Val Verde Health Update
Week of Sept. 12
The Val Verde pediatricians have been busy finishing up school and sports physicals. In addition, they are seeing a resurgence of allergies, a lot of croup and strep. Allergy (hay fever) symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes, itchy nose, clear nasal discharge and possible ear or sinus congestion. From August until the first frost, the leading cause of hay fever is ragweed pollen. The best treatment for hay fever is an antihistamine. It will relieve nose and eye symptoms. Call your pediatrician if your child's symptoms are not controlled in two days with antihistamines or if your child develops sinus pain or pressure
Symptoms of strep throat include fever, sore throat, and possible headache, vomiting or body aches. Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids, push a soft diet and encourage rest. Treat any fever with Tylenol or Motrin. Call if the fever reaches 105 F or higher of if symptoms don't improve with antibiotics.
Week of Aug. 15
Patients in the Val Verde area are coming in with viral rashes and insect bites. Mosquitos rest during the day and become active at dusk. The skin irritation felt after a bite is your child's allergic reaction to the saliva. Mosquito-born illnesses, such as West Nile virus, can be passed through just one bite; however, the chances of any given bite causing the disease are very low. To help avoid mosquito bites:
- Use insect repellent outside.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, shoes and socks.
- Stay indoors at dusk and at dawn.
- Fix window and door screens.
- Get rid of breeding sites, including all forms of standing water.
- Keep grass and weeds cut short.
- Don't depend on insect light electrocuters (bug zappers) to control mosquitos. They do little to reduce biting in an area.
Week of July 18
The pediatricians at Val Verde have been seeing a lot of gastrointestinal viruses and strep throat. Symptoms of gastrointestinal problems in a newborn are vomiting, reflux, diarrhea, and colic (excessive crying within the first 3 to 4 months of birth). Consult a physician if one or more of these symptoms appear.
Strep throat may cause a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, a fever of 101 F or higher and swelling of the tonsils or glands in the neck. Your pediatrician will need to test to make sure your child has strep throat. If so, treatment includes antibiotics, pushing fluids and Tylenol or Motrin for fever. Don't forget to replace your child's toothbrush to avoid re-infection.
Herpangina (hand, foot and mouth disease) is going around as well. Symptoms include a fever after infection, with a rash possibly appearing a couple of days later. The location of the rash may vary in the areas of the hands, feet and/or mouth. The rash may last up to 7 to 10 days. Treatments for herpangina include pain medicine, lots of fluids and symptomatic care. Call your pediatrician if your child's temperature reaches 105 F, and/or if severe painful blisters appear in mouth. Proper hand-washing is essential in preventing the spread of this virus.