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Posts for category: Child Health

By Southwestern Pediatrics PLLC
February 15, 2019
Category: Child Health

A hearing screening is the easiest way to determine if your child is suffering from hearing loss. Thanks to a hearing screening, your pediatrician can determine the degree of hearing loss and how best to help your child hear well again. If your child’s hearing loss goes undiagnosed, it can lead to problems with normal development, learning disabilities, and problems socializing with others.

Your child could be suffering hearing loss from a variety of causes including a family history of hearing problems, infection during pregnancy, or birth complications. Hearing problems can also be caused by middle ear infections, infectious diseases, or even loud noises.

So, how do you know if your child needs a hearing screening? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) these are some of the most common signs and symptoms of hearing loss in babies and children:

  • Not turning toward sounds at 6 months
  • Not saying single words at 1 year
  • Not hearing all sounds
  • Not answering to their name
  • Delayed or unclear speech
  • Difficulty following directions

Hearing screenings are often performed at well-child visits and during school physicals. If your child hasn’t had a hearing screening, and you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, you should schedule a hearing screen as soon as possible. Early detection of hearing difficulties leads to early treatment, which is much better for your child.

If your child has hearing difficulties, don’t worry. There are many effective ways to help with hearing loss including:

  • State-of-the-art hearing aids, cochlear implants and other hearing devices
  • Medications if the hearing loss is caused by an ear infection
  • Surgical treatment to correct structural issues which may be causing the hearing loss
  • Alternative communication techniques
  • Educational and supportive services for the family

A hearing screening is important to the health and well-being of your child. You don’t want your child to miss out on all of the beautiful sounds of life. Your pediatrician can help you schedule a hearing screening to get your child started on the road to hearing well.

By Southwestern Pediatrics PLLC
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 Southwestern Pediatrics PLLC
January 14, 2019
Category: Child Health

Get all of your questions about childhood vaccines answered.

We know that there is a lot of information and misinformation out there when it comes to vaccinating your child. Isn’t it time to find out the truth about this important preventive health measure? Read below to have your questions answered, and turn to our Maricopa, AZ, pediatrician, Dr. Anthony DiGeorge, for treatment!Child Immunizations


Q. Are vaccines safe?

A. Yes, the Food and Drug Administration review all vaccines to ensure that they are safe. Not keeping your child up-to-date on their vaccines could lead to outbreaks of diseases that are serious but completely preventable with the proper vaccine schedule in place. The benefits of getting your child vaccinated far outweigh the risks, as vaccines can save lives.


Q. What are the side effects associated with vaccines?

A. Most side effects from childhood vaccines include minor effects such as soreness or redness at the injection site, or a low-grade fever. These side effects usually won’t last more than a couple of days and aren’t anything to worry about. Although it is rare for a vaccine to cause a serious reaction, if your child does experience a reaction after being vaccinated, call our pediatrician’s office.


Q. How often should my child get vaccinated?

A. It isn’t always easy to keep track of how often your child should come in for vaccines, which is why the CDC has made it simpler for parents to remember with this immunization schedule for both infants and children up to 18 years old. If you have questions about this schedule don’t hesitate to ask our pediatrician, Dr. DiGeorge.


Q. Why do some vaccines require multiple doses?

A. Continuing to bring your child into the office when they need their next vaccine dose is important to providing their bodies with the best defenses and protection against illnesses. After all, many vaccines require more than one dose in order to fully build up your child’s immunity.


Q. When should my child get their first vaccine?

A. It’s important to start vaccinating your little one right away before they come in contact with any of these serious diseases, particularly because they can be fatal or life-threatening to infants and little ones whose immune systems are still developing.

Your child will receive their first vaccine most likely in the hospital, or within 24 hours of their birth. From there, you will visit your Maricopa, AZ, children’s doctors for the next vaccination about 1-2 months after receiving their first one.


Give Us a Call!

Do you still have questions about getting your child vaccinated in Maricopa, AZ? If so, don’t hesitate to call Southwestern Pediatrics today at (520) 568-9500. We are happy to schedule appointments and answer any questions you might have about your child’s health.

By Southwestern Pediatrics PLLC
January 02, 2019
Category: Child Health
Tags: Well-Child Visits  

Find out why every child should visit their pediatrician regularly for care.

While it might seem obvious to pick up the phone and call our Maricopa, AZ, pediatrician Dr. Anthony DiGeorge when your child is sick, it’s also important to bear in mind that a pediatrician isn’t just there to handle your child’s illnesses, they are also there to provide your child Well Child Doctor Visitwith the proper medical care they need on a regular basis to prevent certain illnesses and to keep them feeling their best. To do this, you will need to bring your child in for regular well-child care, which will begin from the moment they are born until adolescence.

When should my child come in for well-child checkups?

The first visit will occur about 3-5 days after the birth of your child. After which, you will bring your child in almost every month until they turn 12 months old. From there, you will bring them in at 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and then every year after that until they turn 21 years old.

Why are well-child exams beneficial?

There are many reasons that you should visit your pediatric doctor in Maricopa, AZ, even if your child seems healthy. After all, having a medical expert by your side is important not just for preventing illnesses but also treating them when they occur. These checkups are important because,

They prevent health issues: From providing tips on healthier living to administering immunizations, there are many ways in which our pediatrician can help your child lead a healthy life and stave away common and potentially serious health issues. Everything from nutritional guidelines to preventing medical care can often be all you need to keep certain health problems at bay.

Track your child’s development: Your child will grow by leaps and bounds throughout the coming months and years and it’s important that they are reaching all physical and mental milestones. The sooner developmental delays are discovered the better. We can detect learning disabilities and other impairments early on when they are often easier to manage.

Answer questions: We know that parents will, at some point or another, have questions about their child’s health. What constitutes a balanced diet? How often should they be sleeping? These are only some of the questions we hear often and a pediatrician can address these questions as well as any concerns you have so that you know that you are providing your child with everything they need to lead a healthy life.

Is it time to schedule your child’s next wellness checkup? Are you looking for a pediatrician in Maricopa, AZ, that can care for your child? No matter what you need, call Southwestern Pediatrics today to schedule an appointment for your child.

By Southwestern Pediatrics PLLC
December 14, 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.