Month: July 2016

DO YOU KNOW THE 5-DAY FEVER RULE?

I tell parents the 5-Day Fever Rule on a daily basis, and everyone should know it. Here it is in a nut shell: If your child has a fever that lasts for 5 days, you should worry. Fever that lasts 5 days usually represents badness. Generally speaking, the fever that happens with viruses (with very few exceptions) lasts less than 5 days. So if your child has a fever that lasts longer than that, you are generally talking about more serious conditions. So… Go to the doctor on the 5th day of fever (if other symptoms haven’t taken you there...

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HIVES: A RASH TO REMEMBER

Hives is a really common skin reaction that, as a parent, you are bound to see at some point. In fact, 20% of people experience hives at some point in their lives (according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology). Hives are classically itchy, raised, red warm, and bumpy. The raised area often looks a bit like a welt and has a slighter lighter color in the center. Hives range in size from about a half inch to multiple inches in diameter. FYI, the medical term for hives is uticaria. Hives are tricky Hives often fool people...

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IS NEWS EXPOSURE CAUSING PTSD IN YOUR CHILD?

In case you needed one more reason to limit your kid’s media exposure, here’s some new science to freak you out. Yesterday, I read a disturbing article on the effects of news media on kids in this month’s pediatric medical journals. News channels (even the weather channel) are constantly reporting on real tragedies that are happening all over. When exposed to these stories (not even the events themselves), some kids are developing serious psychological problems (including worry, anxiety, and full blown PTSD). In light of recent events in Dallas (and who are we kidding, all over the world), it...

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT LIFE VEST

I got a recent question on which life vest to buy for an infant. I smiled at the question, because I had just barely purchased a bunch. I hate to admit that I didn’t do a ton of homework on my purchase. Due to an upcoming lake trip, I needed life vests for everyone in my family. I was recently at Costco and they had a huge display of Hyperlite Life vests, and so I purchased them. The vests claim to be US Coast guard approved. I liked the vests because they weren’t too bulky, had zippers and multiple...

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NAIL BITING: HOW TO BREAK THE DIRTY LITTLE HABIT

A recent Facebook question post was on how to help children stop biting their nails. It’s not a surprising question given that 45-60% of kids bite their nails. Thankfully, as people age, the habit tends to stop on its own (60% of 10 year-olds vs. 20% of college age vs. 10% of 30 year-olds bite their nails). Why do kids bite their nails? Nail biting is generally considered a pretty benign habit, albeit annoying. It is considered one of the self-comforting habits that kids aren’t usually consciously aware of when they are doing it. Kids do it to waste...

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Dr. Monica Wonnacott


I'm a pediatrician and a mom. PediatricAnswers.com is my blog where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

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