My Blog
By Blaine E. Tolby, MD
February 28, 2020
Category: Child Health Care

Sneezing. Watery eyes. Stuffy nose. These could just be symptoms of a cold or these could be signs that your child has allergies. If you notice that your child’s symptoms flare-up during certain times of the year then this could definitely be a sign of seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, allergies can impact everything from performance in school to participating in outdoor activities such as school sports. If you suspect that your child may have allergies it’s important to talk with your pediatrician.

Childhood Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can also seem a lot like a cold or other upper respiratory problems. Common symptoms associated with allergies include:

  • Watery, red, and itchy eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes or puffy eyelids
  • Ear pain and chronic ear problems
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest tightness

So, how can you tell that your child is dealing with allergies and not an infection? Some telltale signs include itchy eyes and nose, which are classic signs of allergies. If your child has a fever this is usually a sign of an infection and not allergies. Unlike a cold, allergy symptoms can last for weeks. You may also notice that your child’s symptoms come and go, appearing more often during the spring and fall months. Again, this is a trademark of childhood allergies.

Treating Childhood Allergy

There are many ways in which a pediatrician can help your child manage their allergy symptoms, and the treatments that are recommended will depend on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms. Most treatment plans include a variety of lifestyle changes and medication. Children with minor symptoms may find relief through over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, while other children may require a prescription-strength allergy medication to tackle more moderate to severe symptoms.

Lifestyle modifications may include using a dehumidifier in your child’s bedroom, wearing glasses instead of contacts during allergy seasons, bathing immediately after being outdoors, limiting outdoor activities during high pollen counts, and keeping pets out of bedrooms (if your child suffers from pet dander allergies).

For severe or unresponsive allergies, your pediatrician may recommend immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Allergy shots may be a good option for your child when other treatment options and medications have not been successful.

Are your child’s allergy symptoms impacting their daily routine? If so, our pediatricians can help them manage their symptoms so they can get back to enjoying days on the playground and time spent with family.

By Blaine E. Tolby, MD
January 31, 2020
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Child Care   Diabetes  

With the rise of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children in the US, it’s now more important than ever for both parents and children to understand ways to prevent diabetes, as well as being able to identify the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A pediatrician is an integral part of your child’s health, providing everything from screenings and vaccines to routine checkups and lifestyle recommendations to ensure that your child stays healthy.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects glucose levels in the body. When the cells in the pancreas responsible for making insulin do not produce enough insulin or are insulin resistant, this results in diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed during childhood and is not the result of a poor diet or being overweight. In those with Type 1 diabetes the cells in the pancreas are unable to produce enough insulin. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes in children.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is also becoming increasingly common in children because of the high rates of obesity. Type 2 diabetes means that the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Ensuring that your child eats right, gets regular exercise and maintains a healthy weight can greatly reduce your child’s risk for type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of childhood diabetes?

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes will appear suddenly, while type 2 symptoms will develop over time. Symptoms may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Cuts or sores that don’t heal
  • Dark patches of skin

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child it’s best to see a pediatrician right away. The sooner a diagnosis is made the sooner your child can get the proper medication and treatment they need to manage their blood sugar levels. By managing your child’s diabetes right away our doctors can prevent potentially serious complications and hospitalizations.

How is diabetes treated?

There are a variety of lifestyle modifications and medications that will be recommended to help treat your child’s type 1 or type 2 diabetes. For both forms of diabetes, a healthy diet and active lifestyle are paramount. Talk with your doctor about what foods your child should avoid. You will also want to monitor your child’s glucose levels during the day to make sure that the insulin medication is working effectively.

All children should visit their pediatricians regularly for checkups, vaccines and care. Of course, if your child displays any symptoms of diabetes, call our office immediately.

By Blaine E. Tolby, MD
December 16, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Ear Infection  

An ear infection is one of the most common infections that children have to deal with. In fact, most children will experience at least one ear infection by the time they are five years old. Of course, it’s important to understand the telltale signs of an ear infection, as well as know how to treat the infection and when you should turn to a pediatrician for care.

An ear infection isn’t contagious and usually isn’t a cause for concern; however, you will want to monitor your child’s symptoms to make sure problems aren’t getting worse or don’t warrant seeing a doctor. In many instances, a child may develop an ear infection after they’ve had a cold.

Signs and Symptoms of an Ear Infection

So, how will you know if your child has an ear infection? Children who are old enough to talk will certainly be able to let you know that they are experiencing an earache or pain; however, a baby or toddler won’t be able to tell you that they are experiencing an earache. Therefore, signs that your baby might have an ear infection include:

  • Increased fussiness
  • A fever
  • Pulling at the ears
  • Crying or tantrums, particularly when lying down
  • Having difficulty hearing noises or not responding to sounds
  • Fluid draining from the ears

So, when should you wait out an infection and when should you call a pediatrician? You should give your child’s doctor a call if they have an ear infection and they are also experiencing:

  • A rash
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Ear swelling

You should also turn to a doctor for care if your child:

  • Has an ear infection and they are under 6 months old
  • Is in significant pain or still experiences pain after two days of taking ibuprofen
  • Also has other serious health problems

How is an ear infection treated?

In most cases an ear infection will go away on its own. If your child isn’t in significant pain and they don’t have a high fever your pediatrician may tell you to wait a couple of days to see if symptoms improve. If symptoms remain or get worse then you should bring them back to the doctor’s office.

While antibiotics are not normally prescribed to treat an ear infection they may be used if your child has a very high fever, is in significant pain or if their ear infection hasn’t improved within 48 hours. It’s important not to give your child any over-the-counter medications without first talking with your pediatrician.

By Blaine E. Tolby, MD
November 22, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Sports   Sports Injuries  

Millions of children across the US regularly participate in some kind of sport. No matter whether your child is a dancer, gymnast, soccer player, or football player, the goals of parents are always the same: to keep their child healthy and to prevent injury. Having a pediatrician that you turn to regularly for care is invaluable, as this trusted medical doctor can also provide you and your child with guidance and counseling to ensure that you are taking all the precautionary measures necessary to prevent sports-related injuries in your little one.

Caring for Childhood Sports Injuries

With millions of kids also visiting the hospitals every year for sports-related injuries it’s important to acknowledge that the need for proper injury prevention practices is particularly crucial for children and teens. The most common sports-related injuries include repetitive motion injuries (e.g. tendonitis), ankle sprains, broken bones, and concussions.

Since many of these conditions are the result of overuse rather than injury symptoms may appear gradually over time. Therefore, it’s important to listen to your child when they complain about pain or other issues they are having. It’s also important that kids have ample time to rest and heal. If they don’t this can also put unnecessary stress the body and leave them prone to injury.

Minor sports injuries can often be treated with rest and home care. The RICE method is often used for treating minor to moderate sports injuries. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Children may also find relief through non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, but it’s important to talk with your pediatrician before starting your child on any new medication.

While you may wish to treat your child’s symptoms at home it’s also important to know when to turn to a pediatrician. Call your child’s doctor if their symptoms do not improve with at-home care, if symptoms get worse, or if their symptoms affect their training. These symptoms also require immediate medical attention:

  • Severe pain and swelling
  • Deformity (e.g. a misaligned bone)
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness
  • Trouble walking or putting weight on the injured part of the body

Preventing Injuries

As any pediatrician will tell you, it’s always better to prevent injuries than to treat them once they arise. There are a variety of measures you can put in place to reduce your child’s risk for injury. These injury-prevention tips include:

  • Making sure that your child gets a physical exam from their pediatrician at least once a year to make sure that they are healthy enough for physical activity.
  • Make sure that your child is getting ample training throughout the year so that once the season rolls around their body will be ready for the demands of their chosen sport.
  • Make sure that your child is wearing the appropriate footwear and protective gear. This includes helmets, mouthguards, shin guards, and other padding.
  • Your child should also stretch and warm-up for at least 10-15 minutes prior to game time. A proper warm-up can greatly reduce injury.

If your child is experiencing pain, swelling or other problems as a result of a sports injury don’t hesitate to give your pediatrician a call today. Catching and treating sports injuries right away can prevent further complications.

By Blaine E. Tolby, MD
October 24, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Wellness Visits  

One moment your child is born and the next moment they are sitting up, saying their first word and taking their first steps. It’s amazing just how many milestones your child will wellness visitreach in just the first few years of their life, and in order to ensure that your child reaches all of these milestones it’s important to visit their pediatrician regularly for routine wellness visits.

Seeing the doctor isn’t just for moments when your child has a fever or the sniffles, it’s also important that they visit the doctor often for well-child checkups. The benefits of these regular visits include,

  • Vaccinating your child and preventing a variety of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases
  • Screening them for certain health problems
  • Checking their vision and hearing
  • Reducing your child’s risk of getting sick
  • Monitoring and treating preexisting conditions
  • Detecting health problems early on and treat them quickly
  • Improving your child’s health and their quality of life

There are many things that go into a well-child visit. When your child visits the pediatrician here are some things to expect,

  • Monitoring of vital signs, which includes taking their temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
  • Recording their height and weight
  • Asking questions about your child’s current health status, physical activity level, diet, sleeping patterns, etc.
  • A comprehensive physical examination
  • Administering immunizations

Additional screenings, vaccines and other elements may also be included in certain well-child checkups depending on their age. For example, most children will start getting a hearing and vision screening at around three years old.

These checkups won’t just detect physical health problems but also developmental disabilities such as ADHD and learning disorders. Bringing your child in for regular wellness checkups allows your child’s pediatrician to continue to monitor their speech to pinpoint early signs that there could be a developmental delay or disability present. All children should be screened for developmental delays by the time they are 9 months old, and again at 24 and 30 months.

Bringing your child in regularly will also get them comfortable with the doctor’s office. Your child’s first visit should happen just a few days after they are born. From there, your newborn will continue to visit the pediatrician at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.

Once they reach their first birthday, they will come into our office at 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and 3 years. From 4 to 21 years old, children and teens should visit their pediatrician once a year for a checkup.

When was the last time your child saw the doctor? Keeping them healthy means keeping up with these routine checkups. Schedule your child’s next wellness visit today.





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