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By Southwestern Pediatrics
March 26, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Whooping CoughPertussis, more commonly referred to as whooping cough, is a contagious bacterial infection of the lungs. The nickname comes from the “whooping” sound that occurs when a child breathes. While many people assume that whooping cough is an infection that no longer exists, it’s actually more common in the US than we’d like to admit. In fact, pediatricians have seen an increase in the number of whooping cough cases over the last couple of decades.
Whooping Cough May Look Like a Cold

You might brush off the early signs of whooping cough because they look an awful lot like the common cold. Older children and teens may develop congestion, mild fever, cough, or runny nose; however, within the first 1-2 weeks you will notice that the cough gets worse. In fact, your child may develop severe and sudden coughing fits.

Children and newborns are more likely to display severe symptoms. They may not have a whoop in their cough, but they may vomit or show severe fatigue after coughing. While anyone can develop whooping cough, infants are at particular risk for serious and life-threatening complications so it’s important to have your family vaccinated.
Vaccines Can Protect Against Whooping Cough

While newborns are too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough, you should make sure that the rest of your family is fully vaccinated. The DTaP vaccine will protect against whooping cough and will be administered at 2, 4, and 6 months old, again at 15 to 18 months, and again at 6 years for a total of five doses.
Turn to a Pediatrician Right Away

If you suspect that your child might have whooping cough, you must call your pediatrician right away. Children under 18 months old may require hospitalization so doctors can continuously monitor them, as children are more likely to stop breathing with whooping cough. Of course, coming in during the early stages of the infection is important as antibiotics are more effective at the very start of the illness.
Until the body clears whooping cough, some of the best ways to manage your child’s symptoms include,
  • Resting as much as possible
  • Staying hydrated
  • Sticking to smaller meals to safeguard against cough-induced vomiting
  • Making sure your family is up to date on their vaccinations
If you want to fully protect your child against many dangerous communicable diseases, one of the best ways is through vaccinations. Your child must be up to date on all of their vaccines. Talk with your pediatrician to find out when your child should get the whooping cough vaccine.
By Southwestern Pediatrics
March 19, 2021
Category: Health Care

How primary care services from your doctor in Maricopa, AZ, can help you stay healthy.

You need adult primary care services, especially as you get older. Your primary care physician is an expert at treating acute conditions like viruses and infections, and chronic diseases like arthritis and heart disease.

Dr. Anthony DiGeorge of Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, AZ, and his skilled team offer a wide range of adult primary care services and pediatric services to help keep you and your family healthy.

Your primary care doctor can provide annual physical examinations to help you maintain good health and give you peace of mind. Routine physicals are an excellent time for you to ask any questions about how to stay healthy.

Immunizations are also an important part of primary care services. Influenza, pneumonia, shingles, and other conditions can be prevented with a simple injection once each year.

  • Your primary care doctor can also help with common problems including:
  • Body aches and pains
  • Muscle, tendon, or ligament strain
  • Joint problems, including arthritis
  • Sports or vehicle accident injuries
  • Allergies, asthma, or breathing problems

For women, your primary care doctor can do routine gynecological examinations to ensure the health of your reproductive system.

For men, your primary care doctor can diagnose and treat prostate issues, erectile dysfunction, and other conditions.

As you get older, the expertise of your primary care doctor becomes even more important. The condition of your body and how it functions changes as you age, and your primary care doctor can monitor those changes. Preventive care like immunizations and lifestyle modification like diet and exercise can help you make the most of your health.

You deserve the caring compassion of an excellent primary care doctor. To learn more about how adult primary care services can help you stay healthy, call Dr. DiGeorge of Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, AZ, at (520) 568-9500 today!

By Southwestern Pediatrics
March 18, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Asthma  

How your pediatrician in Maricopa, AZ, can help your child deal with asthma symptoms.

It can be scary when your child is having an asthma attack. Your child’s airways are much smaller than those of an adult, so breathing problems are even more pronounced. The good news is, your child can live well with asthma, and your doctor can help.

Dr. Anthony DiGeorge of Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, AZ, and his skilled team offer a wide range of pediatric and adult primary care services, including asthma treatment.

One of the main causes of asthma episodes is exposure to an allergen. The first step in allergy treatment is to find out what your child is allergic to. Your pediatrician may recommend skin testing, blood testing, or other methods to identify allergens.

When you know what your child is allergic to, it’s much easier to avoid the allergen, and avoid an asthma attack. Treating allergies with shots or sublingual immunotherapy can also help. In addition to treating allergies, there are other ways to help your child live well with asthma. Remember to:

  • Avoid letting people smoke around your child
  • Keep your child active, to keep lung function strong
  • Have your child eat healthy, to avoid gaining excess weight
  • Place a HEPA filter in your child’s bedroom to keep the air free of irritants
  • Use hypoallergenic bed linens
  • Vacuum carpets regularly, or switch to hardwood floors

You should also schedule regular visits for your child with the pediatrician. Professional asthma care is the foundation of living well with asthma. Your pediatrician may recommend a combination of long-term medications to keep asthma under control, and short-term rescue inhalers to treat sudden, acute asthma attacks.

Many children suffer from asthma. In fact, 1 child in 10 has asthma, according to the CDC. If your child also suffers from asthma, don't worry. Your pediatrician can help. To find out more about how your child can live well with asthma, call Dr. DiGeorge of Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, AZ, at (520) 568-9500 now!

By Southwestern Pediatrics
March 16, 2021
Category: Child Health
Tags: Pediatrician   Thumb-Sucking   Pacifier  
Thumb SuckingReflexively, your baby is born with the ability to suck. It makes sense. After all, your little one must be able to suck to get nutrients, whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Thumb sucking also has the ability to soothe and calm your little one. However, there are moments as your child gets older where thumb-sucking may become a problem. Your pediatrician can provide you with the tips and tricks to help your little one grow out of this habit.
Thumb-Sucking Tendencies

This is a normal habit in newborns that typically goes away around 6-7 months; however, this seemingly innocuous habit may actually be a cause for concern if thumb sucking continues beyond 2-4 years, where it can alter the shape of the face or cause teeth to stick out.
When to Consider a Pacifier

Many children desire a pacifier between feedings, but this should not be a replacement for feedings. It’s important to recognize when your child is sucking because they are hungry and whether they merely want to self-soothe. If your child still has an urge to suck and they don’t need to nurse, then a pacifier is a safe way to soothe and ease your child’s needs (if they want it).
It is safe for children to use a pacifier while sleeping, whether at bedtime or when they go down for their naps. Just prepare for babies to wake up fussy in the middle of the night when the pacifier falls out of their mouths, as they aren’t able to place the pacifier back in their mouths themselves. Make sure that you do not try to place the pacifier on a string around your baby’s neck or tie it to the crib, as this can lead to a serious and potentially deadly injury.
How to Phase Out the Pacifier
There will come a point when your child will need to give up their pacifier. While the medical community has different age ranges, The American Dental Association recommends that children stop using a pacifier by age 2, as going beyond two years old could alter the alignment of your child’s teeth or impact the shape of their face.
Here are some tips to phase out the pacifier,
  • Do not tease or punish your child for using a pacifier, but instead praise them when they do not use it. Provide them with rewards when they go without it.
  • Some children use pacifiers out of boredom, so give your child something to do to distract them such as playing with a game or toy (to keep their hands busy).
  • If incentives and rewards aren’t enough and your child is still using a pacifier, your pediatrician may recommend a “thumb guard” that can prevent your child from sucking their thumb. While you may feel in a rush to get rid of your child’s pacifier, it’s important to be patient. All children eventually stop this habit.
Even if you are concerned about your child’s thumb-sucking, it’s important to know that most children do grow out of it not long after starting school. While you can provide them with helpful ways to ditch the habit it’s important not to put pressure on them. With the help of your pediatrician, your child can and will outgrow this habit.
By Southwestern Pediatrics
February 26, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Allergies  

The doctors at Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, AZ, are here to help your child if they are struggling with allergies.

What are allergies?

An allergic reaction is the body's immune system responding to an allergen it perceives as a threat. The two main things that cause allergic reactions are food and environmental allergens. When your child has an allergic reaction, their immune system is reacting to the allergen to attack it and this causes different symptoms depending on the allergen. Visit Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, AZ, if your child has any of the following symptoms:

Allergic reactions from food have these symptoms:

  • Swelling of the face and tongue
  • Stomach irritation
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mouth itchiness

Environmental allergies like pollen and pet dander cause the following symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing

Does my child have allergies?

If your child has symptoms of allergies, an allergy test can determine what the immune system is reacting to. Allergy tests are administered by testing tiny patches of skin with different potential allergens. If the skin reacts to the substance, the child is allergic. Knowing what allergens are causing reactions is the first step to managing the symptoms.

How does a pediatrician treat allergies?

The best way to avoid allergic reactions is to avoid the allergen itself. This is sometimes difficult, but there are medications available to help manage symptoms when you can't avoid an allergen. Several medications can help manage reactions to seasonal and animal allergies.

Allergic reactions can range from presenting mild to severe symptoms. In severe cases, a patient may need an emergency injection like an EpiPen. These injections can save lives in cases of a dire allergic reaction.

The professional staff at Southwestern Pediatrics can test your child for allergies and help you manage the symptoms. Contact us in Maricopa, AZ, at 520-568-9500.

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