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Tag: pediatric clinic phoenix

Let’s Talk About Teeth

When it comes to pediatrics in Phoenix, dental health and hygiene are one of the most important areas to focus on in regards to the health of children. Receiving the proper care and developing dental hygiene habits are essential from a young age. The following are a few facts and tips to help keep you and your kids smiling:

  • There are 20 primary teeth that erupt between the ages of 6 months and 3 years of age. The first tooth to appear is one of the bottom center teeth, typically around 6 months old. These primary teeth are not permanent, and children usually begin losing these teeth around the age of 4 or 5 years. If your child has not received their first primary tooth by the age of 18 months, consult with a Pediatrix pediatrician in Phoenix.
  • There are 32 permanent teeth that erupt between the ages of 6 and 21 years old. The first of these teeth to grow in are the center teeth, on the top or bottom, between about 6 to 8 years of age. The last to erupt will be the secondary molars, more commonly known as wisdom teeth. Speak with your pediatrician in Phoenix to learn more about the effects that wisdom teeth may have on your child’s mouth.
  • Set up a schedule to ensure that your children are brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. If your child is too young to brush their own teeth, use a clean, wet washcloth or soft child sized toothbrush with water only to clean the teeth. Children aged 2 to 6 should attempt to brush their own teeth using a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Make sure they understand that the toothpaste must be spit out and not swallowed. Most children are able to brush their own teeth with no assistance around the age of 6. Flossing may take additional time, and is more likely achieved around the age of 10 years old.
  • Schedule an appointment to see your dentist at least twice a year for a dental exam and cleaning. Our Pediatrix pediatricians in Phoenix recommend scheduling your first dental visit after your child has reached 12 months of age.
  • If your child has trauma in the mouth or has had a tooth knocked out, the tooth should be held in their inner cheek area with pressure from the tongue. If this is not possible, place the tooth in milk or a saline based solution. After any traumatic incidents, seek immediate medical evaluation from a dentist or pediatrician in Phoenix.
  • If your child participates in sports, Phoenix pediatricians would encourage them to wear a mouth guard. This piece of gear significantly minimizes mouth related injuries during sporting events.

Teaching your child the basics of dental hygiene will give them the tools to achieve good dental health for the rest of their life. Establishing daily dental routines and visiting with a dentist and pediatrician in Phoenix will help your child to maintain a healthy, happy smile. Please feel free to discuss any questions or concerns with a physician at Pediatrix, your state-of-the-art pediatric clinic in Phoenix. Call Pediatrix at (602) 866-0550 or contact our Phoenix pediatricians online. Our pediatric clinic in Phoenix is dedicated to the health and happiness of your children, and is always more than willing to address any questions that you may have. We look forward to your visit!


Michael Magalnick, DO, FAAP

Posted in Blog on February 15th, 2013

Be Prepared for Flu Season This Winter

As winter approaches, pediatricians in Phoenix notice a sharp rise in the number of flu cases.  Flu is highly contagious; only a brief moment of contact with an infected individual can transmit the flu virus. Because the illness is so contagious, it can easily spread rapidly, moving through a geographical area or even causing worldwide pandemics.

Flu is spread among people in close quarters, typically within six feet of one another. This makes individuals such as children in classrooms more susceptible to the virus. Flu virus spreads through droplets deposited in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.  It can also spread when a person touches his/her mouth or nose after coming into contact with an object, such as a door handle, infected with the virus.

Influenza is much more dangerous to children than the common cold. On average, 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized due to health complications from the flu. If your child exhibits any of the following flulike symptoms, visit with pediatricians at Pediatrix immediately.

  • Fever up to 104°F
  • Chills or Shaking
  • Fatigue
  • Aching
  • Dry Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Pain

Taking children to your pediatrician at Pediatrix for a flu shot now will decrease their chances of catching dangerous flu viruses come winter. Remember, flu is very easily spread and your child can easily catch it while at school or daycare.

There are three types of influenza viruses: Type A, Type B and Type C. Types A and B cause yearly flu epidemics, while type C viruses cause more mild illnesses. While vaccines can protect your child from type A and B, there is no immunization available for a type C flu virus.

If your child catches a mild strain of flu, the following are some remedies to soothe symptoms:

  • Ample rest, so the body can focus on repairing and healing
  • Plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration caused by fever
  • Children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen to lower fever and ease aches and pains
  • Saltwater nose drops to slow runny noses
  • Humidifier or steamy shower for stuffy noses and coughs

Be prepared this flu season by vaccinating your child at Pediatrix. Also, learn about the symptoms to look for in regards to flu and any dangerous complications it may cause. At Pediatrix, our number one priority is making sure that your child is provided with the best health care and information possible. As always, if you have any questions regarding this upcoming cold and flu season, visit with our qualified, caring pediatricians in Phoenix. Please call (602) 866-0550 or contact us online to learn more about the services provided by our pediatricians in Phoenix.




Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on November 19th, 2012

Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

It’s a child’s favorite holiday: Halloween! In addition to the parties, pumpkin carving and spooky movies, children love getting dressed up in costumes to go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood with friends. While the holiday is a joyous occasion, there are a few things that can make the night a little less than pleasant. In order to make it a fun and safe experience for everyone, our pediatric clinic in Phoenix recommends these trick-or-treating safety tips:

1. Plan a Route

When trick-or-treating, playing it by ear and maneuvering throughout a neighborhood can take you far away from home and even cause you to become lost.  Plan out a route in advance that you are familiar with and make sure it is a suitable walking distance for your child.

2. Wear Comfortable Shoes

Children should wear comfortable shoes that fit well, such as tennis shoes.  Make sure the laces are double knotted to avoid dealing with the hazard of untied shoelaces.

3. Be Visible

You are going to be wandering around in the dark, so make sure you carry a flashlight to light a pathway for you and your child. This will help you to avoid incidences, such as tripping over an unseen raised sidewalk, and will make you visible to other trick-or-treaters and drivers.

4. Wear Fitted Costumes

Make sure that costumes fit well to avoid frustration with clothing that is too tight or constantly slipping and falling down. Also make sure to hem any costumes that are dragging on the ground as these can cause tripping.

5. Avoid Accessories

Props with sharp points, such as wands or swords, should be avoided as they can injure your child or another child.

6. Candy Check

After you return to your house from trick-or-treating, dump out your child’s candy on a table or counter and throw out anything that is unwrapped or not in its original wrapper.

Following the above tips will ensure that you and your child stay safe while trick-or-treating this Halloween. At Pediatrix, an established pediatric office in Phoenix, we promote healthy habits for every child in our care. With a huge variety of candy freely available after trick-or-treating, your child’s eyes may be larger than their stomach. To avoid a sugar rush, our pediatric office in Phoenix recommends limiting your child to a couple pieces of candy per day. If you would like to put your child on the track to a healthy future, call a representative at our pediatric office in Phoenix at (602) 866-0550 or contact us online today to speak with a qualified representative. We wish you a safe and spooktacular Halloween!




Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on October 25th, 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.




Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on October 5th, 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.




Subir K. Mitra, MD FAAP

Posted in Blog on June 26th, 2012

Limiting your Child’s Screen Time

Screen time refers to the amount of time spent watching a television, computer, game console, or cell phone screen.  With the increased usage of media, the average screen time has risen drastically from just a generation ago.  An increasing number of pediatricians urge parents to recognize that high amounts of screen time can have several negative results, including:

  • Health – Excessive time spent in front of the computer or a television means less time spent doing other activities such as playing sports, interacting with peers, or developing outside interests. If your child’s school does not have a physical fitness program, your child may be at additional risk for developing obesity.
  • Academics – Children who watch excessive amounts of TV will often shirk academic responsibilities for the appeal of media.  Setting a strict school-first policy with your child can help correct this, in addition to limiting the overall amount of time allowed to watch TV.  If allowed, children will often choose to stay up late to watch television, resulting in less sleep and tiredness while at school the next day. Even one hour of lost sleep can prevent your child from focusing and retaining information.
  • Social – The average 8 to 18-year-old spends over 7 hours interacting with media every day.  Children who choose to watch television or play computer games rather than interact with friends may struggle with social development. This can create social anxiety, bullying and behavioral problems.

Some television viewing can be productive; there are many educational programs on various broadcasting stations that can provide historical, cultural and educational benefits for viewers.  Encourage your children to watch these programs and watch with your child to enjoy them together.  Likewise, if you have a game console or computer with games for your child, play those games together and limit the time played.  Otherwise, limiting screen time is the best way to negate the development of potentially harmful side effects.

If you are concerned about the time your child spends with media but do not know how to approach the situation, please contact your pediatric specialist at Pediatrix at (602) 866-0550.




Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on April 26th, 2012

Children’s Antibiotics: Avoiding Overuse

The Phoenix pediatricians at Pediatrix understand a parent’s desire to make their sick child feel better, but prescribing antibiotics may not always be the answer. In fact, in some cases antibiotics can do more harm than good.

Giving a child unnecessary antibiotics does three potentially harmful things:

  • It exposes your child to the drug’s potential side effects.
  • It increases the child’s resistance to antibiotics, so when antibiotics are necessary to treat an infection in the future, a stronger drug may be required.
  • It contributes to antibiotic overuse in the community, which can lead to the growth of new antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria or superbugs.

When visiting your pediatrician with a sick child, keep in mind that some illnesses are caused by viruses, which cannot be treated by antibiotics. Colds, the flu, and chickenpox are all viral infections. Giving an antibiotic to treat a viral infection will do nothing to treat the infection; furthermore, this will kill healthy bacteria, lowering the child’s immune system and making them more susceptible to future bacterial infections.

Of course, there are cases of illness when antibiotics are warranted and should be prescribed to help your child heal. Bacterial infections, strep throat, ear infections, bacterial pneumonia, and bladder infections are typically treated with the use of antibiotics.

Your pediatrician will know what illnesses necessitate the use of antibiotics, but the responsibility to prevent antibiotic overuse is also yours as a parent. As much as you want to make your child’s sniffles or sore throat go away, it is important to resist the urge to ask for antibiotics every time your child is ill.  In addition, never give a child antibiotics that were leftover from a previous prescription or that were prescribed to someone else. Your Phoenix pediatrician will prescribe antibiotics if they will truly help your child.

When antibiotics are prescribed, follow all instructions and always complete the entire course of antibiotics, even if the child feels better before the end of the course. Stopping antibiotic treatment before the cycle of antibiotics is completed allows some bacteria to remain, which could cause your child to get sick again and need another round of antibiotics.

If you have questions or concerns about antibiotic overuse contact Pediatrix, your Phoenix pediatricians.




Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on February 2nd, 2012

The Importance of Exercise

As pediatricians in Phoenix, we at Pediatrix have been increasingly aware that childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic across the country.  Too often parents are late to recognize that their children have become overweight.  Children are developing heart disease, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, which was previously known as “adult onset diabetes.”  Being overweight also affects children’s psychological well being, reducing their self-worth and coping skills. The longer a child is overweight the more likely it is they will be overweight as an adult.  We must take steps to break such an unhealthy cycle.

Like adults, kids need exercise.  Children need at least one hour of physical activity every day. Early childhood is the best time to establish good fitness habits so kids can enjoy exercise rather than learning to avoid it.

Regular exercise helps children

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Develop healthy bones, muscles, and joints
  • Increase self-confidence and self esteem
  • Build a strong immune system
  • Have more energy
  • Reduce anxiety, depression, and improve overall mood
  • Have better quality sleep

Unfortunately, the popularity of video games and television has resulted in a steep decline in children taking part in regular exercise and outdoor activities.  Parents should limit “technology time” and encourage children to play outside.  In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that screen time (television and video games) be limited to 1-2 hours a day.  Including the whole family in outdoor or physical daily activities can set a good example and be fun for everyone.

As pediatricians in Phoenix, we see the many opportunities to get outside and enjoy our beautiful weather.  We encourage you to help your children form healthy habits.  The earlier they learn to make exercise a part of their daily life, the more likely they are to grow up healthy and become active adults.

If you are concerned about your child’s weight or have questions about healthy exercise contact Pediatrix, your pediatricians in Phoenix. Make an appointment to discuss healthy exercise plans for the whole family.




Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on January 5th, 2012