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Tag: childrens doctor phoenix


Child Car Safety

Car accidents are the number one cause of death for children ages 1 to 12 in the United States. By choosing the properly fitted seat for your child, you could potentially save their life in a crash. The chance of death when in a car seat goes down 71 percent, which is a hugely significant decrease; therefore, Pediatrix, a state-of-the art pediatric facility with quality children’s doctors in Phoenix, urges parents to become educated on child car safety.

Because you never know when an accident is going to occur, you should strap your child in every time you travel; no exceptions. This will not only keep them safe, but will also teach them the good habit of wearing a seatbelt anytime they ride in a vehicle.

Our children’s doctors in Phoenix would like to share the following guideline to choosing a seat that is best for your child’s age, height and weight:

Newborn – 12 Months: For babies in this age group, rear facing car seats should always be used. There are 3 types of rear facing seats: infant only, convertible and 3-in-1.

Ages 1 to 3: Keeping your child in the rear facing position is the best way to keep them safe. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats have higher height and weight limits in the rear-facing position, so you can use the seat for a longer time. These types of car seats are perfect for toddlers in this age group. You should keep your child in a rear facing seat until they reach the height and weight limit listed by the manufacturer.

Ages 4 – 7: At this stage, your child can now begin using a forward facing car seat with a harness up until they reach the height and weight limit. After that, your child can be moved to a belt positioning booster seat.

Age 8 – 12: Children should remain in a booster seat until they are able to fit safely in a normal car seat belt. The lap belt should lie across the upper thighs while the shoulder belt should lie across the shoulder and chest. If the belt is positioned at your child’s stomach, neck or face, a booster seat is still the best seating option.

As a parent, you should know when to switch out one car seat for another to make sure that your child is safe when traveling by car. Also, read all of the car seat manufacturer’s installation instructions and your vehicle’s owner manual. This will help you to properly install the car seat. In addition to choosing and installing the proper seating, all children 12 years old and under should also sit in the back seat.

Pediatrix, your local children’s doctor in Phoenix, understands the pressures of parenting and knows that you may have concerns about child car safety. Our children’s doctors in Phoenix are always available to answer any questions you may have about the health and safety of your child. Please call (602) 866-0550 or contact us online to learn more about our expert children’s doctors in Phoenix.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD FAAP

Posted in Blog on December 10th, 2012

How to Soothe the Pain of Teething

Teething normally begins anywhere between 3 months and 12 months of age, starting with the two lower front teeth. The lower front teeth are then followed by the upper front teeth 1 to 2 months later. Teeth continue to come in until the child is about 30 months old, which is the age when all 20 primary teeth (also called baby teeth) should be grown in.

Teething is a process that takes time and can be painful for your child. Before a tooth pokes through, the tissue around the tooth can become swollen and sore due to the pressure against the skin of the gum. The pain typically occurs for 3 to 5 days before the tooth cuts through, before disappearing altogether.

Infants who are teething can show the following behavior in reaction to the pain of a new tooth:

  • Bite their fingers or toys
  • Refuse food
  • Become irritable
  • Drool, causing rashes on the chin, face and chest areas
  • Experience difficulty falling asleep

It’s hard for any parent to watch their child suffering each time a new tooth is about to grow in. To help ease the pain and fussiness, the following is a list of suggestions:

  • Mild pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (use ibuprofen only if the child is older than 6 months).
  • Using your finger or wet gauze, massage your child’s gum for 1 to 2 minutes. This is soothing and can help break down tissues in the gums.
  • Cold helps to decrease pain and inflammation. Giving your child a frozen wet washcloth to chew will help, as it decreases swelling.
  • Distractions such as rocking, swinging, or playing will help to take your child’s mind off of the pain.
  • Orajel is NOT recommended, as it can have unwanted side effects.

Following these tips will help to ease your child’s pain as they teeth. It’s also recommended that you take your child for their first dentist visit within the first six months of their first tooth. A baby develops quickly during their early months of life, so it’s also important that parents keep up with infant care in Glendale and the Valley area. At Pediatrix, we care for your children as if they’re our own. We provide high quality health care specialized for the different stages of your child’s development and are happy to provide parents with answers to any health related questions. Please call (602) 866-0550 or contact us online to learn more about quality and caring infant care in Glendale and the greater Phoenix area.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on November 26th, 2012

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also referred to as crib death, is the sudden and unexplained death of a baby under a year old. In the United States, SIDS is the number one cause of death in infants between the ages of 1 month and 12 months old, taking 2,500 lives every year.

SIDS typically occurs while a baby is asleep, experiencing no suffering whatsoever. It is scary and worrisome for new parents as the condition comes on quickly and unexpectedly to babies who don’t appear to have any health concerns.  SIDS has been associated with possible abnormalities in the brain that control breathing and arousal of sleep. The syndrome has also been tied to certain sleep environments, which can increase an infant’s risk.

In order to reduce the risk of SIDS, consider the following:

  • Babies should always rest on a firm mattress. Avoid pillows, waterbeds, couches, chairs and other soft surfaces.
  • To prevent rebreathing, avoid placing blankets, comforters, stuffed animals or pillows that could restrict air flow.
  • Keep the room at a comfortable temperature. If a baby gets too warm, they could enter a deeper sleep that may be more difficult to come out of.
  • Breastfeeding helps to build a baby’s immune system and protect from infections.
  • All recommended immunizations should be received as they can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.
  • Infant care in Phoenix should be a priority. Make appointments with a pediatrician regularly for well child checkups.

While it is difficult to know the exact cause for SIDS, taking the above precautions may help to reduce the risk. Visiting with a physician for regular infant care in Phoenix will allow them to evaluate your baby’s growth and development, and detect any conditions or other health issues early on. At Pediatrix, providing expert infant care in Phoenix, we know your children are special to you – they’re special to us too – so we make sure that we are providing specialized medical attention to each and every child in our care to ensure that they lead healthy, fulfilling lives. For infant care in Phoenix, please call Pediatrix at (602) 866-0550 or visit us online today.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on October 19th, 2012

Influenza Vaccines

Every year in the United States, seasonal flu kills 24,000 people and hospitalizes 200,000. Infants and young children, especially under the age of five, make up a significant percentage of this statistic as they are a high risk group for developing flu complications, which typically require hospitalization. It’s best to get your child vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available in your area so that your child will be protected once flu season hits. Keep in mind that it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop after receiving the shot, so keep in contact with Phoenix pediatricians to find out vaccine distribution dates.

In children, the following individuals will be most at risk for severe flu complications:

  • Children under the age of five, and especially under the age of two. Those under two typically experience the most severe flu complications.
  • Children with chronic health problems such as asthma or diabetes.
  • Children under 6 months of age. Children should not be vaccinated until they are at least 6 months old, so the best way to protect your baby is to make sure everyone around them has been vaccinated.

Getting a flu shot is the first step in prevention of the flu, which could be potentially life threatening to a child. Last year, 52% of children under the age of 17 received the flu vaccination with a large percentage of children under two making up this statistic. Of the babies and toddlers, aged 6 to 23 months, 75% were vaccinated.

In addition to the vaccine, you and your family should also practice good hygiene to avoid spread of the flu. Don’t cough or sneeze into your hand, but rather into your arm or shirt. Make sure to wash your hands frequently throughout the day using an anti-viral soap. Also, taking antiviral medications can help treat and prevent influenza for those more susceptible to complications.

Flu seasons are unpredictable; they can turn out to be fairly mild to very extreme, so it’s important to prepare your children by getting a flu vaccine prior to the start of the season. The knowledgeable and friendly Phoenix doctors at Pediatrix pride themselves on treating children with only the best care to ensure that they grow happily and healthily. In order to keep your children protected, our Phoenix pediatricians would be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about this upcoming flu season. At Pediatrix, our Phoenix doctors strive for excellence and provide the most specialized care for each child. Please give us a call at (602) 866-0550 or visit us online today.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on October 5th, 2012

Helpful Tips for a Healthy School Year

Between trips to the store for school supplies and new clothing, your child may also require a trip to a pediatrician in Phoenix for school-mandated shots and vaccines before the school year begins. Preparing your child for the upcoming school year shouldn’t stop here however. Here are some tips to help keep your child happy and healthy throughout the school year:

  • Screenings & checkups: In addition to required immunizations, bring your child to a pediatrician in Phoenix to have their eyesight and hearing tested before each school year to ensure they can succeed in their learning environment.
  • Sleep: Elementary-school aged children should get an average 10 to 11 hours of sleep a night. Establishing a set bedtime and sticking to it will get your child used to a routine of going to bed on time, ensuring that they are well rested for the next day.
  • Diet: Without a fuel source, a child’s body cannot fully develop. A healthy breakfast begins your child’s day right and stimulates metabolism.
  • Exercise: Children need 60 minutes of continual exercise daily, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but gym class and after-school programs may not suffice, only 3% of 15 year olds receiving the recommended amount of exercise daily according to Duke Medicine.
  • Safety: Children should not carry over 20% of their body weight to avoid neck and back injuries. Regardless of your child’s normal method of transportation to and from school, make sure children are aware of traffic laws and neighborhood safety.

The experienced pediatricians in Phoenix at Pediatrix are well versed in child wellness, performing necessary examinations and checkups which sustain a child’s health. Affiliate hospitals throughout the valley benefit from the Pediatrix commitment to each of our unique child patients.  Visit a pediatrician in Phoenix at Pediatrix today, call us at (602) 866-0550 or contact us online with any comments, questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD FAAP

Posted in Blog on July 30th, 2012

The Importance of Vaccinations

Historically, parents consulted a Phoenix children’s doctor about immunizations, but the increased use of social media, blogging, and online parenting forums has exposed a number of concerns regarding immunizations that are spreading throughout the parenting community. These hesitations stem from rumors, such as the one stating that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations were linked to autism. Even after the case was declared fraudulent and the physician that started the rumor lost his license, 1 in 4 parents still believe these false rumors, according to KidsHealth.

In 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the highest levels of measles cases in the last 15 years, a majority of cases in individuals without measles immunizations. Parents often ask the physicians at Pediatrix why vaccinations are important, even when the disease is rare or non-existent in the United States. In actual fact, the use of vaccinations is the reason why a disease may be rare or non-existent. As children’s doctors in Phoenix, we advocate the following truths about vaccinations:

  • Community Immunity: When a majority of a community’s population is vaccinated against an infectious disease, the individual risk of contracting said disease is significantly reduced even if unvaccinated.
  • Foreign Considerations: Although a disease may be rare in the United States, other countries may not be so fortunate and the disease could be introduced from a foreign source.
  • Think about the Unvaccinated: Elderly, pregnant women, infants and individuals with a compromised immune system cannot receive certain immunizations. By vaccinating every eligible individual, the chances of an infectious disease being spread is minimized.
  • It’s Required: Some states have immunization requirements, but most schools require all students to be vaccinated prior to enrollment. Speak with your children’s doctor to learn more about school vaccination requirements.

Ensuring your child is current with his or her vaccinations greatly minimizes the risk of succumbing to a preventable disease. The physicians at Pediatrix are experienced with administering vaccinations to the Valley’s children, satisfying school and state requirements while addressing the needs of children and concerns of parents. Call Pediatrix at (602) 866-0550 today or contact us online to schedule an appointment, or learn more about the vaccinations we administer.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD FAAP

Posted in Blog on July 6th, 2012

Tips for a Healthy Summer

To keep children safe and healthy this summer, parents need to understand the risks posed by summer activities.  Unfortunately, summer dangers don’t end with the application of sunscreen.  While UV rays from the sun can be especially damaging to young children, hydration and dietary needs still need to be addressed.  As a parent, prepare your child for the summer by following these guidelines:

  • Eating Healthy:  Incorporating calcium, fiber, carbohydrates, protein and iron into your child’s diet will strengthen bones, promote growth and provide energy for daily activities.
  • Supervision:  Always supervise children around water to maintain safety and prevent life-threatening accidents.  Even if  children can swim well, they must still be supervised since they still run the risk of slipping on wet surfaces, hitting their heads, and falling into the pool.
  • Hydration:  Dehydration can be hard to spot when children are actively playing.  Watch for signs of confusion and sluggishness, as they indicate dehydration.  Pediatricians recommend active children should consume 3-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes.
  • UV Protection:  Learn about sunscreen  to avoid sun damage and apply sunscreen regularly.  Remember that children in and out of water will require frequent sunscreen application.  Depending on where your children are playing, Phoenix pediatricians may also recommend the use of bug spray.

In addition, although your child may be excited that school has ended, maintaining a sleep schedule and limiting TV time  are important for healthy development.  For any specific concerns about your child and their health this summer, don’t hesitate to contact your Phoenix doctors at Pediatrix.  Call the Pediatrix office at (602) 866-0550 or contact us online with any questions or concerns about your child’s health.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD FAAP

Posted in Blog on June 26th, 2012

Watch Your Kids around Water

Summer temperatures have settled on the valley, and with kids out of school, over 90% of families with young children will spend some time this summer in the water; almost half (48%) plan to swim at a place with no lifeguard. Drownings can happen year round, but accidents during the summer months can increase up to 89% compared to the rest of the year.  Whether at home or on vacation, keeping your child safe when they are in, or near, water should be your highest priority.  Following these water safety tips provided by the Red Cross and your local Phoenix children’s doctor, as well as always maintaining vigilant supervision of your children around water, will help to keep them safe this summer.

Practice Water Safety

  • Swim in areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Never allow anyone to swim alone. Ensure that each child learns how to swim well and unassisted.
  • Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water.
  • Do not rely on life jackets or flotation devices.

Maintain Constant Supervision

  • If you have a pool, secure it with proper fencing. Keep gates closed and ensure that the latch is out of children’s reach or use a lock to secure the gate.
  • Actively supervise children, even when a lifeguard is present.
  • Avoid any distractions when supervising children around water.

Know How to Respond in an Emergency

  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds DO count in preventing death or disability.
  • Teach children how to call 911 and recite the home address.
  • Maintain current CPR and First Aid certifications.
  • Keep emergency equipment nearby, including a life ring, cell phone, life jacket, and first aid kit.

Just because a child can swim doesn’t mean accidents can’t happen.  ALL children require active supervision around water; toddlers and weak swimmers should be within the supervisor’s arm length at all times.

Research indicates that less than two inches of water is enough to drown a child.  Following water safety tips and being prepared for an emergency is the best way to protect your family from water-related accidents.  Pediatrix, your local Phoenix children’s doctors, understands the pressures of parenting and concerns you may have about keeping your children safe during swimming season.  Call Pediatrix today at (623) 869-9080 or contact us online with your child’s health and safety concerns, vaccination needs, newborn care needs or to schedule an appointment.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD FAAP

Posted in Blog on June 14th, 2012

5 Nutrients Every Child Needs Daily

As children grow and develop they require a delicate balance of nutrients to properly develop. But finding this balance and determining which nutrients are needed and in what quantity can be challenging for parents.

Incorporating proper nutrients in to a child’s diet is vital as they grow and develop, physically, emotionally, mentally and socially. While meeting the recommended daily intake of vitamins, special attention should be placed on five key nutrients:

  • Calcium: Leads to the development of strong bones and a healthy heart, nerves and muscles.  Calcium can be found in dairy products, oranges, cereal, tofu, salmon and collard greens.
  • Fiber: Regulates digestion, lowers bad cholesterol, discourages overeating. Beans, whole grains, vegetables, berries and bran cereal are fiber-rich foods.
  • Carbohydrates: Primary source of energy for the body, assists in absorbing calcium, regulates blood sugar. Bananas, as well as whole-wheat bread, whole-grain pasta and berries are a good source of carbohydrates.
  • Protein: Important source of energy, replaces body tissue, supports immune system, helps produce hemoglobin in red blood cells. Protein can be found in seafood, lean beef, dairy, soy, beans and eggs.
  • Iron: Creates red blood cells, supplies oxygen to cells, contributes to muscle and bone development. Iron can be found in shell based seafood, beans, cereal and spinach.

Preparing meals at home that incorporate a mixture of nutrient rich foods will ensure your child receives the vitamins and minerals his or her body requires, giving your child the needed energy to learn and grow. Contact Pediatrix, your pediatrics in Phoenix, today at 602-866-0550 or visit us online to schedule an appointment or to learn more about children’s recommended dietary needs.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on May 24th, 2012