Measles

The measles is a highly contagious viral infection that is easily transmitted from person-to-person. Thanks in large part to most people receiving vaccinations in early childhood; the number of cases had been kept low. Recently however, there have been a number of cases reported in the New York area; believed to have been spread by people who were exposed while visiting Israel.

People who have been infected with the measles virus may initially most likely have a fever, a cough, and white spots on the inside surface of the cheeks. The classic skin rash will also start to develop, usually on the face first and then spread down to the rest of the body. Long term complications can include an inner ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, hepatitis, encephalitis and in rare cases, death.

The people who are at greatest risk of contracting the measles are people who have not been vaccinated, who are immunocompromised, young children, pregnant women who have not been vaccinated.

Treatment of the measles involves basically just keeping the patient comfortable at home. Contact with others should be avoided as much as possible and proper handwashing should be exercised at all times.

If you think you or your child may have been exposed to measles, or exhibiting symptoms, please make an appointment with your doctor. To schedule an appointment at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Employee Spotlight Shines on Tracey Kunj-Ramen

This month Jamaica Hospital Medical Center shines its employee spotlight on one of our newest employees, Tracey Kunj-Ramen, the Certified Child Life Specialist for Pediatrics. Tracey joined our staff two weeks ago but is very familiar with Jamaica Hospital. She had been a volunteer on 2 South since 2007 while she was still a student. Tracey also spent some time doing an internship at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Tracey was born in Guyana, and grew up in Queens where she spent most of her life living, and continues to reside. She attended elementary, middle and began high school at Thomas Edison H.S. before moving for a short while to Connecticut. After she completed high school, she graduated from Hunter College with a BA in Psychology and received a Master’s of Science in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University specializing in Child and Adolescent Development.

Tracey has two sons, ages five and two, who she loves spending time with. One of the things she and her husband enjoy doing is taking the boys on spontaneous road trips on the weekends. They enjoy discovering new places and having quality family time together. She also enjoys reading, dancing and eating Italian food whether at home or going out to her favorite restaurants.

Tracey enjoys working with the children who come to the hospital as patients. She understands how important it is to make not only the children feel comfortable and less anxious, but also how important it is to be reassuring to the parents. Tracey takes pride in her duties as a Child Life Specialist because she feels that people who have a positive experience at the hospital will feel confident about recommending their friends, family and neighbors.

We welcome Tracey to Jamaica Hospital and look forward to her contributions to our team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who provide care to our youngest patients.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Food Allergies: What Parents Should Know

Food Allergies According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated 4%–6% of children in the United States.”

The most common foods known to cause allergies in children include eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, fish and shellfish.  If a child is severely allergic to any of these foods, they should avoid them at all costs.  Exposure or consumption can lead to a serious reaction known as anaphylaxis, which can result in death.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis usually occur within minutes and may include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Throat tightening or the feeling of the throat closing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Swollen tongue
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

In the event a child is experiencing anaphylaxis, do not wait to see if symptoms will go away.  Treatment must be administered immediately.  If the child carries an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen), use this right away to begin emergency care.

Doctors strongly recommend that the Epipen is administered exactly as instructed. According to www.epipen.com , when administering the medication to a young child, one should:

  • Remove the Auto-Injector from the clear carrier tube.
  • Flip open the yellow cap of your EpiPen® or the green cap of your EpiPen Jr® carrier tube.
  • Tip and slide the auto-injector out of the carrier tube.
  • Hold the auto-injector in your fist with the orange tip pointing downward. Blue to the sky, orange to the thigh®.
  • With your other hand, remove the blue safety release by pulling straight up without bending or twisting it.
  • Hold the leg firmly in place while administering an injection.
  • Place the orange tip against the middle of the outer thigh (upper leg) at a right angle (perpendicular) to the thigh.
  • Swing and push the auto-injector firmly until it “clicks.” The click signals that the injection has started.
  • Hold firmly in place for 3 seconds (count slowly 1, 2, 3).
  • Remove the auto-injector from the thigh. The orange tip will extend to cover the needle. If the needle is still visible, do not attempt to reuse it.
  • Massage the injection area for 10 seconds.

For complete instructions on how to properly use the Epipen, please visit https://www.epipen.com/-/media/files/epipen/howtouseepipenautoinjector.pdf or www.epipen.com

If the child does not carry an EpiPen, and is experiencing symptoms of anaphylaxis, get emergency help immediately. Every second counts.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Heat Stroke vs. Heat Exhaustion

With the mercury rising, you have to think about what you can do to keep cool.  Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common maladies during the summer months. The main symptoms of both heat stroke and heat exhaustion are an altered mental state or behavior, nausea, vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, and a racing heart rate.  The main difference is, when you are experiencing heat exhaustion you will experience profuse sweating.  Conversely, when you are experiencing heat stroke, there will be a lack of sweat.

The best way to combat heat stroke and heat exhaustion is by hydrating with cool water when it is hot and humid; this will help you stay clear of dehydration. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking 16 – 20 ounces of water before moderate intensity summer exercise (8 – 12 ounces of water 10 – 15 minutes before going out into the heat and 3 – 8 ounces every 15 – 20 minutes during activity when active for less than one hour).

Some the most common signs of dehydration are:

  • General  fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Weakness
  • Muscle cramps

Other means of keeping cool during the summer months is to wear lighter, breathable fabrics, slow down your pace, exercise indoors, and by using common sense when planning your day outdoors.

Please speak with your physician to determine your specific needs to avoid dehydration since it can vary from person to person.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Obesity Having an Impact on Your Child’s Self-Esteem?

Obesity among teenagers is a growing problem in the United Sates. It is estimated that 31% of teenagers are overweight and another 16% are obese.

Feet on a scaleMany parents and doctors focus on the physical effects of obesity, but what about the psychological and emotional ramifications? Obesity can lead to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, but its depression, low self esteem, anxiety and poor body image that should be the greater concern for most.

Recent studies have concluded that obese teens have considerably lower self esteem than their non-obese peers. The difference in the two groups is most evident among 14 year olds, which also happens to be a critical time for teens because it is when they develop their sense of self worth. It is also an age where peers can be most cruel. Teasing, taunting, and poor treatment from other kids can also contribute to depression and other psychological issues.

Teens with low self-esteem often feel lonely, nervous, or are generally sad. They are also more inclined to experiment with cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. They often become depressed, which causes them to withdraw from social activities with friends and family and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.

There are a variety of factors that have contributed to a rise in obesity among teens. While genetics play a role for some, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle are often the cause for most. Teens today consume too much junk food and sugary drinks and don’t exercise as much as in previous generations. Temptations from television, video games, and computers are often cited as the reasons for a decrease in physical activity.

Professionals suggest that parents of obese teens engage their children in an open dialogue about the issue. Together, parents and teens can work on a plan that is attainable. Efforts to fix the problem should focus on lifestyle issues rather than a calorie count because attempting to impose a strict diet could contribute to the teen’s poor self esteem. Incorporate the assistance of a medical professional, but allow the teen to take charge during visits in an effort to build confidence.  Parents should encourage and participate in improving diet and increasing activity as well.

Jamaica Hospital has a variety of services to help teens facing this issue, including nutritional counseling and adolescent mental health services. Speak to your child’s pediatrician or make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center at 718-206-7001 to find the best treatment options for your teen.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

The Benefit of Exercise for your Child

The incidence of childhood obesity in the United States continues to be on the rise.  As a result, chronic disease, musculoskeletal issues and self-esteem issues are also on the rise.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), it is recommended that physical activity in children and adolescents consist of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day to help promote muscle and bone development.

There are various types of exercise that will benefit your child or adolescent.  Some of the more accessible types of exercise are:

  • Outdoor games, such as tug-of-war or relay racing
  • Walking to and from school (when possible)
  • Bicycle riding
  • Jumping rope
  • Martial arts
  • Sports (soccer, hockey, basketball, swimming, tennis, baseball)
  • Skiing
  • Dancing
  • Rollerblading
  • Skateboarding
  • Walking the dog
  • Aerobics
  • Gymnastics
  • Push-ups (modified with the knees on the floor)
  • Using resistance bands while exercising
  • Playground activities (swings, slides, etc.)

Too often children and adolescents are sedentary; spending too many hours a day on their smart phones, game stations, tablets or in front of the television.

Regular exercise promotes healthy bone growth, strength and mass, as well as raising your heart rate.  In fact, studies have shown that children and adolescents who exercise daily are prone to stronger muscles and bones, have  loser body mass index, are less likely to become overweight, have a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and have a better outlook on life.

So dust off the dance shoes, tie up your sneakers, take the bike out of the garage, put the dog on a leash and begin to get healthy!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How to Help Your Teenager with Acne

Acne is a condition that teenagers have been dealing with for generations, and while there is no cure for acne, there have been many advancements in how it can be treated, making today’s generation better equipped to deal with the problem.

There are many myths associated with what causes acne. Some believe that diet plays a role, but there is no proven link between eating greasy food or chocolate and the development of acne. Similarly, stress does not cause acne (although it can make it worse).

The reason for the onset of acne for many adolescents is changing hormones. Teenagers develop certain hormones called androgens when they reach puberty. These hormones stimulate the glands in the pores to produce more oils. The excess oils can lead to pores becoming clogged. If a clogged pore becomes infected, a pimple forms. Pimples can come in many forms, but the most common type (and least severe) are blackheads or whiteheads. It is estimated that approximately 85% of all teens develop this form of acne on their face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders.

The most important way to treat acne is to keep your skin clean. Washing your face twice a day with a mild soap and warm water is key, but experts advise against harshly scrubbing the acne-ridden area as that will only irritate the skin and worsen the situation – instead gently blot the area in question.

There are also many effective over-the-counter medications designed to help with this problem. Products that contain benzoyl peroxide have proven to be effective as they reduce oil production and also contain antibacterial properties. Other medications may contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, alpha hydroxyl acid or sulfur,  designed to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells.

If over-the-counter medications prove ineffective a dermatologist can help. A dermatologist can prescribe stronger acne medications and offer a variety of treatment options.

Jamaica Hospital offers dermatology services in its Ambulatory Care Center. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dr’sTips for Choosing a Good Day Care and Keeping Your Kids Healthy Away From Home

For many parents, the decision of where to enroll their child in daycare is difficult. There are many factors to consider, such as ensuring that your child remains in a safe and healthy environment at all times.

Dr. Rosa Tajian, Pediatric ER Physician is sharing a few tips to help parents with asking the right questions and making certain the best practices are used:

Safety

  1. Require proof that the facility and staff are fully licensed and trained– Asking for proof of licensing for the facility and staff is a must. Daycares should be able to provide official documents demonstrating their facility is upholding health and safety requirements. Training on safety policies and emergency measures such as CPR should be ongoing for staff.  It is also important to learn how the staff is screened before hire; does the facility conduct a complete health and background check?
  2. Make sure that the staff to child ratio is adequate– There is safety in numbers. When choosing a daycare knowing how many adults are caring for groups of children is important. There are regulations that stipulate the maximum amount of children allowed per staff member in a daycare setting. To learn the appropriate numbers, a parent can always obtain that information from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Division of Childcare Services. It is always good to confirm from time to time that the ratio remains adequate because facilities can lose staff members and not replace them.
  3. Check for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well as fire extinguishers –Ensuring that these devices are present and functional reduces the risk for hazards. Each mechanism should be inspected as recommended and documentation of inspection should be presented if required.
  4. Medications and hazardous materials are out of reach– Ask the daycare provider to show you where hazardous substances are kept. They should be locked away and out of reach.

Health

  1. Hand washing policy– Daycares should reinforce strict handwashing policies. Staff should be required to wash hands after changing diapers, before preparing food, after wiping spit up, drool or runny noses.
  2. Sick policy –Find out if there is a strict, written policy for sick kids that all parents must abide by. Organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics provide general guidelines of when children should stay home from daycare or school.  Equally as important is a sick policy for staff. Adults should be asked to go home if they are feeling sick or presenting symptoms that can jeopardize a child’s health.
  3. Cleanliness –The cleanliness of the daycare is extremely important. Ensure that play areas are properly sanitized as well as toys. Areas such as bathrooms and kitchens should be exceptionally clean at all times.   Daycares should exercise a strict cross –contamination policy that prohibits actions such as washing or preparing bottles in the same sink used to wash hands after changing diapers.
  4. Immunization policy –Daycares often require immunization records when a child first enrolls. However, they should also follow up with parents to ensure that subsequent vaccinations are up to date. It is very important for the staff to receive vaccinations for diseases such as pertussis which can be harmful to children’s health.

The Department of Pediatrics at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center provides comprehensive care for children in our community.  Our physicians are highly trained in a wide variety of specialties needed to help children overcome illnesses.  To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at Jamaica Hospital, please call, 718-206-7001.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

National School Backpack Awareness Day

Backpacks are essential back-to- school items for kids.  They come in different colors, sizes and shapes and most importantly they help children to carry their belongings.  Backpacks are preferred by many in comparison to shoulder bags because when worn correctly, they evenly distribute weight across the body.  However, if worn incorrectly they can cause back pain or injuries and eventually lead to poor posture.

To prevent problems associated with improper backpack use, parents should first purchase a backpack that has the following features:

  • Lightweight
  • Wide and padded straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Padded back
  • Waist belt
  • Correct size (A backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso).

 

Practicing these safety tips will further reduce the chance of back pain or injuries caused by backpacks:

  • When packing, heavier items should be placed to the back and center of the backpack. Lighter items should be in front. Sharp objects such as scissors or pencils should be kept away from your child’s back.  Utilizing different compartments can help in distributing weight.
  • Do not over pack. Doctors recommend that children should not carry backpacks that weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight.
  • Ensure that children use both straps. Using a single strap can cause muscle strain.
  • Adjust the straps so that the backpack fits closely to your child’s back and sits two inches above the waist. This ensures comfort and proper weight distribution.
  • Encourage children to use their lockers or desks throughout the day to drop off heavy books.

The Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America recommends that parents should always look for warning signs that indicate backpacks may be too heavy. If your child struggles to put on and take off the backpack, they are complaining of numbness or tingling or if there are red strap marks on their shoulders -It may be time for you to lighten their load.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Kids Home for The Summer Healthy Snack Swaps

The kids are home for the summer and parents are now challenged with providing them with healthy and nutritious snacks throughout the day. Finding the balance between snacks that children are drawn to and snacks that are healthy can become difficult.

Sugar, high sodium, colorful packaging, fun shapes and unnatural food coloring are a few factors that make junk food enticing to children. However, parents can win the fight against junk food by making healthy food more appealing to their kid’s senses.

Here are a few tips on swapping kid favorites with healthier choices:

  • Hot dogs- Instead of regular beef and pork hot dogs, purchase turkey franks with low sodium and without added nitrates. Decorate the hot dog with colorful vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, red and yellow peppers.
  • Salty cheese snacks- Make plain cheese fun by cutting it into quirky shapes or adding bright and sweet fruit. You can make cheese and fruit shish kebabs.
  • French fries- Opt for baked sweet potato fries and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin C, B6, and D. They are a source of Iron, magnesium and potassium.
  • Ice cream- Frozen yogurt is just as tasty and contains less sugar and fat. Adding toppings such as fruit and granola is a plus.
  • Popsicles- Freeze real fruit juices with bits of fruit into bars.
  • Potato chips- Kale chips are rich in vitamin A and easy to make at home. Make them delicious by adding herbs and spices.
  • Candy- Healthy alternatives to candy include raisins or strawberries and bananas lightly drizzled with chocolate.
  • Milkshakes- Smoothies made with fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt are a healthier option.
  • Macaroni and cheese-Use low-fat cheese, add Greek yogurt to make it creamy and spinach to make it nutritious.

The battle against junk food is not lost. Keep food exciting and nutritious for your family by sourcing healthy recipe websites or visiting Jamaica Hospital’s Facebook.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.