While there is no cure for asthma, there are ways to manage your child’s asthma symptoms and to reduce the risk for a flare-up. Of course, to be able to properly control your child’s asthma it’s important to understand more about this condition and what triggers your child’s symptoms. A pediatrician will be a valuable asset when it comes to discussing asthma treatment options and addressing any concerns that you might have.
Know Your Child’s Triggers
There are a variety of environmental elements and conditions that can also trigger airway inflammation and lead to an asthma attack. It’s important to figure out what your child’s triggers are so you can avoid them as much as possible. Of course, this is something that your pediatrician can help you determine as well. Common triggers include:
- Outdoor allergens such as pollen and mold
- Indoor allergens such as pet dander
- Viral infections
- Weather changes
Stick With Your Plan
Once a pediatrician has diagnosed your child with asthma, the next step is to create an asthma management plan (also referred to as an action plan). This plan is designed based on your child’s specific triggers to minimize the severity and the frequency of your child’s flare-ups, which also reduces the need for emergency medical care. So, what’s including in an asthma action plan? Here’s what should be in your child’s action plan:
- The medications prescribed to your child, along with how much they take and when they should take them
- Possible triggers
- Pinpointing the early signs of asthma flare-ups and what to do when they occur
- How to handle an asthma attack
- When to seek immediate medical attention
Take Medications as Directed
Medication is the most common way to manage asthma symptoms. Your pediatrician will prescribe a long-term controlling medication that your child will use daily to reduce airway swelling. When signs of a flare-up appear, a quick-acting inhaler can reduce swelling and prevent it from getting worse.
Know Signs of a Flare-up
Once your child has experienced a couple of flare-ups you’ll begin to pick up the warning signs so that you can start to recognize when another one might occur. These warning signs might come in the form of a persistent cough or wheezing. When these symptoms appear it’s important to have your child’s medication readily available.
If your child is showing symptoms and warning signs of asthma it’s important that you bring them in for an immediate medical checkup. Call your pediatrician today to learn more about ways to help your child better control their asthma symptoms.
With the flu season in full swing, it can be difficult to keep you and your child from contracting the virus. The flu season is most active from the months of December and March. A fair amount of people have a misconception that if they are fine now, the flu will not pose a danger to their health if they catch it. While certain groups are more at risk and vulnerable when it comes to the flu (such as those who suffer from immune deficiency conditions), it does not indicate that healthier children and individuals cannot be impacted. Any and everyone can be at risk of facing serious complications of the flu, which is why it is essential to take preventative steps. Pediatrics On Demand has listed out some healthy habits for parents to practice with their children as precautionary measures to help keep kids healthy this flu season.
Get Your Family Vaccinated As Soon As Possible
Making sure that each and every one of your family members received their flu shot is the first and one of the most important steps parents can take to keep their children from catching the flu. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) strongly recommends an annual flu shot before the peak of the flu season for everyone ages six months and older. September through October is an optimal time to receive the flu shot. The CDC has based this advice on the best scientific evidence available.
Always Practice Proper Hand Washing
All it takes is one lazy act of skipping handwashing that can lead to weeks of staying in bed in order to fight the flu. Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of an infection, especially if you’re starting to get an infection. This simple action is vital for adults and parents to practice with children. According to the CDC, cleaning your hands at key times with soap and water is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to those around you. Washing your hands with warm water and soap for sixty seconds is best recommended to avoid lingering germs.
Avoid Contact With Your Face
Another easy, yet major, way of protecting yourself and your children from getting the flu is by avoiding touching your face. More specifically, it is best that you avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as these areas are where cold and flu viruses typically gain the most access for infection. If touching these areas is absolutely inevitable, parents and children should wash their hands with soap and water before all else.
Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
When you sneeze or cough, it is especially important to cover your nose and mouth. The CDC states that children and adults with the flu can spread it to others up to about six feet away. So if your child is already in school and going to work is a daily thing for parents, it is important to make sure that you are covering your nose and mouth. It is also important for children to throw used tissue away in the trash. If tissues are not available for use, sneezing into your elbow or into your shirt is also a good choice.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Practicing healthy living habits is equivalent to a healthy immune system. This calls for getting enough sleep on the daily, eating balanced meals and exercising frequently. These habits are all things you can do to strengthen a child’s immune system and to avoid the risk of catching the flu. It can also be helpful to keep your child away from areas where second-hand smoke is prevalent. Lastly, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can help boost a child’s immune system as well.
Keep Children at Home to Rest and Get Well
The body needs time to recuperate and fight against illness. Working for hours on end, day-by-day can impede the rate at which you or your child can ward off the flu. Taking a few days off from work or school may be necessary. According to the CDC, people with flu are the most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins. Children and other individuals with weakened immune systems can pass the virus for longer than seven days. If you or your child do get sick with the flu, it is best to try and isolate yourself from others to avoid spreading the virus. If you or your child are sick with a flu-like illness, it is recommended that you stay home for at least twenty-four hours after your fever has gone down, except for when seeking medical care.
Choose Pediatrics On Demand For Preventative Care and More!
At Pediatrics On Demand, we advocate for parents to take all the necessary steps to keep their child in the healthiest state possible. If your child has the flu or is experiencing flu-like symptoms, contact Pediatrics On Demand to make an appointment or for our walk-in services today.
An ear infection is one of the most common infections that children have to deal with. In fact, most children will experience at least one ear infection by the time they are five years old. Of course, it’s important to understand the telltale signs of an ear infection, as well as know how to treat the infection and when you should turn to a pediatrician for care.
An ear infection isn’t contagious and usually isn’t a cause for concern; however, you will want to monitor your child’s symptoms to make sure problems aren’t getting worse or don’t warrant seeing a doctor. In many instances, a child may develop an ear infection after they’ve had a cold.
Signs and Symptoms of an Ear Infection
So, how will you know if your child has an ear infection? Children who are old enough to talk will certainly be able to let you know that they are experiencing an earache or pain; however, a baby or toddler won’t be able to tell you that they are experiencing an earache. Therefore, signs that your baby might have an ear infection include:
- Increased fussiness
- A fever
- Pulling at the ears
- Crying or tantrums, particularly when lying down
- Having difficulty hearing noises or not responding to sounds
- Fluid draining from the ears
So, when should you wait out an infection and when should you call a pediatrician? You should give your child’s doctor a call if they have an ear infection and they are also experiencing:
- A rash
- Difficulty hearing
- Ear swelling
You should also turn to a doctor for care if your child:
- Has an ear infection and they are under 6 months old
- Is in significant pain or still experiences pain after two days of taking ibuprofen
- Also has other serious health problems
How is an ear infection treated?
In most cases an ear infection will go away on its own. If your child isn’t in significant pain and they don’t have a high fever your pediatrician may tell you to wait a couple of days to see if symptoms improve. If symptoms remain or get worse then you should bring them back to the doctor’s office.
While antibiotics are not normally prescribed to treat an ear infection they may be used if your child has a very high fever, is in significant pain or if their ear infection hasn’t improved within 48 hours. It’s important not to give your child any over-the-counter medications without first talking with your pediatrician.
Immediate care service means convenient and compassionate quality medical care 365 days a year. Here at Pediatrics On Demand in Oak Lawn, IL, Drs. Ayman Rawda, Reema Mohammed, Sheela Jayaram, and Ratnesh Kumar are proud to provide this service to their young patients.
Immediate care is an alternative to emergency rooms for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries for patients aged 0 to 21 to ensure medical relief.
The Oaklawn pediatricians first diagnose the illness through a series of tests, including:
- blood tests
- urine tests
- culture samples
Immediate care is designed to treat non-life-threatening medical emergencies. Remember, if your child is suffering from a medical emergency, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room.
What type of illness needs immediate care?
- Pneumonia: This condition entails inflammation of the lungs and a presence of fluid or pus, thus resulting in coughing phlegm, fever, chills, difficulty breathing, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, and headaches. There are many causes of pneumonia but the most common origins are bacteria and viruses in the air.
- Urinary Tract Infection: This occurs in kidneys, bladder, ureters or urethra. Women are more susceptible than men and may lead to severe complications. UTIs happen when bacteria enter the urethra and multiply. Symptoms include burning while urinating, cloudy urine, bloody urine and fever.
- Bronchitis: This term refers to an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, a condition that causes a recurrent cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, a low fever and chest tightness.
Other illnesses or injuries that need immediate care from your Oak Lawn pediatrician:
- GI problems
- Strep Throat
- Viral infections
- Burns, abrasions, bites and sprains
- Cuts and lacerations
- Sports injuries
- Ear infections
- Allergies and asthma
If you would like some more information about our immediate care services or if you would like to schedule an appointment, call our Oak Lawn, IL, office today at (708) 424-0900.
Having healthy, happy children begins with a healthy diet. We know that in this day and age life gets pretty hectic and it isn’t always easy to eat right; however, for the health of your family it is important to make healthy eating habits part of your daily routine. The earlier in life that healthy eating habits are adopted by your children the easier it will be to keep them on this path to making smarter and healthier choices regarding their diet.
Of course, when you aren’t sure whether your child is getting the nutrients they need or you have questions or concerns about your child’s health a pediatrician can provide you with invaluable advice, insight and recommendations.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet for Your Children
A healthy diet is based on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods from each of the main food groups. This means getting a good balance of lean proteins, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. It’s important to change up food options to make eating healthy more exciting. A healthy diet also means avoiding processed foods, sugar, trans fat and vegetable oils. Moderation is key. While your child shouldn’t be drinking sodas or eating baked goods every day, having a treat every once in a while certainly won’t hurt them and could keep them from binging on these treats when they are available.
Keeping Your Kids Healthy
Along with eating healthy it’s important that your children are also getting regular physical activity. This may come in the form of school or community sports. Kids and teens should get at least one hour or more of moderate to intense physical activity everyday, toddlers should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity and play every day and preschoolers should get at least 120 minutes of activity a day.
Of course, in order to keep your child’s energy levels up and their body ready for activity, they must be eating right. If you are concerned about your child’s diet or if you need to schedule their annual physical exam before sports season begins don’t hesitate to turn to your children’s doctor for screenings, checkups, and dietary advice and recommendations.
It doesn’t have to be confusing or difficult to ensure that your child is getting all the proper vitamins and nutrients they need through diet. If you are experiencing challenges getting your kids on board with a healthy lifestyle this is where your pediatrician can help. Call them today to schedule a consultation or to book your child’s next routine checkup.
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