As the skin cancer rate continues to rise, many of us can’t help but wonder why people continue to expose themselves to harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. A tan, whether it’s acquired from the pool, in a salon or through incidental exposure, is always dangerous.
The use of tanning beds today is an especially common practice among teenagers, specifically the female population. What many young girls don’t realize, however, is that the bronzed image they so desire is only the skin’s visible reaction to damage from harmful UV rays. Melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, is now the second most common cancer seen in young adults. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly 28 million people tan indoors in the United States annually. Of these, 2.3 million are teens. Their findings go on to report that 70 percent of tanning salon users are Caucasian girls and women, primarily aged 16 to 29 years.
Skin cancer aside, basking in UV rays—indoor or outdoors—also leads to premature aging of the skin. That means that even just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years without protection can cause noticeable changes to the skin later in life. Freckles, age spots, leathery skin, wrinkles, saggy skin and uneven skin tone can all be traced to UV exposure.
The good news is that skin cancer and premature aging of the skin can easily be prevented. For one, stay away from tanning beds. Pediatricians also recommend that children and teens wear proper clothing, hats and sunglasses when outdoors. Always use sunscreen and avoid exposure during peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is no such thing as a safe tan. Talk to your teen about the serious, life-threatening consequences of tanning. If your teen insists on a sun-kissed glow, suggest safer sunless methods, such as spray tans and other sunless gels or creams.
Colds may be common, but that does not mean caring for your child’s cold is easy. To help your little one feel better, your pediatrician is available to offer tips on what you need to know about your child’s cold. The common children’s cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that usually lasts a week or two.
The typical preschool-age child may experience 6-10 colds per year. Most colds resolve on their own with rest and fluids, but some may lead to ear infections, sinus infections, asthma attacks or other complications.
Caused by viruses, colds can be spread through a sneeze or cough. The virus may also be spread indirectly, through touching the hand of a healthy person or even by using door handles with your hand you may have just sneezed or coughed into. Once the virus is present and multiplying, your child will develop the familiar symptoms and signs:
- Runny nose
- Mild fever, particularly in the evening
- Decreased appetite
- Sore throat
- On-and-off irritability
- Slightly swollen glands
Many parents become confused about the proper way to treat a coughing, sneezing child, because colds and allergies often have overlapping symptoms. When in doubt, talk to your pediatrician who will know exactly what is causing your child’s symptoms, especially if they are persistent or worsen with time.
If your child has a typical cold without complications, the symptoms should disappear on their own after seven to ten days. Your pediatrician may want to see your child if symptoms do not improve and is not completely recovered within one week from the start of their illness.
Contact your pediatrician for further treatment and to better understand your child’s cold symptoms.
When your little one turns into baby-on-the-go, it's time to start baby proofing your home. While you cannot create an environment that is 100% safe, you can take the best measures to protect your baby with help from your pediatrician. Here's everything you need to know about locking down the dangers that lurk behind your cupboards and more.
In your bathroom, start by turning down the water temperature on the water heater. When you put your baby in the bath, it is easiest to avoid any burning problem by keeping the temperature lower. Also, consider purchasing and installing toilet lid locks to protect your baby, as well.
With your windows, install window guards or adjust windows so they cannot open more than six inches. Be sure to tie up cords to blinds, as well, so that your child does not get tangled up in them. When finding an appropriate placement for your child’s crib, playpen, highchair or bed, place them away from blind cords. Your pediatrician also recommends placing furniture away from windows so that your child does not climb near a window.
While the fireplace is excellent in the winter, it is important to take extra precautions to protect your baby from harm. Purchase a fireplace hearth cover because once kids learn to walk and crawl, they run a risk of falling into a fireplace. Ready-made, or even homemade cushiony devices that go around the hearth will also help to keep your child out of harm’s way.
If you have any stairways in your home, install gates once your child begins to crawl. Place the gates at the bottom of stairways to prevent them from getting up the stairs, and if you are worried about them getting out of the bedroom, place a gate on the doorway to their room. Your pediatrician, also warns against placing a gate at the top of the steps because some babies can climb up a gate and fall from an even higher height.
Talk to your pediatrician for more tips on how to properly baby-proof your home.
While nosebleeds can be scary for a child, they are rarely a cause for alarm. Nosebleeds are typically common in children ages 3 to 10 years, and will often stop on their own with safe treatment at home. Our pediatrician is available to provide you with tips on how to properly stop a nosebleed.
If your child experiences a nosebleed, it is important to do the following to stop the bleeding:
- Remain calm and reassure your child.
- Gently pinch the soft part of the nose with a tissue or clean washcloth.
- Keep pressure on the nose for about 10 minutes.
- Do not have your child lean back, as this may cause blood to flow down the back of the throat.
- Have your child relax after a nosebleed.
- Discourage nose blowing, picking or rubbing, and any rough play.
If your child experiences frequent nosebleeds, contact your pediatrician for further diagnosis and treatment options.
Young children explore the world by putting things in their mouth. For this reason, more than one million children under the age of six are victims of accidental poisoning each year. To help protect and keep your child safe, your pediatrician offers advice for identifying and locking up toxic materials and knowing what to do if they touch, inhale or swallow something poisonous.
Medicines: Vitamins and minerals, cold medicine, allergy and asthma medicine, ibuprofen, acetaminophen
Household Products: moth balls, furniture polish, drain cleaners, weed killers, insect or rat poisons, lye, pant thinners, dishwasher detergent, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, gasoline, kerosene, lamp oil
How to Poison Proof Your Home
To maintain a healthy, safe home, your pediatrician offers these safety rules:
- Keep harmful products locked up and out of the reach of your child
- Use safety latches or locks to keep drawers and cabinets closed tight
- Take care during stressful times
- Never refer to any type of medicine as candy
- Don’t rely on child-resistant containers
- Never leave alcohol within the reach of your child
- Call the Poison Help Line at (800) 222-1222 or your pediatrician if your child swallows a substance that is not food
- Keep products in their original containers, as to not confuse your child
- Read labels before using any product
- Always keep a watchful eye on your child
- Check your home for old medications and dispose of them properly
- Move purses, luggage and grocery bags away from prying hands
Talk to your pediatrician today for more information on how to properly poison proof your home. Each extra measure taken is important to protecting your child from harm in your home.
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