Posts for category: Child Health
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.
Once your child is born it’s amazing just how quickly they grow and develop. It seems like you blink and suddenly they are talking and walking. During these important milestones it’s also important to have a pediatrician that you turn to regularly to make sure that these developmental milestones are being met and that your child is healthy. After all, if there are any problems you want to find out as soon as possible when early medical interventions can make all the difference.
From the moment your child is born until 2 years old, your pediatrician will most likely want to see them every six months for wellness check ups. After your child turns 2 years old you should still bring them in once a year for a routine physical exam and preventive care. Along with checking your child’s vital signs and monitoring their height and weight your pediatrician will also check hearing, eyesight, respiration, cardiac activity and reflexes.
A physical exam will check all systems of your child’s body to make sure that everything is functioning properly. If your child’s doctor does detect a problem it can be treated immediately. Along with a physical exam your child will also undergo any additional screenings and vaccinations that are necessary for maintaining optimal health.
Furthermore, your pediatrician can also recommend workout routines and appropriate physical activity for your child based on their current health and lifestyle, as well as recommendations on diet, sleeping habits and even their emotional and behavioral health. Even if a pediatrician won’t be able to fully treat all conditions they can still refer your child to a specialist who will be able to handle a specific health problem or injury.
Once a child is old enough to go to school it’s also important that parents schedule their child’s sports physical so that they can participate in physical activity and school sports. An annual sports physical can detect past injuries and other problems that could affect your child’s ability to participate in certain activities.
These physical exams are often mandatory before a child can play school sports; however, even if it isn’t mandatory you should still bring your child in once a year for a comprehensive sports physical to make sure that they are healthy enough for certain physical activity.
Make sure your child is seeing their pediatrician regularly for care, not just when they are sick but also to ward away infections and other health problems. Schedule your child’s next physical exam today.
If your child has just been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important that you have a pediatrician you can turn to in order to create a customized and effective treatment plan. While diabetes cannot be cured, diagnosing, and treating your child’s diabetes as soon as possible is key to helping them maintain a long, healthy and happy life.
There are two different kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, usually happens during childhood. This autoimmune disorder occurs when the body attacks the pancreas so that it doesn’t produce insulin. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in adults; however, children can also develop type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, with the increase in childhood obesity our doctors are seeing a rise in type 2 diabetes in children, as well. The pancreas of children and teens with type 2 diabetes does produce insulin but the body just doesn’t properly respond to it.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Both types of diabetes often present with the same symptoms including:
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Sores and cuts that don’t heal properly
Other symptoms may include:
- Mood swings
- Unexpected weight loss
- Numbness or tingling
Treating Type 1 Diabetes
There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Since your child’s body doesn’t produce insulin this means that they will need to receive daily insulin injections. Along with taking these injections, you will need to monitor your child’s blood sugar every day to make sure their levels aren’t too high or don’t drop too quickly.
Treating Type 2 Diabetes
Even though children and teens with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin, the body doesn’t respond properly to it. Because of this, your child will need to take daily medication to maintain healthy glucose levels. As with type 1 diabetes, daily blood sugar monitoring is necessary to make sure that the medication your pediatrician prescribed is effective.
Along with taking medication, there are certain lifestyle modifications that can also go a long way to controlling your child’s type 2 diabetes. In fact, sometimes type 2 can be reversed with a healthy diet and regular exercise alone, depending on the severity. Lifestyle modifications include:
- Eating a healthy balanced diet
- Limiting sugar and carbs, which can spike blood sugar
- Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day most days of the week
- Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight
If your child is experiencing symptoms of diabetes or if you have questions about the best way to treat your little one’s diabetes don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for an appointment.
Your child's sports injury can be treated just as your injury was. Or, can it? Your pediatrician knows that a child's body is still developing, responding differently to acute and overuse injuries from organized sports, gym class, and more. As such, he or she can help your child avoid injury and in the event of sprain, strain, laceration, dislocation, or head injury, will help your youngster recover and stay healthy.
Kids sports injuries
They're very common, says the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Annually, 3.5 million American children under the age of 14 suffer significant sports injuries. Some injuries are related to poor conditioning. Others occur because of inadequate instruction or proper protective gear such as padding, eye wear, sneakers, dance shoes, skates, and cleats.
In addition, diligent supervision on the part of parents, coaches, teachers, and other well-informed adults is critical to safe play. Well-maintained game fields and indoor surfaces avoid foot, ankle, and knee injuries.
Finally, KidsHealth reports that Pre-participation Physicals review medical histories and spot possible weaknesses in children's physiology and anatomy. Most school and organized sports teams require these check-ups either with the school physician or the family pediatrician before the sports season commences.
Treating sports injuries
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that proper assessment and prompt treatment of kids' sports injuries prevent long-term problems, including pain and proper growth of areas of the body such as the long bones. Traditionally, coaches and parents have used the RICE protocol to stabilize and injury, relieve pain, and begin the healing process. It still works exceptionally well. RICE stands for:
- Ice to the affected area
- Compression with an elastic bandage
- Elevation of the affected limb/injured area above heart level
Then, your pediatrician and other health care providers can devise a specific treatment plan to include physical therapy, strengthening exercises, over the counter analgesics, braces, and casts as needed. As a parent, you know your child well. So be sure to fully participate in your youngster's care plan.
Be safe, be well
Each child responds differently to athletic training depending on his or her gender, size, age, physical conditioning, underlying health issue,s and natural ability. You and your pediatrician can partner together in encouraging a safe sports season for your child. That's a win-win situation.
Is your child current on his or her vaccines? A mainstay of preventive pediatric care, childhood immunizations provided here at Southwestern Pediatrics in Maricopa, AZ, help keep your child in top medical shape! Dr. Anthony DiGeorge and his professional team adhere to the guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and highly commend the benefits of these reliable and fully-vetted medications.
What are immunizations?
A child immunization in Maricopa is a killed or weakened form of a virus or bacteria. Usually injected although sometimes taken orally or through the nose, vaccines stimulate the immune system to fight off infectious diseases such as influenza, pneumonia, whooping cough, and more.
Besides benefiting the immunized child, inoculation of whole populations confers what epidemiologists (experts in disease transmission) call herd immunity. The principle behind herd immunity is this: the more children inoculated, the more people (including those who cannot receive these medications for medical reasons) are protected. Through herd immunity, routine immunizations have all but eradicated a number of disabling and sometimes fatal diseases in the United States, including smallpox and polio.
How vaccines are administered
At Southwestern Pediatrics, the philosophy is "Health starts early." We administer immunizations during routine well-child visits, adhering to the AAP's schedules of birth to 6 years and 7 to 18 years. There is also a catch-up schedule for children who have begun vaccines late.
Children are now protected against 18 communicable diseases which include:
- Human papilloma virus (HPV)
The team at Southwestern Pediatrics carefully documents the administration of vaccines and distributes records as needed for school, clubs, sports teams, daycare, camp and more.
While serious side effects are very rare, they can happen. So, if you have any concerns about your child's health after he or she has received an immunization, call the office right away. However, most reactions to these medications are mild and localized. They include low-grade fever, fussiness, and a reddened and/or sore injection site.
Protect your children
Immunizations are so beneficial for your child, your family, and the community at large. To schedule the next well-child visit, phone Southwestern Pediatrics at (520) 568-9500.