Seizures can be one of the most frightening events in a child’s life for his/her parents. Most parents are afraid that their child will stop breathing and die during a seizure. This is almost never the case. If your child should have a seizure, place the child on his/her back or side and turn his/her head to the side to prevent choking on stomach contents in case of vomiting. The tongue should be protected as best you can. Your physician should be notified immediately and it may be recommended that your child then be taken to the nearest emergency room.Read More
Most rashes in newborns are entirely normal and are of no concern. Small white bumps on an infant’s face and nose are called milia. These require no treatment. They will disappear in a month or so. Neonatal acne which resembles acne in older children occurs in infants due to maternal hormone stimulation. This, too, will fade with a little time. Birthmarks are common in babies, especially over the eyelids and over the back of the neck. These should be discussed at a routine office visit.
Any purple or bruise-like rash which cannot be explained by simple bruising should be evaluated right away.
Diaper rashes are usually due to either irritation of the skin from a wet diaper (ammonia) or to a yeast infection in the diaper area. A yeast can grow on the skin in moist areas. When a diaper rash appears, try especially hard to keep the skin clean and dry. Change the diaper as soon as it is wet or soiled. It is a good idea to put zinc oxide ointment (Desitin) or Vaseline in those areas. If the rash is due to irritation from urine (ammonia), this treatment will be quite effective and the rash should resolve. However, if the rash does not improve with this treatment, contact your physician.
Eczema is a skin condition seen in allergic people, which causes the skin to be dry and sensitive. Sometimes, this can lead to a rash over most of the body which is scaly, red, itchy and sometimes even broken open or weeping. Eczema tends to occur in people with a family history of allergy (asthma, hay- fever, eczema, and/or itchy, watery eyes). The treatment of eczema is primarily directed at keeping the skin will hydrated. To do this, it is recommended that the mildest and least amount of soap possible be used. Examples of mild soap are: Dove, Tone, Purpose and Neutrogena. Soap washes away the normal oils of the skin and makes eczema worse. In addition to this, applying Moisturel or Eucerin lotion to the affected skin to further seal the skin from continued water loss can be helpful. If your child’s dry, sensitive skin continues to be a problem despite the above measures, you should contact your physician.
Hives and Allergic Rashes
Hives are red, raised rashes in various sizes, which are usually due to an allergic reaction. The rash seems to move to different areas of the child’s body. It is often associated with itching and sometimes with swelling of the hands and feet. The rash is usually not dangerous, but can be uncomfortable. Hives can be caused by anything that the child has eaten, breathed or come in contact with. Hives are almost never due to something that is new in the diet. Usually, the child has been exposed to the very thing that caused the hives sometime in the past with no reaction.
The treatment of hives is to remove what is causing the rash and make the child comfortable. Of course, to remove what is causing the rash requires that it be identified, which can be very difficult. Write down everything that your child had to eat or was exposed to during the 24 hour period prior to the break-out of the rash. If the hives recur, this should be done again. With each episode, the list should be compared to try to identify the agent responsible.
Benadryl should be given to your child. This will help resolve the rash and control the itching (see Dosing Guide). If your child develops a breathing problem associated with this rash (very rare), the child should be seen immediately.
If your child has come in contact with poison ivy or another irritant, it is important to wash the involved area thoroughly with soap and water to remove the poison ivy toxin. You should treat poison ivy (contact dermatitis) with three types of treatment to speed healing and comfort the child. First, cortisone medicine is quite effective in decreasing the inflammation due to poison ivy. Over-the-counter, 0.5% hydrocortisone cream or ointment (Cortaid) can be helpful. If the rash is particularly severe, you should contact your physician. A stronger cortisone cream or ointment or an oral form of cortisone may be prescribed. Elixir can be used to control itching (see Dosing Guide). Lastly, Calamine lotion and Aveeno baths are sometimes helpful for itching. As with other rashes that cause itching, you should trim your child’s nails to prevent scratching and scarring. You can not catch poison ivy by touching the rash of someone who has contracted poison ivy (contact dermatitis). Contact dermatitis is not contagious.
Rashes Due to Drugs
If a rash develops while your child is taking medication, the medication should be stopped and your physician notified. See section on allergy in this booklet.
Seborrheic Dermatitis(Cradle Cap)
Cradle cap is a red, scaly rash on the scalp and body of newborns and infants. This is caused by excessively oily skin. The use of baby oils can make it worse. Seborrheic dermatitis (cradle cap) is treated by removing the scales with an anti-dandruff shampoo such as Sebulex and scrubbing with a soft baby brush. If the rash on the body is particularly severe or if the cradle cap does not resolve with the dandruff shampoo, contact your physician.Read More
What are Pinworms?
Pinworms look like tiny white threads. They live in the intestines of children and adults which are infected with them. At night, they travel to the rectal opening and lay eggs on the outside of the skin. This causes tremendous itching of the child’s bottom and can cause restless sleep. You can check for pinworms by examining your child’s skin about the anal opening with a flashlight in the wee hours of the morning. Usually, the best time to check your child is around midnight. This infection is spread by passage of eggs from the infected person to others. Pinworms, however, represent no danger to your child.
Pinworms require treatment with medication to relieve the infestation. Your physician can check for pinworms during a routine office visit. When an infection is identified, all family members should be treated for the infection. At the time the family members are treated, underwear and bed linens should be changed and washed in very hot water. The house should also be vacuumed thoroughly. In addition to this, fingernails should be trimmed and the hands thoroughly cleansed. Each family member should use their own clean towel and washcloth. The above measures are necessary to rid the person and the home of pinworm eggs.Read More
What is Thrush?
Thrush is a yeast infection of young children which causes fever and white patches on the inner surface of the lips, gums and throat. It lasts a few days and can be uncomfortable for your child.
- Encourage fluids to ensure that your child stays well hydrated. Try to avoid carbonated beverages or fruit juices which will worsen discomfort. Milk, ice cream, pop-sickles and Jello are all good choices.
- Your doctor may need to evaluate and treat this problem.
For mouth injuries, see Teeth section.Read More
Children normally have lymph nodes which can be felt in the neck, especially under the chin, but also in other areas. As long as they are small, movable and nontender, they are of little consequence. A lump that is rapidly enlarging, is red and tender, or is associated with fever should be evaluated by your physician.Read More
Head lice are a common affliction among school age children and their families. Lice are not a danger and do not convey serious disease, but they can be a frustrating problem to deal with.
- Treat the hair with Nix Creme Rinse or similar product. These are available without prescription. Follow directions included carefully. This should be repeated once in 7-10 days if new nits are seen. If there are repeated failures, lindane 1% (Kwell) shampoo is available upon a doctor’s prescription. Note that lice are not killed by regular shampoo and water. All family members should be checked if one is found to have head lice.
- If removal of the nits (eggs attached to the hair shafts) is difficult, soak the hair with white vinegar and then apply a damp towel soaked in vinegar to the hair for 30 minutes. Use a fine-toothed comb to help remove nits. Some nits may actually need to be removed by pulling the nit down the hair shaft. It is very important that all nits be removed, since live eggs can hatch every 7-10 days.
- Clothing, bedding, towels and cloth toys should be machine washed in hot water (above 125 degrees) and dried on high heat for 20 minutes. Clothing that cannot be machine washed should be dry cleaned or placed in a sealed bag for at least 10 days. Combs, brushes and hair barrettes should be carefully cleaned on the same day as treatment.
- Vacuum the house thoroughly. Be sure to vacuum beds and furniture.
- Discuss with your child the importance of not sharing coats, caps, hats, combs, brushes and bows with friends or classmates.
- If you find that your child has head lice, please inform his/her teacher so that other students may be checked. This may help your child from becoming re- infected.
A home remedy for head lice, which has been effective, involves the use of mayonnaise. The mayonnaise suffocates the head lice. Directions for using mayonnaise:
- Apply 100% real mayonnaise. Do not use “light”, low fat, fat-free, or Miracle Whip.
- Apply mayonnaise generously to the hair, working it in thoroughly to the scalp.
- Cover the hair with a shower cap for 3 hours.
- Rinse out the mayonnaise with warm water and shampoo.
- Pick out the dead nits from the scalp until they are gone.
- Repeat process weekly as needed.
Scabies are human mites that burrow into the skin and create a severe itchy rash over several areas of the body; characteristically the spaces between the fingers are involved, and the infection can last for months and spread to others if untreated. A visit to the doctor is indicated when this condition is suspected, in order to be sure about the diagnosis, and to discuss treatment.Read More