Posts for tag: kids
To Your Health
January, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 01)
By Editorial Staff
If you haven't already tuned out any conversation about giving your children cough and cold medication when they're under the weather, this should do it. The Food and Drug Administration has strengthened its warning on prescription cold medicine, stating that no product containing opioid ingredients such as hydrocodone or codeine should be given to children – of any age. That's ages 0-17, in case you're wondering.
New language being added to warning labels on all prescription cold medicines will indicate that the risks of using the products outweigh the benefits in children and should only be used by adults ages 18 and older.
What about over-the-counter cold medication? Well, in the past decade, the FDA has already issued several warnings and required language to be added to labels limiting their use in kids. In fact, a consumer update on the FDA website titled "Most Young Children With a Cough or Cold Don't Need Medicine" makes its position abundantly clear, especially for the youngest (ages 2 and under); while a 2016 update, "Use Caution When Giving Cough and Cold Products to Kids," offers additional safety information and includes alternative treatments that may work better.
What alternative treatments? The FDA mentions cool mist humidifiers, saline nose drops / spray, and drinking plenty of liquids among the nondrug options. We would be remiss if we didn't add honey; such a simple remedy often overlooked by parents rushing to the drugstore for a quick fix to their child's discomfort. For example, a Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine study found that children given buckwheat honey before bed coughed less and slept better than children who didn't receive honey. And other research suggest zinc lozenges may be effective for resolving cold symptoms in children and adults, particularly if taken within close proximity to the arrival of symptoms.
Your doctor can tell you more about the dangers of over-the-counter and prescription cold medicine and why natural alternatives are safer, effective options for you and your child.
You're at your 10-year-old's soccer game and he's just collided with a member of the opposing team while fighting for a ball in the air. Unfortunately, the two hit heads and both leave the field crying, but clearly conscious. It's a youth game on an elementary-school field, so barring the presence of parent who happens to be a doctor, there's no one around to evaluate either child for a possible concussion. What to do? In many cases, both children will return to the game a few minutes later. Big mistake.
Concussions are serious whenever they occur, but unlike professional sports, when children suffer a possible concussion, there's often no one around to evaluate it properly. Here's what you can do to help identify some of the often-subtle signs of a concussion and make the informed decision to get further evaluation from a health care professional.
First, let's start with the most severe case: If a child experiences any of the following symptoms, particularly immediately after a collision or fall in which they struck their head, they need to go to the ER immediately for evaluation, according to KidsHealth.org:
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache / headache that worsens
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty walking
- Confusion / not making sense
- Slurred speech
- Unresponsiveness (unable to be awakened)
Of course, many children may not display any of those symptoms following a head impact, but still be at risk for concussion, so it's important to evaluate the child with some a simple battery of initial tests that, if nothing else, will alert you to the fact that the child should a) be removed from the game; and b) seek medical attention. Here are a few of the ways you can get a sense of what may be going on. These and other variables are all part of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, which is used by health care professionals to help assess concussion symptoms:
- What month is it?
- What is the date today?
- What is the day of the week?
- What year is it?
- What time is it right now? (within one hour)
You can also ask the child questions specific to the event in which they are participating, such as:
- At what venue (field, tournament, city, etc.) are we at today?
- Which half is it now?
- Who scored last in this game?
- What team did you play last week / game? Did your team win the last game?
Give Them a List
Say a short list of words (example: apple, bubble, elbow, carpet, saddle) to the child and then have them recite the list back to you in any order. Repeat several times and assess how accurately they are able to recall all five words. You can do the same thing with a short list of numbers; or by having them recite the months of the year in reverse order.
The most important variable when it comes to determining whether your child should continue to play, be removed from play and/or be seen by a medical provider in the absence of clear symptoms (loss of consciousness, severe headache, slurred speech, etc.) may be how the child is acting compared to before the contact occurred. You know your child. If they're acting "out of sorts," err on the side of caution.
Keep in mind that the above should not be relied upon in lieu of proper evaluation by a health care provider, but if you suspect a concussion has occurred, these symptoms / signs and tests are an important first option to help determine the next step you should take. Talk to your doctor for additional information about concussions and how you can help keep your child safe on and off the field.
You've probably suspected it for at least the past several years, particularly if you have a preteen or teenage child, but now teens themselves have confirmed it: they're addicted to their mobile devices. According to a survey conducted by nonprofit organization Common Sense Media, one in two (50 percent) of teens say they are addicted to their mobile devices. What's more, nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) of teens check their mobile devices at least every hour, and 72 percent "feel the need to immediately respond to texts, social-networking messages, and other notifications."
And teens aren't the only culprits when it comes to being addicted: According to the survey, "Technology Addiction: Concern, Controversy, and Finding Balance" 27 percent of parents say they're addicted to their mobile devices.
When parents were asked about teen addiction to mobile devices, and vice versa, the numbers were similar: Fifty-nine percent of parents said teens are addicted to mobile devices, while 28 percent of teens said parents are addicted.
If there's any good news, it's that many teens and parents share a concern for doing something about their addictions: According to the survey, approximately one in two parents "very often" or "occasionally" try to spend less time consumed with their mobile devices, while approximately one in three teens do the same.
For more data from this intriguing survey on mobile devices and the teen-parent dynamic in particular.
In the U.S., there are a minimum of 300,000 sport-related concussions per year. If your child is in contact sports, there’s a risk of the contact ending up in a concussion. In fact, research suggests that the number of documented cases of concussions among children is on the rise, and is a source of growing concern among soccer and football players.
Chiropractors may not be the first medical professional you imagine when it comes to concussion management, but many chiropractors are trained to spot the signs of a mild traumatic brain injury and support the patient in a successful recovery. Two recent literature reviews outlined how chiropractors can effectively manage athletes with concussions.
Is Chiropractic Treatment Valid for Concussion?
Chiropractors are often the first healthcare provider to care for patients who are suffering from a head injury, such as those incurred in sports or car accidents. Chiropractors, especially ones who are certified additionally by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians, regularly manage athletes who suffer from concussions.
Chiropractors use a specific assessment tool called the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2) to evaluate, assess, and manage concussions in athletes 10 years and older with the end goal of safely returning the athlete back to the sport. This assessment tool is used to evaluate symptoms, physical signs, Glasgow Coma Scale, sideline assessment using Maddocks score, cognitive assessment, balance, and coordination. Vomiting Blurred Vision Stumbling Increased Confusion Unconsciousness Dilated Pupils Weakness in on arm/leg Worsening Headaches
They understand that if certain symptoms are indicators that the neurological symptoms are worsening:
- Vomiting Blurred
- Vision Stumbling
- Increased Confusion
- Dilated Pupils
- Weakness in on arm/leg
- Worsening Headaches
Because a concussion is a brain injury caused by a direct blow to the head, neck or face, there’s a good chance that the blow has caused a misalignment of the cervical spine. This is similar to whiplash causing a misalignment of the cervical spine. A chiropractor can evaluate whether you demonstrate signs of neck injuries commonly associated with concussions, and provide you with relief from neck pain and cervicogenic headaches.
According to the literature reviews, one of the most important recommendations that a chiropractor will tell you what to do for concussion is this: If your child is in sports and suffers a blow to the head, and/or experiences signs of a concussion, do not let him continue playing the sport. He or she needs to rest until totally healed from the concussion. Only after symptoms subside is it time to get back into the game. Ease into the sports play again. Don’t expect to jump back in, full force. This will prevent the return of symptoms.
Additional guidelines your chiropractor will give you for concussion include no alcohol, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and sleep agents should be taken. Use Tylenol for pain if necessary. Do not drive until you can return to the sport.
In the meantime, your chiropractor will care for your child’s cervical spine and condition. If your child needs to be referred out to another health professional, your chiropractor will let you know.
Now let’s ask the question again. Chiropractic care for concussion? Absolutely?
Chiropractors can help with a range of other sports injuries, and one study even found that it was the most effective conservative method for reducing sports-related back pain.
Johnson, C.D., et al. Chiropractic and concussion in sport: a narrative review of the literature.Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2013 (12):216-229.
Shane, E.R., et al. Sports Chiropractic management of concussions using the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 symptom scoring, serial examinations, and graded return to play protocol: a retrospective case series. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2013 (12): 252-9.
By Editorial Staff
As you may have noticed, research over the past few years has begun to reveal that acetaminophen (the primary ingredient in Tylenol) is not as safe as once thought. A new study (published in the Journal of the AMA – Pediatrics) has shown an association between the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and the "risk for developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)–like behavioral problems or hyperkinetic disorders (HKDs) in children."
Researchers found that "children whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were at higher risk for receiving a hospital diagnosis of HKD, use of ADHD medications, or having ADHD-like behaviors at age 7 years. Stronger associations were observed with use in more than 1 trimester during pregnancy." They ultimately conclude: "Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs and ADHD-like behaviors in children."
What makes this study so profound is that acetaminophen is probably one of the most commonly used / prescribed drugs for pain and fever during pregnancy. According to the FDA, "in 2005, consumers purchased more than 28 billion doses of products containing acetaminophen." A "hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination product has been the most frequently prescribed drug since 1997."
All drugs have side effects. In this case, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) has been heavily marketed to the American public since the early 1950s. Children's Tylenol was first marketed in 1955. Now, more than 60 years later, we are still learning about new adverse reactions, ones that our children's children will be stricken with for decades.
Unlike a decade ago, there is currently a continuous stream of studies that demonstrate the association between the use of various drugs and numerous harmful adverse reactions. Television ads by law firms confirm the frequency of these findings.
The frightening reality is it will not be long before you know the mother of an ADHD child who took Tylenol while pregnant, or hear of a woman who overdosed on prescribed pain drugs. Sadly, serious drug-related adversity is already happening in your community. Don't be a victim. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic for more information on drug-free solutions.