Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a newly released Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan form.

     I like most pediatricians am a member of a national organization of pediatricians called the American Academy of Pediatrics. They are the experts on many topics about infants and children. I was interested this week when they released an Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan to assist families, caregivers, and school personnel in the event of an allergic reaction. Other action plans exist for this purpose. The FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan has been commonly used in Central Ohio by pediatricians.
     I like things about both forms. The AAP form is easy to read and follow the instructions. The FARE form has simple diagrams that make it easy to quickly read through the instructions that match the symptoms. Both talk about when to use antihistamines and epinephrine. Both talk about a plan for what to do after these are given. One difference is that the FARE form specifies something that is very important: it says that after giving epinephrine, "Transport patient to ER, even if symptoms resolve. Patient should remain in ER for at least 4 hours because symptoms may return." This is very important advice!
     The FARE form is here. The AAP form is available here. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology has a similar (though simpler) form and it is here.
     Although I think both the AAP and FARE forms are very good, I suspect some schools may show a preference to one or the other. The important thing is to have a plan in place should an emergency occur with a food allergy reaction.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Is there a safe short-cut to getting bigger, faster, stronger for sports?

     As a pediatrician who sees many pre-teens and teenagers, I am frequently asked "My child wants to take ______ (sports supplement). Is it safe?" I explain that the current supplements available have not proven to be safe and effective. It is possible to have sports performance worsen because of supplements. In addition, the short and long term safety of these are in doubt, with side effects including kidney damage, growth issues, stomach issues, heart issues and high blood pressure all under investigation.
     Here is a link about safely improving sports performance. Here is a link to a different article about the sale of these products to under-age teens. It is good to remember the store is trying to make a sale, not look after your safety. Be very skeptical about claims these sports supplements.
     The safest way to gain strength and muscle is to add lean protein in your diet. If you Google search this, millions of articles come up. Some of these, sadly, will lead you to purchase their supplements (which I hope our patients will avoid)! Here is an article with good information about good sources of protein.