Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 07-09-2012 to 07-15-2012

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 20 news-worthy events.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

Babies who have a cat or dog around during their 1st year have fewer health problems than those without pets http://t.co/KGXr6m3B

New Brain Beats CD Brings Learning and Music Together

Calling all alternative learners, auditory learners, music lovers and anyone who is afraid of summer brain drain – now you can pop some catchy music into your nearest player and learn some really useful info thanks to Brain Beats, a fun mnemonic collection of songs. Covering everything from geography, science, history, math, grammar and more you can slip in a little lesson during your next car ride, workout or even let it play poolside.

Our memory loves music, so instead of committing the latest drivel by a bubblegum popstar to memory, feed your brain the words to the preamble of the constitution! Back in the day School House Rock got me through some of my classes, and now Brain Beats brings educational music to a new generation.

Check out Brain Beats Tour of the States music video and follow the link to the album for more info. Brain Beats is available at all Marbles The Brain Store locations and on their website.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 07-02-2012 to 07-08-2012

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 20 news-worthy events.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

CPSC Recall: Kids Rigo sleepwear (pull on pants & boxers) recalled after boy is burned
http://t.co/mu5oVgcF

Resetting Needle Phobia for Kids Who Get “Home Shots”

A recent post on an arthritis blog I belong to discussed a common problem, out of control needle fear. In many cases, it has grown so out of control that home shots are going to be transferred to the hospital, or effective IM medications are going to be swapped for less effective oral ones. If you’re on this path, here is a way to try to address the issue for children age 4 – 10: try a “do over”.

Kids are used to new rules being laid down, and so long as you are 100% consistent after calling a “do over” they usually adapt in one to three events. Say, OK, this isn’t working, before we decide to just do this at the hospital every time let’s make a plan for next time and you choose what you want to try. Write down the options to make the exercise super legit and read it to her or let her circle what she wants to give control.

  1. Freeze spray/no freeze spray: Research shows for children under age 6 freeze spray hurts more than helps on average. We don’t recommend it.
  2. Position (sitting in dad/mum’s lap, lying on side, etc): Tensing muscles makes shots worse (that’s awfully hard not to do when a child is freaking out). Since lying on the back is anxiety provoking, you can try lying on the side.
  3. Entertainment or distraction so as to NOT pay attention to shot: watching TV, blowing out on a kazoo (blowing helps naturally decrease fear), etc.
  4. Other sensations: take a big sip of something cold and sweet right at the moment of the shot, turn a Buzzy on and off in her hand, press Buzzy to her forehead (THAT’s a big counter stimulation) etc. (see the Buzzy story in Pediatric Safety).
  5. Poke-r chips or a token economy: Decide on a prize for working on this together, a treat you’ll both get like an outing to a movie or a favorite shop. Make a goal number of chips and a value for behavior, perfect = 3, but you get 1 no matter what, that kind of thing. Assign enough chips to behaviors so it’s attainable in that magic three events, and then let her decide how well she did and how well you did. Both of you performed the plan perfectly? Three chips for you, 3 chips for her, only 4 more to go! You forgot to have the cold sweet drink nearby but otherwise did well? 2 for you, 3 for her (and you got some feedback on what was most important to her). She lost it, freaked out, had to be dragged out from under a table? Well, one chip is the lowest you can get, so 1 for her, 2 for you maybe, and the prize is still within reach. Having a tangible token is important here. (*acknowledgement to Nancy Potash of the Platelet Disorders Support Association for this Poke-r Chips pun and concept.)

With so much going on, and having a plan and feeling more in control, perhaps you can reset the fear windup. When she starts ramping up a day or so before, remind her, “No, no, this is going to be completely different, remember? We have our plan.”

Not everything works for every kid…so if you have additional solutions that worked for you, I’d love to hear them…

A recent post on an arthritis blog I belong to discussed a common problem, out of control needle fear. In many cases, it has grown so out of control that home shots are going to be transferred to the hospital, or effective IM medications are going to be swapped for less effective oral ones. If you’re on this path, here is a way to try to address the issue for children age 4 – 10: try a “do over”.

Kids are used to new rules being laid down, and so long as you are 100% consistent after calling a “do over” they usually adapt in one to three events. Say, OK, this isn’t working, before we decide to just do this at the hospital every time let’s make a plan for next time and you choose what you want to try. Write down the options to make the exercise super legit and read it to her or let her circle what she wants to give control.

1) Freeze spray/no freeze spray: Research shows for children under age 6 freeze spray hurts more than helps on average. We don’t recommend it.
2) Position (sitting in dad/mum’s lap, lying on side, etc): Tensing muscles makes shots worse (that’s awfully hard not to do when a child is freaking out). Since lying on the back is anxiety provoking, you can try lying on the side.
3) Entertainment or distraction so as to NOT pay attention to shot: watching TV, blowing out on a kazoo (blowing helps naturally decrease fear), etc.
4) Other sensations: take a big sip of something cold and sweet right at the moment of the shot, turn a Buzzy on and off in her hand, press Buzzy to her forehead (THAT’s a big counter stimulation) etc.
5) Poker chips or a token economy: Decide on a prize for working on this together, a treat you’ll both get like an outing to a movie or a favorite shop. Make a goal number of chips and a value for behavior, perfect = 3, but you get 1 no matter what, that kind of thing. Assign enough chips to behaviors so it’s attainable in that magic three events, and then let her decide how well she did and how well you did. Both of you performed the plan perfectly? Three chips for you, 3 chips for her, only 4 more to go! You forgot to have the cold sweet drink nearby but otherwise did well? 2 for you, 3 for her (and you got some feedback on what was most important to her). She lost it, freaked out, had to be dragged out from under a table? Well, one chip is the lowest you can get, so 1 for her, 2 for you maybe, and the prize is still within reach. Having a tangible token is important here. (*acknowledgement to Nancy Potash of the Platelet Disorders Support Association for this Poke-r Chips pun and concept.)

With so much going on, and having a plan and feeling more in control, perhaps you can reset the fear windup. When she starts ramping up a day or so before, remind her, “No, no, this is going to be completely different, remember? We have our plan.” Not everything works for every kid, and if you have additional solutions that worked for you, I’d love to hear them…

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 06-25-2012 to 07-01-2012

Welcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues who are not on Twitter (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 20 news-worthy events.

PedSafe Headline of the Week:

Nearly half of kids worldwide report experiencing online bullying
http://t.co/MPHLBD9r Wow! Alarming statistic!

No More “Tears in Heaven” – Child Deaths Are Often Preventable

Recent headlines in the local news took me back to previous times in my life…

Have you heard the song “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton? In my opinion- one of the most touching songs I have ever heard. Do you know or remember the story behind the song?

In 1991 Clapton’s four year old son fell from an open window 53 stories to his death. The song “Tears in Heaven” was inspired by this tragedy- one way in which he dealt. I could never imagine bearing my soul in such a fashion to share my personal thoughts and feelings with the world regarding the loss of a child. Can you imagine?

Years earlier while still a medic, I responded to a child who fell three floors to his death. It was sad and tragic. It was preventable.

Recently two children in CT and one in PA fell from open windows- one died. These events are all preventable.

It’s hot, it’s miserable- open windows are often the only respite. In the case of Clapton’s son Connor, a cleaning person momentarily opened the window for cleaning. In mere seconds the worst, most unimaginable event took place. 53 stories. Four years old. Preventable.

This is one of many childhood deaths that take no time at all- drowning- including bath tub is another example. Following the Connecticut events at least one of the news shows discussed simple window guards sold at most hardware and home improvement stores. Low cost, quick and easy to install. If you rent- then speak to your landlord.

Please don’t be another headline- another statistic.

“Tears In Heaven”

Lyrics by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings

“Time can bring you down

Time can bend your knees

Time can break your heart

Have you begging please, begging please.

Beyond the door, there’s peace I’m sure,

And I know there’ll be no more

Tears in Heaven.”

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/unplugged-live/id167758673