As summer approaches and we move outdoors, children are likely to come into contact with plants, insects and activities that can cause health concerns. We want to help inform you of ways to make your summer a healthy, happy time for your family.
A day at the beach. Swinging a golf club. Sipping lemonade on the porch. Nearly everyone has a favorite way to enjoy the sunny days and warm temperatures of summer!
We asked Jay L. Hoecker, M.D., a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., to sort out some common concerns about children and swimming.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury among children in the United States. And, it is the leading cause of unintentional death and injury among 1- and 2-year-olds in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). A new AAP policy statement says swimming lessons for children under 4 may give them a false sense of security without adding to their safety around the water.
Some ticks transmit bacteria that cause illnesses such as Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Your risk of contracting one of these diseases depends on what part of the United States you live in, how much time you spend in wooded areas and how well you protect yourself.
Symptoms of an insect bite result from the injection of venom or other agent into your skin. The venom triggers an allergic (immune) reaction. The severity of your reaction depends on your sensitivity to the insect venom or agent.
Most reactions are mild, causing little more than an annoying itching or stinging sensation and mild swelling that disappear within a day or so. A delayed reaction may cause fever, painful joints, hives and swollen glands.
Approximately 17,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year. Lyme disease is characterized by a distinctive rash, flu like symptoms and aching joints. Although it was originally discovered in children in Connecticut, Lyme disease can affect people of all ages in many different states and countries.
Whether it's April showers or May flowers, both forecast trouble for the more than 35 million Americans who suffer from spring seasonal allergies. "During the wintertime, especially in the northern latitudes where it gets cold, there's very little pollen in the air. When springtime comes and the weather warms up, trees pollinate and their pollen becomes airborne," says James Li, M.D., a specialist in allergy, asthma and immunology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Mosquitoes are an annoying part of life throughout most of the world. The most effective products for repelling them contain some concentration of the chemical N, N-Diethyl-3-Methylbenzamide, commonly known as DEET.
Only a few spiders are dangerous to humans. Two of those are the black widow and the brown recluse. Both prefer warm climates and dark, dry places where flies are plentiful. They often live in dry, littered and undisturbed areas such as closets, woodpiles and under sinks.
Tetanus (lockjaw) is a serious bacterial infection that leads to stiffness of your jaw and other muscles. It can cause severe muscle spasms, make breathing difficult and, ultimately, threaten your life.
A cut, puncture wound, bite or other wound, even if minor, can lead to a tetanus infection in people without immunity to the infection. Spores of the tetanus bacteria, Clostridium tetani, usually are found in the soil but can occur virtually anywhere. If they enter a wound beyond the reach of oxygen, they germinate and produce a toxin, tetanospasmin, which interferes with the nerves controlling your muscles.
If you have food allergies, traveling may present plenty of situations that can distract you from wise food choices. When traveling on business, you might have a heavy schedule and less time to scope out new restaurants. Or if you're on vacation, you might want to just relax, let down your guard and taste a few samples from someone else's plate.In either case, you could take a risk with food allergies that you'd never take at home. To eat safely, use the following strategies to prevent allergic reactions on the road.
Accidents, nearly all preventable, are the leading cause of death in children. You can influence and protect your child by focusing on seven common sources of accidental injury and death: falls, motor vehicle accidents, drowning, poisoning, burns and fires, choking and firearms.
Hundreds of different strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) are present in the digestive tracts of healthy people. Most are harmless and establish themselves in the large intestine of newborns during the first few days of life. However, a strain called E. coli O157:H7 can cause severe diarrhea, especially in youngsters. A toxin released by the bacterium may damage red blood cells and may interfere with the blood's ability to clot. In addition, the toxin can cause a potentially deadly condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) that's the leading cause of acute kidney failure in infants and young children.