- July, 2012
- March, 2012
- February, 2012
- December, 2011
- October, 2011
- September, 2011
- August, 2011
- July, 2011
- June, 2011
- May, 2011
- April, 2011
- March, 2011
- February, 2011
- January, 2011
- December, 2010
- November, 2010
- October, 2010
- September, 2010
- August, 2010
- July, 2010
- June, 2010
- May, 2010
- April, 2010
- March, 2010
- January, 2010
- December, 2009
- November, 2009
|Friday, May 28, 2010
|Swimming Lessons Approved for Infants and Toddlers
|by William Stratbucker, MD at 08:51 AM
Dan McGee, MD, a pediatrician and hospital medicine specialist is our guest blogger this week.
As the parent of two former competitive swimmers, I am a big advocate for swimming. I couldn't be happier with the recently revised American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on swimming for infants and toddlers.
New evidence suggests children ages 1 to 4 may be less likely to drown if they have had formal swimming instruction. The academy is now recommending parents enroll their children in swim lessons based on individual readiness, including the child's frequency of exposure to water, emotional development, physical abilities, and certain health concerns related to pool water infections and pool chemicals versus sheer age alone.
Regardless of age, I support the following American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and encourage you and your family to observe the guidelines as many of you look forward to a long holiday weekend.
- Never - even for a moment - leave small children alone or in the care of another young child while in bathtubs, pools, spas or wading pools, or near irrigation ditches or standing water. Bath seats cannot substitute for adult supervision. Empty water from buckets and other containers immediately after use.
- Closely supervise children in and around water. With infants, toddlers and weak swimmers, an adult should be within an arm's length. With older children and better swimmers, an adult should be focused on the child and not distracted by other activities.
- If children are in out-of-home child care, ask about exposure to water and the ratio of adults to children.
- If you have a pool, install a four-sided fence that is at least four feet high to limit access to the pool. The fence should be hard to climb and have a self-latching, self-closing gate. Families may consider pool alarms and rigid pool covers as additional layers of protection, but neither can take the place of a fence.
- Children need to learn to swim. Classes may reduce the risk of drowning in younger children as well, but, because children develop at different rates, not all children will be ready to swim at the same age.
- Parents, caregivers and pool owners should learn CPR.
- Do not use air-filled swimming aids, such as inflatable arm bands, in place of life jackets. They can deflate and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
- All children should wear a life jacket when riding in a boat. Small children and nonswimmers should also wear one at water's edge, such as on a river bank or pier.
- Parents should know the depth of the water and any underwater hazards before allowing children to jump in. The first time you enter the water, jump feet first; don't dive.
- When choosing an open body of water for children to swim in, select a site with lifeguards. Swimmers should know what to do in case of rip currents
- Dr. McGee
|Wednesday, May 19, 2010
|Kids, Sports and Asthma Do Mix
|by William Stratbucker, MD at 03:01 PM
I'm excited to include a new feature of Double Duty: guest bloggers. I hope you'll enjoy reading and engaging in conversation with other Helen DeVos Children's Hospital physicians. My colleague John Schuen, MD, specializes in treating children with chronic lung conditions with such as asthma.
As a pediatrician and specialist in children's lung issues, I'm often asked if kids with asthma can participate in sports and go to summer camp. The answer is yes! Being active and playing sports does more than help a child with asthma stay fit, maintain a healthy weight and have fun - it can actually strengthen a child's breathing muscles and help the lungs work better.
For these reasons, your child's doctor may recommend exercise as part of the asthma treatment plan. If you have your doubts about whether sports and asthma mix, consider all the professional and Olympic athletes who have asthma. Nearly 17 percent of U.S. Olympic athletes had asthma and 30 percent of them won medals in the 1996 Olympics.
There are two important things to remember when preparing your asthmatic child for a sports or camping experience.
1. Your child's asthma must be under control in order for them to participate
2. When your child's asthma is well controlled, he or she can - and should - be active just like anyone else.
If your child has asthma and wants to experience a traditional summer camp but you're not comfortable sending them away, consider Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Asthma Camp. Our camp is designed for children ages 8 to 13 years old. Children participate in traditional camp activities such as canoeing, crafts, archery, swimming, hiking, an overnight campout and an honor's campfire at Camp Tall Turf in Hesperia, Michigan. They are supervised by pediatric physicians and nurse practitioners in the case of an asthma flare up. It's a safe environment for kids with asthma to experience the joy of summer camp while being medically supervised. Visit the asthma camp page to learn more.
- Dr. Schuen