Child lies in bed and is blowing her nose.

How to tell if its Allergies or a Cold

Spring and summer bring so many wonderful things, sunshine, warmer weather, beautiful flowers, and the promise of fun in the sun! But for many of us and our kiddos, it can also signal the start of allergy season. If your child has not been diagnosed with seasonal allergies before, it can also be confusing for parents to determine whether they are experiencing a cold or allergies. This is understandable since many of the symptoms overlap! Unfortunately, even though allergies are relatively common, there are a lot of misconceptions! Read on for more information about allergies and helpful ways to determine whether your child’s symptoms are due to allergies or a cold.

What are seasonal allergies?

Allergies develop when the immune system has an overreaction to something. Symptoms develop due to the release of histamine from specialized immune cells. There are many different types of allergies, including allergies to foods, plants, dust, pets, specific materials, etc. Seasonal allergies usually refer to a reaction to various plants, trees, or pollen. Some peak in spring, others in summer/early fall. Indoor allergies refer to allergies to dust, pet dander, etc.

What are the symptoms?

Common seasonal allergy symptoms include watery, itchy eyes, stuffy or runny nose, and sneezing. That being said, other symptoms can occur as well. There is overlap between allergy and cold symptoms with some key differences. The table below is a helpful comparison between cold and allergy symptoms.

How old is your child?

Seasonal allergy symptoms usually start at the earliest between the ages of three and five years. It is not common for symptoms to occur before two years of age since allergies require exposure and sensitization to these seasonal triggers in order to develop an allergy to them. Indoor allergies can start younger, such as at age one. Allergies can also develop in older childhood or adulthood and vary each season and in different regions.


In what settings do symptoms get worse?

If your child suddenly develops a runny nose and sneezing, it can often be tricky to tell whether it is a cold or allergies. However, if symptoms aren’t as significant in the morning and then flare up when playing outside, particularly in areas with lots of grass, flowers, trees, and pollen, that is more indicative of seasonal allergies. Cold symptoms are often worse while lying down and first thing in the morning and evening.

Children running through a field of blossoming trees with parents walking behind them.


How long do the symptoms last?

Cold symptoms typically peak between 3 and 5 days and usually resolve in 7-10 days. Depending on the trigger, seasonal allergy symptoms will wax and wane over a few weeks to months.

Do other family members have allergies?

Often, a family history of certain allergies can increase the risk of children developing them.

So how can you know for sure?

The best way to determine whether your child has seasonal allergies is to talk with their pediatrician. In some cases, they may recommend allergy testing or a trial of an antihistamine.

How are allergies treated?

In most cases, seasonal and indoor allergies can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine. One of the better-known antihistamines is Diphenhydramine (Benadryl.) However, this is not the best choice for children as it has side effects like drowsiness and does not have a long duration of action. Talk with your pediatrician about better options for kids, such as loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra), or cetirizine (Zyrtec). Antihistamines work better if used before symptoms flare up rather than after. So if it is allergy season and your child has allergies, start their medications and give them consistently as directed until peak season has ended. Weather reports often include information about mold and pollen counts during allergy seasons. Depending on symptoms, your healthcare provider may also recommend eye drops and/or a nasal spray like fluticasone (flonase.) Other things that can help are avoiding triggers if they are known, keeping windows and doors shut when at home, showering, or bathing your child after playing outside. In more severe cases or when symptoms do not improve with the methods mentioned above, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots.

Child smiles sitting on a patient exam table with a nurse and mother.

We hope this helps clear up some of the confusion around allergies! Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy Spring and Summer!

More great resources to check out below:

American Academy of Allergies Asthma and Immunology

Seasonal Allergies in Children – AAP


And if it turns out your little one has a cold, check out our home remedies here.


Child with red hair hides under white blanket with one eye peeking out.

Tips for Managing Sunday Scaries with kids

We’ve all been there, you enjoy a lovely weekend as a family, and then that dreaded sinking feeling rolls in on Sunday as you mentally prepare for the week ahead. This feeling has been affectionately termed “Sunday Scaries.” Monday mornings can feel super stressful for parents, especially with young kids and all that goes into getting them ready for the day. In addition, kids may have their own anxieties about Mondays resulting from school dread or being separated from you during the weekdays, so make sure to address their worries as well. Here are some tips to hopefully ease some of that stress and make the week go a little smoother for everyone!

Create a weekly ritual.

A straightforward strategy to help with the mindset surrounding Sunday scaries and the potential stress about the week ahead is to create some small rituals to mark the end of the week and the start of the next. These can be easy and fun, but consistency provides a sense of stability and things to look forward to. Some examples are Friday night pizza and a movie, Sunday pancake breakfast, Sunday afternoon walk, etc. Little rituals and routines are a fun way to incorporate more family time and connection and give structure to what can feel like entirely chaotic weeks with kids, school, activities, work schedules, etc. Don’t forget the importance of getting a good night sleep especially at the start of the week. Try not to let sleep schedules veer too far off during the weekend and make it a routing for sunday evenings to be a time to relax, get organized and get to bed early! Read more tips to promote better sleep here.

Talk about the day and week ahead.

I’m a big fan of mental rehearsals for myself and young kids, especially around things that can cause stress or worry. Thinking and talking about what to expect eases uncertainty and helps you and the kids feel prepared. When to do this depends on what works best for your family. I find the dinner table and bedtime to be natural times to talk about what is coming up. Kids always seem to have a lot to say at bedtime as they process and unwind from the day. As much as we may want to rush through to get to our alone time, it is an excellent opportunity to have their captive attention. Talk out loud about what the next day will look like regarding anything different about their morning routine (ie, pack something for show and tell, etc.), who is doing drop off and pick up, what after-school activities are planned, etc. Sunday nights, you may also want to do an overview of what the week holds as far as any out-of-the-ordinary things like doctor’s appointments, dinner plans, birthday parties, etc. Not only will it help everyone be on the same page, but it will provide an opportunity to manage any logistical challenges that may have been overlooked or address any worries or questions the kids may have about the agenda.

Keep the door open for kids to talk about their worries.

Kids get Sunday scaries too, which can center around school dread or peer problems. Always ask kids how things are going and if anything worries them about school. If you start to see school fear occurring repeatedly, make sure to ask about bullying and let your child know it is safe to tell you anything. Although a day off here and there when kids have a hard time is not bad, it’s important not to completely give in to school-avoidant behavior, as that can make the anxiety surrounding going back build even more. Instead, validate their feelings, address any bullying issues or learning difficulties with teachers and school administration, and try to keep them in their routine. For more tips on addressing Sunday scaries and school anxiety for kids, check out this article in Psychology today. 

Consider a family calendar.

In certain seasons of life, especially if there are multiple kids with multiple activities, a visual aid of the schedule can help keep everyone organized and on the same page. This can also help somewhat with reducing the mental load of the primary parent since everyone can reference and update the family calendar, and it is not all kept in one person’s head. You can get creative with little pictures on the calendar for young pre-reading kids to let them know what is on the schedule that day, like a soccer ball for practice, a water drop for swim lessons, etc. Encourage them to check the calendar when they ask you about the agenda, and they can even help add things as they come up. You may choose to use a magnetic calendar on the fridge, a large desk calendar, or simply a whiteboard where you write out the big to-dos for the week. Be as detailed or big-picture as you choose. Find a system you like that is not too time-consuming to implement and go with it. 

Get organized and prepare ahead of time.

I will start this with the disclaimer that prepping things for the day or week ahead of time is immensely helpful to combat Sunday scaries, but it may not be possible 100% of the time! This type of organization does not come naturally to me, but I see the benefit and am improving over time. So try to get into a prepping routine and do it when you can, but it is not all or nothing. Even taking some stuff off the list for the morning rush will be helpful. 

  • Meals
    • One challenge about adulting and parenting that I feel you don’t hear enough about until you’re in it is having to think of what you and the family should eat every meal, every day! It’s exhausting! At a minimum, prepping school lunches and breakfast the day before can make things much less hectic. If you are someone who can plan out every meal for the whole week, even better! However, just coming up with a simple system for lunches where you have all of the components (fruit, protein, sandwich stuff, snack, etc.) in the same easy-to-grab places to make assembling them easier goes a long way. A rotation of quick nutritious breakfasts also simplifies things. I love to make big batches of healthy pancakes on the weekend and freeze them to use for breakfast during the week. Pop them in the toaster, and you have an easy yummy breakfast. 
  • Backpacks
    • Try to pack younger kids’ bags the night before. If you live somewhere like we do with seasons, make sure you have all the necessary layers and gear they may need ready to go. We’ve all had those mornings where you realize the kids’ snow pants and mittens are soaked from the day before, and now you are scrambling to find backups. Older kids can take this task on as one of their responsibilities, with perhaps a post-check by you for quality control.
  • Clothes
    • Picking out clothes the night before is also a biggy as far as reducing the amount of time and energy needed to get kids ready in the morning. Letting toddlers and young kids help choose outfits gives them a sense of empowerment. Some children may prefer to pick out and dress themselves in the morning, and that is great! I love letting kids express themselves through their clothing choices as long as they can easily play in them and are school and weather appropriate. My five-year-old loves this little taste of independence. I just make sure that her drawers are organized so she knows where each category of clothing item is. It is not neat by any means, but she can find what she wants independently. 

Give yourself more time than you think you need.

Without fail, the days you need to be on time will be the ones the universe throws a wrench in the morning. Mondays tend to be worse since everyone has had a couple of days to be out of the routine. Unfortunately, you can’t always predict when a big spill will happen, requiring a last-minute outfit change, or your preschooler will have a lengthy tantrum about having to wear their snowboots on a winter day or some other injustice. The best you can do is give yourself a buffer and allow extra time. Worst case, you’ll have more time than you need and maybe even have time to finish that coffee you made before it is cold. On other days it may be just the extra few minutes you need to do damage control and still make it to drop off on time. 

Keep things in perspective.

I don’t know about you, but one lesson I continue to learn in parenting is the value of loosening up control and letting go of the pursuit of perfection. Some days, you’ll be the parent who brings your kid to school late with their hair uncombed. Some days you’ll forget their mittens, and they’ll need to borrow from the school stash. The truth is you are human. These small things do not make you any less awesome of a parent and are just not a big deal in the long run. I find this mindset shift very helpful when I’m starting to stress about being late, which can manifest as me being more irritable and snappy with the kids. I try to remind myself we’re all doing our best and that being a few minutes late does not mean the world will end. This helps bring me back to a calm state and have a bit more patience. 

Progress over Perfection.

This is another lesson I’m continuously learning, and I feel like every parent needs this reminder. You are doing a great job! Working toward things that will make life easier and only getting some of it right is still valuable and still progress. I do not use all of these techniques all of the time. The idea is to choose what strategies work for your family and make things easier, not more work. So much of the Sunday scaries feeling can come down to the pressure we feel for the week to go smoothly and get everything done. Using these tools will help, but some days will just be messy, and that’s ok! Everyone will make it through regardless, and you may even laugh about it later! Try to do your best, don’t beat yourself up, and you’ll get a chance to try to do better the next day. 


Read more about how to start the school year off with some good strategies in place here. Let us know what strategies you try and which are the most helpful! Do you have any useful tricks we forgot?



Family relaxing in bed with small dog

Stomach Bug Survival tips

There is no way around it; Stomach bugs are just plain nasty. They are no fun to have and no fun to clean up. Combining the ick of caring for and cleaning up after a child who has a stomach bug with the dread of knowing there is a good chance it will spread through the whole house is enough to cause some serious parental anxiety. Although we can’t take the ick away, here is some basic info about stomach bugs and our top 5 tips to survive the mess and help your little one feel better faster!

Stomach bugs or gastroenteritis, which is the medical term, are typically caused by viruses and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes fever. Most of the time, vomiting starts first and lasts 24-48 hours. Diarrhea usually follows and can last from a few days to a couple of weeks. These viruses are contagious, so handwashing and sanitizing surfaces are key. Most of the time, symptoms can be managed at home, but if vomiting is severe and leads to dehydration or lasts more than 48 hours, you should consult your pediatrician. Check out our post on preventing dehydration in kids here for more tips.


Easier said than done, but keeping your little one hydrated is the key to getting them safely through a stomach bug. Believe it or not, pediatricians do not worry about a child not eating for a few days. They’ll be fine without food for longer than you’d think, but not drinking can lead to life-threatening dehydration. Offer small amounts of clear liquids like Pedialyte or diluted juice (1:1 with water) frequently and watch for signs of dehydration (sunken eyes, dry lips, mouth, decreased tears, fatigue.) Our secret weapon against dehydration is popsicles! They are tasty, and kids like them. Plus, when kids feel thirsty and want to drink too quickly, it can lead to more vomiting. Popsicles naturally slow them down and pace their intake. Pedialyte even makes popsicles with the same electrolyte solution as their drinks. And remember, dehydration can be dangerous, especially for very young children, so if you cannot get your child to drink or they are losing fluids too quickly to keep up with, seek help from your healthcare provider.

Mess management!

A lot of the stress around stomach bugs revolves around the icky mess factor and contagiousness. Does anyone else find cleaning up chunks of puke totally gag-inducing? For young kids, use layers of easy-to-wash fabrics to help with clean up. Layer towels around where they are resting or sleeping, peel off layers and toss them in the wash when dirty. Disposable puppy pads also work great for this or a combination of both! Older kids might be able to aim and use a bucket more effectively, but having towels around the area is still a good idea to catch misses. Have you heard of the glow stick trick? I saw someone share this a while back on social media and thought it was genius. For older kids who can use a bucket, place it next to their bed with a glow stick inside it at night so they can have an easier time seeing it and aiming in the dark!

Minimize spread!

The viruses that cause stomach bugs are notoriously contagious, and even a few viral particles can cause illness. This is why sanitizing well is crucial when cleaning up to avoid spread. Use the hot water wash/sanitize cycle in the wash and bleach for white fabrics. Use a diluted bleach solution for surfaces to most effectively kill the viruses that cause gastroenteritis. Don’t forget to clean with the area well ventilated and preferably distanced from kiddos when using bleach solutions. For more information on how to safely disinfect with bleach read more here. Always wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning up, when in close contact with sick family members, or when changing a sick little one’s diaper.


Most kids will not need medication for a stomach bug. However, you may opt to give fever reducers (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) if they have a high fever or belly pain. Fever can make them sleepy and uncomfortable, less interested in drinking, and can lead to further dehydration. Occasionally if a child has more severe vomiting (challenging to keep up with intake to maintain hydration), their doctor may prescribe an antinausea medication. We don’t typically treat viral diarrhea in kids. Probiotics may be helpful as they recover so consider an over the counter probiotic or increasing their intake of fermented foods like low sugar yogurt with live cultures.

When to let them eat:

You can often follow your child’s lead regarding whether they are ready to eat. However, as a rule of thumb, avoid reintroducing foods until they are tolerating clear liquids and going at least 2 hours between episodes of vomiting. Then you can let them eat what they want but help them with pacing. They should eat small amounts slowly and then wait to ensure it is tolerated. You don’t have to limit them to a BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast). Studies have shown it does not speed up recovery. Instead, avoid highly acidic, spicy, or greasy foods and, otherwise, follow their lead. Some individuals will have transient lactose intolerance after an episode of gastroenteritis due to inflammation impacting the intestinal lining, where the enzyme that digests lactose functions. When this happens, it can cause belly pain and worsen diarrhea. In this case, you may need to eliminate or limit dairy until they fully recover.

Stomach bugs are a real drag, but fortunately, they are usually short-lasting, and kids usually recover quickly! Hopefully, these tips can help you get through a little easier. So try to enjoy the extra cuddles and know you’re not alone. One more hack, if the smells get to you, a dab of peppermint oil under the nose might help if you get the gags cleaning up barf messes!

Boy with brown hair drinks yellow liquid while mom sits beside.

Dehydration in Kids

We’ve all been there; your kiddo or baby is sick, loses their appetite, and isn’t motivated to drink. You may be surprised to hear that, as pediatricians, we don’t worry so much about a child not wanting to eat, even for a few days! Instead, our primary concern is preventing dehydration. Dehydration occurs when fluid intake is insufficient to meet the body’s needs or to keep up with fluid losses. Small children and babies can go a few days without eating much without any issues, but without drinking enough, they can become dehydrated fast! This is especially true if they have vomiting or diarrhea. Read on for signs of dehydration in kids, tips for preventing and treating dehydration at home, and when to bring them to see a healthcare provider. 


Signs your baby or child may be dehydrated:

Early signs of dehydration in kids can be subtle; look for decreased energy, dry lips, dark urine. Other more significant signs include:

  • Decreased urination or wet diapers – less than one void every 4-6 hours
  • Dry lips and mouth
  • Fussy and irritable (even after fever is treated)
  • Reduced or no tears when crying
  • Sunken eyes
  • Flattened soft spot (fontanelle) in an infant
  • Very sleepy or lethargic

When to call your healthcare provider:

  • Fever in an infant under three months of age
  • Any of the above signs not improving
  • No wet diaper or urination in 8 hours
  • Difficulty breathing or very fast breathing
  • Bluish color to the face or lips
  • Very sleepy or lethargic

How do I prevent or treat dehydration at home?

In many cases, encouraging plenty of fluids can help prevent dehydration in kids and babies. If a child has mild hydration, similarly, there are things you can do at home to increase their fluid intake. However, in some situations, it can be too challenging to manage or the dehydration may be significant enough to warrant medical help. Therefore, if your child shows signs of dehydration and is not improving or if they start to show any signs of more significant dehydration, it is best to bring them to a healthcare provider asap. In some cases, the best dehydration treatment involves IV fluids. Remember, dehydration can be life-threatening, so don’t hesitate if you are concerned.


Top tips to prevent dehydration babies and kids:

Think about fluid intake early and try to push those liquids before your little one gets behind. 

  • Breastfeeding and bottle-fed babies should be encouraged to eat on their regular schedule and if taking less each feed, then offer feeds more frequently.
  • Don’t give water to babies under six months.
  • Consider an oral rehydration solution such as ORS powders or Pedialyte, especially if they aren’t eating to replenish electrolytes (safe for any age.)
  • Other fluids to try:
    • Half juice/half water (sugary drinks can make diarrhea worse, but may be helpful when diluted if they are refusing other options)
    • Clear broths
    • Popsicles! These can be a great trick for kids since they taste good, and the novelty makes them extra appealing. Pedialyte pops are a pediatrician fav!
  • If your older baby or child is well enough to eat, you can offer foods with added fluids.
    • You can add breastmilk or broth to pureed foods.
    • Puree pouches contain a fair amount of liquid and are easy to eat, even if appetites are low.
    • You can try offering fruits with a high water content, like watermelon.
  • If your child has frequent vomiting, refrain from offering food until they can keep fluids down. Focus on tiny sips of clear liquids frequently. Be sure to provide drinks with electrolytes.
  • Do not give your child medicine to stop diarrhea unless your pediatrician advises.
  • Do not give Pepto Bismol to children under the age of 12 years old. 
  • In a pinch, use a medicine syringe. 
    • For young children and babies who are flat-out refusing to drink, a last-ditch effort can be to administer small amounts of fluid the same way you would medicine. 
    • Using a medicine syringe to the back of the cheek, administer 15-30ml of breastmilk, Pedialyte or ORS every 10-15 minutes.

It can be worrying and difficult when your baby or child refuses to drink, but knowing what to do and what signs to look for can help you be prepared and get help when needed. Check out the resources below for more information! – Dehydration

Cleveland Clinic – Dehydration and your child – Dehydration

Close up image of crying baby

RSV in babies and kids

RSV has been all over the news lately due to an early rise in cases this season. Never fear, there is no reason to panic, but it is always helpful to be informed! RSV is not new, it’s a common virus that causes cold symptoms in most of us, but we are seeing more cases and more severe symptoms in some people this season. Read on for more info about RSV in kids and babies, why it is on the rise, and what steps you can take to protect your family. 


What is RSV?

RSV stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus. In most people, it is a virus that causes cold symptoms such as runny nose, cough, and sometimes fever. However, in certain groups, like babies and young kids, it can cause more severe symptoms. Most children have already been infected with RSV by the time they are preschool age. 

Which children are at increased risk for more severe RSV?

In specific populations, especially young infants, RSV can cause inflammation in the lower lungs and small airways, leading to Bronchiolitis or Pneumonia. Children at higher risk from RSV include:

  • Babies under age two, but especially infants under three months
  • Some premature infants that are low birth weight or have chronic lung disease 
  • Children with severe asthma or other chronic lung problems
  • Babies or children with certain heart defects
  • Weakened immune systems due to a condition or medications

What are the Symptoms of RSV in babies and kids?

Symptoms of RSV in the Upper respiratory tract include:

  • Fever (temperature > 100.4)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fussiness 

Symptoms of Bronchiolitis or RSV in the lower respiratory tract:

  • Cold symptoms, in addition to signs of respiratory distress:
    • Wheezing
    • Rhythmic grunting with breathing
    • Fast breathing
    • Head bobbing with breaths
    • Using extra muscles to breathe, which looks like belly breathing or pulling in under the ribs and above the sternum.
    • Flaring of the nostrils

How is RSV diagnosed?

Healthcare providers diagnose RSV by asking about your child’s symptoms and performing a physical exam. There is also a nose swab test for RSV. If your child has symptoms of lung congestion or is showing signs of bronchiolitis, they may also check an oxygen level and possibly order a chest X-ray. Most of the time, since RSV is usually mild and resolves on its own, further testing isn’t necessary. However, if your child is at risk for more severe symptoms or lives with someone at higher risk, it may be worth asking your doctor about a test for RSV. 

How to treat RSV?

Just like a common cold, there is no cure for RSV. However, things that can help your child feel better include what would help with any bad cold:

  • Nasal saline and suction
  • Medicine for pain or fever, like Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin, only in babies over six months)
  • Honey for cough if your child is over age one year.
  • Humidifier
  • A menthol-based chest rub may be helpful if your child is over the age of two years.
  • Plenty of fluids/frequent small feedings in infants


When should you call your doctor?

Call your doctor right away if your child has any of these symptoms:

  • Signs of bronchiolitis
  • Difficulty breathing or pauses in breathing
  • Bluish color around the mouth
  • Signs of significant dehydration – less than one wet diaper every eight hours, not making tears, dry mouth and lips
  • Persistent fever or symptoms not improving after seven days

Why does RSV seem so much worse this season?

RSV is not a new scary virus; it is around yearly, typically in fall to early spring. However, one reason there seems to be such a boom in cases is that the safety precautions we practiced during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic also protected us from spreading RSV and other respiratory viruses. As a result, cases of RSV and other viruses significantly decreased over the last couple of years. Since most regions began lifting requirements for masking and distancing last year, we are seeing RSV and other respiratory viruses re-emerge in full force! In addition, many children in daycare or school who typically would have already been infected are now being exposed for the first time, which can mean their symptoms are more severe. 

How can you prevent RSV?

RSV spreads in the same way a cold does, through droplets from someone who is infected with the virus. Steps to take to help protect your family from RSV include:

  • Good hand hygiene – Teach your family to wash hands well and frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Limit exposures – If you have a young infant, avoid crowded places during the cold and flu season and keep them away from anyone with cold symptoms. Keep kids home when sick and show them how to cough and sneeze into their elbows. 
  • Immunizations – Although there is not currently a vaccine against RSV, you can help keep your child healthy by ensuring they are up to date with their other immunizations, including a yearly flu shot. In addition, if you have a newborn or young infant at home, adults who spend time in close proximity should be vaccinated against the flu and make sure their Tdap vaccine, which protects against whooping cough, is up to date.
  • Protect your child from secondhand smoke exposure.
  • Breastmilk has also been shown to decrease the frequency of particular infections by providing antibodies. 
  • There is a monoclonal antibody treatment for high-risk babies, such as very premature infants or those with chronic lung disease. 
  • In addition, trials are underway for an RSV vaccine with some promising preliminary results.

As always, if you have concerns about your child’s specific risks or symptoms, talk with your pediatrician. We wish you a happy and healthy start to the holiday season! Remember, wash your hands, stay home when sick, and get your flu shot!


More resources:

CDC – RSV in infants and young children – RSV

Child stands with mouth open wide covering his eyes.

Sore throat in Kids. Is it Strep?

Sore throats are a common symptom in kids and can be a real pain. However, did you know not every sore throat is strep, and not every sore throat needs antibiotics? Fortunately, most sore throats will go away on their own. However, if your child has a sore throat, there are some things you can do in the meantime to help your little one feel better. Read on for more info about what strep throat is, how it is diagnosed and how to treat strep and other causes of sore throat!

What is a sore throat?

A sore throat refers to pain and inflammation of the throat (pharyngitis) or tonsils (tonsillitis.) Most of the time, sore throats in kids are caused by common viruses. 

What is strep throat, and is it contagious?

Strep throat pharyngitis or tonsillitis is caused by a bacteria called streptococcus. Strep throat is not common in kids under the age of two years. Strep throat is contagious and easily transmitted from bacteria present in the droplets of an infected person, so it is best to keep your child with strep away from others. As with any infection, practice good hand washing and clean shared surfaces.

What are the symptoms of strep throat?

The main symptoms of trep throat are due to inflammation in and around the tonsils. The main symptom is a sore throat, but this may not be the primary complaint in young kids. Other common symptoms of strep throat include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stomachache
  • Swollen lymph nodes (‘glands)
  • Fatigue
  • Rash

What symptoms do not usually occur with strep throat?

Strep bacteria doesn’t usually cause other upper respiratory symptoms. Therefore if your child has the following symptoms, strep throat is less likely:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Ear ache
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

How is strep throat diagnosed?

When a healthcare provider is evaluating your child for a sore throat, they will likely do the following things to determine the cause:

  • Physical exam
  • Vital signs, including temperature
  • Rapid strep test
  • Throat culture

How does a rapid strep test work?

  • With a rapid strep test, a healthcare provider swabs the back of the throat with a long cotton swab and the test gives a positive or negative result in 5 minutes or less.
  • If the test is positive, it is very reliable, and your child will likely receive antibiotics to treat strep throat. The only caveat is that some people are “carriers” of strep, meaning they have some streptococcal bacteria in their throat all the time, and it is not causing their current symptoms. Therefore, if your child continually tests positive for strep, it is worth discussing with your healthcare provider whether they could be a carrier, which may alter the treatment plan.
  • When a rapid test is negative, this either means they don’t have strep and the pain is due to a virus or that not enough bacteria were picked up by the rapid test. Often the next step would be a throat culture.

What is a throat culture?

A throat culture involves sending a swab sample from the back of the throat to the lab. In the lab, they watch the culture to see if bacteria grow. They check for growth at 24- 48 hours and can determine whether or not it is strep throat. 

How is strep throat treated?

  • Antibiotics
    • The mainstay of treatment for strep throat is an antibiotic to treat the bacteria.
    • In most cases, the infection would likely resolve eventually without antibiotics. However, if untreated, there is an increased risk for prolonged illness or other complications from strep throat, such as rheumatic fever.
    • Remember, antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, so if your child’s strep test is negative, antibiotics will not help. 
  • Pain relievers
    • Treating the inflammation and discomfort of a sore throat can help your child feel better quickly. 
    • Acetaminophen(Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin) are over-the-counter pain relievers that can help. 
  • Fluids
    • Hydration is essential during any infection. 
    • Your child may need extra encouragement to drink if swallowing is painful. One benefit of ensuring their pain is well controlled is that they will be better able to stay hydrated. 
    • Warm tea, broth, ice-cold liquids, or even popsicles are sometimes tolerated better than room-temperature fluids.
  • Other helpful tricks
    • Lozenges for older children may help keep the throat moist and provide some relief.
    • Saltwater gargles for older children who can gargle and spit may also be helpful for temporary relief.

How can I treat other sore throats that are caused by a virus? 

  • All of the above, except for the antibiotics! 
  • Remember, antibiotics only work on infections caused by bacteria. They do not affect viruses. 

What are other causes of a sore throat?

Other viral infections are the most common causes of sore throat. Less commonly, other types of bacterial infections can lead to sore throat as well.

  • Common cold viruses can often cause pharyngitis.
  • Coxsackie virus causes hand-foot-and-mouth disease and can lead to sores in the mouth and throat that cause pain.
  • Infectious Mononucleosis, also called “mono,” can cause various symptoms, including severe pharyngitis and tonsillitis.
  • Croup is a viral infection that causes inflammation in the upper airway leading to a barky cough, sore throat, fever, and congestion.
  • Abscesses or severe swelling are a less common result of strep throat or other bacterial throat infections that can lead to swelling in the back of the throat. These can be dangerous due to the potential to block the airway. 
    • If your child has a severe sore throat, fever, difficulty swallowing, or noisy breathing, they should be urgently evaluated by a healthcare provider. 

My child gets strep throat a lot. Do they need their tonsils out?

Tonsillectomy, or the removal of tonsils, was historically common practice for children with multiple episodes of strep throat. However, it is only recommended now in extreme cases because the procedure’s risks often outweigh the benefits. Talk with your doctor if you are concerned your child may need a tonsillectomy. 


More resources:

CDC – strep throat – Strep throat or Sore throat

Child sleeps while parent sits aside them with a book in their lap.

Five tips to promote better sleep

Most kids are back to school now, and many of us parents are still trying to get everyone back into the swing of things! After a fun summer, sleep schedules and routines may have fallen off a bit. We know sleep is essential for overall well-being and mental health, but it can be hard to know how to get our kids and ourselves back on track. Have no fear. Here are five tips to promote better sleep to help the whole family thrive this school year! Keep in mind these tips apply to parents’ sleep too!

Timing is everything!

  • Set a consistent sleep and wake time.
  • Having a consistent wake and bedtime helps regulate circadian rhythms and promote better sleep.
  • Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock to carry out essential functions including sleep and wakeful periods.
  • Aim for around the same bedtime every night and get up around the same time every day +/- 20-minutes.
  • Yes, this means avoiding letting kids stay up super late and sleep late on the weekends! But you can allow a little wiggle room for the occasional weekend, vacations, or special events. 
  • The point is not to feel stressed or guilty when things fall off the schedule but to aim for consistency whenever possible, so it becomes second nature.
  • Read here for more info on how much sleep your child needs based on age. 

Fill up their cup! 

  • A big part of promoting quality sleep is getting enough daylight, activity, and good nutrition during the day!
  • There is evidence that exposure to daylight, especially before 10 am helps regulate circadian rhythm and promote better sleep. 
  • Better sleep is just one of the many reasons to ensure your kids get at least 60 minutes of active play daily! 
  • Good nutrition helps regulate blood sugar, avoid energy crashes during the day, and fills up those tummies so they can be comfy and content for sleep. Offer three meals and two snacks daily that include some protein and healthy fats in addition to fruits and veggies. 
  • If bedtime is more than 2 hours after dinner, then you may want to offer a healthy bedtime snack that includes a complex carbohydrate and protein as part of your routine—for example, whole wheat crackers and peanut butter. 

Develop a bedtime routine!

  • Bedtime routines help prime us for sleep and wind down after a busy day.
  • If having a bedtime routine sounds daunting, don’t stress. You do not have to have an elaborate ritual for this to work!
  • A few simple activities that happen every night in roughly the same order are all it takes. 
  • For example, after dinner, kids play quietly for 30 minutes, then take a bath, change into PJs, brush their teeth, read books, sing a bedtime song, and put to sleep. 
  • Did you know that there is science behind the bath part of the bedtime routine? Studies show passive warming from a shower or bath before bed promotes better sleep quality and efficiency! 

Set the scene!

  • Help create a welcoming sleep environment to optimize sleep. 
  • The key factors are darkness, temperature, and limiting ambient noise.
  • Light is one of the main factors affecting circadian sleep rhythms! 
  • A darker room promotes better sleep, so consider blackout curtains if your child has windows that let in excess light.
  • Ideal temperatures for sleep are between 68 and 72 degrees. You should also adjust PJ choices, so kids aren’t too chilly or overheating.
  • White noise, soothing music, or nature sounds can be a great way to relax and drown out ambient sounds for sleep.
  • Research studies have also shown soothing scents like lavender or chamomile to help promote sleep. 

Avoid screen time before bed!

  •  The light from screens and stimulation from shows or games can interfere with, you guessed it, circadian rhythms and make it hard to wind down for sleep. 
  • A good family rule is no screens 60 minutes before bed. For teens and adults to leave phones outside their bedrooms and use an old fashioned alarm clock as an alarm instead. 

Hope these tips help the whole family get some more zzzs! If you have concerns about your child’s sleep or possible sleep disorders, talk to your healthcare provider. Check out these resources for more info! 

Sleep Foundation – Light and sleep – Healthy sleep habits

American Sleep Association – Get Better Sleep – Sleep tips for mental health

Group of children walking to school.

Back-to-School: Tips for Parents

Summer break is winding down, and back-to-school is fast approaching. Transitioning from summer to the start of the school year can be tricky for everyone. Read on for a few tips and ideas to help make that back-to-school adjustment easier for the whole family! 


Get back on a school year schedule

Ideally, we can maintain a flexible schedule during the summer months. Naturally, though, things will have gotten a bit laxer or, in some cases, totally out of whack! Instead of waiting until school starts to get back on a consistent schedule, it’s best to ease in over the days to weeks before. If the kids have gotten used to staying up, you may have better success gradually moving up bedtimes by half an hour a day over a few days rather than shifting back all at once. And if sleeping late has become the norm, gradually moving up wake-up times simultaneously can help facilitate those earlier bedtimes. Dust off those bedtime routines and morning routines. Aim to give the kids a few days of being close to a school schedule before the first day!


Talk about feelings and what to expect

Back-to-school season can bring up many feelings, including worry, apprehension, and excitement about the new year.

  • Normalize feelings: Check-in with the kids about how they’re feeling. Reflect and share how you felt in the past when you had first days! Normalizing feeling nervous can help kids feel less alone.
  • Talk about what will happen: With younger kids, it can be helpful to talk through what will happen on the first day of school as a sort of mental dress rehearsal. With all the changes surrounding COVID 19 precautions it is also helpful if you’re up to speed on the current protocols so you can go over them with your child.
  • New year, new start! If the previous school year had some tricky social or academic challenges, take the opportunity to discuss and address associated worries or questions. Then, make a plan together to help avoid the same struggles. Emphasize that a new year is a fresh start and set a positive tone!

No matter what, make sure kids know it is normal to feel lots of different things and ok to be nervous! Remind them that new things are always a little scary, but things will become familiar and more comfortable in no time!


Review school year routines, safety and rules

Day to day routines and rules will likely change when school starts.

  • Review school day ground rules: Some family rules may apply specifically to the school year, like screen time limits, when friends can come over, designated homework time, bedtimes, etc. Routines around bedtime and mornings getting out of the house will likely change when school starts too. Be sure to review expectations and set clear boundaries ahead of time, so everyone is on the same page! Some families find it helpful to write down core household rules and routines as a reminder and put them somewhere everyone can see.
  • Go over logistics and safety around how kiddos are getting to and from school. Whether they will be taking the school bus, joining a car pool or walking to school, it is important to talk about the plan so kids know what to do and how to stay safe. It is a good time to review general safety topics as well. Make sure kids know the designated people that may pick them up from school or from the bus stop and emphasize not talking to or going with strangers. One idea is to have a special safety code word that the kids know not to share and only designated grownups that are allowed to pick them up will use.


Start fresh and do a clean-out before back-to-school shopping

A lot of emphasis gets put on back-to-school shopping every year, but it is just as important to take that time to clean out unneeded items and start fresh!

  • Out with the old! Get kids involved with pulling out clothes that don’t fit or don’t wear for the donation pile. It’s a good time to do a toy clean out too. Kids’ interests change quickly, so try to periodically go through toys and donate what they don’t use. This can help keep toy storage more manageable and help facilitate valuable lessons in gratitude and giving.
  • Don’t feel pressured to buy too much! If you need to hear this, you do not have to buy the kids a new wardrobe at the start of every school year! Buying a ton of clothes, they may grow out of before they can wear them feels wasteful. Plus, many of their summer clothes may transition well to fall with layers. That said, growth spurts happen, and some kids are harder on clothes, so you may need to replace more of their wardrobe after all. Try to focus on the specific things they need, a few versatile pieces and layers they can wear in different weather, and maybe something just for fun in the mix. Secondhand is an excellent option for kids’ clothes if you want to limit spending or use a more eco-minded approach. Since kids often do outgrow things before wearing them, many secondhand items can be as good as new!


Get organized

In addition to getting rid of old or unused items, help your child start the year off right by helping them organize their spaces.

  • Have kids help set up their work space and organize supplies: It helps bring a sense of control and calm when a space is free from clutter, and things are easy to find. For example, help set up an inviting school work area, get the kids involved in the process, and get their input on how they want it to look and where things should go. Also, help to organize their backpacks and school supplies.
  • Get yourself and the family organized too! If you’re given a school year calendar, add important dates to your personal or family calendar right away. A family calendar placed somewhere visible with necessary logistics like who is doing school pick-up, extracurriculars, and important events can help keep everyone on the same page. Don’t forget about any paperwork due at the start of school. If kids are due for annual health check-ups, dental visits, or need vaccines, get those scheduled asap. 


Reach out to teachers

  • Establish a collaborative relationship with teachers: When fall rolls around, it’s nice to finally put a face to the names who will spend so much time teaching and guiding your children during the year. So often, due to frustrations that arise when raising small humans, parents and teachers find themselves pitted against each other when they actually share the same goals. Teachers work incredibly hard under less than ideal conditions to help educate our children, and we owe them respect and kindness! If you get the chance, try to introduce yourself and your child ahead of time. This helps set a collaborative tone and may ease some nerves for your kiddo.
  • Discuss concerns or unique needs your child has ahead of time: It is especially important to communicate early and often if your child has behavioral challenges, unique traits, or special learning needs you feel teachers should know. Being upfront about your concerns or potential challenges helps set expectations. It also may provide an opportunity to troubleshoot and collaborate before challenging situations arise. If you think your child may need special accommodations it is best to start discussions early so there is plenty of time to organize any supports or resources that are needed.


For more info on educational resource programs go here.


Catch up on rest and family time

Summer break can be a mix of long stretches of downtime and jam-packed activities. Consider not scheduling much the week before going back to school so kids can relax, catch up on rest and get organized for the year. Instead, take the opportunity to set aside some extra family time together before school starts, and everyone gets busy.


Start a back-to-school tradition

  • Start an annual end of summer ritual! Kids thrive with routines and traditions, and who doesn’t love an excuse for a sweet little celebration? We love the idea of a back-to-school ritual that helps mark the transition in kids’ minds and is something to look forward to. This practice doesn’t have to be anything elaborate! It can be as simple as a special dinner the night before school starts or having one last outing as a family to a favorite summer spot. It’s also a great time to discuss the upcoming school year and set goals or hopes for the year. As part of the tradition, you can even have them write the goals down so they can look back and see whether they made progress in achieving them. These hopes don’t have to be strictly academic aspirations. Goals can be about new skills or social development, like making one new friend, learning to tie shoes, etc.


Transitions and first days will always come with challenges. Still, with a little help, your child can start school knowing all of their feelings are valid and give them the confidence that they have all the tools they need to have a great school year! 


Here are some more helpful resources for back-to-school tips to get you and your kiddos off to a great start!


American Academy of Pediatrics – Back to School Tips


American Psychology Association – Back to School Blues

Two girls lie in the grass holding cups to their ears and mouth.

Common Summer Rashes in Kids

Summer is full of outdoor adventures, lots of water time, and, unfortunately all of this fun can lead to a multitude of skin woes. Here is some info about five common summer rashes in kids, ways to prevent them, and how to treat them. 

Insect bites and stings

Pesky insects can be unwelcome guests during time outdoors, especially the ones that bite or sting! The more common culprits include mosquitos, ticks, and bees or wasps. In most children, these bites and stings can cause itching and pain. However, in some cases, they can cause a severe allergic reaction called Anaphylaxis which can cause symptoms that include hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing and is a medical emergency. If your child has a known allergy to a particular insect bite or sting, make sure to make a plan with your doctor and always carry an epi-pen if it has been prescribed. In addition to causing discomfort, insect bites may also spread certain diseases that can make your child ill, so preventing them as much as possible is a good idea. 

How to prevent it:

  • Avoid sweet-smelling lotions, soaps, and bright clothing if you don’t want to attract insects.
  • Wear long pants/sleeves, hiking socks, and close-toed shoes in areas where ticks and mosquitos are a concern.
  • Insect repellants with DEET up to 30% are safe and effective.

What to do about it:

  • Always do a tick check after time spent outside.
  • Remove stingers and ticks immediately and wash the area with soap, water, or alcohol.
  • Treat inflammation and itch with a cool compress and consider using a soothing topical treatment such as hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion.

Poison Ivy/Plant rashes

Depending on where you live, certain plants can cause an uncomfortable, itchy, painful rash due to a substance called Urushiol coming in contact with the skin. These are common and rather unpleasant summer rashes but can happen any time of year if someone comes in contact with the particular plants. The typical plants that cause this are poison ivy, oak, and sumac. 

How to prevent it:

  • The best way to prevent plant rashes is to be familiar with which of these plants are in your area and be able to recognize them.
  • Wearing closed-toed shoes, high socks, and long pants and sleeves is also helpful in preventing skin from coming in contact with the plants.

What to do about it:

  • Remove all of the child’s clothing as the oil can remain and continue to cause symptoms.
  • Bathe your child with soap and water for at least ten minutes to remove residual oil.
  • Discourage scratching and trim nails to avoid causing small openings in the skin that can get infected.
  • Apply a cool compress or a soothing topical treatment such as hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion.
  • Call your doctor to discuss other treatment options if the rash is severe or does not resolve in a few days.

Heat rash

Heat rash is a common summer or warm weather rash caused by clogged sweat glands and happens most often in babies and young children with smaller sweat ducts and a more challenging time regulating their temperature. It causes small reddish bumps.

How to prevent it:

  • Keep little ones cool by avoiding over-dressing them, choosing light, breathable fabrics, and using fans or AC if needed.
  • If you notice hot spots that are red and sweaty, reposition your baby or adjust clothing to allow air to flow.
  •  Wipe hot, sweaty areas with a cool wash cloth.

What to do about it:

  • Gently wipe down affected areas with a cool wash cloth and leave them open to the air.
  • Do not apply lotions or ointments, as these further clog the sweat ducts and potentially worsen the rash.


Eczema is a chronic itchy rash that causes dry, red, scaly areas of the skin. We often think of cold, dry winter as a time that exacerbates this rash. However, dry air from air-conditioners and irritants like chlorine from swimming pools make this a common summer rash as well.

How to prevent it:

  • Eczema is a chronic condition, but some things can help keep symptoms from flaring.
  • Moisturize liberally and regularly with hypoallergenic, unscented, emollient lotions. Lotions containing colloidal oatmeal have been shown to help eczema.
  • Avoid irritants like scented soaps, lotions, or detergents.
  • Avoid bathing too frequently, but be sure to at least rinse briefly after swimming in pools with chlorine or sweating. 
  • Cool, breathable clothing fabrics are a good choice when possible.

What to do about it:

  • If the above measures don’t prevent an eczema flare, talk to your physician about other treatment options.
  • Many children with eczema may need a steroid cream like hydrocortisone from time to time to manage exacerbations.


Tinea is a rash that is also often called “ringworm.” However, don’t fear, a worm is not the culprit! This common skin infection is caused by a fungus! It’s often called ringworm because the rash can form round or oval spots that become smooth in the center as they grow, leaving a red scaly ring. Similar fungal infections caused by tinea include athlete’s foot and jock itch. Fungal infections are more likely in areas where skin touches or stays damp from sweat but can occur anywhere. 

How to prevent it: 

  • Make sure to change socks and sports gear that is in contact with the skin and gets sweaty frequently to prevent athlete’s foot or jock itch. 
  • Tinea can spread quickly, so treat pets and family members as soon as it is recognized.

What to do about it:

  • Anti-fungal treatment is usually needed to treat tinea.
  • In mild cases, over-the-counter treatment for athletes’ foot or jock itch can be sufficient. It is also important to continue to preventive measures mentioned above that help keep skin dry.
  • Ringworm, however, can be more challenging to treat, and you should talk with your physician about whether you need a prescription anti-fungal medication. 

We hope these tips help you prevent and treat these common summer rashes in kids! Now spray on your insect repellant and head out for a hike! – 12 Common Summertime Skin Rashes

American Academy of Dermatology – 12 Summer Skin Problems You Can Prevent

child in a hat rides in a toy car through a grove of trees

Road tripping with kids

The summer is a great time to travel with the family, but with airline prices and pandemic worries, flights may not seem the most appealing way to journey at the moment. Instead, a good old road trip can be a great way to get a change of scenery without as much hassle. Road tripping as a family can be a great way to travel. You get to go at your own pace and avoid the stress of air travel. However, hitting the road with kids can come with its own complications! So here are some useful tips to help you plan a fun and easy road trip with the kids this summer! 

Set expectations ahead of time! 

  • If you haven’t done many long car rides with the kids before, you can help them mentally prepare by discussing the plan and what it’ll be like in advance. 
  • Make it something to look forward to! Keep it positive and highlight some planned stops along the way or the fun final destination!
  • Be sure to emphasize any challenging situations you anticipate or road trip rules like using the potty before leaving and at stops, keeping hands to ourselves (if you have siblings that tend to bicker), etc. 
  • Let the kids help choose and pack their car supplies depending on their age! What toys do they want to bring? What snacks?
    • Obviously, you get the final say and should give them parameters, so you don’t end up bringing a gallon-sized tub of gummy bears and every toy car they own!
    • For example, “Pick 2 activities and 3 toys you would like to bring.” “Do you want to bring apples or oranges?” “Cheese sticks or peanut butter crackers?”

Strategies for planning departure time and stops:

  • Best time to leave:
    • One strategy is to either leave early when the kids might fall back to sleep for a bit or to leave just before nap time. 
    • This can backfire if kids get over tired, though. 
    • For tricks to help your kiddo sleep in the car, check out “How to encourage car naps” below. 
    • If you opt not to leave early in the morning, try to plan some active time before hitting the road to use up some of that energy!
  • Planning pit-stops:
    • Every kid and every drive is different. Sometimes it is better to keep going if kids are happy or sleeping and see how many miles you can get under your belt. Other times, it may be more important to stop frequently to keep spirits up, get the wiggles out and prevent major meltdowns. 
    • As a general rule of thumb, it is best to stop every 2-3 hours at least to give your little ones a break from the car seat. If you have a newborn or young infant in the mix, you won’t have much choice as you’ll have to stop every couple of hours to feed them.
    • It’s helpful to scope out potential stops beforehand and choose scenic spots with space for kids to run around or playgrounds.

Prepare for messes!

  • Car messes are the worst, but they will happen when road tripping with kids despite your best efforts! Between spills, potty accidents, and bouts of car sickness, the possibilities are endless. 
  • Bring basic cleaning supplies: paper towels or extra wipes, spray cleaner, garbage bags, and at least one handy change of clothes, maybe more if you have an infant! 

Keep them busy!

  • Even though we all hope the littles will just sleep, it doesn’t always work out that way.
  • Pack a few different activities to keep them entertained and avoid the dreaded chorus of “I’m boooored!” 
  • If your family uses screens/tablets occasionally, road trips are a great time to bust them out. Download some kid-friendly movies or educational shows and games. 
  • Other screen-free ideas are books, playdough or silly putty, water wow coloring books, busy books, magnet puzzles/games, simple crafts for older kids, etc. 
  • You might want to invest in an organizational tray that attaches to the car seat, so kiddos have a place to set their activities and snacks.


  • Have we mentioned snacks? Snacks are always a good idea, but can make or break the experience when road tripping with kids!
  • Not only does hunger tend to strike at inconvenient times, but snacks also occupy little hands and keep spirits up! 
  • Pack a variety of healthy snack options and beverages. Maybe don’t go overboard on drinks if you want to avoid excessive potty stops, though! 
  • For snacks, think healthy and satisfying like fruit, cheese, nuts (if your child is over 4 because of choking risk,) crackers, etc.

How to encourage car naps:

Car naps are not guaranteed, but they are definitely appreciated!

  • Incorporate as much of your child’s naptime routine as you can:
    • Sing the same songs,
    • Bring their lovey or blanket,
    • Use a portable white noise machine if they’re used to one at home. And if you don’t typically use one, consider trying it! White noise can greatly help initiate and maintain sleep and also helps with sleeping in different environments. 
  • Make sure the car temperature is comfortable and on the cooler side.
  • Dress them comfortably; consider putting them in lightweight PJs for the drive, take shoes off, etc. 


Dealing with Car Sickness:

Car sickness is very common and a frustrating problem for many parents. If your child gets car sickness, try these tips:

  • Give them a light bland snack before the trip.
  • Distract them with stories or music. Screens or books may not be the best choice for children who get car sick.
  • Encourage them to look out the window. For babies, window stickers or toys that suction to the window may encourage them to look outside.
  • Take frequent breaks and allow older children to sit or lie down, give babies a break from the car seat.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider about medications like diphenhydramine (benadryl,) or dramamine that may help. They may cause drowsiness and other side effects so be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider prior to use.

Car seat safety:

Proper car seat safety is always essential, but road tripping with kids is an excellent excuse to ensure yours is up to snuff.

  • Does your child still fit within the weight and/or height requirements? 
  • Has the seat been involved in a crash, even minor? If so, it should be replaced. 
  • Remember, rear-facing is the safest so keep them in this position as long as possible. Kids are flexible, so even if their legs are bent, it is not as uncomfortable as it looks!
  • Go here for more information and tips on car seat use and safety.