My Blog
By Virginia Pediatric Group
July 17, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Mono  

Has your child been uncharacteristically fatigued as of late? Whereas before they were running and jumping around, now they seem more sluggish and uninterested. Perhaps this weary state has also been accompanied by a recurrent sore throat and headaches? If so, your child may be afflicted by Mononucleosis—a condition better known as Mono. 

Although Mono isn’t generally a serious illness, it can both be extraordinarily uncomfortable and contagious. Read on to learn about this condition’s potential symptoms and treatment options, and make sure to call your local pediatrician if you are at all concerned that your child has developed Mono.

Mono: Basic Background and Symptoms

Generally caused by exposure to the Epstein-Barr Virus, Mono is an infectious illness often spread through the exchange of bodily fluids, especially saliva—a characteristic that has led to its nickname, “the kissing disease.”

As mentioned above, fatigue is the most common symptom of Mono. However, there are a few additional symptoms that can point to its presence, including:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Recurring headaches
  • Sore throat, accompanied by white patches in the neck
  • Light sensitivity

If your child has exhibited these signs, make an appointment with your pediatrician so that you can obtain a proper diagnosis. 

Treatment Options

Due to Mono being caused by a virus, antibiotics cannot treat the condition. Instead, doctors recommend the following measures:

  • Lots and lots of rest, particularly bed rest during the condition’s beginning stages
  • Refraining from any strenuous activity (especially sports, but also school if the fatigue is too much to handle)
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to help relieve any throat or fever discomfort
  • Taking multi-vitamins to strengthen the immune system

Concerned? Give Us a Call

Mono can be an extremely uncomfortable experience, and the sooner you pinpoint your child’s condition, the sooner they can find relief. If you are worried that your little one has developed Mono, give your local pediatrician a call today.

By Virginia Pediatric Group
July 02, 2019
Category: Child Health
Tags: Child Care   Physical Exam  

Once your child is born it’s amazing just how quickly they grow and develop. It seems like you blink and suddenly they are talking and walking. During these important milestones it’s also important to have a pediatrician that you turn to regularly to make sure that these developmental milestones are being met and that your child is healthy. After all, if there are any problems you want to find out as soon as possible when early medical interventions can make all the difference.

From the moment your child is born until 2 years old, your pediatrician will most likely want to see them every six months for wellness check ups. After your child turns 2 years old you should still bring them in once a year for a routine physical exam and preventive care. Along with checking your child’s vital signs and monitoring their height and weight your pediatrician will also check hearing, eyesight, respiration, cardiac activity and reflexes.

A physical exam will check all systems of your child’s body to make sure that everything is functioning properly. If your child’s doctor does detect a problem it can be treated immediately. Along with a physical exam your child will also undergo any additional screenings and vaccinations that are necessary for maintaining optimal health.

Furthermore, your pediatrician can also recommend workout routines and appropriate physical activity for your child based on their current health and lifestyle, as well as recommendations on diet, sleeping habits and even their emotional and behavioral health. Even if a pediatrician won’t be able to fully treat all conditions they can still refer your child to a specialist who will be able to handle a specific health problem or injury.

Once a child is old enough to go to school it’s also important that parents schedule their child’s sports physical so that they can participate in physical activity and school sports. An annual sports physical can detect past injuries and other problems that could affect your child’s ability to participate in certain activities.

These physical exams are often mandatory before a child can play school sports; however, even if it isn’t mandatory you should still bring your child in once a year for a comprehensive sports physical to make sure that they are healthy enough for certain physical activity.

Make sure your child is seeing their pediatrician regularly for care, not just when they are sick but also to ward away infections and other health problems. Schedule your child’s next physical exam today.

By Virginia Pediatric Group
June 18, 2019
Category: Child Health

If your child has just been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important that you have a pediatrician you can turn to in order to create a customized and effective treatment plan. While diabetes cannot be cured, diagnosing, and treating your child’s diabetes as soon as possible is key to helping them maintain a long, healthy and happy life.

There are two different kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, usually happens during childhood. This autoimmune disorder occurs when the body attacks the pancreas so that it doesn’t produce insulin. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in adults; however, children can also develop type 2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, with the increase in childhood obesity our doctors are seeing a rise in type 2 diabetes in children, as well. The pancreas of children and teens with type 2 diabetes does produce insulin but the body just doesn’t properly respond to it.

Symptoms of Diabetes

Both types of diabetes often present with the same symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased hunger and thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurry vision
  • Sores and cuts that don’t heal properly

Other symptoms may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Numbness or tingling

Treating Type 1 Diabetes

There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Since your child’s body doesn’t produce insulin this means that they will need to receive daily insulin injections. Along with taking these injections, you will need to monitor your child’s blood sugar every day to make sure their levels aren’t too high or don’t drop too quickly.

Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Even though children and teens with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin, the body doesn’t respond properly to it. Because of this, your child will need to take daily medication to maintain healthy glucose levels. As with type 1 diabetes, daily blood sugar monitoring is necessary to make sure that the medication your pediatrician prescribed is effective.

Along with taking medication, there are certain lifestyle modifications that can also go a long way to controlling your child’s type 2 diabetes. In fact, sometimes type 2 can be reversed with a healthy diet and regular exercise alone, depending on the severity. Lifestyle modifications include:

  • Eating a healthy balanced diet
  • Limiting sugar and carbs, which can spike blood sugar
  • Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day most days of the week
  • Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight

If your child is experiencing symptoms of diabetes or if you have questions about the best way to treat your little one’s diabetes don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for an appointment.

By Virginia Pediatric Group
June 04, 2019
Category: Child Health
Tags: Sports Injuries  

Your child's sports injury can be treated just as your injury was. Or, can it? Your pediatrician knows that a child's body is still developing, responding differently to acute and overuse injuries from organized sports, gym class, and more. As such, he or she can help your child avoid injury and in the event of sprain, strain, laceration, dislocation, or head injury, will help your youngster recover and stay healthy.

Kids sports injuries

They're very common, says the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Annually, 3.5 million American children under the age of 14 suffer significant sports injuries. Some injuries are related to poor conditioning. Others occur because of inadequate instruction or proper protective gear such as padding, eye wear, sneakers, dance shoes, skates, and cleats.

In addition, diligent supervision on the part of parents, coaches, teachers, and other well-informed adults is critical to safe play. Well-maintained game fields and indoor surfaces avoid foot, ankle, and knee injuries.

Finally, KidsHealth reports that Pre-participation Physicals review medical histories and spot possible weaknesses in children's physiology and anatomy. Most school and organized sports teams require these check-ups either with the school physician or the family pediatrician before the sports season commences.

Treating sports injuries

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that proper assessment and prompt treatment of kids' sports injuries prevent long-term problems, including pain and proper growth of areas of the body such as the long bones. Traditionally, coaches and parents have used the RICE protocol to stabilize and injury, relieve pain, and begin the healing process. It still works exceptionally well. RICE stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice to the affected area
  • Compression with an elastic bandage
  • Elevation of the affected limb/injured area above heart level

Then, your pediatrician and other health care providers can devise a specific treatment plan to include physical therapy, strengthening exercises, over the counter analgesics, braces, and casts as needed. As a parent, you know your child well. So be sure to fully participate in your youngster's care plan.

Be safe, be well

Each child responds differently to athletic training depending on his or her gender, size, age, physical conditioning, underlying health issue,s and natural ability. You and your pediatrician can partner together in encouraging a safe sports season for your child. That's a win-win situation.

By Virginia Pediatric Group
May 28, 2019
Category: Pediatrician
Tags: immunizations  

Immunizations are an important part of your children's healthcare and wellness. Immunizations protect your children and every member of immunizationsyour family and community from a range of potentially serious illnesses like meningitis, pneumonia, chicken pox, measles, mumps, whooping cough, and even seasonal flu. Infants, senior citizens, and other people with certain illnesses or weakened immune systems may not be able to receive immunizations and must rely on healthy people who can be immunized to help protect them from these vaccine-preventable diseases. Your pediatricians at Virginia Pediatric Group, Ltd. offer childhood immunization and the full range of pediatric healthcare services for children and their families in their offices located in Fairfax, Herndon, Great Falls, and Aldie, VA.

The standard vaccination schedule includes the following and is available on our website at VAPG.com. 

  • Varicella (chicken pox)
  • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Rotavirus
  • Polio
  • MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
  • Pneumococcal vaccine
  • Meningococcal vaccines
  • Hib vaccine

How Long Do Childhood Immunizations Last?
The vaccination schedule takes into account the variation in the duration of effective immunity and the age-related susceptibility of the diseases they protect against. Some immunizations require what is known as a booster shot, an additional dose of the vaccination applied at a specific interval after the initial vaccination to "boost" immunity and ensure that your child has ongoing protection and is adequately immunized against potentially serious illnesses like tetanus and the measles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues updated recommendations and guidelines for vaccination and immunization schedules every year.

Adults are also advised to check on their immunization status to ensure that they have full immunity, particularly from serious illnesses like the measles and pertussis (whooping cough), which have seen an outbreak in various parts of the country in recent years. Boosters are also available for adults in order to close any gaps in immunizations.  These vaccines are available for parents through our office if desired.
For more information about the benefits of childhood immunization and other pediatric services, contact Virginia Pediatric Group, Ltd. to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician at one of our four locations by calling (703) 573-2432.





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