Can Your Eczema Cream Kill You? Maybe…

Creams with OatmealLike most kids her age, my toddler hates having cream put on her several times a day. I have a policy of ‘abate and placate’ so I offer a few creams and oils of different consistencies and types of packaging to try and get her cooperation. If that doesn’t work, well, I have to slather it on anyway, working as fast as I can, and then offer her a reward.

So when I received a set of Aveeno Eczema Care products at a recent eczema event, I added it to the carousel.

Having used it along with many, many other creams in the past however, I was skeptical that Baby would take to it. Boy was I surprised when, not only did she allow me to put some on her, but she started squeezing the tube and slathering it on herself!

But the good news ends right there. Within 10 minutes, Baby started scratching like her skin was on fire and sure enough, she was covered in hives.

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Review: Understanding Childhood Eczema

I’ve read a fair number of books on eczema and Understanding Childhood Eczema by Penny Titman is one of my favourites for parents of children with severe eczema. In fact, I liked it so much I’ve read it twice.

It is scientific enough to give caregivers a decent understanding of the disease in easy to understand accessible language without being condescending.

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Introducing Peanuts and Other Risky Foods

peanut butter

Not very long ago, parents were routinely told that they should not under any circumstances give highly allergenic foods to babies until a certain age. Absolutely not. No way Jose. None. Nada. Niente.
For example, with whole eggs little Johnny would have to wait until he turned 1, and to have some of his sister’s peanut butter sandwich he’d have to wait until his third birthday.

Then in January 2017, health authorities including the National Institutes of Health, did the kind of 180-degree flip usually seen in kung-fu movies, saying that not only can you introduce risky foods like peanuts to your 6-month old, but that you should.

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Expired EpiPen – To Use or Not to Use?

I often get asked fantastic questions at the end of a workshop that I don’t know the answer to and promise to look up. 

One of the best ones yet came after a recent talk about allergies to local Life With a Baby members. A mom with an allergic child asked me about using out of date EpiPens, i.e. can you use an expired EpiPen if you’ve forgotten to refill your prescription but your child is having an anaphylactic reaction?

So here’s what I discovered:

Surpringly, yes, according to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine

As long as the liquid doesn’t look discoloured, cloudy or have any precipitates (bits) floating in it, studies have found EpiPens to be safe even years after their expiry date. The medicine starts to lose its effectiveness after the expiry date but anaphylaxis is a life-threatening emergency and any amount of epinephrine is better than none. 

If an expired device is all you have to hand and it looks clear, use it and then call an ambulance as you would normally.

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