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By Johnson County Pediatrics
April 03, 2018
Category: Health Care
Tags: Bedwetting  

Bedwetting is a common childhood problem. Many children who master toilet training during the day, usually between the ages of two and four, continue to experience episodes of bedwetting through the night. In many cases, the nighttime bedwetting incidents will gradually decrease until they have completely ceased around the age of five or six.

So, when should parents worry about their child’s bedwetting behaviors? Most pediatricians agree that it’s quite normal for children to experience occasional “accidents” and that most children will outgrow it on their own.

When to Visit Your Pediatrician

Bedwetting is rarely a serious problem. In fact, wetting up to a year after the child has successfully been toilet trained is normal. Children gain bladder control at different ages, and while most kids quit wetting at night by the age of 6, others may take a little longer. In the majority of cases, wetting does not have a medical cause.

According to the AAP, you should contact your pediatrician if your child continues to have frequent “accidents” or if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Wet clothing and bed linens, even when the child uses the toilet frequently
  • Unusual straining during urination, a very small or narrow stream of urine, or dribbling after urination
  • Cloudy or pink urine
  • Abnormal redness or rash in the genital area
  • Trying to conceal wetting by hiding clothes or underwear
  • Daytime wetting in addition to nighttime accidents

Parents should remember to be sensitive to their child’s wetting behavior so not to cause additional embarrassment or discomfort. Never punish the child for bedwetting. Instead, show support and encouragement by reassuring the child that it is not his or her fault and that the problem will get better.

Remember, even though childhood wetting is frustrating, it is very normal. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns about your child’s bedwetting behaviors. 

“Screen-Free Week” is May 2-8. It is a week where individuals and families can challenge themselves to watch less, or no, TV, spend less time on their ipad, iphone, ipod Touch, iwhatever. Check it out here
It’s a chance to get outside, play a board game, read a book, take a bike ride, shoot some baskets, go to the park, bake some cookies, paint a picture, plant some tomatoes. Or anything else you may find fun. Check out this site for some good ideas.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity recommend no screen time for children under the age of 2 years, and less than two hours a day for children over the age of 2 years.On average, however, 30 percent of babies under 1 year old in the U.S. watch TV and videos for 90 minutes a day. Sixty-five percent of 1 to 2 year olds watch more than two hours a day. Preschoolers spend two to four hours a day on average with screens, and kids over the age of 8 average a little more than seven hours a day with devices.

You probably already know why your kids should spend less time in front of a screen, but I’ll list some reasons here anyway. Increased screen time is linked with increased caloric intake (mindless snacking while watching TV), increased BMI and obesity, irregular sleep patterns and decreased sleep duration. Younger children show delayed speech acquisition with increased screen time. For older children and adolescents, excessive screen time is linked with increased hyperactivity, emotional and conduct problems, daytime fatigue, difficulties with peers, and poor school performance.

There is some talk now in pediatric circles and the AAP that we should accept the fact that screens and devices are here to stay. So, since we can’t get parents and kids to limit screen time, we should encourage them to partake of more “educational and enriching” material. That’s great for kids under the age of 3 as you can control what they watch. But past that age they can pretty much navigate a device better than I can. I once saw a 15-month-old patient take her mom’s iphone, punch in the password, and start a video! So yes, it’s great to encourage better programming, but the kid is going to do what they want to on the device. Therefore, parents need to limit TIME on devices.

Here are some recommendations for everyday screen use (try to do better than this for Screen-Free Week):

  • No cell phones in kids’ bedrooms at night. They must be plugged in in the kitchen or perhaps on YOUR bedside table as some kids sneak downstairs and nab their cell phones once their parents are in bed.
  • Turn off the TV at meal times. No devices allowed at the dinner table.
  • Set certain days of the week as screen-free days. Some of my patients’ families allow no TV on weeknights.
  • Set a good example: Limit your screen time to two hours a day.
  • For older kids, limit ipad or iphone time to 30 minutes, then remind them to do something else for a while. They were born digital and sometimes just need a little push to explore the unplugged world.
  • Push kids of all ages outside when the weather is nice. For older kids, keep them involved in a sport. This keeps them more physically active, but also more socially active. Teens with no activities can become addicted to their devices. In many Asian countries there are teens and 20-somethings being treated for video game addictions the same as alcohol or drug addiction.

So, if I’m preaching to the choir here, and your family already does all or most of this stuff, keep up the good work. If you see room for improvement, take baby steps and slowly change the digital culture in your home. You will likely notice many nice side effects will follow.

Check out the entire Screen-Free Week website here

By Johnson County Pediatrics
July 05, 2017
Category: Health Care
Tags: Head Lice  

Head LiceTwo words parents dread hearing--head lice. Head lice are parasites that can be found on the heads of people, most common among preschool and elementary children. Each year millions of school-aged children in the U.S. get head lice. Though it may be a nuisance, the good news is that lice will not cause medical harm and in most cases can be effectively treated at home.

Lice are highly contagious and can spread quickly from person to person, especially in group settings, such as schools, sporting events and slumber parties. Head lice spread mainly by direct head-to-head contact with a person who already has head lice, but it can also be transferred indirectly when kids share combs, brushes, pillows or hats. Because children play closely together and often in large groups, all children can potentially be affected, and poor personal hygiene is not a significant risk factor for getting head lice. In other words, if your child is exposed to someone with head lice, they have a pretty good chance of bringing it home as well.

Does your child have lice?

The most obvious sign of head lice is an itchy scalp. If you notice your child scratching behind their ears or at the back of his neck, examine the child’s head for signs of lice. Lice are very small, but it is possible to detect them with the naked eye. Combing through the child’s hair with a fine-toothed comb can help reveal any eggs. If you are unsure, visit your pediatrician. An itchy scalp may also be caused by an allergy, eczema or dandruff.

Don’t Panic—Head Lice is Very Treatable

If your child has head lice, take action immediately once you’ve made the diagnosis as lice can spread easily from one person to another, putting other members of your household at risk. The most common treatment is an over-the-counter or prescription cream, lotion or shampoo. You apply it to the skin or scalp to kill the lice and eggs. In many cases, two treatments are necessary. If after two treatments you believe your child may still have head lice, contact your pediatrician. Your child’s doctor can recommend a different form of treatment.

You may be tempted to throw away bedding, clothing or other items in your household, but a simple wash will do the trick. Toss your child’s bed sheets, clothes, hats and other belongings in the washing machine in hot water, and dry on high heat to kill any remaining lice. Other members of your household should also be checked for lice.

To prevent kids from getting lice or becoming re-infested, tell kids not to share combs, brushes, hats or other personal items with anyone else. To prevent head lice, examine your child’s scalp regularly, especially during the school year, to detect lice early.

Remember, lice are very preventable and treatable. Be patient and follow the treatments and prevention tips as directed by your child’s pediatrician for keeping lice at bay and your household bug-free.