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Category: Blog


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

Are Kids Affected by Technology?

Technology is a fact of life in modern culture, and there’s no question that devices, including cell phones and video game systems, affect our children. As with most things, there are pros and cons..

Technology Pros

Education and imagination have been positively influenced. Games, devices, and software have been developed to improve most areas of modern life including academics, physical skills, communication, health, and social skills. Teen drug use is down, and researchers suggest one of the factors may be the availability of devices for entertainment. As time passes, more and more parents grew up with video games, computers, Internet access, and cell phones. This means younger parents are more knowledgeable about controlling children’s exposure to media.

Technology Cons

The bad news is there are negative effects to any technology no matter how well intended. In this case, too much of a good thing can lead to disrupted sleep patterns, obesity, diminished social skills, and mood issues. Cyberbullying concerns parents and educators, and road safety experts grapple with the issues of distracted driving and walking which can lead to serious injuries or death. Internet access exposes your child to information, but some of that information may not be what you have in mind, and predators could pretend to be anyone. That’s why it’s important to monitor your child or teen’s devices and online activities, no matter how dictatorial it may seem.

What You Can Do

As a parent, it’s critical to understand the benefits and risks of any technology used by your child. The first step is to educate yourself. Is the content of a game age-appropriate? Is the device or game online or offline? Is the device connected to a private network, open Wi-Fi, or mobile networks? Are parental controls activated and effective? Are you and your child up to date on Internet safety? After that, it all comes down to balance.

Making and enforcing rules is easier said than done. If you have health concerns related to technology, consult with your pediatrician for the latest findings. Request an appointment at Pediatrix today.

Posted in Blog, Technology on April 13th, 2018

Children’s Eye Exams

For many children, their first vision screening happens at their elementary school. Studies show that these screenings are crucial for adolescents, but research is also finds that they’re not enough.

School Vision Screening Pros

Optometry students are encouraged to set up school vision screenings in their community. This is because the fourth most prevalent class of disability are vision problems, and 80% of what children learn comes through visual processing. Even though more than a third of American children between the ages of 12 and 17 are nearsighted, only 40% undergo vision screenings.

School vision screenings are a critical first step.

School Vision Screening Cons

Many optometrists stand behind school vision screenings, but they want parents to understand there’s only so much these screenings can do.

The Kirkwood Eye Institute finds that school vision screenings do not test for double vision, focus, tracking, perception, or dyslexia. VSP finds they also don’t test for farsightedness or color blindness. School vision screenings are sometimes facilitated by untrained staff, volunteers, or school nurses with inadequate equipment.

Professional Eye Exams

It is highly recommended that, after a school vision screening, your child undergoes a comprehensive eye and vision exam. At school, your child will receive a basic 20/20 vision test (how far can they see from 20 feet away). Here’s what an exam at an optometrist’s office includes:

  • Patient and family health history
  • Visual acuity measurement
  • Preliminary tests of visual function and eye health, including depth perception, color vision, peripheral (side) vision, and response of the pupils to light
  • Assessment of refractive status to determine the presence of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism
  • Evaluation of eye focusing, eye teaming, and eye movement abilities
  • Eye health examination
  • Additional tests as needed

Schools should continue with vision screenings, but parents cannot rely on them solely. Whether your children attend a school with vision screenings or are home-schooled, yearly eye exams are necessary for your family.

Posted in Blog, Vision on April 6th, 2018

Breastfeeding Myths VS Facts

“Don’t eat spicy food!” your grandmother may have screamed at you as you prepared to feed your newborn. Those who are older always seem wiser, so you may have asked yourself: “Will spicy food…make my milk spicy?” When you’ve just had a baby, you don’t have the time and energy to peruse through books and figure out what’s a myth and what’s a fact. There are a lot of myths out there about breastfeeding. This will help you dispel them.
Myth: The Baby Should Just Suck on the Bud
Fact: The reason women sometimes find breastfeeding painful is because they’re just putting the
bud of their nipple in the baby’s mouth. When breastfeeding, you need to put most of your areola
in as well.
Myth: Breastfeeding While Sick Passes Down Germs
Fact: As long as it’s nothing serious, being sick won’t affect breastfeeding.
Myth: Bigger is Always Better
Fact: The size of your breast tissue does not correlate with the amount of milk. Bigger breasts
don’t have more milk.
Myth: Plastic Breasts Can’t Feed
Fact: Silicone implants are inserted near the underarm, under the breast tissue, or under the chest
muscle. It shouldn’t affect breastfeeding unless your nipple was augmented. In that case, the
milk let down may be impaired.
Myth: Once You Breastfeed, You Can’t Bottle Feed
Fact: Babies may have a difficult time switching back and forth at the beginning, but there isn’t
anything harmful about using both methods.
Myth: Breastfeeding Causes Sagging
Fact: Pregnancy is what changes the appearance of breasts. The weight your breasts gain while
you’re pregnant adds stress on the ligaments.
Myth: Formula and Breastfeeding are Exactly the Same
Fact: Nope. Breast milk has 30 beneficial ingredients while breast milk has 300, including anti-bodies, anti-
Myth: Every Mother Can Easily Breast Feed
Fact: Breastfeeding can be incredibly difficult for women whose babies have a difficult time
latching onto the nipple. Using formula doesn’t make them bad moms.
Myth: Breastfeeding is a Guaranteed Birth Control
Fact: Breastfeeding is 98% effective as birth control. That’s only true if the baby isn’t drinking anything
but your milk, is 6 months old or younger, and you haven’t gotten your period.
Myth: You Can’t Breastfeed with Inverted Nipples
Fact: You can, the baby just might have a harder time latching on.
Question: Can I Eat Spicy Food and Breastfeed?
Answer: Yes. Go wild. Have a hot wing on us.
Motherhood should be beautiful, not frustrating. If you’re having difficulty breastfeeding, you’re
not alone. Request an appointment with Pediatrix and we’ll guide you through the process.

Posted in Baby Care, Blog on March 25th, 2018

Why is My Baby Spitting Up?

Your friend invites you out and you politely decline, explaining that your newborn is spitting up.
“Throwing up? Is she sick?”
“No, spitting up.”
You may be able to see the difference, but understanding why it’s happening can help you
prevent it.
What’s the Difference?
When a baby vomits, their abdominal muscles and diaphragm have contracted while their
stomach is relaxed. When a baby spits up, known as reflux, it’s because they’ve swallowed air
while feeding. The air comes back up, as well as the milk. Babies also tend to eat until their
overfilled, which is why milk sometimes comes back up.
The obvious difference would be the appearance of whatever’s coming up. Vomiting comes in
greater and forceful quantities. Spitting up, on the other hand, doesn’t faze babies at all. Spitting
up is also more common in half of babies under 12 months.
How to Prevent Spit Up
Spit up is common. It’s your baby’s way of getting used to bottle or breastfeeding. There are
some ways to prevent it, though.
• Hold your baby up right during feeding.
• Try not to put off feeding until the last minute. The hungrier a baby is while feeding, the
more air they’ll frantically take in, leading to spit up.
• Burp your baby after and even during feedings. Some babies naturally pause while
feeding. Use that as an opportunity to try and burp your baby. Getting some of it out now
means less spit up later.
• Don’t overfeed your baby.
• Avoid tight clothes around the stomach of your baby.
• If your baby spits up at night, try elevating their head.
If You Bottle Feed…
Try changing the nipple. Bottle nipples correspond to ages. A big hole leads to too much intake,
while a small hole causes the baby to suck harder and take more air in. Another recommendation
is to try different formulas.
If You Breast Feed…
Try a new diet. Mothers have found cutting back on dairy reduces spit up.
If you believe your baby is spitting or throwing up abnormally, see a doctor. You can
request an appointment at Pediatrix.

Posted in Baby Care, Blog on March 16th, 2018

Pollen Allergies VS Colds

Most in Phoenix are delighted when spring peaks its head around the corner. It’s our break from
the chilly winter and gives us time before the smoldering summer hit us hard. The weather is
perfect, and air is filled with…sneezes? While we may not notice it, the flowers are blooming
even in the Phoenix spring. If your child seems particularly stuffed up and squinty this time of
year, it may be due to pollen allergies.
What are Pollen Allergies?
Pollen allergies are an allergic reaction to the fine powder that comes from the stamen of
flowering plants. They’re also known as hay fever, caused when pollen hits the air.
Symptoms of Pollen Allergies
• Sneezing
• Nasal congestion
• Runny nose
• Watery eyes
• Itchy throat and eyes
• Wheezing
Differences Between Pollen Allergies and Colds
Surrounded by germy hands and uncovered coughs in classrooms, some children are particularly
prone to being sick. There are some key differences, though, between a pollen allergy and a cold.
What They Have in Common:
• Runny or Congested Nose
• Fatigue
• Cough
• Sore Throat
How to Tell Them Apart:
Pollen Allergies Cold
Duration Days to Months 3 Days to 2 Weeks
Time Seasonal Anytime
Fevers Never Rarely
Aches Never Sometimes
Itchy, watery eyes Often Never
What to do if Your Child Has Pollen Allergies
Nasal Steroids aka Nasal Spray
Common products include:
• Flonase
• Afrin
Antihistamines aka Over the Counter Drugs Common products include:
• Benadryl
• Claritin
• Allegra
• Zyrtec
Decongestants
These can come in pills, liquids, or sprays. Common products include:
• Sudafed
Allergy Shots
Small, gradual amounts of the pollen-causing symptom can be given to the child in something
called an allergy shot. This process usually takes 3-5 years.
Home Remedies
Common natural remedies include:
• Dehumidifiers
How to Fight Allergies Daily
Parents can see how their child’s allergies will act up that week by checking the pollen count.
Simply Google “pollen count” or visit a pollen forecast site.
Does your child need a pollen allergy consultation? Request an appointment at Pediatrix.

Posted in Blog on March 12th, 2018

Heat Rash

What are those smallbumps you see on your baby or child’s skin? They’re from a common
condition called heat rash, or prickly heat. It’s normally harmless, easily treatable, and shouldn’t
cause any panic. However, it can be bothersome for the child and possibly a sign of something
more serious.
What Does it Look Like?
Heat rash happens on clothed parts of the body–abdomen, neck, upper chest, groin, and armpits.
This is because these areas are the least ventilated. Heat rash takes the form of tiny bumps,
usually in the folds, surrounded by red skin.
Why Does it Happen?
The reason for heat rash is in its name—hot weather. When the ducts from your child’s sweat
glands become blocked, the skin becomes irritated and red. The child may feel an itchy, stinging
sensation.
Dos and Don’ts
There are several methods parents can use to treat their child’s heat rash. Most involve cooling
the skin.
Dos
• Remove your child from the heat
• Run a cool bath or shower for the child
• Move your child to an airconditioned or chilly room
• Fan the affected area
• Use baby powder the soothe the rash. Be careful not to overdo it and block the pores.
Don’ts
• Ointment or cream may irritate the skin even more
• Scratching the skin could cause an infection
Prevention
Your child’s clothes are adorable, but they could be the reason for heat rashes in Phoenix
weather.
• Don’t overdress your child. Keep layering to a minimum.
• Avoid heavy, unbreathable, or tight fabrics.
• Make sure you’re not covering your child in too many blankets.
When it’s More Than a Heat Rash
You need to call a physician if:
• The rash pursues after 3 or more days
• The rash takes on a purple or bruise like appearance
• Your child has a fever or chills
• The rash creates blisters or scabs
• Pus is draining from rash
• Your child had swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck, or groin
If you have concerns about your child’s skin, request an appointment here at Pediatrix.

Posted in Blog on March 9th, 2018