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February Marks Start of Kids E.N.T. Health Campaign

New parents can often anticipate that their child will be afflicted with the most common of pediatric illnesses, such as sinus infections, tonsillitis, middle ear infections, and allergies, all treated by a family physician, and in more severe cases, by an otolaryngologist—head and neck surgeon. However, each year parents are surprised when their child is diagnosed with an ear, nose, and throat disorder that would normally be associated with adults. They often find that the child has different symptoms and outcomes than when the medical disorder is found in adults and, at times, a different treatment regimen is required.

Pediatric ear, nose, and throat disorders usually found in adults are the focus of the 2006 “Kids E.N.T. Health,” a national public information campaign to inform the public about pediatric ear, nose, and throat disorders. This health observance, now in its fourth year, is sponsored by the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), the national medical society for 12,000 ear, nose, and throat specialists. These ear, nose, and throat specialists diagnose and treat all sorts of pediatric medical disorders, which include infected or enlarged tonsils, allergies and sinusitis, middle ear infections, head and neck cancer, and acid reflux. National health statistics reveal that pediatric ear, nose, and throat disorders remain among the primary reasons children and adolescents visit a physician.

New items for the campaign library this year include facts sheets on noise induced hearing loss, tinnitus in children, facial paralysis from mononucleosis, teens that use smokeless tobacco, pediatric thyroid cancer, and rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of head and neck cancer. Along with the fact sheets, the Academy is issuing an update of its popular “Through with Chew” patient leaflet, which accompanied the Academy’s first national patient education initiative of the same name and one of the early efforts to stop the use of smokeless and chewing tobacco.

As Kids E.N.T. Health is observed throughout the month of February, let it be a reminder to parents of children who have allergies and common sinus infections to continue to learn more about their child’s afflictions. With continual education you can further understand the signs and symptoms in order to prevent painful sinusitis or keep allergies at bay, along with other potential head and neck diseases.

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