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Posts for category: Pediatric Care

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
October 01, 2018
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Child Care   Sports Physical   Sports  

Your child is eager to start the school year so they can participate in sports. That’s great news! Keeping your child active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and sports can be a great experience for many children; however, it’s also important that your child’s pediatrician performs a yearly sports physical to make sure that they are ready for physical activity.

A sports physical is necessary for every child regardless of their current health. In fact, some schools make it mandatory for children to get an annual sports physical before they participate in any school sports. Regardless of whether this physical is mandatory or not, it’s highly advised that all children get a sports physical once a year.

Your child’s sports physical will involve going through their medical history and conducting a physical examination. The physical examination is pretty self-explanatory. We will check their vitals, as well as their height and weight. We will perform a vision test and evaluate everything from their heart and respiratory system to their musculoskeletal system. The goal of a physical exam is to make sure that your child hasn’t incurred any past injuries or developed any health problems that could be exacerbated by physical activity.

A pediatrician can also answer questions and provide counseling on nutrition, healthy weight loss or gain, and habits that could help your child’s physical health. Remember to bring any questions along with you.

Besides the physical examination, we will also sit down with you and your child and ask questions about their medical history. It’s important to be as detailed as possible. If it’s the first time they are having a sports physical it’s important to bring in a list of any supplements or medications (both over-the-counter or prescription) that they are currently taking.

We will ask a series of questions to find out if there are any serious or chronic health problems that run in the family, if your child has experienced any past injuries, if they’ve ever undergone surgery or been hospitalized, if they have any allergies or if they have any current disorders or illnesses. It’s important to provide as much detailed history as possible so that our pediatric team can perform a thorough and comprehensive physical.

Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your child’s sports physical. It’s important to get your child on the books before the summer is gone and the doctor’s schedule fills up. You don’t want your child being benched during the season because they didn’t get a sports physical. Call your pediatrician today.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
August 31, 2018
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Pediatrician   Child Care  

Finding out you’re pregnant is a wonderfully exciting and whirlwind time. There are so many decisions to make as you watch your bump grow: What color should I paint the nursery? Do I want my little one to sleep with me? What do I need to childproof around the house? Of course, one of the most important things to think about is the health of your little one throughout the course of your pregnancy and once they are born. It’s never too soon to choose a pediatrician, and taking the time to find one you trust is important not just for your baby but also for you.

Once your little one is born they will be spending a lot of time with their pediatrician, so this is why it’s crucial that you find out that provides gentle, compassionate care and really takes time with you and your baby. The first two years of your baby’s life are so very important because this marks a significant developmental time for them, so it’s essential that you have a pediatrician that will be there to monitor their progress and detect any developmental delays or health problems right away.

The first pediatric visit will occur a few days after the birth. This first visit is vital, as it allows your children’s doctor to make sure everything functions as it should. This includes everything from reflexes to alertness to their hearing. Measurements are also taken to check their height and weight and to begin recording their development. Besides performing a physical exam to check the overall health of the baby this is also a time to answer any questions you might have about feeding schedules, habits, developmental milestones, etc.

After this initial visit, you should expect to bring your little one in for visits at:

  • 1 month
  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months (2 years old)
  • 30 months
  • 3 years old

Once your child turns 3 years old they will only need to visit a pediatrician once a year, unless there are any health problems or concerns in the interim. These visits are imperative for every child as they are key to preventing certain illnesses through immunizations and physical checkups, tracking their growth and development, and also providing you with answers and support to help you properly care for your little one along the way. Call a pediatrician to schedule your child’s first appointment today.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
March 06, 2018
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Potty Training  
Saying goodbye to diapers is one of the milestones that parents look forward to the most. Kids are also generally excited about wearing “big kid underwear,” as well. Typically, most children will show signs of readiness between 18 and 24 months—but it can differ from child to child.  

How do I know When my Child is Ready?

It is important to understand when your child is ready to begin potty training. According to your pediatrician, your child may be ready for potty training if they:
  • Knows words for urine, stool and toilet
  • Is somewhat bothered by feeling wet or soiled
  • Shows interest in using the potty 
  • Has an awareness of when they are about to urinate or have a bowel movement

Are You Ready?

While it is important to know when your child is ready, your pediatrician also explains that it is also important for you to be prepared, as well. Potty training is not easy, and it does take a lot of energy and patience. It requires countless bathroom visits, and even extra laundry and puddle cleaning. If you or your spouse are up for it, go for it, but it is important to be patient and ready to help your child each step of the way—don’t get discouraged. 

Explore Different Strategies

When it comes to potty training, there are many strategies you can try. If you need help creating a proper strategy, talk to your pediatrician for suggestions. Here are a few commonly used by parents:
  • The hugs-and-kisses approach – give your child praise every time they use the potty correctly.  
  • The cold-turkey underwear approach – let your child pick out several pairs of “fun” underwear to make them feel special and go from there.
  • The get-with-the-program approach – dedicate time to promoting potty use for your child. Stay home and gently steer your toddler to the bathroom at predictable points throughout the day.
  • The sticker-chart approach – this is a fun way to encourage your child to begin potty training. Each time they use the potty, they get a sticker. 
Each child is different, so make sure you tailor your approach to best mean your child’s individual needs. While one approach may work for one child, another approach might be better for your other child. Talk to your pediatrician for more information on potty training and to learn more about other approaches you might want to tackle. 
By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
September 08, 2017
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Baby Care   Nail Care   Infants  

 

When it comes to caring for your baby, nail care is often overlooked. In the first few months of life, you may not be too worried about caring for your baby’s nails. But at some point your little one will take a swipe at you, and you will quickly find out how sharp those nails are. Baby nail care is easy—for the most part. Your pediatrician is available to offer helpful tips to ensure proper care for your baby’s nails.

Proper nail care can be as simple as trimming the nails when they get long enough to scratch you. However, your baby may squirm and move around, which makes cutting his or her nails difficult. Your pediatrician, we want the process of cutting your baby’s nails to be as easy as possible, which is why we are available to offer friendly advice.

There is no wrong way to cut your baby’s nails, as long as you do not nick the baby, and the nails get trimmed. Your pediatrician shares some basic tips:

  • Clean your baby’s hands, feet and nails during regular bathing.
  • Hold your baby’s finger and palm steady with one hand and trim with the other.
  • Press down on the fleshy pad of his or her fingertip to move the skin away from the nail.
  • Cut along the shape of the nail and snip any sharp corners or use an emery board.

While these tips may be easy to follow, some parents may still remain concerned about cutting their baby’s nails. If you are still concerned, follow these tips to make the job easier:

  • Have your partner hold the baby while you trim the nails.
  • Do it while your baby is sleeping.
  • Use only baby nail clippers to trim the nails.
  • Wait until your baby is in a good mood and find something to distract him or her, such as a new video, toy or snack.


Visit your pediatrician for more information on how to care for your baby, including proper nail care.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
February 15, 2017
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Burns  

Burn HazardFrom washing up under too hot of water to an accidental tipping of a coffee cup, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns are some of the most common childhood accidents that occur. Babies and young children are especially susceptible to burns because they are curious, small and have sensitive skin that requires extra protection. Your child’s pediatrician is available to provide you with tips on proper treatment, and ways to prevent burns.

Understanding Burns

Burns are often categorized as first, second or third degree, depending on how badly the skin is damaged. Both the type of burn and its cause will determine how the burn is treated, but all burns should be treated quickly to reduce the temperature of the burned area and reduce damage to the skin and underlying tissue. 

First-degree burns are the mildest of the three, and are limited to the top layer of skin. Healing time is typically about 3 to 6 days, with the superficial layer of skin over the burn potentially peeling off within the next day or two. Second-degree burns are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer. These burns can produce blisters, severe pain and redness.

Finally, third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn, which involves all layers of the skin and underlying tissue. Healing time will vary depending on severity, but can often be treated with skin grafts, in which healthy skin is taken from another part of the body and surgically placed over the burn wound to help the area heal.

Prevention

You can’t keep kids free from injuries all the time, but these simple precautions can reduce the chances of burns in your home:

  • Reduce water temperature.
  • Avoid hot spills.
  • Establish ‘no’ zones.
  • Unplug irons.
  • Test food temperature.
  • Choose a cool-water humidifier or vaporizer.
  • Address outlets and electrical cords.

Contact your pediatrician for more information on how to properly care for burns and how you can further protect your children from potential burn hazards.