Pediatrician - Wall
3350 Highway 138 Building 2 Suite 126
Wall, NJ 07719
732-280-6455

View the KidsDoc Symptom Checker from HealthyChildren.org

By contactus@steppingstonepediatrics.com
June 13, 2018
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From NJ Poison Control:

(Newark, NJ) – Warning. Allergy sufferers must err on the side of caution when driving under the influence of allergy medicines. Many legal (prescription and over-the-counter/OTC) drugs including oral antihistamines make driving unsafe due to side effects like sleepiness, loss of focus/attention, blurred vision and decreased coordination.

 

Case: A 17-year-old male suffering from seasonal allergies decided to take a non-prescription antihistamine prior to leaving for tennis practice. Approximately thirty minutes afterwards, he began feeling drowsy and dizzy. His parents noticed his altered state and prevented him from driving. His father called the NJ Poison Control Center to find out how long the side effects would last.

 

NJ Poison Control experts remind consumers that all medicines have side effects associated with them even when they are taken according to the directions. Experts suggest using caution when taking allergy medicines or giving them to children. Many may assume non-prescription (OTC) medicines do not carry risks because they are sold without a prescription. NJ Poison Control experts disagree:  they answer daily calls for help involving OTC products (side effects, drug interactions, overdose, etc.). Many non-prescription medicines can produce serious side effects which may cause harm to those taking them.

 

Before you reach for allergy medicine, either OTC or prescription, we recommend the following tips to prevent problems related to medication use:

 

  • Select medications that treat ONLY the symptoms you have.  For example, use a decongestant if you are congested, but only use decongestants with cough suppressant if you have a cough as well. 
  • Be mindful that many medicines contain more than one ingredient, and some may even contain alcohol.  Many ingredients used in medicine can interact dangerously with alcohol causing side effects like nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, fainting, and/or loss of coordination.  Keep in mind that these interactions can still occur even if they were not ingested at the same time. 
  • Watch for duplicate active ingredients in products taken at the same time.  Many medications contain the same active ingredients, even if they have different names and/or intended purposes.  Taking these together, even if each is in the intended dose, can result in serious overdose.
  • More does not mean better.  Don’t take medicines longer or in higher doses than the label recommends.  If symptoms persist, it is time to see a doctor. 
  • Be very careful about dosage recommendations especially with children.  With liquid medications, it is best to use a measuring spoon or dosing cup. Do not use a kitchen spoon.
  • Avoid adverse drug interactions.  If you are currently taking any prescription or non-prescription medications, ask your pharmacist or health care provider for assistance in choosing non-prescription medications. If unavailable, contact the health professionals at the NJ Poison Control Center anytime day or night for fast, free, medical advice 1-800-222-1222 www.njpies.org
By contactus@steppingstonepediatrics.com
March 20, 2018
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Poison Prevention from the AAP

Each year, approximately 3 million people— many under age 5— swallow or have contact with a poisonous substance. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers tips to prevent and to treat exposures to poison. 

To Prevent Poisoning in Your Home:

Most poisonings occur when parents or caregivers are home but not paying attention. The most dangerous potential poisons are medicines, cleaning products, liquid nicotine, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid, pesticides, furniture polish, gasoline, kerosene and lamp oil. Be especially vigilant when there is a change in routine. Holidays, visits to and from grandparents’ homes, and other special events may bring greater risk of poisoning if the usual safeguards are defeated or not in place.

  • Store medicine, cleaning and laundry products, (including detergent packets) paints/varnishes and pesticides in their original packaging in locked cabinets or containers, out of sight and reach of children. It is best to use traditional liquid or powder laundry detergents instead of detergent packets until all children who live in or visit your home are at least 6 years old. 

  • Safety latches that automatically lock when you close a cabinet door can help to keep children away from dangerous products, but there is always a chance the device will malfunction or the child will defeat it. The safest place to store poisonous products is somewhere a child can't see or reach or see.

  • Purchase and keep all medicines in containers with safety caps. Discard unused medication. Note that safety caps are designed to be child resistant but are not fully child proof.

  • Never refer to medicine as “candy” or another appealing name.

  • Check the label each time you give a child medicine to ensure proper dosage. For liquid medicines, use the dosing device that came with the medicine. Never use a kitchen spoon. Watch the video, The Healthy Children Show: Giving Liquid Medicine Safely, for more information

  • If you use an e-cigarette, keep the liquid nicotine refills locked up out of children's reach and only buy refills that use child-resistant packaging. A small amount of liquid nicotine spilled on the skin or swallowed can be fatal to a child. See Liquid Nicotine Used in E-Cigarettes Can Kill Children

  • Never place poisonous products in food or drink containers.

  • Keep natural gas-powered appliances, furnaces, and coal, wood or kerosene stoves in safe working order.

  • Maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Secure remote controls, key fobs, greeting cards, and musical children’s books. These and other devices may contain small button-cell batteries that can cause injury if ingested.

  • Know the names of all plants in your home and yard. If you have young children or pets, consider removing those that are poisonous

Poison Treatment Tips:

If your child is unconscious, not breathing, or having convulsions or seizures due to poison contact or ingestion, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. If your child has come in contact with poison and has mild or no symptoms, call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222

Different types and methods of poisoning require different, immediate treatment.

  • Swallowed poison. Take the item away from the child, and have the child spit out any remaining substance. Do not make your child vomit. Do not use syrup of ipecac.

  • Swallowed battery. If your child has swallowed a button-cell battery or a battery is lodged in his or her nose, ear, or throat, seek treatment in a hospital emergency department immediately. Serious tissue damage can occur in as little as 2 hours.

  • Skin poison. Remove the child’s clothes and rinse the skin with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes.

  • Eye poison. Flush the child’s eye by holding the eyelid open and pouring a steady stream of room temperature water into the inner corner for 15 minutes.

  • Poisonous fumes. Take the child outside or into fresh air immediately. If the child has stopped breathing, start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and do not stop until the child breathes on his or her own, or until someone can take over.

By contactus@steppingstonepediatrics.com
January 24, 2018
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CDC Director - Get Your Flu Shot!!!

By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Of the 30 U.S. children who have died from the flu so far this season, some 85 percent likely will not have been vaccinated, said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, who urged Americans to get flu shots amid one of the most severe flu seasons in years.

“My message is, if you haven’t gotten a vaccine, please get a vaccine. Also, please get your children vaccinated,” said Fitzgerald, who is urging citizens “to take every advantage that you can to protect yourself.”

The dominant strain during this flu season is an especially nasty type called influenza A (H3N2) that in seasons past has been linked with severe disease and death, especially in the elderly and young. This year’s seasonal flu epidemic is especially severe.

In past flu seasons, between 80 and 85 percent of children who have died from the flu had not gotten a flu vaccine that season, the agency said in an email.

In its latest report, the CDC said the virus is present in every state, with 32 states reporting severe flu activity.

Although the vaccine is only estimated to be about 30 percent effective against the H3N2 strain, it has been shown in studies to reduce severity and duration if people do become infected, said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fitzgerald conceded in a telephone interview that reports that the flu vaccine in Australia was only 10 percent effective may have caused people to think the vaccine would not be worth the trouble.

Fitzgerald said the agency’s flu division has been on the job during the three-day federal government shutdown. Senators on Monday reached a deal to keep the government funded through Feb. 8.

Studies have shown that even a vaccine that has lower overall effectiveness can decrease the number of days spent in hospital, duration of the flu and the degree of symptoms.

“That helps support the point of getting a vaccine,” Jernigan said.

Fitzgerald said the flu vaccine and antiviral drugs used to fight the flu are widely available across the country, noting that people can go to the CDC website and enter their zip code to find the nearest flu clinics with vaccines. (here)

Fitzgerald also recommended that people frequently wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, avoid those who are sick or coughing and carry disinfectant wipes.

The CDC does not have numbers for adult deaths from the flu because adult flu is not a reportable disease in all U.S. states. But she said North Carolina, which collects such data, has reported 42 adult flu deaths so far this season.

Official estimates from the CDC are expected at the end of the current season, based on a calculation from hospitals and states reporting data to the agency.

In the 2014/2015 flu season, in which the H3N2 strain was also the leading strain, there were an estimated 35.6 million cases, 710,000 hospitalizations and 56,000 deaths. At this point, it is not clear whether the current flu season will surpass those estimates, Jernigan said. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-flu-cdc/u-s-cdc-director-urges-flu-vaccinations-as-pediatric-deaths-mount-idUSKBN1FB36O

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-flu-cdc/u-s-cdc-director-urges-flu-vaccinations-as-pediatric-deaths-mount-idUSKBN1FB36O 

By contactus@steppingstonepediatrics.com
January 02, 2018
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From HealthyChildren.org
The start of the new year is a great time to help your children focus on forming good habits. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides the following list of ideas for you to talk to your children about trying, depending on their age. ​

Preschoolers

  • I will try hard to clean up​ my toys by putting them where they belong. 
  • I will let my parents help me  brush my teeth twice a day.
  • I will wash my hands after going to the bathroom and before eating.
  • I will learn how to help clear the table when I am done eating. 
  • I will be friendly to all animals. I will learn how to ask the owners if I can pet their animal first.
  • I will do my best to be nice to other kids who need a friend or look sad or lonely.
  • I will talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I need help or am scared.

Kids, 5 to 12 years old

  • I will drink reduced-fat milk​ and water most days. Soda and fruit drinks are only for special times.
  • I will take care of my skin by putting on sunscreen before I go outdoors on bright, sunny days. I will try to remember to stay in the shade whenever possible and wear a hat and sunglasses, especially when I'm playing sports.
  • I will try to find a sport (like basketball or soccer) or an activity (like playing tag, jumping rope, dancing or riding my bike) that I like and do it at least three times a week!
  • I will always wear a helmet when riding a bike, scooter or skateboard.
  • I will wear my seat belt every time I get in a car. I'll sit in the back seat and use a booster seat until I am tall enough to use a lap/shoulder seat belt.
  • I'll try to be friendly to kids who may have a hard time making friends by asking them to join activities such as sports or games.
  • I will tell an adult about bullying that I see or hear about to do what I can to help keep school safe for everyone. 
  • I will keep my personal info safe and not share my name, home address, school name or telephone number on the Internet. Also, I'll never send a picture of myself to someone I chat with on the computer without asking my parent if it is okay. 
  • I will try to talk with my parent or a trusted adult when I have a problem or feel stressed.
  • I promise that I'll do my best to follow our household rules for videogames andinternet use.

Kids, 13 years old and older

  • I will try to eat two servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables every day. I will drink sodas only at special times.
  • I will do my best to take care of my body through fun physical activity and eating the right types and amounts of foods.
  • When I have some down time for media, I will try to choose educational, high-quality nonn-violent TV shows and video games that I enjoy. I will spend only one to two hours each day – at the most – on these activities. I promise to respect out household rules for videogames and internet use.
  • I will do what I can to help out in my community. I will give some of my time to help others, working with community groups or others that help people in need. These activities will make me feel better about myself and my community. 
  • When I feel angry or stressed out, I will take a break and find helpful ways to deal with the stress, such as exercising, reading, writing in a journal or talking about my problem with a parent or friend.
  • When faced with a difficult decision, I will talk about my choices with an adult whom I can trust.
  • When I notice my friends are struggling, being bullied or making risky choices, I will look for a  trusted adultso that we can attempt to find a way to help.
  • I will be careful about whom I choose to date. I will treat the other person with respect and not force them to do something they do not want to do. I will not use violence. I will expect to be treated the same way in return.
  • I will resist peer pressure to try tobacco-cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol. I will also avoid the use of e-cigarettes
  • I agree not to use a cell phone or text message while driving and to always use a seat belt




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Call 732-280-6455

3350 Highway 138 Building 2 Suite 126,
Wall, NJ 07719