Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids
We Know Kids
The Willows Pediatrics Blog

Category: Willows Pediatrics

Iron: How Much is Enough for Your Infant or Toddler?

How much iron should my baby have?

Photo via Wikimedia.com

In November 2010, the AAP issued new age-based recommendations for iron intake in infants and toddlers. Because iron deficiency can have irreversible long-term effects on children’s cognitive and behavioral development, the AAP Committee on Nutrition stated that, “It is critical to children’s health that we improve their iron intake status starting in infancy.”

Babies born healthy at full term are born with sufficient iron stores for the first 4 months of life. Therefore, full-term babies do not need iron supplements prior to four months of age. However, if the infant is breast-fed, the AAP now recommends a 1-mg/kg daily dose of oral iron starting at four months, and continuing until an infant begins eating solid iron-rich foods – typically around six months of age. (Formula-fed infants will receive sufficient iron in their formula and do not need a supplement between four and six months of age.)

There is one caveat: Preterm infants do require iron during the first four months. If they are bottle-fed, the iron-fortified formula will provide the proper amount for these infants. However, according to the AAP, preterm infants who are breast-fed should take a 2-mg/kg daily dose of iron starting at one month of age.

Read More

For New Parents: Using Older Cribs is Potentially Dangerous

Infant Safety - Cribs

photo via flickr.com

Though it may have been the crib you spent time in as a child—and you did just fine—your old crib is most likely not suitable for your new baby. It’s tempting to purchase a used crib from a tag sale or to accept one from kindhearted family or friends whose children have grown up, but Willows Pediatrics recommends avoiding cribs that are more than 10 years old. (This means avoiding them at home, and also at day care centers and grandma’s house too!)

Here are just some of the dangers of older cribs:

Read More

Sledding: Winter Fun or Dangerous Past-time?

sledding safety

photo via wikimedia.org

It has been quite a winter so far here in southeastern Connecticut! Snow, slush, sleet … and more snow! With all of the winter weather and school closings, families have had more opportunities than ever to enjoy some favorite winter activities such as ice skating, skiing and snowman-building! Another activity that seems to be on everyone’s snow-day “to do” list is sledding. And while we know that sledding is a quintessential New England activity, we would be remiss if we didn’t point out that sledding-related injuries are more common than one might think.

According to a recent article in Pediatrics, more than 20,000 children annually are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sledding injuries. Some other noteworthy statistics include:

  • Children 10 to 14 years of age sustained 42.5% of sledding-related injuries;
  • Boys represented 59.8% of all cases
  • The head was the most commonly injured body part (34.1%), and injuries to the head were twice as likely to occur during collisions as through other mechanisms.
  • The most frequent injury diagnoses were fractures (26.3%), followed by contusions and abrasions (25.0%).
  • Traumatic brain injuries were more likely to occur with snow tubes than with other sled types. Read More

Swaddling and Hip Dysplasia: There May Be a Connection

Infant Swaddling

photo via Wikimedia.com

Infants have been swaddled for hundreds of years to promote sleep, keep them warm and decrease crying. Recently, however, the popularity of the practice has increased, and the pediatric and orthopedic communities are concerned that swaddling may influence the rate of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH).  An increase in DDH in infancy would lead to an increase in early arthritis in young adults.

If you are swaddling your infant, the most important thing to remember is that there should still be room for flexion in the legs. As the AAP stated, “Allowing even tightly swaddled infants to still have this flexion and abduction in their hips would allow for safe development of their hips.” Hip-safe swaddling is not difficult, and the International Hip Dysplasia Institute even has an online video, which demonstrates for new parents the safe swaddling technique. Read More

Banking Cord Blood: Why Public Banks Are the Better Choice

At Willows Pediatrics we frequently meet with expectant mothers and fathers. At these consultations we are able to chat with them about a variety of topics including newborn care, lactation and what to expect in the delivery room. One of the issues our soon-to-be parents often raise is whether or not to bank their child’s umbilical cord blood … and where to do so.

Cord blood from the umbilical cord is a rich source of stem cells that can save lives through stem cell transplants. Parents of newborns can elect to have the cells from their baby’s umbilical cord “banked” for future use. There are two options for families to bank their newborn’s cord blood, through a private company or through the public cord blood bank.  Read More

From Infancy to Adolescence, Car Safety is a Must

Sometimes, especially with young children, making sure everyone is in the car and safely buckled up can be the trickiest part of the day! We know that just getting your children to an appointment at Willows Pediatrics can involve various forms of car seats, boosters and seat belts. So, to make sure all of our patients arrive here safely, we wanted to go over current car safety guidelines.

Buckle Up

According to the CDC, in 2008, an average of 4 children ages 14 or younger were killed in motor vehicle crashes every day, and many more were injured. These statistics are sobering, but there is also reassuring news: proper car seat safety can make a huge difference. In 2008, restraint use saved the lives of 244 children ages 4 and younger and child safety seats reduce the risk of death in car crashes by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers ages one to four.

The AAP has put their car safety recommendations for 2010 on HealthyChildren.org.

Infant Seats

According to this very detailed paper, infants should be placed in rear-facing car seats and always in the back seat of the car. Infants should ride rear-facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. (At a minimum, under Connecticut law, children must ride rear-facing until they have reached at least 1 year of age AND weigh at least 20 pounds.)

Read More

Staying Safe in the Driveway and Street

Photo via flickr.com

In Westport, Weston, Fairfield and neighboring towns, many of us live on cul de sacs, quiet streets or have paved driveways. These smooth surfaces are ideal for kids to play on scooters, bikes, skateboards, roller blades, rip sticks and other wheeled toys. While it makes us happy to see so many of our patients outside, learning balance, practicing coordination and getting exercise, we are routinely surprised by the sheer number of youngsters we see on a daily basis without helmets. Read More

Water Safety at Home and on the Sound

water safety

photo via flickr.com

With the warm weather already here, many local families are venturing to the beach or to backyard pools for a little relief from the heat. And while swimming and splashing are fun, healthy ways to spend time in the summer, parents and caregivers cannot forget that safety is of paramount importance. The CDC reports that an average of ten people per day die from drowning in the U.S., and one quarter of those are children under the age of fourteen. Unfortunately, at Willows, we’ve seen first-hand the heartbreaking results of drownings and near-drownings in local water and hope never to see similar tragedies again. Read More