Winter Safety Newsletter

Follow the link to our Winter Newsletter

Winter Safety from Children’s Medical Office 
 
Preparing for Cold & Flu Season

Cold weather does not cause colds or flu, however the viruses that cause illness tend to be more common in the winter when children are in school & in closer contact.

  • Frequent hand washing & teaching your child to sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow may reduce the spread of illness.
  • Children 6 months of age & older should get the influenza vaccine. Parents of infants under 6 months should also get the influenza vaccine.
  • A limited quantity of the flu vaccine is still available at our office.  Please call for an appointment 978.975.3355
  • For more information about the flu visit  www.flu.gov   

Preventing Asthma Attacks

  • Follow your child’s asthma action plan closely: Use preventative medications daily andstart and continue rescue medications as soon as symptoms start! Early, aggressive treatment can prevent asthma attacks
  • Prevent Illness: Make sure your child receives the Flu Shot and teach them good hand washing hygiene
  • Be Prepared! Check you child’s asthma medication regularly. Make sure that they are not expired or empty. Request any refills through your pharmacy.
  • Schedule regular asthma follow-up visits with your primary provider. If unsure when to do this, please call our front desk or e-mail your provider.

 

If your child suffers from winter nosebleeds try using a cool mist humidifier in their room at night. Saline drops or Vaseline may keep the inside of the nose moist. If bleeding is severe or recurrent, consult your provider.

 

Refer to our

Acute Illness Guide for more information on managing the common cold,  as well as dosing for Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen and Dimetapp.

  

Remember the sun’s rays can still cause damage in the winter, especially when reflecting off the snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen.  

 

 

 
 
 

Winter Safety

  • Set time limits on outdoor play, or come inside periodically to warm up, in order to prevent hypothermia & frostbite.
  • Dress your children in warm clothing, several thin layers can keep them warm & dry. Don’t forget warm boots, gloves & a hat.

Ice skating

  • Allow children to skate only on approved surfaces.  
  • Check for signs posted by local police or recreation departments, or call your local police department to find out which areas have been approved.
  • Never skate alone.

Sledding

  • Keep sledders away from motor vehicles.
  • Children should be supervised while sledding.
  • Sledding feet first or sitting up, instead of lying down head-first, may prevent head injuries.
  • Sled slopes should be free of obstructions like trees or fences, be covered in snow, not ice, & not be too steep.

Skiing & Snowboarding

  • Children should be taught to ski or snowboard by a qualified instructor in a program designed for children.
  • Young children should always be supervised by an adult. Never ski alone.
  • Always wear a HELMET.
  • Equipment should properly fit a child and goggles/eye protection should be worn as needed.
  • Slopes should fit the ability of the skier or boarder. Avoid slopes with trees and obstacles.

Snowmobiling

  • Children, especially those under 16 years of age, should not operate or ride snowmobiles
  • Older adolescents who choose to snowmobile should wear a helmet and protective gear, never travel alone and stay on marked trails.
  • Never pull a sled or skiers with a snowmobile.
 
This is a good time of year to review your Carbon Monoxide Safety!
  • Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is a by-product of appliances, heaters, and automobiles that burn gasoline, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene, or propane. It has no color, no taste, and no odor. It can become trapped inside your home if appliances are not working, if a furnace, stove, or fireplace has a clogged vent or chimney, or if acharcoal grill is used in an enclosed area.  
  • Carbon monoxide also might enter your home when an automobile is left running in an attached garage.
  • Symptoms may include headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion, and fainting

Carbon Monoxide Detectors:

  • Should be on every floor, including outside bedrooms & in the basement near the furnace.
  • Low to the ground (for this reason avoid the dual fire alarm/Carbon Monoxide detectors available on the market)

Schedule an annual inspection and servicing of oil and gas furnaces, wood stoves, gas ovens and ranges, gas water heaters, gas clothes dryers, and fireplaces

 

 

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TIPS from the PCA Psychologists
 
Tips: A Quality of Life Check-Up
 
Problem: In the rush & burdens of daily life, we often lose sight of what we value & what truly makes us happy. 
 
Goals: Begin taking action, again, on what you value in life by…  

Tip:

  • Make 3 columns on a piece of paper:
    • What I value
    • How I’m already living according to this value
    • Steps to increase living according to my values
  • Share your thoughts with a loved one.
  • Take one small step today.