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Posts for category: Child Health

By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
February 06, 2019
Category: Child Health
Tags: Whooping Cough  

Named after the characteristic sound of its notorious coughing fits, whooping cough is an extraordinarily uncomfortable condition that typically manifests itself in babies and in children ages 11 to 18 whose vaccine-provided immunities have begun to fade. In addition to causing several debilitating symptoms, whooping cough also carries the possibility of infant mortality, particularly for patients under 12 months old. Further complicating the matter, initial symptoms often resemble a common cold, making quick detection a tricky task. To be more proactive in the treatment and prevention of this disease, read below to learn the basics on whooping cough and how to best go about alleviating it.

What is Whooping Cough?

Officially diagnosed by the name pertussis, whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that resides within the nose and throat. Whooping cough is spread through airborne bacteria produced by an infected person’s sneezes, coughs, or laughs. Once whooping cough has been contracted, the apparent symptoms begin in an identical fashion to the common cold. That includes:

  • Runny nose

  • Mild cough

  • Fever (below 102 F)

  • Congestion and sneezing

After a week to 10 days, these symptoms begin to grow worse. Mucus thickens and starts to coat the patient’s airways, leading to rampant and prolonged coughing. These fits can be so violent that that they may cause vomiting, lengthy periods of extreme fatigue, and result in blue or red face. This last sign is the direct outcome of the body’s struggle to fill the lungs with air, and once breathing is finally achieved, the loud “whooping” sound that defines the condition is produced.

What are the Dangers of the Disease?

If left untreated, whooping cough can produce a number of painful and dangerous complications, with the specific ailments depending on the age of the patient.

For teens and adults, untreated whooping cough can result in:

  • Abdominal hernias

  • Bruised or cracked ribs

  • Broken blood vessels in the skin and whites of the eyes

For infants, complications from whooping cough are a great deal more severe. They include:

  • Pneumonia

  • Slowed or stopped breathing

  • Feeding difficulties, which may lead to dehydration and severe weight loss

  • Seizures

  • Brain damage

What Can I Do About It?

The best approach to preventing the disease is through vaccination. This is especially important for babies, as whooping cough leaves them in significant danger, though it is essential to keep your children on regular vaccination schedules, regardless of their individual age.

While vaccines are extremely effective in reducing the likelihood of contracting whooping cough, the possibility of developing the condition is still present. Due to this perpetual risk, if you witness your child’s cold symptoms continuing to worsen, arrange an appointment with their local pediatrician to find out if the problem may be whooping cough. If diagnosed early enough, antibiotics can be used to cut down on the painful symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading to others.

Concerned? Give Us a Call

Whooping cough is a serious condition that can be extremely dangerous if left untreated. If you have any suspicions that your child may have developed this condition, give us a call today!

By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
December 17, 2018
Category: Child Health
Tags: Child Care   Weight  

Maintaining an optimum weight is important for the health of your little one.

It’s never too early to make sure that your child is adopting the best habits for maintaining a healthy weight. After all, with obesity on the rise among our children and teens, it’s so important that we are doing everything we can to keep kids healthy and to prevent serious health problems that can arise as a result of obesity. These habits, along with visiting a pediatrician for regular care and advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, can keep your child feeling their best.

If your child is overweight there are certain things you can do to help them lose the weight and to maintain a healthy BMI (body mass index),

 

Lead by Example

Children pick up a lot of their habits from their parents, and it’s certainly much easier to eat in an unhealthy fashion if everyone in the family is. This is the time to truly evaluate the family’s eating habits as a whole. Are your meals healthy, balanced, and nutritious or do you find yourself going out for fast food or heating up prepared meals? If parents make healthier eating choices children are more likely to, as well.

 

Get Active

While we all seem to be glued to electronics these days, it’s important to power down and to get some regular physical activity. This can include joining a school sports team, community sports, or even going out in the backyard and kicking a ball around. Children should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

 

Choose Healthy Snacks

When your child comes home from school are they rushing to grab cookies, potato chips, or other unhealthy snack items? While these foods can certainly be fun and enjoyable in moderation, they shouldn’t be the norm. Instead of stocking the house with junk food, opt for things like peanut butter or hummus on apples or veggies. If you aren’t sure which kinds of healthy snacks to get, talk to your child’s pediatrician for recommendations and advice.

 

Get Some Shut Eye

It’s important that your child is getting enough sleep each and every night. In fact, children that don’t get enough sleep may actually be more likely to become overweight or obese. Making sure that your child regularly receives eight hours a night is a great way to set them towards a healthy lifestyle.

 

Concerned? Give Us a Call!

If your child is having challenges with their weight it’s important to turn to a pediatrician who can provide you with the most effective and safest methods to help shed the excess weight and to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
December 07, 2018
Category: Child Health
Tags: Sick Child   Urgent Care  

When To Take Your Child To Urgent Care

 

As a parent, you want to always do everything you can when your child is sick, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly how sick your child is, especially when they’re very young and can’t communicate what is bothering them. Urgent care or a trip to the hospital isn’t always needed for simple problems such as a cold, mild diarrhea, or mild fevers. So, when is it necessary to take your child to urgent care?

 

Urgent Care

 

Not all illnesses need an immediate visit with your pediatrician and it’s important for you to know what symptoms to look out for. Some symptoms that may require urgent care are:

 

  • Vomiting and diarrhea that lasts more than a few hours

  • Rash, especially with a fever

  • High fever

  • A cough or cold that lasts several days

  • Large cuts or gashes

  • Limping or the inability to move an arm or leg

  • Ear pain with fever

  • Ear drainage

  • A severe sore throat or swallowing problems

  • Sharp and persistent stomach or abdomen pain

  • Blood in urine

  • Blood in stool

  • Not being able to drink for more than 12 hours

  • Rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 2 months old

  • Fever and vomiting

  • Any pain that gets worse and doesn’t go away after several hours

 

While many illnesses may go away with love and nurturing after a few days, there are times when it is necessary to see your pediatrician as soon as possible. If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, be sure to call your pediatrician right away to find out if it is necessary for your child to go in for an appointment so that your child can get well as soon as possible.

By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
November 05, 2018
Category: Child Health
Tags: Child Care   Cold   Flu  

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:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • A runny nose
  • Tiredness
  • Low-grade fever
The Centers for Disease Control states that most healthy children experience 8 to 10 colds by the age of two years.
 
What is the flu?
 
The flu is a much more serious viral infection. Of sudden and intense onset, the flu usually comes with:
  • High fever
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Severe headache
  • Chills
Also, the flu lasts longer and debilitates sufferers. It carries dangerous complications, particularly with young children, the elderly, asthmatics, diabetics and those with weak immune systems.
 
Treating colds and the flu
 
Treating a cold involves rest, fluids and decongestants as needed. The onset of a cold is gradual, and so is recovery. Typically, your child will not need to visit the pediatrician if he or she has a simple cold. Simple symptom relief works well. However, high and persistent fever merits a call to your child's doctor.
 
Regarding the flu, your pediatrician may do an in-office Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Test (a throat or nasal swab) to confirm the diagnosis. They may prescribe antiviral medication and instruct on how to monitor a young child's symptoms. Keep your youngster well-hydrated, and administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed.
 
If flu symptoms escalate (labored respirations, severe headache, rapid heart rate or anything that seems unusual to you), take your child to the nearest hospital ER for evaluation. Pneumonia is a frequent and life-threatening complication of influenza.
 
Prevention is the best medicine
 
Protect all members of the family with these simple measures:
  1. Eat a healthy diet.
  2. Stay well-hydrated.
  3. Avoid crowds during peak cold and flu season.
  4. Keep your child home from daycare and school if he or she is sick.
  5. Teach your child to cover his or her mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  6. Don't share food or utensils, even with family members.
  7. Vaccinate against the flu. Ask your pediatrician for your child's "shot."
Trust your pediatrician
 
They work hard to prevent acute illnesses such as colds and the flu. The doctor and professional team are great resources for prevention, healing and overall well-being for your children.
By Northeast Texas Pediatrics
August 15, 2018
Category: Child Health

Find out the best ways to handle some of the most common childhood learning and development disabilities.

 

Even though there is more information than ever before regarding childhood developmental and learning disorders there are still so many things we don’t quite understand and there is also a lot of misinformation out there. The goal of your pediatrician is to provide you with all the information you and your child need to understand their learning or developmental disorder and the most effective treatments and interventions available.

What are the most common learning disabilities?

One of the most common learning disabilities is dyslexia, which can affect how a child understands what they’ve read. It may also affect comprehension, spelling and other facets of reading and learning.

ADHD is another common learning disability that affects millions of children. Children with ADHD have trouble concentrating on work and may easily get distracted. ADHD can affect a child’s school, home or social life.

Other learning disabilities include:

  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Processing deficits

What are the most common developmental disabilities?

A common developmental disorder is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since autism is a spectrum, symptoms will vary in type and severity. It can affect a child’s ability to socialize or pick up social cues from those around them. They may prefer to be alone or not to be touched. While there is no cure for autism there are ways to manage the symptoms.

What are my child’s treatment options?

It’s important that if you think your child might be struggling with a learning or developmental disorder that you talk to your pediatrician. There are many ways in which to treat these symptoms through medications, therapy, lifestyle changes and behavioral modifications, and your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment options for your child.

No matter whether you have questions about your child’s learning or development disorder or your child is displaying symptoms of one of these delays, it’s important that you have a pediatrician you can turn to for answers, support and treatment options. After all, your family and your pediatrician are a team designed to help your child live the best possible life.