Dr. Howard Gollup is a board-certified pediatrician with Aurora Advanced Healthcare in Germantown. He cares for children from birth through adolescence. Though he cannot respond to individual medical questions, he welcomes your feedback and suggestions for future topics.
Acetaminophen has been a mainstay for treatment of childhood fever and pain for fifty years. It played second string to “baby aspirin” for many years until, in the early 1980’s. At that time, Reyes Syndrome, a rare but serious childhood metabolic condition, was linked to aspirin use in children with influenza or chickenpox. So, acetaminophen became the called primary option for fever and minor discomfort. Even when children’s ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, etc.) entered the scene later in the 1980’s, acetaminophen remained the more popular, trusted, and time-tested choice.
Although it feels like summer hasn't really gotten here, we have started to see the usual uptick in cases of “swimmer’s ear”, as we do this time of year, once children start swimming regularly. Unlike the common middle ear infections most typical of infants and young children during the cold and influenza season, swimmer’s ear is an infection of the external ear canal, the portion just beyond the visible opening of the outer ear.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual general examinations for children and adolescents age 5-18 years. Summer is a great time to schedule these, since kids are off of school and pediatricians aren’t quite as busy in the office with earaches, respiratory infections, and other acute illnesses as in winter. Once your child is five years old or so, it doesn’t matter as much if the annual exam is immediately after their birthday or a few months after.
Frequent readers of this blog will start to get the idea I am a safety nut. In that regard, I am similar to most pediatricians. We practice a lot of preventative medicine—nutritional counseling, immunizations, safety advice—things intended to prevent problems before they emerge.