Ahhhh, the fall season is approaching! There’s a crisp chill in the air, leaves are changing colors, the fireplaces are being swept, and the smell of cinnamon permeates the air. Wait, no, it’s south Florida! It is still sweltering hot outside with 100% humidity, afternoon monsoons, and the mosquitoes continue to feast on their seasonal smorgasbord. Although we do not see much change in weather during the fall season, there is definitely a change when it comes to the illnesses and injuries that are seen in the pediatric emergency room and the veterinary hospital, and also changes in fashions and trends. Join us on our “Freckled” journey through the fall forecast and find out what storms are brewing!
The Veterinarian’s Forecast:
Football Parties and Food. I see a lot of upset stomachs in pets during the fall season because of table scraps and different foods. When pets eat foods that they are not normally accustomed to, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea or more serious conditions like pancreatitis. Grapes, onions, garlic and raisins are toxic for pets. Some foods can also present a risk for choking and obstruction, such as corn on the cob, fruits with pits, foods with bones, toothpicks, or skewers.
Chocolate Toxicity. Halloween is the time of year when I see more chocolate toxicity cases. Chocolate contains two ingredients that are toxic to pets in large quantities- theobromide and caffeine. Signs of toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, tremors, increased drinking and urination, excessive panting, irritability, increased heart rate and abnormal heart rhythm. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested chocolate.
Heat Stroke/Dehydration. The heat can still pose a major problem for our pets during the fall season. Heat stroke is a serious and potentially deadly condition that occurs when the cooling down mechanisms of the body cannot accommodate excessive external heat which can lead to multiple organ dysfunction and possibly death. Make sure you NEVER leave your dog in a car without the AC running, and be sure to walk and exercise your dog during the early mornings or evenings when it is cooler. If they are outside, make sure to have plenty of shade and fresh water available.
Hurricane Season. June 1st through November 30th is hurricane season in South Florida. Have an emergency kit (water, food, microchip and tag information, carrier, blankets, medical records, litter, puppy pads, and medications), and know which local shelters allow pets in case of an evacuation. If you are staying in during the storm, make sure your pet is in a secure, easily accessible place in the home.
The Pediatrician’s Forecast:
Cold Season is Here. The fall season is all about runny noses and barky coughs. As the children return to school and share their tales of summer fun, they also share viruses and bacteria. We see a surge of upper respiratory infection in the autumn months. Parents should get ready to break out the tissues and humidifiers as this is the time of year when children suffer from fever, runny nose, and cough. Croup is a common illness of children ages 3 months to 5 years. It is a virus that causes swelling of the upper airway (voice box and windpipe). It often starts out just like a cold, but as the swelling increases it will slowly turn into a cough that sounds like the bark of a dog. Your child’s voice may become hoarse and their breathing will be heavy and loud. A great tip and home remedy is to use steam to help soothe the airway. Have your child sit in a bathroom full of steam from hot water from the tub or shower.
Bumps and Bruises. Many young athletes have already started training for the fall sports season. The number of cases of broken arms, lacerations, and concussions start to increase as we get further into football season. It is imperative that your child has the appropriate protective gear and that they know how to use it. Concussions and the effects have become a major topic for discussion and research over the past few years. Make sure that if your child suffers from a head injury, you have them evaluated by a physician and follow a strict protocol for returning back to their activities.
The Stylist’s Forecast:
I know what you’re thinking! How can you begin to think of a new fall wardrobe when you are stuck in the midst of these hot summer days? Just as you would prepare for a bad storm, you should be just as prepared for a new fashion season. Fall is my favorite time to revamp my closet, invest in some new items, and get rid of the old ones. I always stand by this simple rule before purchasing anything new- trendy pieces can be super fun to wear, but its key that you find the right mix of trendy pieces to pair with your basic staple items. When it comes to fall 2016 trends, here are some of my favorites: olive hues, bell sleeves, velvet fabrics, faux shearling accents, florals, fringe and bold plaids. Below I put together an outfit that would be perfect for a cool fall day in Florida. The perfect combo of trendy and classic! I hope this gets you all as excited for the fall season as I am!
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