Posts for category: Child's Health

By West End Pediatrics
January 04, 2022
Category: Child's Health
Does My Child Have a UTIWhen bacteria enter the bladder or the kidneys this can result in a urinary tract infection. Unfortunately, UTIs are quite common in infants and kids, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms so that you can turn to your child’s pediatrician for treatment. After all, a urinary tract infection will not get better without treatment.

There are Two Main Types of Urinary Tract Infections

Children can develop either an upper or a lower urinary tract infection. An upper infection impacts the bladder while a lower infection impacts the kidneys. Some symptoms may be similar, but there are distinguishable differences between the two. Urinary tract infections can be caused by various bacteria, but seven main types of bacteria are most likely to cause UTIs. The bacteria that accounts for the majority of UTIs in children is E. coli.

Know the Risk Factors for Childhood UTIs

If your child has been on antibiotics for a long period of time, or if they have a weakened immune system, these are factors that could increase their risk for developing a UTI. It’s important to speak with their pediatrician to discuss ways to lessen their risk for these infections, particularly if they are dealing with frequent infections. Sometimes, structural abnormalities within the urinary tract can be to blame for UTIs.

Recognize the Signs and Symptoms

To ensure that your child gets the proper medical attention when necessary, you first need to be able to spot the warning signs of a UTI. It can be a bit more challenging to recognize these symptoms in infants and young children who may not be able to tell you the symptoms and issues they are experiencing. UTIs in babies may cause:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Fever
  • Increased irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite (fewer feedings)
  • Exhaustion
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
Older children may exhibit these symptoms,
  • An increased urgency or need to go to the bathroom
  • Pain with urination
  • Wetting the bed
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower back pain (more common in lower urinary tract infections)
If your child is displaying symptoms of a UTI, it’s important that you call their pediatrician right away to schedule an appointment. A round of antibiotic therapy can help to clear up the UTI so they start feeling better right away.
By West End Pediatrics
December 17, 2021
Category: Child's Health
Tags: Constipation  
Your Infant and ConstipationIt’s not typically common for infants to have issues with constipation; however, sometimes it happens. While many babies won’t deal with constipation they may have irregular bowel movements as their bodies naturally try to adjust to a set schedule. If you are concerned it’s always best to talk with your child’s pediatrician. Recognize the real signs of constipation in your infant.

Know the Warning Signs

For your child to truly be dealing with constipation, here are some of the warning signs:
  • Stools that are hard to pass
  • Infrequent stools
  • Excessive straining or straining more than normal
  • Swollen belly with gas
  • Painful stomach cramps
  • Stools that resemble small hard pellets, as well as stools that are too soft
  • Diarrhea-like stools
Treating Constipation in Infants

For an adult, they may simply take an over-the-counter laxative to help them go, but treating constipation in infants is different. You never want to give them an over-the-counter laxative or suppository unless otherwise told by your pediatrician. If your child is old enough to eat solid or strained foods, you may want to increase their fruits and vegetables to increase fiber intake.

If your infant is too young for strained food, give them just a couple of ounces of prune or apple juice each day to see if that helps soften the stools. If the stools are too loose, lessen the amount of juice you’re giving them.

When to See a Pediatrician

It’s important that you call your pediatrician if you are ever concerned about your infant’s health. No question is a silly one, especially when it comes to your child. You should call your pediatrician if you notice blood in your baby’s stool, if home remedies do not improve their constipation, or if your baby is fussy due to stomach cramping or pain.

If your little one is having trouble going to the bathroom, a pediatrician will be able to provide you with the answers you need, as well as tips for how to best address the issue. A pediatrician is going to be invaluable, especially for new parents, as they navigate parenthood. Talk to your pediatrician today.
By West End Pediatrics
December 07, 2021
Category: Child's Health
Tags: Food Poisoning  
Food PoisoningFood poisoning isn’t just a problem that impacts adults. It can also affect children, too. While, as a parent, you may be used to dealing with vomiting or diarrhea, food poisoning is a whole new animal. Since children under five don’t have a fully developed immune system they are often most susceptible to food poisoning. When germs or bacteria get into the foods and drinks we consume, these bacteria and germs cause toxins that result in food poisoning.

What are the warning signs of food poisoning?

Food poisoning can be confused with other health issues and infections such as the “stomach bug”, so it’s important to recognize the symptoms and to call your child’s pediatrician if you are concerned. How quickly symptoms appear will depend on the germ or bacteria that your child has ingested. Some children may develop symptoms as quickly as 1-2 hours after consuming the contaminated food or beverage, while it may take weeks for symptoms to develop in other children.

The most common symptoms of food poisoning in children include:
  • Stomach cramping and pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Malaise
  • Fever
  • Headache
What are the most common types of food poisoning?

Some of the bacteria that are most responsible for food poisoning include,
  • Salmonella
  • Ecoli
  • Campylobacter
  • Listeria
  • Staphylococcus aureus
While germs are most often found in animal-based products, unwashed fruits and vegetables can also carry germs. Even water can be contaminated. Children with weakened immune systems, as well as those with chronic health problems, are more at risk for foodborne-related illnesses.

How is food poisoning treated?

In many cases, food poisoning will simply run its course and your child will feel better after a few days. Make sure that they are resting and staying hydrated. If your child is dealing with a more severe form of food poisoning your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics. If your child is also showing signs of dehydration, it’s important that you call your pediatrician right away.

If your child is displaying symptoms of food poisoning it’s important that you talk with your pediatrician to find out if your child should come in for a visit. While food poisoning will often just run its course and go away on its own, your child may require antibiotics if they are dealing with a severe bacterial bout of food poisoning.
By West End Pediatrics
September 22, 2021
Category: Child's Health
Tags: Cleft Lips   Cleft Palate  
Cleft LipsThe day your child is born is one of the most exciting moments in a parent’s life. Of course, finding out your precious newborn has a cleft lip or palate can make things a little more complicated. Luckily, a pediatrician can help you determine the best way to treat your child’s cleft lip or cleft palate to put your mind at ease.
 
Why should a cleft lip or cleft palate be treated?

A cleft lip and palate can present many challenges if left untreated including serious hearing, speech, and swallowing problems. As you can imagine, a cleft lip or palate can affect a child’s speech. Children born with these birth defects are also more likely to deal with recurring ear infections and even hearing loss. By repairing this birth defect as soon as possible we can minimize these issues.

Most children will undergo a cleft lip repair between 3-6 months old, while children will often get a cleft palate repair within the first 12 months. Consequent surgeries may be required later on depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of the defect.
 
How is a cleft lip and palate treated?

Surgery is the only way to correct a cleft lip or palate. The goal of this surgery is to not only improve your child’s appearance but also make it easier for them to speak, chew, or hear. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so your child will be asleep throughout the procedure.

To repair a cleft lip, a surgeon will make incisions on both sides of the defect and then stitch the two pieces of tissue together to close the gap, which will greatly improve the shape and appearance of your child’s lip. A cleft palate repair is also performed under general anesthesia and involves making incisions on both sides of the palate to restructure and rebuild the roof of the mouth.
 
If your child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate and you want to talk to us about their treatment options, then turn to your pediatrician to learn more. Your pediatrician is always here to provide you and your little one with the best care possible.
By West End Pediatrics
July 16, 2021
Category: Child's Health
Vitamin DVitamin D deficiency is incredibly widespread in the US, and not just with adults! In fact, about one in 10 children in the US are deficient in vitamin D and as many as 60 percent could have “suboptimal levels” of vitamin D, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. This is why all pediatricians need to screen children for a vitamin D deficiency, as this can impact bone growth, metabolism, and multiple organs and systems.
 
The Importance of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is critical for all of us, but especially children. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, as well as for the support and development of a healthy body. Children with severe vitamin D deficiencies may develop muscle weakness, delayed motor development, rickets, and fractures.
 
Where to Get Vitamin D

Unlike most vitamins, which we can often get through diet alone, vitamin D is acquired through time spent in the sun. You won’t find many foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Unfortunately, if you’re in a place that doesn’t get much sunlight then chances are good your child may not be getting enough vitamin D.

Children get about 80 percent of their vitamin D from sunlight. So if your child doesn’t spend much time outdoors (especially during the winter months) it’s a good idea to talk with your pediatrician about ways to ensure that your child is getting enough vitamin D.

Children with certain health problems such as cystic fibrosis or celiac disease, as well as children who’ve undergone bone surgeries may require more vitamin D. This is something you should discuss with your pediatrician. Children over 1-year-old need at least 600 IU of vitamin D (or more) a day. Ideally, children should get around 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day.

We also know that too much time in the sun can also pose risks for children, especially their skin. During the summer months, children only need a few minutes a day in the sun to get enough vitamin D. During the winter months, kids should get about 2-3 hours per week. Children under 6 months old should never be placed in direct sunlight.

Children with darker skin will also need to spend more time in the sun to produce the same levels of vitamin D as kids with lighter skin. Just sitting inside near windows won’t be enough for your child’s body to produce vitamin D.
 
Nothing is more important than keeping your child healthy. If your child hasn’t been checked for a vitamin D deficiency, you must talk with your pediatrician to find out if this screening is right for them. Fortunately, if you find out that your child is deficient, it’s an easy fix!


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