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Tag: pediatricians in glendale az


Car Seat Rules and Regulations

As a parent, it is your job to keep your child as safe as possible, especially when traveling in the car. This area of child safety is often tricky for parents to navigate as there is a lot of misinformation out there about appropriate car seats for toddlers and children. Following this misinformation, a number of parents decide on car seats solely by the age of their child, which may be unsafe.

Children that are of the same age can vary greatly in size, which makes age alone a poor deciding factor in choosing a safe car seat. In order to provide the best safety while in the car, other factors must also be taken into account, including the height and weight of the child. It is best to follow the height and weight limitations from the car seat manufacturers as opposed to basing car seat choices on age.

Pediatricians in Glendale AZ and the surrounding areas would like to provide this guideline to help you best protect your children during car travel:

  • Infants/Toddlers. The first seat that your infant or toddler will start out with is a rear facing car seat, which they should stay in until at least the age of two. If your toddler reaches this age, and hasn’t reached the maximum height and weight limit, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics and North Phoenix pediatricians recommend that you continue to use this seat as rear facing seats provide five times better protection in the event of a crash.
  • Toddlers/Preschoolers. When your child reaches the safety limits of their rear facing car seat, North Phoenix pediatricians recommend that you switch to a forward facing car seat with a harness. This seat should be used as long as possible up to the height and weight limitations provided by the car seat manufacturer.
  • School Aged Children. After your child outgrows their forward facing car seat with harness, you can then move them to the next stage in seating: a booster seat. Regardless of age, it is important that children remain in booster seats until the actual vehicle lap and shoulder seatbelts fit properly. Children are typically able to graduate from booster seats upon reaching a height of approximately 57 inches.
  • Older Children. Once children are heavy and tall enough to use vehicle seatbelts, pediatricians in Glendale AZ recommend that they sit in the back until at least the age of thirteen. Airbags in the front seats that deploy during an accident for safety purposes can actually severely injure or kill children that are not of the appropriate size. Speak with your North Phoenix pediatricians to learn when your child can safely sit in the front.

Following the above guideline will help you to offer the greatest protection for your child in the event of a car accident.

In addition to the guideline, also visit with the North Phoenix pediatricians at Pediatrix for regular well child check ups. During these well child check ups, you can receive expert advice from your pediatrician about appropriate car seats for your child’s height and weight as well as other health and safety information. Our North Phoenix pediatricians also provide a variety of quality medical services, including immunization screening, administration of immunizations, treatments and procedures. To schedule an appointment for well child check ups, call Pediatrix at (602) 866-0550 or contact us online.

Posted in Blog on August 15th, 2014

Is Full Fat Milk Healthier?

North Phoenix pediatricians, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association, have long held the belief that the healthiest milk choice for children two years and older is skim or low-fat, such as 1%. Pediatricians in Glendale AZ and other areas recommend such milk choices for patients as higher fat milk has more calories from saturated fat, which may contribute to weight gain in individuals. New studies, however, are challenging these beliefs.

Dr. Willet of the Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. David Ludwig of the Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital conducted a study on low-fat versus high-fat milk, and found the following conclusions:

  • Children across every ethnicity and socioeconomic class that drank skim or 1% milk were actually heavier on average than children that drank 2% and whole.
  • Diets filled with low-fat foods, such as skim and 1% milk, may actually leave kids feeling hungrier. As such, they tend to reach for high glycemic food to fill their stomachs, which contributes to obesity and heart-disease risk factors.
  • The widely accepted recommendation of three servings of milk a day by North Phoenix pediatricians and other members of the medical community is healthy; however, it is better to choose higher fat milk, such as 2% or whole.

While high fat milk does have more saturated fat, it may actually be healthier for children according to the above study. Before swapping out the milk in your refrigerator though, make sure to consult with pediatricians in Glendale AZ and the surrounding area.

If you are interested in learning more about health and nutrition, including the type of milk that is most healthy for your children, consider scheduling a visit at Pediatrix, one of the top pediatricians in Glendale AZ and the metro Phoenix area. We offer a variety of specialty services tailored to meet the specific needs of your child, including well child check ups, immunization screenings, lab work and other medical treatments, as well as health tips and resources. To schedule an appointment with our North Phoenix pediatricians, call Pediatrix at (602) 866-0550 or contact us online.

Posted in Blog on June 27th, 2014

Helping Kids Deal with Fear of Shots

Taking your kids to North Phoenix pediatricians for their immunizations can be an incredibly nerve-racking experience for both parent and child. As a parent, however, it is important that you put your own emotions aside, focusing instead on calming your anxious and fearful child.

The following is a list of tips, sorted by age group, for you to consider when taking your child to pediatricians in Glendale AZ or other areas for their immunizations:

  • Babies. Babies most likely aren’t aware of the shots that their pediatricians are about to administer during well child check ups, but it is still important that you help to keep them calm immediately leading up to the event. North Phoenix pediatricians recommend that parents soothe the baby by holding and cuddling them, breastfeeding or providing them with a bottle and talking to them in a soothing voice.
  • Toddlers. When bringing your toddlers to North Phoenix pediatricians for their immunizations, it is best to keep them distracted. Read them books, sing or continuously ask them questions to help keep the atmosphere light and fun. Also, make sure that you dress your child in simple clothing, removing anything with long sleeves prior to heading back to the exam room so as to reduce anxiety leading up to the shot. When it comes time for the shot to be administered, never pin your child down, but rather hold them firmly against your body. Once it’s over, immediately reward them with a treat, such as a toy or candy.
  • Young Children. Before taking young children in for immunizations during their well child check ups, consider sitting them down and explaining the vaccination process as well as the purpose. Instead of focusing on pain, explain to your child how going to the doctor will help them to grow up to be healthy and strong. There will likely be resistance, including tears, which you should address calmly and with compassion. During and after shots, make sure to provide your child with plenty of hugs, and maybe even a treat.

Taking the above tips into consideration will help you and your child to have the best possible immunization experience with North Phoenix pediatricians.

To ensure that your child is growing up healthy, it is essential that you follow the appropriate schedule for well child check ups and immunizations. At Pediatrix, our North Phoenix pediatricians will help to keep your child on track health wise with immunization screenings, treatments, and procedures. In addition to our excellence in medicine, we also offer a warm, welcoming environment for children to help ease some of the fear and anxiety commonly associated with visits to the doctor’s office. To make an appointment with Pediatrix for quality well child check ups, call (602) 866-0550 or contact us online.

Posted in Blog on May 23rd, 2014

Everyone has Feelings

Talking to your son or daughter about how they are feeling is very important.  A few helpful tips can help make dealing with these situations easier:

For Parents:

  •  Spend time with your children as a family, and ask them how they have been feeling.  If a concern arises about signs of depression, seek medical attention/advice.
  • If your child is involved with a stressful situation give them ideas for how to deal with the situation.  Examples could be getting involved in a stress relieving activity like yoga, working out, playing games, reading a book, or focusing on an activity that your child really enjoys.

For Kids:

  • Get involved in an activity where you help other people.  Being involved with an activity where you give your time toward helping others improves your well being, and puts some of the problems you are focusing on into perspective.
  • Form good, solid relationships- not only with your parents and siblings, but with friends at school.  Being around a core group of people that share your values and act as positive role models for each other is important for your overall well being.
  • Remember, everyone gets angry sometimes.  It is important to talk through your feelings and come up with appropriate resolutions to the conflict that has occurred.  Also, it is important to try to understand the other persons point of view.

Always remember that you can talk about things that are bothering you with your Pediatrician at Pediatrix.Sincerely,

Michael Magalnick, DO, FAAP

Posted in Blog on January 31st, 2013

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

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

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!

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on October 25th, 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

The Case for Eating Healthy

This is Part 1 in a 3-part series of eating healthy to prevent obesity and related health problems.

As a society, we are constantly trying to improve our health and the health of our children by making and encouraging healthier food choices and exercising to maintain or lose weight. Despite our best intentions, the rates of childhood and adult obesity have skyrocketed over the last 20 years.  To put this into perspective, Arizona’s obesity rates have gone from 10-14% in 1992 to well over 25% in 2012.  That is astounding.  We all hear about eating right and the importance of exercising; in fact, I have this conversation with my patients several times each day.   Unfortunately, no matter how much information I give, patients’ success rates for weight reduction are very low.  I have heard all the excuses:  “We try to eat healthy, but it’s too expensive”, “I exercise a lot without any results”, “We don’t have time to cook our own meals”, “We’ve tried a high protein diet or a low fat diet and to limit calories”. None of these excuses works to help patients permanently lose weight and the excuses only perpetuate the obesity problem.

 

While it may surprise you, I do not think portion size, lack of exercise, fast food and soda are the only culprits to blame in the obesity epidemic.  This summer I researched this topic further and have discovered that as our consumption of meat and dairy products has risen, so has our nation’s obesity level.  While some studies may be tedious for parents to read, there are a variety of easy to view documentaries on the subject.  My favorite is the documentary Forks Over Knives.  This is a game changer.  The researchers in this movie advocate a whole food, plant based diet—that is, a vegan diet.  I must admit, the very word “vegan” scared me.  With a vegan diet, individuals do not consume any animal products, which means no meat, fish, eggs or dairy.  What?  Give up meat, milk and my most beloved cheese?  How could I do that, much less ask my patients to do it?  After looking further into the issue and trying the vegan diet for myself, I have to say it makes a lot of sense.  All of the cholesterol and bad fats we consume are from animal products and processed foods.  Meat, including poultry, contains cholesterol.  When we eat meat, we also eat this cholesterol, which becomes a part of our bloodstream.  You may hope to avoid this by switching to fish, but this leads to other concerns, as many types of fish contain dangerously high levels of mercury.  Moreover, research is showing that meat and dairy products contain antibiotics and growth hormones, which are directly absorbed by those who consume these foods: us and our children.

 

But what about protein?  Don’t we, and our children, need protein?   We hear a lot about the need for protein from meat and dairy products.  While we do need this nutrient, the truth is that we don’t need nearly as much protein as we as a society presently consume.  Our consumption of meat per capita has increased dramatically in just the past 20-25 years.  Yet, our high protein meat based diets have not succeeded in improving obesity rates.  Substituting plant-based proteins for meat can still give us the nutrition our bodies need, with less health risk.  For instance, cultures with low consumption of meat and high consumption of plant-based foods typically have very low obesity rates.  Even if you do not want to become completely vegan, moving to a vegan diet 2 days, 3 days or even 6 days a week can help achieve weight loss and overall health.   Remember that this dietary change is a lifestyle change.   A plant-based diet can lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and risk for type II diabetes.  As a pediatrician, I am starting to see children with these issues.  The last thing I would ever want to do is put any of my patients on anti-hypertensive drugs and cholesterol reducing medications or have to treat them for type II diabetes.  Instead of prescribing medications for conditions related to unhealthy eating, I would rather prescribe healthy eating to prevent illness and obesity.

 

Part 2 of this series will discuss what to eat and the surprisingly low cost of eating healthy.

 

If you have a child with weight problems or would like to learn more about healthy eating, schedule an obesity or nutrition consultation with me at pediatrixmd.com or call for an appointment.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on August 31st, 2012