Posts for category: Pediatric Health Care
Vitamin D is critical for all of us, but especially children. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, as well as for the support and development of a healthy body. Children with severe vitamin D deficiencies may develop muscle weakness, delayed motor development, rickets, and fractures.
Unlike most vitamins, which we can often get through diet alone, vitamin D is acquired through time spent in the sun. You won’t find many foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Unfortunately, if you’re in a place that doesn’t get much sunlight then chances are good your child may not be getting enough vitamin D.
Children get about 80 percent of their vitamin D from sunlight. So if your child doesn’t spend much time outdoors (especially during the winter months) it’s a good idea to talk with your pediatrician about ways to ensure that your child is getting enough vitamin D.
Children with certain health problems such as cystic fibrosis or celiac disease, as well as children who’ve undergone bone surgeries may require more vitamin D. This is something you should discuss with your pediatrician. Children over 1-year-old need at least 600 IU of vitamin D (or more) a day. Ideally, children should get around 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
We also know that too much time in the sun can also pose risks for children, especially their skin. During the summer months, children only need a few minutes a day in the sun to get enough vitamin D. During the winter months, kids should get about 2-3 hours per week. Children under 6 months old should never be placed in direct sunlight.
Children with darker skin will also need to spend more time in the sun to produce the same levels of vitamin D as kids with lighter skin. Just sitting inside near windows won’t be enough for your child’s body to produce vitamin D.
What can you do about your child's ear infection? First of all, recognize the signs so you can get her treated. At Northside Pediatric Associates in Conroe, TX, your pediatrician, Dr. Ayotunde Faweya, educate parents about otitis media and strategies to prevent this infection.
What is an ear infection?
Pediatricians in Conroe, TX, and across the country call an ear infection otitis media. It involves the ear canal, middle ear structure, and ear drum, or tympanic membrane.
Ear infections are inflammatory in nature. Developing from bacteria in accumulated fluid, otitis media may exhibit few to no symptoms, or in other cases, it may make your little one very ill. Babies and toddlers seem prone to ear infections because of the horizontal orientation of their Eustachian tubes, hoilow passageways between the nose and the back of the throat.
Usually, ear infections happen after a child has a cold or the flu. Even seasonal allergies precipitate otitis media because of excess mucous produced in response to allergic triggers such as grass pollen and animal dander.
Signs your child may have an ear infection
Typical signs include fever, malaise, crying, fussiness, ear pain, and reduced ability to hear. The Cleveland Clinic reports that several ear infections in a row--in other words, chronic ear infections--may cause speech and language delays because the child cannot hear properly.
Upon examination with a lighted otoscope, your child's doctor watches for dullness and redness in the ear drum. This finding is diagnostic for otitis media.
Treating ear infections
Some ear infections do resolve by themselves. Others, however, need treatment with antibiotics. Chronic ear infections may require a few courses of this medication. Lastly, children may benefit from surgical placement of thin ear tubes which drain fluid from the middle ear and avoid infection altogether.
Preventing ear infections
Unfortunately, this is not always possible. However, these simple strategies may help prevent some infections, or at least, make them less severe:
- Do not expose your child to cigarette smoke.
- Breast feed as long as possible.
- If you do bottle feed, make sure the baby is not lying completely flat while drinking his or her formula.
If you think your child is showing symptoms of a middle ear infection, please contact your pediatrician at Northside Pediatric Associates in Conroe, TX, for a sick appointment. We are open six days a week, including Saturdays. Our phone number is (936) 270-8655.
Why Proper Nutrition is Important
As a parent, it goes without saying that you want what is best for your child. Making sure that your little ones grow up healthy, happy, and prepared for the future is often one of the most difficult, yet regarding, tasks in all of parenthood. This all-important mission to provide a great life for your child encompasses a number of different factors, including one which is the subject of this article: nutrition.
According to recent reports from the CDC, one in five school children within the United States qualify as obese. This epidemic of unhealthy living inevitably creates a number of ill effects in the children who suffer from the condition. Read on to learn how proper nutrition can keep your child at a healthy weight and avoid the consequences of obesity.
Why Obesity Must Be Avoided
Before we examine the intricacies of proper nutrition, it is important that we look at why being overweight/obese is to be avoided:
- Onset of chronic diseases: Although they are more often diagnosed in adults, conditions such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes have been increasingly seen in younger children, largely because of poor eating habits.
- Childhood habits traverse into adulthood: Humans tend to be creatures of habit, and accordingly, we largely carry childhood tendencies into our adult lives. For this reason, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the National Institute for Health Research has found that “55% of obese children go on to be obese in adolescence, around 80% of obese adolescents will still be obese in adulthood and around 70% will be obese over age 30.”
- Obesity shortens life: The National Institute of Health has found that obesity has the possibility of shortening life spans by up to fourteen years, and with the established link between childhood and adulthood obesity, it’s essential to promote healthy
Other Benefits of Proper Nutrition
The most obvious benefit of providing proper nutrition for your child is that they are then much more likely to maintain a healthy weight, and thus avoid all of the dangers associated with obesity. In addition to escaping the clutches of type 2 diabetes and a shortened life expectancy, your little one will also feel the immediate advantage of higher physical energy levels and increased brain activity. These boosts to your child’s wellbeing can be attributed to an increased bloodflow throughout the body, allowing them to not only stay healthier, but feel happier as well!
If you need help with getting your child on the path of proper nutrition, contact your local pediatrician today—we’re here to help!
Finding out you’re pregnant is a wonderfully exciting and whirlwind time. There are so many decisions to make as you watch your bump grow: What color should I paint the nursery? Do I want my little one to sleep with me? What do I need to childproof around the house? Of course, one of the most important things to think about is the health of your little one throughout the course of your pregnancy and once they are born. It’s never too soon to choose a pediatrician, and taking the time to find one you trust is important not just for your baby but also for you.
Once your little one is born they will be spending a lot of time with their pediatrician, so this is why it’s crucial that you find out that provides gentle, compassionate care and really takes time with you and your baby. The first two years of your baby’s life are so very important because this marks a significant developmental time for them, so it’s essential that you have a pediatrician that will be there to monitor their progress and detect any developmental delays or health problems right away.
The first pediatric visit will occur a few days after the birth. This first visit is vital, as it allows your children’s doctor to make sure everything functions as it should. This includes everything from reflexes to alertness to their hearing. Measurements are also taken to check their height and weight and to begin recording their development. Besides performing a physical exam to check the overall health of the baby this is also a time to answer any questions you might have about feeding schedules, habits, developmental milestones, etc.
After this initial visit, you should expect to bring your little one in for visits at:
- 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 24 months (2 years old)
- 30 months
- 3 years old
Once your child turns 3 years old they will only need to visit a pediatrician once a year, unless there are any health problems or concerns in the interim. These visits are imperative for every child as they are key to preventing certain illnesses through immunizations and physical checkups, tracking their growth and development, and also providing you with answers and support to help you properly care for your little one along the way. Call a pediatrician to schedule your child’s first appointment today.
Has your child received all of the immunizations he or she needs? Our Conroe, TX, pediatrician, Dr. Ayotunde Faweya of Northside Pediatrics Associates, explains when immunizations are recommended.
When should my child receive immunizations?
Some immunizations only require one or two doses, while others require three or four for full immunity. We recommend that our Conroe patients follow this recommended immunization schedule:
- Rotavirus: (2 months and 4 months) - Rotavirus causes fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration and can be quite serious in infants and young children.
- HBV: (Birth, 1 - 2 months and 6 - 18 months) - The immunization protects your child against hepatitis B, a viral infection that damage the liver.
- DTaP: (2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 - 18 months, and 4 to 6 years) - The DTaP immunization prevents your son or daughter from contracting tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough).
- Polio: (2 months, 4 months, 6 - 18 months, and 4 - 6 years) - Polio once caused death, paralysis and lifelong muscle and joint problems but has been eliminated in the U.S., thanks to this valuable vaccine.
- HiB: (2 months, 4 months, 12 - 15 months) - The haemophilus influenza type B immunization protects your child from a bacterial infection that causes both pneumonia and spinal meningitis.
- Varicella: (12 - 15 months, 4 - 6 years) - Chickenpox may seem like a minor illness, but it can cause serious complications in some children, such as brain or blood infections or pneumonia.
- MMR: (12 - 15 months, 4 - 6 years) - The MMR vaccine targets three disease: measles, mumps, and German measles.
- Pneumococcal Conjugate: (2 months, 4 months, 6 - 18 months, 4 - 6 years) - The important vaccine provides protection form meningitis, pneumonia, blood infections, and some types of ear infections.
- Human Papilloma Virus: (11- 12 years, then an additional dose six to 12 months later) - This fairly new immunization targets the most common strains of the virus responsible for cervical cancer and also prevents genital warts.
- Meningococcal b: (16 - 18 years) - The immunization helps your high school and college-aged children avoid a deadly meningitis infection.
Has your child missed an immunization? It's never too late to catch up if your son or daughter hasn't received all of the recommended immunizations. Call our Conroe, TX, pediatrician, Dr. Faweya of Northside Pediatrics Associates, at (936) 270-8655 to schedule your child's appointment.