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  • Strep Throat Common Cause of Pain During School Year
    teenagers ages 5 to 15 Strep throat occurs most often during the school year when large groups of children are in close contact with each other especially in late fall and early spring It is very rarely detected in children less than 3 years of age Not all throat pain is caused by strep bacteria Viruses are much more common causes of sore throat and are usually accompanied by cold symptoms including coughing sneezing nasal congestion and a runny nose Strep throat is contagious especially among people in close contact such as classmates or family members When someone with strep throat breathes coughs or sneezes tiny droplets containing the strep bacteria are released into the air If these droplets are breathed in by other people they can contract the disease Bacteria can also live for a short time on surfaces such as doorknobs and water faucets and people can become ill by touching the bacteria with their hands then transferring it to their nose mouth or eyes It usually takes two to five days to start showing symptoms You should see your pediatrician if the sore throat lasts longer than 48 hours or you suspect that your child may have strep throat It is very important to treat this particular bacterial infection Your doctor will ask about your child s symptoms and perform a physical exam and may swab the back of her throat for a rapid strep test If this test is positive she can start treatment right away Rapid strep tests are not 100 percent accurate so if her test is negative the swab will be sent for a throat culture The results of the throat culture will usually be available within a few days If the strep bacteria grow in the culture your pediatrician will make sure

    Original URL path: http://www.rchsd.org/health-safety/growing-up-columns/strep-throat-common-cause-of-pain-during-school-year/ (2015-03-26)
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  • Small Button Batteries Pose a Danger to Children
    five years old are most likely to put objects where they don t belong As kids gain mobility they have access to a larger variety of shiny objects And yes boys do insert more objects up their nose 60 percent compared to 40 percent for girls The most common site for insertion of small objects is the nose then the ear and finally the mouth which often leads to swallowing the foreign body Sometimes these objects are found incidentally during a pediatric well child exam Some parents discover a nasal foreign body after detecting a foul odor emanating from one side of their child s nose The foreign bodies removed are a reflection of our culture and time Japan reports a larger number of fish bones removed Coins have replaced safety pins for swallowing since most parents no longer use cloth diapers requiring safety pins Beads nuts carrots beans pins and BBs are just some of the other fascinating array of objects doctors have discovered More recently cases of children swallowing button batteries have increasing significantly These are the small coin sized batteries commonly found in toys and games hearing aids watches and calculators Recently the number of flashlights and remote controls using button batteries has increased The shiny objects seem innocent enough but they can be deadly A 2012 study published in an issue of Pediatrics found that the rate of battery injuries has almost doubled in the 20 year period from 1990 to 2010 There is a child admitted to the emergency room almost every three hours in the United States for a button battery injury Eighty four percent of those batteries were button batteries only 16 percent were cylindrical Button batteries can cause significant permanent damage within a few hours if placed in the nose mouth or

    Original URL path: http://www.rchsd.org/health-safety/growing-up-columns/small-button-batteries-pose-a-danger-to-children/ (2015-03-26)
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  • Understanding the Link between Stress and Stomach Aches in Children
    turned the corner to my middle school Scientists can explain why we have these feelings the stomach and intestine have their own nervous system called the enteric nervous system These nerves respond to the same stress hormones and neurotransmitters that our brains do We also know that stress and fatigue decrease pain thresholds This means that a small change like the passage of a gas bubble can feel much worse when a person is stressed tired and run down When a person is well rested and feeling good he or she might not even notice the gas bubble Stress related eating can worsen pain too Which are the comfort foods your child prefers Are they high in lactose or fructose such as milk apple juice macaroni and cheese or ice cream Many people have a poor ability to digest lactose or fructose Although these conditions are not dangerous they can be very uncomfortable causing pain cramping bloating and even diarrhea Sometimes pain and diarrhea indicate intestinal inflammation especially when there is blood in the stool Inflammatory bowel disease can cause both pain and stress imagine having to run to the bathroom a dozen times each day And inflammation in the body can affect the brain causing the sorts of changes that make people more sensitive to pain Fortunately inflammatory bowel disease is not common in children If you are concerned that your child might have it be sure to discuss it with your pediatrician So what can you do if your child has pain that is related to stress Sometimes a parent can help to figure out the stressor Maybe it s that mean kid in the lunchroom Maybe it s that sport your child wants to drop but feels he or she can t But even when you have

    Original URL path: http://www.rchsd.org/health-safety/growing-up-columns/understanding-the-link-between-stress-and-stomach-aches-in-children/ (2015-03-26)
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  • Drowning Prevention: Proper Preparation, Training Can Save Lives
    death worldwide with the highest rates among children Drowning is still the leading cause of injury death among children between one and four years old Children most commonly drown in home swimming pools What can increase the risk for drowning The main factors that affect drowning risk are lack of swimming ability lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access lack of close supervision while swimming location failure to wear life jackets alcohol use and seizure disorders Drowning doesn t only occur during the summer months it can happen quickly and quietly anywhere there is water including bathtubs and buckets For those with seizure disorders drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death with the bathtub the most common site To prevent drowning all parents and children should learn survival swimming skills Research has shown that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children one to four years old Environmental protections such as pool fencing and lifeguards should be in place A four sided isolation fence at least four feet high separating the pool from the house and yard reduces a child s risk of drowning by half The fence should be hard to climb e g not chain link with a self closing and self latching gate that opens outward with latches that are out of reach of children However even when children have had formal swimming lessons constant and careful supervision when they are in the water is important Alcohol use should be avoided while swimming boating water skiing or supervising children Alcohol influences balance coordination and judgment and its effects are heightened by sun exposure and heat Life jackets should be used by all boaters and weaker swimmers All caregivers and supervisors should have training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR Seconds

    Original URL path: http://www.rchsd.org/health-safety/growing-up-columns/drowning-prevention-proper-preparation-training-can-save-lives/ (2015-03-26)
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  • The Best Treatment for a SLAP Tear is Prevention
    participation but others are traumatic Injury to the labrum the shoulder gasket that keeps the arm bone centered on the shoulder blade at the very top or superior aspect can be created by a combination of both trauma and overuse The labrum is notorious for being injured during a shoulder dislocation Overhead activities can put strain on the superior aspect of the joint Usually related to a phenomenon called internal impingement this problem occurs primarily in baseball softball water polo swimming tennis volleyball and gymnastics When the young athlete brings the arm back into the cocked position it can cause the superior labrum to get pinched between the arm bone and the shoulder blade Or perhaps the motion of rapidly rocking the shoulder back and forth as seen when throwing or striking a ball creates an excessive pull on the biceps tendon which is attached to the superior labrum In either scenario the labrum can become torn and detached from the shoulder blade side of the joint When this tearing occurs in the superior aspect and both in front and behind the biceps tendon then we call it a superior labrum anterior posterior tear or SLAP tear SLAP tears occur in the normal population at a rate of about 30 percent Meaning if we looked in the shoulders of adults aged 30 to 50 with no complaints of pain we would find evidence of SLAP tears This implies that people can tolerate these injuries The real issue is whether or not athletes can tolerate these tears Although some can many cannot even after surgery to repair the tear The best option for the treatment of a SLAP tear is prevention As there may be an association with poor mechanics overhead athletes should maintain a stretching program to maintain overall internal

    Original URL path: http://www.rchsd.org/health-safety/growing-up-columns/the-best-treatment-for-a-slap-tear-is-prevention/ (2015-03-26)
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  • Pet Anxiety Often the Cause of Dog Bites
    bites are particularly stressful for families because children are most often bitten on the face head or neck People are often surprised to learn that most of these bites come from our own family pets or dogs that we know Dog bite prevention begins with the understanding that dogs do not bite out of the blue People can learn to recognize potentially dangerous situations First we can become aware of dogs body language especially around children Dogs use their bodies to say Don t bother me right now Here are some things you may notice when a dog becomes anxious Lip licking or tongue flicking Tightly closing mouth Turning head or turning entire body away from a situation Barking or whining Crouching or tucking the tail Yawning Body still in a freeze Ears pinned back to head Half moon eye which occurs when the whites of a dog s eyes are exposed Children and dogs require close supervision from adults Children should be taught not to tease dogs or play rough games that may encourage aggression Sometimes dogs need space and may simply walk away from a situation if they are uncomfortable Dogs should be provided a safe place where they can go where children are not allowed such as a crate or a special bed Always leave dogs alone when they are eating chewing on a toy or sleeping It may be disappointing for people to learn that dogs do not enjoy hugs especially from children It is best to wait for dogs to approach people for affection It is also important to understand that dogs are by nature social animals They are at their best when they share their lives with us and live with us in our homes As early as possible and throughout a dog s

    Original URL path: http://www.rchsd.org/health-safety/growing-up-columns/pet-anxiety-often-the-cause-of-dog-bites/ (2015-03-26)
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  • Cross-training can Reduce Risk of Lacrosse Injuries
    a Native American derived game played with a stick that houses a small net on one end and a small rubber ball just smaller than a baseball For those that are unfamiliar with the sport it may appear as a combination of both soccer and hockey but the original game was often played with no out of bounds and there could be hundreds of players per team It was often played to settle disputes Over the centuries the game has evolved into the present sport that includes the use of pads and helmets for boys face guard and mouth guard for girls Contact is allowed and encouraged in boys play but not allowed in girls play Acute injuries are related primarily in non contact situations and can include ankle sprains and knee injuries predominately Injuries to the shoulder elbow and wrist are not uncommon from direct contact and concussions are also common and likely underrecognized in the sport Muscle contusions to the thigh and leg are not uncommon but rarely require any medical attention It is also not uncommon for goalies to have traumatic injuries with the ball achieving speeds of over 100 mph Although difficult to prevent these acute injuries improvement in skill and endurance of a young player can help keep their hand eye coordination well timed and reduce the risk Both the knees and shoulders are at risk for chronic injuries especially if the young athlete attempts to do too much too soon There is a risk to develop tendinitis and growth plate related injuries due to the excessive activity The best treatment is prevention Cross training for strength and stamina can limit the risk of overuse injuries and help improve the skill level of the player to also reduce the risk of traumatic injury Once an

    Original URL path: http://www.rchsd.org/health-safety/growing-up-columns/cross-training-can-reduce-risk-of-lacrosse-injuries/ (2015-03-26)
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  • Clearing Up Acne Myths for Teens
    is the root of the problem in acne and blackheads prove this point Blackheads do not represent dirt in pores they instead consist of oil and skin cells plugging pores Oxygen turns these substances black Acne has very little to do with dirt and much more to do with hormonal changes Scrubbing the skin too vigorously will irritate the skin and make it difficult to tolerate effective acne treatments Abrasives extractors and exfoliators may do more harm than good The goal of cleansing is to remove excess oil and debris from the skin Some acne washes also contain medications such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide which may help control acne better than excessive scrubbing Myth 2 Acne is a teenage disease which disappears after high school Acne can occur at any age but is most common in adolescence Babies may have a touch of pimples in the first month of life and less commonly infants can develop acne any time in the first year of life These two forms of acne are generally just a variation on the normal process but occasionally the development of acne in childhood is associated with a true hormonal abnormality related to a glandular disturbance or rarely a tumor For that reason any child who develops acne before 7 years of age should be evaluated for that possibility Adolescent girls with significant acne and problems with excess hair or irregular periods may have an underlying hormonal irregularity there are tests to rule this out The average age of acne onset was previously thought to be around 12 or 13 years old We now see perfectly normal children presenting with whiteheads and a few red bumps on the forehead and chin who are as young as 7 or 8 Nonetheless these younger children should be

    Original URL path: http://www.rchsd.org/health-safety/growing-up-columns/clearing-up-acne-myths-for-teens/ (2015-03-26)
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