Tag Archive: pediatrician Atlanta

How to Make a Safer Home for Your Child, Part 3 Outdoors

How to Make a Safer Home for Your Child, Part 3: Outdoors

May 15, 2017 2:16 pm

How to Make a Safer Home for Your Child, Part 3 OutdoorsJust a quick web search for “childproofing” will give you countless ways to make your home safer. But as thoroughly as many parents prepare the inside of their home, they commonly overlook the largest area: their yard, garage, and other outdoor spaces. Our board-certified pediatricians at Children’s Wellness Center in Atlanta are passionate about keeping children safe and healthy, so we’ve put together a list of measures recommended by trusted sources (our own pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics) that you can take to help your children enjoy the outdoors safely.

  • Ideally, install a fence and make sure your child only stays within the fence, so that he or she cannot run out into the road. If a fence is not feasible, set a very specific border that your child understands not to cross, such as a certain seam in the driveway or a specific tree.
  • Children should be supervised by an attentive adult at all times when they are outside, even if they are only permitted to play in the back yard.
  • Some plants can actually be poisonous for children, so make sure all the varieties of plants in your yard are not toxic. It’s also a good idea to teach your child not to eat anything from a plant they’ve found outside, in case they encounter a dangerous plant at a friend’s house or at a park.
  • Make sure all pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other lawn care chemicals are in a locked cabinet that is out of your child’s reach. You should also make yourself familiar with the instructions on your lawn care chemicals about how long you need to keep children off your lawn after using the product.
  • If you have a grill, make sure it is secured when it is not in use so it will not tip and fall over. Teach your child not to touch the grill, and make sure propane grills are stored in such a way that your child cannot reach the knobs.
  • Go through the materials stored in your garage and identify any that are potentially dangerous for children, such as paint, antifreeze, gasoline, and most other automotive fluids. Lock these products in a secure cabinet your child cannot reach, and always remember to return the products to this cabinet as soon as you’re finished using them.
  • Keep all tools in a safe area where children cannot reach them, and make sure all power tools stay unplugged when they are not in use.
  • As with your grill, make sure all furniture in the garage or outdoors is not a tipping risk. If it could tip over and injure your child, secure it to the wall or the ground in some way.
  • If you have an automatic garage door, check that the automatic reversing system (which senses when a child is in the way of a closing door and stops the door from continuing to lower) is working properly. Remember to check this on a regular basis.
  • Try to keep your lawn as level as possible and fill in any unused holes in the soil.
  • If you have any type of pond, swimming pool, or fountain in your yard, make sure it is fenced in or blocked off in a way that your child cannot fall into it, and follow other water safety tips for children.
  • If you have a swing set or other playground equipment, follow these safety steps:
    • Surround the area with mats or soft fill materials (like shredded rubber or sand) and extend it at least six feet around the equipment.
    • If you are installing your own playground equipment, follow all instructions closely and make sure you install it on level ground.
    • Check occasionally for any loose nuts and bolts or other issues, and cap all bolts and screws.
    • Do not have any type of rope, clothesline, jump rope, etc. attached to playground equipment.
  • If you have a sandbox, make sure it is made from safe, intact materials. It is common to use old railroad ties, but these often have splinters and may contain unsafe chemicals as well.
  • Make sure any sandboxes are covered when they are not in use so they don’t bring in unwelcome insects or animals. However, if it rains outside, wait for the sandbox to dry out before covering it, because the moisture can leave bacteria growing in sandboxes.
  • If you are using sand around playground equipment or in a sandbox, try to avoid sand that contains tremolite. While manufacturers are not currently required to label sand as containing tremolite, the best choice is to only purchase natural river sand or beach sand, and to avoid sand that is made from crushed limestone, marble, or crystalline silica, as well as any product that looks dusty.
  • Although trampolines may be fun, even the proper safety equipment does not fully prevent injuries in children, so the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend having a trampoline at your home.
  • If you have a tree house, inspect it regularly for damage and wear, including splinters and loose parts, and make sure the tree it stands in is sturdy as well. Keep the boards close together, install a safety gate at the top of the ladder, and attach non-slip materials on the rungs of the ladder.

When you first begin looking around your home and making a childproofing to-do list, it can feel overwhelming. But just relax, take it one step at a time, and look for tips like those listed above that can let you know about tasks that may otherwise slip your mind. For more child safety advice, health tips, and more, follow Children’s Wellness Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and schedule your child’s next well child visit with us via our convenient patient portal.

What You Need to Know Before Your Kids Sports Physical

August 23, 2016 9:34 am

What You Need to Know Before Your Kids Sports PhysicalStaying active and exercising is highly encouraged for kids of all ages and playing a sport is a great way to get that valuable daily exercise. With that said, not all sports or activities are right for every kid. Your child’s past injuries, certain medical conditions or other factors can potentially prevent your child from participating in certain sports. That’s why receiving a sports physical for your child is a requirement for nearly all organized team sports.

A typical sports physical entails a rundown of your child’s medical history. A patient’s medical history should include medical conditions like asthma or heart disorders before recommending whether your child is eligible to participate safely. Additionally, it is important to alert your provider at Children’s Wellness Center of all medications your child is taking.

During your child’s physical, one of our providers will measure your child’s height, weight and body mass index (BMI). The sports physical is similar to a well-child visit where we would monitor your child’s blood pressure, as well as listen to the heart rate and lungs to ensure they are all performing normally. Other components of our sports physical exam include hearing, vision, and basic strength and flexibility tests.

To help you plan, we have listed 4 questions below that every parent should consider when scheduling a sports physical for their child:

When Should I Plan for my Child’s Sports Physical?

We generally advise parents to make an appointment for their kid’s sports physical 6 weeks before the start of their respective season. This should provide plenty of time to react to a potential issue that may come up during the physical to ensure your child’s safety while playing their sport of choice. Additionally, 6 weeks should be plenty of time to make sure that all the necessary documentation is delivered to your child’s school in a timely manner. A single sports physical is valid for a full year from the exam date and will allow your child to participate in multiple sporting activities.

Do I Need to be Present for my Child’s Sports Physical?

Yes, this is mandatory. By law, parental consent is required for any minor (under 18) to have a sports physical performed. Additionally, we recommend a parent be present for filling out the necessary pediatric forms and answering questions about a child’s medical history.

Can the Sports Physical be Performed by my Pediatrician?

Absolutely! Any general care pediatrician, including the staff at Children’s Wellness Center, will certainly be up to the task. It makes sense to go to the doctor who is already familiar with your child and their medical and injury history.

Scheduling a sports physical is the first step towards a season’s worth of fun, friendship and physical exercise. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a sports physical today, contact Children’s Wellness Center at (404) 303-1314.