Friday Links – September Epidemic, Tylenol Risk, Free National Parks

Ever Heard of the “September Epidemic”?
Janeen talks about this phenomenon over on her food allergy blog, and it’s based on a National Jewish article. Go read the whole thing, but here’s the short version: doctors see a rush of kids in the ER around September when back-to-school means back to the petri dish of kid germs. Also, and I’m bad about this every single year, if your kid goes off her maintenance steroid in the summer like mine is lucky enough to do, remember she needs to restart it before school gets back in, so the medication has time to build up in her system.

Yes, although my children return to school a week from Monday and despite my blogging about parenting and asthma nearly every weekday, it just yesterday occurred to me to get AG back on her Flovent. Never let it be said I’m done making mistakes.

Do Kids with Asthma Take More Tylenol Because of Their Health, or Are Kids More Likely to Develop Asthma If They Take Tylenol?
That’s the question researchers are trying to answer as yet another study points to some sort of connection between acetaminophen and allergic disease.

Do You Live Near a U.S. National Park? Go Hiking! Entrance Fees are on NPS This Weekend
Check this website for parks near you, and go exploring for free if you have the time.

Related:

Carnival of Cities at Travel with Teens and Tweens
This blog carnival features my earlier post on the Denver Chalk Art Festival if you missed it, plus lots of other family travel posts and photos of beautiful places.

Enjoy your weekend! I’m heading into the Rockies tomorrow. What have you got planned?

24 responses to “Friday Links – September Epidemic, Tylenol Risk, Free National Parks”

  1. MC says:

    I’ve never heard of or experienced the “september epidemic” before, but that’s probably because I grew up homeschooled, so I probably stayed healthier than most public school kids. (ok, ok, I was really healthy, only one cold a year till I was 10ish… then I started getting bronchitis, sinus infections, pneumonia, colds, and everything right along with my sister all year long. Since then I still can get sick easily, though somehow I managed to not get sick with a cold or the flu while living in a college dorm this year. Go figure.)

    I’m all the more confused about the tylenol-asthma possible link. I’m allergic to ibuprofen, and because of another condition (Gilbert’s Syndrome) my doctor has limited the amount of tylenol I’m allowed to have. And ibuprofen and tylenol rarely help anyway, so I don’t bother to take them.

    Have fun this weekend in the Rockies! I’ll be stuck volunteering at the county fair… but actually the 4-H bake sale is my favorite place to be all fair week so I don’t mind. The only disappointment is that I can’t see the Colorado Rockies from the fair. ;)

  2. Kelley says:

    Our school starts 9/1, but I am hoping since my AG just went through bronchitis & sinus infection, that she’ll be lucky enough to not get something again next month! Regarding the acetominophen….again, like almost all of the studies… I would have worse asthma than my daughter. I had LITERALLY chronic ear infections as a toddler (I actually required 2 years of speech therapy when I was 3 & 4 because of deafness from them when I was 1 & 2), so I was on Tylenol (and Eryrthomycin) almost constantly. My AG on the other hand, has only had 1 ear infection, and I only gave her Tylenol a handful of times.

  3. Amy says:

    MC–Take pictures! Fairs are cool.

    Kelley–Yeah, it’s more evidence of a link, but of course that link might be–kids & teens with asthma use Tylenol more b/c they get sick more often, and not that the Tylenol itself ups the risk. Ever notice how much of the risk factor research is a chicken-and-egg question?

  4. Kelley says:

    Yeah, and there’s also the fact that you take tylenol for pain and/or fever, so there could be a genetic link already there regarding people who feel pain more strongly, get more headaches or are more prone to fevers. I must admit how surprised I am about just how much is still NOT known about asthma and its causes when it has been around for so long.

  5. Amy says:

    Agreed, and I think that’s one of the main reasons it’s not taken very seriously sometimes. It’s been around forever, and I think people assume it will stay that way, like the common cold, you know?

  6. I always got deathly ill in August well before school started so was already on everything.

    In recent years, I’ve been loading up on sunshine while the sun was still high and that has seemed to make a difference in the amount of germs that take up residence in my lungs. Until late winter when it all wears off…haven’t figured out the fix for that! A tropical vacation perhaps?

    That Tylenol story is Blowing. My. Mind. Most of the studies were rather specious but the one with the teens using Tylenol having increased wheezing I thought had a decent enough design to lend credence to the whole connection.

    M

  7. Amy says:

    August is an exceptionally healthy month for my kids, but late September through mid-December is always pretty sketchy for AG. Then we get a break – probably b/c of the school’s long winter vacation – and another sickly season in late winter/early spring. We do get a lot of winter sun here and where we used to live, but there’s just no avoiding those schoolkid germs.

  8. Libby says:

    Janeen’s blog is one of my favorites, I’ve been reading it for years.

    I’m not sure if you’ve seen this, but my sympathy goes to this family:

    http://www.wlwt.com/health/24610979/detail.html

    I can’t even read articles about children who die from anaphylaxis due to food allergies, I have to stop at the headline.. It’s my worst nightmare.

  9. Amy says:

    No, I hadn’t–thank you. It IS heartbreaking for the family and so scary for parents like me when these stories come out. So, so tragic.

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