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

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By contactus@steppingstonepediatrics.com
March 07, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
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“Natural” Doesn’t Mean Safe and Effective (From the NJ Poison Control) 

As spring (and spring break) quickly approaches, many are starting to get back in shape after a long winter.  For most, this means a strict regimen of diet and exercise, but with only a few short weeks until beach season, some may look to dietary supplements for a quick fix. Although many supplements are safe when used as directed on the label, there are supplements on the market that may be ineffective and even dangerous. NJ Poison Control experts caution consumers to beware of claims that seem too good to be true, and to consult a medical professional before introducing dietary supplements. 

“Supplements on the market, even those sold at reputable health food stores, are not tested and regulated for safety and effectiveness the same way prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs are,” warns Diane Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director of the NJ Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. “A dietary supplement is considered safe until it is proven unsafe, unlike drugs which are considered unsafe until proven safe by research and clinical trial testing.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates dietary supplements as food, not as drugs, therefore the responsibility of evaluating the safety, effectiveness and labeling integrity of a supplements is left to the manufacturer, not the FDA. “Consumers must be aware of the potential health risks of dietary supplements. Products may contain hidden ingredients (not listed on the label), be addictive, contain recalled/illegal ingredients, interact poorly with other medicines, be contaminated with toxic heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants, or cause dangerous unknown side effects,” says Calello.

Consumers should be skeptical when purchasing products online, especially health-related products. Just because a product is sold over-the-counter (OTC) or on the Internet, doesn’t mean the product is safe and/or without side effects; remember all medicines have side effects, even prescription drugs. Be sure to research the products and consult your healthcare provider before buying or using any supplement. Since this is an industry with fewer regulations, it is easier for manufacturers to make false claims about the safety and effectiveness of their products.

If you do decide to incorporate supplements into your daily living, be a safe and informed consumer. Keep these tips in mind;

  • Regularly check the FDA’s Medication Health Fraud webpage for health products that have been flagged by the FDA.
  • Select supplements with only the ingredient(s) you need. The more ingredients, the greater the chances of harmful side effects.
  • Look for supplements with the USP or NF on the label. This indicates that the manufacturer of the product followed standards set by the US Pharmacopoeia in making the product.
  • Be sure to follow the dosing instructions on the label; do not take more than the manufacturer recommends. More does not mean better. Large doses of dietary supplements can result in toxic effects such as overdose.
  • Use caution with alternative medicine products; some have been found to contain toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and mercury.
  • Substituting a supplement for a prescription medicine or therapy can be dangerous.
  • Consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider if you are currently taking prescription medicines or have a chronic health condition.
  • While pregnant or breastfeeding, only take supplements recommended or prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • The term “all natural” does not guarantee the product is safe and effective. In fact, many of these products are tainted withprescription drugs, recalled ingredients, and other chemicals not listed on the label.
  • Be skeptical of any product claiming to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease or chronic medical conditions (i.e. Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, autism, multiple sclerosis, etc.).
  • Start with one supplement at a time in case you experience side effects. If feeling unwell, stop taking the product and report effects to your healthcare provider and the FDA.
  • Some supplements can cause serious problems during or after a surgical procedure/operation including dental surgery.  Be sure to discuss all supplements with your surgeon.
  • Avoid supplements that claim to help you lose weight or improve your sexual or athletic performance. This includes products that advertise they are a legal alternative to anabolic steroids.
  • Purchase supplements at retail stores, not over the Internet or via mass email marketing.
  • Spot false claims; if a product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Overdose is a serious concern with any medicine including herbal, dietary and fitness supplements. If you have questions regarding a supplement or are experiencing unwanted side effects from a supplement, the medical professionals at the NJ Poison Control Center are available to provide expert, medical treatment advice.

By contactus@steppingstonepediatrics.com
January 07, 2019
Category: Uncategorized
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Most common poisons in children

  • cosmetics and personal care products
  • cleaning substances and laundry products
  •  pain medicine
  • foreign bodies such as toys, coins, thermometers
  • topical preparations 
  • vitamins
  • antihistamines
  • pesticides
  • plants
  • antimicrobials

 

Bottom Line:

Children will swallow anything they can reach. Most of the time, these objects pass through the gastrointestinal tract with no trouble; the object turns up in the child's stool. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the object(s). In one recent study, coins made up 80 percent of swallowed foreign objects that had to be removed by surgery.

Source: https://www.poison.org/articles/2012-oct/kids-will-swallow-anything & https://www.poison.org/common-and-dangerous-poisons

 

By contactus@steppingstonepediatrics.com
November 01, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
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From New Jersey Poison Control:

(Newark, NJ) – Warning. During New Jersey’s 2017 – 2018 heating season, the state’s poison control center received approximately 250 calls related to carbon monoxide (CO). Of these, 162 victims were evaluated in emergency departments and many required hospitalization.

Don’t be the poison center’s next statistic. Exposure to carbon monoxide can produce headaches, sleepiness, fatigue, confusion and irritability at low levels. At higher levels, it can result in nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, impaired vision and coordination, and death. During cold and influenza season, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can easily be confused with symptoms of viral illnesses like the common cold and the flu.

“Prevention and early detection are crucial in preventing poisoning injury and death from carbon monoxide,” says Diane Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director of the NJ Poison Control Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. The sudden shift in frigid weather forced homeowners and landlords to have to turn on their heating systems earlier than expected; without having them properly serviced beforehand to prevent CO exposure. 

“You want to catch a leak before it turns into a serious problem,” says Calello. Carbon monoxide is called the “Silent Killer” because it is a gas that gives no warning – you can’t see it, smell it or taste it. “Don’t gamble with your family’s health and well-being; CO detectors are a must.” Battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors should be put on every level of the home and near every sleeping area. Always check the batteries of both detectors (fire and CO) when changing the clocks twice a year for daylight savings time. 

Safety tips to help reduce your risk of carbon monoxide exposure:

  1. If you do not have any carbon monoxide detectors, install them right away. If your detectors are old and/or not working properly, replace them immediately.
  2. Don’t remove the batteries from detectors to use somewhere else. The detector can only save lives if it works.
  3. Gas appliances must have adequate ventilation. If need be, keep a window slightly cracked to allow airflow.
  4. Open flues when fireplaces are in use. Have chimneys inspected periodically to prevent blockage.
  5. Never use the stove to heat your home/apartment. 
  6. Only use generators outside. Keep them more than 20 feet from both you and your neighbor’s home, doors, or windows.
  7. Do not bring generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage, carport, camper, boat cabin, or tent – or even outside near an open window or door.
  8. DO NOT cook with charcoal indoors.
  9. DO NOT idle a car in a closed garage. Once you pull in, immediately turn off the engine. Be extra careful with “remote start” engines which may be on without your knowledge.

 

If you suspect a carbon monoxide exposure, take immediate action:  

  1. If someone is unconscious or unresponsive, get him or her out of the house and call 9-1-1 immediately.
  2. Exit the house/building immediately. Do not waste time opening windows. This will delay your escape and cause you to breathe in even more dangerous fumes.
  3. Contact your local fire department/energy provider.
  4. Call the NJ Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for immediate medical treatment advice. Do not waste time looking for information on the internet about carbon monoxide poisoning.  Call us for fast, free and accurate information.

 

Carbon monoxide poisoning is serious. If you have questions or concerns about carbon monoxide or suspect CO exposure, call the medical professionals at the NJ Poison Control Center. If someone is unconscious, not breathing, hard to wake up, or seizing, call 9-1-1 immediately.  Poison control centers are a great resource for information and emergencies. Call, text, or chat with a health professional for free, 24/7.  Save the Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222, in your phone today to be prepared for what may happen tomorrow, (www.njpies.org).   

By contactus@steppingstonepediatrics.com
October 05, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Still unsure if your child should get the flu shot? We've compiled a few articles and sources for our readers to convince you, yes, you and your children should get the flu shot! Call us today at (732) 280-6455 to schedule!

TIME Magazine

http://time.com/5415276/flu-shot-2018/

CDC

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2018-2019.htm

American Academy of Pediatrics

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Issues-Flu-Vaccine-Recommendations-for-2018-2019.aspx

NY Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/06/well/live/kids-get-your-flu-shot.html



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