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Tag: phoenix emergency physicians


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

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