Posts for category: Pediatric Health Education

By West End Pediatrics
August 01, 2017
Tags: Puberty  
Everyone goes through puberty, but everyone reacts differently to the hormonal changes. Typically, puberty begins in every person some time after the age of eight. This 
is the transition from childhood into an adulthood, when the sex organs grow and develop, and the body becomes capable to reproduce. These changes can make your child feel proud and happy, but they can also cause your child to feel confused or embarrassed—each feeling is completely normal.   
 
As a parent, it is important to help your child understand puberty and how to help him or her get through their hormonal changes. At your child’s pediatrician office, we want your child to have the best experience possible during puberty. To gain important knowledge and a better understanding of puberty for your child, your pediatrician is available. 
 
Hormonal changes cause a child’s sexual and physical characteristics to mature during puberty. In girls, the ovaries begin to increase production of estrogen and other female hormones. In boys, the testicles increase production of testosterone. The adrenal glands also produce hormones that cause increased armpit sweating, body odor, acne and armpit and pubic hair.  
 
By visiting your child’s pediatrician, you can better understand what to expect during puberty. From an increase in height to acne and sexual development, visiting your child’s pediatrician is important during puberty. 
By West End Pediatrics
December 15, 2016
Tags: Burns  

Burn HazardFrom washing up under too hot of water to an accidental tipping of a coffee cup, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns are some of the most common childhood accidents that occur. Babies and young children are especially susceptible to burns because they are curious, small and have sensitive skin that requires extra protection. Your child’s pediatrician is available to provide you with tips on proper treatment, and ways to prevent burns.

Understanding Burns

Burns are often categorized as first, second or third degree, depending on how badly the skin is damaged. Both the type of burn and its cause will determine how the burn is treated, but all burns should be treated quickly to reduce the temperature of the burned area and reduce damage to the skin and underlying tissue. 

First-degree burns are the mildest of the three, and are limited to the top layer of skin. Healing time is typically about 3 to 6 days, with the superficial layer of skin over the burn potentially peeling off within the next day or two. Second-degree burns are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer. These burns can produce blisters, severe pain and redness.

Finally, third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn, which involves all layers of the skin and underlying tissue. Healing time will vary depending on severity, but can often be treated with skin grafts, in which healthy skin is taken from another part of the body and surgically placed over the burn wound to help the area heal.

Prevention

You can’t keep kids free from injuries all the time, but these simple precautions can reduce the chances of burns in your home:

  • Reduce water temperature.
  • Avoid hot spills.
  • Establish ‘no’ zones.
  • Unplug irons.
  • Test food temperature.
  • Choose a cool-water humidifier or vaporizer.
  • Address outlets and electrical cords.

Contact your pediatrician for more information on how to properly care for burns and how you can further protect your children from potential burn hazards.

By West End Pediatrics
June 15, 2016
Tags: Asthma  

Child AsthmaA common condition seen in kids and teens, asthma is a lung condition that causes trouble breathing and shortness of breath. During an attack, the bronchial airways become inflamed and the muscles surrounding them constrict, making breathing difficult. Repeated attacks may cause permanent lung damage and in severe cases can be life-threatening. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 23 million Americans have the condition and more than one-quarter of them are children under the age of 18.

Asthma Causes

There are a variety of triggers that can lead to an asthma flare-up or make asthma worse. These vary for every person, but common triggers include:

  • Allergens, such as animal dander, pollens, mold and house dust mites
  • Environmental irritants, such as cigarettes, dry air, fragrances and air pollution
  • Infections, such as pneumonia, sinus infection and viral infections of the nose and throat
  • Exercise
  • Stress

Does my child have asthma?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asthma is the most common chronic medical problem in children. Asthma symptoms will vary in frequency and severity, and most children with asthma develop their first symptoms before the age of five.  Common signs include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in chest

If you think your child may have asthma, contact your pediatrician. They can help you identify the early signs of childhood asthma and provide support for prevention and treatment.

A child may be at a greater risk for having asthma if there is a family history of asthma or if the child has eczema or frequent bouts of chronic lower respiratory problems occurring before the first birthday.  Keeping your kids away from cigarette smoke in the home or car, removing pets from the house, paying attention to pollen and air quality forecasts and monitoring exercise are all ways to reduce asthma problems.  

The good news is that the majority of asthma cases are only mild, and when the condition is properly managed with medications and extra caution, severe asthma flare-ups can be prevented.  Work with your child’s pediatrician to learn more about the condition and ensure your child leads a healthy, normal, active life.

By West End Pediatrics
March 31, 2016
Tags: Food Allergies  

Food AllergyEspecially during the younger years, adequate food and nutrition is vital for a child’s growth and development. But for some children, a snack or meal as simple as a peanut butter sandwich or a cup of milk can cause serious health problems. So, what’s a parent to do when they suspect their child is allergic to a certain food?

A food allergy is the abnormal response of the immune system to a food. It’s possible to be allergic to any food, but these particular foods are responsible for the majority of allergies: milk, eggs, wheat, soy, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and peanuts. Food allergies should not be confused with food intolerance, or food sensitivity, which is more common and less severe.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction typically occur within just moments to an hour after the child ingests a food. They can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening, so it’s important for parents to understand what to do if they suspect their child is having an allergic reaction to food. Symptoms will vary for each child, but the most common telltale signs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Eczema
  • Trouble breathing
  • Itching or swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth or throat
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Light-headedness or loss of consciousness

Food allergy symptoms often resemble other medical conditions, so always contact your pediatrician for a proper diagnosis. If you suspect your child has a food allergy, remove that particular food from your child’s diet immediately. If the allergic reaction is severe, seek medical care right away.

The good news is that food allergies are often outgrown during early childhood. Your pediatrician or allergist can perform tests to pinpoint and track your child's food allergies They can also work with you to modify and manage your child’s diet to ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition for growth and development without putting them at risk for additional allergic reactions.

Hearing ProblemsIt may seem like your teenager is ignoring you, but in reality, they may be having trouble hearing you. More and more we see kids listening to their MP3 players while doing homework, walking to school or riding in the car. The result? A surge in hearing loss.

For years, studies have shown that constant exposure to loud sound damages hearing. In fact, between the mid-1990s and 2006 there was a 31 percent increase in the prevalence of hearing problems among U.S. adolescents, according to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers suggest that one in every five teens today has some sort of hearing impairment.

Chronic exposure to loud noise may not cause hearing loss in the short term, but it can gradually result in irreversible hearing loss later in adult years. Even slight hearing loss can have a negative impact on a child’s academic success and social interaction. Warning signs of potential hearing loss include: difficulty following directions, asking that things be repeated, trouble with speech and language and listening to the TV at a high volume.

With the prevalence of music devices only gaining popularity, parents need to be particularly aware of their kids’ music-listening habits and educate them about the dangers of excessive noise.

To mitigate hearing loss, talk to your kids about how to use their music players properly to protect their ears from hearing damage.

  • Teach kids to never play their music devices at full volume.
  • Monitor your child’s music volume and frequency.
  • If you can hear the music from the child’s ear buds, then the music is too loud.
  • Explain to your child the importance of wearing ear protection when they are in an environment with loud noises for long periods of time, such as concerts.

The difficult truth about hearing loss is that in many cases it is not reversible, and it can even be progressive over time. Talk to your kids about the dangers of hearing loss now, and keep the volume and length of their listening to a minimum.

Whenever you have questions about your child’s hearing, talk to 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