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Tag: pediatrics in phoenix


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

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