Village Pediatrics Summer Newsletter
June 2009 - Vol 1, Issue 2
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Welcome to Village Pediatrics' second newsletter! We are offering some skin-related education in the hope that the sun will soon shine a bit more consistently...

CARBON MONOXIDE ALERT: The Village Pediatrics "family" recently almost lost 4 dear friends to carbon monoxide poisoning at a lake house. CO is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that can be released by furnaces, fires, cars, and gas burning grills and engines used in an enclosed space. Early symptoms of poisoning include headache, dizziness, nausea and vomitting. With continued exposure, there can be loss of consciousness, seizures and death. Please make sure that EVERY HOME, INCLUDING VACATION HOMES AND RENTALS, HAVE WORKING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS IN PLACE.

Children need to be protected from daily exposure to UVA and UVB rays. Sun exposure, particularly sunburn before age 15, is strongly associated with melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. For children under the age of six months, the recommendations are to avoid sun exposure by keeping baby in the shade and dressing the child in lighweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hats with a brim. If necessary, a minimal amount of titanium dioxide based sunscreen can be applied to exposed areas.

For older children a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater should be applied at least 30 minutes before going outside, even on cloudy days. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating heavily. Use extra caution near water and sand, which reflect UV rays. Stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during peak intensity hours- between 10 am and 4 pm. If despite your best attempts, sunburn develops, apply cold compresses to the affected areas and take frequent cool showers or baths. Apply soothing, cooled lotions that contain aloe vera or a 1% hydrocortisone cream to reduce swelling. Tylenol or Motrin can help with the pain. If the burn blisters, do not try to break the blister. Allow the blister to heal on its own. Once the blister breaks, keep the skin clean and covered with antibacterial ointment and a bandage until healed.

Mosquitoes, biting flies, and tick bites can make children miserable. While most insect bites are simply annoying, others can cause dangerous illnesses such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Treatment of insect bites starts with simple cleansing of the area with soap and water. Itch can be treated effectively with ICE, benadryl (cream or oral), calamine lotion or cortaid cream. Mosqiuto bites can often develop a RING-LIKE appearance after a few days, often mistaken for a lyme rash. These bites, however, will fade away over a day or two while a lyme rash typically expands in size and lasts much longer. Bites that are infected will turn a deeper red, develop a moist scab, are more painful than itchy, and may have a red streak extending outwards. These should be seen immediately by a physician.

One way to protect your child from biting insects is to use insect repellents. However, it is important that insect repellants are used safely and correctly.

We have seen a lot of molluscum contagiosum lately- a type of wart caused by a virus in the pox family. This infection is common in young children, and causes clusters of small, "pearly," flesh-colored bumps with a little indentation in the center. They tend to spread when scratched, or infected, and are often found on the arms, legs and trunk. The virus can be spread to other children through direct contact, or by shared objects such as towels. Children with eczema are more prone to this rash, which tends to infect areas of irritated skin. While the rash is not dangerous, it can be annoying especially if it starts to spread. The doctors have an easy, painless treatment called Canthridin- a blistering agent derived from a beetle (otherwise known as "beetle-juice!") A small amount applied to each wart will cause a small blister that quickly disappears, along with the wart. We also treat simple common warts of the body, hands and feet as well.

In closing, a huge THANK YOU to all our patients who have helped spread the word about our new office. We truly appreciate all the referrals and kind words. Have a fun and HEALTHY summer!


Dr. Jenn and Dr. Nikki
Village Pediatrics

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Village Pediatrics | 156 Kings Highway North | Westport | CT | 06880