If your child is participating in youth sports during the COVID-19 pandemic, remember to take steps that can reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Based on the the latest evidence, these tips can help keep players, coaches and families safe:
Before the sports season starts
- Check to make sure sports and recreation activities are approved by your local and state government.
- Understand the new safety rules and expectations for participation during COVID-19 and talk about them with your child.
- Each child should have their own face mask, hand sanitizer, towel, water bottle, and tissues labeled with their names.
- All youth athletes should have an up-to-date sports physical before participating.
Prior to practice or games
- Athletes should stay home from practice or game if they're feeling sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19, and get a test if the doctor recommends.
- Wash hands before arriving, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren't available.
- Bring labeled (with name) personal sports equipment, water bottle, towel, tissues, hand sanitizer, and face mask.
- Stay in the car or assigned school location until the coach is ready to start practice.
- Avoid gathering in groups before practice, maintain physical distance and wear a face mask.
If an athlete has COVID-19
Anyone who had a positive COVID-19 test should get their doctor’s approval before returning to exercise or sports. They need a minimum 10-day period to rest, without exercise or competition.
Before returning to physical activity, children should be screened for heart symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, xirregular heartbeat, or fainting. A child with a positive heart screening will need an EKG and referral to a pediatric cardiologist for possible additional cardiac tests.
Once cleared, the child can start a gradual return to physical activity. The doctor will recommend a schedule based on the child's age and how severe their COVID-19 symptoms were.
Children who were very sick from COVID-19 or diagnosed with MIS-C must be treated as though they have an inflamed heart muscle (myocarditis). They should not exercise or compete for 3 to 6 months. A pediatric cardiologist should examine these children before they are allowed to return to exercise or competition.
During sports practice or games
- Athletes should maintain physical distance as much as possible.
- Wear cloth face coverings at all times during group training and competition especially on the sideline, in dugouts, and during team chats. Masks can be removed for some sports, including:
- Water sports such as swimming and diving, since wet masks may be difficult to breathe through.
- Gymnastics, cheer stunts and tumbling, and wrestling, to avoid masks getting caught on equipment or accidentally covering eyes.
- Avoid these behaviors:
- Huddles, high-fives, fist bumps, handshakes, etc.
- Sharing food or drink with teammates.
- Cheering, chanting, or singing when closer than 6-8 feet from others.
- Spitting or blowing nose without a tissue.
- Store personal equipment 6-8 feet away from other teammates' equipment.
- Minimize sharing sports equipment when possible.
- Sanitize hands before and after using shared equipment such as balls, bats and sticks.
- Tell a coach if you are not feeling well and leave practice or game with parent or caregiver.
After sports practice or games
- Sanitize or wash hands.
- Wash or replace face masks, towel and practices clothes or uniform.
- Clean personal sports equipment and water bottle.
Talk with your child's pediatrician if you have any questions about youth sports participation safety, based on COVID-19 in your community and your child's health.
If you notice head lice in your child there’s no way around it: you have to treat the lice. They will not go away on their own. It might give you the heebie-jeebies but it’s important to find a treatment that will get rid of these little critters quickly. You should also check all members of your family to make sure they don’t have lice too, as this problem can spread quickly.
The good news is that you can often treat lice from the comfort of your own home. While there are certain hair salons that may cater to the treatment of lice, it’s worth it to try and treat the problem yourself. There are a variety of over-the-counter shampoos and rinses that can kill lice and their eggs (also known as nits). You may want to talk with your pediatric doctor about the treatment process, which products to use and whether or not you should reapply the shampoo or rinse days after the first application.
Still seeing lice? This is a literal head scratcher for some parents, but don’t worry. This is when a pediatrician can prescribe a much stronger treatment option such as shampoos containing benzyl alcohol, or lotions containing either ivermectin or malathion (both pesticides), or spinosad (an insecticide).
Since some of these products work differently from others, it is important that you read and follow all instructions. Some products will require more than one application while others will only require one. Again, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s lice treatment don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician.
Treating Your Home After Lice
The good news is that lice need blood in order to survive so they won’t live very long if they don’t have a human host. However, you will want to wash all bedding, towels and clothes that may have lice or nits on them. Make sure to wash them thoroughly in hot water that is higher than 130 degrees F. If you can’t wash these items immediately, promptly bag them until you can clean them properly.
Head lice can be annoying, but turning to a qualified pediatric doctor can help you get the answers you need to tackle this hairy little problem. Call your pediatrician to learn more.
- Apply pressure to the cut for five minutes. If it’s still bleeding after five minutes, it probably needs stitches
- The cut is more than ½-inch deep or longer
- The cut is around their eye
- The cut is on their face or neck and is longer than ¼ inch
- The cut is gaping open
- There is an object sticking out of it, including debris or glass
- The cut is spurting blood
When should I call the pediatrician?
If in doubt about whether or not your child may need stitches, call your pediatrician. With the introduction of telehealth visits, many pediatricians can now look at images of the injury or wound through a simple online appointment and determine whether the child or teen needs to come in for stitches. While the warning signs above are telltale indicators that your child may need stitches, even if the cut doesn’t need stitches, you should still see the doctor if:
- The cut was made by a rusty or metal object
- There is redness, swelling, pus, or other signs of infection
- The child has been bitten by an animal
- The cut hasn’t healed within 10 days
- There is still severe pain after a few hours
If you still aren’t sure whether or not your child should get stitches, it doesn’t hurt to give your pediatrician a call. Let us know the symptoms your child is experiencing, and we can determine if their injury requires a closer look from our team. Call us today; we can deal with your child’s urgent medical matters.
- Frequent urination, particularly at night
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Weight loss, despite increased appetite
- Cuts, bruises, and wounds that don’t heal or are slow to heal
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes symptoms usually appear gradually. While type 2 diabetes has always been considered “adult-onset” diabetes, this has changed over the years, thanks to the obesity epidemic in children. If your child is obese or overweight, they may be at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to type 1 diabetes, the only marked differences in symptoms are,
- Blurry vision
- Severe fatigue
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
Even though there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways that your child’s pediatrician can help manage their symptoms. The goal of treatment is to control blood sugar levels to prevent complications and lessen symptoms.
While tetanus can cause some serious symptoms including “lockjaw," it is completely preventable with a vaccination. The DTaP vaccine is used to prevent tetanus (along with diphtheria and pertussis) and your child will get their first series of shots at 2, 4, and 6 months. Your child will also need another tetanus shot between the ages of 15 to 18 months old and between 4-6 years old.
Most children will develop symptoms within two weeks of exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms of tetanus include,
- Painful and severe muscle spasms
- Shoulder, jaw, and neck stiffness
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing
- Rapid heart rate
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