Fall Blog 2018

Greetings Families! We at Child and Teen Medial Center hope summer was amazing and you are full of warm memories because it’s going to get cold out there. Fall and winter can be a super fun time too but we know that all too often health worries come with the cold weather. We thought to jot down some advice to minimize the chances that you and your little ones stay as healthy as possible. First, most illnesses that are commonly spread in winter are spread by germs we either cough out into the air or spread on our hands. Teach children to cough into their sleeve and either wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. Then think about all the things you touch during the day in your home and try to wipe them down with Clorox wipes (or similar product) regularly. Think about door knobs, faucet handles, cell phones and computer keyboards as well as kitchen counters. Make sure children don’t share cups or water bottles with others as well. Now is as good a time as any to go through their backpacks and make sure that they’re not using the same grubby bottle every day without washing it. Remember, kids are gross. You have to watch them or they’ll use that same bottle all year. If, despite all precautions, they still get sick please keep them home especially if they have a fever. If there’s a fever, a safe rule is to keep them home until they haven’t had a fever for 24 hrs. Also, if vomiting or diarrhea they need to stay home until no vomiting for 24 hrs and until their stools are starting to improve. Make sure they know to wash their hands well after using the bathroom. If you have any questions about when it is safe to let a child go back to school, please don’t hesitate to call our office.

Another very important step to staying healthy over the winter months is….. the FLU SHOT!! I know, I know. Many of you don’t believe in it. I promise you. The flu shot exists and will not cause you to get the flu. Sometimes people may feel a little achy afterwards but that just means that your body is mounting an immune response which is actually exactly what we want it to do. Another common misconception is that the Flu shot prevents colds and stomach viruses. Influenza is a specific virus that causes a high fever, body aches and respiratory symptoms such as cough. In some people it causes very serious illness that can lead to hospitalization or even death. The common cold is not the same as the flu. Colds are caused by different families of virus. They can make you miserable and sometimes cause complications such as ear infections or sinus infections but rarely anything more serious. The same for stomach viruses which are often referred to as “Stomach Flu”. As awful as those are they rarely kill you. Influenza is much different. Elderly people, adults or children with asthma or respiratory problems and people with weak immune systems are at particular risk of serious illness but very often completely healthy people become seriously ill with Influenza. We don’t know why this is but until science can figure it out the safest thing is for everyone to get the vaccine.  Another thing I hear is “it doesn’t work for me! I got the flu last year anyways!” Yes. This can happen but generally it’s because the strain of influenza you caught was not the same as the one covered by the vaccine. Every year the strains spreading through communities are different and when creating the vaccine science has to take their “best educated guess” when creating the vaccine. The good new is it usually helps a little anyways. People who get the vaccine, even if they still get Influenza generally don’t get as sick for nearly as long or as severely. For example, instead of having a fever for 2 weeks maybe you are only sick for a couple days.

I’m sure I’ve missed some folks’ questions but that’s why we’re here! Please, never be embarrassed to ask during your visit. The scientists who develop vaccines study for close to ten years to learn just enough to start understanding how the immune system works. If we don’t know the answer to your question, we will help you find it. All of us here at the clinic want parents to be confident about the choices they make for their children’s medical care.

Before I turn you loose to enjoy the corn pits, apple orchards, mazes and pumpkin flavored everything I hope you will come see us at our new Blain location! (11107 Ulysses St NE, Blaine MN 55434) The Fridley clinic is staying right here in Fridley. We plan to each be available in each clinic on different days so hopefully nobody has to choose between their favorite provider and their preferred location.

 

Jennifer Rousseau, MD

2017 Rising Star Award Recipient-Mpls/St. Paul Magazine

Child & Teen Medical Center (Blaine and Fridley locations)

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Summer Blog 2019

 

  Are we feeling the heat? Finally, am I right? We here at CTMC are just as excited to enjoy some much needed sunlight. Before we head out, I wanted to share some tips to keep those little ones safe and healthy this summer. For the wee ones, try to keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find shade under a tree, an umbrella, or the stroller canopy.

 

When possible, dress yourself and your children in cool, comfortable clothing that covers the body, such as lightweight cotton pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats. Hats should have an all-around 3-inch brim to shield the face, ears, and back of the neck. Limit sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when UV rays are strongest. Last but not least: Use sunscreen! But the sunscreen aisle has like 50 different kinds!

Look for something without a lot of added scent or the ingredient oxybenzone. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 (up to SPF 50). An SPF of 15 or 30 should be fine for most people.

 

For sensitive areas of the body, such as the nose, cheeks, tops of the ears, and shoulders, choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These products may stay visible on the skin even after you rub them in. Put sunscreen on 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. It needs time to absorb into the skin. Try to use sunscreen any time you or your child spend time outdoors. Remember that you can get sunburn even on cloudy days. Reapply it every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or drying off with a towel. For babies younger than 6 months: Use sunscreen on small areas of the body, such as the face, if protective clothing and shade are not available.

 

  Now let’s talk hydration. Since they have a higher body surface area compared to adults, children get dehydrated much quicker. Most suggest trying to get them to pause for a few sips of water every 15 min. Many children resist this but you can get creative by offering treats with a higher water content. Think about watermelon, snow cones, popsicles. I don’t encourage sports drinks due to the excessive amount of sugar in some of them but, that being said if your child will be out in the heat exerting themselves heavily you do want them to replace some electrolytes so I suggest diluting a sports drink with water. Keep an extra attentive eye on children with Autism since sometimes they are less aware of their own needs and may not be able to communicate as effectively or ask for water. Be on guard for signs of heat exhaustion and the more severe form of that which is Heat Stroke. Heat stroke is a severe type of heat illness that occurs when a child’s body creates more heat than it can release and is unable to cool itself. This can cause their core body temperature to rise rapidly. If not treated quickly it can cause brain damage or death. Symptoms include body temperature above 104˚ F, headaches, absence of sweating, flushed, hot and dry skin, fainting, dizziness or weakness, fast breathing or rapid heartbeat, vomiting, if especially severe, seizures may occur as well. If your child has been outdoors, or in any hot environment, and shows symptoms, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

 

   I feel like I’ve lectured a lot already! But just a couple more items! Water! It’s everywhere here in Minnesota and no lifejacket is a substitute for adequate supervision. Teach your children to never enter water without an adult with them. If you happen to be on a boat, everyone needs a lifejacket. No discussion.

 

 Bugs. There’s no getting away from them. Most are simply annoying like mosquitos but some can carry disease. Ticks are probably the biggest concern here in MN. Whenever you or your children have been playing outdoors you should check them for ticks, remember to check the hair too since it’s easy for them to be missed if they’re small. We worry about Lyme disease with deer ticks that have been attached longer than 24 hrs. If you find a tick but it is not attached, just remove it. If it’s attached you can remove them with tweezers. The head may remain buried in the skin, this is not a problem, your body will deal with it. If it is engorged and you don’t know for sure how long it was there then give us a call or come in, also put the wee body in a bag so we can identify which species it is. So much fun, eh? Also be on the lookout for the famous “Bullseye Rash”. It can be anywhere not just where the tick bite was, it is generally flat and not painful or itchy. It literally looks a lot like the Target logo.  If you something that looks like this then we do need the child to come into clinic to confirm and decide on the right treatment. Don’t worry too much. Lyme is very treatable especially if caught early.

 

  I feel like I just made summer sound super scary! Honestly, it’s not, it’s full of opportunity for a great time with the little ones if we just use a little common sense! Even then accidents happen and in that case, we’re here for you!

 

Jennifer Rousseau, MD

Child and Teen Medical Center

Fall Blog 2018

Greetings Families! We at Child and Teen Medial Center hope summer was amazing and you are full of warm memories because it’s going to get

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