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By Virginia Pediatric Group
November 05, 2018
Category: Child Health
Tags: Child Care   Cold   Flu  

Cold Vs. Flu

Is it a cold or the flu? When it comes to your child's health, your pediatrician provides great information and guidance on the most common illnesses plaguing families. If you are wondering about the exact nature of your child's illness and how to treat it, learn the differences between a cold and the flu and how to treat and prevent them.

What is a cold?

A cold is an upper respiratory viral infection lasting 5 to 7 days in both adults and children alike. Generally milder in intensity and shorter in duration than influenza, a cold causes:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • A runny nose
  • Tiredness
  • Low-grade fever
The Centers for Disease Control states that most healthy children experience 8 to 10 colds by the age of two years.
 
What is the flu?
 
The flu is a much more serious viral infection. Of sudden and intense onset, the flu usually comes with:
  • High fever
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Severe headache
  • Chills
Also, the flu lasts longer and debilitates sufferers. It carries dangerous complications, particularly with young children, the elderly, asthmatics, diabetics and those with weak immune systems.
 
Treating colds and the flu
 
Treating a cold involves rest, fluids and decongestants as needed. The onset of a cold is gradual, and so is recovery. Typically, your child will not need to visit the pediatrician if he or she has a simple cold. Simple symptom relief works well. However, high and persistent fever merits a call to your child's doctor.
 
Regarding the flu, your pediatrician may do an in-office Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Test (a throat or nasal swab) to confirm the diagnosis. They may prescribe antiviral medication and instruct on how to monitor a young child's symptoms. Keep your youngster well-hydrated, and administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed.
 
If flu symptoms escalate (labored respirations, severe headache, rapid heart rate or anything that seems unusual to you), take your child to the nearest hospital ER for evaluation. Pneumonia is a frequent and life-threatening complication of influenza.
 
Prevention is the best medicine
 
Protect all members of the family with these simple measures:
  1. Eat a healthy diet.
  2. Stay well-hydrated.
  3. Avoid crowds during peak cold and flu season.
  4. Keep your child home from daycare and school if he or she is sick.
  5. Teach your child to cover his or her mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  6. Don't share food or utensils, even with family members.
  7. Vaccinate against the flu. Ask your pediatrician for your child's "shot."
Trust your pediatrician
 
They work hard to prevent acute illnesses such as colds and the flu. The doctor and professional team are great resources for prevention, healing and overall well-being for your children.
By Virginia Pediatric Group
October 16, 2018
Category: Child Care
Tags: Sports Injuries  

Even though you try as hard as possible to keep your child safe while they are playing sports, accidents still happen. At these moments, it’s important that you know whether these are injuries that can easily be treated from the comfort of your own home or whether you need to turn to a pediatrician for proper medical attention.

Pediatricians have seen a lot of sports-related injuries over the years and while we also focus as much of our attention on prevention, we know the importance of being able to get immediate and comprehensive care when your child does sustain an injury.

Common sports-related injuries include:

  • Dislocations (particularly in the shoulder)
  • Traumatic injuries (this includes cuts, sprains and strains, and broken bones)
  • Stress fractures
  • Tendinitis (often in the hand or wrist)
  • Concussion

When a dislocation happens many times it is accompanied by an audible popping sound at the moment that the injury occurred. This unnerving sound is often followed by sudden and intense pain. It’s important that you turn to a pediatrician who can put the shoulder or any other area of the body back in place. The joints of a child’s body are looser than adults, so it makes shoulders and other areas more prone to dislocations.

Minor cuts, sprains, and strains can often be handled with at-home care. In most cases, the RICE method is a great way to ensure that your child gets the rest they need to heal properly and to stay off of the injury until it fully heals. Icing and elevating the injured area can also reduce pain and swelling. Of course, if you suspect that your child has a broken bone, this will need to be evaluated by a medical professional right away.

Children who are serious or long-term athletes are more likely to experience overuse injuries. These injuries occur over time rather than suddenly and they are often the result of performing repetitive movements. Overuse injuries include stress fractures and tendinitis. If your child feels pain whenever they move a certain area of the body or if they notice pain or swelling in a certain area it’s important that they get checked out.

Wearing a helmet is crucial for protecting your child’s head while playing sports. Of course, if your child has received a blow to the head and is experiencing dizziness, fatigue, frequent or severe headaches or just seems out of sorts it’s crucial that you bring them in right away to see if they’ve incurred a concussion.

When in doubt, pick up the phone and talk to a pediatrician about your child’s injuries and symptoms. They will be able to determine whether or not they should come in for proper care.

By Virginia Pediatric Group
October 01, 2018
Category: Child Care
Tags: Child Care   sports physical   Sports  

Your child is eager to start the school year so they can participate in sports. That’s great news! Keeping your child active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and sports can be a great experience for many children; however, it’s also important that your child’s pediatrician performs a yearly sports physical to make sure that they are ready for physical activity.

A sports physical is necessary for every child regardless of their current health. In fact, some schools make it mandatory for children to get an annual sports physical before they participate in any school sports. Regardless of whether this physical is mandatory or not, it’s highly advised that all children get a sports physical once a year.

Your child’s sports physical will involve going through their medical history and conducting a physical examination. The physical examination is pretty self-explanatory. We will check their vitals, as well as their height and weight. We will perform a vision test and evaluate everything from their heart and respiratory system to their musculoskeletal system. The goal of a physical exam is to make sure that your child hasn’t incurred any past injuries or developed any health problems that could be exacerbated by physical activity.

A pediatrician can also answer questions and provide counseling on nutrition, healthy weight loss or gain, and habits that could help your child’s physical health. Remember to bring any questions along with you.

Besides the physical examination, we will also sit down with you and your child and ask questions about their medical history. It’s important to be as detailed as possible. If it’s the first time they are having a sports physical it’s important to bring in a list of any supplements or medications (both over-the-counter or prescription) that they are currently taking.

We will ask a series of questions to find out if there are any serious or chronic health problems that run in the family, if your child has experienced any past injuries, if they’ve ever undergone surgery or been hospitalized, if they have any allergies or if they have any current disorders or illnesses. It’s important to provide as much detailed history as possible so that our pediatric team can perform a thorough and comprehensive physical.

Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your child’s sports physical. It’s important to get your child on the books before the summer is gone and the doctor’s schedule fills up. You don’t want your child being benched during the season because they didn’t get a sports physical. Call your pediatrician today.

By Virginia Pediatric Group
September 20, 2018
Category: Pediatrician
Tags: sports physical  

Find out why every child needs to get a sports physical each year.

Since your child was born they have been seeing their pediatrician quite often for checkups to make sure they are reaching developmentalschool and sports physicals milestones and staying healthy. Of course, once your child is old enough to go to school there are new things to think about such as getting them a school or sports physical. In fact, many schools require this physical before a child can participate in school sports. “Why?” You might be wondering. Our Herndon, Great Falls, South Riding, and Fairfax, VA, pediatricians are here to explain.

What is a sports physical?

In order to understand the importance of a physical, it’s first important to understand what goes into this visit. A sports physical, sometimes referred to as a preparticipation physical examination (PPE), is an evaluation that determines if your child is healthy enough for the activity or sport that they want to play. Your child’s school may make this physical exam mandatory but even if they don’t it’s important that your child gets one each and every year.

A sports physical is made up of two components: going through their detailed medical history and then having one of our children’s doctor perform a thorough physical exam. Going through your child’s medical history is very important, as it can give us insight into health problems, hospitalizations, medications they are taking and even injuries that could hinder or negatively impact their health, particularly while being physically active. This is also a great time for parents to ask any questions or address any concerns they might have about their child’s health.

During the physical exam, we will check vital signs, record their height and weight, evaluate their musculoskeletal system and then check their vision, hearing, throat, heart and lungs. Our doctors will also ask your child questions about their diet, lifestyle and certain habits they have that could impact their physical health.

Why is a sports physical important?

This quick and painless exam is crucial to determining if there are any potential health issues or problems that could interfere with your child’s ability to play sports. Rest assured, many of these issues do have treatment options and ways to manage the symptoms so that your child can enjoy their chosen sport; however, not having these treatment plans in place could be a serious detriment to your child's health, which is why it’s important to come in once a year for a thorough evaluation.

With summer coming to an end it’s important that your child gets the sports physical they need to begin another successful and healthy school year. Don’t wait until the last minute, as appointments fill up quickly this time of year. Call Virginia Pediatric Group in Herndon, Great Falls, South Riding, and Fairfax, VA, to schedule your child’s sports physical today.

By Virginia Pediatric Group
September 14, 2018
Category: Child Care

No two children are ever the same and while you certainly want to let your child discover their unique personality it is important to know when these differences in your little one might mean that it’s time to schedule a behavioral or development consultation with a pediatrician.

Whether you’ve noticed that your child has difficulty making friends, doesn’t have any interests or seems to throw more temper tantrums then other kids their age, it’s important to not only be able to pinpoint these differences but also find out what might be causing them. This is where a behavioral or developmental consultation could benefit both your child and your family.

When you hear the words “behavioral consultation” it sounds pretty disconcerting; however, there are many reasons why parents bring their children in for these visits. Perhaps your preschooler hasn’t started talking yet, or your child has difficulties interacting socially with other children. Maybe their academics are falling behind or they aren’t able to keep up with the challenges of school. When scenarios like this arise a behavioral consultation is the best way to be able to figure out what might be going on and what our pediatric team can do to help get your child back on track.

While some of these situations may be due to behavioral disorders, it is also possible that there are certain developmental delays that could also be responsible for these behaviors. There are developmental milestones that every child must reach physically and mentally. No matter whether your child is displaying signs of an autism spectrum disorder or ADHD, or is having difficulties with social situations, sleep, anxiety, aggression or impulsivity, it is important that they visit a children’s doctor for an evaluation.

Whatever concerns you might have about your little one, it’s important that you turn to a pediatrician that you can trust to perform a thorough behavioral consultation while also providing compassionate care and support. It’s essential that your child has everything they need to be successful in their personal, academic and social life and by assessing, diagnosing and treating any behavioral or developmental disorders early, we can provide your child with the treatment they need to lead a healthy and happy life.





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