4 Things Your Pediatrician Is Worried About

Things Your Pediatrician Worries About

Our kids aren’t growing up in the same world we did.  How many times have you said, “When I was a kid, we just roamed around on our bikes all day and came home for dinner”?  Yes, the challenges of the modern world for our children extend from the ubiquity of screens to vaping and everything in between.

It’s no wonder that pediatricians – whose job it is to advocate for kids’ health – are concerned about many things the little guys are encountering. We break down four of them right here for you:

Plastic and Food

Plastic packaging of our kiddos’ foods may not be entirely safe. Remember the uproar over BPA (bisphenol A) a few years ago? The chemical found in all kinds of plastic bottles was found to be carcinogenic and was promptly banned by the FDA. Well, pediatricians say there are other chemicals like this out there that we just don’t know that much about.  Since pound for pound, kids eat more packaged food than most of us, this is concerning. There are literally a thousand different chemicals used in food packaging that the FDA labels “Generally Recognized as Safe”.  Doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence. The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) is asking the FDA to increase its scrutiny of these chemicals and the potential effect on growing bodies. The concern is that some of these might interfere with the little peoples’ hormone synthesis and metabolism.

What to do with this info:

  • Go for fresh fruits and veggies when possible
  • Package foods in glass or stainless steel
  • Don’t microwave plastic containers with food in them

Microwave Meals

Speaking of microwaves … Easy Mac® is the favorite around our house.  When I was a kid, you had to boil water, cook the noodles, drain them, mix the cheese… Ain’t nobody got time for that!  Now, we have instant everything. Well it turns out that kiddos are burning themselves left and right on these things. From 2006 to 2016, more than 9,500 kids have landed in the ER with burns from microwavable instant soup products.

What to do with this info:

  • Don’t be in too much of a hurry for your kids to use these products independently.  Keep an eye on them when they’re heating them up!
  • Be especially careful with soups. Since they slosh around, they can inadvertently result in burns more easily.

Leftover Prescriptions

You know those leftover antibiotics you always have?  Your kid’s doc told you to “make sure she takes the full course.”  But then life happened, and you stopped. Susie got better, so you just stuck the remaining amoxicillin in the linen closet.  “This may come in handy later on,” you think to yourself. Well, turns out, you’re not alone. In a recent survey of 500 parents, researchers found that nearly half of parents had hung on to leftover antibiotics.  And of those, 73% had used them on a different child for something different! Here’s why that’s got pediatricians concerned.  Antibiotics in kids are almost always dosed by weight. So the dose is likely not to be correct. But even more importantly, the other child might not need antibiotics, might need a different one, or might need a longer course than the 3 pills you have in the closet!

What to do with this info:

  • Always have your child take all of their antibiotics unless the pediatrician says it’s ok to stop when the condition improves.
  • Throw out any leftover medication!  Don’t save for another time or give to another child. The risks of misdosing or inappropriately administering are just too great.

Soft, But Not Safe

Injuries still abound with infants around things that we just don’t think of as dangerous.  Those saucer-shaped infant walkers that are so fun to watch the kids glide around in? Well, they’re super dangerous.  In fact, they land about 2,000 kids in the ER every year with everything from broken bones to skull fractures.  Also, kids using them can go where normally they wouldn’t be able to. Some kids have glided out into the swimming pool or down the stairs. The AAP has been calling on the government for years to ban them, but it hasn’t happened yet.  And a study out this month reveals that from 2007 to 2016, an estimated 2.3 million kids under the age of 5 were injured in falls from beds and sofas. We often think of the stairs as the most dangerous place in the house. But kids are twice as likely to be injured by a fall from a bed or sofa!

What to do with this info:

  • Don’t use infant walkers with your babies learning to walk.  Just don’t. Pediatricians don’t. They know how dangerous these things are.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can just watch them. A kid can move four feet in one second in these.  Likely faster than you can travel to reach them if they get in trouble.
  • Never leave a baby alone (even for a half a second) on raised furniture (beds, sofas, etc).  And teach them not to climb up on furniture.

Here at Remedy, we never want to instill unnecessary fear in parents.  We parents got enough to worry about right. (I didn’t even talk about screen time.  Saving that for another post). With all the clatter and “fake news” out there, we want you guys to know what we docs are actually talking about and concerned about.  Hit us up with questions, or even better, let us know what topics you want us to weigh in on!

Book an appointment today!