By Julie Deardorff
Yes, it's easy to blunder when it comes to children's health. Some infractions are minor; others (like letting your baby rock herself off the kitchen table while strapped into an infant car seat) make us wince with guilt long after the event. Fortunately, the most common health mistakes can often be avoided. Here are ways we jeopardize our children's health.
The mistake: Giving a previously bandaged wound "fresh air." Fresh air dries out a wound and leads to the formation of a scab, said Adesman, author of "BabyFacts: The Truth About Your Child From Newborn Through Preschool" (Wiley), which debunks common myths. Keeping a wound covered reduces the likelihood of scabbing; scabs impede the movement of normal skin cells involved in the healing process and increase potential for scarring. Bandages help protect the wound area from further injury, he adds.
A better way: Keep the wound covered and dry so it can heal itself without the need for scab formation.
The mistake: Fever phobia. Fever induces much parental panic, but fever is a sign that the body is fighting an infection. In children, a high fever has little to do with the seriousness of the infection. The highest fever the child will experience will be with the completely harmless disease — roseola — while many children with life-threatening infections will have low-grade fevers, said Belilovsky.
A better way: Leave the car seat in the car.
WHEN TO WORRY ABOUT A FEVER
Newborn-3 months: 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius)
3 months-2 years: 102 degrees (39 degrees Celsius)
Older than 2 years: 104-105 degrees (40 degrees Celsius)