Sunscreen 101- Time to go shopping

Sunscreen 101- Time to go shopping

  After reading my post from earlier this week, you know what to look for on the front of that bottle of sunscreen (click here in case you missed it).  As you head out to the store to stock up on your broad spectrum, SPF 30, water resistant sunscreen before your weekend trip to the pool/beach/T-ball tournament, you happen to stumble across a headline on your Facebook news feed that reads something like “Sunscreens can be dangerous for your children.”  Geeze! As a parent who is just trying to protect their child from those harmful UV rays from the sun, now you read a story proclaiming that the exact thing recommended to keep them safe, can in fact, cause them harm.  What is a parent to do? Well, first let’s try to understand what these headlines are really about, and this time, we will go to the back of the sunscreen bottle. There are two main classes of ingredients used in sunscreens- mineral and chemical filters.  Mineral based sunscreens contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which provide a physical barrier on the skin to protect it from the sun’s rays…they literally make the UV rays bounce off the skin.  These provide protection from both UV A and B rays. These are probably my favorite kind of sunscreens especially for sensitive skin kiddos since these are not absorbed into the skin.  The downside to mineral based sunscreens??  They can be difficult to rub in leaving a lovely white film covering the skin (or hot pink or blue if you remember those zinc noses that lifeguards had in the 90’s).  Here are a...
Sunscreen 101- The Basics

Sunscreen 101- The Basics

  Swimsuit? Check!  Goggles? Check!  Sunscreen? Uhh…since the mostly empty bottle from last year that was caked in food crumbs in the bottom of my diaper bag probably wasn’t going to cut it, I headed to the local drug store to stock up.  Now, I always like options when I am shopping, but my goodness! Have you seen the sunscreen aisle recently?  Literally hundreds of products on store shelves.  In my next two posts, I will discuss the finer points of picking out a sunscreen to keep everyone in your family from getting burned this summer. Let’s start at the beginning and understand what we are trying to protect ourselves from when we use sunscreen.  Ultraviolet (UV) rays are part of the light spectrum that is emitted from the sun.  Two types of UV rays, A and B, have long enough wavelengths to penetrate into the Earth’s atmosphere.  UV A rays have the longest wavelength and can therefore penetrate the deepest into the skin.  These rays are the ones responsible for skin aging and wrinkling related to sun damage (think UV A- Aging).  UV A rays are present year round at about the same intensity throughout the day, and these rays can penetrate through clouds and even glass.  UV B rays are responsible for the actual redness on the skin that is associated with sunburn (think UV B–Burn).  The amount of UV B rays you are exposed to is dependent on the time of day, the time of the year, as well as your location on the Earth.  Here in the US, we receive the most UV B rays from...
Mumps- What you need to know

Mumps- What you need to know

This week Louisiana joined the ranks of 37 other states to have reported cases of mumps since January 2017.  In an urgent memo released on Saturday, March 11, the Louisiana Office of Public Health reported that several cases of mumps have been confirmed in students at LSU.  The number of student affected as well as their vaccine status has not been released at this point in time.  So here is what you need to know about mumps and how to protect yourself and your children. What is Mumps? Mumps is a viral illness that is spread through respiratory droplets or saliva (so coughing, sneezing or sharing drinks).  An infection with the mumps virus may begin as nonspecific fever, headache, and malaise, but then often progresses to the most common symptom of mumps which is pain and swelling of the parotid gland.  As you can see in the pictures below, the parotid gland is located just in front of the ear and at the upper part of the jaw.  Swelling of the parotid gland, called parotitis, can be quite impressive and cause the ear to push outwards and the angle of the jaw to no longer be easily seen.  More serious complications of mumps include orchitis (which is swelling of the testicles that may lead to sterility) or oophoritis (which is swelling of the ovaries), encephalitis (swelling around the brain) or deafness.  Death from mumps is very rare (even in the pre-vaccine era).                     How common is Mumps? Mumps vaccination became commonplace in 1967, but prior to that time, there were...
The Dreaded Daycare Sign

The Dreaded Daycare Sign

You know the feeling.  The sign posted on the door of daycare announcing the current illness that is floating around.  Oh the dreaded sign!  “We want to inform you that cases of hand, foot and mouth disease have been diagnosed here at the center.”  GREAT!  There are likely two questions that are running through your head: 1) So what are we going to do when our child comes down with this latest illness? and 2) What exactly is Hand, Foot and Mouth disease?  Well, that first question is one that I have struggled with many times in my own household, and unfortunately, I can’t help you answer, but that second question…I CAN help with that one! Hand, foot and mouth (HFM) disease is a very common viral illness in children, particularly those under 5 years of age.  Older children, teens and even adults can get HFM, but it is much less common as most people have had HFM by that time and therefore have natural immunity to these viruses.  This illness is typically seen in the late summer to fall, but especially here in Louisiana with our mild climate, I will see cases of HFM year round.  The virus is spread through contact with droplets of someone who is infected, so it is spread by sneezing and coughing as well as the saliva that children “share” with each other on toys.  It is not uncommon to see mini “epidemics” of HFM that spread through daycare centers or other child care facilities.  The incubation period for HFM is 3-6 days, so I generally tell parents to be on the lookout...
Talking peanuts on WBRZ

Talking peanuts on WBRZ

Wondering about the new recommendations for the introduction of peanut products to infants?  Take a look at the video above as I had the opportunity to stop by WBRZ 4 oclock news today to talk with Brittany Weiss about these new recommendations. As I mentioned in the video, these are exciting new recommendations that will hopefully help to reduce the overall incidence of peanut allergies in children.  Here are the suggested recipes for making the first peanut products for your little one as taken directly from the statement paper from Annals of Allergy and Immunology:   “Four recipe options, each containing approximately 2 g of peanut protein Note: Teaspoons and tablespoons are US measures (5 and 15 mL for a level teaspoon or tablespoon, respectively). Option 1: Bamba (Osem, Israel), 21 pieces (approximately 2 g of peanut protein) Note: Bamba is named because it was the product used in the LEAP trial and therefore has proven efficacy and safety. Other peanut puff products with similar peanut protein content can be substituted. a. For infants less than 7 months of age, soften the Bamba with 4 to 6 teaspoons of water. b. For older infants who can manage dissolvable textures, unmodified Bamba can be fed. If dissolvable textures are not yet part of the infant’s diet, softened Bamba should be provided. Option 2: Thinned smooth peanut butter, 2 teaspoons (9-10 g of peanut butter; approximately 2 g of peanut protein) a. Measure 2 teaspoons of peanut butter and slowly add 2 to 3 teaspoons of hot water. b. Stir until peanut butter is dissolved, thinned, and well blended. c. Let cool. d. Increase water amount if necessary (or...