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Tag: pediatricians in phoenix


Healthy Habits To Teach Your Kids, And How To Teach Them

Of all the many influences in your kids’ lives, as a parent you’re still the most influential. You create and reinforce habits, like visiting the doctor or pediatrician in Phoenix, Arizona regularly and getting flu shots, from the very beginning. You reinforce habits over a long period of time via praise and attention. Any pediatrician in Phoenix, Arizona, or elsewhere, will tell you that it is extremely important to model healthy habits for your kids, especially parents with sick kids. But how do we know what healthy habits to teach them, and how to teach them?

Healthy and Active

Pediatricians in Phoenix, Arizona, and elsewhere, will tell you that one of the most important healthy habits you can teach your kids is to exercise and be physically active. It is no coincidence that childhood obesity has skyrocketed in conjunction with a decrease in kids’ physical activity. Teach kids how to play outside, enjoying our beautiful Phoenix weather, by taking them on bike rides, hikes, and kayak trips. Along with a flu shot, exercise raises immunity against seasonal illness.

Taking Responsibility For Day-to-Day Healthy Living

We can also model, and teach, taking responsibility for our own health. That may mean that parents with sick kids take their children to see their pediatrician in Phoenix, Arizona for well child checks and flu shots. It may mean just washing our hands when we arrive home, and making sure our kids do, too. Teach kids how important sleep is, especially when sick, and model this by sticking to a consistent and early bedtime.

Healthy Eating

Aside from regular visits to your Phoenix pediatrician, getting flu shots, and being active, eating a healthy diet is one of the greatest gifts of health that we can give our kids. Teach them that healthy food with many servings of fresh fruits and veggies is not only good for them but delicious, too. Particularly for parents with sick kids, teach kids to be in tune with when they are hungry and to reach for a protein filled snack to fill them up without spiking blood sugar levels. Teaching kids good, healthy habits takes time, but in the long term it’s well worth the effort you put in.

Posted in Blog on November 7th, 2014

3 Healthy Desserts That Your Kids Will Love!

According to the Centers for Disease Control, and pediatricians in Phoenix, childhood obesity has more than doubled over the past 30 years, and pediatrics care has had to accommodate this problem. It means more sick kids who need pediatrics care, and more unhealthy adults in the future. There are many factors that play into obesity, but diet is one of the major contributors. Pediatricians in Phoenix, and nationally, recommend drastically reducing the amount of sugar that children consume. Here are a few sugar-free desserts that kids will love. They’re so healthy, that even sick kids under pediatrics care can have them.

Avocado & Kale Ice Cream

There’s nothing like kale to pack in a lot of nutrition per serving, including calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C and A—all vitamins that help keep kids from getting sick. The only problem is that it can be hard to get kids to eat it. Try it in this ice cream treat, and they’ll be begging for more.

You’ll need:

1 cup coconut milk

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 avocado

1 cup frozen kale or spinach

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

½ cup plain yogurt

Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender, then freeze for 2-3 hours.

Apple Wedges

For a fun and interactive dessert, try cutting apples into wedges and spreading cream cheese, almond butter, or apple butter on them. Decorate with raisins, nuts, berries, or other dried fruits or seeds. This is a dessert that kids can help make, which always makes it more fun, and tastier, too. Apples provide a sweetness and tartness that is very satisfying when coupled with the healthy fats of nut butters or cream cheese. Apples, including the skin, provide vitamins like C and A, and essential minerals like Potassium, Manganese, and Magnesium, recommended by pediatricians in Phoenix and nationally.

Chocolate Pudding

Dates are a wonderful alternative to sugar. They are naturally sweet, yet are full of minerals and vitamins and easier on the body than sugar because they are a whole food. This pudding uses dates as a sweetener, and coconut cream as a fat.

You’ll need:

1 can coconut milk

5-6 dates, pitted

Baking cocoa

Strain off coconut cream from top of can. Blend all ingredients in a blender. Enjoy!

Eating well is key to staying healthy, minimizing sick days for kids and pediatrics care in general.

Posted in Blog on October 31st, 2014

Tips For Getting Your Child Motivated To Play Outside

The National Association for Sport and Physical Activity recommends that children get at least an hour of physical activity per day. Pediatricians in Phoenix, Arizona, and elsewhere, agree. Well child checks often result in the advice to take your kids outside for physical activity. Learning to enjoy outdoor playtime can promote good habits for a lifetime, so it makes sense that part of the advice pediatricians in Phoenix, Arizona during well child checks  is to start those habits now.

A recent study found that 49 percent of preschool age children are not getting outdoors with a parent at least once a day. Parents with sick kids may find that their children quickly get into the habit of staying indoors for more time with digital media.

Incorporate Outdoor Activity

Probably the best way you can help get your child motivated to play outside, is to go outside with them and to model how much fun outdoor activity can be. Rather than thinking of this as an additional chore to add to your list, find ways to incorporate it into activities you already do.

For example, if you walk or ride a bike to the grocery store, or to do other errands, take the kids along with you. Do you have yard work that you’ve been putting off? Wait until the kids are home from school and take everyone outside. Give them something to plant, or a hole to dig. Parents with sick kids can still put their child in the stroller for a bit of fresh air. Take walks regularly or find a local playground to visit. Make weekend adventures outdoor adventures. Remember that your attitude will largely dictate the attitude your children have towards being outside.

Older Kids Love the Independence

In the Phoenix area we’re lucky to have sunshine and beautiful weather all year. This means that it’s easier to let children play outside. Older children may be motivated by the independence that the outdoors offers. For example, riding a bike alone around the block, or skateboarding to a friend’s house can be great motivation for older children. Make sure that they always wear protective gear and are aware not to talk to strangers. Parents with sick kids can motivate their children to rest now so they have energy for all the outdoor fun they’ll have later. Ask your pediatricians in Phoenix, Arizona, for other tips next time you’re in for a well child check.

Posted in Blog on October 10th, 2014

Preventing Sports Injuries

It’s fall, which means back to school and back to extracurricular sports. Around 30 million children play sports in the United States, and of those more than 3.5 million children, ages 14 or younger, are injured every year playing sports. Some of these injuries are minor, such as sprains or strains, but some are more serious and can have longer lasting consequences. It helps to work with pediatricians in Phoenix who conduct sports physicals to know what the risks are and how you can reduce them.

Understand The Risk

Sports like track and field have less likelihood of collision related incidents, and greater risk of sprains or strains. Sports in which a collision is more likely, have more serious injuries associated with them. Football, soccer, basketball, and volleyball all have the potential for collisions and head injuries.

Make sure that your child wears protective gear at all times while they practice or play, and make sure they understand how serious a head injury can be. Talk to them about playing the sport passionately, but consciously, always being aware of where other players are.

Get Help From Others

Most teams require a sports physical before a child can play. Pediatricians in Phoenix who gives sports physicals can further advise you and your child on best protection policies. A sports physical can be much more than simply a paperwork requirement. It’s a chance for pediatricians in Phoenix to evaluate your child in light of their activities. Your child’s coach is also a key part to avoiding injuries that can come from overexertion or not enough training.

Individual Sports Have Risks, Too

Some children are not as interested in team sports and will opt for independent activities like skateboarding, roller skating, skiing, or snowboarding. These do not require a sports physical, but it’s still a good idea. Make sure that children wear the right helmets and other protective gear whenever they engage in these sports. Protective mouth, eye, elbow and knee gear is also available. Talk to them about not engaging in these activities if they are tired or hungry, since this is when injuries are most likely to occur.

Talk to your pediatrician in Phoenix and make sure sports physicals are part of the routine when preparing for a sports season. Safety ensures that fun can be had by all.

Posted in Blog on September 19th, 2014

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

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

Learning About Sunscreen

Pediatrix understands that outdoor play and a healthy amount of Vitamin D are important for growing kids, but prolonged exposure to the Ultraviolet rays from the sun can become problematic to people of all ages.  Ultraviolet rays are dangerous because they can trigger a chemical reaction within your body’s cells and may cause:

  • Premature aging of the skin
  • Development of skin cancer
  • Development of cataracts

As winter draws to a close, the dangers of the sun and ultraviolet rays become more prominent.  Rising temperatures and longer days attribute to increased sunlight exposure, while the risks to your child increases as well.  No one understands these dangers more than Pediatrix.  You can never be too careful when it comes to the proper skin care in the harsh Arizona climate.

The use of sunscreen is important, but what is just as necessary is a clear understanding of the types of sunscreen and how to properly apply it to your child – of which Pediatrix is here to help.

There are two primary types of sunscreen: physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen.  Physical sunscreen is the more traditional type of sunscreen; it is the type that you squeeze out of the bottle and lather on to the skin, paying close attention to those hard to reach areas.  Physical sunscreen creates a protective layer for your skin, blocking most of the ultraviolet rays from the sun so that the skin cannot absorb them or their harmful properties.

Chemical sunscreen contains organic chemicals and is often squeezed on to the skin just like physical sunscreen.  The key difference between chemical and physical sunscreen is that where physical sunscreen blocks the ultraviolet light from penetrating your skin, the chemical sunscreen absorbs most of the ultraviolet rays, allowing a small fraction to actually reach your skin.

When applying sunscreen to your child, it is important to cover all exposed areas of the skin.  It is also important to use the recommended amount of sunscreen; many people use as little as half the recommended amount of sunscreen by the bottle, so be sure to read the directions clearly!

If you are concerned about your child’s exposure to the sun or have noticed the development of worrisome marks on the skin, please contact your pediatrician at Pediatrix.  Make an appointment to discuss proper sun exposure and the recommended sun protection for your child.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on March 28th, 2012

Junk Food Marketing: How is it influencing your kids?

You may have heard marketers use the phrase ‘Get them while they are young’ when trying to attract new customers. But how young is too young?  Last year the fast food industry alone spent over $300 million to target children and teens as young as two.  The total amount spent marketing junk food products to adolescent and teen-age children?  $2 billion.

Companies selling junk food products are speaking to your children early and often, through a variety of media channels. Their messages are aggressive and relentless, aimed at influencing the dietary choices of society’s youngest consumers. Sugar sweetened drinks and fast food are the unhealthiest products marketed to children. These aggressive marketing strategies are an enormous contributing factor to the skyrocketing rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity among children.

Recent studies have shown that preschool-aged children who have been regularly fed foods high in sugar, salt, and fat, learn to recognize junk food brands and prefer these foods to healthier options. These preferences are often unchanged into adulthood. Preferring junk food to healthy meal choices has long-term health implications, as junk food lacks vitamins and nutrients critical for growth and development. Some studies have even shown a measurable drop in IQ points in children who ate predominately processed foods.

When parents allow marketers to effect how they feed their children, the results can be deadly. Obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even stroke—all diseases that once only affected middle-aged adults—are now impacting children. Young people must consume less calorie rich, sugar sweetened, and nutrient poor, junk food. Parents must monitor the amounts of junk food their children are consuming, and teach children healthy eating habits from a young age.

Junk food companies did get one thing right: if you ‘get them while they are young’ you will have a long-term impact on a child’s tastes and preferences. As a parent it is your responsibility to instill healthy habits while your children are young. Providing nourishing, truly healthy food will have both an immediate and lifelong impact on your child’s health.

To learn more about the dangers of a junk food rich diet contact Pediatrix, your Phoenix pediatricians. Make an appointment to discuss healthy eating habits and complete balanced nutrition for your child with a Phoenix pediatrician.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on January 24th, 2012