Common Questions for Pediatric Medical Associates
Is it a battle to get your kids to take their vitamins? Is it necessary to take them at all? Latest research shows most kids won’t need them.
Ask the Expert
Should I be waking my infant to feed him?
Can exposure to cold weather cause a cough or cold?
How do I know if my child has a cold or the flu?
Parenting Your Strong-Willed Children
Do you have a strong-willed child? Here are some tips to help reduce the power struggles from AHa!Parenting.com.
How Can I Prevent Lice?
You may have heard that according to a recently published study, we are seeing more head lice that are resistant to over the counter medications like Nix. In this study (attached below), 104 of 109 lice populations tested had high resistance to OTC meds. Unfortunately, Connecticut is noted as one of the states with higher than normal medication resistance.
In light of this news, we first need to remember a few things. One is that head lice, although creepy, cause no significant disease or public health threat. Second, a single study can help us understand our world better, but is not something we panic about. More data is better and one national study is just one single piece of information. And third, your pediatric group is here to help you through any health concerns, so (as always) please call if you need to.
So as our kids start back to school, prevention is key. No sharing hats, combs, hair ties, or head wear of any sort. If you see a live bug in your child’s hair, don’t panic. Over the counter meds such as Nix are still a reasonable first step. Alternative OTC treatments such as mayonnaise, herbs and fragrances have not been shown to be an effective treatment on their own. But wet combing of hair multiple times per day is a critical step to cure. And kids should not be kept out of school during lice treatment.
If treatment fails, or if you are concerned, call us and make an appointment. We can confirm the diagnosis and consider the prescription strength treatment options.
If you need additional reliable information, please check the following sites:
If you are like me, reading this just made your scalp itchy. Not to worry…that’s normal!
How much sleep should my child be getting?
A common reason for adolescents to visit our office is for complaints of fatigue or “feeling tired all the time”. Here are some things to consider before bringing your child in for medical evaluation:
1. How much sleep is she getting?
Teens typically need 8-10 hours of sleep per night, but I think we’d be hard pressed to find any that are achieving this. I find that many teens feel they are getting adequate sleep because they sleep 5-6 hours per night and then take a 2 hours nap after school. Getting 8 hours of sleep in two separate chunks is NOT the same as getting 8 continuous hours of sleep
2. Is you child overscheduled?
Does he have to get up at 5:15am to get the bus, concentrate in school until 2pm, go to band practice after school until 4:30, grab a quick dinner on the way to hockey at 5:30, only to roll into the house at 8pm at which point he has to start his 2-3 hours of homework? I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be tired trying to sustain a schedule like that.
3. Is your child eating well?
Does she skip breakfast? Does she buy a balanced lunch at school? Is take-out or fast food the norm for dinner between activities? Getting inadequate nutrition (either not eating enough or eating foods with little nutritional value) can leave kids feeling sluggish.
4. If your child depressed?
Is he no longer interested in meeting up with friends, but rather isolates himself to his room whenever he can? Is he seeming sad or angry on a regular basis? Is he sleeping a lot more or a lot less than usual? Is he eating a lot more or a lot less than usual? Are his grades suffering?
If you have concerns about any of these items above, or if you still are unsure why your teen is seeming so tired all the time, please contact PMA to schedule an appointment with your clinician.
Other helpful resources regarding teen nutrition and sleep can be found at:
How can I prevent tick and bug bites?
Bug and tick season is upon us. If possible avoid the outdoors during the early AM hours and at dusk when the bugs like to come out. Loose fitting and long sleeve clothing help the critters not find their way to our skin. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends DEET for insect repellent. The bug repellent should contain between 10-30% DEET. Over 30% does not offer greater protection. DEET products are safe over the age of 2 months. Treat exposed skin and clothing avoiding hands, eyes, and irritated skin. Picaridin can be used as an alternative to DEET. Do not use combination sunscreens and bug repellents since the sunscreen has to be reapplied and the bug repellent does not. Make sure you wash the repellent off your child after they are inside. Enjoy the summer.