Pediatricenter of Greater Cleveland

Seasonal Updates

 

SPRING SAFETY TIPS

BIKE SAFETY

Check your child’s bike before spring-time use! It’s as easy as ABC

  • A – Air – inflate your child’s tires to the proper pressure listed on the side of the tire and check for any damage or wear to the tires
  • B – Brakes – inspect pads for wear and replace if there is less than ¼ inch left; also check for pad adjustment, making sure they are not rubbing on the tire
  • C – Cranks and Chain – tighten any loose cranks, and make sure the chains are free of rust and build-up

Helmet use

Children should always wear a helmet for all wheeled sports activities.  Be a good role model for your kids and wear a helmet when riding with them!  A properly-fitted bike helmet is just as effective when riding a scooter, roller skating or in-line skating.  When skateboarding and long boarding, make sure your child wears a Consumer Product Safety Commission-certified skateboarding helmet.

Helmet Fit

To find the right size helmet, put one on your child’s head without fastening the straps.  The front of the helmet should be level and two finger-widths above your child’s eyebrows.  Have your child shake his or her head from side to side; there should be little movement

Helmet Adjustment

The side straps should come to a point just below your child’s ears; move the small tabs on the sides of these straps up or down until they are a half an inch or less under your child’s ear lobe.  The chin strap should be about half an inch below your child’s chin when his or her mouth is closed. 

Make sure your child’s helmet fits well - wearing a bike helmet that does not fit well or with loose straps is the same as not wearing a bike helmet at all!!

Other tips:

  • It’s important to have your child ride in a bike that is the proper size - when sitting on the bike, his or her feet should touch the ground. 
  • Avoid loose or long clothing that could get caught when riding. 
  • Kids don’t have good judgment for the speed of traffic until around age 10, so it’s important to make sure they ride on sidewalks or with an adult until that age. 

 

STREET SAFETY

It’s important to teach your kids at a young age how important street safety is.  Here are some helpful reminders to tell your kids:

  • Teach kids to look left, then right, then left again before crossing a street.  Remind them to keep continually looking both ways until safely across.
  • Minimize distractions – teach your kids to put their phone down while crossing a street, and to take ear buds down or turn off the volume if he or she has music playing.  Be a good role model with this, as well, keeping your phone down when walking, riding bikes, or driving. 
  • Make sure to teach your kids to use eye contact with drivers before crossing. 
  • It’s best to walk on sidewalks or paths, but if these aren’t available, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Teach your kids to never dart out into the street, especially between parked cars.
  • Kids don’t have a good judge of a vehicle’s speed until about age 10, so kids under 10 should always cross the street with an adult.

 

STRANGER SAFETY

Kids see strangers every day in stores, in the park, and in their neighborhoods.  It’s important to teach your kids about strangers so if a dangerous situation comes up, they know what to do. 

A stranger is anyone your child does not know well.  Thankfully, the majority of strangers are nice people, but some are not.  Parents can protect their children by teaching kids the difference between safe strangers and dangerous strangers.  Most kids will think “bad or dangerous strangers” are scary-looking, like the villains in cartoons.  It’s important to let your children know even good-looking people can be “bad strangers”.  “Safe strangers” are people your child doesn’t know, but who are ok to ask for help.  Safe strangers include police officers, firefighters, librarians, principals, and teachers.

Here are some things you can tell your kids that strangers should never say to them: 

  • A stranger should never ask a child for help
  • A stranger should never ask a child to disobey his or her parents
  • A stranger should never ask a child to do something without permission
  • A stranger should never ask a child to keep a secret

As a parent, here are some tips to help your kids stay safe:

  • Know where your kids are at all times  - keep in touch with technology
  • Teach your kids to be assertive – see below
  • Teach your kids to trust their instincts – if anything makes your child feel uncomfortable, let them know it’s ok to leave the situation
  • Encourage your kids to play in groups – there is safety in numbers!

Teach your kids: “No, Go, Yell, Tell”

  • No – say no to the stranger
  • Go – run away as fast as you can
  • Yell – yell and scream as loud as you can
  • Tell – tell a family member or safe stranger

 

SPRING ALLERGIES

While most people look forward to the warmer weather spring brings, those who suffer with allergies may dread this time of year.  Thankfully, we at Pediatricenter can help! 

What causes allergies? 

There are many different kinds of triggers that cause seasonal allergies, also known as “hay fever”.  In the spring time, the most common cause of allergies is from:

  • Pollen (trees, grass and weeds)
  • Mold spores (which grow when the weather is wet or humid)

In someone who has seasonal allergies, the pollen comes into contact with the person’s eyes or nose, and causes the body to think the pollen is harmful.  The body’s immune system then activates a substance called histamine, which causes the body to react in ways which are irritating (see below). 

Some people have symptoms of allergy that last all year long.  Year-round allergies are most commonly caused from:

  • Animal dander, such as cats or dogs
  • Mold spores
  • Dust mites or cockroaches

What are the signs and symptoms of seasonal allergies?

Common symptoms of allergy include:

  • Red/itchy/watery eyes
  • Runny/itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Scratchy throat
  • Dark circles under your child’s eyes 

Is there a test for allergies? 

  • Bloodwork can be obtained to help figure out what is causing your child’s allergy symptoms
  • Allergists can also perform skin testing in some cases to further help with diagnosis 


What can I do to help if my child is showing signs of allergy? 

 There are a few common medications to help with seasonal allergies:

Anti-histamines:

  • Benadryl is what’s called a “first generation” anti-histamine, meaning it may make your child sleepy when taken. 
  • Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra are “second generation” anti-histamines, and they work in the same way as Benadryl, but are non-drowsy. 

Decongestants:

  • Can help with symptoms of stuffy nose (ex: Phenylephrine)

Nasal steroid sprays:

  • Can also help with a stuffy nose (ex: Flonase, Nasonex)
  • Can help with watery, itchy eyes (ex: Zaditor, Pataday, Patanol)

 

Please schedule an appointment if you have any questions about the above medications, and your pediatrician will be able to let you know which medications are safe and a good choice for your child and his or her symptoms. 

 

Tips that help reduce allergies:

  • Wash face and hands when coming in from outdoors
  • Leave windows in the car and at home shut, and instead turn on the air conditioner when it gets warm
  • Wash your child’s bedding every 1-2 weeks in hot water, and minimize use of stuffed animals that collect dust
  • Clean air ducts regularly
 
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  • 6001-C Landerhaven Dr.
  • Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
  • 440.720.3888 ph
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