Posts for category: Child Health
Regular well-child visits can help protect your child from serious illnesses, diseases, and injuries by identifying potential problems early. The early identification of medical issues allows you and your child to take precautions.
So, when should you bring your child in for well-child visits? The first well-child visit happens when your baby is 2 to 5 days old. Subsequent well-child visits happen at 1,2,4,6,9,15, and 18 months, and then again at 2 years old.
Regular well-child visits allow your pediatrician to monitor and record your child’s:
- Height and weight
- Heart sounds and pulse
- Musculoskeletal structure
These factors and more provide your pediatrician with the information to track your child’s growth and development. Your pediatrician can help ensure your child is on a healthy track for normal growth and development.
Regular well-child visits are important to your child’s physical health, and behavioral health too. Regular well-child visits are an opportunity for your pediatrician to assess and monitor your child’s behavioral health. During a behavioral health assessment, your pediatrician can identify and manage conditions including:
- ADD and ADHD
- Learning disabilities
- Anxiety and depression
One of the most important functions of a well-child visit is to provide immunizations to prevent contagious, infectious illnesses and diseases. Immunizations are required for your child to attend daycare and school. They also protect your child, your household, and you from acquiring an infectious disease or illness. The flu, hepatitis, meningitis, and polio are just a few of the conditions immunizations can help prevent.
You can benefit from well-child visits too because they give you a wonderful opportunity to ask any questions you have about your child’s health. Your pediatrician is an expert at medical care for children and is a great resource for you and your child. To learn more about the benefits of well-child visits and how they can help protect your child’s health, talk with an expert. Call your pediatrician today.
Asthma is a common problem in children, and its effects can be serious. When your child has difficulty breathing, it’s scary for your child and for you. Your pediatrician can help treat and manage your child’s asthma, so you can both breathe easier.
It's easy for you to feel powerless when your child has an asthma attack, but there are tips and techniques you can try to manage your child’s asthma. The first step in managing your child’s asthma is to have your child tested for allergies. An allergic response to a substance can often bring on an asthmatic episode.
When you know what your child is allergic to, your child can try to avoid exposure to the substance. After allergy testing, your pediatrician may recommend allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy drops to limit your child’s allergy symptoms.
Along with allergy treatment, your pediatrician will also treat your child’s asthma with:
- Short-term rescue inhalers
- Long-term asthma medications
Other important tips to modify your child’s environment to prevent asthma include:
- Using hypoallergenic sheets and pillowcases
- Vacuuming frequently or consider switching to hardwood floors
- Dusting furniture and other areas frequently
- Installing an air purifier in your house
- Keeping pets off of furniture and out of your child’s bedroom
- Keeping doors and windows closed in spring and summer
Even with the best precautions, asthma flare-ups happen. An asthma attack can become a life-threatening emergency, so be sure to contact emergency services if your child is:
- Unable to speak due to breathing difficulties
- Severely gasping and wheezing, even with medications
- Breathing so deeply that their chest gets sucked underneath their ribcage
Your child doesn’t have to be controlled by asthma, and it helps to have an action plan in place in the event of an asthma attack. Your pediatrician can help you be prepared. To find out more about managing your child’s asthma and how your pediatrician can help, talk with your pediatrician today.
Good nutrition is important for everyone, especially children. Your child isn’t through growing and developing. Your child’s body needs help from the nutrients and vitamins contained in foods.
Good nutrition plays an important role in:
Your child’s immune system – a robust immune system helps protect your child from illness.
Your child’s circulatory system – a healthy blood supply feeds your child’s organs and tissues, to provide optimal growth and development.
Your child’s musculoskeletal system – strong bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments give your child protection against injury.
Your child’s nervous system – healthy brain and nervous system function can ensure your child meets developmental milestones.
These are some of the guidelines for proper caloric intake, according to healthychildren.org:
- If your child is 2-3 years old, your child needs 1000 calories daily
- If your child is 4-8 years old, your child needs 1200-1400 calories daily
- If you have a daughter who is 9-13 years old, she needs 1400-1600 calories daily
- If your daughter is 14-18 years old, she needs 1800 calories daily
- If you have a son who is 9-13 years old, he needs 1600-2000 calories daily
- If your son is 14-18 years old, he needs 2000-2400 calories daily
Along with the right number of calories, your child needs to eat nutrient-dense foods like these:
- Lean proteins like turkey, chicken, and fish
- Fruits, including whole fruits, not fruit juices
- Vegetables, including green leafy vegetables
- Whole grains, including rice, whole wheat, and quinoa
- Low-fat dairy products including cheese, milk, and yogurt
Try to limit the amount of junk food, fast food, and snacks your child eats. These foods contain calories, often in high amounts, but they have very little nutritional value.
To view and print an informative Children’s Food Pyramid Coloring Page, please click here:
To find out more about the importance of nutrition and how it can help with your child’s growth and development, talk with an expert. Call your pediatrician today.
It’s normal for children to act out. You want your child to test boundaries and show independence, which are both normal milestones in a child’s development. If your child is demonstrating inattentiveness, fidgeting, not listening, and other behaviors on a regular basis, your child could have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD.
The Child Development Institute lists the characteristics of ADHD as:
These characteristics can contribute to some noticeable signs and symptoms, including:
- Repetitive motions, like clapping hands
- Continuous fidgeting and squirming
- Inability to remain seated for an extended period of time
- Running or climbing at inappropriate times
- Excessive talking and blurting out comments
- Inability to focus on details
- Problems listening and following directions
- Difficulty getting and staying organized
- Frequently losing or forgetting things
ADHD can be difficult to recognize and can easily go untreated, which is why an ADHD screening from your pediatrician is so important. Your pediatrician has effective screening tools to help identify ADHD. If your child has ADHD, there are several therapies your pediatrician may recommend, including:
Behavioral Therapy, which involves both child and parents; this type of therapy can help establish techniques to limit destructive, aggressive, and inappropriate behaviors.
Lifestyle Modification, which involves dietary and exercise alterations; sugar intake is reduced, and vitamin and nutrient intake is increased. Exercise is increased, to help focus on healthy behaviors.
Medication Therapy, which involves using medications to increase focus, improve brain function, and increase self-control. Medications may include Adderall and Ritalin, among others.
If ADHD goes untreated, it can lead to problems when your child becomes an adult. Some of the ways ADHD can affect an adult include:
- Destructive and harmful behaviors
- Poor grades in school
- Poor performance at work
- Inability to form friendships
- Aggressive, belligerent behaviors
- Moodiness, depression, and frustration
- Physical growth issues
- Difficulty sleeping
If you are worried about your child having ADHD, you need to consult with your pediatrician. An ADHD screening is easy, and can help identify ADHD, so it can be treated. To find out more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of ADHD, call your pediatrician today.
When your child is sick, it can be difficult to know what to do. When your child has a fever, it can be especially scary, because a fever may indicate an infection. It’s good to know what to do when your child has a fever, and whether you should bring your child in for a visit with the pediatrician.
In most cases, fever is easy to treat, and it usually doesn’t lead to a more serious condition. Fevers can come on due to exposure to a virus like a cold or the flu. However, fever is also a common indicator of a bacterial infection.
When your child has a fever, you can try a few easy remedies to help your child feel better. Remember to:
- Give your child infant or children’s Tylenol to reduce pain
- Give your child a sponge bath or apply cold washcloths to your child’s skin
- Have your child suck on popsicles
You should bring your child to see the pediatrician if:
- Your child is under four months old and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
- Your child is over four months old and has a temperature of over 104 degrees
- Your child still has a fever after 2 to 3 days
You should also bring your child to visit the pediatrician if your child’s fever is accompanied by any of these signs or symptoms:
- A rash or bruising
- Shortness of breath
- Nonstop crying
- A stiff neck
- Pain while urinating
- Decreased urine output
A fever is a common health concern for children, and you can enjoy peace of mind, because you will know what to do when your child has a fever.
If you are in doubt about how to care for your child’s fever, your pediatrician can help. Just a simple phone call to your pediatrician can put your mind at ease. To find out more about caring for your child’s fever, and other pediatric medical questions, talk with an expert. Call your pediatrician today.