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Tag: Pediatricians phoenix


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

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

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on February 2nd, 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

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on January 5th, 2012

Sugar & Weight, Choosing a Healthy Diet for Your Child

As a pediatrician in Phoenix, I often see children drinking sports drinks.  What’s shocking to me is that these drinks often contain more than twice the recommended daily sugar for an adult!  This is just one example of a growing epidemic of including too much sugar in a child’s diet.  It is important to understand the impact a child’s sugar intake has on their weight and overall health. When making nutritional choices, parents should keep in mind that calories from sugar add up quickly and over time can lead to weigh gain and other severe health issues.

Let’s differentiate between natural sugar and added sugar.  Natural sugar is found in unprocessed items exactly as they would be found in nature, such as the sugar in a strawberry.  Added sugar is any additional sugar that is added to foods during preparation.  Sugar additives and sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and fructose are frequently added as a preservative in processed foods.  Do not be misled—even foods that do not taste sweet have these ingredients.  For instance, many varieties of crackers contain high fructose corn syrup although you would not classify them as sugary foods.

There are three main sources of sugar in a child’s diet.  Soda and sports drinks can contribute up to 30% of added sugar intake for your child.  Obvious sweets like cake, cookies, and ice cream are the second source of sugar in your child’s diet.  Both of these sources of sugar are fairly obvious, but it takes a very savvy consumer to recognize the third.  Through hidden sugar sources you may be unknowingly adding a significant amount of sugar into your child’s diet. Often advertised as healthy, items like granola bars, yogurt, trail mix, and soy milk mislead consumers about their sugar content.  Therefore, it is imperative that you read nutrition labels as well as the list of ingredients on a product.  The closer sugar is to the beginning of the list, the more sugar there is the food product.

The World Health Organization recommends that less than 10% of calories in a diet should come from added sugar.  Obviously, the most foolproof way of directing your child to healthy snacks is to provide them only healthy choices.  To curb your child’s sweet tooth, start by replacing some of their mid-day sweets with natural sugar and an item high in protein, like strawberries and a cheese stick.  The natural sweetness of the fruit will help curb their taste for sugar, while the protein in the cheese stick will leave them feeling fuller for longer, reducing the temptation to eat a sugary snack a few minutes later.

Desserts and treats can still be enjoyed—but in moderation.  A healthy diet is all about balance. Completely eliminating all sugar from a diet is unrealistic, but providing and encouraging healthy meals and snacks, teaching good eating habits, and saving sweets for special occasions will benefit your child’s health significantly.

If you are concerned about your child’s sugar intake or weight, please contact your pediatrician at Pediatrix.  Make an appointment to discuss healthy nutrition options for your child.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on December 22nd, 2011

Giving Safe Toys for the Holidays

While children are writing their lists to Santa, parents are writing out their holiday gift list. While your child may ask for a specific toy, it may be hazardous to their health. Just because a toy is on the market does not guarantee it is safe—it is your job as a parent to be an educated consumer.

Here is a SAFE TOYS acronym to help parents select appropriate toys:

  • Small Pieces – If you have young children, avoid toys with small parts. A general rule of thumb is if your child is younger than three, do not purchase toys with pieces smaller than an empty toilet paper roll.
  • Appropriate Content – Be mindful of the age of the child receiving the gift. From video game violence to the content of a book series, take into account the child’s perspective and how the material will be received.
  • Flying Objects – Toy planes and model rockets can be a lot of fun if used correctly and under proper supervision. When used incorrectly they have the potential to cause serious damage and injuries.
  • Electrical Toys – Toys that plug in put your child at risk of electrical shock and burns. Select battery operated models instead. Just remember that batteries are small pieces.
  • Toxic Chemicals – Children’s toys have been found to contain dangerous levels of chemicals of concern such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Research toys before purchasing to ensure their safety.
  • Open Packages – Never purchase a toy if the package has been opened or tampered with.
  • You’ll shoot your eye out, kid” – Remember Ralphie from the classic movie, A Christmas Story, who wants a BB gun for Christmas? From BB guns to Nerf guns, these toys do have the potential to cause harm. If a child does receive a gift that ‘shoots,’ remind them that it should never be aimed at anyone’s head, younger children, or pets.
  • Sharp edges – avoid toys that have sharp edges or the potential to cause abrasions. Parents should also be careful when opening packaging, as this too can be dangerous.

 

Keeping your family safe and healthy should always remain a priority. Please contact Pediatrix if you have any specific holiday health concerns for your child.

Pediatrix offers resources on safety recalls to ensure that your child’s toys are safe year-round.

Pediatrix physicians are available after office hours during the week and on weekends and holidays. If you have a non-urgent matter, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours. To contact the physician on call, please call (602) 866-0550.

 

Have a safe holiday season.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD

Posted in Blog on December 8th, 2011