Posts for category: Children's Health
By Ocoee Pediatrics
March 18, 2021
Reflexively, your baby is born with the ability to suck. It makes sense. After all, your little one must be able to suck to get nutrients, whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Thumb sucking also has the ability to soothe and calm your little one. However, there are moments as your child gets older where thumb-sucking may become a problem. Your pediatrician can provide you with the tips and tricks to help your little one grow out of this habit.
This is a normal habit in newborns that typically goes away around 6-7 months; however, this seemingly innocuous habit may actually be a cause for concern if thumb sucking continues beyond 2-4 years, where it can alter the shape of the face or cause teeth to stick out.
When to Consider a Pacifier
Many children desire a pacifier between feedings, but this should not be a replacement for feedings. It’s important to recognize when your child is sucking because they are hungry and whether they merely want to self-soothe. If your child still has an urge to suck and they don’t need to nurse, then a pacifier is a safe way to soothe and ease your child’s needs (if they want it).
It is safe for children to use a pacifier while sleeping, whether at bedtime or when they go down for their naps. Just prepare for babies to wake up fussy in the middle of the night when the pacifier falls out of their mouths, as they aren’t able to place the pacifier back in their mouths themselves. Make sure that you do not try to place the pacifier on a string around your baby’s neck or tie it to the crib, as this can lead to a serious and potentially deadly injury.
How to Phase Out the Pacifier
There will come a point when your child will need to give up their pacifier. While the medical community has different age ranges, The American Dental Association recommends that children stop using a pacifier by age 2, as going beyond two years old could alter the alignment of your child’s teeth or impact the shape of their face.
Here are some tips to phase out the pacifier,
- Do not tease or punish your child for using a pacifier, but instead praise them when they do not use it. Provide them with rewards when they go without it.
- Some children use pacifiers out of boredom, so give your child something to do to distract them such as playing with a game or toy (to keep their hands busy).
- If incentives and rewards aren’t enough and your child is still using a pacifier, your pediatrician may recommend a “thumb guard” that can prevent your child from sucking their thumb. While you may feel in a rush to get rid of your child’s pacifier, it’s important to be patient. All children eventually stop this habit.
Even if you are concerned about your child’s thumb-sucking, it’s important to know that most children do grow out of it not long after starting school. While you can provide them with helpful ways to ditch the habit it’s important not to put pressure on them. With the help of your pediatrician, your child can and will outgrow this habit.
By Ocoee Pediatrics
December 22, 2020
Tags: Broken Bone
Accidents happen. Perhaps your child hurt themselves falling off their bike or taking a rough tumble down the stairs. In these instances, the first thing you’ll probably do is check your child over for bumps, bruises, and possibly broken bones. It’s important to recognize whether your child could be dealing with a broken bone so that you can bring them in to see their pediatrician right away.
The warning signs of a broken bone include,
- A popping or snapping sound at the moment of impact or injury
- Trouble straightening out the limb or affected area
- Unable to put weight on the area
- Limited range of motion or unable to move normally
If the bone is visible through the skin, you must call 911 or head to your nearest emergency room for care. If there is no bone visible but your child is still experiencing the symptoms above, then call your pediatrician right away. This problem should be treated on the very same day by your child’s doctor.
The most common fractures that we see in kids often affect the bones of the elbows, ankles, and wrists. Falling off monkey bars and other injuries on the playground are incredibly common and can lead to wrist and elbow fractures.
How is a broken bone treated?
First, your pediatrician will run X-rays to determine the location and severity of the break. Your doctor will place a splint or cast around the broken bone to provide support and stabilization and to restrict certain movements that could impede healing.
Your doctor may also recommend certain exercises that your child should do at home every day to help ease symptoms such as pain, limited mobility, and swelling. Your doctor may also refer your child to a pediatric orthopedist for physical therapy, depending on the type and extent of the injury. You will also need to bring your child back into the office in a few weeks to see how the broken bone is healing.
A broken bone is considered a serious injury. If your child is displaying symptoms of a broken bone, it’s a good idea to call your pediatrician right away for a consultation.
By Ocoee Pediatrics
December 07, 2020
A urinary tract infection isn’t just something that happens to adults. Children can also develop UTIs. Since children are more likely to suffer from kidney damage as a result of a UTI you must see your pediatric doctor right away if you suspect that your child may be dealing with a urinary tract infection. Signs and symptoms include,
- Increased urgency to urinate, even if there is no output
- Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
- A decreased output of urine
- Children may complain of a burning sensation when urinating
- Older children may complain of lower stomach or back pain
- Younger children may cry when urinating
- Wetting the bed
We know that infants and young children can’t tell us what hurts and where, so we have to look for other signs that they could be dealing with a urinary tract infection. Young children may have a fever, loose stools, refuse to eat, and be more irritable than usual. When they wet their diaper, you may notice that the urine smells strong or bad.
Diagnosing UTIs in Children
If your child is showing symptoms of a UTI you must see your pediatrician right away. A simple urine sample is all that’s needed to be able to detect the presence of bacteria. We can examine the urine sample under the microscope and provide results in a matter of minutes. The kind of bacteria that’s present will help us determine the type of antibiotics we will prescribe.
Treating Childhood UTIs
It’s important to seek treatment right away, as untreated UTIs can lead to more serious problems including kidney infections, abscesses, and sepsis. Your pediatrician can prescribe antibiotics. Your child should also be getting plenty of fluids during the course of their treatment to help flush out bacteria.
It’s also important that your child continues to take their medication even if they start to feel better (do not stop the medication). If symptoms do not improve within three days, or if they get worse, you must call your pediatrician immediately.
Our pediatrics team is here to make sure that your child gets the care they need, whenever they are dealing with everything from a fever or stomach upset to a UTI. If your child develops a UTI, talk to your pediatrician right away.
By Ocoee Pediatrics
October 16, 2020
Asthma is one of the most common chronic disorders that pediatricians diagnose in children and teens. While there is no cure for asthma there are effective ways to manage your child’s symptoms to prevent flare-ups and attacks while also ensuring that they are able to live a full, healthy life. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of childhood asthma. Symptoms include,
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Easily winded, especially after exercise
- A persistent cough that usually gets worse at night or after activity
- Chest tightness or congestion
If your child is experiencing asthma symptoms, it’s important that you bring them in for a pediatric evaluation as soon as possible as untreated asthma can be dangerous. If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, here are some of the best ways to help them manage their symptoms,
Visit the pediatrician often
Even if your child’s symptoms seem to be well managed through medication and lifestyle it’s still important that you bring them into the pediatrician’s office for regular care. Your pediatrician will be able to evaluate whether their current medications are fully controlling your child’s symptoms. If symptoms aren’t improving, you should also see your pediatrician right away.
Create an asthma action plan
It’s important that you and your child’s doctor sit down and create a detailed asthma action plan that will outline how you are managing your child’s symptoms and what to do in case of an asthma attack. Within the action plan, you will include the ways in which you are currently controlling your child’s asthma as well as symptoms to look for regarding a flare-up or attack, and when to see a doctor for care.
Alter your child’s lifestyle
It’s important to talk with your pediatrician about your child’s asthma triggers. By determining what triggers their allergies (e.g. pet dander; pollen) you can also figure out ways to avoid these allergies. Avoid household products or certain chemicals that may cause asthma to flare up. Bathing pets weekly, keeping the house clean and avoiding letting your child play outdoors on high pollen days are all ways to reduce allergen exposure in your asthmatic child.
If your child is displaying symptoms of asthma, or if their symptoms aren’t being properly controlled, call our pediatric practice today to schedule an immediate evaluation. We can provide you with a customized treatment that will make your whole family breathe a little easier.
By Ocoee Pediatrics
September 11, 2020
You 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.