Help your kids enjoy a happy, safe and healthy spring

Health Q & A with Dr. Michael Jacobson, D.O.

Medical Director’s note: Dr. Joel Ott is a pediatrician and fellow CHM member. This month’s member inquiry features seasonal advice from Dr. Ott.

Ah, spring! What a wonderful time of year, as we anticipate sunny skies and warmer weather. As a pediatrician, I annually look forward to the passing of cold and flu season. Spring, however, brings a cluster of medical issues I tend to see every year: injuries, sunburn and constipation.

As children shake off cabin fever on their bikes, scooters and other vehicles, they may tend to be a bit reckless. Injuries occur. Remind children to wear seat belts when in cars, helmets when on bikes and scooters and to watch for obstacles.

Even though the thermometer isn’t registering summer temperatures, prolonged sun exposure can still lead to sunburns. Be mindful of the length of time and time of day your kids are outside and apply appropriate sunscreen. Apply SPF 50 or higher on children under the age of four. Keep infants under six months in the shade. Sun hats and long sleeves are helpful attire.

Seasonal constipation comes as a surprise to many parents, but I see it every year. In the heat of the summer, we usually drink enough fluids to keep up with the sweating caused by our activities. But in the first few weeks of nice weather it isn’t as hot, and kids can get behind on their water intake, leading to constipation and complaints of stomach pain. This happens especially in the five-to-10 year-old range, when parents are no longer closely monitoring their children’s toilet habits.

Keeping in mind these precautions, enjoy your spring and have a healthy one!

Dr. Ott | CHM member and pediatrician

Please note: My office requires a one-week turnaround for medical information. If you have an acute or emergency medical incident, please seek immediate medical attention.

If you have a health question for Dr. Jacobson, CHM Medical Director, please email it to This information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.

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