Tag Archive: health information

  1. Why Yearly Physicals Are So Important For Children

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    Yearly physicals for children are also known as well-child visits. A yearly physical essentially involves taking your child for a medical checkup when they are well. It may seem contradictory at first. Why should any parent take their child to a pediatrician if the child is okay?

    Yearly physicals allow the pediatrician or a primary care physician to keep a watchful eye on the child’s general health and development. Call Pediatric Partners today to schedule a yearly physical for your child.

    The answer may surprise you. Yearly physicals are absolutely crucial for the growth and development of a healthy child. This is because children grow and develop rapidly during their first few years. Yearly physicals allow the pediatrician or a primary care physician to keep a watchful eye on the child’s general health and development.

    How Yearly Physicals Work

    During a well-child visit, the pediatrician or primary care physician will perform a complete check-up of your child. They will measure your child’s weight and height, check their blood pressure and examine their eyes and ears for any signs of visual or hearing related problems. They will also measure your child’s head circumference. All of these measurements are recorded in a growth chart that will become as a crucial part of your child’s medical history.

    At every visit, the pediatrician will make a record of the various measurements. They will also make a note of their various observations. By comparing notes that they make at each visit, they can identify potential problem areas and take precautionary measures to prevent any potential problems.

    Why More Yearly Physicals Are Important When Children Are Younger

    A new born baby undergoes tremendous changes in the first year itself. During the next few years there are several changes that take place and because different children grow and develop at a different pace, some abnormalities may go unnoticed till it is too late.

    When you take your child for yearly well-child visits, the doctor will advise you on what to look for and will address any concerns that you may have. Most new parents have several questions about their child’s development during these crucial years. The pediatrician will answer all your questions, whether they are related to sleep, childhood diseases, safety issues or what to expect as our child grows.

    It is always a good idea to make a written list of all of your questions and concerns so that the doctor can soothe your fears. As your baby grows older, yearly physicals will begin to include other health and wellness aspects such interaction with other children, speech and learning development and any family relationships issues.

  2. Causes Of ASD In Babies

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    ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) is a developmental disorder of the brain and has become “an emerging epidemic” in America. According to the CDC, in the last decade there has been an 18% increase in the prevalence of babies developing ASD. Although the exact causes of ASD in babies are unsettled in the scientific community, many researchers argue that the symptoms of ASD are the “hallmarks of the disease” and can be linked to common household items, particular diets, and even the use of topical lotions and beauty products during pregnancy.

    Environmental Causes of ASD In Babies To Avoid When Pregnant

    Some of the common environmental factors that researchers agree pregnant mothers should avoid to help lower the risk of their child developing ASD in the womb include the following below.


    • Using pesticides and herbicides in the home and yard
    • Smoking tobacco and exposure to second hand smoke
    • Pesticides commonly found on fresh fruits and veggies
    • Artificial ingredients and chemical fragrances in beauty and household products
    • BPA found in common household containers and canned goods
    • Triclosan which is an antibacterial and anti-fungal agent found in consumer products such as toothpaste and antibacterial soap

    Although exposure to certain chemicals during pregnancy has indicated that ASD may begin during the early stages of fetus development, researchers at Harvard Medical School have also linked genetic factors as well as environmental factors to be associated with the development of ASD in babies.  Other “…environmental risk factors that can influence changes in a gene’s DNA include parental age at conception, maternal nutrition, infection during pregnancy and prematurity” (Autism Speaks, 2016). According to the National Institute of Environmental health Sciences, gene changes, mutations and variations are also linked to causes of ASD in babies.

    Characteristics Associated With ASD

    Each ASD case can vary in severity and symptoms, but some of the most common ones are:

    • Social setbacks including difficulty communicating and interacting with others
    • Frequent repetition when performing tasks and daily routines
    • Limited interest in activities

    Symptoms are often recognized within the first two years of life. Symptoms manifest to not only affect a child’s social life, but may also cause intellectual disabilities and development abnormalities as well. A child with ASD may lack the ability to speak or understand and/or may show no interest in communicating, according to Dr. Marilyn Augustyn, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center. This often times concerns parents to the point of seeking medical attention.

    Treatments For ASD

    Early treatment is the best way to combat some of the symptomatic challenges caused by ASD. Beginning early treatment with a child who has ASD will help them learn new skills, identify their strengths and help reduce future difficulties such as lack of interaction with family or friends. There are various types of resources to help aid in the therapy of ASD. These range from autism experts who can put together helpful intervention plans and suggest special programs to autism support groups. These groups can help parents and caregivers become educated, reduce stress and receive advice when making difficult decisions. Medication is commonly used to treat symptoms of ASD including irritability, hyperactivity and aggression. However, studies have shown that natural remedies such as adjusted diets, supplementing and reducing inflammation helps individuals have fewer problems with ASD characteristics.

    Therapies And Other ASD Resources

    Testing and assessing a child with ASD after birth is a crucial part of diagnosis and early treatment. Establishing a good relationship with a Pediatrician will help give your child an accurate autism diagnosis and treatment plan. The role of a pediatrician is ongoing throughout the development of a child with ASD. A pediatrician will measure the progress of a child by assessing strengths and weaknesses in areas of life such as moving, thinking and communicating.

    At Pediatric Partners our top priority is ensuring your child’s health and overall well being. To stay up to date on the latest health news and trends follow us on social: Twitter, Facebook and GooglePlus!


  3. Skin Infections and Rashes

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    When a child turns up with red bumps or redness on the hands, arms or legs, it can be difficult for a parent to tell the difference between what could potentially be either skin infections or rashes. A red rash on the skin could literally be anything from an allergic reaction to contact dermatitis. The one way to know for sure is to bring your child in to see the pediatrician before the condition worsens.


    Impetigo is one of the most common skin infections and rashes, and one that can easily spread within summer camps, preschools and elementary schools. This is a type of bacterial infection that is often treated with antibiotic creams first, and later with oral antibiotics if the cream does not work.

    Measles is a rash that will first appear as tiny blisters that will slowly begin to overlap each other as the infection progresses. The blisters are very itchy, and could break open with scratching. This kind of infectious rash will be accompanied by a fever. If these symptoms occur, it is vitally important that you keep your child home from school.

    Chicken pox can first appear as both red pimples and blisters on the skin. They will usually appear in isolated spots first, and will rapidly grow in number as the condition progresses (usually after the first few days). Since chicken pox is highly contagious, it is necessary to keep your child home from school. Though the spots are very itchy and uncomfortable, it is important to prevent your child from scratching them, as this can leave deep scars.


    Psoriasis is a skin condition that can appear at any age and is usually genetic. It will often appear as scaly patches of skin around the ankles, knees and hands.

    Contact dermatitis is actually an allergic reaction to something the body has been in contact with, like certain metals or chemicals. These rashes will appear as red pimples or inflamed patches, and can be very itchy.

    Because there are a lot of skin infections and rashes that can be caused by allergies, when any type of redness appears on your child’s skin, the first course of action is to consult with a pediatrician. Skin infections and rashes are often the first sign of a child’s allergies, so it is important to receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

  4. Urinary Tract Infections

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    A UTI or Urinary Tract Infection is not an uncommon issue in children. When a UTI occurs, children are often unable to accurately describe what they are feeling, so parents are unable to determine what is causing their discomfort.


    A UTI occurs when bacteria enter the urinary region. Urine, by itself is bacteria-free but other bacteria can enter the body through the skin surrounding the genitals or from the rectum area. The bacteria then travel into the bladder via the urethra. The bladder swells up and become inflamed resulting in cramping and pain. With children, the main causes of a UTI are infrequent urination and not maintaining proper hygiene. An unclean rectum or genitalia can lead to bacteria growth.


    In order to obtain a proper diagnosis, it will be necessary to conduct a urine test. The sample will be tested for bacteria, blood and pus. The doctor will review the test results to determine whether or not a child has an actual urinary tract infection.


    If your child has been diagnosed with a UTI, antibiotics will have to be administered. This is the only way to kill the bacteria and the duration of the treatment will be dependent on the amount of bacteria that has been detected in the culture. If the medication cannot be given orally, injections are available. The infection may take several days to subside. Make sure your child is well-hydrated during that time. Water, juices or any other sugar-free drinks should be given at regular intervals. If your child refuses to drink liquids or shows no signs of thirst, contact your pediatrician immediately.


    Even if there is a visible improvement, a follow-up visit with the doctor is important. In some cases, you might be asked to get another test done to ensure that the infection has been eliminated completely. Children who have suffered from urinary tract infections are more likely to suffer from them again. If the infection is not treated in a timely manner, the bacteria can spread and lead to a kidney infection. The best way to prevent a urine infection is to teach your children the importance of good hygiene.

    At Pediatric Partners, we know how confusing it can be for you to figure out the cause of your child’s discomfort and pain. However, delay in getting the necessary treatment can lead to more serious health issues. If you suspect that your child may have urinary tract infection, it is important to seek immediate medical advice. Our experienced doctors are will help get your child on the road to recovery in no time.

  5. Ear Infections

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    Hearing, especially in children, is critical to speech and language development. If your child is suffering from hearing loss, in one ear or both, and the condition goes untreated, it could set him/her back developmentally for years. Children with listening difficulties that are detected early stand a better chance to thrive in spite of them.

    There are four ways in which hearing loss can affect a child’s development:

    • Communication
    • Learning
    • Social development
    • Future vocation


    Definitive signs that your child may be experiencing hearing loss include:

    • Your child responds inconsistently to sound.
    • Language and speech development is delayed.
    • Speech is unclear to him/her.
    • The sound is turned up on radios, televisions, CD players and video games and remains so even after being told to turn it down.
    • Inability to follow directions.
    • The first response to anyone who speaks to your child is “Huh?”
    • Your child does not respond when called.


    The major cause of potential hearing loss in children is Otitis Media, otherwise known as an ear infection. It is caused by fluid building up and causing inflammation in the middle ear, the area behind the eardrum. The fluid that builds up may or may not be infected, and the presence of infection will determine the severity of the symptoms.

    The symptoms of this condition that can cause sudden hearing loss in children will vary in the severity, frequency and length. In one extreme, an ear infection will have a single, short period of clear fluid building up without pain or fever and only a slight decrease in hearing. At other times, the fluid can be very thick and infected, and may cause permanent hearing loss.

    Other hearing loss causes include noise-induced hearing loss, which is caused by prolonged exposure to extreme decibel levels, ototoxic drug interactions that can occur with some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, as well as childhood diseases like measles, chicken pox and mumps. Vaccinations are imperative at every stage of a child’s life to avoid serious side effects like hearing issues. In some families, cases of sensorineural hearing loss may be genetic, so be sure to discuss your family history in detail with your pediatrician.


    If your child loses focus on activities, is listless, irritable and is pulling or scratching at his/her ears, they may have an ear infection. If they also begin to turn up the volume on televisions and radios, or begin to speak louder than normal, then one or both of his/her ears may be blocked by fluid buildup. It is essential that they be examined immediately by your doctor. If you are concerned about your child’s sudden hearing loss, schedule an appointment with Pediatric Partners today for a comprehensive vision and hearing screening.



    Swimmer’s ear in children is an infection of the ear canal, the tubular canal that carries external sounds to the eardrum. Also called Otitis Externa, swimmer’s ear can be caused by several different strains of fungi or bacteria. When kids spend extended periods of time in the water, excess moisture that gets into the ear irritates and breaks down the skin in the ear canal, providing an optimum environment for fungi or bacteria to penetrate and thrive.


    Despite the very specific name, swimming is just one of the causes of the symptoms. Ear infections can in fact be caused by anything that causes a break in the skin of the ear canal, from scratching the area roughly to dry skin or eczema or cleaning the ear vigorously with any hard foreign object.

    Otitis Externa can also result if you have a middle ear infection and the pus that is accumulated in the middle ear drains into the canal through a hole in the ear drum.


    The primary symptom is ear ache, which can be severe and gets aggravated when the outer part of the lobe is pressed on or pulled. Chewing can be difficult as it worsens the pain. The canal gets swollen and the outer ear could be red and swollen too. The lymph nodes around the ear become tender and enlarged, and there could be a clear or cloudy, yellowish discharge from the canal.


    If you know your child is prone to developing ear infection, putting a few drops of alcohol or a dilute solution of over-the-counter acetic acid in the ears after swimming can reduce the risk.

    Gently dry your kid’s ears with a towel after a swim as well as after a bath and turn their head to the left, then to the right side to help the excess water run out.

    Never aggressively remove ear wax as this actually offers some amount of protection against swimmer’s ear.

    If, despite all of the above measures, the pain and infection does not subside, you should get professional medical help to prevent the symptoms from worsening. Make an appointment with us today.

  6. Strep Throat

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    Strep throat in children is often mistaken for sore throat or tonsillitis, but there are significant clinical differences that distinguish these three conditions. Recognizing these differences is the key to proper diagnosis.


    Strep throat infection is caused by the Group A Streptococcus bacteria and is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15. There is an incubation period of 1 to 4 days after your child contracts the infection. Symptoms usually develop after that.


    • Fever with sore throat (Fever usually begins suddenly and is often the highest on the second day)
    • Sudden onset of swollen throat and pain in throat for no apparent reason
    • Throat hurts when swallowing
    • White patches in the throat and on the tonsils
    • Lymph nodes on side of neck are swollen and tender
    • General feeling of illness and lack of appetite


    The main symptom of strep throat in infants is a thick yellow or green discharge from the nose accompanied by a low grade fever, irritability, fussiness and a loss of appetite.


    Children aged 1-3 years may be cranky and have trouble swallowing. They may also complain of pain in the throat and lymph nodes beneath the jaws may be swollen.


    Strep throat is very contagious and can easily be contracted by coming in contact with the airborne droplets of an infected person. Food borne outbreaks are not as common. The risk of spreading the infection diminishes significantly after initiation of proper treatment with antibiotics.


    Seeking immediate medical help is important if your child has a sore throat or pain in the throat that is accompanied by high fever, headache, fatigue or a stomach ache.

    Prompt antibiotic treatment can reduce the duration of the symptoms and also lowers the potential to transmit the disease to other children. Untreated strep infection can also lead to other complications that could otherwise be avoided.

    If you think your child may have strep, call Pediatric Partners today to get your child on the road to recovery.

  7. Children’s Headaches

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    Children are just as prone to headaches as adults are. Though what causes these headaches and their symptoms may be very similar to that of adults, there are a few distinguishing factors that are important to understand.



    • Tension Headaches.

    Poor posture and abnormal sleeping positions can lead to neck pain and headaches. The tiny muscles that are positioned at the base of the neck balance the upper body and the head. Strain on these muscles can cause a tension headache. An excessively thick or flat pillow may also result in one of these headaches.

    • Stress

    Stress can have a negative impact on a child’s sleep pattern and can strain the mind. Though kids’ concerns may seem trivial, stressful situations at school, with their playmates or at home can result in headaches. In this situation, it is best to identify what factors could be causing your child’s stress and how you can work together to eliminate them.

    • Dehydration

    Often, children do not drink as much water as they should. They also tend to play outdoors and in the sun, which causes them to lose significant amounts of water in the body. It is important to remember that water flushes out toxins from the body, so not drinking enough of it can trap those toxins and, in turn, produce headaches. Though the amount of water intake for your child will change with age and weight, determine daily intake parameters and ensure that they meet the minimum on a daily basis. Additionally, eliminate sodas from your childís diet, as many of them contain caffeine which can lead to dehydration.

    • Allergies

    Allergies can also cause headaches. A pollen allergy can lead to a sinus infection which can result in a headache.

    • Migraine

    Though we often associate migraines with adults, these are quite common in children. Certain foods or weather conditions may be triggers. Migraines can be extremely debilitating, so it is important to identify these factors early on.


    Never ignore any symptoms of headaches as they have a tendency of becoming chronic and constant. If your child is suffering from regular headaches, consult an experienced pediatrician to find out the cause(s) so proper treatment can begin immediately. Don’t hesitate to Contact Us for an appointment as soon as symptoms arise.

  8. Minor Injuries

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    One of the major hallmarks of childhood are the bumps, bruises and scrapes that seem to pop up out of nowhere, on a daily basis. While children play hard and minor injuries are just one more part of growing up, it is important for parents to learn how to treat each injury as it happens.


    Bruising, often the most common of all minor childhood injuries, is fairly easy to treat. Also known as contusions, bruises are usually caused by a fall or a blow of some kind, and may leave the skin swollen and discolored. The coloration of a bruise is caused by the breaking of blood vessels during an injury. The resulting blood leak will form a clot just under the surface of the skin. The color of that clot will change as the injury heals, from red to blue to brown to yellow. Bruises can be treated by rest and the use of an ice bag on the injured area. If the bruise remains red for more than a day or the skin feels warm, seek medical attention as soon as possible, as there may be more injury below the skin than initially appears. If your child has a bruise on the head or back, a visit to the doctor is necessary to ensure no other trauma is present.


    The most common sport injuries during childhood and beyond are the sprains and strains that occur to active muscles. Muscle strains happen because they are being overworked and are usually stretched beyond what they can normally tolerate. They can also occur through twisting the back and joints like the knees, in a way that can cause the muscles connected to be strained. Also known as a pulled muscle soft tissue injury, they can happen anywhere on the body, even in the smallest of joints. There will be swelling, pain and general discomfort to the injured area, which can be treated with rest, elevation and the application of hot or cold packs. A sprain, on the other hand, is characterized by the rapid swelling and bruising of the skin around the injured area. More often than not, the injury will be connected to a joint, like the ankle or wrist, and is often a sign of internal bleeding, or that a tendon or ligament has been sprained or slightly torn. Mild sprains can be tended to with heat or ice, rest and elevation. However, more serious sprains occurring in the knee or ankle should require a visit to the doctor’s office.


    Tending to children’s wounds at home can be a tricky business, depending on the type of wound they have incurred. There are five basic types of wounds: blisters, bites, cuts, abrasions and lacerations.

    • Lacerations are irregularly shaped and may have ragged edges around them. These often include damage deep within the skin and should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.
    • An abrasion is your basic skinned knee type of wound, and should be carefully checked to make sure there is no debris caught within it.
    • Blisters are skin rubbed raw and need to be drained, ointment applied and bandaged to prevent infection.
    • Cuts and bites should always be treated by the doctor, in case there is other damage that cannot be immediately identified. Animal bites in particular, require close examination as well as immunization against rabies and tetanus.

    Each type of wound requires a different kind of treatment and, because of the odds of infection, some may be risky to treat at home. Always clean any wound before treating it, check to make sure there is no debris embedded in it, apply some type of antibiotic ointment and bandage well, but not too tightly. The wound will need to be cleaned and checked for infection every time the bandage is changed.

    The caring staff at Pediatric Partners can teach you how to handle each type of personal injury your children might experience. Make an appointment to see us today for the expert care your child deserves.

  9. Tonsils and Adenoids

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    For decades, having your tonsils and adenoids removed during childhood was like a rite of passage. However, these days, unless an infection is detected and it is imperative that they be removed, most children will reach their teens and into adulthood with their adenoids and tonsils intact. And, why not? Both of these organs play an important part in preventing many of the childhood diseases that affect the upper respiratory system.


    The tonsils are located at the back of your throat, at either side of it. The adenoids are located a little higher up in your throat, positioned between the back of your nasal passages and the top of the throat. Both of them function similarly to lymph nodes, collecting foreign matter as it passes through the sinuses or throat, and preventing them from reaching the lungs and the rest of the respiratory system. Most of the infections that your child might catch during the developing years are viral in nature, meaning that they are airborne, and easily passed from child to child. The rest, around 10%, are bacterial and can come from many sources, including food.

    It is normal for children to have enlarged tonsils, but unless they have a fever or a sore throat, or they have difficulty swallowing, the tonsils may not be necessarily infected. Unlike the adenoids, which can only be seen by either an X-ray or an endoscope, the tonsils are easily viewed by shining a light at the back of your child’s throat. If they frequently appear red, inflamed, or show signs of infection with pustules or abscesses, then it may be time for them to be removed.


    The adenoids are most often affected by bacteria, and when they are inflamed, can cause ear infections to develop. They are located very near the Eustachian tubes, and, if swollen, may interfere with their drainage by blocking them. If putting tubes in your child’s ears does not ease the reoccurrence of infections, then it may be necessary to do what is known as an adenoidectomy. Some doctors may consider removing the adenoids at the same time as placing surgical tubes in your child’s ears, if they believe that their removal will cut down on the possibility of recurring infections.

    In addition to ear infections, enlarged tonsils and adenoids can be the cause of sleep apnea or persistent bad breath. Sleep apnea can occur when overly large tonsils and adenoids block the airway during sleep, causing momentary lapses in breathing. In this case, surgical removal is the most common treatment. If your child develops severely bad breath, it may be because food particles have become trapped in the tonsils and hardened. If it is determined that trapped food particles are the cause, and gargling with salt water does not clear it up, surgery may be in order.

    Want to learn more about how tonsils and adenoids can affect the immune system and the health of your child? Call Pediatric Partners today.

  10. Sinus Infections

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    Can you tell the difference between a cold and something more difficult, like sinusitis, otherwise known as a sinus infection? Though symptoms are similar, the two conditions are treated differently, which is why it is important to understand the origins of a sinus infection and how you can separate it from the common cold.


    A sinus infection is usually caused by either a bacteria or virus that has the end result of inflaming the sinus passages, blocking off any air, leaving the sufferer feeling stuffed up, just like a cold. The difference between sinusitis and a cold is that after it sets in, the sufferer finds it difficult to breathe, can be nauseated, and has fits of coughing and sneezing, with a watery nasal discharge.

    A cold will ease off after three to four days, while an attack of sinusitis can last for a week or more. After three days, a younger child will develop a fever, as well as a cough and upset stomach. Older children may feel pain in their teeth, ears and sinuses, have a persistent dry cough, feel a tenderness or throbbing around their sinuses, and in some cases, may feel pain behind their eyes as pressure continues to develop.


    A cold will normally run its course within two to three days, while sinusitis should be on the mend within seven days. If symptoms persist or worsen past the seven day mark, it is a sign that the immune system is not capable of dealing with the infection on its own.

    In order to diagnose your child’s condition definitively, your pediatrician may run additional tests, to rule out a bacterial or viral infection like pneumonia, bronchitis, early asthma development, or allergies. Once the source of the distress is determined, then proper treatment can begin.


    Generally, your pediatrician will prescribe oral antibiotics and nasal decongestants, in order to control symptoms while the body fights infection. Any pain can be treated with ibuprofen or acetaminophen, as it can be dangerous to give young children aspirin for any reason.

    Does your child’s cold seem to be more than just a cold? It may be a sinus infection. Call Pediatric Partners for an appointment today.

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