We’re back from the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Chicago—sharing with you some tidbits from the forefront of pediatrics:
New high blood pressure guidelines are here. Starting at age 3 years, children should have their blood pressure checked annually, more often if they have certain medical conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease. The cutoff for “high blood pressure” has been lowered so more and more, you may notice your pediatrician scrutinizing your child’s blood pressure.
We’ve noticed many more over-use injuries from kids who play the same sport year round. We were reminded that most professional athletes played multiple sports in high school and some even up through college. Specialization in a particular sport leads to more injuries, burnout, depression, and anxiety. If you feel that sports rule your child’s life, remember this good rule of thumb: for high school kids, keep training under 16 hours a week. For the younger kids, keep the total number of hours per week playing organized sports under an hour per week for each year of age. For example, an 8 year old should spend no more than 8 hours per week playing organized sports.
Probiotics are ubiquitous these days, but are they helpful? In viral diarrhea, probiotics can be mildly helpful, and may shorten the duration of diarrhea by about a day. Probiotic therapy is showing promise for treating colic, but not for treating eczema. For more information see the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics.
If your child scalds himself, put the burn under COLD running tap water for 20 minutes to stop further injury. This treatment is effective for up to 3 hours after a burn.
A cautionary word about herbs: Know that herbs are not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Companies that supply herbs are under no obligation to show that the product works. Additionally, the company that sells the herb does not have to show that the herb is safe or effective, and cannot claim that the product can cure or prevent anything. Additionally there are no manufacturing standards to adhere to, which means you do not know how much herb or for that matter, any other contaminants, are in the herbs that you buy.
Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD
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