My Blog
By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
August 15, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Scrapes   Minor Cuts  

Treating a CutA child’s job is to explore every nook and cranny of their world, but that can often lead way to injury. From split lips to skinned knees, scrapes and cuts are rites of passage for our children. As parents you can take all the precautions possible, but “boo-boos” will happen. However, if you understand the basics for treating cuts and scrapes, you and your child can make it through an episode with a minimum of tears.

When a cut or scrape occurs, your pediatrician offers these helpful tips:

  • Stop any bleeding. A minor scrape will stop bleeding on its own, but a cut or gash may not.  Using a clean washcloth or towel, apply gentle but direct pressure to the wound until the bleeding stops. 
  • Double up. If the blood soaks through the cloth, place another layer over it and continue to apply pressure. Elevating the injured body part can also help to slow the bleeding.
  • Rinse it off. Hold the injured body part under warm running water to wash away any dirt, broken glass, or any other foreign matter. 
  • Clean it up. If the skin around the cut is dirty, gently wash it with mild soap.
  • Break out the bandages. Once the bleeding has stopped and the wound is clean, dab on a thin layer of antibiotic ointment and apply a fresh bandage. Little kids usually enjoy choosing from a selection of cute and colorful bandages—so let your little one choose which one he or she wants.
  • Keep it clean. Change the bandage at least once a day or if it gets dirty. When a scab begins to form, you can remove the bandage, but be sure to teach your child not to pick at it.

If you are unsure how to handle your child’s injury, or if the cut does not stop bleeding, contact your pediatrician for more information.

It is almost impossible for a curious and active child to avoid some scrapes and minor cuts, but there are things you can do to decrease the number your child will have and to minimize their severity. Visit your pediatrician for more information on preventive measures and what to do when an injury occurs.

By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
August 01, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Nutrition   Healthy Eating  

Family Eating HabitsSometimes a sit-down meal seems impossible at times for busy families and making sure that a meal is healthy feels like an even bigger challenge. With a little organization, you can have the chance to serve healthy meals and sit down as a family once again. However, other nights you might find yourself on the go throughout the dinner hour. With help from your pediatrician, you can establish proper eating habits throughout the day.

Breakfast Matters

Studies suggest that children who skip the morning meal run a greater risk of being overweight, which is why experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. By skipping breakfast, it is next to impossible for children, and adults, to make up for the nutrients lost. Healthy breakfast foods, such as milk and whole grains, provide an array of nutrients necessary for proper growth and good health. Additionally, breakfast provides a positive effect on academic performance because after about 10 hours or so without food, eating in the morning fuels the brain and body for the day ahead. 

Snack Smart

Throughout the day, it is important to snack smart. Make sure you buy healthy snacks and portion them into individual servings so that you always have a grab-and-go snack for each member of the family. A snack between meals is important to keep hunger at bay and prevent binge eating. Students also need snacks to help them concentrate and learn at school, and working adults who keep healthy snacks on hand are less likely to hit the vending machine in the afternoon.

Make Smart Restaurant Choices

Yes, there will be times when a busy family has to eat out, but doing so does not have to derail your healthy eating goals. Choose the restaurant you will go to ahead of time and use its website to look at the nutritional information for the menu items offered. This allows you to make a choice that is healthy ahead of time so you are prepared when you get there. Avoid looking at the menu again, if possible, so that you are not tempted to choose something unhealthy.

Talk to your pediatrician for more information on how you can properly plan meals for your busy family. Remember, proper eating habits help your family throughout the day.

By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
July 17, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Burns  

Burn HazardFrom washing up under too hot of water to an accidental tipping of a coffee cup, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns are some of the most common childhood accidents that occur. Babies and young children are especially susceptible to burns because they are curious, small and have sensitive skin that requires extra protection. Your child’s pediatrician is available to provide you with tips on proper treatment, and ways to prevent burns.

Understanding Burns

Burns are often categorized as first, second or third degree, depending on how badly the skin is damaged. Both the type of burn and its cause will determine how the burn is treated, but all burns should be treated quickly to reduce the temperature of the burned area and reduce damage to the skin and underlying tissue. 

First-degree burns are the mildest of the three, and are limited to the top layer of skin. Healing time is typically about 3 to 6 days, with the superficial layer of skin over the burn potentially peeling off within the next day or two. Second-degree burns are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer. These burns can produce blisters, severe pain and redness.

Finally, third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn, which involves all layers of the skin and underlying tissue. Healing time will vary depending on severity, but can often be treated with skin grafts, in which healthy skin is taken from another part of the body and surgically placed over the burn wound to help the area heal.

Prevention

You can’t keep kids free from injuries all the time, but these simple precautions can reduce the chances of burns in your home:

  • Reduce water temperature.
  • Avoid hot spills.
  • Establish ‘no’ zones.
  • Unplug irons.
  • Test food temperature.
  • Choose a cool-water humidifier or vaporizer.
  • Address outlets and electrical cords.

Contact your pediatrician for more information on how to properly care for burns and how you can further protect your children from potential burn hazards.

By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
July 05, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Vision  
Child Vision ImpairmentsAs a parent, you may rely on the results of a school vision screening or the fact that your child doesn’t report any symptoms as an indication he or she does not have a vision problem. However, these are not necessarily reliable ways of determining if a vision problem does exist. Children often will not be aware they are not seeing well. They may think the way they see things is the same way everyone else does, since they do not have anything else to compare it to but their own experiences.
 
In the first few months of life, infants can only see clearly objects that are 8 to 10 inches from their face. It isn’t until 12 to 16 weeks that their eyesight begins to improve, and they start seeing things more clearly from further away. Over the next year, children will develop depth perception, eye-body coordination, eye-hand coordination and the ability to judge distances. It is rare for children to have vision problems at this age.

Detecting Eye and Vision Problems in Children

Most of the time, vision problems are not obvious, and the best way to catch issues early is through vision screenings offered by your pediatrician. Sometimes, though, there are symptoms of eye problems such as infection, cataracts or other issues. Warning signs may include:
  • Eye rubbing
  • Tearing
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pus
  • Crust
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Bulging or jiggly eyes
  • Droopy eyelids
  • White, yellow, or gray-white material in the pupil
If your child has any of these symptoms, or their eyes change in any way, or you are worried about their vision, don’t wait until they are 3-years old to get their first vision test. If you are concerned, it is always better to be on the safe side by visiting your pediatrician to have them checked.
By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
June 15, 2017
Category: Child Health
Tags: Childhood Obesity  

Childhood ObesityMore and more, childhood obesity is becoming prevalent in the U.S. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over the past two decades it has doubled in children and tripled among teens.

Obesity during childhood is a serious matter that can lead to medical problems, including diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. Additionally, being overweight can also take an emotional toll on kids, leading to depression and low self-esteem brought on by various psychological stresses.

As a parent, you should play an important role in encouraging your child to make important changes to help them lose weight and overcome obesity. Ask your pediatrician for support in guiding your child toward an overall healthier lifestyle.

Incremental Lifestyle Changes Starting at Home

Kids who are overweight or obese need guidance from their parents to make healthier lifestyle choices. These changes start at home and include eating better and exercising. Involve the entire family in your child’s efforts to lose weight, supporting him by setting good examples and modeling healthy eating behaviors that you want him to adopt both now and into adulthood.

  • Be a good role model, leading the way to a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and staying active.
  • Remove unhealthy temptations from the home and gradually introduce healthier foods into your child’s diet over a period of time.
  • Prepare meals that are rich in vegetables, fruits and whole-grains, and limit consumption of foods high in sugar and saturated fats.
  • Allow your child to participate in preparing the family meals to learn the benefits of cooking at home.
  • Limit the amount of time your child can spend watching television playing video games or using the computer.
  • Incorporate exercise into your child’s daily routine, which can include a wide range of activities such as walking the dog, raking leaves, swimming, playing tag or washing the car.

Talk to Your Pediatrician

Your child’s pediatrician can also play an important role in monitoring your child’s weight gain starting from age one, helping to make sure it remains within normal guidelines as he grows. If the pediatrician suspects a weight problem, they can discuss it with you and your child, and then help you prioritize the changes that need to be made to manage the child’s weight. YOur pediatrician can work with you to help you set health goals and make the necessary lifestyle changes such as improving diet and becoming more physically active starting at home.





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