Posts for: November, 2018
The importance of immunizations
Childhood immunizations are one of the most important safeguards against communicable diseases and their serious, long-term complications. Your pediatrician closely adheres to the vaccination schedules published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Why? Well, there's nothing more important than your youngster's health and well-being, and immunizations effectively guard them.
Just what is an immunization?
Most immunizations are given as "shots," or injections, but some, such as the Rotavirus vaccine, are oral medications. However administered, vaccines boost your child's immune system in its battle against diseases which easily spread from person to person.
Each vaccine contains a small amount of a killed or weakened micro-organisms. These altered viruses or bacteria raise the body's defenses against a particular illness such as chicken pox. pneumonia, polio, tetanus, and more...up to 14 in all by time your child is two years old, says the CDC.
Are immunizations necessary?
Your pediatrician, his or her colleagues and decades of research prove that vaccines protect the health of individual children and of the community at large. Also called herd immunity, community immunity works best when as many babies and youngsters receive all their "shots" on schedule. Community immunity protects youngsters who cannot receive vaccines because of cancer treatment, HIV infection or other serious reason. It also shields the general population when people travel from countries which cannot provide access to these important medications.
Both the AAP and the CDC publish and recommend set vaccine schedules carried out at well-baby and well-child visits at the doctor's office. In addition, there is a "catch-up" schedule for children who have begun their immunizations late or had them interrupted by illness or other serious concern.
Your pediatrician's services
They're so important. Your child's doctor keeps your child's immunization records and can distribute them to schools, camps, college, sports, daycare and other organizations who require proof of up-to-date vaccines. The doctor also monitors your child for any adverse reactions, although typically, vaccines produce no more than:
- Localized redness and soreness at the injection site
- Low grade fever
- Pain and swelling
Many mothers choose to give their newborns formula, but your Nashville, TN, pediatricians from Pediatric Associates of Davidson County want to tell you the benefits of breastfeeding.
What is breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is when a baby feeds directly from their mother's breasts. Babies have an instinctive reflex action that allows them to suck. This action additionally stimulates breast ducts to release milk.
What exactly is in breastmilk?
Women's breasts produce colostrum right before giving birth. This thick, nutrient-rich liquid then converts to breast milk after childbirth. Although not all women can breastfeed due to physical limitations, your child can still benefit from the nutrients in breastmilk if you extract it using a manual, or electrical, pumping machines.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding, or nursing, is a healthy option for you and your newborn baby. The first six months of your child's life are the most important for development, and according to the World Health Organization, your baby should rely exclusively on breastmilk for those first months. This is due to how breastmilk has many advantages, including how:
- It consists of a proper balance of nutrients to help with your child's growth and development
- It contains antibodies that ward off infections and chronic diseases
- It is easily digested
- It helps mothers burn calories to shrink the uterus and makes it easier to return to pre-pregnancy weight
What about using formula?
Infant formula replicates basic nutrients in breast milk, but certain natural components can't be duplicated, which is why your Nashville doctor recommends breastfeeding your child for the first few months.
Need a consultation?
Many women may be confused about whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed their baby. The doctors at Pediatric Associates of Davidson County in Nashville, TN, are here to help. If you would like to learn more about breastfeeding, you can contact us by calling (615) 329-3595 today!
Cold Vs. Flu
Is it a cold or the flu? When it comes to your child's health, your pediatrician provides great information and guidance on the most common illnesses plaguing families. If you are wondering about the exact nature of your child's illness and how to treat it, learn the differences between a cold and the flu and how to treat and prevent them.
What is a cold?
A cold is an upper respiratory viral infection lasting 5 to 7 days in both adults and children alike. Generally milder in intensity and shorter in duration than influenza, a cold causes:
- Watery eyes
- A runny nose
- Low-grade fever
- High fever
- Body aches
- Extreme tiredness
- Severe headache
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Stay well-hydrated.
- Avoid crowds during peak cold and flu season.
- Keep your child home from daycare and school if he or she is sick.
- Teach your child to cover his or her mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Don't share food or utensils, even with family members.
- Vaccinate against the flu. Ask your pediatrician for your child's "shot."