Tag Archive: teens

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

550 Pope Avenue NW :: Ste 100
Winter Haven, FL 33881
P. 863.940.0918
F. 863.293.3732
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