Our concierge doctors want to assure concerned parents that the strange new syndrome in children which is associated with the coronavirus is no cause for concern yet. But we do want to acquaint you with the symptoms and the possibility of its spread so you’ll know what to watch out for in your child.
At this point, the only communicable disease we know of that is more transmissible than the novel coronavirus is measles. This is why our concierge doctors were concerned about a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that warned of a potential measles outbreak among children.
The National Sleep Foundation has designated this week National Sleep Awareness Week, to celebrate sleep health and encourage the public to prioritize sleep to improve their overall health and well-being.
Our VIP concierge doctors at MD 2.0 in Jupiter have seen the results of this year’s flu outbreak, and it’s especially difficult because so many of those affected are children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, so far this year, there have been twice as many pediatric flu deaths than at the same time last year. This year, 54 children have died; at the same point in the 2018-19 flu season, 16 children had died.
If you’re a parent, there’s nothing you won’t do to ensure the health and well being of your child, including providing the best food available. But what do you do when you find that food contains toxic metals that can contribute to the possibility of cancer, heart disease, and impaired brain development?
It’s back-to-school time, and one thing you may not be prepared for is your child coming home from school with a lice infestation. If the very thought is making your skin crawl, our concierge family doctors at MD 2.0 in Jupiter want to assure you that, while head lice are annoying and distasteful, they are not dangerous.
What would summer be without the silky feel of warm water caressing hot skin as you glide across a swimming pool?
But as a timely reminder that nothing is perfect, this month the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta published a report warning swimmers to take precautions against a microscopic parasite that can take up residence in pools and water playgrounds. So our concierge family practice doctors at MD 2.0 in Jupiter want to alert you to this possible hazard.
Our concierge family doctors in Jupiter understand that, in a world dominated by screens, trying to limit your children’s screen time can be a daunting task. But the World Health Organization (WHO) recently released new guidelines that largely track those issued two years ago by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
What is ‘screen time’?
First, let’s define what constitutes “screen time.” The AAP defines it as time spent using digital media for entertainment purposes. The organization does not include time spent doing homework in its recommendations. The WHO has a similar definition of passively watching entertainment on a screen. But the overall thrust of its guidelines were aimed, not just at the sedentary activities of viewing computers, smartphones, and televisions, but at improving physical health through sufficient exercise and sleep.
In addition, the AAP guidelines addressed screen time for children of all ages, while the WHO recommendations focused on children under age five.
Problems with infants
Both groups recommend no screen time at all for infants 18 months and younger.
“The noise and activity of a screen are distracting for a child,” Dr. Yolanda Reid Chassiakos told CNN. Chassiakos is the lead author of the AAP’s report. She said banning screen time for babies is crucial, not only for brain development but for healthy parent-child connections.
“Even if the baby isn’t directly looking at the screen—for example, if a mother is nursing her child on the couch while watching TV—the baby can be overstimulated by the lights and sounds, which may cause distress and sleep problems.”
Chassiakos also noted that screens tend to interfere with creating intimate bonds between parents, children, and siblings and that tech-free bedrooms can help promote better sleep. Other experts have warned that screen time may inhibit a child’s ability to develop language and social skills.
The WHO took these recommendations a step further, noting that improving physical activity and sleep among young children, while limiting sedentary behaviors such as screen viewing, can help prevent problems later in life stemming from becoming overweight and out of shape.
Here are the WHO’s new guidelines:
Infants younger than one
- no screen time at all
- physical activity several times a day, including floor-based play and 30 minutes of tummy time
- limiting restraint (in a stroller, high chair, or caregiver’s back) to less than an hour at a time
- 14-17 hours of quality sleep, including naps, for infants three months and younger
- 12-16 hours of quality sleep, including naps, for those between four and 11 months
Children between one and two
- no screen time for one-year-olds
- one hour of screen time for two-year-olds
- 180 minutes a day in physical activity (not necessarily structured exercise)
- limiting restraint to less than one hour at a time
- between 11 and 14 hours of quality sleep, including naps
Children between three and four
- one hour of screen time
- 180 minutes a day of physical activity, including 60 minutes of vigorous running and jumping games
- 10-13 hours of quality sleep, which may include naps
“Too often, I see tired, overscheduled kids who eat on the run during the week and become sedentary on weekends because they are exhausted,” Dr. Jennifer Shu, an AAP spokeswoman, told CNN.
As always, we are here for you and your family, so feel free to consult us regarding any questions you may have about shielding your children from excessive screen time.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children. Our concierge primary care doctors in Jupiter, want to emphasize the importance of teaching children not only the rules associated with being in and around
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released updated guidelines recommending swimming lessons for toddlers, revising long-standing guidance against swimming lessons for children under age four.
The earlier guidelines were based on the belief that children under four could not master the skills required to hold their breath and coordinate their limbs properly to develop adequate swimming skills. There was also a lack of evidence that swimming lessons would help prevent drownings in the under-four age group, as well as the suspicion that swimming lessons for such young children might confer a false sense of security in their parents.
But one study reported that lessons between the ages of one and four produced an 88 percent reduction in drownings. These findings, coupled with the fact that children between the ages of one and four are at the highest risk for drowning, eventually changed the thinking and led to the revisions. Of course, they’re not all going to be mini-Michael Phelps, but the AAP stresses that they can be taught basic water skills and water safety skills.
“Floating, grasping the wall, climbing in and out of the water, turning back to the wall . . . a lot of times children end up falling into the water and they look to the furthest point, and if they just turned around they would be better off,” Katie Lee of the Goldfish Swim School in Long Island, New York, told CBS News.
It’s a matter of allowing very young to feel comfortable in the water, and not panic if they find themselves in it unexpectedly. You can start by holding your baby in your arms, moving them slowly back and forth, allowing them to feel the silky sensation of water on their skin. You can sing to them, and even bob them up and down, reinforcing the feeling that being in water is fun.
Slightly older children can be taught to blow bubbles in the water, thus learning how to avoid swallowing water. You can also teach them how to float on their backs and kick their legs as you hold them up. Formal swimming lessons with a certified swimming instructor can start as early as age one, depending on the child’s physical abilities and emotional development.
In addition to teaching your child basic water skills, it is critical to be vigilant at all times to prevent a tragedy. Young children can drown in as little as two inches of water, and within 90 seconds without breathing, oxygen in the brain begins to drop. Other experts cautioned that the perception of children flailing around in the water when they fall in is largely myth. Very young children tend to fall in and immediately sink.
“Don’t even run into the house for a second to go to the bathroom or grab the phone,” Dr. Mark Waltzman, a pediatric emergency medicine expert, told CBS News.
Other suggestions from AAP to prevent drowning include the following:
- Parents should never leave children alone or in the care of another child while in or near bathtubs, pools, spas, or other open water.
- Empty water from buckets and other containers immediately after use.
- Never leave young children alone in the bathroom. Toilet locks can prevent drowning of toddlers.
- Even with older children and better swimmers, the supervising adult should focus on the child and not get distracted with other activities.
Tips for homes with pools include these useful guidelines:
- Never turn your back on a child in the water, even for a moment.
- Be sure to install child-proof fencing all the way around the pool. Fences should be at least four feet high, with self-closing and self-latching doors that open outward. Consider door alarms for those that open directly into the pool area.
- Also remove any structures that would allow them to circumvent the fence, such as ladders and toys.
- If a child is missing, always check the pool first—seconds count.
- Empty portable pools when not in use.
- Always make sure a responsible adult is watching the children playing in or near the pool area (with no distractions, e.g., smartphones off).
If you have questions about age-appropriate swimming lessons and activities for your child, don’t hesitate to contact us.