Friday, September 28, 2012


     My wife and I were once attending a play with friends. When the play was over, we were walking out. They have a son who is friends with my oldest son. We happened to be walking by Dr. Gary Smith, MD (a national specialist in children's safety) of Nationwide Children's Hospital. When they asked if we thought trampolines are safe, I introduced them to Dr. Smith and repeated the question. Dr. Smith said "No, do not buy one or let your child use one. They are dangerous". I said thanks and kept walking. That in a nutshell is how pediatricians feel about trampolines.
      There is a good review of this here at Shots the NPR Medical Blog. The American Academy of Pediatrics has again released an updated statement about trampolines and is available here. We know there is a "thrill" factor that attracts everybody to trampolines. And we have kids that jumping on a trampoline keeps them active when they may struggle to be physically active in other ways. But we urge you to have your children avoid trampolines, even those with safety features and when limiting the trampoline to one person at a time, to avoid the serious and not-too-serious injuries that can occur with their use.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


     Croup is a viral upper respiratory illness. It is known to spike seasonally in how frequently we see it. Traditionally that is when we see a change from a steady (warmer or colder) temperature to a different temperature. So we can almost predict that we will hear more about this cough is the Fall and the Spring. It also goes on throughout the rest of the year. We have had dozens of cases in the office recently. Sometimes to rule-out Strep if there is a sore throat, sometimes to discuss treatment for stridor if that has occurred, and sometimes to check the ears and chest. Because croup is viral, it does not respond to antibiotics.
     We have an extensive description of croup, when to be seen, and when to just treat at home here on our website for Hilliard Pediatrics. Remember the vast majority of cases of croup do not need to be seen in the office and will pass soon in a few days at home. Also, some children and adults frequently get a croupy, barky cough or laryngitis (loosing your voice). One of my sons has had it at least two times a year since he was very little. He has not gotten terribly sick with the croup (although we have many a night where his barky cough has disrupted every one's sleep), but it is frustrating. If your child has had croup quite a few times, discuss it with us in the office.