Posts for category: Pediatric Health
Your child just woke up with a runny nose, an elevated temperature and body aches. Could this just be a passing cold or could it be the flu? It’s important to be able to tell the difference between the two. A common cold is usually mild and will go away on its own without treatment but the flu often requires medical attention to prevent serious complications. While an annual flu shot can protect your child from developing the flu it’s also important to know what to look for and when to visit their pediatrician for care.
Warning Signs of the Flu
Unfortunately the common cold and the influenza viruses have a lot of the same symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine what your child might have. We know that you don’t want to worry unnecessarily and rush them into the office if you don’t need to but it’s also good to know when their condition warrants medical attention.
One difference is that a cold will come on gradually over the course of a couple of days while the flu will often attack suddenly, with symptoms showing up practically overnight. While a fever isn’t a common symptom of a cold a fever is almost always present with the flu, as well as full body achiness or weakness.
Children are also more likely to deal with diarrhea or vomiting with the flu. While symptoms of a cold are usually localized to the head, flu symptoms are more widespread.
You Suspect Your Child has the Flu. Now What?
The first step is to call your pediatrician. While it can take up to a week for your child to feel better after the flu sometimes medical attention is required. It’s especially important that you talk to your doctor if your child has flu-like symptoms and they are under the age of 5, as young children are more likely to deal with health-related complications from the flu.
You’ve talked to your doctor and you now know whether you are supposed to bring them in right away for care or whether you should continue to monitor their condition before bringing them in. At this point the most important thing you can do is help reduce their discomfort and control their symptoms. Make sure they are staying hydrated and getting as much rest as possible.
Avoid giving your child over-the-counter medications, as many of these medications aren’t safe for young children and won’t be effective for treating flu symptoms. If your child has a mild fever ask your pediatrician what over-the-counter medications could help alleviate their fever. Keep in mind: Children should never take aspirin!
The sooner you seek medical attention for the flu the better, as many antiviral medications can prevent the virus from getting worse if it’s administered within the first 48 hours. This medication is often taken for 5 to 7 days and it can help ease symptoms and speed up recovery.
The key is making sure to get your child proper medical care as soon as flu-like symptoms appear. Call your children’s doctor right away.
One of the most diagnosed and treated childhood conditions is asthma. It is a respiratory disorder that affects over 6 million children in the U.S. according to the American Lung Association, and is still largely a mystery for doctors and experts as far as the exact causes and triggers. Asthma treatment is a specialty of the doctors at Pediatric Associates of Davidson County in Nashville, TN. You may discover some solutions that you and your child have needed for years.
Is There a Reason for Asthma?
Asthma can be a condition is present soon after birth, or one that starts to become a problem as the child ages. The problem could be caused by environmental influences, such as living in a household where someone smokes cigarettes or in a metropolitan neighborhood with low air quality. Some asthma symptoms can be triggered by allergens, such as pollen, dander, or eating shellfish. In some cases, an asthma attack can happen due to experiencing a stressful or shocking event, which is why you should talk to your child about their time spent outside of the home (school, sports, etc). Ensuring that your child has as peaceful, healthy, and normal a lifestyle as possible at home is also crucial.
An asthma attack is an urgent occurrence that requires immediate treatment. It causes tightening of the chest, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. The most common treatment your Nashville, TN, may prescribe is a fast-acting inhalation medication. Here are a few other possible treatments for asthma:
- Corticosteroids (delivered through an inhaler or IV).
- Lung function tests.
- Sublingual Immunotherapy
Asthma Tips for Young Patients
It can be more difficult to control asthma symptoms in young children because they are not always aware of the triggers. A wise course of action is to do everything possible to ensure a healthy environment for your child and also make others aware of the child’s condition. Here are a few simple tips:
- Manage the humidity in your home with an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
- Keep windows closed to reduce exposure to pollen.
- Teach your child breathing exercises suggested by your Nashville, TN, pediatrician to help improve lung function.
- Clean your home thoroughly to get rid of hair and dander.
- Keep your child’s head and mouth covered in colder temperatures.
Work with Your Child’s Pediatrician
It can be a challenge keeping your child’s asthma symptoms in check, which is why it’s best to work closely with your pediatrician for necessary medications, therapies, and ongoing treatments. Call (615) 329-3595 today to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Pediatric Associates of Davidson County in Nashville, TN.
At some point in our childhood, we might have experienced chicken pox. While chicken pox most often occurs in children under the age of 12, it can also occur in adults who never had it as children.
Chickenpox is an itchy rash of spots that look like blisters and can appear all over the body while accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Chickenpox is very contagious, which is why your pediatrician in places a strong emphasis on keeping infected children out of school and at home until the rash is gone.
What are the Symptoms of Chickenpox?
When a child first develops chickenpox, they might experience a fever, headache, sore throat or stomachache. These symptoms may last for a few days, with a fever in the 101-102 F range. The onset of chicken pox causes a red, itchy skin rash that typically appears on the abdomen or back and face first, then spreads to almost any part of the body, including the scalp, mouth, arms, legs and genitals.
The rash begins as multiple small red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites, which are usually less than a quarter of an inch wide. These bumps appear in over two to four days and develop into thin-walled blisters filled with fluid. When the blister walls break, the sores are left open, which then dries into brown scabs. This rash is extremely itchy and cool baths or calamine lotion may help to manage the itching.
What are the Treatment Options?
A virus causes chickenpox, which is why your pediatrician in will not prescribe an antibiotic to treat it. However, your child might need an antibiotic if bacteria infects the sores, which is very common among children because they will often scratch and pick at the blisters—it is important to discourage this. Your child’s pediatrician in will be able to tell you if a medication is right for your child.
If you suspect your child has chickenpox, contact your pediatrician right away!
Immunizations, or childhood vaccines, are foundational to your family's health and well-being. Here at Pediatric Associates of Davidson County's Nashville office, your team of five pediatricians and their support staff recommend the vaccine schedule published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Safe and proven to limit the devastating effects of a wide range of communicable diseases, immunizations arm your child's body to fight infection and to keep the world around them healthy, too!
How immunizations work
Most childhood and adult "shots" contain a small amount of disease-carrying micro-organisms that have been severely weakened and purified into an injectable form. Post-administration, this medication stimulates the body's own defenses to produce antibodies which protect against active infection and the dangerous symptoms of diseases such as tetanus, whooping cough, measles, and chicken pox.
Additionally, childhood vaccines benefit the community at large with something called "herd immunity." When as many people as possible are vaccinated against a communicable disease, fewer people get sick overall, and therefore those who cannot receive shots due to ongoing cancer treatment or other serious reason, are protected.
While some parents worry about the possible side effects of childhood immunizations, your pediatricians wish to assure you that vaccines are safe and effective. Localized reactions, such as fever, site soreness, and tenderness, are minor, limited, and far outweighed by the benefits of these easily accessible and effective protections.
Other important information
Immunizations are required for many childhood activities such as school, sports, and participation in community organizations. Pediatric Associates of Davidson County will keep accurate records of your child's shots and give appropriate documentation to school, camp, daycare, and more as warranted.
The doctors follow the immunization schedules as published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Birth through age 6), (Ages 7 through 18) and a catch-up schedule for children who have gotten behind in receiving their vaccines due to illness or other circumstance. Vaccines are administered during well-visits.
At Pediatric Associates of Davidson County, we welcome questions about immunizations or any other aspect of your child's healthcare. Good health begins right away, and the doctors wish to help parents in maintaining it for each and every child. Call us for your next well-child visit: (615) 329-3595.
A hearing screening is the easiest way to determine if your child is suffering from hearing loss. Thanks to a hearing screening, your pediatrician can determine the degree of hearing loss and how best to help your child hear well again. If your child’s hearing loss goes undiagnosed, it can lead to problems with normal development, learning disabilities, and problems socializing with others.
Your child could be suffering hearing loss from a variety of causes including a family history of hearing problems, infection during pregnancy, or birth complications. Hearing problems can also be caused by middle ear infections, infectious diseases, or even loud noises.
So, how do you know if your child needs a hearing screening? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) these are some of the most common signs and symptoms of hearing loss in babies and children:
- Not turning toward sounds at 6 months
- Not saying single words at 1 year
- Not hearing all sounds
- Not answering to their name
- Delayed or unclear speech
- Difficulty following directions
Hearing screenings are often performed at well-child visits and during school physicals. If your child hasn’t had a hearing screening, and you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, you should schedule a hearing screen as soon as possible. Early detection of hearing difficulties leads to early treatment, which is much better for your child.
If your child has hearing difficulties, don’t worry. There are many effective ways to help with hearing loss including:
- State-of-the-art hearing aids, cochlear implants and other hearing devices
- Medications if the hearing loss is caused by an ear infection
- Surgical treatment to correct structural issues which may be causing the hearing loss
- Alternative communication techniques
- Educational and supportive services for the family
A hearing screening is important to the health and well-being of your child. You don’t want your child to miss out on all of the beautiful sounds of life. Your pediatrician can help you schedule a hearing screening to get your child started on the road to hearing well.