthcare providers highly recommend that kids receive the vaccine when they’re 12–15 months old and a booster shot when they’re 4–6 years old. Children 6 years of age and older who have never had chickenpox and aren’t vaccinated can and should get two doses of the vaccine and kids who have had chickenpox do not need the vaccine — they usually have lifelong protection against the illness.
The best to way to help the itchiness and discomfort of chickenpox is by using a cool wet compresses or giving your child a bath in lukewarm water every 3–4 hours for the first few days. It’s worth mentioning that oatmeal bath products can help to relieve itching. Other methods of pain relief would be patting (not rubbing) the body and putting calamine lotion on itchy areas.
To prevent scratching, it’s best to use mittens or gloves on your child’s hands to avoid scratching during sleep and trim their fingernails to keep them clean.
If your child has blisters in the mouth, give cold, soft, bland foods because chickenpox in the mouth can make it hard to drink or eat. Avoid anything acidic or salty, like orange juice or pretzels.
Most chickenpox infections don’t need special medical treatment but, in some cases, unexpected problems can happen. You should call your healthcare provider if your child has a fever that lasts for more than 4 days, has a severe cough or trouble breathing, has an area of rash that leaks pus, has a severe headache, or lastly, has a stiff neck.
In most cases, chickenpox is not something to lose sleep over. Nearly every child gets it and even though watching your child in agony is unpleasant, this virus goes away quickly and will soon become a thing of the past. Even though there are many ways you can treat your child at home, it is still best to take your kid to their healthcare provider and the experts at Chai Care will always be here to offer their top-notch service as they supply your little one with exceptional care!
Out of all the different rashes and skin conditions that exist, Eczema is one of the most common that a child can have. As irritating as eczema may be, there are plenty of ways to avoid it and if your child does have it, there are plenty of ways of remedying the pain. So, look no further because Chai Care has you covered in all the ways to help your kid with their eczema!
Eczema is a skin problem called atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis often begins in infancy, affecting about 15 to 20% of children. It usually improves as the child grows older and may resolve by school age or puberty, however, some children with atopic dermatitis may have more chronic diseases.
Children with eczema have a form of sensitive skin that may be more easily irritated by sweating, heat, rough clothing, some detergents, soaps, and cleansers. Children with atopic dermatitis may also have allergies to foods, animals, dust mites, tree pollens, and grasses, although it is not clear that these allergies cause eczema in most children. In many cases, identifying these allergies does not help eczema. In rare cases, some children with atopic dermatitis may develop allergies to chemicals in their moisturizers, skin care products, clothing, or topical medications.
Children with eczema develop red, dry, itchy patches on the skin that result from inflammation. Itching can be severe and constant, causing them much discomfort. With frequent scratching, the skin may develop blisters, oozing, crusting, or sores from the infection. Sometimes, if the child scratches for many weeks to months, the skin may start to become very rough, leathery, and darker in color. In infants, eczema commonly affects the face, scalp, arms, and legs and in older children, eczema may involve only the insides of the elbows and backs of the knees. It’s worth mentioning that some children with severe eczema may have it spread across their entire bodies.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for eczema, although it can usually be fixed with a good skincare routine. Frequent follow-ups with your healthcare provider are important so they can see whether the prescribed medicines are working. Your provider may need to adjust treatment during different seasons of the year, during flares, or as your child gets older. Outside of what your healthcare provider may recommend, there are plenty of at-home care options you can use to help your child without having to step foot inside a clinic.
For some children, limiting bathing to one to three times a week is helpful. Bathing more often can dry out the skin and actually make the itching worse. For children with environmental allergies such as pollens and animal dander, bathing more often, especially after contact with known allergens, may be helpful. When bathing, use warm water and a gentle, non-soap cleanser or Cetaphil cleanser. This should range from 5 to 10 minutes and when finished, pat the skin dry with a towel and lastly, apply topical medicines or moisturizers as instructed, right after bathing while the skin is still damp.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe topical steroids or other creams or ointments to treat your child’s eczema. When using this, apply a small amount of medicine to the affected areas up to two times a day as needed to keep eczema under control. It’s important to always apply the topical medication at least 30 minutes before applying moisturizer.
If your child’s eczema flares, you may need to use a stronger topical steroid for a short time. Use these steroids twice a day or as instructed by your healthcare provider on areas that have flared in place of your everyday steroids. Contact your provider if the areas are not any better after a week’s time. As your child’s eczema improves, you should be able to use the topical medication less often, ideally two to three times a week to keep your child’s skin clear. Make sure to not overuse or abuse the topical steroids because this may harm your child’s skin, causing stretch marks and spider veins.
When using a recommended moisturizer, apply a thick layer of cream 30 minutes after you use any topical medicines. This allows time for the medicine to be absorbed into the skin and the moisturizer will then seal in the medicine. Make sure to not use a cream that comes in a pump bottle, as these are usually lotions and won’t be effective.
It’s worth mentioning a few good moisturizers, but your healthcare provider may suggest something else. Creams that parents seem to champion are Cetaphil, Aquaphor, Vaseline, and Aveeno, just to name a couple.
Antihistamines are a type of allergy medicine that is used to decrease itching. They are most helpful when given before bedtime due to them making children sleepy. If you’re wondering what Antihistamines are, they are medicines such as Atarax and Benadryl. Some children with environmental allergies may also need to take a daily, non-sedating antihistamine such as Zyrtec, Claritin, or Allegra in the morning to control their allergy symptoms.
Wet dressings can be placed on the child after applying topical steroid medication. This makes the medication more effective by helping it penetrate deeper into the skin. You may also use an ace wrap or wet cotton pajamas, and after the nighttime dose of topical steroid application is applied, the child can then wear them to bed for an increased duration of treatment. They can also be worn after the application of moisturizing cream to lock moisture into the skin.
Follow-up visits are very important when it comes to eczema. Your healthcare provider will examine your child’s skin and monitor for side effects of steroid medication use and infections and may change the medications being used. It is important to follow their instructions and keep follow-up appointments to ensure maximum healing.
You should call your healthcare provider if your child develops open, oozing areas of skin that are painful or associated with a fever or if your child’s eczema worsens or does not improve with the use of prescribed medications.
Most infants and children with mild to moderate eczema can be managed by their primary healthcare provider as long as the treatment plan is followed and follow-up visits are made. Referral to an allergist or dermatologist is appropriate if certain foods or allergies are suspected, skin infections are frequent, or if your child is not responding to the treatment plan prescribed by the primary care provider after several follow-up visits and adjustments to the treatment plan have been made.
Truth be told, Eczema is not something to lose sleep over. Even though it may cause your child discomfort and in rare cases lead to a more serious skin condition, 9 out of 10 times it is nothing more than a seasonal rash that is easily treatable. Still, no parent enjoys watching their child suffer which is why the dedicated staff at Chai Care will always be here to supply your child with sensitive care!
We are blessed to live in a world that has dozens of options for us to heal and rejuvenate ourselves—vaccines being the most important. Thanks to all the doctors and scientists of the world, we now don’t have to be frightened of getting sick, however, when talking about children, vaccinations are that much more important because of their ability to prevent certain illnesses before they ever happen. There are cases where babies are born with protection against some diseases because their mothers pass antibodies (proteins made by the body to fight disease) to them before birth, but getting your child vaccinated is still crucial to their overall health.
Immunization (vaccination) is a way to create immunity to some diseases. Sometimes this is done by using small amounts of a killed or weakened germ that causes the disease. Other times the vaccine is simply a small piece of the germ, such as a protein or a piece of its genetic material.
Germs can be viruses (such as the measles virus) or bacteria (such as pneumococcus). Vaccines stimulate the immune system to react as if there were a real infection. It fends off the “infection” and remembers the germ. Then, it can fight the germ if it enters the body later.
For good reason, childhood vaccines can seem overwhelming when you are a new parent. Vaccine schedules recommended by agencies and organizations, such as the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians cover just about 14 different diseases. These vaccinations not only protect your child from deadly diseases, such as polio, tetanus, and diphtheria, but they also keep children safe by significantly decreasing harmful diseases that used to spread from child to child.
It’s important to know that vaccines are dead, weakened versions, or part of the germ that causes the disease in question. When children are exposed to a disease in vaccine form, their immune system, which is the body’s germ-fighting machine, can build antibodies that protect them from contracting the disease when they are exposed to the actual disease. However, over the years, vaccines have generated some controversy over safety, but no convincing evidence of harm has been found. And although children can react to any vaccine, the important thing to know is that the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the possible side effects.
In most cases, a child gets vaccinated between birth and 6 years. Typically, vaccines are given more than once, at different ages, and in combinations. This means that you should keep a careful record of your child’s shots. Although your healthcare provider will also keep track, people change physicians, records get lost, and the person ultimately responsible for keeping track of your child’s immunizations is you!
Ask your child’s healthcare provider for an immunization record form. This form is incredibly important and every parent should keep it with their other essential documents. Also, you can download an easy-to-read immunization schedule and record form at the CDC website.
Even though most parents and providers do a great job of keeping up with immunizations, studies show that about one-fourth of preschool children are missing at least one routine vaccination, which is important to know because most states will not let your child begin school without a complete immunization record. Sometimes a vaccination is missed when a child is sick, but no matter what the reason, it’s important to make up missed immunizations.
If your child has missed a vaccination shot, you don’t have to go back and start over as the previous immunizations are still good. Your doctor will just resume the immunization schedule, and if for any reason, your child receives additional doses of a vaccine, you shouldn’t sweat it as your child will still need any future doses according to the recommended schedule.
Although vaccines are combined to reduce the number of shots needed, the list is still long. So, to give an easy breakdown here is a typical immunization schedule recommended by age 2.
One vaccination for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).
Four vaccinations for influenza, a common upper respiratory infection that can also cause meningitis.
Three to four polio vaccinations (IPV).
Four vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DPT).
Three vaccinations for hepatitis B.
One vaccination for varicella (chickenpox) no earlier than age 12 months and only if your child does not develop chickenpox on his or her own (must be verified by a health care provider).
Three vaccinations for rotavirus, a type of infection that causes severe diarrhea.
Four vaccinations for pneumococcal disease, a common cause of ear infections and pneumonia.
From age 4 to 6, your child will need booster shots for DPT, IPV, MMR, and chickenpox. Children should also start receiving a yearly flu shot after the age of 6 months. A vaccination for hepatitis A is recommended for all children. This is a lot to keep track of and why you need an immunization records form.
There are some parents who may hesitate to have their kids vaccinated. The concern is that their child might have a serious reaction or get the illness the vaccine prevents, but the components of vaccines are weakened or killed and in some cases, only parts of the germ are used. Thus, making them unlikely to cause any serious illness. Some vaccines indeed cause mild reactions, such as soreness where the shot was given or a fever however, serious reactions are rare. The truth is that the risks of vaccinations are small compared with the health risks of the diseases they’re intended to prevent.
At the end of the day, immunizations are one of the best ways to protect your family from contagious diseases. Vaccinations have allowed us to live more freely and be less frightened of all the illnesses our unforgiving world has to offer, and luckily, the friendly staff at Chai Care will always be here to give your child the medicine they need to live a beautiful life.
No matter what season it is, allergies are inevitable. As frustrating as it may be, allergic reactions are a natural part of life even with all the medication and information we have in our modern world. Most allergies are not very harmful but understanding their nuances is an important thing to be aware of because they can lead to certain respiratory issues if gone untreated. This is most certainly the case with children because they are more likely than adults to not know the signs or ignore them due to their adolescent behavior. It’s up to you, the parent, to inform and protect your child from these pesky allergens so let’s explore the different types and symptoms that make your child sneeze, cough, and wheeze.
Allergies are abnormal immune system reactions to specific things that are usually harmless to most people. This causes symptoms that can range from minor to possibly life-threatening. Common allergens include certain foods, dust, plant pollen, and medicines.
If a child with an allergy is exposed to that allergen, their immune system mistakenly believes it’s harming their body. It overreacts, treating the substance as an invader, attempting to fight it off. The immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E to protect the body. These cause certain cells to release chemicals into the bloodstream to defend against the allergen “invader”. It’s the release of these chemicals that causes allergic reactions. Reactions can affect the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract. Future exposure to that same allergen will trigger this allergic response again.
There are different types of allergies that children may be exposed to. The first would be Airborne Allergies. This would include dust mites, pollen, molds, pets, and cockroaches.
The next would-be food allergies, this is especially common. Fish, eggs, cow’s milk, shellfish, tree nuts, soy, wheat, and sesame are all typical foods that a child may find themselves allergic to. Sometimes a child may have a small cough or light rash but in more serious cases a child can be so allergic to one of these foods that they may need to be rushed to the hospital. It is crucial to be aware of how allergic your child is to one or more of these foods to prevent serious consequences.
Other common allergies would be certain medications, an insect sting, bite, or chemicals. Some cosmetics or laundry detergents can make children break out in hives. Usually, this is because someone has a reaction to the chemicals in these products. Dyes, household cleaners, and pesticides also can cause allergic reactions in some children.
The tendency to develop allergies is often hereditary. They can be passed down through genes from parents to their kids. But just because a parent has allergies doesn’t mean that their kids will get them. And someone usually doesn’t inherit a particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies. Some kids have allergies even if no family member is allergic. Unfortunately, kids who are allergic to one thing often are allergic to others.
There are times when children will have cross-reactions. For example, children who are allergic to birch pollen might have symptoms when they eat an apple because that apple contains a protein like one in the pollen. And for reasons that aren’t clear, people with a latex allergy are more likely to be allergic to foods like kiwi, chestnuts, avocados, and bananas.
Some allergens may cause sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes and ears, and a sore throat. Other items on the list, such as foods, may cause hives (a red, bumpy, itchy skin rash), a stuffy nose, stomach cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea.
There are times when allergens can cause breathing problems like wheezing and shortness of breath. Some allergens, such as foods, are a problem all year long. But others might bother people only during certain seasons. For instance, you might be allergic to pollen from trees, which is present in the air only in the spring.
If your child sneezes and itches a lot, wheezes, or often gets sick after eating a certain food, they should get checked for allergies. They will ask your child many questions about their health, about the animals and plants in your home, and about the foods they eat. Your child’s answer will provide clues about what they might be allergic to, and the healthcare provider may ask them to stay away from a pet or stop eating a certain food to see if their symptoms go away.
The healthcare provider may send your youngster to an allergist, a special healthcare provider who helps people who have allergies. An allergist may give them a scratch test to see if a tiny bit of an allergen will cause a reaction on their skin. They will feel a quick pinch when the doctor makes the scratch or scratches. If they are allergic, one or more spots will become bumpy, itchy, and red.
Is it a cold or allergies? Both conditions can cause watery eyes, a runny nose, and sneezing. This may require some investigating to see which one you are experiencing, but if you take over-the-counter drugs and they don’t seem to be doing the trick, there is a good chance you have a cold and not an allergic reaction.
Many people mistake chronic hives for allergies. This is understandable as some allergic reactions cause hives, which are characterized by itchy patches of skin that turn into swollen red welts. Hives may be triggered by pet dander, foods such as cow’s milk, tree nuts, and shellfish, certain medications, or pollen, and tend to go away as the allergic symptoms are treated. However, chronic hives last for more than six weeks and may last months or years. If the cause cannot be identified even after a detailed history and testing, the condition is called chronic idiopathic urticaria. Chronic hives may also be associated with thyroid disease, other hormonal problems, or in very rare instances, cancer.
Eczema is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition, and although sufferers may develop asthma and sensitivities or allergies to foods and airborne allergens, eczema itself is not an allergy. However, the skin appears very dry and inflamed, resulting in a similar appearance to allergic contact dermatitis, which is a skin allergy that occurs when a person has exposure to a particular material.
A heat rash is often mistaken for an allergy. The best thing to do is avoid strenuous exercise when it is very warm, use air conditioning and fans in hot weather, take cool showers and baths, dry your skin thoroughly after bathing, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes, and drink plenty of fluids to cool the body and to keep hydrated.
If you regularly wake up with a dry throat and tired feeling, you might wonder if you have an allergy when the culprit could be sleep apnea. It is not age-specific, nor does it affect only overweight people. Signs of sleep apnea would be feeling unrefreshed after a full night’s sleep, frequent awakenings during the night, excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue, being overweight, restless sleep, waking up with headaches, and nighttime acid reflux.
People often confuse food intolerance with a food allergy, but there’s a big difference. Food intolerance may often mimic a food allergy by causing nausea and vomiting, but it is not life-threatening. Children may experience symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, or fatigue. An intolerance is not an immune response, and the symptoms generally relate to stomach issues. While an intolerance to a food may make you miserable, a true food allergy can be potentially life-threatening.
Insect bites can sometimes mimic hives, a skin allergy that can occur in response to ingested allergens, so it’s easy for people to misdiagnose themselves. Like hives, insect bites may appear as raised, itchy bumps, either red or skin-colored.
Sadly, there is no cure for allergies, but symptoms can be managed. The best way to deal with them is to avoid allergens. You should speak to your kids often about the allergy itself and the reactions they can have if they consume or encounter the allergen. It is also important to tell your child’s teachers, family members, and parents of your child’s friends, about your child’s allergy.
If avoiding environmental allergens isn’t possible or doesn’t help, healthcare providers might prescribe medicines, including antihistamines, eye drops, and nasal sprays. In some cases, medical professionals recommend allergy shots to help desensitize a child to an allergen. But these are only helpful for allergens such as dust, mold, pollens, animals, and insect stings. They are not used for food allergies.
At some point, your child is going to experience the annoyance of allergies. It may be minor sniffling and coughing, or something more serious like a tree nut or shellfish allergy but nine out of ten times over-the-counter drugs or antibiotics will do the trick and if that doesn’t work the professionals at Chai Care can take a deeper look. Our trained staff is fully equipped to give a proper diagnosis and supply excellent advice so your child can live a proactive and healthy life!