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What is Chicken Pox?

Chicken pox virus

What is Chicken Pox?

Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes an itchy rash with small, fluid-filled blisters. Chickenpox is highly contagious to people who haven’t had the disease or been vaccinated against it. Today, a vaccine is available that protects children against chickenpox.

The chickenpox vaccine is a safe, effective way to prevent chickenpox and its possible complications.


The itchy blister rash caused by chickenpox infection appears 10 to 21 days after exposure to the virus and usually lasts about five to 10 days. Other signs and symptoms, which may appear one to two days before the rash, include:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Tiredness and a general feeling of being unwell (malaise)

Once the chickenpox rash appears, it goes through three phases:

  • Raised pink or red bumps (papules), which break out over several days
  • Small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles), which form in about one day and then break and leak
  • Crusts and scabs, which cover the broken blisters and take several more days to heal

What causes chickenpox?

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes the chickenpox infection. Most cases occur through contact with an infected person. The virus is contagious to those around you for one to two days before your blisters appear. VZV remains contagious until all blisters have crusted over. The virus can spread through:

  • saliva
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • contact with fluid from the blisters

Who Gets It?

Children under age 2 are most at risk for chickenpox. In fact, 90% of all cases occur in young children. But older kids and adults can get it, too.

You’re more at risk for chickenpox if you:

  • Haven’t had the virus before
  • Haven’t been vaccinated for it
  • Work in a school or child care facility
  • Live with children
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Ways to Control Child’s Anger: Teach Your Child Anger Management


If you’re a parent, it is a certainty that you have had to deal with an angry child. Often, we end up in shouting matches with our kids, or we freeze up, not knowing what to do when an angry outburst occurs.

Anger is a normal emotion in kids and adults alike. But how we express and deal with our feelings of anger is the difference between living in relative peace and feeling like we are at our wits’ end

Don’t Yell at or Challenge Your Child During an Angry Outburst

Many times parents deal with angry outbursts by challenging their kids and yelling back. But this will just increase your feeling of being out of control. The best thing you can do is remain calm in a crisis.

 Work on communication skills

Don’t jump to conclusions. Learn to express what you want appropriately. Stop and listen to what others are saying. Learn active listening skills (mirroring ensures you are hearing others correctly) and think before speaking. Avoid the temptation to get defensive. Ask questions so you know what others are trying to say. Avoid name calling. Keep cool.

Talk about the source of the anger. In children, frustration and disappointment often bring on angry outbursts. Look for the underlying concern. The source may be a skill not mastered or a difficulty in school.

Pay Attention to Your Reactions

It’s important to watch your reactions, both physical and mental. Your senses will tell you “Yikes, I’m in the presence of somebody who is very upset.” You’ll feel your heart start beating faster because your adrenaline will be heightened. Even though it’s difficult, the trick is to act against that in some way and try to stay calm.

Encourage empathy

Encourage your child to see things from another point of view. Even young children can understand when someone else feels sad or angry. If they don’t want to talk about their feelings, try inserting a favorite character from a book into the story. Ask questions to prompt your child to see another side of the issue and relate it to the situation at hand. How would the characters feel and react?

Remind them to forgive themselves and others. Even good people sometimes behave badly. Losing your temper once doesn’t mean you can’t change. Children especially need to believe that they will not be forever judged for their actions.

Be generous with hugs and praise

Physical contact can help defuse a challenging situation. A well-timed hug can ward off feelings of jealousy or frustration that can lead to anger. A gentle touch on an arm can help calm escalating nerves.

Remember to praise your child for their attempts, not just their achievements. Sometimes people fail, and there is much to be learned when things go wrong. Remind your kids of their strengths and what they have accomplished thus far. Pointing out your own failures can help your children see that they can move forward and try again.

Be a good role model

Be aware of your own anger. Studies show that parental emotions influence their children. If you think you don’t exhibit anger often, pay attention to how many times you yell or otherwise show anger (maybe keep a journal), noting what triggers it and how you react (yelling, punching the wall, hitting the steering wheel).

While anger is a normal part of life, it is sometimes indicative of a more serious issue. When anger falls outside developmental norms—for example, if a teacher reports your child’s anger is out of control, or if it’s impacting your child’s and possibly your family’s life—it is time to seek help.

Several developmental and mental health issues can contribute to emotional outbursts. A professional evaluation can help diagnose and find the proper approach for your child.

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Hypothyroidism in Children


The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is located in the lower front of the neck, just above the collarbone. The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormones, which are released into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. In children, thyroid hormone helps to ensure that growth and development occur normally and that the body’s energy, metabolism, heart, muscles, and other organs are working properly.

Hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone deficiency.

In children, hypothyroidism can be present at birth (a condition called congenital hypothyroidism) or it can develop later in childhood. When the thyroid gland stops working despite being normal in the newborn period it is called ‘acquired’ hypothyroidism.

Causes of Hypothyroidism in Children

The most common cause of hypothyroidism in children is a family history of the disease. Children whose parents, grandparents, or siblings have hypothyroidism are at a higher risk for thyroid disease. This is also true if there’s a family history of immune problems that impact the thyroid.

Autoimmune conditions, such as Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, more commonly appear during puberty. These thyroid conditions more frequently affect girls than boys.

Other common causes of hypothyroidism in children include:

  • not enough iodine in a child’s diet
  • being born with a nonfunctional thyroid or without a thyroid gland (also called congenital hypothyroidism)
  • improper treatment of a mother’s thyroid disease during pregnancy
  • abnormal pituitary gland

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

There are no signs or symptoms that are unique to hypothyroidism. Also, because the condition can develop slowly over many years, the symptoms may be less noticeable or ignored.

  • Two important symptoms in children are:
  • Slowing of height – an important early sign of hypothyroidism in children and
  • Pubertal development that may be delayed in adolescents.

An important finding on physical exam is an enlarged thyroid, also called a goiter

Other hypothyroid symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue (being more tired than expected)
  • Constipation
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Dry skin
  • Dry and brittle hair (more in the shower, on brush, clothing and bedding)
  • Depression
  • Irregular and/or heavy menstrual periods
  • Weight gain. Hypothyroidism can slow metabolism, but most people do not gain excess weight only because of low thyroid hormone.

Because the symptoms are so variable and nonspecific (may be caused by things other than the thyroid), the only way to know for sure whether a child or teenager has hypothyroidism is to perform a blood test.

How to Diagnosis?

The diagnosis of hypothyroidism is made with a blood test for two hormones:

  • TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) is the most sensitive test for hypothyroidism. TSH is made in the pituitary, a gland at the base of the brain that controls our hormone system. If the thyroid gland is not working, the pituitary releases more TSH to try to get the thyroid to make more thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). Less commonly, the thyroid may be normal and it is the pituitary that cannot make enough TSH. This is called ‘central’ hypothyroidism and may be caused by medications, illness, a brain injury or a mass/tumor near the pituitary.
  • T4 levels measure the amount of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) that is in the blood. Often this test will measure the level of “free T4” (abbreviated FT4). FT4 is the form that is not attached to a protein and can enter and affect the body’s cells.
  • Thyroid auto-antibodies – the immune system makes antibodies against thyroid proteins (called thyroid peroxidase or TPO) and the antibody levels may be measured to confirm the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s. Many patients who have thyroid autoantibodies continue to have normal thyroid hormone levels. In this situation, it may be hard to predict if and/or when the person will need thyroid medication.
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How to make kids wear Mask

If you’ve ever tried to persuade a willful toddler to wear sunglasses or a hat on a sunny day, you know how tricky it can be to get kids to do something they don’t want to. Convincing a young child to wear a face mask may feel like a similar struggle.

Keep in mind that the CDC recommends that children under age 2 not wear a face mask because of the danger of suffocation.

Generally, everyone ages 2 or older have to wear a face mask when leaving the house, regardless of whether symptoms are present.

Tips to Encourage Your Child to Wear a Mask

Face masks seem scary for some kids, while others may simply not want to wear one. Here are tips to encourage children to wear them when needed.

Lead by example. If you have a toddler over age 2 or a preschooler, introduce the concept of wearing a face mask by putting one on at home with your child. A little practice for a few days can help kids feel comfortable wearing a mask before they actually need it.

Keep it positive. Answer your child’s questions about masks simply in a way your child can understand. You might say, for example, that wearing a mask when we go to the grocery store helps keep us healthy. Or, that by wearing a mask, you’re helping others stay healthy and being a good helper in the community. Your child just might feel proud to wear a mask.

Make it playful. Incorporate a face mask as part of your child’s playtime — put a face mask on a favorite stuffed animal or doll. Have your child play with the masked stuffed animal or doll for a day or two until the mask seems less noticeable. Have your child draw face masks on animals in coloring books, too.

Get creative. Decorate the mask with your child. Markers can turn your child’s disposable mask into art and make wearing it more fun.

Show others modeling mask-wearing. Do so by showing your child pictures of other kids and adults wearing masks. A quick Google or social media search can show your child lots of examples of others just like him. “See, everybody’s wearing one!”

Make it fun. Whether you’re making your own masks or buying them, try to choose a pattern that your child likes. Think kid-friendly superheroes, favorite characters, animals, cars and trucks or a favorite color, and then talk it up. “Look, it has dinosaurs on it!” Try finding one for yourself in a matching pattern or color to show your child you’re in this together.

Make it comfy. If your child complains that a mask is uncomfortable, try a different style, such as a mask with ties instead of elastic around the ears

How to Get the Right Fit  

Once your child is used to the idea of wearing a mask in public, talk with them about how to wear a cloth face mask correctly. Remind them that it should cover both your nose and mouth. Before helping your child put on a face mask, help them wash their hands. Help your child fit the mask over their mouth and nose and make sure it is snug against the sides of their face.

Encourage your child not to touch the face covering when it’s on his face and to wash his hands if he does. Then, ask your child if he can breathe easily. If everything’s all good, give your child an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Once your outing is over and you’re home again, be sure to praise your child for doing such a good job wearing his or her mask. Positive reinforcement can empower kids to keep up the good work.

Remind your child to keep at least six feet from anyone who isn’t part of your household. And provide lots of praise and positive reinforcement as they adjust to this new aspect of everyday life.


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