Could your child’s itchy, red eye be pink eye?
“Pink eye” are two words that no parent loves hearing but it’s one of the most common eye problems to affect both children and adults. In fact, according to the CDC, there are about 3 million cases of pink eye in the US every year. What are the warning signs of conjunctivitis and should you see a pediatrician right away or let the problem run its course?
What is conjunctivitis?
Known as pink eye, this condition causes inflammation of the conjunctiva, or the clear layer of tissue that covers the whites of the eye. Conjunctivitis can affect one or both eyes and is extremely contagious. It’s most commonly passed around in schools. Conjunctivitis can be the result of a bacterial or viral infection, or it can be brought about through certain irritants such as pollen, smoke, or ingredients found in skin care products.
What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?
Your child might have pink eye if they are experiencing any of these symptoms,
- Redness in the whites of the eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
- A gritty feeling in the eye
- Itching or burning eyes
How is pink eye treated?
The treatment your child receives will depend on the cause of their conjunctivitis. Those with allergic conjunctivitis will find that as long as they avoid the offending irritant that the symptoms will go away.
If a bacterial infection is the cause, then antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed. Symptoms should lessen within 3-4 days of treatment but it’s important that you continue using your antibiotics for as long as your children’s doctor recommends.
If a viral infection is to blame there is really nothing that needs to be done, you’ll just have to let the cold or virus run its course. To alleviate symptoms, you can use eye drops or apply a cold compress to the eyes to reduce inflammation and discomfort.
It’s important that you have a pediatrician that you can always turn to for care, no matter if it’s a routine checkup or an emergency visit. From conjunctivitis to sports-related injuries, your children’s doctor will be able to provide comprehensive care to your little one as they grow up to make sure they remain healthy and happy.
The number one goal of parents is to make sure their little ones are healthy and have the best quality of life possible. Of course, this means having a pediatrician in which you can always turn, whether for preventive care or treatment when health problems arise. You want a pediatrician you can trust to always provide quality and individualized care for your little one time and time again.
Of course, why treat a health issue that could easily have been prevented in the first place, right? The best way to detect problems early on and to also protect your child from a variety of potentially serious health issues is by bringing them in to visit their pediatrician regularly. These checkups will occur frequently, particularly for the first few years of your little one’s life. This is because your child is reaching a lot of developmental milestones during these first few years and it’s important that you have a children’s doctor that can make sure that they are reaching these milestones.
Plus, these checkups are also important for parents, too. After all, we know that parents have a lot of questions regarding everything from their child’s nutrition to activity levels to vaccinations. While these checkups are most certainly about making sure your child is leading a healthy life it’s also important that you have all of your questions and concerns answered to promote that healthy lifestyle in your child. Make sure to write down any questions ahead of time so that you will have all of your questions addressed during your child’s next visit.
These checkups are crucial for preventing a variety of health problems and also making sure your little one gets the care and treatment they need should an issue arise. During these wellness checkups your pediatrician will monitor your child’s:
- Height and weight
- Heart rate and blood pressure
- Vision and hearing
- Reflexes and musculoskeletal system
- Lungs and heart
Your child will also have to get a series of immunizations throughout their childhood to protect against serious and potentially life-threatening health problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created a comprehensive vaccination schedule to make sure your child is getting all the immunizations they need.
Once your child is born it’s important that you bring them in regularly to see their doctor for checkups. After all, preventive medical care is the best way to stave off certain illnesses and injuries. Plus, these checkups also ensure that if there is a health problem present that it’s detected right away when it’s much easier to treat.
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.
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