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Medical Health
Allergies or asthma: What is the difference between allergies and asthma?

Allergies and asthma can easily be confused. They share some symptoms: wheezing, coughing, lack of energy. Allergies are part of a body's normal response system to a perceived harmful substance; asthma blocks of airways. Making normal breathing difficult. Allergies can be linked to such triggers as pollens, animals and foods; asthma is the result of extreme physical exertion.

Allergies can be treated through pills, shots and lifestyle changes. Treatment will vary according to each individual case. Severity, frequency and regularity will be considered when prescribing treatment.

Asthma is treated with inhalants to widen the passages to the lungs. Children with asthma may be especially susceptible to high concentrations of air pollution and smog. Consult your doctor.

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Doctor visits: If my baby is healthy, why do I have to keep taking him/her for check-ups?

It's the best way of keeping your baby healthy. A medical provider can pick up health problems early, before even symptoms of real trouble. And your baby's immunizations will be kept up to date.

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Doctor visits: When do I call the doctor for a fever?

  • Child younger than 6 months is higher than 100 F.
  • Child has fever and cannot be consoled.
  • Child has fever and has trouble waking from sleep.
  • Child has fever and cries when you touch or move him/her.
  • Child older than 6 months has fever greater than 100 F more than two days.
  • Child older than 6 months has fever equal to or higher than 102 F.
  • Child has fever and is drowsy.
  • Child has fever and is breathing heavily.
  • Child has fever and has pains.
  • Child has fever and a stiff neck, cannot bend head forward and is sensitive to bright lights.
  • Child has recurring, unexplained fevers.

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Doctor visits: When do I call the doctor otherwise?

  • Child is throwing up.
  • Child has diarrhea or is constipated.
  • Child is inconsolable.
  • Child has unexplained marks, bumps or bruises on body.
  • You have diet/eating concerns about your child.
  • Other concerns about your child's health and development.

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Immunizations: Why do I need to immunize my child? And is it safe?

Thanks to vaccinations, the number of children who become ill from diseases such as measles, chicken pox, German measles and polio has been markedly reduced. Immunizing your child means that your child will receive a shot or vaccine that will help to fight against a particular disease if is exposed to it.

Vaccines protect children from getting sick. Some children will experience side effects. Minor effects include fever or swelling; fatal effects are very rare. The benefits significantly outweigh the risk associated with side effects.

Here is a schedule of immunizations to be administered by your child's health care provider:

Recommended Vaccincation Schedule:

Miami-Dade County Health Department
1350 NW 14th Street
Miami, Fla. 33125
Phone: (305) 324-2400
Fax: (305)324-5959
Web site:

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Shaken Baby Syndrome: What is it?

In the first three of years of life, a baby's brain can be injured much more easily than an adult's brain. One way of hurting a young child's brain is by shaking the baby. This can happen when caregivers or parents are frustrated or angry. Even if you have had a bad day either at home or at work and the baby is getting on your nerves,


This may lead to such severe brain damage that the baby dies. Even if the child survives, he/she can suffer from blindness and /or mental retardation.

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Shaken Baby Syndrome: What should I do when I get so frustrated that I just want to shake some sense into my baby?

  1. Set your baby in a safe and secure place.
  2. Leave the room.
  3. Take deep breaths-count-calm down.
  4. Once you have regained control, reconnect with your baby.

Make sure that anyone caring for your baby also understands and practices this concept.

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SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome): What can cause SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome refers to a baby's death without any apparent cause. It is not clear what exactly causes SIDS, but there are three things you can do to protect your child:

  • Do not expose your baby to second-hand smoke.
  • Put your baby to sleep on his/her back. Babies should be put to sleep on their backs until they can turn themselves over. , Click on the Back to Sleep campaign logo.
  • Keep pillows, comforters and stuffed toys out of your child's sleeping area. These items can lead to suffocation.

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Smoking in your child's life: What does smoking do to my child?

Smoking while pregnant lowers the amount of oxygen available to the baby. Moreover, the chemicals in nicotine pass into your baby's bloodstream. All this can retard your baby's growth and development. It's also linked to a greater likelihood of premature birth, low birth weight, infant death, and health problems after birth.

Smoking after birth continues to present great risks to your child's health. It exposes your child to second-hand smoke and provides an unhealthy model for your child. Exposure to second hand-smoke increases your child's chances of ear infections, asthma and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). In the long run it contributes to lung cancer, heart disease and cataracts.

If you are a smoker, it is in the best interest of your child to quit.

Be sure anyone who does smoke, smokes outside. You want to be sure that the air in your home is healthy for your child to breathe.

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The role of the emergency system: When do I call 9-1-1?
Call 9-1-1…
  1. for severe difficulty breathing, gasping for air and or choking on something.
  2. for a convulsion.
  3. for severe injuries, including deep or extensive cuts.
  4. for serious reactions.
  5. for a permanent tooth that has been knocked out.
  6. for a child underwater more than a couple seconds.
  7. for burns larger than the child's fist.
  8. for exposure to smoke or toxic fumes.
  9. For head injuries.
  10. For loss of consciousness.

Call the Poison Control Center if you have a suspicion your child has ingested any harmful substance: 1-800-222-1222

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Brought to you by The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education

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