Tag Archive: pediatric care

  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.

    Avoid:

    • 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. Back To School Annual Physical

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    Why do your children need a physical when it’s time for them to go back to school? Have you ever wondered this? By scheduling an annual physical, your child’s pediatrician is better able to monitor your child’s growth, health and development to safeguard against potential health problems that could arise. Not to mention, the back-to-school time of year serves as an easy marker for when it’s time for a new physical. Continue reading to explore the reasons why a scheduling a back to school physical is beneficial for your child.

    Schedule Your Child’s Annual Physical In Time For School 

    The best time for your child’s yearly physical is before his or her next academic year. Many parents find this the best time of year to schedule their child’s annual physical for several reasons. The first being the documentation that’s required to begin the next academic year. Many schools require a clean bill of health or proof of vaccination records. If you have older children, expect to provide information about their sports physicals as well. Make sure your child is healthy and ready to begin his or her new adventure by scheduling an appointment with your child’s pediatrician.

    Do Schools Require Back to School Physicals?

    Safeguarding your child’s health as well as the health of their classmates, friends and even members of your own family is top priority for most pediatricians and school administrators. Requirements vary by school, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your child’s yearly exam ensures that he or she is up-to-date on the vaccinations that protect your child and other children against spreadable, preventable diseases.  Keep your child healthy by knowing your state’s school vaccination requirements.

    Back To School Physical Appointment Prep

    Because annual physical exams involve more “poking and prodding” than your child is used to, the best preparation you can do is to give your child an overview of what will take place during the appointment. Discuss what to expect, such as how the doctor will be checking their eyes, nose, ears and weight. You can also explain which immunizations may be given during the physical exam. This is an effective way for you and the child to minimize any anxiety with unexpected procedures. It also helps to set the tone for a calm environment throughout the physical.

    Other than reassuring your child, you can prepare for their appointment by gathering certain items. Bring the following information to your child’s pediatrician’s office when it’s time for their annual physical:

    • Your family insurance card and a photo ID.
    • Any changes in child’s health since the last physical.
    • List of all the medications your child is taking.
    • Family medical history.

    At Pediatric Partners, ensuring your child’s health is our top priority. Through annual physicals, you are not only protecting your child’s well-being, but also the health of those within your community. Schedule an appointment with his or her primary care provider today and guarantee that your child or teen is ready for the new school year.

  4. Child Speech Development Signs By Age

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    Knowing what is normal and what’s not in child speech development will help you determine whether or not your child is on schedule. Be sure to discuss child speech development with your child’s pediatrician at every routine well-child visit. It can be difficult to tell whether a child is just immature in his or her ability to communicate or if the child has a problem that needs medical attention. Read on to learn to clues to child speech developmental norms by age:

    Child Speech Development Age 12 Months And Earlier

    Children at this young age should be using their voices to relate to their environment. This could include cooing and babbling, which are signals of the early stages of speech development. As your baby gets older (often around 9 months), they should begin to put sounds together and incorporate different tones of speech. Most begin to say words like “mama” and “dada”, even if they don’t comprehend what the words mean. Babies this age should also be recognizing names of common objects, such as bottle and binky. Babies who watch intently but don’t react to sound may e showing signs of hearing loss.

    Child Speech Development 12 To 15 Months

    Children in this age group should have a wider range of speech sounds in their babbling, such as sounds from letters p, b, m, d, or n. Babies should also begin to imitate words and sounds frequently said by family members and typically say one or more words spontaneously. In healthy development, your baby should also begin to recognize nouns such as, baby and ball. Children should also be able to understand and follow through from simple one-step directions given to them, such as, “Please give me the toy”.

    Child Speech Development 18 to 24 Months

    At this age, there is a great amount of variability in what toddlers say and do. Most at this age have about 20 words they can say and that number builds to about 50 or more words by the time they turn 2 years old. By age 2, children begin to combine 2 words to make simple sentences, such as, “baby crying” or, “Daddy big”. A 2-year-old should also be able to identify common objects from their environment both in person and in pictures. When asked, they should also be able to point to their eyes, ears or nose and can follow 2 step instructions, such as, “Please pick up the bottle and give it to me”.

    Child Speech Development 2 to 3 Years Old

    By this age, parents should see large gains in their child’s speech. Your toddler’s vocab should increase to where they are now saying too many words to count. Your child should also be casually combining three or more words into sentences. By 3 years of age, your child should be begin to understand & comprehend phrases. For example, what it means to “put it on the table” or “put it in the drawer.” Your child also should be able to identify colors and comprehend descriptive adjectives, such as “big” versus “little”.

    Warning Signs of a Possible Problem

    If you’re concerned that your child’s speech development is off course from the above norms, there are other clues that can tell you whether they may need a medical attention. For example, an infant who does not respond to sound is of particular concern.

    Between 12 and 24 months:

    • Child isn’t using gestures, such as waving goodbye or pointing by 12 months of age
    • By 18 months, child prefers gestures over vocalizations to communicate
    • By 18 months, the child has trouble imitating sounds
    • Child shows difficulty understanding simple requests

    Seek a speech evaluation if a child over 2 years old:

    • Only imitates speech or actions and doesn’t speak words or phrases spontaneously
    • Only says certain sounds or words repeatedly and can’t use oral language to communicate more than his or her immediate needs
    • Does not understand and follow simple directions
    • Has an unusual tone of voice when they do speak
    • Is more difficult to understand than expected for his or her age.

    Generally, parents should be able to understand about half of a child’s speech at 2 years and about three quarters of their speech by the time their child is 3 years of age. By 4 years old, a child should be mostly understood, even by people who don’t know the child.

    We hope that these tips help you to recognize the signs of healthy child speech development and when to seek medical care. Please feel free to call us for more information on childhood speech evaluations. Don’t forget to comment your thoughts below and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

  5. Warning Signs of Bullying

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    Bullying is a serious matter that can affect the health of your child. Bullying can take many forms including physical, verbal, emotional, race-related, sexual and even virtual (or cyber-bullying). Bullying can also take place anywhere. For children, however, bullying usually occurs at or during their day at school. If left unchecked, bullying can encourage unhealthy behaviors and feelings in your child. Children that are bullied are in emotional pain and usually exhibit warning signs. Parents that learn the warning signs of bullying can more easily recognize when and how to help put a stop to the cause. It’s important to remember, however, that every child is different, so be sure to look for a pattern of behavior instead of misdiagnosing your child in case they are having an ‘off’ day.

    Warning Signs of Bullying 

    • Child has unexplained physical marks, cuts, bruises and scrapes.
    • Clothes, toys, books, electronics, school supplies etc recurrently become missing & your child reports the loss as a mystery.
    • Child shows apathy for or fear of attending school or other activities with peers.
    • Child consistently walks with head hanging low and/or avoids making eye-contact with other children.
    • Child shows fear to ride the school bus.
    • Child appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed before, after or during school.
    • Change in child’s eating habits, such ravenous hunger after school. This could indicate that lunch is being skipped or avoided.
    • Sudden and significant drop in child’s grades.
    • Child begins bullying siblings or younger kids (sometimes bullied children reverse the role and become the bully to more vulnerable children to try to grasp for control again).
    • Child waits to get home to use the bathroom.
    • Child finds or fabricates excuses as to why they can’t go to school consistently.
    • Child is repeatedly late to classes. This could indicate they are taking a longer route to walk to class to avoid a bully or hiding altogether until the hallways are clear.

    Take note that children with disabilities may be at a higher risk of being bullied, and it’s important to watch their behavior closely as well. Learn more warning signs of bullying here.

    What To Do If You Suspect Bullying

    The above warning signs of bullying can also be signs of abuse as well. If your child displays any of these signs, be sure to talk with them as well as with your child’s school staff to learn more about what’s going on. Your child’s school can be a great resource! More likely than not the teachers, coaches and counselors at your child’s school will know more about the relationships your child has with other children. They will also be able to help you pinpoint where the bullying happens and why. Many schools have programs or measures can be put into place to discourage bullying or prevent it altogether as well.

    How To Approach A Bullied Child 

    Be careful not to confront or blame right away. Children are more likely to open up about being bullied if you take a softer approach. Below are some subtle questions to help you investigate the situation without putting your child on the spot:

    • “Do you have any special friends at school this year?”
    • “Are there any kids at school whom you really don’t like? Why don’t you like them?”
    • “Who do you sit with at lunch and on the bus?”
    • “Are there any kids at school who leave you out or exclude you on purpose?”
    • “I’ve heard a lot about bullying in the news. Does that really happen in schools? What about your school?”

    Overall, it is important to have a conversation with children who show signs of being bullied or those that are bullying others. Learning the warning signs of bullying and talking to your child can help you identify the root of the problem and put an end to the emotional or physical pain they may be in. Please feel free to leave your questions and comments below and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest health news and tips.

  6. Common Respiratory Illness In Children

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    Children below the age of 12 months can suffer from a number of respiratory diseases that can carry on for the rest of their lives if not treated and controlled properly.

    At Pediatric Partners, we look after your child’s health and provide the best treatment possible. All of us at Pediatric Partners are easily accessible and are committed to keeping your child healthy. Call Pediatric Partners to schedule your appointment today.

    Different Types Of Respiratory Illnesses

    Here are some common respiratory illnesses that occur in children. Even though some of these are minor illnesses, if they are not treated properly they can lead to major lung diseases and various infections.

    Influenza

    Commonly referred to as the Flu, Influenza can have fever, muscle aches, a cough and other common symptoms. Even though the flu is very common among children, if your child is below 2 months, has breathing difficulties or has a fever above 101°F, you should visit the doctor.

    Common Cold

    There are over 200 types of viruses that can lead to the common cold. Usually characterized by a runny nose or sore throat, all children suffer from the cold at some point of time or another. In order to keep the cold under check and keep your baby safe, use an aspirator or vaporizer to clear his or her nose and keep cleaning their face to prevent skin problems. If the cold turns into a rash, fever or any serious problem, visit the doctor immediately.

    Asthma

    Symptoms of asthma are commonly seen in children that have a lot of allergies. These children react to various allergens that affect the airways and cause various breathing problems. A number of children that are exposed to second hand smoke or are allergic to pollen have problems with their lungs and that can lead to chronic asthma. It is important for these children to consult a doctor regularly so that they can be prepared with asthma medication whenever an attack comes on.

    Bronchiolitis

    Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a respiratory infection that usually leads to Bronchiolitis or Bronchitis. Most children below the age of two suffer from this infection. Children suffering from RSV often have wheezing problems that last for about 7 days. Over 30% of children who suffer from the infection are at a risk of chronic bronchitis or asthma symptoms later in their life so it is important to get it checked immediately.

    Triggers and Causes of Respiratory Illness

    Respiratory illnesses are usually caused either through genetics or by some kind of environmental factor. Right from the time when a mother is pregnant, the child is at risk of developing respiratory diseases. For example, mothers who smoke during pregnancy could pass on this smoke to the baby and damage the lungs. Children could also react to pollutants like Sulphur Dioxide in the air or pollen from plants. Lifestyle is also a very important factor since healthy and active children are usually at a lower risk of getting lung diseases.

    If you’re little one is feeling under the weather, let Pediatric Partners help. Call to schedule an appointment now.

  7. RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus): What You Need to Know

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    RSV girl in mask

    What You Should Know About RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)

    The Respiratory Syncytial Virus is a contagious viral infection that is most commonly found in children and infants. It usually affects the lungs of the person and it can last up to 2 weeks. While this disease is not considered to be extremely dangerous for healthy people, it can cause major problems among infants as well as those who may be already suffering from lung or heart problems.

    Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Babies

    Children that are born prematurely are most susceptible to this virus. When a premature birth takes place, the baby’s lungs are not formed completely. This makes the lungs weak and more susceptible to catching RSV. It can cause severe symptoms of bronchitis and lung problems, leading to pneumonia and other complications. This can be life-threatening for the child and requires immediate hospitalization.

    Other children often suffer from RSV and get cured in a couple of weeks. A lot of them usually get RSV before they turn 2 years old and it lasts for a week or two. RSV is an infectious disease and it spreads very quickly among children and you will often find a sudden outbreak of RSV in your area.

    How to Detect RSV

    RSV usually comes on with a simple cold or cough that lasts for a couple of weeks. If you have a baby that shows any of the below mentioned virus symptoms along with a prolonged cough or cold, you should get in touch with a doctor at Pediatric Partners and make an appointment:

    • A high fever

    • Sudden onset of irritability

    • Problems with breathing normally

    • Refusing to eat

    • Any kind of dehydration

    How to Prevent RSV

    RSV is spread very easily. The most common way of catching this virus is through touching other people who are infected by it or by touching infected surfaces. Especially when a baby is small, it is very important to try to keep the baby away from any kind of infection. Here are some ways to reduce the risk of catching any viral infections, bacterial infections and respiratory system diseases:

    • Wash your hands after touching other people and unfamiliar surfaces.

    • Ask others to wash their hands before they touch or carry your baby.

    • Regularly clean your house with a disinfectant.

    • Stay away from crowded areas.

    • If you hear of a lot of people getting RSV, try to keep your child at home and do not send him or her to school or day care.

    If you suspect that your child is ill, bring them to Pediatric Partners of Winter Haven or take them to the doctor immediately and ask for RSV treatment so that it can be treated before it gets severe.

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