Tag Archive: pediatrics

  1. Depression in Children: How to Help

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    Depression in children is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and sometimes irritability. It is a serious medical illness as it is one of the leading causes of disease and injury in both girls and boys worldwide. While all children have fears and will feel sad from time to time, sometimes strong fears appear at different times of development. For examples, some toddlers are often very distressed at the idea of being apart from their parents, even if they are safe and cared for. Fears and worries are typical in children for this reason, but persistent or extreme forms of sadness and fear could be depression. Some children may not talk about hopeless thoughts, and they may not appear sad. Depression might also cause a child to cause trouble or act unmotivated. Because of this, others might not notice that the child is depressed or may incorrectly label the child as a trouble-maker or lazy. The World Health Organization has claimed the theme for 2017’s World Health Day is depression. Learn more about how to recognize childhood depression and the steps to take in case depression enters your home.

    What is Depression?

    Depression can happen to anyone at any time. It is a change in the brain’s chemistry that causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, inactivity, and irritability. Extreme depression unchecked can lead a child to think about suicide. Read more about youth suicide prevention here.

    Below are some behaviors and symptoms of depression in children:

    • Lack of interest or joy in doing fun things
    • Changes in sleep patterns
    • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
    • Changes in eating patterns
    • Difficulty focusing
    • Feelings of worthlessness, uselessness, and guilt
    • Changes in energy
    • Self-injury and self-destructive behavior

    What To Do If You Suspect A Child Is Depressed

    The first step to treatment is to talk with your child’s healthcare provider to get an evaluation. This is because the symptoms of depression in children manifest differently from adults and elders and can be confused with other conditions. For example, some of the signs and symptoms of depression in children are shared with trauma and ADHD. A consultation with your child’s pediatrician can affirm diagnosis. Your child’s provider can also help determine if medication or therapy should be a part of the treatment plan and offer options for support.

    Preventing Depression in Children

    It’s unknown as to exactly why children develop depression as many factors play a role such as biology, situations, and temperament. We do know that some children are more prone to develop persistent feelings of sadness when they experience trauma, stress, when they are maltreated, when they are bullied or rejected by other children, or when their own parents have depression.

    A healthy, happy childhood is important for all children, especially those with depression. Along with proper pediatric care, leading a healthy lifestyle can play a role in managing symptoms of depression or anxiety. Below are examples of healthy behaviors that may help prevent depression or help alleviate your child’s symptoms.

    • Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night based on age
    • Participating in physical activities for at least an hour a day
    • Eating a healthy, balanced diet with a focus on fruits, vegetables, & whole grains, lean protein sources, and healthy fats
    • Practicing relaxation, body awareness, or mindfulness techniques such as yoga or stretching, meditating, breathing, or dance

    To learn more about depression in children and what you can do to help, click here. If you suspect your child is depressed, click here to schedule a consultation with one of our pediatricians.

  2. Welcome, Christine Rowland, ARNP!

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    Pediatric Partners is excited to announce the newest addition to our list of caring and compassionate pediatric care providers, Christine Rowland, ARNP! Christine attended the University of South Florida for both her Bachelors and Masters degrees.  Christine specializes in pediatric primary care and recently worked at Trinity Medical Group in Lakeland, Florida. We invite you to get to know Christine from her answers below!

    WHAT’S YOUR MEDICAL SPECIALTY?

    Pediatric Primary Care.

    WHY DID YOU BECOME A DOCTOR?

    I had a driving desire to provide care for children and be allowed to make an impact in their life.

    PLEASE TELL US IN ONE SENTENCE, WHY WE SHOULD USE YOU AS OUR PHYSICIAN?

    I love taking care of children.

    WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST SATISFYING ABOUT MEDICAL PRACTICE?

    The ability to assist children and their parents’ through their growth and development.

    WHAT IS THE GREATEST OBSTACLE OF BEING A DOCTOR?

    Providing care when resources can be limited.

    WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR PRACTICE AT PEDIATRIC PARTNERS?

    To grow and expand the pediatric practice in the community.

    WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART ABOUT DOCTOR/PATIENT COMMUNICATION?

    To provide clear and concise directions in a timely manner.

    FAVORITE FOOD?

    Milk Chocolate

    WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CARTOON CHARACTER?

    Rescue Rangers

    WHERE WERE YOU BORN?

    Lakeland, Florida

    IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU?

    Bible, water, & milk chocolate.

    IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPERPOWER WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

    The ability to fly.

    WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF ICE CREAM?

    Vanilla with chocolate sauce.

    NIGHT OWL OR EARLY BIRD?

    Night Owl

    ONE FOOD YOU WOULD NEVER EAT?

    Anchovies.

    WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?

    Watch my son play.

    FAVORITE HOLIDAY?

    Christmas.

    IF YOU KNEW THAT THIS WAS YOUR LAST DAY ON EARTH, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND IT?

    With my family.

    FAVORITE SPORT?

    Cheerleading.

    WHO INSPIRES YOU?

    My mother-in-law.

    WHAT MOVIE GENRE(S) DO YOU PREFER?

    Romantic Comedy

    WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?

    JC Penney.

    NAME ONE THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST.

    Go snow skiing.

     

    Pediatric Partners is excited to have Christine Rowland, ARNP join our staff of excellent healthcare providers. Christine’s commitment to provide quality pediatric care to Winter Haven and the surrounding communities makes her a perfect addition to Pediatric Partners of Winter Haven. Join us in welcoming Christine Rowland by giving us a ‘like’ on Facebook!

  3. Sleep Mistakes: 3 Common Problems

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    Good, sound sleep is essential for a child’s development and has a profound impact on his or her social behavior and ability to learn during waking hours. Healthy sleep means that a child is receiving enough uninterrupted sleep, with an age-appropriate nap schedule and a sleep schedule that is in tune with his or her biological clock.

    Although most parents would agree that getting enough sleep is a no-brainer, we are often sabotaging our little ones’ sleep schedules by unintentionally making one of the following sleep mistakes on a regular basis. Without ensuring that your child receives “healthy sleep,” over time, symptoms of sleep deprivation will present themselves in the forms of decreased alertness and attention span, fatigue, and irritability. In the long term, sleep deprivation can also potentially impact brain function.

    Avoid making the following sleep mistakes, and give your child the gift of rest.

    Sleep Mistake #1: Inconsistency

    As with anything in a child’s life, consistency is key. Determine a bedtime routine and stick to it! At nap time and bedtime, the routine should remain consistent, regardless of the child’s demeanor. For example, if your bedtime routine is that you read 2 stories in his bed before turning off the light and shutting the door, then you need to stay true to that routine. The series of events leading up to bedtime becomes a soothing ritual for your child and helps him to know what to expect and what comes next. Common pitfalls are to skip the books if you are in a hurry, or to let the child sleep in your bed if he is especially whiny. Deviation from the routine based on your needs or his moods will signal to him that bedtime can be pushed back or relocated based on his actions. This may lead to bedtime battles or even night time waking in an attempt to crawl into your bed. Both situations decrease the amount of restful sleep your child receives that night.

    Sleep Mistake #2: Shifting Schedules

    In keeping with the theme of consistency, determining an age appropriate bedtime [and nap time] and sticking to it is crucial. Often, the importance of a set bedtime is overlooked as schedules fill up and families grow. However, as mentioned above, getting adequate, regular, healthy sleep has long term benefits and impacts your child’s behavior each day. When bedtime gets pushed back, many parents succumb to the idea that the child will eventually crash and that they can make up the sleep by sleeping late in the morning. Most babies and children display signs of sleepiness between 6-8pm, and become fatigued when awake too long. Once fatigued, the child will often try to fight to stay awake and hormones are released that act almost like adrenaline. Missing these sleep cues leads to an overtired, irritable baby or child who will then have trouble falling and staying asleep.

    Sleep Mistake #3: The Use of Props or Aids

    Although many of us have a picture of nursing our babies to sleep, or placing them peacefully under a spinning mobile, building sleep aids or props into the bedtime routine creates a crutch that your baby or child will come to rely on in the future. You should also avoid making the sleep mistake of rocking baby to sleep or strapping him into the car seat for a lulling lap around the block. Aside from the motion becoming a crutch, the stimulation of the movement is preventing deep, restorative sleep. This doesn’t mean you have to give up the swing or long, silent car rides. If your child doses off in the swing, simply switch it off when they fall asleep. The same goes for falling asleep in front of the TV or using other electronics to aid in bedtime — major sleep mistake. For the best sleep, the room should be kept almost completely dark and free from distractions.

    Now that you are reading these tips and common sleep mistakes during a quiet moment, you probably agree that most are common sense. However, when you’re in a rush to put your child to bed, or your child is protesting sleep and is exceptionally whiny, it may be tempting to fall back into old habits. Keep in mind that by enforcing healthy sleep habits and avoiding sleep mistakes, you are allowing your child to get an adequate amount of good sleep. In addition to providing him with the tools needed to be more alert and responsive during the day, you are working toward building a routine that will have a lifelong impact on his ability to learn and focus while awake.

    If your child is having difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep and you suspect it may be a sleep disorder, and not simply common sleep mistakes, schedule a visit with your pediatrician.

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