Author: Dr. Monica Wonnacott

THE SCOOP ON YOUR TONGUE AND TASTE BUDS

Thanks E.H. from Utah for your recent topic suggestion about your child’s taste buds. Scientific Background: Here’s a little back ground information on the tongue and taste buds. The tongue is made up entirely of muscle and connective tissue. The underside of the tongue is smooth and does not play a role in taste. The top of the tongue is covered with hair-like projections called papillae. These are the little bumps you can see and feel on the tongue. There are four types of papilla, located on different parts of the tongue. Taste buds (made up of clusters of...

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WHAT IS A VIRUS?

Kids with viruses constitute a large portion of my “sick visits” in a given day. Naturally, I field a lot of questions about viruses. I’ve included below some good, basic information about viruses. What is a virus? (Here is the science lesson for today). A virus is a microscopic (too small to see) infectious agent. Each viral particle is made up of DNA or RNA genes and has a protein coat surrounding the genes. Some viruses have a fat envelope around the protein coating. There are millions of different viruses that affect essentially every ecosystem on the earth. How...

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WHAT TO DO ABOUT THAT COUGH

As a pediatrician, I get exposed to every possible bug. My first year in practice I got sick constantly, but since then, I never seem to get sick — until this season. I managed to dodge the dreaded Swine flu (kids coughed in my face daily for a month before I got the vaccination), but some sneaky virus got me. Needless to say, it seemed appropriate to discuss cough (since I can’t quite seem to kick mine). There are lots of causes of cough. Asthma, reflux, aspiration, some heart conditions, post nasal drip/allergies, anatomical problems, and some medications all...

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HOW TO PREVENT ILLNESSES FROM SPREADING

“Are we all going to get it?” is one of the most common questions I get after diagnosing an illness in a member of a family. The short answer is, “Probably.” I don’t mean to sound flippant about it, but the truth is that most young children are good at spreading their germs (they don’t cover coughs or wash hands enough) and most moms and dads can’t keep up with disinfecting surfaces. If you manage to contain an illness to one family member, you are to be congratulated. Here are a few simple things you can do to increase...

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HOW TO TAKE A TEMPERATURE

Taking your child’s temperature is a straightforward process that, when done correctly, provides important information about your child’s health. A normal temperature for a child is 98° to 99° F (37° C). A fever is a temperature greater than 100.4° F or 38° C. Ways to take a temperature There are multiple methods for taking a temperature: Rectal (in a child’s bottom) Oral (in a child’s mouth) Axillary (under a child’s arm) Ear Temporal artery Best way to take a temperature The most accurate and consistently recommended method for taking a temperature is rectally. Do not fear the rectal...

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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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