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Posts for category: Pediatrics

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
November 12, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Newborn   Newborn Care  

Once you find out you’re pregnant it seems like everything shifts focus to how you are going to take care of yourself and your unborn child. Furthermore, you start making decisions about how to care for your baby once it enters the world. One of the most important aspects is choosing a pediatrician that your child can turn to from birth until adulthood for medical care. Choosing a doctor that you like and can trust is important not just for parents but also children.

Having the same doctor means that children are also more likely to get the proper care, tests, and vaccines they need to keep them healthy. Having a continuous, trustworthy relationship with your children’s doctor will ensure that your child gets the care and treatment they need through all aspects of their developing life.

Looking for a Pediatrician

So, when is the best time to start looking for a pediatrician? Usually a good time to start searching is between 28 and 34 weeks. This will give you enough time to do your homework and not feel rushed to find a doctor that you feel you truly can trust. You can ask your friends, colleagues, and family members for personal recommendations and referrals. Once you determine which doctors sound good it’s time to setup a one-on-one meeting to learn more about their training, practice and services.

This is also a time to determine whether the pediatrician is a good fit for your family and that you feel a good, positive connection with them. Prepare questions ahead of time so that you get the most out of your consultation.

Newborn Care

Once your child is born they will usually see a pediatrician for the first time within the first week of birth. After that, your newborn will come into the office regularly for monitoring, vaccines, screenings, and checkups. These routine checkups are crucial, as they allow your pediatrician to monitor everything from their hearing and vision to certain health problems and developmental delays. By bringing your child in for their regularly scheduled appointments your pediatrician will be able to catch problems and provide early interventions to reduce the risk for complications and long-term issues.

When your baby arrives it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Your pediatrician isn’t just here to provide your child with comprehensive health care; they can also provide you with answers to everything from breastfeeding and bathing to diet and sleep schedules.

Your pediatrician can educate parents, especially new parents, on the dos and don’t of caring for their newborn.

If you are currently pregnant it’s never too soon to find the right pediatrician for your budding family.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
October 31, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Wellness Visits  

One moment your child is born and the next moment they are sitting up, saying their first word and taking their first steps. It’s amazing just how many milestones your child will wellness visitreach in just the first few years of their life, and in order to ensure that your child reaches all of these milestones it’s important to visit their pediatrician regularly for routine wellness visits.

Seeing the doctor isn’t just for moments when your child has a fever or the sniffles, it’s also important that they visit the doctor often for well-child checkups. The benefits of these regular visits include,

  • Vaccinating your child and preventing a variety of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases
  • Screening them for certain health problems
  • Checking their vision and hearing
  • Reducing your child’s risk of getting sick
  • Monitoring and treating preexisting conditions
  • Detecting health problems early on and treat them quickly
  • Improving your child’s health and their quality of life

There are many things that go into a well-child visit. When your child visits the pediatrician here are some things to expect,

  • Monitoring of vital signs, which includes taking their temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
  • Recording their height and weight
  • Asking questions about your child’s current health status, physical activity level, diet, sleeping patterns, etc.
  • A comprehensive physical examination
  • Administering immunizations

Additional screenings, vaccines and other elements may also be included in certain well-child checkups depending on their age. For example, most children will start getting a hearing and vision screening at around three years old.

These checkups won’t just detect physical health problems but also developmental disabilities such as ADHD and learning disorders. Bringing your child in for regular wellness checkups allows your child’s pediatrician to continue to monitor their speech to pinpoint early signs that there could be a developmental delay or disability present. All children should be screened for developmental delays by the time they are 9 months old, and again at 24 and 30 months.

Bringing your child in regularly will also get them comfortable with the doctor’s office. Your child’s first visit should happen just a few days after they are born. From there, your newborn will continue to visit the pediatrician at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.

Once they reach their first birthday, they will come into our office at 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and 3 years. From 4 to 21 years old, children and teens should visit their pediatrician once a year for a checkup.

When was the last time your child saw the doctor? Keeping them healthy means keeping up with these routine checkups. Schedule your child’s next wellness visit today.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
October 22, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Bedwetting  

Bedwetting is a common childhood problem. Many children who master toilet training during the day, usually between the ages of two and four, continue to experience episodes of bedwetting through the night. In many cases, the nighttime bedwetting incidents will gradually decrease until they have completely ceased around the age of five or six.

So, when should parents worry about their child’s bedwetting behaviors? Most pediatricians agree that it’s quite normal for children to experience occasional “accidents” and that most children will outgrow it on their own.

When to Visit Your Pediatrician

Bedwetting is rarely a serious problem. In fact, wetting up to a year after the child has successfully been toilet trained is normal. Children gain bladder control at different ages, and while most kids quit wetting at night by the age of 6, others may take a little longer. In the majority of cases, wetting does not have a medical cause.

According to the AAP, you should contact your pediatrician if your child continues to have frequent “accidents” or if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Wet clothing and bed linens, even when the child uses the toilet frequently
  • Unusual straining during urination, a very small or narrow stream of urine, or dribbling after urination
  • Cloudy or pink urine
  • Abnormal redness or rash in the genital area
  • Trying to conceal wetting by hiding clothes or underwear
  • Daytime wetting in addition to nighttime accidents

Parents should remember to be sensitive to their child’s wetting behavior so not to cause additional embarrassment or discomfort. Never punish the child for bedwetting. Instead, show support and encouragement by reassuring the child that it is not his or her fault and that the problem will get better.

Remember, even though childhood wetting is frustrating, it is very normal. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns about your child’s bedwetting behaviors. 

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
September 20, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Sore Throats  

Child with Sore ThroatIn infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the most frequent cause of sore throats is a viral infection. No specific medicine is required when a virus is responsible, and the child should get better over a seven to ten day period. During this period, your child may develop a fever, but they generally are not very sick. 

It is not uncommon to experience a sore throat when your child has a cold or the flu. Unfortunately, there are other reasons for sore throats to develop that may be symptomatic of more serious problems.  Children tend to have sore throats more often than adolescents or adults, with sore throats being the most common during the winter months when upper respiratory infections are more frequent. 

The major cause of a sore throat is an infection, whether it is viral or bacterial, and can also be caused by allergies and environmental conditions. If your child has a sore throat that lasts longer than the typical five to seven day duration of a cold or flu, and is not associated with an avoidable allergy or irritation, it is important to contact your local pediatrician. The following are signs and symptoms to alert you to take your child to the pediatrician:

  • Severe and prolonged sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Joint pain
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • Fever that is over 101 degrees
  • Frequent recurring sore throat
  • Lump in the neck
  • Hoarseness lasting over two weeks

At the first onset of a sore throat it is always important to monitor the progress and recognize any other symptoms that may accompany the sore throat, which could cause it to worsen into strep throat, inflamed tonsils, or laryngitis. Contact your pediatrician if your child is experiencing a sore throat that won’t go away. Your pediatrician will help diagnose and treat your child’s symptoms. 

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
September 11, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Concussions  

Child's ConcussionA hit to the head during a soccer game or a hard fall from skateboarding may result in a serious head injury and even a concussion. The American Academy of Pediatrics describes a concussion as any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. These injuries are typically caused by a blow to the head, most often occurring while playing contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer, wrestling or skateboarding.

For some children, concussions only last for a short while. Other times, a person can have symptoms of a concussion that last for several days or weeks following the injury. Not all symptoms of concussions will be obvious, and in some cases take several hours to set in. Look for these signs of a concussion if your child suffers a head injury:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Poor concentration
  • Vision problems
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability or changes in mood
  • Sensitivity to light or noise

Seek Medical Attention

If your child injures his head or you believe he may have a concussion, it is important that the child discontinues play immediately and visits a healthcare provider for an evaluation. All concussions are serious and should be monitored right away. A pediatrician can properly diagnose the concussion and its severity, and then make appropriate treatment recommendations.

Rest from all activities is the best treatment for concussions. Your pediatrician can make appropriate recommendations for when the child should return to future play. Recovery time depends on the child and the severity of the concussion.

Preventing Head Injuries

Not all head injuries can be avoided, but you can do a few important things to prevent them.

  • Buckle Up. Make sure your child is properly buckled up in a seat belt, car seat or booster seat.  
  • Safety Gear. If your child plays sports, make sure he wears appropriate headgear and other safety equipment.
  • Awareness. Children should be taught how to play safe and understand the importance of reporting any type of head injury to their parent or coach.

All head injuries should be taken seriously.  Early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent serious complications. It’s never a bad idea to contact your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns about your child’s head injury.