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 A mom with an allergic child asked me about using out of date EpiPens, i.e. can you use an expired EpiPen if you’ve forgotten to refill your prescription but your child is having an anaphylactic reaction?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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Review: AeroChamber Plus Flow Vu with Mask

AeroChamber Large mask

I tried the blue large adult mask but there is a smaller purple one too

Four out of 10 – that’s the score my doctor gave me for my inhaler technique. Embarrassing, but apparently I’m not alone. In fact a study found that 86% of people use their asthma puffers incorrectly.

One solution is a spacer device like the AeroChamber Plus Flow Vu with Mask.

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