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Posts for category: Children's Healthcare

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
October 02, 2020
Tags: Conjunctivitis   Pink Eye  
ConjunctivitisYour child won’t stop rubbing their eyes. They say it’s incredibly itchy. When you go to examine it, you notice their eyes are also bloodshot and inflamed. Oh no, it sounds like conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is often a communicable eye infection that can be spread from person to person. If your child is dealing with symptoms of conjunctivitis you might want to visit your pediatric doctor to find out what to do.

What causes pinkeye?

In most cases, an infection is to blame. An infectious pink eye is contagious and may result from a sinus infection or ear infection. Some viruses or bacteria can lead to contagious forms of pinkeye; however, in some cases, pinkeye may develop as a result of allergies (e.g. ragweed; grass; dust mites) or being exposed to certain irritants or chemicals.

What happens if my baby has pinkeye?

If your newborn develops pinkeye you must seek pediatric care right away, as this condition can lead to severe complications if left untreated. In most cases, your newborn will be prescribed antibiotics eye drops to help clear the infection.

How do I know that it’s pinkeye?

There are a variety of telltale signs that your little one may be dealing with a nasty bout of pinkeye. If they are old enough to talk then they may tell you that their eyes feel gritty, like there is something in them. You may also notice a thick, gooey discharge. Their eyes may also be sensitive to light. Most pinkeye also causes swelling, itching, and eye pain.

How is pink eye treated in kids?

Apart from newborns, who require immediate medical attention for pinkeye, most kids and teens whose pinkeye is caused by a virus will go away without treatment once the body has fought the virus. However, if a bacterial infection is to blame, then antibiotic eye drops will be needed to treat the bacterial infection.

If your child is dealing with recurring bouts of pinkeye they could be dealing with allergic conjunctivitis, which you should also talk to your pediatrician about. They can prescribe certain allergy medications to your child to help lessen pinkeye flare-ups.

It’s important to find trustworthy pediatric care for your child or teen. Whether you are concerned with pinkeye, ADHD, or celiac disease, a pediatrician will be able to diagnose, manage, and treat a wide range of infections and conditions.
By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
September 11, 2020
 Tips to Help Your Child Eat HealthierYou want your child to lead a healthy, happy life but it can be difficult if they are picky eaters or only seem to crave junk food. If you’re having trouble making smart nutritional choices when it comes to your kids, your child’s pediatrician can help you create some healthier eating habits and map out a treatment plan if your child is currently struggling to lose excess weight.

Choose Smarter Snacks

Kids always seem hungry, so they may be begging for snacks throughout the day. Snacks should be small, and they shouldn’t be enjoyed too close to mealtimes, as this could ruin their appetite. Instead of reaching for a bag of candy or potato chips try opting for smarter snack options such as nuts, apple slices or celery with peanut butter, whole-grain crackers and cheese sticks, or hummus and carrots.

Get Your Kids Cooking

One of the best ways to get your child dedicated to nutrition is by making them an active part of the process. Cooking can be fun, especially for kids, and by cooking together they will experience a source of pride in the foods they’ve helped to make (which typically leads to them being more likely to eat it). Enjoy this quality time together and show them how eating and cooking healthy foods can be fun.

Hide Healthier Foods

Particularly at the beginning of this new nutritional journey, you may find that your child has an “aversion” to eating healthy. They may turn their nose up at broccoli, carrots or certain veggies, but don’t despair. Instead of making them eat it plain, you can hide these important veggies into dishes they already love such as whole grain mac and cheese, soups, or sandwiches.

Show Your Kids How It’s Done

Kids watch and mimic what parents do, so if parents aren’t eating healthy chances are fairly good that they won’t see a reason to eat healthily either. Therefore, it’s a good idea for parents to also show how important eating healthy can be. Lead by example and this simple habit could actually improve not just your child’s health but yours as well.

A healthy child begins with a healthy diet. If you are having concerns about your child’s health and nutrition, it’s important that you talk with a qualified pediatrician to figure out the right dietary choices for your little one.
By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
September 01, 2020
Preventive CareWhat parent doesn’t want to protect their child from getting injured or sick? While it will happen at some point, there are certainly ways that both you and your pediatrician can work together to ensure that your child doesn’t have to deal with completely avoidable injuries or illnesses. One way to do that is through regular wellness visits with your pediatrician.

What is a wellness visit?

While you should bring your child into the doctor’s office when they are sick, this isn’t the only time that they should be visiting a pediatrician. Regular wellness visits allow your child’s doctor to continue to monitor their health and development throughout their childhood and teen years. A wellness or well-child visit typically involves:
  • Recording your child’s height and weight
  • Providing a detailed medical history of your child
  • Checking vital signs
  • Hearing and vision screenings (depending on the age)
  • A full physical examination (painless and non-invasive)
  • Additional testing or blood work, if necessary
  • Vaccinations, as needed
  • Answer any questions that the parent may have about their child’s health and provide information and advice on ways to keep your child healthy
Once your baby is born, they will come in regularly for wellness visits (nearly every month until they are three years old). Throughout these wellness visits your pediatrician will continue to monitor their development and pinpoint any issues early on when some problems can be treated or even reversed.

Furthermore, children will need to go through a series of vaccines during the first few years of life. Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect your child from serious and potentially life-threatening diseases such as polio. By keeping up with your child’s wellness and vaccine schedule you ensure that you are providing your child with everything that they need to stay healthy.

Why are wellness visits so important?

As you can probably assume already, these checkups are the best way to prevent health problems from happening in the first place (which we can all agree is so much better than just treating the problem once it comes along). Other benefits of wellness visits include:
  • Providing parents with support, peace of mind, and advice regarding everything from sleep schedules and diet to medications and behavioral concerns.
  • Catch problems early on, whether physical, mental or behavioral, when they can easily be managed and treated through simpler and less invasive treatment options
  • Having a doctor that becomes an important part of your family; someone you can trust and rely on to always be there for your child. After all, knowing that you have a doctor that you can turn to in an emergency is invaluable.
A wellness visit is one of the easiest ways to keep your child healthy. If it’s time for your little one’s next checkup call your pediatrician today. 
By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
July 17, 2020
Tags: Sports Injuries   Injury  
Child's Sports InjuriesRegular physical activity is so important for your child’s health. If they have decided to start playing on a sports team this can also be a great way for them to build confidence and socialize. Of course, pediatricians also understand just how important it is to keep your little athlete healthy both on and off the field. If your child does sustain an injury your pediatrician may be the first person to help, so it’s important to find a pediatrician that you and your family trust.
 
Preventing Injuries
The goal is always to help your child prevent sports injuries and your pediatrician can become an integral part of providing the preventive care your child needs to stay healthy. This starts with an annual sports physical, in which your child will receive a comprehensive physical exam from a qualified pediatrician to make sure that they are healthy enough for their chosen sport. Your pediatrician can also look at your child’s lifestyle to determine if any changes need to be made to their training routine, eating habits, or sleep to improve performance and reduce the risk for injury.

A pediatrician is an integral part of keeping your child healthy and safe while participating in sports. They can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have, as well as recommend certain conditioning and training exercises that can help with injury prevention. Your child should also be wearing the appropriate protective gear including a helmet when playing sports.
 
Treating Sports Injuries
Sometimes, despite taking all the necessary precautions, your child still sustains a sports injury. The moment your child sustains an injury they need to stop playing immediately and avoid any physical activity until the injury has fully healed. The most common sports injuries in kids are minor strains and sprains which can be treated at home through the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). However, if pain persists or gets worse, it’s important to see your child’s pediatrician.

Your child should visit a pediatrician right away if you suspect that they have a broken bone, dislocation, concussion, or if they are dealing with severe pain or swelling. If your child is unable to walk or put weight on the affected leg, this is also a sign to see a pediatrician as soon as possible. The sooner sports injuries are addressed and properly treated the better.
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.