The rash of poison ivy (we will use this as the prototype) is caused by exposure of the skin to the plant sap urushiol, and the subsequent allergic reaction. Like most allergies, this reaction requires previous exposure to the plant, and upon re-exposure your child will develop an allergic contact dermatitis. This reaction may occur anywhere from hours to days after exposure, but typically occurs one to three days after the sap has come into contact with your childs skin and they may then develop the typical linear rash with vesicles and papules that are itchy, red and swollen. Poison ivy is most common in people ages four to 30. During the spring and summer months I often see children who have a history of playing in the yard, down by a creek, exploring in the woods etc, who then develop a rash. I love the kids playing outside, but the rash of poison ivy may be extremely painful especially if it is on multiple surface areas, as in children who are in shorts and sleeveless clothes at this time of year. The typical fluid filled vesicles (blisters) of poison ivy will rupture (after scratching), ooze and will ultimately crust over and dry up, although this may take days to weeks. The fluid from the vesicles is NOT contagious and you cannot give the poison ivy to others once you have bathed and washed off the sap. You can get poison ivy from contact with your pet, toys, or your clothes etc. that came in contact with the sap, and have not have been washed off. If you know your childhas come into contact with poison ivy try to bath them immediately and wash vigorously with soap and water within 5
Summer is upon us and that means travel and family vacations. I think the hardest time to travel with your child is when they are a toddler. While a 1-2 year old child is adorable, they are also like a teenager. What do I mean by that? A toddler is moody and temperamental, just like a teen. One minute they love you the next minute, not so much. They are prone to tantrums, meltdowns, and going to the dark side as we called it.
If you are heading for a plane trip with a toddler, you just never know what to expect. A lengthy plane ride is somewhat challenging for sure. While driving to the airport all I can think about is security lines with a toddler. The lines are longer in the summer and trying to keep your child entertained while standing in a long line is akin to climbing Mt. Everest. It is even worse than sitting in the pediatrician's office, at least we have toys!
So, once you get through security you still have to wait to board, get settled into your seats (holding a lap child is not easy) and then pray that your flight is not delayed on the tarmac. I was fortunate as when my boys were little you could still get up and walk up and down the aisles with a child to entertain them. Even then it was difficult to keep your toddler's hands to themselves. You cannot walk those precious toddlers up and down the aisles anymore, and sitting in that seat for hours is just not what a toddler wants to do. They want to MOVE!
One of my patients is getting ready for a move to Australia. This couple has a adorable 16 month old and they are getting ready for a 17 hour trip and asked my advice. I wish you could Fed Ex your child ahead.
This cute little boy has a lot of words and during his check up in my office he kept pointing to the door and saying OUT. Stuck inside a plane is not going to be his idea of fun...he would rather be at the park.
I was watching the late news and found out that I live in the zip code with the highest number of cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in the country, and sadly 2 deaths. At the same time, the CDC announced that WNV cases across the country now number over 1,110 with 41 deaths reported in the U.S. and half of those deaths are in Texas. This is the greatest number of cases recorded at this time of year since they began keeping stats on WNV in 1999.
The lazy days of summer seem like the perfect time to engage in playtime activities. My summer months at the office are particularly busy doing check ups as everyone is out of school. This means that I seem to see a lot of children in the 5-12 year group, and I enjoy getting to talk to them about their summer fun.
I have suddenly realized that many of the children in this age group seemed to have missed some key milestones in child development, which I think most of us adults learned during the lazy days of summer. I think learning to ride a bicycle and learning how to swim are two MUSTS of child development. While not all children will want to one day participate in a swim team, or a bike race, being able to swim and pedal a bicycle are life long skills. Who knows, with the price of gas we may all be heading back to bicycles as preferred transportation, at least for short distances.
At the same time I have noticed a fair number of parents who are concerned about their young children's motor development. This is the 2-4 year old group where I am sometimes amazed when the parent of a 3 year old tells me that their child does not jump high enough. What? How about getting out the jump rope again, and drawing hopscotch on the sidewalk to practice hopping and jumping. These are free exercises that can help boost coordination while having fun together. What about learning to skip and to balance on a beam (doesn't have to be at gymnastics) a two by four in the back yard or park works just as well. Learning to pump a swing is another. I can remember how proud I was when I mastered that skill (makes me smile, even today).
So while the last days of summer are here, make a list of not only summer reading, or computer skills that your child needs to finish, but of some of those childhood milestones as well. Hop, skip, jump rope, ride a bike, learn to swim. College applications mig