Posts for: November, 2016
It’s important that your children get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect them from serious illnesses.
From birth, children should be getting vaccinated by one of our Alexandria, VA pediatricians--Dr. Lisa Rainey, Dr. Perdita Taylor-Zapata or Dr. Denyse Bailey--regularly. Vaccines are designed to protect children, especially school-aged children from contracting illnesses that could pose serious long-term health risks like paralysis. It’s up to you to make sure that your child stays on schedule so that they remain healthy. Here’s what you should know about your child’s vaccination schedule:
How to Record Your Child’s Immunizations
If you need official copies of your child’s immunizations before they can go to school or summer camp, it will be easier to obtain this information if you are keeping great personal records and also keeping your child up-to-date on these inoculations.
If your child has been seeing one of our Alexandria children’s doctors for all of their immunizations, it can be as simple as asking us for a vaccination tracking card so that you can keep track of all the vaccines your child will need throughout their childhood. Of course, you can also print out the vaccine tracker from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Bring this sheet with you to your next appointment and have us fill it out. Also, be sure to note the date of each of your child’s inoculations. While it might seem like overkill at the time, you may be glad you have all this information when you need it most.
Immunizations for School-Age Children
Once your child is old enough for childcare or to start school, you may be wondering how to show proof of your child’s immunizations. Each state determines which immunizations are required before a child so they can go to school. If you are unsure which immunizations are required under the state of Virginia, don’t hesitate to ask. We know what vaccines your child will need before they enroll in school.
Don’t let your child fall behind on their immunizations. West End Pediatrics in Alexandria, VA makes it easy for children to get the care they need whenever they need it. We are happy to work with your schedule so that your little one is able to see us as soon as possible.
More and more, childhood obesity is becoming prevalent in the U.S. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over the past two decades it has doubled in children and tripled among teens.
Obesity during childhood is a serious matter that can lead to medical problems, including diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. Additionally, being overweight can also take an emotional toll on kids, leading to depression and low self-esteem brought on by various psychological stresses.
As a parent, you should play an important role in encouraging your child to make important changes to help them lose weight and overcome obesity. Ask your pediatrician for support in guiding your child toward an overall healthier lifestyle.
Incremental Lifestyle Changes Starting at Home
Kids who are overweight or obese need guidance from their parents to make healthier lifestyle choices. These changes start at home and include eating better and exercising. Involve the entire family in your child’s efforts to lose weight, supporting him by setting good examples and modeling healthy eating behaviors that you want him to adopt both now and into adulthood.
- Be a good role model, leading the way to a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and staying active.
- Remove unhealthy temptations from the home and gradually introduce healthier foods into your child’s diet over a period of time.
- Prepare meals that are rich in vegetables, fruits and whole-grains, and limit consumption of foods high in sugar and saturated fats.
- Allow your child to participate in preparing the family meals to learn the benefits of cooking at home.
- Limit the amount of time your child can spend watching television playing video games or using the computer.
- Incorporate exercise into your child’s daily routine, which can include a wide range of activities such as walking the dog, raking leaves, swimming, playing tag or washing the car.
Talk to Your Pediatrician
Your child’s pediatrician can also play an important role in monitoring your child’s weight gain starting from age one, helping to make sure it remains within normal guidelines as he grows. If the pediatrician suspects a weight problem, they can discuss it with you and your child, and then help you prioritize the changes that need to be made to manage the child’s weight. YOur pediatrician can work with you to help you set health goals and make the necessary lifestyle changes such as improving diet and becoming more physically active starting at home.
In infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the most frequent cause of sore throats is a viral infection. No specific medicine is required when a virus is responsible, and the child should get better over a seven to ten day period. During this period, your child may develop a fever, but they generally are not very sick.
It is not uncommon to experience a sore throat when your child has a cold or the flu. Unfortunately, there are other reasons for sore throats to develop that may be symptomatic of more serious problems. Children tend to have sore throats more often than adolescents or adults, with sore throats being the most common during the winter months when upper respiratory infections are more frequent.
The major cause of a sore throat is an infection, whether it is viral or bacterial, and can also be caused by allergies and environmental conditions. If your child has a sore throat that lasts longer than the typical five to seven day duration of a cold or flu, and is not associated with an avoidable allergy or irritation, it is important to contact your local pediatrician. The following are signs and symptoms to alert you to take your child to the pediatrician:
- Severe and prolonged sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Joint pain
- Fever that is over 101 degrees
- Frequent recurring sore throat
- Lump in the neck
- Hoarseness lasting over two weeks
At the first onset of a sore throat it is always important to monitor the progress and recognize any other symptoms that may accompany the sore throat, which could cause it to worsen into strep throat, inflamed tonsils, or laryngitis. Contact your pediatrician if your child is experiencing a sore throat that won’t go away. Your pediatrician will help diagnose and treat your child’s symptoms.