Survival articles related to children.

Whooping Cough Is Making a Comeback. Know What to Do.

A gravestone for two siblings* who died of whooping cough and the measles within two days of each other in 1821 in Massachusetts, according to Whooping cough is making a comeback. Fortunately, we have better hospitals and treatments, but people—especially babies—still die of it. by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Whooping cough (pertussis) has become epidemic in some areas of the United States. For instance, in 2011 in Washington State, there had been 180 cases from January 1 to June 14. In 2012, there have been 2,520. That’s the largest number of cases since 1942. Whooping cough is very contagious, and the current vaccine’s not working so well. So it’s something you need to know how to treat if you can’t get to a doctor. […]

By | July 31st, 2012|Children, Infectious Disease|46 Comments

Are Your Diarrhea Treatments Making You Worse?

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Many things people do or take for diarrhea and vomiting at home just make things worse. And since these are common complaints in my office, I expect they’ll be in disasters. In fact, the dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea is a major cause of death in Third World countries where getting to a doctor may be next to impossible. Children are especially vulnerable. At the clinic where I work, we usually treat at least a couple of diarrhea/vomiting cases a week with IV fluids. But what if they’re not available? What can you take or do at home that actually will help? Perhaps just as important, what should you not do to make things worse? […]

By | July 19th, 2012|Children, Infectious Disease|49 Comments

Going to the Pool? Watch Your Kids—Even With a Lifeguard

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. I worked as a lifeguard when I was a teen. Great job, usually. The Fourth of July was always an exception—so crowded. There was no way to keep up with everyone in the water. I basically hoped (prayed) that if someone started drowning, a person close by would shout, really loudly, above all the other shouting. Because, contrary to popular belief, a drowning victim usually doesn’t throw up their hands and shout, “Help, I’m drowning!” Usually they don’t shout anything. They’re doing all they can to stay afloat and gasp for breath. Sure, they may be splashing like crazy. But everyone was splashing like crazy. Then there are those who just silently go under. […]

By | July 3rd, 2012|Children, Hot, Weather|17 Comments

Your Child Has a Rash. Do You Know What to Do?

This is rash number 7 in the quiz below. Can you name it? by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Everyone with kids knows the drill. Your two-year old awakens you in the middle of the night with, “Mommy, I don’t feel vewy good,” or, “Daddy, my throat hurts.” You fumble around and find their forehead with an, “I sorry.” But yikes. This time they’re burning up. You flip on the light, and the kid looks like he’s been in a naked paintball fight—red splotches everywhere. What do you do? Okay, you’ll probably call the hospital, or the nurse’s hotline, or your primary-care doc. You might even go to the hospital. But what if you can’t? What if the roads aren’t travelable and all you’re getting on the phone is a busy signal? […]

Why You Could Die of a Bee Sting–Even If You’ve Never Been Allergic

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. On my Facebook page, Terri asks: What can be done if the person has a allergic reaction to a [bee] sting. What are the signs? What should I do if there is no bee sting medicine? medical facility. Good questions. First you need to know, there are bee-sting reactions and there are REACTIONS. The second kind can hit ANYONE and kill you in minutes. I’m not exaggerating. You can go all your life and not be allergic to bee stings, and wham. It’s speculated that many outdoor sudden deaths where the cause is unknown happen from an allergic reaction to a bee sting. Recognizing the warning signs can save your life. When to Get to the ER Generally, a local reaction—anything from a minor ouch to a major swelling of the affected extremity—isn’t immediately life-threatening. Any reaction beyond that, and you should get to a medical facility immediately. In fact, you should go soon if you have major swelling. It can be treated with antihistamines and steroids, or antibiotics if it’s an infection. But it’s not the kind of reaction that’s going to kill you in minutes. The lethal kind can hit within a minute or up to two hours from the time of the sting. Your blood pressure can drop, and your airways may swell. You can go into shock and die. Warning signs are: […]

Asthma Attack Without an Inhaler: 9 Steps That Could Save Your Life

Coffee and tea contain a chemical similar to the old asthma medicine theophylline. The amount may be too small to do much prevention, but they could be worth a try. (See step 7.) by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. I’ve never had a patient die of an asthma attack while I’m treating them, but a few have come close. I’ll never forget their desperate looks, their not being able to breath in enough air, and the relief that comes over them (and me) get when the attack is over. Although asthma is a serious disease (over 3,000 asthmatics die in the U.S. each year), I see fewer and fewer people having severe attacks these days because of the array of excellent medications available. But what would you do if you had an asthma attack without an inhaler? What steps could you take to prevent or treat one when all the prescription medicines were gone? Sonya asked it another way on my Facebook page: “Are there any natural cures for asthma flair-ups?” […]

How to Keep the Easter Bunny From Bringing You Salmonella This Year

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. I promise, this has to do with survival medicine. Just bear with me. Sunday is Easter, for crying out loud. Easter is the time we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And what better way to celebrate than … an Easter egg hunt. Many children and adults will spend a fun-filled afternoon hunting for those for those elusive, brightly colored eggs that old sneaky Easter Bunny has hidden. And a few will spend the next few days with a bad stomachache, vomiting, and diarrhea. (Leave it to a doctor.) So how does this relate to survival? Eating eggs. It’s not just the Easter bunny than can bring a case of the runs. I love chickens, but some have ovaries filled with salmonella. The eggs they lay contain the bacteria both inside and out. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating them or putting them in a basket, you and your children are at risk. A few simple steps can decrease that risk to nil: […]

By | April 5th, 2012|Children, Infectious Disease|10 Comments

Pinkeye, the Original Pink Slime … and the Impostors

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Well before the controversy over feeding our kids a kind of beef nicknamed “pink slime” in school cafeterias, there was pinkeye. It’s just as gross-looking and even more icky than the new version. Just ask anyone who’s had it. A reader asked for some posts on common eye problems and their remedies, so guess what I thought of first. And just like some people claim about ground beef and pink slime, there’s the real pinkeye, and there are the impostors. Pinkeye and its imitators all involve the thin, clear lining of tissue, call the conjunctiva, that covers the white of the eye. They all involve pink eyes too. The color indicates the conjunctiva is inflamed. So what causes this inflammation? Ah, there’s the rub. :-) And I hope to … clear that up—because the remedy depends on the answer. […]

[Video] Nursemaid’s Elbow: What to Do for This Common Children’s Injury

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. The poor nursemaid. I mean, we don’t even have nursemaids anymore, at least not by that name. Maybe it should be called Daddy’s or Mommy’s elbow. How about children’s elbow since they’re the injured ones? Or its medical name, subluxation of the radial head? Okay. Nursemaid’s elbow is easier to say, easier to remember, and, most importantly, puts the blame on someone else. Actually, no one’s to blame. The injury doesn’t come from abuse–usually. It happens while you and the kid are playing or when you get in a hurry. You swing a young child around by the arms. Wheee. Wheee. Waaaa. Or you’re walking, holding hands; you give a little jerk, or the child decides to use your hand for a swing, and suddenly … what happened? […]

By | January 31st, 2012|Bones, Children, Videos|Comments Off on [Video] Nursemaid’s Elbow: What to Do for This Common Children’s Injury