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Category: Blog


Party Drugs Parents Should Know About: Part 1

Party drugs are recreational drugs normally found at dance clubs or house parties. Hard drugs such as cocaine and meth are seen as more dangerous than these types of drugs, but party drugs are not harmless. They can even be deadly.

It’s vital for parents to be informed about these kinds of drugs because:

  1. They’re attractive to young people who party
  2. They can be discreetly spiked in the commotion of a party or club

Ecstasy

(E, XTX, RAdam, Euphoria, X, MDMA, Molly, Love Doves)

Ecstasy is often found in environments where alcohol is not permitted and is popular with young adults and teens.

How it’s taken:

  • Orally
  • Snorted

Effects:

  • feelings of pleasure
  • closeness to others
  • energy
  • confidence
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased heart rate
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • jaw pain
  • blurred vision
  • vomiting
  • overheating
  • possible dehydration
  • hallucinations
  • paranoia
  • panic
  • anxiety
  • depression

In 2011, ecstasy was the cause of 22,500 emergency department visits.

Rohypnol

(Rophies, Ruffies, Roofies)

Rohypnol belongs to the same family of sedative drugs that includes Valium.

How it’s taken:

  • Orally
  • Snorted
  • Dissolved in drink

Effects:

  • Lack of memory
  • Impaired judgement
  • Dizziness
  • Blackouts
  • Sedation
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Feelings of intoxication
  • Slurred speech

Sedation can last up to 8 hours.

Ketamine

(Special K, Baby Food)

Ketamine is normally found in clubs and raves and is often reported in sexual assault cases.

How it’s taken:

  • Snorted
  • Drank with alcohol
  • Smoked with marijuana

Effects:

  • Temporary amnesia
  • Hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling withdrawn
  • Confusion
  • Disassociation

It produces dependency and greater tolerance in some users who take the drug repeatedly.

GHB

(Liquid Ecstasy, Liquid X)

Similar to ketamine, GHB (gamma hydroxy butyrate) is found in clubs and raves and has been reported in sexual assault cases.

How it’s taken:

  • Orally by liquid

Effects:

  • Sociable feelings
  • Less inhibited
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Amnesia
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Depressed breathing
  • Coma

3 people die because of GHB overdose every year.

Be sure to read part 2 of our article, coming soon.

Concerned about your child? Request an appointment with Pediatrix.

Posted in Blog, Safety on July 2nd, 2018

Parts of a Healthy Lunch

School is out in Arizona, meaning your children are probably eating at home more often now. For parents and guardians that don’t normally pack their children’s school lunch, an entire summer filled with home-cooked meals might be intimidating. Creating a healthy lunch for your children is simpler than you’d think.

Here’s what your child’s lunch can include.

Fat

Yes, fat can be healthy. Experts say fat intake should be around .4 to .5 grams per pound of your target body weight. You can use a body mass index chart to see what your child’s target weight should be. Cheese, dark chocolate, nuts, eggs, and yogurt are all examples of healthy high-fat foods.

Fiber

Fiber is important for your child’s digestive system. Raspberries, blackberries, pears, and whole-wheat pasta are examples of foods with high-amounts of fiber that kids enjoy eating.

Protein

Our bodies do not store much protein, and we need it for our muscles, blood, bones, organs, hair, nails, hormones, and energy level. Kid-friendly foods with high protein include grapefruit, eggs, turkey, and pork loin.

Calcium

The saying “calcium builds strong bones” is not an old wives’ tale, but a scientific fact. Include dairy products such as cheese and milk into your kid’s lunch. If your child is lactose intolerant, calcium is found in many non-dairy products like almonds and carrots.

Carbs

Carbohydrates are the number one source of energy. You can find carbs in various food groups—dairy, fruit, grains, legumes, vegetables, and sugars.

It’s easy to look at this list and be overwhelmed. Remember, your child’s healthy lunch will most likely not include the entire food pyramid. Incorporating as much of these healthy elements as possible is the goal, even if that means meals with only three of what was listed.

Do you have concerns about your child’s health? Speak to a pediatrician at Pediatrix. We’re dedicated to helping you raise healthy, happy kids.

Posted in Blog, Health on June 18th, 2018

Breastfeeding with Inverted or Flat Nipples

Not being able to breastfeed with inverted or flat nipples is an old wives’ tale that is completely inaccurate. It’s always possible to breastfeed, no matter what kind of nipples you have. Inverted or flat nipples may make latching more difficult, so here’s what you need to know.

Nipple Types

There are three main types of nipples, and all are completely normal. Protruding means the nipple does not stick out from the areola unless cold or aroused. Flat means the nipple lays flat either all the time or only occasionally protrudes when cold or aroused. Inverted means the nipple is pulled into the breast tissue and either never sticks out, rarely sticks out, or sinks in deeper when cold or aroused.

Tips and Tricks

Nipple Shields

Nipple shields are products that are used during breast feedings. They have a small opening at the tip of the nipple that allows milk to flow from your breast, through the shield, and to the baby. Babies may have an easier time latching on to the shield than your nipple.

Breast Shells

Breast shells are products you wear in-between feedings, not during. A round bottom ring is placed over your areola, allowing your nipple to stick through a hole in the center. This puts pressure at the base of your nipple, helping your nipple stick out when it’s time to feed.

Breast Pump

Pumping before you feed your baby may help protrude your nipple due to the suction of the pump.

Nipple Everter

Nipple everters look similar to turkey-basters. They help suction your nipple out right before feeding.

C-Hold

Many moms find that breastfeeding their baby using the C-hold helps protrude the nipple. This method involves squeezing your breast as you feed.

Is your baby not latching properly? Have your baby’s latch evaluated by a pediatrician at Pediatrix.

Posted in Baby Care, Blog on June 11th, 2018

Preparing Your Child for a Physical

Summer has arrived, and many children will be attending camp for the upcoming months. Families tend to get caught up in all the excitement and preparation—buying insect repellent, sunscreen, etc. They sometimes forget one important activity that needs to be checked off the list in advance: physicals.

What Happens at a Physical?

At a physical, your child’s pediatrician is going to check the following:

  • height
  • weight
  • blood pressure
  • heart
  • lungs
  • stomach
  • ears
  • nose
  • throat
  • eyesight
  • strength
  • flexibility
  • reflexes

When Does Your Child Need a Physical?

Your child may need a physical if he or she is:

  • going to summer camp
  • going back to school
  • joining a sports team

Why Does Your Child need a Physical?

Your growing child needs a physical for two main reasons:

Well Being

Your pediatrician needs to see if your child is healthy enough for camp. If your child has asthma, for instance, your pediatrician can recommend how often your child should rest during activities.

Puberty

Your pediatrician needs to see how your child is growing and if there are any issues with his or her development.

Preparing Your Child

Physicals might be scary for a child. Here’s how can you help.

Inform Your Child

Explain to your child exactly what’s going to happen at the physical, so they’re not left to their own imagination.

Ask Questions

Ask your child if they would like you present in the room during their physical. Encourage your child to discuss any concerns they may have with you.

Comfort Your Child

If your child would like you in the room, take the opportunity to comfort them during the appointment. Try not to speak over them if the doctor talks to them; this may make your child feel like they’re in trouble.

Need an Appointment?

Is your child heading off to camp this summer? Book a physical through Pediatrix.

Posted in Blog, Doctor Visits on June 4th, 2018

Sunscreen for Babies?

Should you be putting sunscreen on your baby this summer? The answer depends on the age.

Younger than 6 months

Babies younger than 6 months should NOT wear sun screen. Instead, parents should employ other methods of sun protection such as:

  • Keeping them out of direct sunlight
  • Protective clothing
  • Hats with brims
  • Sunglasses

Older than 6 Months

If your baby is 6 months or older, they should wear sunscreen and lots of it! When putting sunscreen on babies, make sure to:

  • Pick an SPF of at least 15
  • Reapply every 2 hours (more if they’re in the water)
  • Use sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as to avoid skin and eye irritation

Sunscreen Guidelines

Broad Spectrum

To help narrow down your choices, pediatrics doctors recommend that you always select a broad-spectrum sunscreen. These types will help to provide the best overall protection against both types of harmful ultraviolet rays, which include UVA and UVB.

Sunburn Protection Factor (SPF)

The SPF tells you the amount of protection provided against UVB rays specifically, which are the rays that cause burning. For example, a bottle with SPF 15 tells us that a person can be exposed to the sun 15 times longer than someone that hasn’t applied this sunscreen before they start to burn. Choose an SPF with a minimum of 30 for kids.

UVA Protection

While there is no rating used for UVA rays, which are the rays that cause aging of the skin, there are products that can offer protection from these harmful rays. Choose sunscreens that contain avobenzone and ecamsule.

Water Resistant/Water Proof

To ensure that sunscreen stays on and protects your child while they play outdoors, especially while swimming, it is important that you select a water resistant or water proof sunscreen. Water resistant sunscreens maintain their protection levels for approximately 40 minutes upon immersion in water. After this time, it is necessary to reapply. Water proof sunscreens last a little longer, with a time of about 80 minutes.

A portion of this blog was originally posted on June 6, 2014.

Posted in Baby Care, Blog, Safety on May 21st, 2018

Swimming and Water Safety 2018

School’s out and the summer’s here. Like every year, Pediatrix wants to provide parents and guardians with helpful tips to keep their children safe in the pool.

Quick Facts

  • In the U.S., drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4.
  • A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone.
  • Of all preschoolers who drown, 70% are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75% are missing from sight for five minutes or less.

Tips

  1. Establish Rules. Make sure everyone knows the rules before entering the pool area and continually enforce them. Small children don’t always think before they act, so state the obvious before it becomes an issue.
  2. No Swimming Unattended. Install locks on doors and sliding doors high enough to prevent children from heading out to the pool alone. Always shut and lock pool gates and patio doors at apartment complexes and hotels, and at home when pool time is over.
  3. Life Guard Duty. Always have at least one adult assigned to watch those in the pool. Don’t assume someone is watching. If there is drinking at a pool party with children, have some designated drivers on lifeguard duty, because alcohol decreases awareness and slows response time.
  4. Swimming Abilities. Use the appropriate flotation devices and supervision with children who are still learning to swim. Also, don’t overestimate the abilities of adults who will be supervising children. They will need to be able to rescue a child in case of an emergency.
  5. Use Steps. No diving or running. This prevents injuries like falling on the pool deck, as well as reducing the risk of drowning.
  6. Maintain Safety Equipment. This includes pool drains, covers, ladders, fencing, barriers, locks, first aid kits, and rescue equipment. ​​​​
  7. Pick Up Toys. Put away pool toys so children don’t go in after them later.
  8. Head Count. Always know where every child is. If a child is missing, time is of the essence. Always check the pool first, even if you thought he or she was playing somewhere else.
  9. CPR and First Aid. Get yourself certified, and post CPR information by the pool as a reminder in case of emergency.
  10. Visit the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona for more tips and resources, including city codes regarding pool safety.

Note: this article was originally posted on April 30th, 2017

Posted in Blog, Safety on May 14th, 2018

Should I Take My Child to the Hospital?

Often, parents only have minutes to decide if their child needs medical attention. In a perfect world, we’d be able to take our children to the hospital for every sore and bruise. On one hand, hospitals are expensive, even with insurance. On the other hand, your child’s life is worth more than any hospital bill. Here’s how to know when your child needs an ER visit.

Fever

Fevers can usually be treated at home, but are sometimes a sign of something more dangerous.

Stay at Home:

  • it’s only been a few days
  • your child responds to fever reducer medicine

Go to the Hospital:

  • your child is under three months old with a temperature 104° F or higher
  • your child is older than three months old with a temperature of 104° F or higher accompanied with unresponsiveness, inconsolable crying, trouble breathing, vomiting or seizures

Bleeding

Scratches and scrapes are an easy fix, but heavy bleeding needs to be taken seriously.

Stay at Home:

  • small cuts or laceration

Go to the Hospital:

  • open flesh or exposed bone
  • even with bandages and applied pressure, the bleeding continues after fifteen minutes

Vomiting and Diarrhea

If your child is vomiting and has diarrhea, pay attention to other symptoms.

Stay at Home:

  • your child can keep down sips of liquid
  • your child is producing tears

Go to the Hospital:

  • your child has had a dry diaper or hasn’t urinated for six hours.
  • your child is unable to keep anything down, even small sips of liquid
  • the soft spot on your baby’s head is noticeably sunken
  • your child is crying is unable to produce tears with crying
  • your child is listless, not feeling and not looking well
  • your child vomits blood or has diarrhea with blood

When in doubt, always visit a hospital. If your child has had frequent hospital visits, it’s time to see a pediatrician. Request an appointment through Pediatrix today.

Posted in Blog, Emergency on May 8th, 2018

Calming Your Child for Immunizations

Needles, shots, immunizations, vaccinations, and all of the above can be scary experiences for children. Even some adults are uncomfortable with sharp metal poking through their skin. Taking your child to the doctor for immunizations can often lead to crying fits. There are ways to comfort your child before and during their shot.

Before

Explain

Talk openly and honestly to your child about vaccinations and immunizations. Explain what they’re used for and how beneficial they are. A child is more likely to be afraid of an immunization shot if they don’t understand what’s happening. Teach your child how important immunization is and why they need it. Use language they can understand.

During

Distract

While your child is getting their shot, use various methods to distract them and take their focus off the pain. Try to encourage your child to not look at the needle, especially when it pierces the skin. Here are some examples of distraction methods:

  • Bring a toy with you to the doctor’s office. Allow your child to play with the toy as they’re getting their shot.
  • If you have a smartphone, show your child a funny or interesting video to capture their attention.
  • Ask your child a question about their favorite T.V. show or book. Have the child explain the answer as they get the shot. Be sure to pick something that they talk excitedly about frequently.

After

Reward

Try to take our child out for a small, affordable treat after the immunization. It’s important to associate positive experiences with immunizations so your child relates shots with rewards. We recommend promising your child before getting their immunization to take them out, so they have something to look forward to.

Shots are scary, but important. Does your child need immunizations or vaccinations? Contact Pediatrix and request an appointment.

Posted in Blog, Doctor Visits, Shots on May 2nd, 2018

Homeschooling Preschoolers

A parent’s decision to homeschool is personal and often backed by evidence showing that homeschooled students excel at higher rates than students at, for example, public school. Homeschooling can begin earlier than kindergarten or first grade, though.

Do Children Need Preschool?

Studies that show children with working parents benefit from preschool because they learn concepts such as numbers, letters, and shapes. Preschool helps children become independent, as they pick up tasks like pouring and setting tables.

So where does that leave stay-at-home parents and homeschoolers?

Not So Different

Parents who choose to homeschool should not feel pressured to start shoving textbooks at their four-year-olds. Think of what goes on at a typical preschool: finger painting, singing, reading stories out loud, etc. These lessons can easily be incorporated at home. You may already have been utilizing them.

Balancing Learning and Play

Just like any preschool, it’s important that your toddler’s education be fun. It’s the best way they’ll learn.

ABC’s

Teaching your preschooler the alphabet isn’t restrained to a song. Try:

  • Memory Games—Write letters of the alphabet behind index cards and flip them over. Ask your child to find certain letters.
  • Exercise—For every letter, come up with a dance move or exercise. For example, your child can crouch like a cat for C.

Handwriting

The days of tracing over dotted letters are in the past. You can teach them handwriting and stimulate their senses with:

  • Salt/Sand Trays—Have your child practice their letters in a tray of colored salt or sand.
  • Gel Bags—Fill a bag with colored hair gel and place it over a letter tracing worksheet.

Numbers

Think beyond your fingers when it comes to teaching counting. Try:

  • Hopscotch—Have your child hop to numbers using a hopscotch game.
  • Dominos—Use dominos to teach your preschooler numbers and counting.

If you plan on homeschooling your child, giving them a head start is never a bad idea. Just remember to let them still stay kids.

Posted in Blog, Education on April 27th, 2018

Taking Care of Your Child’s Hearing Aid

Much of what your child learns is through hearing. That’s why it can be quite frightening when a parent discovers their child needs a hearing aid.

From birth to three years, babies are learning speech and language. This development is natural; it cannot be taught. If your child has hearing loss, pursuing a consistent hearing method is vital. Often, that method is hearing aids.

What is a Hearing Aid?

A hearing aid is a small device worn in the ear to amplify sound. There are hearing aids that intelligently filter out background noise and enhance speech.

Hearing Aids and Children’s Ages

The American Speech Language Hearing Association finds that children who have worn hearing aids since infancy have less trouble wearing them consistently. Children who get hearing aids at an older age tend to pull them out more and desire to wear them less.

Hearing Aid Upkeep

If your child wears or is going to wear a hearing aid, it’s important to take care of them. Once your child is old enough, teach them how to take care of their hearing aids themselves. The sooner, the better.

  • Check Batteries—Change the batteries often because old batteries can cause damage to the device. Keep spare batteries with you.
  • Clean Them—Use a dry towel or ear swab to remove wax from the hearing aid. Only use soap when cleaning the ear molds separately.
  • Avoid Wetting Them—Always make sure the hearing aid is in a dry place. Or consider waterproof aids.

Encouraging Your Child

Your child may be reluctant to wear their hearing aids, but there are methods parents can utilize.

  • Have your child pick out the color and/or design of the hearing aid.
  • Increase how long they wear them until they’re used to having them in all day.
  • If your child is young, teach them that only adults can take out their aids.

If you believe your child has hearing loss, it’s necessary to seek a pediatrician. You can request an appointment here with Pediatrix.

Posted in Blog, Hearing, Technology on April 20th, 2018