Saranac Lake Office
Redfield Medical Office Building
2249 State Route 86, Suite 3
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:45 AM - 5:00 PM
Tupper Lake Office
7 Stetson Road
Tupper Lake, NY 12986
Hours: Vary depending on physician's schedule
Constipation is the passage of hard, painful, or infrequent stools, or being unable to pass stool. Children become constipated for many reasons (diet, stress, others), but all have a few similar problems that must be dealt with to treat your child. When the colon (part of the intestine) becomes stretched from too much stool, it becomes weak and cannot push stool out. Stool softeners are used to make the stool easy to push out. Also, when the colon is stretched, children lose the feeling of having to go to the bathroom, so they must learn to go to the bathroom regularly.
However, before this can be done, the large, hard stool must first be emptied from the colon.
Toilet training or retraining:
Children who have been constipated lose the feeling of needing to go to the bathroom, so they must retrain themselves to have regular bathroom habits:
- Your child must sit on the toilet 3 times per day (after meals) everyday for 5 minutes.
- They must try to move their bowels, but it is ok if they do not.
- Praise your child for having a stool.
- Do not punish your child for having an accident. Just clean it up.
- Smaller children need to have a phone book or stool under their feet to help them push while on the toilet.
Eating fiber in the diet can help reduce constipation as well. Children should have several servings each day of fruits and vegetables and other high fiber foods. Your child’s doctor may also recommend a fiber supplement like Metamucil or Citrucel. Children should drink several glasses of water each day. Please click here to download a list of high-fiber foods.
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in over a certain period of time. In infants and children, dehydration is often caused by frequent, repeated diarrhea and/or vomiting over a few hours. The child cannot drink enough fluids to replace what is lost. It is important to spot early sighs of dehydration to keep your child from getting sicker. Severe dehydration in infants and children may lead to shock.
Signs of dehydration:
- Skin is cool or cold to touch, may look pale or blotchy
- Tears are absent when your baby cries. Eyes may be depressed or sunken.
- The front “soft spot” is depressed or sunken in children under 18 months old
- The child is thirsty all the time. Tongue and mouth may be dry or furry.
- The number of wet diapers or number of times your child urinates and amount of urine is decreased. The urine smells stronger and color may be a deeper yellow or brown.
- Breathing and heart rates are much faster.
- The child may be more sleepy or more fussy than normal.
Call the doctor if:
- Vomiting and diarrhea are worse
- Your child is unable to keep clear liquids down
- There is blood in your child’s stool
- Your child is hard to wake up or cannot be consoled
Fever Management #
Fever is a temperature over 100.4 degrees F (rectal or oral). It is usually a sign that the body was exposed to a virus or bacteria. Fever helps the body fight infection. Most fevers in children range between 100 – 104 F and are not harmful.
Treat fever to make the child feel better:
- Let your child rest
- Give acetaminophen* (Tylenol) every 4 hours (dosing schedule)
- After giving fever medicine, keep child lightly dressed and in a cool place, cover with blankets only when chilled
- Give plenty of clear fluids such as juices, soft drinks, Jell-O or Popsicles
Call your physician or go to the emergency room if your child:
- Is less than 4 months old with any fever
- Has a temperature over 104 F
- Has a serious symptom, such as a seizure, stiff neck, bulging soft spot, or purple rash or has trouble breathing
- Begins to look very sick, cries all the time, is very fussy, does not move, will not drink, has no tears, acts confused or is hard to wake up
- Has a fever that lasts more than 24 hours
- Has pain with urination
- Develops a rash with the fever
- Has a past history of seizures with fever
Gastroenteritis is an infection of the stomach and intestines that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites. The infections do not allow the intestines to do their job properly. Food and fluids move rapidly through the intestines and because of this the body cannot absorb the food and fluids it needs.
- Diarrhea - frequent bowel movements that are loose, watery, green and smell bad.
- Some children also have vomiting.
- The child may be fussy, not feel well and have a low grade fever.
- Dehydration may occur. The body may not be able to absorb as many fluids as it is loosing through the diarrhea and vomiting.
Symptoms and patient history are used to diagnose the problem. Be prepared to
tell your physician the number of bowel movements a day, color of stool, presence of any pus or blood in the stool and any vomiting. Sometimes a stool specimen is tested to determine the cause of the infection.
Mild cases of diarrhea and vomiting are usually cared for at home. Some children any need hospitalization if they become dehydrated.
- Change the child’s diet so the intestine can rest and return to normal function.
- Give room temperature clear liquids (ones you can see through) for about 24 hours. Most health care providers suggest an oral electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte or Ricelyte for infants and young children.
- Other suggestions are Jell-O water, flat ginger ale, and chicken broth. Chicken broth and electrolyte solutions help return body salts to a normal level.
- Give ¼ cup of liquids every 30 minutes. Increase the amount as the number of loose bowel movements decrease.
- Start the child on soft bland foods that are easy to digest after the vomiting and diarrhea stops. The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) is often used.
- If the child gets these foods for a couple of meals and does not have more vomiting or diarrhea regular food may be started
Call your physician if:
- Your child shows signs of dehydration
- Is unable to keep even small amounts of clear fluids down
- Is sleeping too much or harder to wake up then normal
Overexposure to the sun’s rays can be very damaging to your child’s skin. Protect children from overexposure to the sun from the time they are born, because sun damage can add up over time.
- Avoid the sunlight between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM when the sun’s rays are most intense.
- Block sunlight by wearing protective clothing. Cover up as much as possible with brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts, and sunglasses with UV protection.
- Cover up with a nono-para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) sunscreen lotion that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Apply lotion before going outdoors and reapply after swimming, sweating, and toweling. Use waterproof or water resistant lotion if your child will be playing in water.
- Keep babies under 6 months out of direct sunlight. Use a stroller with a canopy or shade when outdoors with your baby. Sunscreen lotion is not recommended for children under 6 months.
Mild sunburn – apply cool compresses or cool tap water to reduce pain and redness. Cool baths in oatmeal (Aveeno) or baking soda may help. Use bland creams such as Nivea or Lubriderm to relieve dryness
Severe sunburn - (intense pain, blistering, fever, chills or nausea) Call your physician immediately