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Friday, December 27, 2013

Whooping Cough: Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is a bacterial infection caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium. The illness typically targets a person’s respiratory system. Whooping cough is a common illness in very young infants and children that have not been vaccinated.

It is difficult to diagnose whooping cough during the early stages of the illness because the infection shares many symptoms with the common cold: a runny nose, fever, cough, and sneezing. However, the mild cough progresses into full-blown coughing after a week or two. The more serious coughing fits can last for over a minute, making it difficult to breathe. After a coughing fit, the sick person typically makes a “whooping” sound as he or she gasps for air.

If your child starts to exhibit symptoms of whooping cough, be sure to bring him or her to a pediatrician. The pediatrician will then confirm the disease by taking a history of symptoms or taking fluid samples for a laboratory test. If the presence of whooping cough is confirmed, the pediatrician will prescribe antibiotics.

Fortunately, the disease can be prevented by having your child vaccinated with the DTaP vaccine. Public health officials advise parents to make sure their children have received all five doses of the DTaP vaccine before the child reaches six years of age. The vaccine is readily available in all pediatric practices.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Important Childhood Vaccinations Your Child Needs

Vaccinations are important in preventing the spread of deadly diseases. In fact, they are the reason why the world no longer has to worry about smallpox.

Seeing as the immune systems of young children are still developing, it is important to have them vaccinated for certain diseases that tend to affect children. Here is a short list of the most important childhood vaccinations:

The MMR vaccine protects children from three different diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). All three are highly dangerous and highly infectious, but can easily be prevented. Recently, cases of measles have been increasing in the United States due to a low vaccination rate, making it even more important for children to get vaccinated.

The varicella vaccine protects a child from contracting chickenpox. It is advised that a child be vaccinated for chickenpox before he or she reaches 13 years of age. Many schools require parents to show proof that their child has been vaccinated for chickenpox before admitting the child to the school.

The flu can cause dangerous complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Although the flu vaccine does not guarantee a child will not contract the flu, studies have shown that the vaccine significantly reduces the chances of a child developing flu complications. According to officials from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated for the flu every year.
Important Childhood Vaccinations Your Child Needs

Monday, November 25, 2013

When Pinkeye Needs Medical Attention

Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, is a highly contagious medical condition that is common in children. Pinkeye develops when the conjunctiva becomes inflamed due to a bacterial or viral infection. Common symptoms of the infection include itchy or burning eyes, a redness in or swelling of the white of the eyes, and a crusting of the eyelids.

Once you notice that your child has developed these symptoms, it’s best to bring him or her to a trusted pediatric clinic to determine the cause of the infection. Although a pediatrician will prescribe house rest for both bacterial and viral infections, bacteria-based pinkeye clears up faster because of the antibiotics that pediatricians prescribe. The infection will typically last 7 to 10 days after the development of symptoms.
During the period of house rest, be sure to follow any instructions from the pediatrician to ensure an uneventful, yet effective, recovery. However, if your child experiences moderate or severe pain in the eyes or increased sensitivity to light, contact a pediatrician immediately. The latter symptoms are not typical of pinkeye cases and may be a precursor for pinkeye complications or a more sinister disease.
Likewise, contact a doctor if your child has a preexisting immunity issue, or bring him to a pediatrician immediately if symptoms are only getting worse after using antibiotics for 24 hours.

Monday, November 11, 2013

When Chickenpox Needs Medical Attention

Chickenpox is one of the most infamous childhood viral infections. Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, chickenpox causes red, itchy blisters to develop on the skin. For the most part, chickenpox is not a serious disease, with many cases lasting for 10 to 12 days only. In fact, pediatricians recommend letting the disease run its course.

When your child develops the trademark blisters of the disease, bring him to a pediatrician immediately to confirm the presence of chickenpox. If chickenpox has been confirmed, you can prepare home remedies like oat baths and bergamot oil to relieve your child’s itching throughout the duration of the disease.

However, if your child experiences severe headaches, an oversensitivity to light, breathing difficulties, or the development of rashes on the eyeball, call a pediatrician immediately. These are not typical chickenpox symptoms and may indicate the presence of a more serious disease.

After fully recovering from chickenpox, the chances of contracting the disease a second time is quite rare. However, a dormant version of the varicella-zoster virus can hide within the body and reappear years later as shingles, an infection similar to chickenpox that affects the nerve area. As such, people who have had chickenpox should closely monitor themselves for symptoms of shingles: severe pain and rashes on one side of the body, high fever, and tender lymph nodes.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Flu Vaccines Options for Children

Once children reach the age of six months, influenza vaccinations become a viable option for fighting against the flu. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children be given the annual influenza vaccination once they are old enough. Seasonal flus are one of the most common illnesses in the country due to their highly contagious nature, affecting both children and adults. As such, getting vaccinated every year can drastically reduce the risk of becoming infected with the flu.

The problem with flu vaccinations is that many young children are afraid of needles and injections, with many children dreading or resisting pediatricians administering the shot. Fortunately, advances in medical technology has allowed vaccinologists to create more flu vaccine options available to the general public.

While the traditional flu shot is still available, vaccinologists have come up with annual influenza vaccine formulations that protects people from four dominant strains of the virus, which is a great improvement from the older trivalent vaccines. In addition, the use of nasal spray vaccinations has been growing in popularity, particularly for children who are afraid of needles. Children who couldn't get flu vaccines in the past due to egg allergies (the use of chicken embryos was the traditional methodology in producing flu vaccines) can now get vaccinated due to a new egg-free flu vaccine that was developed.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Choosing the Right Pediatrician for Your Children

Since there are several significant differences between the body of a child and that of an adult, the medical needs of a child correspondingly vary from those of an adult. As such, children are brought to pediatricians for their medical concerns until their late teens, after which time, they would need to see general practitioners or specialists. Pediatricians, however, are truly specialized in the unique needs of children, which is why it is important for parents to choose their children’s doctor judiciously.

Some doctors recommend looking for a pediatrician as early as 28 weeks into the pregnancy. Deciding on a pediatrician early allows parents to establish a connection and comfort level with the doctor; choosing early also allows the pediatrician to be on hand during the childbirth to conduct any necessary examination on your baby, especially if there is a complication during birth.

Take the time to thoroughly research on the qualifications of pediatricians to ascertain that they meet your particular needs. Although friends will suggest a good pediatrician, their needs may be different from yours; and good pediatricians are not a one-size-fits-all investment. Take the time to know where a pediatrician studied and his or her philosophies on child rearing. Set appointments with the pediatricians that you feel meet your needs in order to get a feel of how they interact with you and your future family member.

Friday, September 27, 2013

What You Need To Know About Well-Child Care Visits

Well-child care visits are important in ensuring your child’s good health. This basically involves regular checkups and wellness examinations in a trusted pediatric clinic, from the time the child is one week old until he or she becomes older.

As opposed to doctor's visits when the child is sick, a well-child visit is more of a regular activity to monitor the child’s overall health and general well-being. The main objective is to make sure that the child is growing normally in all aspects, and to arrest wrong child-rearing practices as early as possible. The child’s height, weight, and other information relevant to his growth and development are recorded and reviewed by the doctor, especially among infants and toddlers.

There are also physical examinations to check vision, hearing, heart activity, reflexes, and the like. Furthermore, necessary immunization shots are administered to prevent life-threatening diseases such as hepatitis, influenza, meningitis, and polio. Nutrition and diet are also discussed with parents during these checkups, with some clinics requiring the older children or teenagers to undergo urinalysis or blood pressure screening.

For parents, a well-child visit is also an opportune time to openly discuss your child's health with the pediatrician. Why wait until it's too late before taking your child to a doctor, when you can do something to aid his or her physical, emotional, and mental development right now? 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pediatrics in Littleton: Quick Tips for Preventing Whooping Cough

Andrew M. Seaman wrote in an article in last September 13 about the higher risk of children being diagnosed with whooping cough, a.k.a. pertussis, if they are behind their diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (DtaP) shots schedule.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quick Tips from a Pediatrician in Littleton on How to Prevent Flu

Some parents think that the flu is just a simple stomach bug. However, they should always remember that flu is more dangerous than a typical cold or tummy ache. A September 16 article in written by Dr. Jennifer Shu gave 5 different ways that could help protect children from the flu season.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pedia Power: Child Rearing with a Pediatrician

Kids are a lot more fragile than adults in more ways than one. Since their developing bodies have yet to reach their full strength and capacity, children are at the mercy of numerous diseases and illnesses. Even something as simple as a cold, which is nothing more than a nuisance for adults, can be completely devastating for a young one. Parents need to look after their children carefully and closely, and they may want to enlist the help of a pediatrician.

A pediatrician is a physician who specializes in the care and treatment of child patients. They're responsible for helping kids get through life by overseeing aspects of their well-being, like their diet, vaccination, vitamin and mineral intake, and so on. They're also around to help parents better raise their kids by giving medical advice or prescription.

Parents will find a pediatrician very useful; from the moment the mother gives birth, the parents can already approach a pediatrician for guidance on how to rear the baby. Sticking to the child’s pediatrician throughout his or her growing years has the advantage of familiarity; there's no better doctor than the one who's been attending to your kid for years. A child’s health is a delicate thing, and pediatricians can help moms and dads preserve it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How Parents Can Treat Chickenpox

Chickenpox is one of those illnesses that does not have a cure. The illness is usually triggered by the varicella zoster virus. You would know that somebody was suffering from the ailment when a casual check of their body at a safe distance reveals multiple pellet-sized sores at random places. At this point, you will have to keep your distance, whether or not you've been diagnosed with the illness before. Although no known cures exist, parents can ease the pains of children that have been stricken with chickenpox.

Your child's pediatrician may recommend drinking over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen and paracetamol to reduce the pain and ease high temperatures. Anti-histamines will help reduce the itchiness, and prevent your child from scratching the sores. Also, make sure your child drinks plenty of water to prevent dehydration, and keep your child at home for the duration of the emergency.

Parents should ensure that their children are wearing appropriate clothing to prevent discomfort from the sores, and should discourage their children from puncturing the sores. As a last resort, cut your child's fingernails or make him or her wear gloves to prevent scratching. Consider giving your child a soft diet, and avoid foods that are salty, spicy, or acidic.

No parent wants their child to be afflicted with chickenpox. To ensure a safe recovery, parents should follow the treatment as outlined by their pediatricians.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why a Littleton Pediatrics Practice Advises Vaccination for Your Kids

The end of summer vacation has gotten plenty of health officials in Colorado and Arizona on edge. According to the Cortez Journal, all students (from kindergarten to high school) are advised to have additional booster shots to protect themselves from pertussis or “whooping cough” for the new school term. Pertussis caused an outbreak in Colorado last year (about 1,400 cases) and health officials are concerned that the same thing might happen this year.

Children may have no choice in getting their shots because schools will be unwilling to accept returning students who have “outdated shot registries.” As such, it is perhaps high time for some kids to visit a center for pediatrics in Littleton, like Focus on Kids Pediatrics, and have additional immunizations. Pediatrics centers have an assortment of booster shots to protect children from hepatitis, influenza, polio, and other diseases as they grow up.

The state's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which was signed into law last 2010, allows children to receive whatever vaccine they lack, in addition to providing young adults with health insurance coverage until they're 26 years old. However, the resumption of classes for this year has brought some changes to children's healthcare, especially when it comes to immunizations. For instance, sixth-graders are now required to have booster shots for chickenpox before they can enroll in their school again.

This also coincides with the addition of Tdap booster shots to protect sixth-graders from pertussis, which will be administered by the schools' health clinics. The disease manifests itself as a bad cough and, indeed, many people self-diagnose the disease mistakenly as such. While anybody can contract this infectious disease, pertussis is especially dangerous for children because they have a hard time eating and breathing, making it one of the most common causes of childhood deaths in the US.

School officials implore parents to have their children vaccinated to help prevent any further outbreaks, be it pertussis or influenza, for 2013. After all, vaccines don't only protect children from such diseases, but they also ensure the well-being of the entire neighborhood and community. Some Littleton pediatrics centers, like Focus on Kids, have an immunization schedule so that parents would know the right vaccines at the right time for their children.

There is no guarantee that a pertussis outbreak won't happen in Colorado, Arizona, and the rest of the United States this year, even with all the mandatory vaccinations. This is why parents and school officials should do their part in diminishing the likelihood of this happening during the new school term.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Obesity Is Just One Thing a Pediatrician in Littleton Can Help Treat

An article from reported that obesity among children is generally dropping throughout the United States. However, a closer inspection of the statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that while this is true in most states in the country, states like Colorado and Tennessee have actually seen an increase in child obesity. Regardless of how one can interpret these results, it is clear that the need for reliable pediatric care nationwide still cannot be emphasized enough.

While it is not the sole specialization of a pediatrician in Littleton, Colorado, for instance, treating obesity can still be done with the help of reliable pediatric centers like Focus on Kids Pediatrics. Treating obesity is a long-term process of adjusting the child's eating habits and lifestyle, which must be monitored carefully by a medical professional. Aside from obesity, a pediatrician can help treat allergies, respiratory ailments, and digestive problems among children.

Like many other juvenile medical conditions, obesity is not dealt with easily, as obese children are very likely to develop cardiovascular disorders when they reach their teen and adult years. “Changing lifestyle and eating habits” is easier said than done because children are constantly exposed to various factors that would entice them to go on with their unhealthy diets. Furthermore, although the CDC's statistics may indicate a drop in the number of obese children in the country, many health experts agree that it is still too early to say if children are indeed becoming healthier.

It would appear, however, that today's pediatricians have their work cut out for them. The CDC says that pediatric care in the United States is generally a lot better than in previous years, thanks to federal initiatives like the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. Colorado is taking children's healthcare so seriously that they're looking towards alternative, albeit controversial, treatments like medicinal cannabis for minors with rare diseases like Dravet Syndrome.

Fortunately, treating obesity doesn't involve such medical procedures. Parents can also show that they take pediatric care seriously by being more rigorous in their search for a pediatrician for their child (especially during prenatal care). It is important for them to look into a pediatrician's track record and specializations; one Littleton pediatrician may be more adept at treating children's allergies than another specialist, for instance.

Pediatricians will continue to play a huge role in safeguarding children's welfare and well-being. However, they seldom carry their duties out alone. Parents, schools, and even the government should play their respective roles if they want to stamp out obesity and other ailments among children.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pediatricians Versus Family Doctors

Why is there a need for pediatricians when regular family doctors can do their jobs just fine? Apart from the age of the patients they treat, very little can be said to distinguish pediatricians from family doctors. However, without pediatricians and their expertise in treating children, children may not grow into healthy adults. Children need specialized care and treatments, and pediatricians have been trained to provide these services.

While pediatrics is a specialty in its own right, some pediatricians choose sub-specialties within pediatrics. Neonatologists, for example, care for premature and critically ill full-term infants, while other pediatricians might specialize in infectious diseases.

Pediatricians understand that kids require different treatments and need to be approached differently from adults. Just as most kids cannot stand the taste of bitter medicines, and prefer cough syrups and other medicines with a fruity flavor, children and adolescents require physicians who understand their needs. From a medical perspective, the bodies of children and adolescents differ from those of adults. Hence, children and adolescents may not be able to handle treatments designed for adults.

Sooner or later, they'll have to get used to the bitter taste of medicine; but it doesn't have to be now. It's also the job of a pediatrician to teach children and adolescents about the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices. Aside from diagnosing diseases and illnesses, pediatricians are also tasked to provide immunizations and preventive care

Friday, August 2, 2013

Understanding Pediatric Medicine

The best way to understand pediatrics as a branch of medicine is to differentiate it from adult medicine. Unlike other specializations, pediatrics is almost similar to general medicine except its care only encompasses infants, children, and young adults. There's a sizable difference between the medication and treatment suitable for people of this age group and those for adults, which is why pediatrics is considered as an independent medical specialty.

The body of an adult is physiologically different from that of a young adult or an infant. Aside from size, they differ in maturation, a vital aspect in determining the potential side effects of a certain drug or treatment to patients. Generally, there are medications and treatment methods for adults that are not suitable for adolescents and younger individuals; some may even endanger their well-being.

Pediatric medicine is specifically concerned with the medical care of infants, children, and adolescents who have less mature physiological structures. In this field, pediatricians deal with unique issues such as congenital defects, developmental problems, and genetic variance. These areas have no direct connection with the objectives of adult medicine.

Unlike a typical physician for adults, a pediatrician performs an extra mile of service by keeping an eye on patients throughout their childhood. This is to provide the physical, emotional, and social care the patient may need. On the other hand, in adult medicine, the doctor provides medical care only until the patient fully recovers.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Indispensable Role of A Pediatrician

Children are a true gift to parents, and so deserve only the proper care and upbringing. How the parents raise their children will define the kind of life they'll have in the future. Therefore, it is very important that parents seek the assistance of pediatricians to secure a good future for their children. Below are the basic tasks of a pediatrician.

Although pediatrics is a highly flexible specialty, the role of a pediatrician is centered on the physical, emotional, and social well-being of people in between the stages of infancy and young adulthood. They detect, prevent, and manage possible ailments and conditions that can affect children before they mature. These tasks are crucial in the formation of the children's health.

Unlike psychologists who focus on the behavioral aspect of people's lives, pediatricians are directly involved in the treatment of different types of disease and dysfunction in children. They are also skilled in providing solutions that help reduce infant and child mortality. They are trained to develop ways that can help ease the daily living condition of patients with chronic ailments.

While parents do most of the work in raising their children, pediatricians serve as a backup when certain conditions develop. They should work hand-in-hand to make healthy citizens out of the children, who will later become the leaders of society. That's why parents should trust the skills and dedication of pediatricians. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When Even Experts of Pediatrics in Littleton Can Contribute to National Defense

Being overweight can mean one less American called up in the defense of the nation. Retired Marine Brig-Gen David Brahms said in a UT San Diego op-ed that the Department of Defense is concerned about 75% of young Americans being unqualified for military service, with recruitment personnel tagging obesity as the leading cause for disqualification. His statement was publicized soon after the American Medical Association classified obesity as an actual disease. This condition has long been regarded as a risk factor for serious ailments such as Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fighting off HFMD with Help from a Credible Littleton Pediatrician

The notorious hand-foot-and-mouth-disease (HFMD) is, once again, rearing its ugly head. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that a more virulent strain triggered cases in four states over the winter of 2011-2012. Researchers found the timing of this outbreak odd, however, as increased prevalence of HFMD is usually observed in summer or fall, being triggered by the Coxsackie A16 virus.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Finding a Qualified Pediatrician for your Baby

Finding a good pediatrician for your child should be one of your biggest priorities. While many parents choose to send their children to the family doctor for checkups, pediatricians are able to provide more specialized care. Aside from regular checkups throughout all stages of infancy, pediatricians will monitor the growth and development of your child, and will administer immunizations.

Looking for a good pediatrician should start as early as conception because you won't have time to consider your options once you've given birth. It is not good to look for a suitable pediatrician when your child is sick either. Your baby's sickness might put you in panic mode, which could lead to poor decision-making. This, of course, leads to the question: How does one find a good pediatrician?

You can ask your friends and relatives (especially mothers) to recommend reputable pediatricians. You can also ask your gynecologist for recommendations, or go to local hospitals and request for referrals. Finally, you can browse the referral database of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Once you've found some prospects, check the pediatricians' credentials. He or she should be board certified, and should have completed at least three years of residency in either pediatrics or family medicine. Finding a reliable pediatrician for your baby can be challenging, but you must exert the necessary effort to ensure the best medical care for your baby. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pediatricians: The Right Doctor for Children

It is very important to choose the right pediatrician for your baby. To get things right, you should start looking for a good pediatrician well before your baby's due date. You can ask your gynecologist, friends, or family members to recommend qualified and experienced pediatricians. You can also make inquiries at the public affairs department at the nearest hospitals, or browse the referral database of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Once you've found some reputable pediatricians, you'll need to check their credentials. Verify if these pediatricians are certified by board of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and if they're members of this organization. Members of the AAP will have an “FAAP” added after their names. This distinction means that the pediatrician has met established standards for providing excellent childcare.

Many parents entrust their children to pediatricians because these medical practitioners can expertly diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses. As pediatricians specialize in treating infants and young children, they understand that children need specialized care. Some parents, however, choose to entrust the medical needs of their newborn children to family physicians . This is not an uncommon choice and has its merits—the family physician will be familiar with the medical history of the family, after all. Whether you choose a pediatrician or family physician, always ensure that your doctor can be reached easily during emergencies.