Children’s Eye Health and Safety

Children’s Eye Health & Safety

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month!

Good vision and healthy eyes are important at any age, but even more so for children. A child’s vision problems can greatly affect their performance in school and their self-confidence. Fortunately, most potential vision problems are identified and treated early and those that may not be obvious until much later are caught by preschool eye tests or pediatric checkups.

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Vision changes often occur without anyone noticing, but regular screenings can help determine if young children need glasses or contacts. Children should have regular vision tests during their pediatric appointments or earlier if you notice any of the following:

  • Squinting while trying to focus.
  • If the child states that things are blurry or hard to see.
  • Lack of interest in reading or distant objects.
  • Family history of hereditary vision problems.
  • Wandering eye or crossed eyes.

Common vision problems in children include:

Refractive errors include both myopia (nearsightedness) the most common refractive vision problem among school-aged children and hyperopia, or farsightedness can usually be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Symptoms often include headaches, blurred vision, and eye strain.

Amblyopia or “lazy eye”, affects about four out of every 100 people and occurs when one eye has not developed normal sight. Once detected, lazy eye can be corrected with glasses, surgery, or an eye patch over the stronger eye to strengthen the “lazy” eye.

Strabismus double vision caused by crossed eyes as one eye focuses straight ahead while the other eye turns in, out, up or down. Strabismus requires early treatment and cannot be outgrown, glasses may improve focusing.

Color vision deficiency or color blindness may be hereditary and involves the inability to distinguish between colors or shades of colors. Their is no “cure” for color blindness but the condition may be improved through tinted glasses or contact lenses.

Conjunctivitis, or pink-eye, is a highly contagious infection of the eyelids which become crusted by discharge. Additional symptoms include red or pink eyes and burning and itching. Conjunctivitis is treatable with antibiotic drops and ointments.

Corneal abrasions often occur during outdoor sports and recreational activities, and usually in children and teens. If left untreated, eye injuries can cause permanent damage a child’s vision and may even cause blindness.

You can reduce or avoid eye injuries by securing household items that may cause damage like caustic cleaners, sharp tools, scissors and even pencils in younger toddlers. Provide age appropriate toys without sharp or protruding parts. Your child should wear protective eyewear when involved in sports, especially those with high velocity action like tennis, lacrosse and hockey.  

Pay close attention to how your child appears to view the world. Frequent head tilting, squinting, eye rubbing, excessive tears, or sensitivity to light and headaches are all signs that your child may have vision problems that should be checked out by a trained clinician. Click Here for More

Psoriasis

Psoriasis

Psoriasis, one of the most common skin diseases, is most often associated with red, itchy, scaly patches which usually occur on the knees, elbows, and scalp, but occasionally affect the torso, palms, and soles of the feet. Diseases that stress the immune system often “trigger” psoriasis and for children, triggers include measles, chickenpox, and mumps.

There are five distinct categories of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and erythrodermic psoriasis.

Plaque psoriasis. *

Eighty percent of psoriasis sufferers have plaque psoriasis and present raised, red patches that display a white, shiny scaling. These patches are called “plaques” and are usually in individual, isolated areas, but may grow together to form a larger plaque. Plaque psoriasis occurs most often on the elbows, knees, and lower back, and is associated with stress.

 

Guttate psoriasis. **

Guttate psoriasis is often linked to a bacterial or viral infection and usually appears first on the trunk of the body and then the limbs. This type of psoriasis occurs most frequently in young adults and children and appears as tiny, red tear-shaped marks on the skin. Most cases of guttate psoriasis are mild and will soon resolve without medication.

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Pustular psoriasis. ***

Pustular psoriasis affects fewer than five percent of those with psoriasis. As the name suggests, pustular psoriasis involves raised pus-filled pustules. Pustular psoriasis is a serious condition that often leads to extended medical treatment and hospitalization. It occurs most often in adults and is often triggered by cortisone, streptococcal bacteria, and hormonal changes related to pregnancy.

Erythrodermic psoriasis. *
Erythrodermic psoriasis symptoms include red, inflamed, and scaly eruption that may cover most or all of the body. Erythrodermic psoriasis is a serious condition and can be fatal as it interferes with the skin’s ability to regulate body temperature causing high fever, infection, and dehydration. Erythrodermic psoriasis often requires hospitalization and systemic medical treatment.

Inverse psoriasis. ****
Inverse psoriasis often occurs in folds of the skin of overweight patients below the breasts, in the armpits and genital areas. Often misdiagnosed as a yeast infection, inverse psoriasis is caused by friction and sweating and produces glossy and shiny red tender patches as opposed to scaly patches.

Psoriasis is not contagious. Treatment for psoriasis varies greatly by individual and what works for one patient may not work for another. Psoriasis requires treatment by qualified physicians and dermatologists to determine which treatment the patient responds to. Treatment plans are based on the type of psoriasis, the severity and location, the patient’s sex and age.

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*healthline.com

**emedicine.medscape.com

***dermquest.com

****mayoclinic.com

Effects of NOT Immunizing Kids

Effects of NOT Immunizing Kids

immunization-blog

The decision regarding whether or not to vaccinate your child is ultimately a personal one, but make sure you are knowledgeable and well-informed before deciding. Understanding the risks of not vaccinating your child are as important as the risks associated with vaccines, there are risks and repercussions of not vaccinating your child including:

Without vaccinations your child runs a greater risk of contracting the diseases those vaccinations were developed to protect against. Without vaccinations your child could contract serious diseases that are otherwise preventable such as measles, rubella, and whooping cough and face the risk of hospitalization, brain damage, paralysis, or death. According to a 2009 study published in the journal Pediatrics, children who are not immunized against whooping cough (pertussis) are 23 times more likely to catch the disease.
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If you live in a large city, your child is at greater risk for contracting diseases if they are not vaccinated. Large cities and metropolitan areas are often travel hubs for airports and tourists and thousands of potentially contagious people pass through these cities every day, increasing the chances of contracting what should only be “third-world” diseases. 

Non-vaccinated children may be (legally) banned from day care facilities, public schools and after-school programs based on their immunization records. During a potential outbreak, un-immunized children and their families may be quarantined. Are you prepared to explain the concept of quarantine to your children? Similarly, if your child is not vaccinated, he or she faces many travel restrictions and may not be allowed to travel.

Non-vaccinated children are a health risk to individuals with weak or compromised immune systems including infants and children, all pregnant women, and the elderly. Children without vaccines are potentially dangerous to people with serious diseases such as leukemia and cancers, or those who cannot receive immunizations for health reasons. Are you prepared to explain to your child why they cannot visit a sick relative, grandparent or pregnant aunt?

My kid is safe. If you believe that your non-vaccinated children are “safe” as the majority of other children are immunized, remember that a non-vaccinated child will always be at greater risk of contracting an otherwise avoidable disease.   It is now a requirement that any time your child rides in an ambulance, or is taken to the emergency room or the pediatrician’s office, you must inform admissions and the physicians of your child’s lack of immunizations and vaccinations. This is to make the doctors aware and how to properly approach the current situation. Doctors, and especially pediatric clinics can refuse to schedule or treat non-vaccinated children as it puts their other patients at risk.

Before you make the decision to NOT immunize your child, research and ask questions and talk to your pediatrician (not celebrities). Your decision affects not only your child, but everyone around them as well.

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