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Academy of Otolaryngology Reminds Parents of Kids' E.N.T. Month

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Feb. 21, 2008 – The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery has named February "Kids Ear, Nose and Throat Health Month"(AAO-HNS). "Many E.N.T. disorders that begin in infancy or childhood can have lifelong implications if not detected and treated early on," said Dr. Adam M. Shapiro, a local otolaryngologist/head and neck surgeon.
Ear infections, allergies, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and enlarged tonsils are some of the most common issues that affect children. In support of "Kids E.N.T. Health Month," the academy is providing information on four other areas about which parents may be less aware. If undetected and/or untreated, long-term health issues can result from the following four areas, according to a press release from AAO-HNS.
1. Secondhand smoke is dangerous to a child's developing organs like the lungs and brain. If you are a smoker, have your child evaluated immediately.
2. Sleep disorders can cause hyperactivity and attention disorders. Disrupted breathing during sleep allows less oxygen to flow to the developing brain. St. Thomas Sleep Center can conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify any sleep issues.
3. The earlier that hearing loss can be identified, the better the chances are that a child will acquire language, whether spoken or signed. Have your child's hearing screened within the first month of life and once a year thereafter.
4. Dust, mites, pet dander and ragweed are not the only allergic threats to your child. Food allergies may also cause a wide range of adverse reactions to the skin, respiratory system, stomach, and other physiological functions. Fixed food allergies cause an immediate response (i.e., swollen lips in response to eating peanuts). With cyclic food allergies, the reaction to a food is delayed (i.e., symptoms occur several days after eating or drinking the food or beverage) or cyclical (i.e., the more the child consumes, the greater the allergic reaction). The Virgin Islands Allergy Center, a division of V.I. Ear, Nose and Throat, can test your child to see if he or she is experiencing a fixed or cyclic food allergy. Keeping a detailed food diary for your child is the first step to determining what food or foods may be causing reactions.
To learn more about these and other factors that could affect your child's E.N.T. health, visit the AAO-HNS Web site: http://www.entnet.org/kidsent/

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