Lumps, Lymph Nodes & Kernels

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.

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Head Lice 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 […]

Lice & Scabies

Head Lice

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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Vacuum the house thoroughly. Be sure to vacuum beds and furniture.
  5. Discuss with your child the importance of not sharing coats, caps, hats, combs, brushes and bows with friends or classmates.
  6. 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.

Home Remedy

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:

  1. Apply 100% real mayonnaise. Do not use “light”, low fat, fat-free, or Miracle Whip.
  2. Apply mayonnaise generously to the hair, working it in thoroughly to the scalp.
  3. Cover the hair with a shower cap for 3 hours.
  4. Rinse out the mayonnaise with warm water and shampoo.
  5. Pick out the dead nits from the scalp until they are gone.
  6. 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.

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Leg & Arm Problems

If your child refuses to use his/her arm or leg completely, you should contact your physician. A limping child who has no fever and is not in much pain should be evaluated if the limp has failed to disappear after 24 hours. Of course, any swelling, redness or pain in the joint, associated with fever, is a cause for immediate concern and the physician should be notified.

In-toeing and out-toeing when a youngster walks is a common problem and should be discussed at a routine check-up visit.

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Kidney & Urinary Problems

Any symptom suspicious for urinary tract infection, including painful urination, urinary frequency or urgency should be evaluated by your physician.

Other common types of urinary problems involve irritation of the urethra. This occurs especially in girls who take bubble baths or add soapy substances to their bath water. It is generally recommended that substances such as bubble baths, dish washing liquid, bath oil, bath beads or additives be avoided.

If your child develops problems with night-time or even daytime wetting (enuresis), please consult the section on bed wetting.

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What is Jaundice?

Jaundice refers to a yellow tint of the skin usually due to liver immaturity in newborns or liver disease in older children. In these conditions, bile pigments accumulate in the blood stream and are deposited in the skin. It is the liver’s job to rid the body of these bile pigments. The liver of a newborn infant is not mature enough to do this job hence the bile pigments accumulate and the child can become jaundiced. Usually by five days of life, the infant’s liver is mature enough to take care of the bilirubin load. Most all babies develop some degree of jaundice which is a little more pronounced in breast fed babies. It is rarely a cause for concern. If jaundice develops in the lower legs and/or feet or lasts more than five days, call your physician for an appointment.

Jaundice which develops after the newborn period can be due to liver disease. All such children who develop jaundice should have a routine office visit to check this.

Sometimes, young children who eat a lot of yellow vegetables (carrots and squash) develop a yellowish tint to their skin, but not in the whites of the eyes. This is known as carotenemia and is not truly jaundice. It is harmless, requires no treatment and resolves with age.

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Itching due to insect bites, rashes and chickenpox can be treated with Benadryl Elixir (per package instructions; for dosing for children less than 6 years of ago please contact your physician for dosing instructions). This can be given every four hours as needed. It is also a good idea to trim fingernails to protect the skin from scarring.

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What is Impetigo?

Impetigo is a minor superficial infection of the skin. It is common during the summer months and is characterized by yellow, weeping sores which are usually located on the face, arms and legs. Impetigo is usually due to Strep or Staph infection.


Washing the sores daily with soap and water, thus removing the crusty lesions.

Applying Neosporin topical antibacterial ointment to the sores.

If the areas are particularly bad, you should contact your physician. Sometimes, oral antibiotics are necessary to completely resolve the infection.

Other measures can be taken to make your child more comfortable. These include keeping the fingernails trimmed and giving Benadryl for itching (see Dosing Guide).

Sores with surrounding angry-looking red areas or red streaks should be seen by your physician.

If your child has more than one sore, make an appointment with your physician

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