Summer is winding down, and before you know it the calendar will turn to September. School days are just around the corner, bringing a busy schedule of rough n' tumble sports, playground fun, and other activities. With kids spending lots of time outdoors, playing sports and participating in leagues, and toting around heavy backpacks all day, parents know that bruises, bumps, sprains, and mishaps are sure to follow. In fact, emergency rooms in the U.S. treat over 9 million children each year for accidental injuries.
While injuries are a part of growing up, parents aren't always sure which treatment options are safe and effective for their children, especially given the side effects of many oral pain relievers and the allergic reactions many kids have to those smelly, greasy ointments. The potential of overdosing a child using oral pain medication can cause dire consequences—including irreparable damage to the kidneys and liver. And the massive number of recent, ongoing pediatric over-the-counter (OTC) medicines is further cause for alarm—especially those containing the active ingredients acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Topical OTC analgesic ointments are also cause for concern, containing volatile oils such as camphor, menthol, and other irritating and potentially hazardous chemicals.
"Children are often underserved when it comes to pain management," says integrative pediatrician Natalie Geary, MD. "Many pain relievers are inappropriate for children's delicate systems or don't provide adequate pain relief."
With more than half of American children participating in extra curricular sports and activities, that leaves a large population without adequate pain treatment. Dr. Geary recommends the following tips when it comes to safety for kid's joints and muscles:
1. Make sure backpacks fit properly and have padded backs and straps. Children should wear BOTH straps and only carry what is necessary to avoid any excess weight. A backpack should weight no more than 5% - 10% of the child's body weight, and never hang more than 4" below the waistline.
2. Clothing and shoes should fit properly. Loose clothes can catch in playground equipment. Properly fitted footwear minimizes children's chances of falling or tripping.
3. Small children should be supervised at the playground or while playing outside at home.
4. Bullying is becoming epidemic. An adult should accompany younger children to the bus stop to avoid roughhousing between kids.
5. Children should have a physical exam before participating in sports and should wear the proper protective equipment. Stretching and warming up muscles is key to helping prevent injuries.
Even with precautions, kids have accidents, and there are times when pain and injuries are unavoidable. Moreover, 25-40% of children aged 3-5 and 8-12 experience growing pains. Now there's a new, natural product made especially for children: Topricin® Junior Children's Pain Relief Cream, which is perfect for treating the aches and pains of childhood. Odorless and greaseless, and free of parabens and petroleum, Topricin Junior is pediatrician recommended. It's the smart choice for parents to have on hand at sporting events and the neighborhood playground, as well as in the car glove box and bathroom medicine cabinet. Five percent of Topricin Junior sales are donated to children's health charities. For more information, visit www.topricinkids.com.