Posts for category: Children's Health Care
Immunizations are an essential part of well-child care. Proper immunizations protect the health of the individual child and protect all children in the community as a whole. Many parents have concerns about immunizations, and may choose to not immunize their children, but it is important to fully understand each immunization. As a parent, you are encouraged to talk to your pediatrician for more information on proper immunization scheduling for your child.
Immunizations for Teenagers and Young Adults
Many parents only think of vaccines as something needed for infants and young children, and that they are less important later in life. However, teenagers and young adults often get a number of vaccine-preventable diseases, including hepatitis B, measles, German measles and chickenpox. Teens and young adults need protection against infectious illnesses as well.
Teenagers are encouraged to see their pediatrician or other physician on a regular basis and should keep an updated record of their immunizations. Many will need more vaccinations as teenagers, particularly if they have not been previously vaccinated against hepatitis B or chickenpox. Important vaccines for your teenager include:
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus-diptheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) or tetanus-diptheria (Td) booster
- Hepatitis A
As a responsible parent, it is important for you to be fully informed on the vaccines offered for your child. If you have any questions or concerns, you can talk with your pediatrician.
One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of illnesses is through proper hand washing. Young children in particular need to be reminded to wash their hands, which is very important after sneezing, nose-blowing, using the bathroom and before eating. With help from your child’s pediatrician, you can help keep your child healthy.
School age children are in close contact throughout the school day are more likely to share school materials, and frequently touch their faces. Since germs from sneezing and coughing droplets can survive on surfaces for up to eight hours, teaching your child about proper hand washing is very important to maintaining their health. Your pediatrician provides this step-by-step guide for proper hand washing:
- Turn on the water until it is warm, but not too hot.
- Rub your hands together to get a nice, soapy lather.
- Wash your palms, the back of your hands, fingers and under the nails.
- Sing “Happy Birthday” or count up to 15 to 20 “Mississippi’s” to effectively wash their hands for an appropriate amount of time.
- Dry hangs on a paper towel.
- If at a public or school restroom, have your child turn off the faucet with the paper towel when they are done.
- When exiting a public or school restroom, encourage your child to use the same paper towel on the handle of the bathroom door to open it and to throw it away after exiting.
Maintaining proper hand washing methods will help your child to remain healthy throughout the year. Your child’s pediatrician is available to provide you with further tips on how to maintain a healthy child. However, if your child does get sick, your pediatrician encourages you to visit their office for proper diagnosis and treatment.
When your child is sick, it can take a toll on not only them, put you as a parent. Your pediatrician is available to help you restore the health of your child. Whooping cough is an infection of the respiratory system that is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis (or B. pertussis). This sickness is characterized by severe coughing spells, which can sometimes end in a “whooping” sound when the person breathes in.
Whooping cough mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old before immunizations, and kids 11 to 18 years old whose immunity has started to fade adequately protect them. With help from your pediatrician, you can find relief for your infant from whooping cough.
The Signs and Symptoms
The first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold:
- Runny nose
- Mild cough
- Low-grade fever
After about 1 to 2 weeks, the dry, irritating cough evolves into coughing spells, which can last for more than a minute. When a coughing spell occurs, the child might turn red or purple, and at the end of the spell, they may make a characteristic whooping sound when breathing in.
By visiting your pediatrician, you can take the next step toward helping your child feel better once again.