Truth is, anyone with an appendix can get appendicitis—even our children. Appendicitis is a painful inflammation of the hollow, finger-shaped organ attached to the end of the large intestine. If left untreated, an inflamed appendix can rupture, leading to a lengthy hospital stay for complications including abdominal infection and bowel obstruction.
When your child complains of stomach pain, consult your pediatrician for proper diagnosis and to ensure the health of your child. Since appendicitis is potentially life-threatening, it is important to understand the symptoms so that you can spot appendicitis in your child. In order of appearance, the symptoms include:
Loss of appetite
Unfortunately, symptoms of appendicitis might also be hidden by a viral or bacterial infection that preceded it. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fever may appear before the typical pain of appendicitis, which makes the diagnosis much more difficult.
Your child’s discomfort might also disappear, which will persuade you that they are better. However, this disappearance of pain could also mean that the appendix has just broken open or ruptured. The pain might leave for several hours, but this is the moment when appendicitis becomes dangerous, making it more important than ever to visit your pediatrician for immediate care for your child.
When your pediatrician diagnoses your child with appendicitis, surgery is usually needed as soon as possible. Surgically removing the appendix is usually the treatment of choice, as it is important to eliminate the inflamed appendix before it bursts.
While most children with abdominal pain do not have appendicitis, you can never be too safe when it comes to the health of your child. Visit your pediatrician for further diagnosis of this serious problem and to take the next steps toward a healthy child.
When you bring your child in for a well-child care exam, you are protecting your child from illnesses and helping them stay healthy. There are many reasons why these visits are a vital part of your child’s healthcare. Pediatrician Dr. Anthony DiGeorge and his professional team at Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, Arizona offer a wide range of pediatric healthcare services including well-child care exams to help your child enjoy a healthy life.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should start bringing your child in for well-child care exams when your baby is 2 to 5 days old. The exams should continue at 2 weeks old, and at 1,2,4,6,9,15, and 18 months. A well-child care exam should also be done when your child is 2 years old, and yearly after that.
During the exam, our pediatrician will record important information about your child’s height, weight, heart sounds, breathing, and other vital information to serve as a baseline for future visits. The baseline information will be used to track your child’s growth and development.
To view or print an American Academy of Pediatrics guide to children’s healthcare please click on this link: https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/periodicity_schedule.pdf
Most parents have questions about their child’s growth, development, behavior, eating, sleeping, and other issues. This exam is a great opportunity for you to ask questions. Remember that your pediatrician is an expert, and happy to answer any questions you have.
One of the most important benefits of well-child care exams is to make sure your child has the immunizations necessary to prevent serious diseases and maintain good health. Immunizations are required for your child to attend daycare and school. They also help prevent serious diseases like the flu, hepatitis, measles, and meningitis.
To view or print the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for immunizations, please click on this link: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf
Your pediatrician is an important resource, and well-child care exams are a great way to keep your child healthy. To find out more about how well-child care exams can help your child, call Pediatrician Dr. Anthony DiGeorge at Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, Arizona today.
Asthma can dramatically affect a child’s quality of life. The condition can keep your child from being active, participating in sports, and enjoying the fun of being a child. You don’t want your child to live in fear of an asthma attack. Fortunately, your pediatrician can help. Dr. Anthony DiGeorge and his professional team at Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, Arizona provide a wide range of pediatric healthcare services, including effective treatments for asthma.
So, how do you know if your child has asthma? When a child has asthma, symptoms are often more severe because a child’s airways are smaller. Your child may have asthma if he or she is experiencing:
- Severe coughing or wheezing
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic or recurring bronchitis
- Tightness in the chest
If you have an infant or toddler, it may be more difficult to tell. Some of the signs and symptoms your infant or toddler may have asthma include:
- Feeding more slowly
- Difficulty breathing while feeding
- Frequent coughing, especially when active
- Quickly tiring when doing an activity
- Avoiding being active because of breathing problems
It’s important to seek emergency medical treatment if your child is:
- Gasping for air
- Not speaking because of breathing problems
- Breathing too deeply, causing the abdomen to get tucked underneath the ribcage
If your child has allergies, treating the allergies is often the first line of defense against an asthma attack. Exposure to an allergen can often be the cause of an asthma attack. Your pediatrician will do allergy testing to find out what your child is allergic to. Common allergens include pollens, pet dander, dust, and mold. Allergy treatment may include shots or sublingual drops.
If your child does have asthma, the doctors at Southwestern Pediatrics can offer effective treatments including:
- Rescue inhalers for when your child has acute symptoms
- Long-term asthma medications to give lasting relief from symptoms
- Sublingual immunotherapy for long-term management of asthma
Your child can enjoy a happy, healthy life by controlling and managing asthma symptoms. Your pediatrician can help your child feel better, and give you peace of mind. To find out more about asthma treatment for children, call Dr. Anthony DiGeorge at Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, Arizona today. Call at (520) 568-9500.
In infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the most frequent cause of sore throats is a viral infection. No specific medicine is required when a virus is responsible, and the child should get better over a seven to ten day period. During this period, your child may develop a fever, but they generally are not very sick.
It is not uncommon to experience a sore throat when your child has a cold or the flu. Unfortunately, there are other reasons for sore throats to develop that may be symptomatic of more serious problems. Children tend to have sore throats more often than adolescents or adults, with sore throats being the most common during the winter months when upper respiratory infections are more frequent.
The major cause of a sore throat is an infection, whether it is viral or bacterial, and can also be caused by allergies and environmental conditions. If your child has a sore throat that lasts longer than the typical five to seven day duration of a cold or flu, and is not associated with an avoidable allergy or irritation, it is important to contact your local pediatrician. The following are signs and symptoms to alert you to take your child to the pediatrician:
- Severe and prolonged sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Joint pain
- Fever that is over 101 degrees
- Frequent recurring sore throat
- Lump in the neck
- Hoarseness lasting over two weeks
At the first onset of a sore throat it is always important to monitor the progress and recognize any other symptoms that may accompany the sore throat, which could cause it to worsen into strep throat, inflamed tonsils, or laryngitis. Contact your pediatrician if your child is experiencing a sore throat that won’t go away. Your pediatrician will help diagnose and treat your child’s symptoms.
A hit to the head during a soccer game or a hard fall from skateboarding may result in a serious head injury and even a concussion. The American Academy of Pediatrics describes a concussion as any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. These injuries are typically caused by a blow to the head, most often occurring while playing contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer, wrestling or skateboarding.
For some children, concussions only last for a short while. Other times, a person can have symptoms of a concussion that last for several days or weeks following the injury. Not all symptoms of concussions will be obvious, and in some cases take several hours to set in. Look for these signs of a concussion if your child suffers a head injury:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Memory loss or confusion
- Poor concentration
- Vision problems
- Irritability or changes in mood
- Sensitivity to light or noise
Seek Medical Attention
If your child injures his head or you believe he may have a concussion, it is important that the child discontinues play immediately and visits a healthcare provider for an evaluation. All concussions are serious and should be monitored right away. A pediatrician can properly diagnose the concussion and its severity, and then make appropriate treatment recommendations.
Rest from all activities is the best treatment for concussions. Your pediatrician can make appropriate recommendations for when the child should return to future play. Recovery time depends on the child and the severity of the concussion.
Preventing Head Injuries
Not all head injuries can be avoided, but you can do a few important things to prevent them.
- Buckle Up. Make sure your child is properly buckled up in a seat belt, car seat or booster seat.
- Safety Gear. If your child plays sports, make sure he wears appropriate headgear and other safety equipment.
- Awareness. Children should be taught how to play safe and understand the importance of reporting any type of head injury to their parent or coach.
All head injuries should be taken seriously. Early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent serious complications. It’s never a bad idea to contact your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns about your child’s head injury.
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