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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may have no choice in getting their shots because schools will be unwilling to accept returning students who have “outdated shot registries.”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.