Sandbox Safety

This may be one of those “I’d rather not know what’s really in there” moments. But despite the appeal of sandboxes, those communal gathering spots of the 4-year-old set may not be as innocent as they appear.

Like swimming pools – which we enter with a certain amount of forcing ourselves not to think about what’s really in that water – the shared sand space contains the residue of all who have entered it. That includes bacteria, parasites and other infectious germs carried by kids and – depending on the location of the sand – animals. The difference is that the sandboxes don’t have chlorine or other agents to help kill off some of the germs.

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Bug off!

Is it just me, or are the bugs way worse this summer than they have been in previous years?  Well, it’s not just me.  Warmer winters have led to an increased tick and mosquito population, so experts predict rising tick- and mosquito-borne infections of many types. And with all this rain we’ve had recently, you know the mosquito population is only going to get worse…

In Wisconsin (and many other places in the United States), the disease we most associate with ticks is Lyme disease. Symptoms of Lyme disease can range from common (including the target rash with central clearing, headaches, fatigue) to more rare (vaginal ulcers, inflammation of joints or the heart, or neurological conditions, including seizures).

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Fighting Hunger this Summer

One in six children and one in nine adults in Dane County have food insecurity, according to the national hunger-relief organization Feeding America.

The United States Department of Agriculture defines food security as having access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. Families may be considered food-insecure if they have anxiety about having enough food in the house, have to buy food of low quality or have to eat less or less often.

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Lawn Mower Safety

Frequent readers of our blog know we like to talk about safety. And this is going to be another one of those posts. It started because one of our orthopedic surgeons commented that in the last 6 days (days!) our Emergency Department has treated 2 children for lawn mowers injuries. As many of us have a summer season of lawn mowing ahead of us, it seemed like a good time to go over some tips to help keep everyone safe.

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Fracture Season: Preventing Broken Bones in Kids

In some parts of the country, people say there are really only two seasons: winter and construction.

Add a third – “fracture season,” say experts in children’s health at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wis.

We’re in the heart of it right now. Warm spring temperatures and the end of school combine to send thousands of kids into backyards and onto playgrounds, where they’re breaking their bones at startling rates-on rollerblades, on bikes, playground equipment and trampolines.

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