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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

Something to chew on ...

When warm weather comes, it seems as if critters tend to zero in on kids. They're convenient, tasty bites for mosquitoes, chiggers and ticks, and threatening irritants to be warned away by bees and snakes. Either way, summer means bites for children. Duke primary care pediatrician Dr. Peter English says you can handle most bites at home, but there are times to turn to the doctor: for tick bites, if a tick's head breaks off in the skin and can't be removed, if a red ring or bull's eye rash appears around a deer tick bite or if there's fever or widespread rash two days to two weeks after a tick bite. After insect stings or bites, call the doctor at signs of wheezing or difficulty in breathing, hoarseness, cough, difficulty in swallowing or slurred speech. For more information on caring for bites, contact English at (919) 477-4297.

Give your child a head start on September ...

Language skills and being able to follow directions play a major role in a child's success in school. Parents can recognize signals of these problems and give their children the boost they need to be ready for kindergarten and first grade. Duke child development unit staff have developed a program for families to work at home on basic skills, using picture books and a parents' guide. For tips on making summer "school" fun, contact speech-language pathologist Penny Mirritt and educator Gina Dement at (919) 684-5513.

When the heat's on, chill ...

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