Saturday, March 14, 2009

Health Tips for March 14

Health Tip: Minor Reaction to Childhood Immunizations

When children have a severe reaction to an immunization -- with symptoms such as high fever, breathing problems, continuous crying for several hours, weakness, or red streaks near the injection site -- it requires immediate medical attention.

The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital offers these suggestions for much milder post-injection discomfort:

  • For soreness at or near the injection site, apply a cool, damp cloth or an ice pack.
  • Administer an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen. Do not give the child aspirin.
  • For minor cases of hives, apply hydrocortisone cream.
  • Any fever that develops should not last more than three days. Administer acetaminophen and lots of fluids. If the fever lasts more than three days, seek medical attention at once.
  • Your child may be cranky or fussy after the immunization, and may sleep a lot. If these symptoms don't improve after three days, call your doctor.

Health Tip: If You Have Bad Breath

Everyone's had a bout with bad breath, but when it becomes chronic, it's time to see your dentist.

Some sources of bad breath include: what you eat; not brushing and flossing daily; tobacco products; or a medical disorder such as a respiratory tract infection, sinusitis, postnasal drip, bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment, the American Dental Association (ADA) says.

The ADA says you should brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque, remembering to brush your tongue, too. Once a day, use floss to clean between teeth.

If you must constantly use a breath freshener to hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist.

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