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Posts for category: Child Health Care

By Blaine E. Tolby, MD
June 28, 2019
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Child Care   Physical Exam  

Once your child is born it’s amazing just how quickly they grow and develop. It seems like you blink and suddenly they are talking and walking. During these important milestones it’s also important to have a pediatrician that you turn to regularly to make sure that these developmental milestones are being met and that your child is healthy. After all, if there are any problems you want to find out as soon as possible when early medical interventions can make all the difference.

From the moment your child is born until 2 years old, your pediatrician will most likely want to see them every six months for wellness check ups. After your child turns 2 years old you should still bring them in once a year for a routine physical exam and preventive care. Along with checking your child’s vital signs and monitoring their height and weight your pediatrician will also check hearing, eyesight, respiration, cardiac activity and reflexes.

A physical exam will check all systems of your child’s body to make sure that everything is functioning properly. If your child’s doctor does detect a problem it can be treated immediately. Along with a physical exam your child will also undergo any additional screenings and vaccinations that are necessary for maintaining optimal health.

Furthermore, your pediatrician can also recommend workout routines and appropriate physical activity for your child based on their current health and lifestyle, as well as recommendations on diet, sleeping habits and even their emotional and behavioral health. Even if a pediatrician won’t be able to fully treat all conditions they can still refer your child to a specialist who will be able to handle a specific health problem or injury.

Once a child is old enough to go to school it’s also important that parents schedule their child’s sports physical so that they can participate in physical activity and school sports. An annual sports physical can detect past injuries and other problems that could affect your child’s ability to participate in certain activities.

These physical exams are often mandatory before a child can play school sports; however, even if it isn’t mandatory you should still bring your child in once a year for a comprehensive sports physical to make sure that they are healthy enough for certain physical activity.

Make sure your child is seeing their pediatrician regularly for care, not just when they are sick but also to ward away infections and other health problems. Schedule your child’s next physical exam today.

By Child & Adolescent Clinic
February 05, 2019
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Whooping Cough  

Named after the characteristic sound of its notorious coughing fits, whooping cough is an extraordinarily uncomfortable condition that typically manifests itself in babies and in children ages 11 to 18 whose vaccine-provided immunities have begun to fade. In addition to causing several debilitating symptoms, whooping cough also carries the possibility of infant mortality, particularly for patients under 12 months old. Further complicating the matter, initial symptoms often resemble a common cold, making quick detection a tricky task. To be more proactive in the treatment and prevention of this disease, read below to learn the basics on whooping cough and how to best go about alleviating it.

What is Whooping Cough?

Officially diagnosed by the name pertussis, whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that resides within the nose and throat. Whooping cough is spread through airborne bacteria produced by an infected person’s sneezes, coughs, or laughs. Once whooping cough has been contracted, the apparent symptoms begin in an identical fashion to the common cold. That includes:

  • Runny nose

  • Mild cough

  • Fever (below 102 F)

  • Congestion and sneezing

After a week to 10 days, these symptoms begin to grow worse. Mucus thickens and starts to coat the patient’s airways, leading to rampant and prolonged coughing. These fits can be so violent that that they may cause vomiting, lengthy periods of extreme fatigue, and result in blue or red face. This last sign is the direct outcome of the body’s struggle to fill the lungs with air, and once breathing is finally achieved, the loud “whooping” sound that defines the condition is produced.

What are the Dangers of the Disease?

If left untreated, whooping cough can produce a number of painful and dangerous complications, with the specific ailments depending on the age of the patient.

For teens and adults, untreated whooping cough can result in:

  • Abdominal hernias

  • Bruised or cracked ribs

  • Broken blood vessels in the skin and whites of the eyes

For infants, complications from whooping cough are a great deal more severe. They include:

  • Pneumonia

  • Slowed or stopped breathing

  • Feeding difficulties, which may lead to dehydration and severe weight loss

  • Seizures

  • Brain damage

What Can I Do About It?

The best approach to preventing the disease is through vaccination. This is especially important for babies, as whooping cough leaves them in significant danger, though it is essential to keep your children on regular vaccination schedules, regardless of their individual age.

While vaccines are extremely effective in reducing the likelihood of contracting whooping cough, the possibility of developing the condition is still present. Due to this perpetual risk, if you witness your child’s cold symptoms continuing to worsen, arrange an appointment with their local pediatrician to find out if the problem may be whooping cough. If diagnosed early enough, antibiotics can be used to cut down on the painful symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading to others.

Concerned? Give Us a Call

Whooping cough is a serious condition that can be extremely dangerous if left untreated. If you have any suspicions that your child may have developed this condition, give us a call today!

By Child & Adolescent Clinic
May 02, 2017
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Potty Training  
Saying goodbye to diapers is one of the milestones that parents look forward to the most. Kids are also generally excited about wearing “big kid underwear,” as well. Typically, most children will show signs of readiness between 18 and 24 months—but it can differ from child to child.  

How do I know When my Child is Ready?

It is important to understand when your child is ready to begin potty training. According to your pediatrician, your child may be ready for potty training if they:
  • Knows words for urine, stool and toilet
  • Is somewhat bothered by feeling wet or soiled
  • Shows interest in using the potty 
  • Has an awareness of when they are about to urinate or have a bowel movement

Are You Ready?

While it is important to know when your child is ready, your pediatrician also explains that it is also important for you to be prepared, as well. Potty training is not easy, and it does take a lot of energy and patience. It requires countless bathroom visits, and even extra laundry and puddle cleaning. If you or your spouse are up for it, go for it, but it is important to be patient and ready to help your child each step of the way—don’t get discouraged. 

Explore Different Strategies

When it comes to potty training, there are many strategies you can try. If you need help creating a proper strategy, talk to your pediatrician for suggestions. Here are a few commonly used by parents:
  • The hugs-and-kisses approach – give your child praise every time they use the potty correctly.  
  • The cold-turkey underwear approach – let your child pick out several pairs of “fun” underwear to make them feel special and go from there.
  • The get-with-the-program approach – dedicate time to promoting potty use for your child. Stay home and gently steer your toddler to the bathroom at predictable points throughout the day.
  • The sticker-chart approach – this is a fun way to encourage your child to begin potty training. Each time they use the potty, they get a sticker. 
Each child is different, so make sure you tailor your approach to best mean your child’s individual needs. While one approach may work for one child, another approach might be better for your other child. Talk to your pediatrician for more information on potty training and to learn more about other approaches you might want to tackle. 
By Child & Adolescent Clinic
February 28, 2017
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Vaccinations   Immunizations  

VaccinationsDespite all of the research supporting the effectiveness of immunizations, many parents still question the safety of vaccines for their little ones. Will they protect my infant from serious disease? Or are the vaccines themselves harmful?

Immunization is one of the best ways parents can protect their babies from serious childhood diseases ranging from tetanus and mumps to whooping cough and seasonal flu—and have been for more than 50 years. In fact, vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90%!

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every child receive the protection that immunization provides.

Do vaccines even work?

Yes, vaccines work every year to protect millions of children from serious illnesses. Because infants are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases, if an unvaccinated baby is exposed to a certain germ, the baby’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Therefore it is very important that parents take the necessary steps to ward off harmful complications through immunization.

Are there side effects?

As with any medication, side effects can occur with vaccines. These side effects are usually very minor and include redness or tenderness at the injection site or a low fever, which indicates that the body is reacting positively to the vaccine. Most babies do not experience any side effects from vaccines, and severe reactions are very rare.

Parents have the power to protect their baby from serious illnesses. Deciding not to vaccinate your child could put him at risk for life-threatening childhood diseases. If you have questions about immunization, talk with your pediatrician. You can also visit the sites listed below for additional information and updated immunization schedules.

 

American Academy of Pediatrics

www.cispimmunize.org

Food and Drug Administration
www.fda.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/vaccines

National Network for Immunization Information
www.immunizationinfo.org