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(732) 548-3210

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(732) 548-3210

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By Nimisha Shukla, M.D.
July 17, 2017
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Insect Repellant   Bug Spray   DEET  

Insect Repellents and Your Kids

Warmer weather means fun time outside, making memories, but it also means, bugs, bugs, bugs! One solution for repelling bugs is using bug spray, but is it safe for your children? Insect repellentsInsect Repellent come in many forms such as aerosols, sprays, liquids, creams and sticks. Some are made from chemicals, while others have natural ingredients. Repellents work for insects that bite such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, biting fleas, but does not work for insects that sting like bees, hornets, and wasps.
Listed below are the different types of insect repellents on the market, as well as explanations on whether or not it is safe for your child to use them.
  • Chemical repellents with DEET: Considered the best defense against biting insects. It works for about 2 to 5 hours. Caution should be used when applying DEET repellent to children.
  • Picaridin and essential oil repellents: Works for about 3 to 8 hours. Still needs more studies to show how well it repels ticks. Since it is made from essential oils, allergic reactions can occur.
  • Chemical repellents with permethrin: A repellent that kills ticks on contact. Survives several washings and should only be applied on clothing.
  • Non-effective repellents: Wristbands with chemical repellents, garlic or vitamin B1 taken by mouth, ultrasonic devices that give off sound, bird or bat houses, and backyard bug zappers.

How to Use Repellents Safely

When using repellents for your children it is important to know how to properly use them. According to your pediatrician in, it is important to: 
  • Read the label and follow the directions
  • Only apply the repellent outside of clothing and on exposed skin
  • Spray in an open area
  • Use only enough to cover your child’s clothing and exposed skin
  • An adult should always apply insect repellent on your child
  • Wash your child with soap and water to remove the repellent when your child returns indoors
If you want to take extra steps besides using insect repellents, there are many steps that you can take to avoid insect bites. These protective measures include:
  • Dressing your child in thin, loose-fitting, long-sleeve clothing that doesn't include bright colors
  • Encouraging your child to wear socks and shoes instead of sandals
  • Avoiding spending time outdoors during the evening to early morning hours (dusk to dawn). This is when mosquitoes tend to bite the most
  • Avoiding scented soaps and other things that might attract mosquitoes and other bugs
  • Using a bug screen over your child's stroller
  • Controlling mosquitoes and other insects where your child plays
Using insect repellent can make playing outside much more enjoyable for your child. If you still have questions or concerns about your child and insect repellent, contact your pediatrician today!
By Nimisha Shukla, M.D.
July 05, 2017
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Car Seats  
There are many mistakes that can be made when it comes to installing and using car seats. From the time your baby is born until they are old enough to sit alone, a car seat is crucial for protecting your
Car Seatschild in the car during travel. Knowing how to safely install a car seat, as well as buckling your child can be difficult as they grow. In this article you will find many tips, as well as mistakes you can make when it comes to car seat safety. With help from your pediatrician, let’s take a look at important safety information.

If you are going to be using a used car seat, make sure to research the seats history. Things to check for is if it comes with instructions and a label showing the manufacturer, if it has been recalled, if it is more than six years old, if it has no visible damage or missing parts, and if it has never been in a moderate or severe crash. If you don’t know the history, don’t use it.

Properly placing the car seat is vital. The safest place for your child’s car seat is in the back seat, away from active air bags. A child who rides forward facing in a car seat can also be harmed by air bags. If only one seat is being installed in the back seat, place it in the middle, rather than next to a door to minimize the risk of injury during a crash.

Do not use your car seat as a place for your child to sleep at home. Studies have shown that sitting upright in a car seat too often might compress a newborn’s chest and lead to lower levels of oxygen. Sitting in a car seat for lengthy periods of time can also cause the development of a flat spot on the back of the head, as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Correctly buckling your child in a car seat is also very important. Be sure to read the car seat instructions and the vehicle’s owner’s manual section on car seats. The car seat should not move more than one inch when moved from side to side.

Keep your child rear facing as long as possible. Riding rear faced is recommended until the child reaches the age of 2, or 35 pounds.

A frightening statistic from the CDC says, “Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States.” Many of these could have been prevented by proper car seat installation and buckling. To learn more information about car seat safety, contact your pediatrician today!
By Nimisha Shukla, M.D.
June 15, 2017
Category: Hygiene

Germ Prevention Strategies

Did you know that your child's immune system is less mature than yours, which makes them more susceptible to diseases? Germs and sickness are always around us, and there are many steps youGerm Prevention can take as a parent to decrease the chance of your child contracting the disease. One of the most important steps to decrease the risk of disease is by simply washing your hands and your child’s hands with warm water and soap. Frequent hand washing can lower the risk of spreading the infection to others. Your pediatrician also offers other strategies to help prevent germs from spreading, including the following:
  • Encourage your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue or onto his/her sleeve.
  • Discourage your child from covering his/her mouth with hands while coughing.
  • Throw away tissues immediately after each use by throwing them in a wastebasket.
  • If your child is old enough, teach him/her how to blow their nose into a tissue.
  • Do not allow your child to share pacifiers, drinking cups, eating utensils, towels, or toothbrushes if he/she is sick, or with others who are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Have your child stay at home if he/she is sick to prevent others from catching the illness.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
Housecleaning is important when your child is sick. Every surface your child has touched has germs on it. If you spend a few minutes killing those germs with a disinfectant, it can be very beneficial in keeping you and your child healthy. Food can also be full of germs that can be harmful. Uncooked beef and chicken contain infectious bacteria, which should be cleaned immediately after it touches a surface.
The food you give to your child can also become contaminated with germs and bacteria that can cause stomach pain, vomiting and worse. Limit these problems by:
  • Ensuring your hands are washed and the kitchen surfaces are cleaned before and after preparing meals.
  • Cleaning your cutting board or kitchen surface after preparing raw meats.
  • Cooking ground meat all the way through.
  • Washing raw vegetables and fruit before eating.
  • Avoiding raw or undercooked eggs.
  • Cooking frozen foods right after it has been defrosted.
  • Storing leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer right away to prevent germ growth.
There are germs all around us, and sometimes it is hard to dodge them. If your child is sick, achy, or has a fever and needs relief, call your pediatrician today for expert care and diagnosis.

child food allergies3 Things You Need to Know About Food Allergies and Your Child

There are over 3 million children with food allergies in the United States. Allergic reactions don’t take very much, and happens every time a child eats the food. Food allergies can be life threatening. Food intolerance starts slowly with mild symptoms, but gradually the symptoms get worse. Having information about the causes, symptoms and treatments available is important. Your child should not suffer with a food allergy if it can be avoided.

Know the Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction

Knowing the symptoms can help you understand what is happening to your child. Look for the following:


Food allergies and food intolerance share these symptoms:

  • Nausea

  • Stomach pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

Allergic reactions can also include these symptoms:

  • Rash, hives, or itchy skin

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Sudden drop in blood pressure

  • Trouble swallowing

  • Trouble breathing


These last three are life-threatening. If your child exhibits them, call 911 immediately.


Common Causes of Food Allergies


There are 8 foods responsible for 90% of all food allergies. These are:

  • Peanuts

  • Tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds)

  • Fish

  • Shellfish

  • Milk

  • Eggs

  • Soy

  • Wheat


If you notice any of the reactions after your child eats or drinks one of these foods take note. If the reactions appear serious, get medical attention immediately. Keeping a journal of foods that cause any type of reaction will be helpful in determining whether your child has an allergy or an intolerance. Avoiding any foods that trigger a reaction is a good place to start.


Allergy Treatment is Essential For Your Child’s Well-Being

Knowing the symptoms and trigger foods are important. But the most important step is to seek medical help. Having your child checked by a pediatrician can narrow down trigger foods. You will also get information on how to treat a life-threatening event. It is vital that you complete this step both for your peace of mind and the wellness of your child.

By Nimisha Shukla, M.D.
May 22, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Allergy  

Has your child been sniffling for weeks now? That runny nose may not be caused by a cold but by allergies. Dr. Nimisha Shukla, Dr. allergiesAparna Bhamidipati and Dr. Jaishree Ramachandran in Woodbridge, NJ, share several signs that may indicate that your child has an allergy.

Cold symptoms that last longer than two weeks

If your child has a runny nose, congestion, watery eyes and other common cold symptoms for longer than two weeks, suspect an allergy. Allergies are particularly common in the spring and fall but can occur year-round.

No fever

Colds and other viruses may be accompanied by a low-grade fever. Lack of a fever can a sign that the problem is caused by allergies, although it is certainly possible to have an illness without a fever. If you're not sure if your child's problems are caused by a virus or an allergy, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment in our Woodbridge office.


It's exhausting to deal with allergies. If your child seems to be more tired than usual, allergies may be to blame. The problem can be worsened if your son or daughter can't get enough sleep at night due to nasal congestion.

Loss of Appetite

Allergies can cause post-nasal drip, which can cause nausea when your child first wakes up. If your child complains that they feel sick in the morning and doesn't want to eat, an allergy could be the cause.

Ear infections

Some children experience ear inflammation when they have allergies. Unfortunately, the inflammation can cause fluid to build up in the ear, which may increase the risk of an infection.

A Change

Has your child suddenly developed troubling symptoms after a change to their environment? For example, many times, parents don't realize that their son or daughter has an allergy to pet dander until they adopt a dog or cat. When symptoms develop in the spring or fall, seasonal allergies may be the cause. Carefully consider any changes to your child's environment that could have triggered an allergy. Typical allergens include grasses, pollen, mold, dust, pet dander and certain foods.

If your son or daughter exhibits any of these signs and symptoms, let us know. We can ease his or her discomfort with medications and also offer suggestions that will help you limit allergen exposure. Call your Woodbridge, NJ, pediatricians, Dr. Shukla, Dr. Bhamidipati and Dr. Ramachandran, at (732) 548-3210 to schedule an appointment.

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