Friday, January 12, 2018


From the desk of Katie Parker, CPNP          

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

Some of the best winter memories created during childhood involve outdoor activities such as sledding, building snowmen and forts, and making snow angels.  Before grabbing your sled and heading to the nearest sled hill, review these safety tips to help prevent frostbite and hypothermia.  Bundle up! Wear a warm winter coat, insulated boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.  Help keep children dry and warm by dressing in several thin layers.  Take frequent indoor breaks from the cold to warm up and remove wet clothing as soon as possible.  Indoor activities are recommended in temperatures and wind chills below -15 degrees. Skin can freeze within minutes of exposure to these extreme winter temperatures.

Children are at higher risk for developing frostbite and hypothermia because they lose body heat quickly due to their small size. Frostbite happens when the skin, and sometimes the tissue beneath it, becomes frozen. Frostbite most commonly affects fingers, toes, ears, and noses. Frostbitten skin can start to hurt or feel like it is burning, then quickly go numb.  Sometimes, the skin can turn white or pale gray and form blisters.  If you are concerned your child has frostbite, bring them inside to warm up. Avoid rubbing the skin or popping any blisters. Apply a warm washcloth to affected site or soak the body in warm water for 20-30 minutes.  Caution: Do not use HOT water! Dry your child off, cover them with blankets, and give them a warm drink such as hot chocolate or tea.  Call your pediatrician if the pain or numbness continues for more than a few minutes.

Hypothermia happens when your body temperature drops below normal from the cold.  Hypothermia is a life-threatening medical emergency; call 911 immediately if you suspect your child might have signs of hypothermia.  A child might start shivering as their body tries to warm itself up, but they can quickly become sluggish, clumsy, or slur their words.  While waiting for emergency personnel to arrive, make sure your child is inside and wet clothing is removed. Wrap them in warm blankets or warm clothes (especially to core areas such as the chest and abdomen) and give them something warm to drink. Initiate CPR if your child stops breathing or loses a pulse.

Outdoor winter activities are a fun way to make lifelong memories with your children.  Cold weather safety is vital in the prevention and early detection of frostbite and hypothermia.  Stay warm, and we hope you and your family have a fun and safe winter! 


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sharenting: When are sharing moments of our kids considered too much?

Julian Tang, MD
From the desk of Julian Tang, MD

We all love our kids and want to show them off by taking their pictures at their best moments and sharing them with family & friends. In our digital age we constantly take hundreds of photos of our children growing up. It is a great way to document our life with them, to acknowledge how proud we are of them in what we have accomplished and what they are becoming. It also helps strengthen our identity to each other.

The vast majority of the time, this is a wonderful thing. The big question is when it isn’t. In one survey, 80% of kids said they were embarrassed of a picture that their parent posted of them. Another scary stat is that 50% of pictures found in pedophile cases come from social media pictures. A lot of pictures can be taken innocently and then twisted in a perverse way.

One rule we always remind our own children with smart phones is that nothing posted on the internet is private. Everything we send over the internet gets stored or transferred from one server to another.  A person can also take a picture of a picture that was meant to be private and then disseminate that information.

The other main point is that pictures or videos of our children posted online actually belong to them. It is their digital footprint. Any future google searches of a particular person will start with their childhood photos. The conundrum is this occurs when they have no say in what gets posted online.

It is a time honored tradition of teasing our kids, showing them as babies in the bath or learning to potty train. The problem we have now is what used to stay between a few family members chuckling around the coffee table now is open to the entire world. There are also posts that we might do that unintentionally embarrass our children or in the future they may resent.

Before our child has a voice, we are their guardian of their digital information. Every picture or post we make about them really is on their behalf. Before your child can express their opinions, talking with your partner on what you both feel is appropriate is a great way to start. Once your child is old enough to understand, working together will help ensure what your child wants to share with the world. It also will help your child’s understanding on what’s appropriate to share on social media and can be more of an active learning process on what things to post.

Friday, December 22, 2017

May your Christmas be merry and bright 

From the entire staff at Pediatric Health Associates, we wish you a wonderful holiday filled with joy, laughter and warm memories.