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What Parents Should Know About Spring Allergies

Approximately 40 percent of children suffer from seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are different than year-round allergies because symptoms only occur during certain periods.

The symptoms of seasonal allergies show up at the same time every year and disappear in about four to ten weeks.

How can you tell the difference between a cold, the flu, and seasonal allergies? What steps can you take to help prevent them and make your child feel better?

Spring Allergies:

  • Spring allergies usually begin in March and may last through the summer
  • Spring allergies are caused because of environmental changes. Pollen counts are higher during the spring
  • Because of the nicer weather, children are more likely to be exposed to outdoor allergens, such as tree pollen, grass and weeds
  • Seasonal allergies usually develop by the time a child is ten years old. The symptoms peak when they are in their early twenties, and usually disappear by young adulthood
  • Seasonal allergies do not usually develop in infants. Children need to be exposed to several pollen seasons in order to develop a reaction
  • Seasonal allergies are sometimes hereditary. Children are more likely to develop them if their mother or father has had seasonal allergies

Symptoms of Spring Allergies:

  • Lingering congestion that does not clear up
  • Itchiness of the nose and throat
  • Swollen, watery, itchy eyes and redness
  • Sneezing and nasal drainage that is clear and watery
  • Children can sometimes develop an ear infection or inflammation in the ear
  • Children can sometimes develop a rash that can appear anywhere on the body
  • If a child has a fever or is complaining of body aches, those are usually signs of a cold or flu, not spring allergies

Preventive Tips:

While there is no real cure for spring allergies, it’s possible to help prevent them and relieve symptoms. Uncontrolled allergies can make your child’s symptoms worst.

  • Keep your home’s windows and doors closed, use the air conditioner whenever possible
  • Keep your car’s windows closed and use the air conditioner
  • Have your child shower at night in order to wash the pollen off before bedtime
  • Make sure your child washes their hands properly after playing outside
  • Children should avoid the outdoors when pollen levels are at their highest, between the hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
  • Parents should schedule outdoor activities after 10 a.m.

Parents should always consult their child’s pediatrician. They can properly diagnose a child’s ailment and determine if medication or further testing is needed.

Posted by lavandosky

PCCSF’s Dr. Gerald Lavandosky is Superman to Teenage Patient

At Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida, we can see anywhere between 10-12 severe cases of influenza on a yearly basis. Jenny’s battle with the flu is such a unique case because of the many secondary complications she dealt with.

The state-of-the-art equipment available at PCCSF known as ECMO, and Jenny’s spirit to live are the key takeaways from her story. See how she’s doing today, and why she calls our very own Dr. Gerald Lavandosky “Superman”, in her interview with the Palm Beach Post below.

Posted by lavandosky

Patient Success Story: South Florida Teen Nearly Dies After Getting the Flu

The 2016-2017 flu season has been an aggressive one. The virus has spread to 40 states, including Florida, and has been associated with 20 pediatric deaths. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 14,000 cases of influenza A have been reported across the country. With the flu reaching such epidemic levels, it’s important to get the flu shot to avoid getting sick.

Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida was featured on the local South Florida ABC affiliate, WPLG Local 10, regarding the unique case of Jenny, a teenage girl who nearly lost her life after getting the flu.

Jenny spent 241 days in the hospital fighting for her life. The effects of the flu were so severe, she suffered multiple organ failures and severe nerve damage. After receiving a kidney transplant just days before Christmas last year, Jenny is now recovering and is on track to graduate with her classmates in May.

See how PCCSF’s Dr. Lavandosky saved Jenny’s life in his interview with Channel 10′s Kristi Krueger, and see how Jenny’s doing today.

Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida featured on Local 10 from Diana Somarriba on Vimeo.

Posted by lavandosky

PCCSF Doctors: Saving Lives in South Florida and Abroad

The PCCSF family is fortunate to have some incredible individuals as part of its staff. In honor of American Heart Month, we are shining the spotlight on our very own Dr. Ryan Moranwho is saving the lives of children suffering from heart disease not just in South Florida, but in developing countries as well. Read all about his incredible mission trips with Heart Care International in our latest newsletter.

Posted by lavandosky

Kick-Start your Child’s New Year with Healthy Habits

A new year is a great time to jumpstart your children’s healthy habits and keep them in check throughout the year. Developing good eating habits and encouraging physical activities now will reap lifelong benefits.

Set a Good Example – Children practice what they see. Get the whole family involved. Be a positive role model by practicing the same healthy habits that you are trying to foster in your child. Turn family time into an opportunity to teach your children about good nutrition, as well as a time to plan active family outings.

Make it Easy – Keep your kids healthy by making it easier to eat nutritious foods. Cut up fruits and vegetables and keep them where they are easy to pick up. Keep sports equipment, such as balls, Frisbees, jump robes, etc. visible. Keep the focus on having fun, such as walking the dog, playing hide-and-seek, family walks after dinner, or weekend hikes.

Make Healthy Eating a Game – Make fruits and vegetables fun by incorporating a broad range of different colors, such as greens, yellows, oranges, reds and blues into your child’s daily diet. Aim to serve fruits and vegetables in every meal, and have your child research the nutritional benefits of the foods you serve.

Set Limits – Set limits on television viewing and the amount of time that your children spend playing computer games. Instead, set goals for daily physical activities and on the amount of nutritious foods that your children eat.

Eat a Good Breakfast – Providing your child with a healthy, well-balanced breakfast sets the pace for the day. Make sure that it includes fiber, protein, and some fruit for an energetic start.

Physical Activity – Help your child find physical activities that they enjoy and are likely to continue, such as biking, swimming, running, or playing basketball or football with family and friends. It doesn’t have to be organized sports; the important thing is to keep them moving.

Sleep – It’s essential that children get the sleep they need for their age group. A lack of sleep increases obesity, as well as learning and behavioral problems. Between the ages of 1-10, most children need between 10-14 hours of sleep, while teens need approximately 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep.

Meal Planning - Get your children involved in planning and cooking family meals. It is an opportunity for them to understand how meals are prepared and how they can use different ingredients to make them healthier. Teach them to read the nutritional information on food labels and what they should avoid.

Stress Management – Even in childhood, stress increases the likelihood of chronic illnesses, depression, and other emotional and behavioral problems. Help your child develop good stress management skills by urging good eating habits, physical activities, and free time to relax with family and friends.

Treats – Limit unhealthy foods, but don’t eliminate them entirely. Make a distinction between nutritious foods that your child should eat every day and foods that they can eat occasionally, as treats, such as ice cream, candy, soda and pastries.

Healthy habits promote success. Forging good habits in your children now will make it much more likely that they will continue these healthy habits as they get older.

About Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida

Pediatric Critical Care of South Florida (PCCSF) is a group of leading pediatric intensivists and hospitalists who are board-certified and fellowship-trained in pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine. They currently operate the pediatric critical care unit (PICU) facility at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida. For more information, please visit or call (954) 454-5131.

Posted by lavandosky