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bullet Bee Stings  
bullet Building Self-Esteem   
bullet Car Safety Seats
bullet Chickenpox
bulletColds (Upper Respiratory Infections, or URIs)
bullet  Colic (The Crying Baby)   
bullet  Diarrhea   
bullet  Head Trauma   
bullet  Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine   
bullet  Prevention of Heat Injury   
bullet  Strep Throat Infection   
bullet  Stuttering   
bullet  Temper Tantrums   
bullet  Tick Bites   
bullet  Vomiting  







Bee Stings ... ?


Your child was stung by a honey bee, bumble bee, hornet, wasp, or yellow jacket. Over 95 percent of bee stings are by yellow jackets. These stings cause immediate painful red bumps. While the pain is usually better in 2 hours, the swelling may increase for up to 24 hours.

Multiple stings (more than 10) can cause vomiting, diarrhea, a headache, and fever. This is a toxic reaction related to the amount of venom received. It is not an allergic reaction, which would cause difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, passing out, or hives.


1. Treatment

If you see a little black dot in the bite, the stinger is still present (this only occurs with honey bee stings). Remove it by scraping it off. If only a small fragment remains, it will come out on its own. Then rub each sting for 20 minutes with a cotton ball soaked in a meat tenderizer solution. (Avoid in the area around the eye.) This will neutralize the venom and relieve the pain. If meat tenderizer is not available, apply a baking soda solution for 20 minutes. For persistent pain, massage with an ice cube for 10 minutes. Give acetaminophen immediately for relief of pain and burning.

2. Prevention

Some bee stings can be prevented by avoiding gardens and orchards and by not going barefoot. Insect repellents are not effective against these stinging insects.

bulletBreathing or swallowing is difficult.


bulletThe swelling continues to spread after 24 hours.
bulletSwelling of the hand (or foot) spreads past the wrist (or ankle).
bulletYou have other questions or concerns.



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Building Self-Esteem ... ?

bulletEvery human being must make sense to himself.
bulletIt is the child’s feeling about being loved or unloved that affects how he will develop.
bulletEvery child seeks a picture of himself as capable and strong. And behavior matches the self-image.
bulletWords are less important than the judgments that accompany them.
bulletDefenses are put up around weakness.
bulletIf you live with youngsters so that you crush self-esteem, you thwart positive growth; in fact, you foster warped, defensive development.
bulletLow self-esteem is tied to impossible demands on the self.
bulletChildren rarely question our expectations; instead they question their personal adequacy.
bulletThe key to inner peace and happy living is high self-esteem, for it lies behind successful involvement with others.
bulletHelping children build high self-esteem is the key to successful parenthood.
bulletYou nourish from overflow, not from emptiness.


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Car Saftey Seats... ?

The major killer and crippler of children in the United States is motor vehicle crashes. Approximately 700 children under the age of 5 years are killed each year, and about 60,000 are injured. Proper use of car safety seats can reduce traffic fatalities by at least 80%. All 50 states have passed laws that require children to ride in approved child passenger safety seats.

A parent cannot protect a child by holding him or her tightly. In a 30-mile-per-hour crash, the child will either be crushed between the parent's body and the dashboard or ripped from the parent's arms and possibly thrown from the car. Car safety seats also help to control a child's misbehavior, prevent motion sickness, and reduce the number of accidents caused by a child distracting the driver.


1. Government safety standards

Since January 1981, all manufacturers of child safety seats have been required to meet stringent government safety standards, including crash-testing. Choose a seat that has met Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213, with 1981 or later as the year of manufacture. If the seat was manufactured between 1971 and 1981, it may not meet the government safety standard. When in doubt, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hotline (1-800-424-9393) for information. The American Academy of Pediatrics also publishes a list of infant/child safety seats that is updated yearly.

To obtain this list, write to:
American Academy of Pediatrics Division of Public Education PO Box 927
Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007

2. Types of car safety seats

There are three types of car safety seats:
bulletInfant safety seats are installed in a rear-facing position only and can be used from birth until a child weighs approximately 20 pounds.
bulletConvertible safety seats can be used in both rear-and forward-facing positions.
bulletBooster safety seats are forward-facing and have a removable shield.
Before you buy a car safety seat, look at several different models. Make sure that the car seat will fit in your car and that your seat belts will work with the seat.

3. Matching car safety seats with your child's weight

bulletBirth to 20 pounds: Use an infant safety seat until your child is over 20 pounds and able to sit up by himself. Keep your child facing backward as long as possible, because it protects him from neck injuries.
bulletOver 20 pounds: Use a convertible car seat in the forward-facing position.
bulletOver 40 pounds and over 40 inches tall: Use a booster safety seat. This will also help your child see out the window.
bulletOver 60 pounds: Use the regular car seat without a booster seat and with a lap belt low across the hips. When your child is also over 4 feet (48 inches) tall, add a shoulder strap. Using a shoulder strap before your child is 4 feet tall can cause neck injuries. If the shoulder strap runs across the neck (rather than the shoulder), put it behind your child. Never put the shoulder belt under both arms.

4. Air bags

Air bags are standard equipment in most new cars. They have saved many lives. However, they are very hazardous to infants in REAR-facing child safety seats and have caused death from brain injury. If your car has air bags, take the following precautions:
bulletInfants riding in REAR-facing child safely seats should NEVER be placed in the front seat of a car or truck with a passenger-side air bag. They must be in the car's rear seat or not ride in that vehicle.
bulletChildren in FORWARD-facing child safety seats should also ride in a car's rear seat. If the vehicle does not have a rear seat, children riding in the front seat should be positioned as far back as possible from the air bag. Move the seat all the way back so that the child is as far as possible from the dashboard.


If used consistently and properly, your child's car seat can be a lifesaver. Your attitude toward safety belts and car seats is especially important. If you treat buckling up as a necessary, automatic routine, your child will follow your lead and also accept car seats and seat belts. To keep your child safe and happy, follow these guidelines:
bulletALWAYS FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER'S DIRECTIONS for installation and use of the car seat: Improper installation or use will not protect your child.
bulletAlways use the safety seat. Use the safety seat on the first ride home from the hospital, and continue using it for every ride.
bulletWhenever possible put the safety seat in the back seat of the car, which is much safer than the front seat.
bulletIf the seat belt in your car has a shoulder harness, you will need a seat belt locking clip that keeps the seat belt from moving when it is used with your child's safely seat. These locks often are sold with the safely seat. Baby specialty stores also sell them separately.
bulletEveryone buckles up! Allow NO exceptions for older kids and adults. If adults ride unprotected, the child quickly decides that safety is just kid stuff.
bulletGive frequent praise for appropriate behavior in the car.
bulletRemember that a bored child can become disruptive. Keep a supply of favorite soft toys and munchies on hand.
bulletNEVER let a fussy child out of the car seat or safety belt while the car is in motion. If your child needs a break, STOP the car. Responding to complaints by allowing your child to ride unprotected is a disastrous decision that will make it harder to keep him or her in the seat on the next ride.
bulletIf a child tries to get out of the seat, stop the car and firmly but calmly explain that you won't start the car until he or she is again buckled in the car seat.
bulletMake a vinyl seat pad more comfortable in hot weather by covering it with a cloth pad or towel.
bulletWhen your child travels in another person's car (such as a baby sitter or grandparent), insist that the driver also use the safely seat.
bulletFor long-distance trips, plan for frequent stops and try to stop before your child becomes restless. Cuddle a young child; let an older child snack and run around for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Chickenpox ... ?

Chickenpox (varicella) is a disease affecting most children in the United States before their 10th birthday. Until recently it could not easily be prevented with a vaccine, only treated. Now, however, parents can have their children immunized against chickenpox with a new vaccine. Regular medical care includes vaccinations, which are an important part of your child's total health care.

This brochure discusses chickenpox and why its beneficial to have your child vaccinated against the disease. The new vaccine can protect your child against chickenpox and prevent the discomfort and possible serious complications the disease can cause.

What is this disease?

Chickenpox is one of the most common childhood viral diseases. It is usually mild and not life-threatening to children who are otherwise healthy. The most noticeable sign of chickenpox is a skin rash that develops on your child's scalp and body, then spreads to the face, arms, and legs over a period of 3 to 4 days. The rash forms between 250 to 500 itchy blisters that dry up into scabs 2 to 4 days later. School-age children often get a mild fever for 1 or 2 days before the rash appears. Other symptoms of chickenpox are chills, fussiness, loss of appetite, and headaches.

Chickenpox is highly contagious and is spread in one of the following ways:
bulletby direct contact with an infected person, usually through fluid from broken blisters
bulletthrough the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes
bulletthrough direct contact with lesions (sores) from a person with shingles
A person who has chickenpox is contagious from 1 to 2 days before the rash starts and for 6 days after you first see the rash. A child will have to stay home from day care or school until he or she is no longer contagious. An adult or child who has never had chickenpox is at risk for getting it and may not show symptoms for 10 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus. Within households, 80% to 90% of at-risk persons will develop chickenpox if they are exposed to a family member who has it.

Who gets chickenpox?

There are about 3.9 million cases of chickenpox in the United States each year, with more than 95% of all people developing the disease. Cases occur most frequently in children from ages 6 to 10.

Chickenpox can occur at any time throughout the year, but its peak times are in the winter and early spring, especially in moderate climates.

What is the treatment for chickenpox?

You may remember from when you were a child just how itchy chickenpox can be. If your child scratches the blisters before they are able to heal, they can get infected/ turn into small sores, and possibly leave scars. Discourage your child from scratching, but keep his or her fingernails trimmed short just in case.

Oatmeal baths can help relieve your child's itching and acetaminophen may help reduce your child's fever. Do not give your child aspirin or salicylate (a compound found in aspirin) as they have been associated with Reye's Syndrome, a disease that affects the liver and brain. If your child's fever lasts longer than 4 days or rises above 102°F, call or see your pediatrician. Also let your pediatrician know if areas of the rash get very red, warm, or tender; this may mean your child has a bacterial infection and needs other treatment.

Acyclovir, an oral drug, is used for certain patients who are at risk of developing severe chickenpox. These patients include adolescents and children with skin or lung diseases. To be effective, acyclovir must be given within the first 24 hours of the onset of the chickenpox rash. You may want to discuss the use of acyclovir with your pediatrician.

Can chickenpox cause complications?

Most children who are otherwise healthy and get chickenpox won't have any complications from the disease. However, each year in the United States, about 9,000 people are hospitalized for chickenpox and 90 people die from the disease.

The most common complication from chickenpox is bacterial infection of the skin. The next most common problems are viral or bacterial pneumonia and encephalitis. The following groups of people are at higher risk of developing these problems:
bulletpeople who have weak immune systems
bulletinfants under 1 year of age
bulletadolescents and adults
bulletnewborns whose mothers had chickenpox around the time of delivery
bulletpremature infants whose mothers have not had chickenpox
bulletchildren with eczema and other skin conditions
bulletchildren receiving salicylate (a compound found in aspirin) therapy
When an adult gets chickenpox, the disease usually lasts longer and is more severe, often developing into pneumonia. Adults are almost 10 times more likely than children under 14 to need hospitalization from chickenpox and more than 20 times more likely to die from the disease. If a pregnant woman develops chickenpox, her unborn baby may have complications.

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Colds (Upper Respiratory Infections, or URIs)... ?

bulletrunny or stuffy nose
bulletusually a fever and sore throat
bulletsometimes a cough, hoarseness, red eyes, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.


bulletVasomotor rhinitis: Many children and adults have a profusely runny nose in the wintertime when they are breathing cold air. The nose usually stops running within 15 minutes after a child comes indoors. It requires no treatment beyond a handkerchief and has nothing to do with infection.
bulletChemical rhinitis: Chemical rhinitis is a dry stuffy nose that results from using vasoconstrictor nose drops too often and too long (longer than 1 week). It will be better a day or two after you stop using the nose drops.


A cold or upper respiratory infection is a viral infection of the nose and throat. The cold viruses are spread from one person to another by hand contact, coughing, and sneezing. Colds are not caused by cold air or drafts. Because there are up to 200 viruses that cause colds, most healthy children get at least six colds a year.


Usually the fever lasts less than 3 days, and all nose and throat symptoms are gone in a week. A cough may last 2 to 3 weeks.

Watch for signs of secondary bacterial infections such as earaches, yellow drainage from the eyes, constant pus from the nose (often indicating a sinus infection), or difficulty breathing (often a sign of pneumonia).

If you have a young infant, make sure that the baby does not get dehydrated. A blocked nose can interfere so much with the ability to suck that dehydration can occur.


Not much can be done to affect how long a cold lasts. However, we can relieve many of the symptoms. Keep in mind that the treatment for a runny nose is quite different from the treatment for a stuffy nose.

1. Treatment for a runny nose with a lot of clear discharge: Suctioning or blowing

The best treatment is clearing the nose for a day or two. Sniffing and swallowing the secretions is probably better than blowing because blowing the nose can force the infection into the ears or sinuses. For younger babies, use a soft rubber suction bulb to remove the secretions gently. Put petroleum jelly around the openings of the nose to protect them from irritation. Nasal discharge is the nose's way of getting rid of viruses.

2. Treatment for a dry or stuffy nose with only a little discharge: Warm-water nose drops and suctioning

Most stuffy noses are blocked by dry mucus. Blowing the nose or suction alone cannot remove most dry secretions.

Nose drops of warm tap water are better than any medicine you can buy for loosening up mucus. If you prefer normal saline nose drops, mix 1/2 teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of water. Make up a fresh solution every few days and keep it in a clean bottle. Use a clean eyedropper to put drops into the nose. Water can also be dripped in using a wet cotton ball.

bulletFor the younger child who cannot blow his nose:
Place three drops of warm water or saline in each nostril. After I minute use a soft rubber suction bulb to suck out the loosened mucus gently. To remove secretions from the back of the nose, you will need to seal off both nasal openings completely with the tip of the suction bulb on one side and your finger closing the other side. If you cause a nosebleed, you are putting the tip of the suction bulb in too far. You can get a suction bulb at the drugstore for about $2. Try to buy a short, stubby one with a clear-plastic mucus trap.
bulletFor the older child who can blow his nose:
Use three drops in each nostril while your child is lying on his back on a bed with his head hanging over the side. Wait I minute for the water to soften and loosen the dried mucus. Then have your child blow his nose. This can be repeated several times for complete clearing of the nasal passages.
bulletMistakes in using warm-water nose drops:
The main errors are not putting enough water in the nose, not waiting long enough for secretions to loosen up before suctioning or blowing the nose, and not repeating the procedure until the breathing is easy. The front of the nose can look open while the back of the nose is all gummed up with dried mucus. Make sure that the nose is suctioned or blown after the warm-water nose drops are put in.

3. The importance of clearing the nose of a young infant

A child can't breathe through the mouth and suck on something at the same time. If your child is breast-feeding or bottle-feeding, you must clear his nose out so he can breathe while he's sucking. It is also important to clear your infant's nose before you put him down to sleep.

4. Treatment for associated symptoms of colds

bulletFever: Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen for aches or mild fever (over 102 degrees F, or 38.9 degrees C).
bulletSore throat: Use hard candies and warm chicken broth for children over 4 years old.
bulletCough: Use cough drops for children over 4 years old and corn syrup for younger children. Use a humidifier to make the air in the room less dry.
bulletRed eyes: Rinse frequently with wet cotton balls.
bulletPoor appetite: Encourage drinking fluids by letting the child choose what to drink.

5. Prevention of colds

A cold is caused by direct contact with someone who already has a cold. Over the years we are all exposed to many colds and develop some immunity to them.

Complications from colds are more common in children during the first year of life. Try to avoid undue exposure of young babies to other children or adults with colds, day care nurseries, and church nurseries.

A humidifier prevents dry mucous membranes, which may be more susceptible to infections. Vitamin C, unfortunately, has not been shown to prevent or shorten colds. Large doses of vitamin C (for example, 2 grams) cause diarrhea.

6. Common mistakes in treating colds

Most over-the-counter cold remedies or tablets are worthless. Nothing can make a cold last a shorter time. If the nose is really running, consider using a pure antihistamine (for example, chlorpheniramine products) if your child also has allergies. Especially avoid drugs that have several ingredients because there is a greater chance of side effects from these drugs. Avoid oral decongestants if they make your child jittery or keep him from sleeping at night. Use acetaminophen for a cold only if your child also has a fever, sore throat, or muscle aches.

Do not give leftover antibiotics for uncomplicated colds because they have no effect on viruses and may be harmful.


bulletBreathing becomes difficult AND no better after you clear the nose.
bulletYour child starts acting very sick.


bulletThe fever lasts more than 3 days.
bulletThe nasal discharge lasts more than 10 days.
bulletThe eyes develop a yellow discharge.
bulletYou can't unblock the nose enough for your infant to drink enough fluids.
bulletYou think your child may have an earache or sinus pain.
bulletYour child's throat becomes quite sore (get a throat culture).
bulletYou have other questions or concerns.
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The information furnished by this website is of a general nature and is designed for informational purposes only.   Livingston Pediatrics recommends that you visit a qualified Health Care Professional for individual and personal attention.

Copyright © 2002 (Livingston Pediatrics). All rights reserved.
November  2002