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Posts for category: Child Health Care

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 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
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.

By Southwestern Pediatrics
February 24, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Head Lice  
Head LiceYou’ve just received a call from the school: someone in your child’s class has head lice. We know that hearing that your child has or might have head lice can be stressful, but don’t worry. Your pediatrician can help guide you through the best methods for getting rid of pesky head lice once and for all.

If you notice head lice in your child there’s no way around it: you have to treat the lice. They will not go away on their own. It might give you the heebie-jeebies but it’s important to find a treatment that will get rid of these little critters quickly. You should also check all members of your family to make sure they don’t have lice too, as this problem can spread quickly.

The good news is that you can often treat lice from the comfort of your own home. While there are certain hair salons that may cater to the treatment of lice, it’s worth it to try and treat the problem yourself. There are a variety of over-the-counter shampoos and rinses that can kill lice and their eggs (also known as nits). You may want to talk with your pediatric doctor about the treatment process, which products to use and whether or not you should reapply the shampoo or rinse days after the first application.

Still seeing lice? This is a literal head scratcher for some parents, but don’t worry. This is when a pediatrician can prescribe a much stronger treatment option such as shampoos containing benzyl alcohol, or lotions containing either ivermectin or malathion (both pesticides), or spinosad (an insecticide).

Since some of these products work differently from others, it is important that you read and follow all instructions. Some products will require more than one application while others will only require one. Again, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s lice treatment don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician.

Treating Your Home After Lice

The good news is that lice need blood in order to survive so they won’t live very long if they don’t have a human host. However, you will want to wash all bedding, towels and clothes that may have lice or nits on them. Make sure to wash them thoroughly in hot water that is higher than 130 degrees F. If you can’t wash these items immediately, promptly bag them until you can clean them properly.

Head lice can be annoying, but turning to a qualified pediatric doctor can help you get the answers you need to tackle this hairy little problem. Call your pediatrician to learn more.
By Southwestern Pediatrics
October 28, 2020
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Chicken Pox  
Your Child and Chicken PoxYou just got the call from your child’s school: someone in your kid’s class has chickenpox. This highly contagious virus isn’t usually anything to worry about, but it can certainly cause some very unpleasant symptoms for your child, including a terribly red and itchy rash all over the body and face. If you’re concerned about chickenpox, your pediatrician can tell you everything that you should know about this common childhood infection.


How can I tell that it’s chickenpox?

Since chickenpox is caused by a viral infection, most children will develop common symptoms of an infection before the rash even develops. These symptoms include:
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite
The rash will usually appear 1-2 days after your child has been exposed to chickenpox. This rash consists of itchy, fluid-filled blisters that crust over within 4-5 days. Some children may only develop a few blisters on their body while others may develop hundreds.


How is chickenpox treated?

It is incredibly important that you keep your child from scratching the rash, as this can lead to infection and make their symptoms worse. Several home remedies can ease discomfort and itching. Some of these include:
  • Applying calamine lotion
  • Making sure that your child is drinking enough water and staying hydrated
  • Soaking in a bath with baking soda for 20-30 minutes to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Applying cold compresses to the rash
  • Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine (talk with your pediatric doctor first before giving your child any medication)
Should my child see a doctor?

If your child is experiencing the typical symptoms of chickenpox, then chances are good that you won’t have to bring them into the office. The only thing you can do is wait. You should call your pediatrician if:
  • Your newborn is showing signs of chickenpox
  • Your child’s fever goes away and then comes back
  • Your child has a high fever
  • Some areas of the rash are getting larger or are painful (signs of infection)
Is there a way to prevent chickenpox?

The good news is that children today can be protected against chickenpox with a simple vaccine. The chickenpox vaccine is administered in two doses: the first vaccine is administered when your baby is 12 to 15 months and a second vaccine is administered at 4-6 years old.

If you want to protect your child against the chickenpox, then talk to your pediatrician about getting them vaccinated. Your child has enough to worry about, without chickenpox being one of them.