Posts for category: Children's Health

By West End Pediatrics
December 07, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Sick Child   Urgent Care  

When To Take Your Child To Urgent Care

 

As a parent, you want to always do everything you can when your child is sick, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly how sick your child is, especially when they’re very young and can’t communicate what is bothering them. Urgent care or a trip to the hospital isn’t always needed for simple problems such as a cold, mild diarrhea, or mild fevers. So, when is it necessary to take your child to urgent care?

 

Urgent Care

 

Not all illnesses need an immediate visit with your pediatrician and it’s important for you to know what symptoms to look out for. Some symptoms that may require urgent care are:

 

  • Vomiting and diarrhea that lasts more than a few hours

  • Rash, especially with a fever

  • High fever

  • A cough or cold that lasts several days

  • Large cuts or gashes

  • Limping or the inability to move an arm or leg

  • Ear pain with fever

  • Ear drainage

  • A severe sore throat or swallowing problems

  • Sharp and persistent stomach or abdomen pain

  • Blood in urine

  • Blood in stool

  • Not being able to drink for more than 12 hours

  • Rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 2 months old

  • Fever and vomiting

  • Any pain that gets worse and doesn’t go away after several hours


While many illnesses may go away with love and nurturing after a few days, there are times when it is necessary to see your pediatrician as soon as possible. If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, be sure to call your pediatrician right away to find out if it is necessary for your child to go in for an appointment so that your child can get well as soon as possible.

By West End Pediatrics
June 05, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Fever  

Your child awoke in the middle of the night complaining that they didn’t feel well. Your first reaction is to put your hand up to their forehead to see if they have a fever. Of course, if their head feels warm the next step is to take their temperature to see if they are actually running a fever. While most children will experience a fever at some point, it’s important to know when you can treat the problem at home and when you need to visit a pediatrician immediately.

Most of the time a fever isn’t anything to worry about, especially if your child is otherwise healthy. A fever is the body’s way of fighting off the infection, after all; however, there are instances in which you will want to call your children’s doctor to find out whether you need to come in for care.

We believe in a parent’s intuition, so if it seems like something just isn’t right, you should give us a call and find out if your child’s symptoms or behaviors are something that need to be handled right away. Your child’s exact temperature and their age are two very important factors when it comes to whether or not your child should receive medical attention.

It’s important to call your pediatrician if your baby is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 100.4 F or higher. A baby between the ages of 3 to 6 months old that has a fever of 101 F or higher (or has a fever that lasts more than a day) should also see a pediatric doctor. If your child is between the ages of 6 months and one year old and has a temperature at or above 103 F or has a fever lasting more than a day, give us a call.

Other times to call a pediatrician include:

  • A high fever that lasts more than a day in children who are 1 to 2 years old
  • A child that has a fever of 104 F or higher (age does not matter in this case)
  • A fever that is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea
  • Signs of dehydration along with a fever
  • A fever that is also accompanied by a rash
  • Children who have weak or compromised immune systems and develop a fever

If your child’s fever doesn’t require a visit to your pediatrician you can try applying warm compresses or bathing your child in lukewarm water to help ease their symptoms. Never use cold water or ice to bring down a fever.

If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician to find out what you should do about your child’s fever.

By West End Pediatrics
May 15, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Diabetes  

You disinfect their toys. You make sure they wash their hands. You keep them from putting odd things they find in their mouths. You do everything you can to keep your child healthy and happy, but some illnesses aren’t completely under your control. Type 1 diabetes, most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, is an autoimmune disease where the body stops producing insulin. It has no known cause, there is no way to prevent it, it is not tied to lifestyle or diet, and there is no cure. But there are recognizable symptoms, which can help you catch it early and get your child the help they need.

Common Signs of Type 1 Diabetes

The most common early signs of diabetes are increased urination and thirst. This is because your child doesn’t have enough insulin to process glucose, leading to high blood-sugar and a reaction where their body pulls fluid from tissues. This makes your child constantly thirsty and in need of bathroom breaks. Other warning signs include:

∙         Fatigue: Your child always seeing tired or drowsy could signal their body is having trouble processing sugar into energy. Extreme instances of this include stupor and unconsciousness.

∙         Changes in vision: Having high blood-sugar often causes blurred vision and other eyesight problems.

∙         Fruity smelling breath: Having breath that smells fruity, even when it’s been a while since your child ate, often means there’s excess sugar in their blood.

∙         Increased hunger or unexplained weight loss: Extreme hunger can mean your child’s muscles and organs aren’t getting enough energy. Any sudden weight loss in your child should not be ignored, but especially when they’ve been eating more.

∙         Changes in behavior: Your child suddenly seeming moodier or more restless than normal while showing any of the symptoms.

Get Help from Your Pediatrician

Your child having heavy or labored breathing or experiencing nausea and vomiting are also signs of diabetes, but all of these symptoms, regardless of whether or not they are from diabetes, are cause for you to take your child to their pediatrician. Untreated, type 1 diabetes can be life-threatening. But with the help of a pediatrician and the same diligence you use to keep your child safe from viruses and bacteria, your child can grow up healthy and happy. If you have any questions or concerns, call our office today.

By West End Pediatrics
October 16, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Nutrition   Healthy Eating  

Child Eating WatermelonToo often, children fall into unhealthy routines when it comes to eating. These habits can jeopardize their long-term overall health, potentially leading to serious complications later in life. In fact, nearly 1 in 3 children in America is overweight or obese. That’s why the early years are important for building a child’s nutrition habits. By starting young and encouraging a fun, healthy diet, it’s possible to lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy, independent eating.

Here are a few simple tips for instilling healthy eating habits in your kids.

  • Eat in moderation
    Eating healthy doesn’t mean your kids can never have a little “junk” food as a treat. Teach your child the importance of moderation, healthy portion sizes and self-control when it comes to making daily food choices.
     
  • Quality over quantity
    Rather than making your child clean his plate, encourage him to eat slowly. This will help your child detect hunger and fullness better, preventing overeating and teaching portion control.
     
  • Shop smart
    If you don’t buy it, they can’t eat it. When shopping for foods choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats. Stock up on healthy snacks for after school, and avoid buying too many junk foods or sugary drinks and sodas that are stumbling blocks to healthy eating.
     
  • Pack smart for school
    Be aware of your child’s school lunch options by reviewing the menu. Help your child understand how he can make good meal choices at school, and if you need to, pack your child a nutritious lunch to ensure he’s getting a variety of healthy foods that he likes to eat.
     
  • Load up on fruits and vegetables
    When cooking, introduce a variety of fruits and vegetables into your meals as a great way to get your kids to try—and even acquire a taste for—healthier foods. It may take several tries, so be persistent and creative in your meal planning.
     
  • Set a good example
    One of the best ways a parent can support healthy eating habits for their child is to model similar habits. Most kids are more willing to try foods if they see their parents enjoying them.
     
  • Make meals family-time
    Eat together as a family when possible, and make mealtime fun by trying new foods together.

Bottom line: Instilling healthy eating habits in children is an ongoing process that takes time and patience, but the benefits of a healthier lifestyle can last throughout their entire life. Talk to your child’s pediatrician for guidance if you have questions about your child’s eating habits or dietary needs. 

By West End Pediatrics
September 15, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Common Cold   Allergies  

Child SneezingYour child is sneezing, coughing and congested. Is it the common cold? Is it seasonal allergies? What is the best way to give them relief from these symptoms?

Allergies and colds often have overlapping symptoms, including a stuffy or runny nose, cough and low energy. It can be difficult for parents to know whether their child is battling a stubborn virus or having an allergic reaction.

Common Cold

Kids with a cold may feel achy and develop a sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose and low-grade fever. A cold usually doesn’t last longer than a few days before it starts to improve. Since common colds are viral infections, they can’t be cured with antibiotics. To ease your child’s symptoms or discomfort, make sure your child is getting plenty of fluids and rest. 

Allergies

If your child’s stuffy nose lingers for several days, this may be an indication that they are suffering from allergies and not a cold. In fact, allergy symptoms can last for weeks to months.

Tell-tale signs that your child has allergies and not a cold include:

  • Cold-like symptoms linger for more than a few weeks
  • Chronic (continual) cough
  • Mucous is clear
  • Persistent stuffy nose
  • Itching of the nose, ears, mouth and/or throat
  • Itchy, watery, red eyes
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing and other respiratory symptoms
  • Unexplained bouts of diarrhea, abdominal cramps and other intestinal symptoms

In some cases, reducing the triggers that are causing the allergic reaction can control many allergy symptoms. This may include washing your child’s bedding and toys to remove dust and bacteria, bathing pets regularly, vacuuming your home at least once a week and replacing furnace and air filters every few months.

Although common colds and allergies have similar symptoms, there are distinct clues that help parents differentiate one from the other. When in doubt about your child’s symptoms, always contact your pediatrician.  



Contact Us

West End Pediatrics

(703) 823-7400
Alexandria, VA Pediatrician
West End Pediatrics
5249 Duke St Ste 303
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 823-7400