Thursday, June 25, 2015

Insect Repellents


Mosquitoes, biting flies, and tick bites can make children miserable. While most children have only mild reactions to insect bites, some children can become very sick.
One way to protect your child from biting insects is to use insect repellents. However, it’s important that insect repellents are used safely and correctly.
Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about types of repellents, DEET, using repellents safely, and other ways to protect your child from insect bites.

Types of Repellents

Insect repellents come in many forms, including aerosols, sprays, liquids, creams, and sticks. Some are made from chemicals and some have natural ingredients.
Insect repellents prevent bites from biting insects but not stinging insects. Biting insects include mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and biting flies. Stinging insects include bees, hornets, and wasps.

Available Repellents

What's Available 
How Well It Works
How Long it Protects
Special Precautions
Chemical repellents with DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide)
Considered the best defense against biting insects. 
About 2 to 5 hours depending on the concentration of DEET in the product.
Caution should be used when applying DEET to children.
PicaridinIn April 2005 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended other repellents that may work as well as DEET: repellents with picaridin and repellents with oil of lemon eucalyptus or 2% soybean oil. Currently these products have a duration of action that is comparable to that of about 10% DEET. About 3 to 8 hours depending on the concentration.Although these products are con-sidered safe when used as rec-ommended, long-term follow-up studies are not available. Also, more studies need to be done to see how well they repel ticks.
Allergic reactions are rare, but can occur when using repellents made from essential oils.

Repellents made from essential oils found in plants such as citronella, cedar, eucalyptus, and soybean
Usually less than 2 hours.
Chemical repellents with permethrin 
These repellents kill ticks on contact.
When applied to clothing, it lasts even after several washings. 
Should only be applied to clothing, not directly to skin. May be applied to outdoor equipment such as sleeping bags or tents.

NOTE: The following types of products are not effective repellents:
  • Wristbands soaked in chemical repellents
  • Garlic or vitamin B1 taken by mouth
  • Ultrasonic devices that give off sound waves designed to keep insects away
  • Bird or bat houses
  • Backyard bug zappers (Insects may actually be attracted to your yard.)

About DEET

DEET is a chemical used in insect repellents. The amount of DEET in insect repellents varies from product to product, so it’s important to read the label of any product you use. The amount of DEET may range from less than 10% to more than 30%. DEET greater than 30% doesn’t offer any additional protection.
Studies show that products with higher amounts of DEET protect people longer. For example, products with amounts around 10% may repel pests for about 2 hours, while products with amounts of about 24% last an average of 5 hours. But studies also show that products with amounts of DEET greater than 30% don’t offer any extra protection.
The AAP recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than 2 months.

Tips for Using Repellents Safely


  • Read the label and follow all directions and precautions.
  • Only apply insect repellents on the outside of your child’s clothing and on exposed skin. Note: Permethrin-containing products should not be applied to skin.
  • Spray repellents in open areas to avoid breathing them in.
  • Use just enough repellent to cover your child’s clothing and exposed skin. Using more doesn’t make the repellent more effective. Avoid reapplying unless needed.
  • Help apply insect repellent on young children. Supervise older children when using these products.
  • Wash your children’s skin with soap and water to remove any repellent when they return indoors, and wash their clothing before they wear it again.


  • Never apply insect repellent to children younger than 2 months.
  • Never spray insect repellent directly onto your child’s face. Instead, spray a little on your hands first and then rub it on your child’s face. Avoid the eyes and mouth.
  • Do not spray insect repellent on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • Do not use products that combine DEET with sunscreen. The DEET may make the sun protection factor (SPF) less effective. These products can overexpose your child to DEET because the sunscreen needs to be reapplied often.

Reactions to Insect Repellents

If you suspect that your child is having a reaction, such as a rash, to an insect repellent, stop using the product and wash your child’s skin with soap and water. Then call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 or your child’s doctor for help. If you go to your child’s doctor’s office, take the repellent container with you.

Other Ways to Protect Your Child from Insect Bites

While you can’t prevent all insect bites, you can reduce the number your child receives by following these guidelines:

  • Tell your child to avoid areas that attract flying insects, such as garbage cans, stagnant pools of water, and flowerbeds or orchards.
  • Dress your child in long pants, a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, socks, and closed shoes when you know your child will be exposed to insects. A broad-brimmed hat can help to keep insects away from the face. Mosquito netting may be used over baby carriers or strollers in areas where your baby may be exposed to insects.
  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints because they seem to attract insects.
  • Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes, or hair sprays on your child because they may attract insects.
  • Keep door and window screens in good repair.
  • Check your child’s skin at the end of the day if you live in an area where ticks are present and your child has been playing outdoors.
  • Remember that the most effective repellent for ticks is permethrin. It should not be applied to skin but on your child’s clothing.
Info from and AAP

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

National Scoliosis Awareness Month

June is the National Scoliosis Awareness Month. The annual observance highlights the growing need for scoliosis education , early detection and awareness.

What is Scoliosis?
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, and it affects about 7  million Americans. Curves range from mild to severe. Care option are customized for each child, using techniques like casting on infants, use of TLSO spinal brace, halo traction and even surgery.

Spotting Scoliosis:
Early diagnosis leads to a better long-term prognosis, so it is important to know what to look for It is as easy as S-C-R-E-E-N-I-N-G
S-Stand Several feet behind the child for the best view
C-Child should be positioned with feet together, knees straight and arms loose at sides.
R-Recognize difference in shoulder heights and shoulder blade protrusions
E-Examine the child bending forward with the back parallel to the floor.
E-Either side of the lumbar spine or rib cage should be even with the other
N-Note any asymmetries
I-Inspect the child from the side
N-Notice any excessive roundness (sway back)
G-Give appropriate referrals to the child's primary care provider

Our doctors here at Willow Creek do a pre screening for scoliosis here at every Well Child Check.
Make sure you have a Yearly Exam scheduled to Pre screen your child for scoliosis.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Reminder to schedule Annual Exam

Have we seen you lately??.....Did you know that the current recommendations for the American Academy of Pediatrics are for children to get a well child exam annually? This has changed within the past few years.
Well-child care also is a chance to raise questions and concerns about your child’s development, behavior, and general well-being — questions that are difficult to discuss during sick visits. For instance, pediatricians are used to discussing common concerns with parents such as eating, sleeping, toilet training, social behaviors, as well as attention and learning problems. Having regular well-child visits with your child’s doctor and raising the concerns that matter most to you are key ingredients in helping the doctor know you and your child, and in forming a reliable and trustworthy relationship.
 The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Department of Research recently conducted 20 focus groups with parents and 31 focus groups with pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners to gather recommendations about how to make the most of the well-child office visit.
From these sessions, four themes emerged:
  • Pediatricians and parents share the goal of healthy children.
  • Pediatricians want the well-child visit to best serve the needs of children and their families.
  • Pediatricians are experts in child health, but parents are experts on their child.
  • A team approach can best develop optimum physical, emotional, and developmental health for the child.
  • It may seem early in the year to even think about scheduling your child's check up, but this is when the busy season starts! All children who are entering kindergarten or middle school, who have not had a well child exam within the past year will need one before they register for school! So if you have not done so already, please call the office as soon as possible to schedule your child's well visit!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

U.S. melanoma cases rise 250% among children, young adults‏

Melanoma Rates Way Up Among Young People in U.S.

TUESDAY, June 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Melanoma, the potentially deadly skin cancer, has increased by 250 percent among U.S. children and young adults since the 1970s, researchers report.
Young women appear to be especially vulnerable, accounting for two-thirds of cases diagnosed in 2011, scientists at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., reported.
"The reality is that melanoma is the third most common cancer in those 15 to 39 years old, and these numbers have been steadily increasing," said the study's senior author, Dr. Nikhil Khushalani, section chief for soft tissue and melanoma at the cancer institute.
The findings were scheduled for presentation this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in Chicago. Research presented at meetings is usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
"This is a national problem that needs to be addressed, and it begins with awareness and effective prevention strategies," Khushalani said in a society news release.
The researchers uncovered some good news, however. Melanoma survival rates are also on the rise, increasing from 80 percent in the mid-to-late 1970s to 95 percent in 2011.
For the study, investigators analyzed more than 35,000 cases of melanoma among patients younger than age 40 and diagnosed between 1973 and 2011. Ninety-eight percent of the cases involved teens and young adults between 15 and 39.
While women accounted for 57 percent of melanomas reported between 1973 and 1980, they comprised about 65 percent of all diagnoses by 2011. The researchers said this is likely because of unsafe tanning practices. Sunbathing and indoor tanning are known risk factors for skin cancer.
While 4 percent of melanoma cases diagnosed before 1980 were classified as noninvasive and early stage, these cancers accounted for more than 20 percent of all cases by 2011, the study also found.
"Given the epidemic rise of melanoma cases diagnosed among children, adolescents and young adults, it is imperative that new research initiatives are implemented, genetic and environmental risk factors identified, and effective prevention and screening strategies employed," the study's lead author, oncology fellow Dr. Demytra Mitsis, said in the news release.

**Info from AAP News Brief