As the spring weather approaches, many common winter infections recede. However, warmer temperatures can introduce a new set of health challenges.
As trees and flowers bloom and grass grows, susceptible children will start to display symptoms of seasonal allergies, triggering flares of asthma and eczema. And, As children spend more time outdoors, parents also need to watch for exposure to ticks, poison ivy and excess sun.
Here are a few tips to keeping your child healthy this spring.
Springtime temperatures and warmer, sun-filled days are synonymous with outdoor play. Kids of all ages shed their winter jackets; break out their tricycles, bicycles and more, and head outside for playtime.
But outdoor activities are also synonymous with tick exposure.
So how can you prepare your family for the tick season?
The Boston Children’s Hospital’s Director of Infectious Disease Outpatient Practice, Dr. Catherine Lachenauer offers tips on how to avoid tick exposure and steps to take if your child gets a tick bite.
By Carolyn Moriarty
If you’ve been watching the news recently, you’re probably aware that mosquitos carrying eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) have been found in various areas across the country, including Massachusetts. EEE—and its less-dangerous counterpart, West Nile Virus—are two diseases that are spread to people by the bites of infected mosquitos. Boston Children’s Hospital’s Asim Ahmed, MD, from the Division of Infectious Diseases, recently spoke to NECN about the current West Nile outbreak, which Federal health officials are calling one of the largest in the U.S., with four times the usual number of cases for this time of year.
EEE is considered to be one of the most serious mosquito-borne illnesses in the United States. Inflammation of the brain, or encephalitis, is a frequent and life-threatening complication of EEE that may also lead to permanent neurological damage or coma. West Nile Virus is a much milder infection characterized by flu-like symptoms that generally go away on their own.
There are things that area and state governments are doing to reduce and eliminate mosquito-borne illnesses. For example, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is constantly monitoring mosquito populations and deciding if and when aerial spraying is necessary.
Here are a few quick and easy things you can do to lessen your child’s (and your) risk of being bitten by a mosquito: …
We’re not the only ones who enjoyed the record-setting mild winter—ticks and mosquitoes have too. While normal winters produce hard freezes that kill off these pests or make them dormant, unseasonably warm temperatures allowed adult mosquitoes and ticks to live through it, creating early arrival and a potential population boom for some types of bugs.
So how can you prepare your family for the early onslaught of ticks and mosquitoes?
“Prevention is key,” says Catherine Lachenauer, MD, director of Infectious Diseases Outpatient Practice at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Avoid areas at the edge of the woods with long grasses. Also, wearing long, light-colored clothing helps keep ticks from getting on the skin and makes it easier to recognize one on your body.” …