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Posts for category: Child Safety

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
February 16, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Pediatrician   Stitches  
When Does My Child Need StitchesWe all know how accident-prone kids can be. They get bruises, bumps, cuts, and scrapes from time and time. Most of the time, these boo-boos are nothing to worry about, but sometimes a cut or laceration may require turning to your pediatrician for stitches. Does your child need stitches? We know it isn’t always easy to tell. Here are some telltale signs that your child might need stitches,
  • Apply pressure to the cut for five minutes. If it’s still bleeding after five minutes, it probably needs stitches
  • The cut is more than ½-inch deep or longer
  • The cut is around their eye
  • The cut is on their face or neck and is longer than ¼ inch
  • The cut is gaping open
  • There is an object sticking out of it, including debris or glass
  • The cut is spurting blood
Any cut that spurts blood could be a sign of a nicked artery. Immediately apply pressure to the area and head to your local ER for immediate medical attention.

When should I call the pediatrician?

If in doubt about whether or not your child may need stitches, call your pediatrician. With the introduction of telehealth visits, many pediatricians can now look at images of the injury or wound through a simple online appointment and determine whether the child or teen needs to come in for stitches. While the warning signs above are telltale indicators that your child may need stitches, even if the cut doesn’t need stitches, you should still see the doctor if:
  • The cut was made by a rusty or metal object
  • There is redness, swelling, pus, or other signs of infection
  • The child has been bitten by an animal
  • The cut hasn’t healed within 10 days
  • There is still severe pain after a few hours
Cuts and wounds made by metal, rusty, or dirty objects may require your child to get a tetanus shot. This is why you should see your pediatrician right away, as it’s important for them to get this shot within 2-3 days after the injury.

If you still aren’t sure whether or not your child should get stitches, it doesn’t hurt to give your pediatrician a call. Let us know the symptoms your child is experiencing, and we can determine if their injury requires a closer look from our team. Call us today; we can deal with your child’s urgent medical matters.
By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
January 27, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Immunizations   Vaccines  

Protect your child’s health and future by staying up to date on childhood immunizations.

We know that parents want to do everything possible to keep their children healthy and safe. That’s why you babyproof your home and do your research before purchasing a car seat or stroller. Of course, one of the best ways to ensure your child’s health is by turning to our Kansas City, MO, board-certified pediatricians for immunizations. Here’s why immunizations are important for all children,

Immunizations Save Lives

Thanks to advancements in medical technology, our team of pediatricians here in Kansas City, MO, can protect your child’s health and future by providing them with the immunizations they need until they reach adulthood. Diseases such as polio, that once killed or caused serious paralysis to countless children, are now eliminated thanks to vaccines.

Vaccines are Safe

We know that many parents have concerns about the safety of childhood vaccines. We welcome parents to sit down and discuss these concerns with us. After all, there are a lot of myths and misinformation on the internet about vaccines. While it’s true that these inoculations can lead to tenderness, redness and some swelling at the injection site, serious side effects are rare. In fact, the benefits of these vaccines far outweigh the potential for serious reactions or side effects.

Immunizations Protect Everyone

While we know that your focus is on keeping your child safe, it’s probably also focused on making sure that your entire family and the community around you stays healthy too. Immunizations don’t just protect our children, they also protect those who are ill, have weakened immune system and those who are unable to get vaccinated. Immunizations protect your child, your friends and those you love.

Vaccinations Can Save Time and Money

By protecting your child against potentially dangerous diseases we can prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and serious health complications that could require long-term procedures and care. Vaccines can keep your child healthy and prevent unnecessary and expensive medical bills. Think of vaccines as an investment in the long-term health of your child.

For our Kansas City, MO, pediatric team, nothing is more important than making sure your child gets the immunizations they need throughout their childhood. If you have questions about the vaccines your child needs next or if you have concerns about vaccines, the team at Pediatric Care North is here to address all questions and concerns. Call us today at (816) 587-3200.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
January 20, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Tetanus Shot  
Tetanus ShotAll children need to get a tetanus shot. When we think of tetanus we often think of rusty nails; however, this bacterium isn’t just found on rusty metal items, it also lives in soil and dirt. If bacteria come in contact with a wound or opening in the skin this can lead to a serious infection. If your child, like many, enjoys running around outside barefoot, they must be keeping up with their tetanus shots.
 
When should my child get their first tetanus shot?

While tetanus can cause some serious symptoms including “lockjaw," it is completely preventable with a vaccination. The DTaP vaccine is used to prevent tetanus (along with diphtheria and pertussis) and your child will get their first series of shots at 2, 4, and 6 months. Your child will also need another tetanus shot between the ages of 15 to 18 months old and between 4-6 years old.
 
Children should continue to get a tetanus shot during their annual pediatric checkup until they turn 18 years old. Instead of getting the DTap vaccine, which they got as a young child, they will get the Tdap booster shot that still protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.
 
Once your child reaches adulthood, they will get a Td vaccination, which will protect them against tetanus and diphtheria.
 
What are the signs and symptoms of tetanus?

Most children will develop symptoms within two weeks of exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms of tetanus include,
  • Painful and severe muscle spasms
  • Shoulder, jaw, and neck stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
If left untreated, tetanus can be life-threatening so it’s important to bring your child in right away if they develop any of these symptoms.
 
If it’s time for your child’s next tetanus shot, your pediatrician will be able to administer the vaccine either during their next routine checkup or at a separate important. You must be keeping up with your child’s vaccine schedule so that they are fully protected against potentially dangerous communicable diseases.
By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
January 07, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Keeping Your Child Safe While TravelingWhether you’re simply taking a weekend trip to visit the grandparents, or you and the family are flying internationally, you must know how to keep everyone healthy and safe while on vacation. After all, the last thing you want to worry about is looking up local hospitals near your hotel in the middle of the night. Here are some tips for how to keep your little ones safe while traveling.
 
Bring all Medications with You…
And make sure you have enough. This is especially important if you are going to spend a couple of weeks on vacation. You will want to make sure that your child has access to their medications and that they don’t run out. If you’re flying, make sure to pack all medications in your carry-on, just in case the airline happens to lose your luggage.
 
Get the Appropriate Vaccinations
While travel throughout the US won’t typically require your child to get inoculated, traveling abroad may require certain vaccines ahead of time. You must schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician about a month in advance to make sure that they get all appropriate vaccinations before travel.
 
Depending on where you’re traveling, your pediatrician may recommend certain immunizations against typhoid, yellow fever, meningitis, or rabies. Your child may also require antimalarial drugs to protect against malaria.
 
Get Travel Insurance
While we never want to imagine a medical emergency happening while abroad, it is important to be prepared just in case your child breaks their arm or gets sick. In this case, having travel insurance can be a major stress-reliever and lifesaver. Most travel insurance covers kids under 17 years of age and also provides emergency care and 24/7 assistance.
 
Traveling During COVID-19
Of course, during the pandemic, medical officials highly recommend avoiding any travel unless essential. While we understand everyone’s desire to travel again and for life to return to normal, we must be doing our part to keep everyone safe during this time. If you do need to travel make sure to wear a mask, practice good hygiene and social distancing, and choose outdoor places such as parks where you can avoid crowds and other people.
 
If you do have questions about traveling with your child, or about getting them the proper vaccines before travel, talk with your child’s pediatrician. It’s important to talk with a pediatrician a month or more before your trip so that you can ensure that your child has everything they need before traveling.
By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
November 13, 2020
Category: Child Safety
Keeping Your Child Safe in the CarYou may be surprised to learn that many car seats are not used properly. In fact, around 46 percent of car and booster seats are improperly used, which greatly impacts their efficacy. With car accidents being the leading cause of death in children in the US, parents must know how to keep their children safe while riding in the car. If you have questions about keeping your child safe, your pediatrician is here to answer all of your questions.

Types of Car Seats

Before your child can just start buckling up like a big kid, they need to use car seats. Children from birth until 3 years old will use a rear-facing car seat. From 3-7 years old children will upgrade to the forward-facing car seat. Then the booster seat is typically used anywhere from 5-12 years, depending on their height and manufacturer’s guidelines. Children should be at least five years old, weigh at least 40 pounds and be over the height and weight requirements for their forward-facing car seat to be ready to upgrade to a booster seat.

Choosing the Right Car Seat

When it comes to choosing a car seat, we know that it can be difficult to narrow it down. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides useful information to help you find the right car seat by comparing different ones on the market. You can also talk to your pediatrician, who can provide you with a wellspring of information and advice on choosing the right car seat for your little one.

Installing Your Child’s Car Seat

Before starting, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s installation guide so that you can better understand the car seat and how it should be installed. Along with following the installation guide that comes with the car seat, the NHTSA also provides some helpful safety tips for a successful installation.

Did you know that once you have your car seat in-place that you can have it inspected to make sure that it’s properly installed? This can provide families with the peace of mind that they need to know that their child is safe every time they buckle up.

From booster seats to booster shots, you must be doing everything possible to keep your child healthy and safe. This also means finding quality pediatricians that you trust to provide you with the tips, advice, and care to support your child’s health.