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By Pediatric Associates of Davidson County
June 19, 2018
Category: Nutrition
Tags: Nutrition  

Your child is growing by leaps and bounds, so it should go without saying that the foods they consume can provide ample energy and fuel their mind and body, or they can cause deficiencies, mood swings, sluggishness, and health problems. Your child’s nutrition is of the utmost importance and establishing healthy eating habits early on can greatly benefit your child for both the short-term and for the future.

With childhood obesity still being a very serious and real problem in our country, it’s never too early to start your child eating a healthy, balanced diet. It’s amazing how what you eat can either help or harm your health. Here are some tips to support good nutrition in your little one.

Don’t Forget Breakfast

While busy parents might forget to eat first thing in the morning (or turn to coffee to get that burst of energy) growing children should not skip out on breakfast. Making sure they have a hearty protein-rich breakfast will help them stay fuller longer. Greek yogurt or eggs can be a great source of protein. Couple that with whole grains and some veggies and you have the ultimate, energized breakfast.

Let Your Child Be an Active Participant

If you just tell your child what to eat all the time it’s can be far more challenging to have them eat what they should and children don’t really understand for themselves why certain foods are good for them. Getting your child actively involved in their own nutrition is a great and invaluable lesson that they will carry with them throughout life. Let them choose their favorite fruits and vegetables. Plant a garden together and show them how to tend to herbs and vegetables. Make cooking together a priority and enjoy time with the family while teaching your child how to cook.

Revamp Your Diet

We know that it can be difficult to completely transition your child into a healthier lifestyle, particularly if eating habits haven’t been the best so far; however, a pediatrician can help guide you through the process to help you make simple decisions that could greatly improve your child’s diet. Simply swapping out certain unhealthy options for healthier ones might be all you need. For example, replace soda with flavored water, ice cream with yogurt, and potato chips with mixed nuts.

Sugar in Moderation

Okay, we know it’s impossible to prevent your child from ever consuming sugar (after all, what’s a birthday party without the birthday cake?); however, you should limit how much sugar your child consumes each day. Keep sodas, sports drinks, desserts and the like out of the house to prevent temptation. Sure, these treats aren’t that bad for you when consumed sparingly, but we all know the negative effect sugar has on our physical and mental health.

If you have questions about your child’s nutritional habits or their health, it’s important that you have a pediatrician that you trust to provide you with the comprehensive and understanding care you and your little one need. Turn to a pediatrician today to have all your questions and concerns addressed regarding your child’s nutrition and lifestyle.

By Pediatric Associates of Davidson County
May 31, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Fever  

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.

By Pediatric Associates of Davidson County
May 25, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Sports Physical  

Sports PhysicalYour child or teenager is likely the picture of health, with an excess of energy, a healthy appetite, and a decent amount of rest, so having a sports physical every year may seem unnecessary. However, the doctors at Pediatric Associates of Davidson County encourage parents to look at yearly physicals for athletics as a way to keep children's medical records updated and to detect any potential problems early. Learn more about how our team of providers in Nashville, Tennessee is looking out for your child's health, both on and off the playing field.

Why are sports physicals necessary?

Sometimes known as pre-participation examinations, sports physicals from your child's Nashville pediatrician are very beneficial. Your child's health, in particular their heart and lungs, needs to be evaluated by a professional prior to stepping onto the sports field. This can prevent unforeseen problems and detect issues that need further treatment or evaluation. Yearly physicals also mean that your child's medical records are staying up-to-date.

What happens during a sports physical?

If your child has had a sports physical in the past, you probably know what to expect. However, if you're signing them up for the first time, you may have some questions. A typical sports physical includes the following:

  • Taking records of height, weight, heart rate and blood pressure
  • Checking vision, hearing, and breathing
  • Evaluating posture for potential scoliosis
  • Testing joint flexibility and strength

Of course, there is always time for your Nashville pediatrician to address any questions or concerns you may have. That's what makes sports physicals in a medical office the preferred method; they are much more thorough and personalized than school-sponsored screening events.

If your child showing interest in playing a sport during the next school year, contact the Pediatric Associates of Davidson County in Nashville, TN to schedule a physical with one of our pediatricians today!

By Rick Pescatore, Seth C. Hawkins
May 16, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Rick Pescatore, Seth C. Hawkins, For the Inquirer
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2018, 12:20 PM

For years, always beginning in the spring, reports of “dry drowning” have appeared. Last year, when the death of a young child in Texas was attributed to “dry drowning,” the resulting accounts spread significant fear among parents.

Social media, in particular, spread tales of healthy children who suddenly developed respiratory emergencies or even died without warning, sending legions of “worried well” to emergency departments and pediatricians’ offices. Well-meaning activists posted warning signs at local pools and organized awareness campaigns and legislation.

Yet, there is no such thing as “dry drowning.”

In lay terms, to say a person drowned implies death. But in medical terms, the word refers to a range of issues.

Drowning always follows some kind of submersion in a liquid, but it is not always fatal. The outcome can range from mild respiratory symptoms to death.

 

People who think “dry drowning” exists describe it as a rare condition.

But real drowning — the wet kind — sadly is not rare. It is a leading cause of pediatric injuries and deaths.

The definition of drowning, established at the 2002 World Congress on Drowning, is “the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion or immersion in liquid.” In other words, no drowning can occur without exposure to liquid and some respiratory problem.

Drowning has only three subtypes: drowning without injury, drowning with injury, and fatal drowning.

Further, there has never been a case reported in medical literature of an otherwise asymptomatic and healthy child who suddenly developed serious respiratory distress or died days after being in water.

But it is important to know that symptoms can get worse in the hours immediately after a drowning event. So even mild symptoms after a drowning episode warrant medical attention.

What do we mean by “mild symptoms”? Anything that feels worse than the sensation that, while drinking a glass of water, some of it went down “the wrong way.”

Every “dry drowning” tragedy has later been found to have its roots in another medical condition. But this part of the story seems never to make its way to social media.

Frankie Delgado, the 4-year-old boy whose 2017 death renewed the Facebook fervor over dry drowning, was later found to have died of viral myocarditis, a rare but dangerous heart condition with no relation to drowning, swimming, or any other water exposure. Other “dry drowning” cases have later been traced to rib fractures, pneumonia, collapsed lungs, and numerous other well-known medical conditions.

It has happened that people have died of drowning hours after leaving the water. But they died of untreated complications from “wet” drowning, not any sort of esoteric condition that could not have been prevented by timely medical attention.

Drowning is never “dry.”

Nearly every major medical organization has spoken out against misleading terms such as “dry,” “near,” or “secondary” drowning applied to cases in which a patient got worse within hours of water exposure.

Developing symptoms days later almost certainly has nothing to do with water exposure, unless there was a separate complication such as infection from bacteria in the water.

Think of it this way: If someone develops pneumonia related to food entering the lungs during a choking episode days earlier, he has not experienced “foodless choking.” That term makes no more sense than “dry drowning.”

Children with continued respiratory problems or other symptoms after swimming should always be brought to an emergency department for evaluation. A child who maybe had a brief coughing episode but no further symptoms almost certainly requires no further medical care.

Words matter when it comes to caring for our children. The widely spread tales of critically ill “dry drowning” victims succumbing days after swimming to a “rare” medical condition created fear among parents. Many likely grew to distrust physicians who tried to assure them their children did not need to be evaluated for a mythical condition.

 

Worse of all, the “dry drowning” uproar drew attention from the real crisis we face every summer: protecting children from all-too-real drownings in swimming pools, natural bodies of water, even 5-gallon buckets for the youngest kids.

The dangers of drowning are real, and not esoteric or rare, and we owe it to our children to approach this hazard armed with knowledge and understanding, not fear and fervor. We must remember that our most important tool is prevention: swimming lessons, appropriate pool fencing, and continuous supervision while kids are in the water. If, despite all these efforts, there is still a drowning incident, anyone with symptoms should receive medical attention.

Online networking platforms are an ideal medium to spread important information about public health and patient care. But we owe it to ourselves and to our children to approach information — especially anything that sounds hard to believe, or doesn’t come from sources we know and trust — with skepticism and diligence. And if it sounds especially unlikely — “dry drowning” surely fits that description — always be extra cautious.

Rick Pescatore, DO, is director of clinical research of the department of emergency medicine at Crozer-Keystone Health System. Seth C. Hawkins, M.D. is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest University. Hawkins is also director of Lifeguards Without Borders and medical director of Starfish Aquatics Institute.

Read full story: Drowning is never dry: Two ER doctors explain the real swimming danger kids faceDrowning is never dry: Two ER doctors explain the real swimming danger kids face

More Coverage: Don't Panic Over 'Dry Drowning' Reports, ER Docs Say

By Pediatric Associates of Davidson County
May 15, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Diabetes  

You disinfect their toys. You make sure they wash their hands. You keep them from putting odd things they find in their mouths. You do everything you can to keep your child healthy and happy, but some illnesses aren’t completely under your control. Type 1 diabetes, most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, is an autoimmune disease where the body stops producing insulin. It has no known cause, there is no way to prevent it, it is not tied to lifestyle or diet, and there is no cure. But there are recognizable symptoms, which can help you catch it early and get your child the help they need.

Common Signs of Type 1 Diabetes

The most common early signs of diabetes are increased urination and thirst. This is because your child doesn’t have enough insulin to process glucose, leading to high blood-sugar and a reaction where their body pulls fluid from tissues. This makes your child constantly thirsty and in need of bathroom breaks. Other warning signs include:

∙         Fatigue: Your child always seeing tired or drowsy could signal their body is having trouble processing sugar into energy. Extreme instances of this include stupor and unconsciousness.

∙         Changes in vision: Having high blood-sugar often causes blurred vision and other eyesight problems.

∙         Fruity smelling breath: Having breath that smells fruity, even when it’s been a while since your child ate, often means there’s excess sugar in their blood.

∙         Increased hunger or unexplained weight loss: Extreme hunger can mean your child’s muscles and organs aren’t getting enough energy. Any sudden weight loss in your child should not be ignored, but especially when they’ve been eating more.

∙         Changes in behavior: Your child suddenly seeming moodier or more restless than normal while showing any of the symptoms.

Get Help from Your Pediatrician

Your child having heavy or labored breathing or experiencing nausea and vomiting are also signs of diabetes, but all of these symptoms, regardless of whether or not they are from diabetes, are cause for you to take your child to their pediatrician. Untreated, type 1 diabetes can be life-threatening. But with the help of a pediatrician and the same diligence you use to keep your child safe from viruses and bacteria, your child can grow up healthy and happy. If you have any questions or concerns, call our office today.





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