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Do You Know What Exactly is in the Flu Shot? We found an article with all the answers.

Its dreaded flu season again. We did some research regarding the flu vaccine and found this illuminating comprehensive article on, written by Tyghe Trimble. Please read, make informed decisions and stay healthy! 

"The 2019-2020 Flu Shot: What’s In It and Why?

By Tyghe Trimble

Every year, scientists around the world do their best to get one step ahead of the flu. How do they do this? With a flu shot. What is in a flu shot? The four most popular (slash effective) influenza strains from around the world, injected into fertilized chicken eggs or mammalian cells, deactivated so it doesn’t give you the actual flu, mixed with a grab-bag of preservatives and antibiotics and sugars, and then formulated for a shot or spray to make it in time for the 2019 flu season. 

It’s also complex as hell — something that keeps virologists on their toes every year. Influenza strains constantly mutate but scientists get one shot for the annual vaccine, making their best guess some 30 weeks in advance to get the vaccine out to the public. Meaning, the CDC published the full report on the 2019-2020 flu season vaccine months ago. This means it’s actually possible to understand what you’re having injected into yourself and your child (also, your parents if you can), wherever it is you get your flu shot. Another note: Unless you’re in the throes of the flu, it’s never too late to get the shot.

Flu Shot Ingredients: The Strains
Every year, vaccines take virus samples from labs across the world and mix and match them. This year’s vaccine relies on four viruses (they call this a “quadrivalent” vaccine). Those viruses are…


First, let’s break down the terminology: “A” refers to the type of influenza that infects birds, humans, pigs, horses, seals and dogs, H#N# refers to the different proteins found in the outer shell of the virus (hemagglutinin and neuraminidase); “pdm” is short for “pandemic” (remember, these are grown to mimic once-live viruses that did some harm); and “09” is the year of said pandemic (the 2009 virus accounted for some 203,000 deaths with a higher-than-normal population of children dying).

The CDC reports that this year’s A(H1N1)pdm09 component changed from A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus to an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, meaning there’s a flu strain akin to the one seen in the 2009 pandemic that was created last year in a lab in Brisbane, replacing the strain created in 2015 in Michigan.


The second component is a variant of the 2009 H1N1 swine flu. H3N2 was first found in pigs in 2010, then in humans in 2011, and the biggest human outbreak was in 2012 with some 309 reported cases. Going to a pig farm anytime soon? This one’s for you.

The CDC reports this year’s H3N2 vaccine component was updated from an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 A(H3N2)-like virus to an A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus.

Influenza B (x 2)

Influenza B viruses tend to be the non-pandemic variety because they spread primarily among humans alone. They’re slower to mutate than Influenza A, but still just as infectious among humans (and, apparently this year, harbor seals).

The CDC reports both B/Victoria and B/Yamagata virus components from the 2018-2019 flu vaccine remain the same for the 2019-2020 flu vaccine.

Flu Shot Ingredients: The Preservatives and Additives
Beyond the three to four viral components, a number of additives are required to make vaccines effective — and to keep them from going bad. These ingredients, sometimes covered as trade secrets by drug companies in other, less-public drugs, have led to many a conspiracy theory that the likes of anti-vaxxers would have you latch onto. It’s really much more boring than that. Here are some of the ingredients you will find in the 2019-2020 vaccine — and why they’re there.

The Ingredient: Aluminum Salts
In: Most vaccines
Use: Boosts body’s response to the vaccine

The Ingredient: Sugar or gelatin
In: Most vaccines
Use: Preservative

The Ingredient: Formaldehyde
In: Most vaccines
Use: Kills viruses or inactivates toxins
The CDC says: “Formaldehyde is diluted during the vaccine manufacturing process, but residual quantities of formaldehyde may be found in some current vaccines. The amount of formaldehyde present in some vaccines is so small compared to the concentration that occurs naturally in the body that it does not pose a safety concern.”

The Ingredient: Antibiotics
In: Most vaccines
Use: Prevents bacterial contamination

The Ingredient: Thimerosal
In: Some vaccines; mostly multi-dose vials
Use: Preservative
The CDC says: “Thimerosal has a different form of mercury (ethylmercury) than the kind that causes mercury poisoning (methylmercury). It’s safe to use ethylmercury in vaccines because it’s processed differently in the body and it’s less likely to build up in the body — and because it’s used in tiny amounts. Even so, most vaccines do not have any thimerosal in them.”

The Ingredient: Egg proteins
In: Some Vaccines
Use: Growing the vaccine
The CDC says: “Because influenza and yellow fever vaccines are both made in eggs, egg proteins are present in the final products. However, there are two new flu vaccines now available for people with egg allergies. People who have severe egg allergies should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a health-care professional who can recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.”

Flu Shot Delivery
Not all flu shots are the same. Some aren’t even shots (let’s hear it for the nasal spray!) Here’s your 2019-2020 flu options:

By Needle or Jet: These inactivated shots are usually given with a needle, but Afluria Quadrivalent can be given to adults with a jet injector, basically, a high-powered spray that seeps through the skin.
For: Needles are for all and the jet spray has been approved this year for everyone above 6 months.

Nasal Spray: The nasal-spray vaccine is the only to include a live attenuated influenza vaccine, meaning, no, it can’t give you the flu, but it does have a higher likelihood of flu-like symptoms. This vaccine does not contain thimerosal or other preservatives and is for patients who are age 2 and up.
For: People who can’t stand the needle or jet spray or maybe aren’t so into the preservatives in their vaccines.

Preservative-Free, Egg-Free, and Other Flu Shot Formulations
Most flu shots are created by injecting the above combination of components into an egg, deactivating it, adding the other ingredients, and shipping it. This process has been around for decades and only fairly recently has some of the more advanced ways to make vaccines have gone into circulation.

Cell-Based.Unlike the regular flu shot, cell cultures are made without eggs, using instead cells from mammals. This was not always an entirely egg-free vaccine because the four viruses used in it were created originally with the usual egg-injection process. This year, however, the quadrivalent cell-based vaccine is cell-based from start to finish, meaning it’s completely egg-free.

Advantages: Flucelvax, the one cell-based flu vaccine approved for use in the U.S., is safe for anyone with egg allergies. Cell-based vaccines are faster to manufacture from soup to nuts (good for Spanish flu of 1912-type situations) and has been found in some independent studies to be 10 to 30% more effective.

Disadvantages: Flucelvax is for kids 4 and older, so toddlers will have to do with the regular shot. Furthermore, cell-based flu vaccines have been around since 2012, so they’re still the new kids on the block and can’t be found everywhere.

Recombinant. These vaccines don’t require the use of the flu virus. Recombinant flu vaccine has a slightly shorter shelf life than most other currently available injectable influenza vaccines.

Advantages: Flubok Recombinant, the one recombinant vaccine that is FDA approved for the 2019-2020 season, another completely egg-free vaccine is a must-have for anyone with an egg allergy. The recombinant flu vaccine manufacturing process, like cell-based vaccines, is faster to manufacture and would also be useful in the event of a zombie invasion — if those zombies were all carrying a flu virus.

Disadvantages: The vaccines have a slightly shorter shelf life than most current flu vaccines, expiring 9 months from the production date. So have your doctor check the expiration date. Also, it’s only approved for patients 18 years or older.

Flu Shot Dosage & Ages
Dosages are something you should put in the hands of your pediatrician. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to inform yourself of the goings-on in flu vaccine dosage news. Here are three takeaways.

This year, there has been a change in dose-volume for children 6 months through 35 months of age. Previously, children in this age group were recommended to receive 0.25 milliliters of this vaccine per dose and now receive either 0.25 milliliters or 0.5 milliliters per dose. 3 years and up should receive 0.5 ml.
Children 6 months through 8 years of age who need 2 doses should receive their first dose asap to allow the second dose (which must be administered at least 4 weeks later) to be received by the end of October.
In October 2018, the FDA approved an expanded age indication for Afluria Quadrivalent, a vaccine that can be injected through the skin without a needle. It is now licensed for children 6 months of age and older. So, if your kid is really super freaked out by a needle, they may be in luck.

Antivirals: What to Do When You Already Have the Flu
When you get the flu, antivirals can shorten its duration. The FDA has approved six influenza antiviral drugs in the U.S, but the CDC only recommends four for this flu season. They’re also all in somewhat short supply, so you might not be given them if you’re not a child or elderly individual. This is why we get our flu shots, people!

The antiviral you probably already know goes by the brand name of Tamiflu, which you can get OTC with relative ease if you’re young or elderly. This drug, along with two others (brand names Rapivab and Relenza) that work in the same manner, block an enzyme the virus needs to replicate and shave up to a day off of your illness. These need multiple doses to keep the drug working (Tamiflu, for instance, requires patients to take it twice a day for five days).

The newest antiviral, Baloxavir marboxil (aka Xofluza) is a single-dose antiviral drug approved last year by the FDA. Baloxavir is for people with basic flu who are 12 years and older and have had symptoms for less than 48 hours. In a phase 2 trial published by The New England Journal of Medicine, it shaved off upwards of 28 hours of flu symptoms (from 80.2 hours to 53.7 on average.). This antiviral stands out in that it is the only one that gets to the root of replication, messing with the virus’ RNA to stop it from reproducing. Also, it’s one of the only ones to come in a single dose, so that’s nice."


Are You Searching For an Easy and Fun Fall Activity for the Whole Family? We Have One Right Here...

The fall is here. Kids are spending more time indoors and sometimes are bored because they have nothing to do. Here is a fun and easy activity which will bring the whole family together. We found this super easy and fun craft to do with your kids at and really wanted to share it. 

"Owl Handprint

Supplies Needed to Make this Handprint Owl Craft

Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green cardstock
Brown Paint
White Cardstock – 12×12 size to fit the tree branches

Owl Craft for Kids
1. First, make your tree and branches by taking strips of newspaper and rolling them up to the size you’d like them to be. Make your trunk much wider than your branches. Scrunch up the paper when you’re rolling them to give the tree trunk and branches a little bit of depth.

Tape or glue your newspaper to your white 12×12 cardstock.

You can paint the branches and tree after you have placed them on your paper or you can paint your newspaper before you place on your paper. For more advanced painters and older kids it may be easier to paint after you place the newspaper down. For younger kids it would be easier to have them paint the newspaper first and then make your tree and branches.

2. Trace your handprints and glue to your branches. You can also make your owls first and then glue them at the end.

To make your owl, you’ll also need:

2 white eyes (we traced around a glue stick for size).
A small beak – use yellow cardstock and draw a triangle. Fold it over and then cut it out and glue to your owl.
Cut out two small triangles for the owl’s ears and glue behind the handprint.
Draw small eyes with a black marker or sharpie.
Glue your feathers to the thumb and pinky finger.

3. For a finishing touch, cut out 4 leaves from your green cardstock and glue to your paper.

You can make the owls any colors you’d like! We love the way the orange and blue look together but you could also do pink and blue or orange and red for Fall colors.

For teachers, you can make a large display of owls and get the kids to help create the tree and branches from newspaper."


All of the images were taken directly from

Need Some Interesting Fall Activity Ideas for Your Family? We Got You Covered...

We found this amazing post on, written by Mel Bailey and wanted to share. Enjoy your time with family this fall and spend time outdoors. 

"10 Fall Activities To Get Your Kids Outdoors



The fall season is upon us. The leaves are turning, the back-to-school bells chiming. Still, just because the kids have to sit several hours a day in class and a few hours extra finishing up their homework, it doesn't mean that outside play has to come to a halt.

Contrary to popular belief, autumn is a great time to get the kids to venture outside. It is true, however, that parents have to get a bit more creative when considering fall activities since trusty fallbacks like the beach are really just summertime activities. Luckily, we've compiled a list of 10 awesome fall activities that will make the kids beg to go outside! Enjoy.


Fall is often when nature is at its prettiest. Unlike spring, when things begin to bloom, fall is nature's wind-down. The leaves begin to shed and the air gets crisp, ready to start anew next year. Why not get the kids excited about the change by getting them up and out of the house for a nature walk?

Nature walks are perfect for children who like to explore what Mother Nature is up to. Encourage kids to take pictures, or make drawings of what they see later on once they are back inside. This can also be a great time to explore comparisons. Explain to little ones how things looked during summer versus how they look now.


Are you excited about teaching your little ones their colors? Will all the amazing colors fall has to offer, from bright red apples to multi-colored squash, pick a color and get outside. Let your little one pick out all the things that are the color of the day.

Encourage them to find at least 10 things, so they spend a decent amount of time indoors. It will also help them learn about colors and teach them patience when looking for different things in the world. Don't be shy about challenging them to expand their vocabulary and question their choices. Consider asking things like, "Is that really red or is it more of a magenta?"


Set out a list of common bugs and types of leaves that are easy to find in your area and pick them out. After they've been identified, take them back home and have a blast putting each treasure in its designated space on the scavenger chart you created. Outdoor activities are also a great chance to explore crafts with your kids.
Scavenger hunts also help children advance their memory. Try to keep the scavenger hunt item list to a minimum, as you don't want to overwhelm your child. For the most fun, get some neighborhood friends involved in the hunt too.


Then jump! After you let the kids help rake up the leaves, let them jump in the pile. This fun fall activity is bound to have them jumping about for hours. Not to mention burn off some of that extra energy they are sure to have from being in school all day.
The kids will also feel delighted to help out with more adult activities like yard work, so really do your best to enjoy that and compliment them on what a great job they are doing. Even if you need to come behind them later to get up those last bits.


Heading to an apple orchard for a family fall outdoor activity doesn't have to be as much of a feat as you may think. There are orchards all over, sure to excite and entice your little one. It'll also give mom and dad some much-needed produce to enjoy around the house!
Apple-picking is a really fun activity that can take the entire day. With all the fun things families can concoct with apples, why not spend a day learning about how and where apples grow? Apple-picking will be a very rewarding and educational experience for kids, especially since they can brag to all their kids at school that they picked that apple in their lunch themselves!


Pumpkins are THE fall staple. Pumpkin-flavored things just give us that fall feeling. As such, heading to an actual pumpkin patch to pick out one of those huge pumpkins yourselves will be a huge success.
With all the fun things one can do with a pumpkin, why not? Many pumpkin patches also offer an inclusive hayride and some food perks while your family is visiting their patch. So why not take the time to venture outside and do something the whole family will enjoy? Just save us some of those roasted pumpkin seeds!


Yet another essential fall childhood classic is smores. No matter what your preference for chocolate or gram cracker, smores are the go-to for many kids during fall. So, to get the kids excited about the new season (and to get them outside in the fresh air), consider a daytime or nighttime bonfire and smore-roasting session and let their sweet tooth do the talking.
If you are particularly concerned that school will keep them indoors, consider inviting over a few classmates to enjoy the fun.


If you live in an area where there aren't any haunted houses, or maybe they just seem a bit too spooky for your little ones, consider making one of your own. Haunted houses can be around for longer than just the month of October and really add a fall holiday feeling into any home.
Consider just how old your little ones are before visiting or creating your own haunted house. Once you get it down, though, your house will be sure to be the hit of the neighborhood. Your little one will love trips out looking for decorations or visiting other haunted houses for inspiration.


The birds will be flying south for the winter, so this is a great time to spot the cool ones with different colors. Give your little one a pair of fun binoculars that are just his or her size. Then, see if they can spot out birds flying high in their V-shaped patterns, and birds sitting low, perched in the trees.
Do a bit of research for older children to help them learn about the types of birds in your area. If you see a rare one, that will be even more exciting. Fall is an excellent time to witness birds' migratory patterns.


If you don't happen to have a corn maze near you, have no fear, there are tons of corn mazes worth taking a family weekend outdoor trip to. Corn mazes are amazing for kids who love to run and have a lot of energy. Just don't get lost!
Consider your child's age and the area of the maze before making a final decision. Corn mazes can also help children learn about agriculture and plant life cycles. Not to mention all of the amazing corn you and the family can throw on the grill once the day is done! If you're looking for great fall outdoor activity, look no further."

Do You Want Your Kids to Be More Independent? Here is What You Can Do...

We found these 8 tips for teaching kids to be more independent on and wanted to share.


"Do you do too much for your kids? It’s time to flip the script.

It’s 7:55 a.m. and my six-year-old daughter is singing Pharrell’s “Happy” in her pyjamas while bopping to the beat. I’m not happy, knowing that the school bell rings in 15 minutes. I pull her PJs off like they’re on fire and tug up her tights so brusquely that I practically lift her off the floor. We make it, barely.

I know she can dress herself, but my blood pressure starts to spike watching her stalling shenanigans, and I often end up doing it for her to avoid facing yet another late slip.

Sound familiar? Jeanne Williams, an Edmonton psychologist, sees many parents coping with the time crunch by using a “parenting to get through the day” approach: They worry about what needs to be done in the here and now, not about the long-term effects of these daily choices. “I’d go so far as to say that all parents do this at some point,” she says.

Well, if we’re all doing it, it can’t be that bad. Right?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a strength-in-numbers thing. “Habitually doing things for your child that she’s capable of doing herself sends an inadvertent message that you don’t have confidence in her abilities,” Williams warns. The outcome is a child who lacks independence, self-esteem and problem-solving skills and who can’t—or won’t—do age-appropriate tasks. This is sometimes called “learned helplessness.” Learned from whom? You guessed it.

But Williams doesn’t want us to feel guilty. She knows we’re just trying to keep all those balls in the air and explains that this problem is fixable—and there’s huge payoff: confident, capable kids, and tasks removed from your plate. Here are eight tips for teaching kids to be more independent:

1. Give notice
Get your child on board by encouraging her to help “you” change. When Williams realized she was doing way more for her son than was necessary, she told him, “I’m sorry. I’ve been treating you like a little kid when you are ready to do some big-kid jobs!” She warns against using phrases like “You’re not a baby anymore”; baby can be a sensitive word in this age group.

2. Identify opportunities
Make a list of things she could be doing herself. Mine had 13 tasks, including brushing her teeth (gah!). Ask her which duties she feels she’s big enough to take on—it’s likely to increase her willingness to try.

3. Target priorities
Tackle one item at a time, so you don’t overwhelm her.

4. Make time
If it takes her 10 minutes to brush her own hair, start your morning 10 minutes earlier (and put down the brush!). When she’s not being micromanaged, she may surprise you with her co-operation, and you’ll be a calmer influence when you’re not racing against the clock.

5. Negotiate compromise
If she digs in her heels, compromise and inject some fun. For a few days, I took shirt duty, and she did the bottoms. I said that her tree branches (arms) needed their leaves (her shirt) and that she did a great job—and would also be awesome at putting on her own shirt.

6. Forget perfection
Accept that she won’t do the task as well as you. If the milk spills, show her how to clean it up without criticism and assure her it happens to everyone.

7. Praise something
Instead of pointing out that her shoes are on the wrong feet, say, “You put on your own shoes! Good job!” She’ll discover the discomfort on her own. Give positive follow-up like, “I bet you’ll get them on the right feet tomorrow.”

8. Consider circumstances
If kids are tired, sick, stressed or adjusting to a change, it’s not the time to introduce new responsibilities. And don’t be discouraged if they regress, wanting you to do a task after they’ve mastered it. This is normal. Temporarily sharing the load can help them bounce back more quickly than if you scold or criticize them.

Don’t rush in to solve minor issues when they crop up, says psychologist Jeanne Williams. Encourage your child’s problem-solving skills by asking if she can come up with a fix. If she’s stumped, give her time to think before offering up your ideas.

Try to stay relaxed. Like me, you may find more messy beds and puddles of milk, but hearing your child proudly say, “I did it all by myself!” is so worth it."

Do You Need Some Fun Activities to Do With Your Kids in August?

Did You Know About National Smile Week? We didn't.

Taken from, written by Apryl Duncan

"National Smile Week

By Apryl Duncan

National Smile Week is celebrated during the 2nd week of August. There are a number of different ways you can celebrate and craft with your family for the occasion, including:

Make a list of things that make you smile.
Make a fun Emoji-themed craft.
Make a collage using pictures of smiles cut out of magazines.
Make smiley face masks using yellow paint and paper plates.
Have a smile-off. See who can smile the longest. To make it harder, see who can smile the longest without laughing!
Hold a non-smiling competition. Everyone sits and stares at each other without smiling. Whoever smiles is out. The last person not smiling wins.
Have apple or orange "smiles" (slices) for a snack.
Have a "Biggest Smile Contest.""


How Do You Know When to See a Doctor Regarding Your Child's Knee Pain? We Can Help!

We hope you find these  "8 Signs Your Child's Knee Needs To Be Examined", taken directly from to be helpful. Let's have a great and safe summer!

Image result for knee safety tips for kids

"Knee Injuries
The knee is giving out and feels like it can’t support the weight.
The kneecap feels like it slides out of place.
The knee does not have full motion.
There is a painful “popping” or clicking sound.
There is knee pain without an injury; it hurts during or after activity.
The knee is “locking,” or getting stuck, and is not able to move.
The knee does not have good strength.
The knee is swelling–with or without a traumatic (sudden) injury.
While at home, initial treatment should be RICE:

Hiking With Kids? Here is What You Need to Know...

Spring is officially here and the weather is just right for hiking. We found these simple awesome tips on hiking with kids at, written by Ana Dimmick, and wanted to share. Have fun and be safe!

Written by Ana Dimmick

"We adventure with our kids to make memories, but many fear about safety on the trail. The good news is, families can minimize many risks by following some simple guidelines when hiking with kids. What are they? Here are seven tips for safety on trail with kids.

Always tell someone where you’re going and when you plan to be back. Leave a copy of the trail map and mark your route with a highlighter so others will know where you’re headed. Once you’re at the trail head, be sure to sign in at the trail register if there is one.

Pack more food and water than you think you’ll need on your hike. Water is key, and how much you need varies with terrain, temperature and age. A general guideline to follow is 4 cups (1 liter) of water per adult for every hour of hiking; and children need 1-2 cups for every hour of hiking. You may also want to carry a Lifestraw or water filter as a backup. Encourage children to stay hydrated by letting them carry a pack with a bladder inside. Or make sure to stop for family water breaks at certain intervals, or even add a little something flavorful to their water. Energy bars are a great way to carry extra food without a lot of bulk. Look for bars specifically made for kids.

If you’re hiking in the mountains, make sure every person in the group has at least one extra layer (like a fleece jacket) and a stocking cap. If rain is even a remote possibility, bring rain gear – a backup rain poncho can do the trick and it is light and small to carry. For young children, packing an entire set of extra clothing or several extra pairs of socks can be a lifesaver. If you’re carrying your child, dress them warmer than if they were walking.

You can purchase kits from companies like Adventure Medical Kits, which provide supplies you’ll need for a safe hike, or you can assemble your own at home. A few essentials that should be in every kit are Easy Access Bandages, antibacterial ointment, wound-closing tape, gauze, tweezers, an ace bandage, moleskin for blisters, ibuprofen and an antihistamine (be sure to pack these in both adult and children dosages). You should know how to use every item in your kit before you go hiking with it, so be sure to read up on some basic first aid skills, such as how to stop bleeding, how to wrap a sprain and how to remove splinters. Kids can even assemble a small kit for their own packs.

Give each child their own small pack to carry. It can be a small backpack or a fanny pack, and it should have, at a minimum, an emergency whistle, a jacket or extra layer of some kind, a few snacks and water. If a child gets separated from you, they’ll have at some survival gear with them.

Teach your kids to keep you in sight at all times, to stop at all trail junctions to wait for the rest of the group, and to stay on the trail. Also, dress everyone in bright colors (no camouflage on hiking day!) to make it easier to see one another.

Preparation is key to this skill. At home, in a low-pressure setting, teach them to stop, find a tree, make a nest and stay put until help arrives. Teach them how to use their emergency whistle – three sharp blasts is the universal distress signal. Remind them that the whistle is only to be used during an emergency — and check out previous blog posts below for more tips on what to do if they’re lost on trail.

And last, but not least, model safe behavior at all times. Don’t take chances. Don’t ignore posted warning signs. Show your kids what it looks like to stay on the trail. Trail safety for your kids always begins with you."

Kids and Seasonal Allergies - What Can We Do to Help?

It's spring. Seasonal allergies are upon us. We found this article on, reviewed by Jordan C. Smallwood, MD and wanted to share it with you. Be safe and enjoy spring :)! 

Image result for kids seasonal allergies

"About Seasonal Allergies
"Achoo!" It's your son's third sneezing fit of the morning, and as you hand him another tissue you wonder if these cold-like symptoms — the sneezing, congestion, and runny nose — have something to do with the recent weather change. If he gets similar symptoms at the same time every year, you're likely right: seasonal allergies are at work.

Seasonal allergies, sometimes called "hay fever" or seasonal allergic rhinitis, are allergy symptoms that happen during certain times of the year, usually when outdoor molds release their spores, and trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny pollen particles into the air to fertilize other plants.

The immune systems of people who are allergic to mold spores or pollen treat these particles (called allergens) as invaders and release chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream to defend against them. It's the release of these chemicals that causes allergy symptoms.

People can be allergic to one or more types of pollen or mold. The type someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen. For example, in the mid-Atlantic states, tree pollination is February through May, grass pollen runs from May through June, and weed pollen is from August through October — so kids with these allergies are likely to have increased symptoms at those times. Mold spores tend to peak midsummer through the fall, depending on location.

Even kids who have never had seasonal allergies in years past can develop them. Seasonal allergies can start at almost any age, though they usually develop by the time someone is 10 years old and reach their peak in the early twenties, with symptoms often disappearing later in adulthood.
Image result for kids seasonal allergies
Signs and Symptoms
If your child develops a "cold" at the same time every year, seasonal allergies might be to blame. Allergy symptoms, which usually come on suddenly and last as long as a person is exposed to the allergen, can include:

itchy nose and/or throat
nasal congestion
clear, runny nose
These symptoms often come with itchy, watery, and/or red eyes, which is called allergic conjunctivitis. Kids who have wheezing and shortness of breath in addition to these symptoms might have allergies that trigger asthma.
Image result for kids seasonal allergies
Seasonal allergies are fairly easy to identify because the pattern of symptoms returns from year to year following exposure to an allergen.

Talk to your doctor if you think your child might have allergies. The doctor will ask about symptoms and when they appear and, based on the answers and a physical exam, should be able to make a diagnosis. If not, the doctor may refer you to an allergist for blood tests or allergy skin tests.

To find an allergy's cause, allergists usually do skin tests in one of two ways:

A drop of a purified liquid form of the allergen is dropped onto the skin and the area is pricked with a small pricking device. If a child reacts to the allergen, the skin will swell a little in that area.
A small amount of allergen is injected just under the skin. This test stings a little but isn't extremely painful. After about 15 minutes, if a lump surrounded by a reddish area appears (like a mosquito bite) at the injection site, the test is positive.
Even if a skin test or a blood test shows an allergy, a child must also have symptoms to be definitively diagnosed with an allergy. For example, a child who has a positive test for grass pollen and sneezes a lot while playing in the grass would be considered allergic to grass pollen.
Image result for kids seasonal allergies
There are many ways to treat seasonal allergies, depending on how severe the symptoms are. The most important part of treatment is knowing what allergens are at work. Some kids can get relief by reducing or eliminating exposure to allergens that bother them.

If certain seasons cause symptoms, keep the windows closed, use air conditioning if possible, and stay indoors when pollen/mold/weed counts are high. It's also a good idea for kids with seasonal allergies to wash their hands or shower and change clothing after playing outside.

If reducing exposure isn't possible or is ineffective, medicines can help ease allergy symptoms. These may include decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal spray steroids. If symptoms can't be managed with medicines, the doctor may recommend taking your child to an allergist or immunologist for evaluation for allergy shots (immunotherapy), which can help desensitize kids to specific allergens."

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Do You Know How to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones From the Extreme Temperatures?

Sharing these life-saving tips with anyone who may need them. Found on, written by Beth Skwarecki, Health Editor

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by Beth Skwarecki

"Record cold temperatures are hitting much of the US this week. In some places, it’s possible you’ll experience weather that’s colder than you’ve seen in your lifetime. Here’s what to know when the chill hits.

Dress Warm
Okay, you knew that. But in case you haven’t had to really bundle up in a while, don’t forget that:

Many thinner layers can be just as good as a single really warm one. Maybe you don’t have a warm enough coat, but you could put on a shirt, a sweater, a hoodie, and then your jacket. Wear tights or leggings under your pants.
Mittens are warmer than gloves.
One of your outer layers should be windproof. A thin rain jacket plus a bunch of sweaters may work better than a single warmish coat that’s not windproof.
Cover as much exposed skin as possible when you go outside. Consider a balaclava or scarf for your face.
A hat really helps, even indoors.

Watch the Wind Chill
Temperature isn’t everything. If you’re concerned about frostbite, the wind chill takes temperature and wind speed into account for a more accurate picture of how cold the winter air will feel on your skin.

Weather services often have their own calculations (RealFeel, “feels like”) that take other factors like sun and humidity into account, but the idea is roughly the same. If it’s -4 but “feels like” -21, pay more attention to that second number.

Don’t stay outside long when the wind chill is particularly chilly. If you must stay outside, protect your skin from the cold—even turning to face away from the wind will help a little. Here’s a handy chart from the National Weather Service, or check out their calculator here.

A wind chill advisory means that your area is expecting dangerous levels of wind chill (where frostbite could occur within minutes). Slightly less urgent is a wind chill warning, meaning that dangerous levels of wind chill are possible, and a wind chill watch, meaning that very cold weather is expected.

Paying attention to very cold wind chill or “feels like” numbers can help you plan your time outside to avoid the risk of frostbite and hypothermia.

Avoiding Frostbite
What It Is
Damage to the body (most commonly the face, ears, fingers, or toes) caused by freezing. In extreme cases, frostbite can require amputation. Frostbite is more likely if you have poor circulation, but anybody can get it.

Signs to Watch Out For
You might not notice frostbite on yourself, because your face or fingers may go numb before any of the signs of frostbite show up.

To spot frostbite on others, look for skin that appears white or grayish-yellow, or that seems firm or waxy.

Redness or pain is a sign to get out of the cold immediately.

What to Do
If somebody has frostbite, the CDC notes that you need to ask yourself two important questions:

Can I get this person medical help?
Do they also have hypothermia? (Hypothermia is a medical emergency, and should be your top priority.)
If you’re reading this at home, rather than in the remote arctic wilderness, you should head to the local emergency room or urgent care clinic rather than trying to treat frostbite on your own.

But one way or another, you need to slowly and carefully warm up the affected body parts. Don’t walk on frostbitten toes if you can help it; that causes more damage. But do get to a warm location if you can.

Then, use warm (not hot) water, or other gentle warmth such as putting your frotstbitten fingers under your arms to warm them with body heat. The process of thawing out your frozen tissue can be painful. Eric Mack wrote about his experience at Forbes:

I remember a man asked me to hold out my hands. He squeezed the frozen tips of my fingers and I felt nothing. There was no sensation, just the numbness that I’d been feeling since the middle of the journey.

At this point, a bowl of lukewarm water was placed in my lap and I began the long and painful process of thawing out my eight frozen fingertips. For what seemed like hours, but was probably just 20 minutes, my fingers throbbed and thawed as shooting pains marked the awakening of my nerves.

Avoiding Hypothermia
What It Is
Hypothermia is low body temperature. Normally our bodies generate heat to keep our core temperature constant, but if you’re in the cold for too long, you might lose more heat than you can produce.

Hypothermia isn’t just a winter danger; it can also happen in cool temperatures if a person is wet (for example, after falling into a lake, or sweating through an athletic event).

Signs to Watch Out For
Low body temperature affects the brain’s function, so a person with hypothermia might not be aware that something is wrong. Some signs that another person can observe, according to the CDC:

Confusion, slurred speech
Trouble moving, such as fumbling hands
In infants, red cold skin and low energy.
Take the person’s temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit is an emergency. If the person becomes unconscious, they need immediate medical help; if they don’t have a pulse or if they seem to stop breathing, perform CPR while waiting for help.

What to Do
Again, this is a situation for medical help, but if help is not available, you would want to slowly and carefully warm the person up.

Get to a warm place
Remove any wet clothing
Warm up their torso first, ideally with electric blankets. Skin to skin contact (under blankets) can also work.
If they’re able to drink, offer warm, non-alcoholic beverages like tea. (This can help to warm up their body.)
Once their temperature has returned to normal, keep them covered with blankets and dry clothing, including the head and neck.

Staying Safe Indoors
Keep Your Home Warm
Your heater might not be able to keep up in extremely cold weather, especially if your home is not well insulated.

If you lose heat, or if your heater can’t keep up, close off rooms you don’t need. Space heaters can come in handy but keep them away from anything flammable.

Never to run a generator indoors or use a gas oven to heat your home. Both of these practices can fill your home with carbon monoxide, a deadly gas with no noticeable smell. You should have a carbon monoxide detector already; if not, get one.

Don’t Let Pipes Freeze
Pipes in the outer walls of your house can freeze. Know how to shut off the water if necessary, and if possible locate your pipes and figure out whether they are insulated. If your pipes have frozen in the past, don’t be surprised if it happens again.

To reduce the chances pipes might freeze, let hot and cold taps trickle water all night, and open cabinet doors that are near pipes (for example, the pipes under your sink). This lets a little more of the house’s heat near the pipes.

If pipes do freeze, use a hair dryer to warm them up, never an open flame. Setting your house on fire is not the kind of warmth you are looking for."


Would You Like to Make Your Kids Feel Special? Here is how..

We found these helpful tips on how to make your kids feel special in, written by By Devan McGuinness and wanted to share :). 

"6 Small Ways to Make Each of Your Kids Feel Special

By Devan McGuinness

Parenthood is the ultimate juggling act, and at no time is that more clear than when you're trying to spread your time and attention among your children. Striking this delicate balance involves satisfying the needs of each kid while at the same making sure no one feels left out.

It's a worthwhile endeavor. Helping your child feel loved and special apart from his siblings can mold his identity and set him up for a healthy sense of self-worth and self-esteem in the future. On the flip side, kids who don't feel that special attachment with their parents may act out later in life, points out Laura Kauffman, Ph.D., a licensed child psychologist in Menlo Park, California. "These children are less likely to follow the rules of the household, and they are likely to vie for their parent's attention in less positive ways, including picking fights with siblings or acting out at school," she says.

Ultimately, "our goal [as parents] is to convey unconditional love through focused attention with clear limits and boundaries that will allow them to tolerate the inevitable breaks in our attention," Dr. Kauffman adds. The balance will help them understand that there will be times when they can have your full attention—and times when they won't.

Tricky? Yes, but doable. Here are six simple but powerful ways to make each of your children feel like a VIP.

Make eye contact. We may believe we can listen to what our kid is saying while we dash off a work e-mail, but in reality, dividing your attention can make your child feel like you're placing her second. So the next time she wants to talk to you, put down what you're doing and give your child your full eye contact and complete attention. Ask a question or two that shows you're truly listening and are present. If you can't drop what you're doing at that moment, say so. Ask your child to give you a moment to wrap up your task, then be sure to follow up with her, Dr. Kauffman says.

Spend some uninterrupted time together every day. You don't need to carve out large chunks of time; even 10 minutes a day is okay. Let your child decide what you do together and, if possible, turn the phone off or—better yet—leave it in another room so you're not tempted to check your Twitter feed.

Ask caring questions. Go beyond the generic "How was school?" conversation and instead ask your kids pointed questions that show you're invested in what's going on in their lives, Dr. Kauffman says. For example, ask them about their spelling test or what happened on their favorite TV show.

Create meaningful traditions. No need to construct anything elaborate; this is really about spending quality, one-on-one time together and creating lasting memories. Get in the kitchen with your child and make a pancake breakfast for the family on Sundays. Set a monthly date where you treat your kid to a favorite treat and an hour at the playground. Invite your child to accompany you to your standing salon appointment, and stay for mani-pedis afterward. Such simple traditions can go a long way toward building that special parent-child connection.

Be affectionate. A kiss on the cheek, a bear hug before bedtime—showing your affection makes kids feel loved. Not a "hugging" family? Create your own special handshake or come up with a fun code word with each kid.

Love what they love. Sure, you're probably not as excited about the newest collection of Shopkins as they are, but loving what your kids love is a great way to show they're important to you. Listen with enthusiasm as they explain the inner workings of their Lego castle, and make yourself available to help foster their hobby. Dr. Kauffman says sharing in your children's passions not only helps them feel supported, it also allows them to "feel they are important enough to dedicate your valuable time to them."