News from South Shore Health System

How to Safely Introduce Your Child to Peanuts and Eggs

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s estimated that two percent of American children suffer from an allergy to peanuts. That number has grown significantly in recent years, as the FDA reports that the prevalence of peanut allergies in children more than doubled between 1997 and 2008. Another one of the most common allergies in children is eggs, with 1.3 percent of American children being affected.

With peanut and egg allergies becoming more common, pediatricians in the past recommended that parents hold off on introducing these foods to their children until their older (age one for eggs and age three for peanuts), particularly if the child was at a higher risk for developing food allergies.

However, a recent landmark study by the National Institute of Health found that introducing peanuts to a child at a young age (as early as four months) actually helps reduce their risk for developing a peanut allergy at a later age.

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Topics: Children's Health

Five Signs Your Child May Need to Visit the Emergency Department

Posted by Megan Hannon, MD, Emergency Medicine, South Shore Hospital on Oct 3, 2017 10:44:00 AM

As an Emergency Department (ED) physician, I know that a trip to the ED is something that all parents dread. It can mean long waits and you may question whether or not an injury or illness warrants an ED visit.

Below are five of the most common issues we see in South Shore Hospital’s ED and some guidance about how to determine when a trip to the ED is warranted, or if it can wait for an appointment with your child’s pediatrician.

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Topics: Children's Health, Emergency Care

Coordinated Care Gets Rockland Boy Back in the Rink

Posted by South Shore Health System on Sep 25, 2017 9:01:00 AM

Ben Romer of Rockland has an athlete’s spirit. He loves hockey, playing for the Bay State Breakers  and loves cheering for the Boston Bruins.

In October 2015, Ben needed that athletic spirit after he suffered a severe bite by a family dog. Ben’s mom, Kristy, brought Ben to South Shore Hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department. As the team determined how to treat Ben’s bite, Kristy noticed her son was flushed. The team confirmed he had a fever and saw that his hand was swelling. The Trauma team paged John Kadzielski, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and Director of the Division of Hand Surgery at South Shore Hospital, who was on call that day.

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Topics: As One, Children's Health, Emergency Care, Specialty Care

Packing a Healthy School Lunch (Lunch Menus Included!)

Is one of your biggest back-to-school struggles with the kids figuring out what to pack for lunch? You’re not alone. A recent survey found that 61 percent of parents say packing their child’s lunch is the most stressful part of heading back to school. From adding to the morning-time crunch, to nighttime arguments over which healthy foods will go in the brown bag, it’s easy to turn to convenience foods that can be loaded with sodium and fat to avoid an argument.

There is a better way.

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Topics: Children's Health, Nutrition

Five Reasons Why Well-Child Visits Are So Important

Posted by Kate Staunton Rennie on Aug 22, 2017 10:11:00 AM

Parents of young children can sometimes feel like they spend most of their free time in the pediatrician’s office with a sick child. While it may be tempting to skip scheduling another trip to the doctor when your child is well, it’s important to bring the kids in for their well-child visits. Babies need as many as ten well-child visits with their primary care provider before they are two. Starting at age two, children need to have a well-child visit at least once per year until they turn 21.

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Topics: Children's Health

Four Reasons Your Child Needs the HPV Vaccine

As parents schedule their well-child visits, one vaccine that parents of older children have a lot of questions about is the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. HPV causes more than 30,000 cases of cancer in the U.S. every year and is the primary cause of cervical cancer in women. It’s also a contributing cause to several other types of cancer in women and men. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children receive the HPV vaccine around age 11 to ensure maximum effectiveness, but only around half of kids are actually getting the vaccine.

As a pediatrician, I talk to parents often about their concerns with the vaccine. It can make parents of preteens particularly uncomfortable to think about a vaccine that prevents against the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). But it’s critically important to your child’s health as he or she enters adulthood.

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Topics: Children's Health, Cancer

Sunscreen Tips for Children

Posted by Mairead Wilson, MD on Jul 31, 2017 7:54:00 AM

As we enter the dog days of summer, families across the South Shore are packing up the little ones and heading to the beaches, lakes and water parks. But there’s one item on the packing list that can cause confusion for parents of young children: Sunscreen.

Parents and grandparents know that keeping kids safe from the sun is important. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that even one blistering sunburn during childhood more than doubles a person’s risk for developing melanoma later in life. But with lots of conflicting information online about the best sunscreens for children, parents have a lot of questions. Here are a few we hear often.

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Topics: Children's Health

The Benefits of Cord Blood Banking and the Pros and Cons of Public and Private Banks

Being an expectant parent is a monumental experience, one that comes with a plethora of information and advice at your disposal. Like any new life-changing event, many first-time parents will add a host of parenting books to their home or tablet library and even participate in parenting education opportunities to prepare them for what lies ahead. While subjects such as birth outcomes and breastfeeding are common topics of interest, many parents go through pregnancy without ever learning information on the potential medical value of the stem cells in a baby’s umbilical cord blood.  

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Topics: Children's Health, Family Medicine, Women's Health, Pregnancy

Play it Safe: Four Ways to Prevent Facial Injuries

Posted by South Shore Health System on May 3, 2017 8:57:57 AM

Spring has certainly sprung and with the new season comes warmer weather, blooming flowers and spring sports. While youth sports like soccer and baseball are well-underway, spring training for fall sports like football are also in full bloom.

The CDC reports more than 2.6 million children are treated in emergency rooms each year for sports-related injuries, many of which are facial injuries.

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Topics: Children's Health, Exercise & Fitness

Should I Take My Child to the ED or Urgent Care?

What should you do and who should you call when when your child is sick or injured? This is a question faced every day by parents. Do I call the pediatrician? Do I bring my child to an urgent care facility? Should I go directly to the Emergency Department (ED) or call 911?

First of all, trust your instincts as a parent. If your child has what you think may be a life-threatening condition, then the ED is the place to be.

Examples include:

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Topics: Children's Health, Emergency Care