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Posts for category: Children's Healthcare

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
March 20, 2020
Tags: Hearing Screening  

As soon as your baby is born but before they leave the hospital, they will need to undergo a hearing screening (most hospitals perform a hearing screening but it’s also a good idea to ask). Congenital hearing loss, which occurs at birth, affects less than 1 percent of newborns; however, it is also possible for hearing loss to develop later during a child’s life, which is why routine hearing screenings are necessary for all children.

Once they leave the hospital, it’s now your pediatrician’s responsibility to provide hearing screenings and other tests and treatments that your child will need until they turn 18 years old. Your pediatrician will be an asset to your child’s health and you will work closely with them, so it’s important that you choose a pediatrician that you trust and value.

Why are hearing screenings necessary for newborns?

As soon as your child is born one of the ways in which they will receive and interpret information is through what they hear; therefore, if they have problems hearing then they may also deal with other problems including delays in language development and speech problems.

By detecting hearing problems early on your pediatrician can provide early interventions including hearing aids or other treatment options to ensure that your child reaches these important and necessary developmental milestones.

Of course, if your child responds to your voice or responds to noises then you may think that their hearing is fine, but this isn’t always the case. There may still be certain noises that they can’t hear properly and sometimes even these minor hearing issues can still affect language and speech.

Should my child’s hearing be assessed regularly?

Even if your baby passes their first hearing screening it’s still important that you turn to a pediatrician for routine checkups. Most hearing screenings usually don’t warrant a separate trip to the office, which means that your child’s hearing will be assessed during regular wellness visits.

Of course, if your newborn has certain risk factors that could affect their hearing it’s important that you share these factors with your pediatrician. These factors include:

  • A family history of hearing loss
  • Facial deformities
  • Postnatal infections
  • Premature birth

Finding a knowledgeable and trustworthy pediatrician before your baby is born is one of the most important things soon-to-be parents can do. Let our team provide your little one with the quality care they need to grow up healthy and strong.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
March 03, 2020

Sneezing. Watery eyes. Stuffy nose. These could just be symptoms of a cold or these could be signs that your child has allergies. If you notice that your child’s symptoms flare-up during certain times of the year then this could definitely be a sign of seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, allergies can impact everything from performance in school to participating in outdoor activities such as school sports. If you suspect that your child may have allergies it’s important to talk with your pediatrician.

Childhood Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can also seem a lot like a cold or other upper respiratory problems. Common symptoms associated with allergies include:

  • Watery, red, and itchy eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes or puffy eyelids
  • Ear pain and chronic ear problems
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest tightness

So, how can you tell that your child is dealing with allergies and not an infection? Some telltale signs include itchy eyes and nose, which are classic signs of allergies. If your child has a fever this is usually a sign of an infection and not allergies. Unlike a cold, allergy symptoms can last for weeks. You may also notice that your child’s symptoms come and go, appearing more often during the spring and fall months. Again, this is a trademark of childhood allergies.

Treating Childhood Allergy

There are many ways in which a pediatrician can help your child manage their allergy symptoms, and the treatments that are recommended will depend on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms. Most treatment plans include a variety of lifestyle changes and medication. Children with minor symptoms may find relief through over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, while other children may require a prescription-strength allergy medication to tackle more moderate to severe symptoms.

Lifestyle modifications may include using a dehumidifier in your child’s bedroom, wearing glasses instead of contacts during allergy seasons, bathing immediately after being outdoors, limiting outdoor activities during high pollen counts, and keeping pets out of bedrooms (if your child suffers from pet dander allergies).

For severe or unresponsive allergies, your pediatrician may recommend immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Allergy shots may be a good option for your child when other treatment options and medications have not been successful.

Are your child’s allergy symptoms impacting their daily routine? If so, our pediatricians can help them manage their symptoms so they can get back to enjoying days on the playground and time spent with family.

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
April 03, 2017
Tags: Mono  

Understanding Mono: The “Kissing Disease”Mono

Often called the kissing disease, mononucleosis (mono) is a caused by a virus that is transmitted through saliva. You can get this infection through kissing, but you can also be exposed through a cough or sneeze, or even by sharing a glass or food utensils with someone who has mono. However, mono is not as contagious as some infections, such as the common cold.

As an adolescent or young adult, your child is most likely to get mono with all the signs and symptoms.  If your child has mono, it is important to be careful of certain complications such as an enlarged spleen. Your pediatrician urges you to allow your child proper rest and adequate fluids for a full recovery.  

Some of the signs and symptoms of mononucleosis may include:

  • Fatigue
  • General feeling of being unwell
  • Sore throat that doesn’t get better with antibiotic use
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes in neck and armpits
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Soft, swollen spleen

If your child is experience any of these symptoms, it is important to visit your pediatrician.

Since mononucleosis is spread through saliva, if your child is infected your pediatrician urges you to take extra precautions. To help prevent the spread of the virus, it is important to not kiss your child and not to share food, dishes, glasses and utensils until several days after his or her fever has subsided and even longer, if possible.

Contact your pediatrician for more information on mono and how you can help your child make a full recovery.