Spring Blog 2019
Congratulations! It seems we’ve survived another Minnesota winter.
I know everyone is super excited to get out and finally enjoy the warm weather and sunshine but let’s pause for a safety break. While you’re taking stock of your summer essentials, now is a great time to look at the kids’ bike helmets to be sure they fit properly. I know kids hate to wear them so the best thing to do is make helmets a rule right from the start. Even if your kids are slow. Even if your street is safe. Remember, it’s the hazard you don’t anticipate that gets you. If you are worried about the fit of your helmet bring it with you to your next visit. Any of our awesome providers can check it for you.
Now is also a good time to remind children how to cross a street safely and watch for other dangers. Don’t forget to tell even older kids that they should never swim alone and life jackets should be worn on any boat.
Spring is also a time when annoying seasonal allergy symptoms start to show up. If your child has a known diagnosis of seasonal allergies and especially if they have asthma, now is a perfect time to come in and have their prescriptions updated. Asthmatics may benefit from starting medicines before allergy season in order to prevent a more severe exacerbation. We always recommend every child with asthma come in every 6 months to make sure that their symptoms are well controlled.
At home, there are a few things you can do to minimize allergen exposure. First is: control the dust, especially in their rooms. Use a damp cloth instead of a duster and vacuum frequently being sure to include under the bed. If possible, remove draperies and instead, use blinds. These are easier to wipe down and don’t trap as much dust. Put all stuffed animals through the dryer every couple of weeks. They tend to sit on beds and shelves and will collect a ton of dust. Get an allergy cover for the bed pillows. These can be found in most stores that sell linens. Changing your air filters regularly will help as well. We would be happy to talk this through with you at your next appointment. If problems persist, sometimes testing for environmental allergies can be helpful. We offer blood tests for this in our offices but more extensive testing can be done at an Allergy Specialist.
We’re also getting closer to the end of the school year and many parents will be meeting with teachers. If you are concerned about learning disorders or behavior concerns, now is a good time to start the process. Often, we seek input from the teachers and waiting until summer complicates that. Also, schools will often perform testing for learning disorders as well but do not do it over the summer. We are more than happy to help you navigate the school system and place referrals here in the office. We have talented psychologists seeing patients in both Fridley and Blaine locations who are very proficient in these types of evaluations. A word of caution! These evaluations tend to take time and often several visits are needed.
Okay, okay…enough lecturing. Go enjoy your spring weather!
Jennifer Rousseau, M.D.
Child and Teen Medical Center