1. Should I give my infant cough or cold medicines from the drug store to help their cold symptoms?
No. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no child under the age of six receive over- the-counter cold and cough medications. These medications do not cure sickness or prevent it from coming back, but they can cause unwanted side effects. Instead, provide comforting treatments such as saline nasal drops and/or bulb suction for nose congestion, and Tylenol or Advil/Motrin for a fever once approved by a pediatrician. Increasing fluids is always a good idea. And if your child is old enough, salt water gargling may help to calm a sore throat or cough.
2. Should I give my child aspirin when they are hurt or have a fever?
No. Never give your child aspirin because it makes them susceptible to Reyes Syndrome, a rare and potentially dangerous disease. You want to be sure your child has a virus and not a bacterial infection, which will spread if just medicated with Tylenol, so always consult a pediatrician first. Then, if approved, you can give your child Tylenol or Motrin to reduce their fever.
3. How can I tell if my child’s injury is infected?
Even under the best of circumstances, an open wound can develop infection. Check to see if: the area around the injury is pink and warm to touch; there is swelling and drainage; the wound has a bad odor, and, if your child has a fever. If any of these symptoms are present, consult a physician.
4. How can I tell if my newborn is eating enough?
Infants should have at least six-eight wet diapers within a 24-hour period.
5. My infant has not stooled in 24 hours, should I be concerned or is he constipated?
No. Infants can go two to three days without having a bowel movement, especially if they are being fed formula. If the stool in the diaper is hard and it was uncomfortable for your infant to pass, then consult your pediatrician.
6. My toddler has gotten very fussy about eating and only wants to eat a couple of things. Should I be giving him/her a vitamin?
No. This is very normal for toddlers. Pediatricians recommend giving the child a wide variety of foods and urging them to try new things. They will eventually grow out of this phase and begin eating better. Research shows that a child will be exposed to a food 8-10 times before they will try it – don’t give up!
7. Should I immunize my children? I have heard many scary stories and reports that immunizations are linked to autism.
Yes. It is very important that your child is immunized. Your pediatrician will have a lot of resources about the importance of immunizations. You can also learn more on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website. They do a good job of addressing misconceptions about immunization and have the research to back it up.
8. Can I call Coastal Kids Home Care on the weekend?
Yes, there is a pediatric nurse available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions and give timely advice regarding your child’s health.
9. My child was seen by his pediatrician, but he continues to have a fever. When should I become concerned?
Viral infections can cause significant fevers (100-104). This is normal; however, if your child’s fever continues beyond seven days, a physician must see him/her. An exam may uncover a bacterial infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics or a simple blood test (CBC) can be drawn to rule out other potential problems.
10. What can parents do to ensure that their child stays healthy?
- Make sure they eat a balanced diet including fresh fruits and vegetables. Minimize processed foods that come in bags or boxes. Keep soda intake to a minimum.
- Encourage your child to get a good night’s sleep. Children need 8-12 hours of sleep depending on their age. More and more, children are having difficulty sleeping due to the high levels of caffeine they consume throughout the day.
- Exercise is essential! Children need to be active every day for at least one hour, but two-three is better. Inactivity can lead to major health problems including obesity, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.