Summer Play Safety by Dr. Yvonne Ramirez and Dr. Joseph Wangeh, McLeod Pediatrics Dillon
Extreme heat can make children sick in many ways, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke. Make sure to protect your child from the heat, and know the signs and symptoms of heat illness.
• Plan to have a cool, air-conditioned space for your child in extreme heat. If your home does not have air-conditioning, find a nearby building that does. Libraries can be a great place for a cool retreat from the heat.
• Make sure your child stays hydrated and drinks water regularly, even if they don’t feel thirsty.
• Plan for extra rest time, since heat can make children feel tired.
• When your child is feeling hot, give him a cool bath or water mist to cool down.
• Provide adequate sun protection.
• Never leave children in a car or other closed motor vehicle. The temperature inside the car can become much higher than the outside temperature, and can rise to temperatures that cause death.
When to Call Your Child’s Doctor:
Call your child’s doctor immediately if he or she develops any of the following symptoms. Your child’s doctor can advise you on the next best course of action and whether an immediate evaluation is needed.
• Extreme tiredness or lethargy
• Intense thirst
• Breathing faster or deeper than normal
• Skin numbness or tingling
• Muscle aches
• Muscle spasms
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can cause skin rashes in children playing outdoors. It is an allergic reaction to the oil in these plants which produces the rash, known as contact dermatitis. The rash can appear between several hours to three days after contact with the plant. Signs and symptoms include redness, itching, blisters and swelling. The rash can spread if the oil remains on the child’s hands, under the nails, on clothing or a pet.
To prevent such rashes, know what the plant looks like and teach your children to avoid it.If there is contact, wash all clothes and shoes in soap and water, and wash the area of the skin that was exposed with soap and water for at least ten minutes including under the nails.For mild reactions, you can apply a calamine lotion three or four times a day to cut down on the itching. Avoid lotions containing anesthetics or antihistamines, as often they can cause allergic eruptions themselves.Reduce inflammation by applying a topical one percent hydrocortisone cream.For severe rashes, rashes on the face or on large parts of the body, your child’s pediatrician may need to prescribe oral steroids. This treatment should be reserved for the most severe cases.Call the pediatrician if you notice severe eruption not responsive to the previously described home methods; any evidence of infection such as blisters with oozing; any new eruption or rash; severe poison ivy on the face, or fever.
Swimmer’s ear, or otitis externa, is an inflammation of the external ear canal, which can become irritated and infected when water gets into the ear and does not properly drain. Symptoms include itching or pain in the ear, especially when the moving the head. Hearing can become decreased and the ear may have yellow discharge.
Your child’s doctor will diagnose swimmer’s ear after examining the ear canal, and may treat it with prescription eardrops. Try keeping your child’s ear canal as dry as possible during the healing process. This includes not washing and shampooing until the ear canal has healed.
To help avoid swimmer’s ear, you can place drops in the ears after swimming of either a 70 percent alcohol solution or a mixture of half alcohol, half white vinegar. Also, it is best to dry the ears with a towel immediately after swimming or bathing.
Children drown quickly and silently, and most of these accidents occur when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse in supervision. Be sure that there is close supervision when your child is near water. Make sure that the person responsible for the child’s safety is not distracted. Children can easily find and fall into any body of water, including tubs and buckets, and a child can even drown in water less than a few inches deep. If you have a pool or hot-tub, make sure it is protected with a fence or cover. If your child does not know how to swim, enroll them in lessons. Finally, be prepared for an emergency. Have a phone nearby to call for help, and know CPR.
If your family enjoys water sports, be sure your children wear the correct life jackets. Parents should choose from personal flotation devices (PFDs) approved by the US Coast Guard. Child PFD approvals are based on the child’s weight. Check the user weight on the label. Remember, unless your children wear or use life jackets and life preservers, they are not protected. However, life jackets and life preservers should never be substitutes for adult supervision.
McLeod Pediatrics Dillon is known for its exceptional quality and compassionate care for children and families in the area. Dr. Yvonne Ramirez and Dr. Joseph Wangeh work together in a team approach to provide the best in pediatric care for your child. They are currently accepting new and returning patients and look forward to a long lasting relationship with your family.
Their child friendly office is located in Suite 3A of the McLeod Dillon Professional Building. There, you’ll be greeted by a team of welcoming staff eager to make you a part of the family.
To schedule an appointment, or for more information, call (843) 774 – 6091.