Our Blog
By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
November 15, 2017
Category: Child Health
Tags: Allergies   Common Cold  

Child SneezingYour child is sneezing, coughing and congested. Is it the common cold? Is it seasonal allergies? What is the best way to give them relief from these symptoms?

Allergies and colds often have overlapping symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose, cough and low energy. It can be difficult for parents to know whether their child is battling a stubborn virus or having an allergic reaction.

Common Cold

Kids with a cold may feel achy and develop a sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose and low-grade fever. A cold usually doesn’t last longer than a few days before it starts to improve. Since common colds are viral infections, they can’t be cured with antibiotics. To ease your child’s symptoms or discomfort, make sure your child is getting plenty of fluids and rest. 

Allergies

If your child’s stuffy nose lingers for several days, this may be an indication that they are suffering from allergies and not a cold. In fact, allergy symptoms can last for weeks to months.

Tell-tale signs that your child has allergies and not a cold include:

  • Cold-like symptoms linger for more than a few weeks
  • Chronic (continual) cough
  • Mucous is clear
  • Persistent stuffy nose
  • Itching of the nose, ears, mouth and/or throat
  • Itchy, watery, red eyes
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing and other respiratory symptoms
  • Unexplained bouts of diarrhea, abdominal cramps and other intestinal symptoms

In some cases, reducing the triggers that are causing the allergic reaction can control many allergy symptoms. This may include washing your child’s bedding and toys to remove dust and bacteria, bathing pets regularly, vacuuming your home at least once a week and replacing furnace and air filters every few months.

Although common colds and allergies have similar symptoms, there are distinct clues that help parents differentiate one from the other. When in doubt about your child’s symptoms, always contact your pediatrician.  

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
November 03, 2017
Tags: Pets  

Raising your children with pets provides a great opportunity for learning, nurturing, and building healthy relationship skills that will benefit your children and petschildren for the rest of their lives. With help from your pediatrician, you can better understand the benefits of having a pet in your home as your child grows up. 

Children that are raised with pets show many benefits. Developing positive feelings about pets can contribute to a child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Positive relationships with pets can also aid in the development of trusting relationships with others. Additionally, a good relationship with a pet can also help non-verbal communication, compassion and empathy.  
 
According to your pediatrician, pets can serve different purposes for children, such as:
  • Safe recipients of secrets and private thoughts
  • Providing lessons about life
  • Developing responsible behavior in children who care for them
  • Providing a connection to nature
  • Teaching respect for other living things
Having a pet can also provide other physical and emotional needs, including physical activity, comfort contact, love, loyalty, affection and the experience with loss if a pet is lost or dies.  
 
By visiting your child’s pediatrician, you can better understand the benefits of having pets in your home as your child grows. Your pediatrician can also offer advice for allergies and other illnesses in relation to pets. 
By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
October 16, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Baby Care   Infants   Teething  

Baby TeethingTeething is an important part of your baby’s development. Although it can be an irritable time for your baby, there are many ways you can help ease the pain. Most babies get their first teeth around 6 months, but they might come anytime between 2 and 12 months of age. Teething does not cause a high fever or vomiting and diarrhea, so if your baby does develop these symptoms, it is important that you contact your pediatrician immediately. 

Helping Ease the Pain

When your baby is teething, all you want to do is help ease the pain. Your pediatrician offers a few tips to keep in mind when your baby is teething:

  • Wipe your baby’s face often with a cloth to remove drool and prevent rashes from developing.
  • Give your baby something to chew on, but make sure it is big enough so that it can’t be swallowed and that it can’t break into small pieces. Teething rings are a popular choice for babies to chew on, as well as plush toys that are crunchy on the inside.
  • Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger.
  • Never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck, as it could get caught on something.
  • If your baby seems irritable, ask your pediatrician if it is okay to give your baby a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease discomfort.

Cleaning Your Baby’s New Teeth

Once your baby’s new teeth have arrived, they are susceptible to plaque buildup just like adult teeth, which can lead to discoloration and dental complications. However, do no use toothpaste on your child’s teeth until they are old enough to spit—around the age of 2 or 3. Until then, brush their teeth with a small, soft toothbrush and water. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that kids visit the dentist by age 1, when six to eight teeth are in place, in order to spot any potential problems and advise you about proper preventive care. 

By visiting your pediatrician, you can establish proper care for your child. Your pediatrician can help guide you in caring for your child through teething so that they are more comfortable.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
October 04, 2017
Category: Child Health
Tags: Puberty  
Everyone goes through puberty, but everyone reacts differently to the hormonal changes. Typically, puberty begins in every person some time after the age of eight. This 
is the transition from childhood into an adulthood, when the sex organs grow and develop, and the body becomes capable to reproduce. These changes can make your child feel proud and happy, but they can also cause your child to feel confused or embarrassed—each feeling is completely normal.   
 
As a parent, it is important to help your child understand puberty and how to help him or her get through their hormonal changes. At your child’s pediatrician office, we want your child to have the best experience possible during puberty. To gain important knowledge and a better understanding of puberty for your child, your pediatrician is available. 
 
Hormonal changes cause a child’s sexual and physical characteristics to mature during puberty. In girls, the ovaries begin to increase production of estrogen and other female hormones. In boys, the testicles increase production of testosterone. The adrenal glands also produce hormones that cause increased armpit sweating, body odor, acne and armpit and pubic hair.  
 
By visiting your child’s pediatrician, you can better understand what to expect during puberty. From an increase in height to acne and sexual development, visiting your child’s pediatrician is important during puberty. 
By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
September 18, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Sick Child  
It isn’t easy to spot the symptoms of meningitis, as many people confuse the early signs and symptoms with the flu. Meningitis signs and symptoms may develop over 
several hours or over one or two days. By visiting your pediatrician, you will be able to get a proper diagnosis for your child. 
 
According to your pediatrician, some of the signs and symptoms that may occur in anyone older than the age of two include:
 
  • Sudden high fever
  • Severe headache that isn’t easily confused with other types of headaches
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting or nausea with headache
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Seizures
  • Sleepiness or difficulty waking up
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Lack of interest in drinking and eating
  • Skin rash in some cases
Seek medical care from your pediatrician immediately if your child has signs or symptoms of meningitis, such as fever, severe headache, confusion, vomiting and stiff neck. Viral meningitis may improve without treatment, but bacterial meningitis is serious, can come on very quickly and requires prompt antibiotic treatment to improve the chance of a recovery. 
 
If you delay treatment for bacterial meningitis, the risk of permanent brain damage or death increases. Educate yourself about meningitis and talk to your child’s pediatrician for more information and a proper diagnosis. 




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