Your child awoke in the middle of the night complaining that they didn’t feel well. Your first reaction is to put your hand up to their forehead to see if they have a fever. Of course, if their head feels warm the next step is to take their temperature to see if they are actually running a fever. While most children will experience a fever at some point, it’s important to know when you can treat the problem at home and when you need to visit a pediatrician immediately.
Most of the time a fever isn’t anything to worry about, especially if your child is otherwise healthy. A fever is the body’s way of fighting off the infection, after all; however, there are instances in which you will want to call your children’s doctor to find out whether you need to come in for care.
We believe in a parent’s intuition, so if it seems like something just isn’t right, you should give us a call and find out if your child’s symptoms or behaviors are something that need to be handled right away. Your child’s exact temperature and their age are two very important factors when it comes to whether or not your child should receive medical attention.
It’s important to call your pediatrician if your baby is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 100.4 F or higher. A baby between the ages of 3 to 6 months old that has a fever of 101 F or higher (or has a fever that lasts more than a day) should also see a pediatric doctor. If your child is between the ages of 6 months and one year old and has a temperature at or above 103 F or has a fever lasting more than a day, give us a call.
Other times to call a pediatrician include:
- A high fever that lasts more than a day in children who are 1 to 2 years old
- A child that has a fever of 104 F or higher (age does not matter in this case)
- A fever that is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea
- Signs of dehydration along with a fever
- A fever that is also accompanied by a rash
- Children who have weak or compromised immune systems and develop a fever
If your child’s fever doesn’t require a visit to your pediatrician you can try applying warm compresses or bathing your child in lukewarm water to help ease their symptoms. Never use cold water or ice to bring down a fever.
If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician to find out what you should do about your child’s fever.
When your little one is first born they will go through a series of tests and screenings to make sure they are healthy. This includes checking their vital signs, hearing, and vision. Your child’s first battery of health screenings will occur while you are still in the hospital. If everything checks out just fine then you’ll be good to go until you need to visit the pediatrician in the coming week. Of course, if we discover that there is an issue with their vision you may need to visit your child’s pediatrician sooner.
Of course, not all pediatric eye problems occur at birth. They can also happen as your child continues to develop over the years. This is why it’s so important that you are visiting your pediatric doctor regularly to ensure that if there is a problem with your child’s vision that they get the proper care they need to prevent more serious issues from happening.
Here are just some of the most common eye problems that children face:
- Nystagmus: A condition that causes involuntary and repetitive eye movements, which results in a reduction in vision.
- Strabismus: Sometimes referred to as crossed eyes, this is when the eyes are not aligned with one another.
- Amblyopia: Colloquially referred to as a “lazy eye”, this condition occurs when vision is one eye doesn’t develop properly, resulting in reduced vision.
- Congenital cataract: While most people associate cataracts with older individuals, it is possible for a child to be born with this condition that causes clouding of the ocular lens.
Some eye problems can be caught at birth; however, it’s important to understand that babies aren’t born with all of their visual capabilities. This is something that is learned over time as their eyes continue to develop and send signals to their brain. A baby’s vision isn’t as clear as ours; however, in the first few months, you’ll begin to see them focus on objects close up, develop eye-hand coordination as they grab for things they want or follow moving objects.
Of course, you will have a pediatrician schedule to follow, which ensures that your little one is getting the proper care, checkups, vaccinations, and screenings they need to check off certain developmental milestones. If your pediatrician detects vision problems they will most likely refer you to a pediatric eye doctor who can provide you with the best treatment options.
If at any time you become worried about your child’s vision, then it’s important that you make an appointment with your pediatrician to have their vision tested. Your pediatrician is here to make sure that your growing child gets the care they need throughout the course of their developing life so they can become a healthy, happy adult.
3 Things You Need to Know About Food Allergies and Your Child
There are over 3 million children with food allergies in the United States. Allergic reactions don’t take very much, and happens every time a child eats the food. Food allergies can be life threatening. Food intolerance starts slowly with mild symptoms, but gradually the symptoms get worse. Having information about the causes, symptoms and treatments available is important. Your child should not suffer with a food allergy if it can be avoided.
Know the Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction
Knowing the symptoms can help you understand what is happening to your child. Look for the following:
Food allergies and food intolerance share these symptoms:
Allergic reactions can also include these symptoms:
Rash, hives, or itchy skin
Shortness of breath
Sudden drop in blood pressure
These last three are life-threatening. If your child exhibits them, call 911 immediately.
Common Causes of Food Allergies
There are 8 foods responsible for 90% of all food allergies. These are:
Tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds)
If you notice any of the reactions after your child eats or drinks one of these foods take note. If the reactions appear serious, get medical attention immediately. Keeping a journal of foods that cause any type of reaction will be helpful in determining whether your child has an allergy or an intolerance. Avoiding any foods that trigger a reaction is a good place to start.
Allergy Treatment is Essential For Your Child’s Well-Being
Knowing the symptoms and trigger foods are important. But the most important step is to seek medical help. Having your child checked by a pediatrician can narrow down trigger foods. You will also get information on how to treat a life-threatening event. It is vital that you complete this step both for your peace of mind and the wellness of your child.
Germ Prevention Strategies
- Encourage your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue or onto his/her sleeve.
- Discourage your child from covering his/her mouth with hands while coughing.
- Throw away tissues immediately after each use by throwing them in a wastebasket.
- If your child is old enough, teach him/her how to blow their nose into a tissue.
- Do not allow your child to share pacifiers, drinking cups, eating utensils, towels, or toothbrushes if he/she is sick, or with others who are sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Have your child stay at home if he/she is sick to prevent others from catching the illness.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
- Ensuring your hands are washed and the kitchen surfaces are cleaned before and after preparing meals.
- Cleaning your cutting board or kitchen surface after preparing raw meats.
- Cooking ground meat all the way through.
- Washing raw vegetables and fruit before eating.
- Avoiding raw or undercooked eggs.
- Cooking frozen foods right after it has been defrosted.
- Storing leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer right away to prevent germ growth.
If you are going to be using a used car seat, make sure to research the seats history. Things to check for is if it comes with instructions and a label showing the manufacturer, if it has been recalled, if it is more than six years old, if it has no visible damage or missing parts, and if it has never been in a moderate or severe crash. If you don’t know the history, don’t use it.
Properly placing the car seat is vital. The safest place for your child’s car seat is in the back seat, away from active air bags. A child who rides forward facing in a car seat can also be harmed by air bags. If only one seat is being installed in the back seat, place it in the middle, rather than next to a door to minimize the risk of injury during a crash.
Do not use your car seat as a place for your child to sleep at home. Studies have shown that sitting upright in a car seat too often might compress a newborn’s chest and lead to lower levels of oxygen. Sitting in a car seat for lengthy periods of time can also cause the development of a flat spot on the back of the head, as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Correctly buckling your child in a car seat is also very important. Be sure to read the car seat instructions and the vehicle’s owner’s manual section on car seats. The car seat should not move more than one inch when moved from side to side.
Keep your child rear facing as long as possible. Riding rear faced is recommended until the child reaches the age of 2, or 35 pounds.
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