Posts for category: Pediatrics
Your pediatrician can help prevent infections and keep your child healthy through simple checkups.
It’s only natural to bring your child in to visit one of our Fairfax, VA, pediatricians when they are dealing with a high fever, sports injuries or stomach problems; however, it’s also a good idea to make sure that your child is visiting their pediatrician regularly even when there aren’t experiencing any problems. Making sure that your child visits the doctor annually (as well as comes in for school and sports physicals each year) is an important measure for every parent and child to take to pinpoint certain health problems and implement preventive measures to reduce their risk.
What is involved in a well-child checkup?
Whether you are bringing your baby into our office for the first time or your child has been coming to us for years, there are certain aspects that you can expect every time you visit our children’s doctors. These elements include,
- A full physical examination
- Going through and updating your child’s medical history
- Monitoring vital signs (e.g. heart rate; blood pressure; temperature)
- Documenting height and weight
- Administering appropriate immunizations
- Discussing your child’s diet, exercise, sleep habits and overall lifestyle
- Making sure that your child is reaching certain developmental milestones
As your child gets older there are other screenings and preventive care that may occur during their routine checkups. Some of these include,
- Blood pressure screenings
- Hearing and vision screening (usually around the age of 3 years old)
- Blood tests to rule out certain diseases
When should I bring my child in for well-child visits?
It’s best to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommended schedule, which includes visiting the pediatrician at
- 2-5 days old
- 1 & 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
- Every year until age 21
By staying up-to-date on your child’s checkups you can prevent illnesses and injuries, pinpoint problems early on when they are easier to treat and help your child lead a healthier life.
Let the pediatric team at Virginia Pediatric Group in Fairfax, Herndon, Great Falls, and Aldie, VA, provide your growing child with the gentle, tailored and compassionate care they need to grow up big and strong. Schedule their next routine checkup today at (703) 573-2432.
It's important to be able to spot the differences between a regular sore throat or viral infection and strep throat. Anyone can get strep throat, but it is most common in children and teenagers. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, it's important to see your pediatrician immediately to determine whether or not your child has strep throat. Here are some symptoms of strep throat.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and throat pain. Severe pain in the throat is normally the first sign of strep throat. If you notice that your child's sore throat isn't going away easily, you may need to take your child to the pediatrician because it's usually difficult to get rid of the discomfort completely without the use of prescription medication.
Yellow or white patches on the tonsils or in the back of the throat are another symptom of strep throat. Instead of yellow or white patches, you may instead notice long streaks of pus coating your child's tonsils.
Pain during swallowing is another common symptoms of strep throat. If it becomes difficult for your child to swallow and they experience pain when they attempt to swallow, they may have strep throat.
If you touch the glands in your child's neck, you may be able to feel if their glands are swollen. The lymph nodes in your child's neck will usually be tender to the touch and swollen if they have strep throat, because normal lymph nodes are generally not painful or tender.
Headaches are another common symptom of strep throat. They can range in severity from mild to extremely excruciating. If your child's headache occurs frequently or worsens, be sure to consult a pediatrician immediately.
Another common symptom of strep throat in children is a fever over 100'F. A lower fever may end up being a symptom of a viral infection and not strep throat, so be sure to take note of that. With a viral infection, most fevers should go away on their own within one or two days, and by the third day, other symptoms should start to disappear.
So what are you waiting for? If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, be sure to consult your pediatrician as soon as possible so that they can determine whether or not your child has strep throat or just a viral infection and your child can receive all the relief they need.
With the rise of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children in the US, it’s now more important than ever for both parents and children to understand ways to prevent diabetes, as well as being able to identify the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A pediatrician is an integral part of your child’s health, providing everything from screenings and vaccines to routine checkups and lifestyle recommendations to ensure that your child stays healthy.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects glucose levels in the body. When the cells in the pancreas responsible for making insulin do not produce enough insulin or are insulin resistant, this results in diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed during childhood and is not the result of a poor diet or being overweight. In those with Type 1 diabetes the cells in the pancreas are unable to produce enough insulin. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes in children.
On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is also becoming increasingly common in children because of the high rates of obesity. Type 2 diabetes means that the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Ensuring that your child eats right, gets regular exercise and maintains a healthy weight can greatly reduce your child’s risk for type 2 diabetes.
What are the symptoms of childhood diabetes?
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes will appear suddenly, while type 2 symptoms will develop over time. Symptoms may include:
- Excessive thirst
- Increased hunger
- Frequent urination
- Extreme tiredness
- Mood swings
- Blurred vision
- Sudden weight loss
- Cuts or sores that don’t heal
- Dark patches of skin
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child it’s best to see a pediatrician right away. The sooner a diagnosis is made the sooner your child can get the proper medication and treatment they need to manage their blood sugar levels. By managing your child’s diabetes right away our doctors can prevent potentially serious complications and hospitalizations.
How is diabetes treated?
There are a variety of lifestyle modifications and medications that will be recommended to help treat your child’s type 1 or type 2 diabetes. For both forms of diabetes, a healthy diet and active lifestyle are paramount. Talk with your doctor about what foods your child should avoid. You will also want to monitor your child’s glucose levels during the day to make sure that the insulin medication is working effectively.
All children should visit their pediatricians regularly for checkups, vaccines and care. Of course, if your child displays any symptoms of diabetes, call our office immediately.
Your child’s health is the most important thing, so make sure that they are getting what they need to keep leading a healthy, full life. Regular medical checkups and getting routine immunizations are crucial to your child’s health. Here at Virginia Pediatric Group with offices in Fairfax, Herndon, Great Falls, and Aldie, VA, our team of highly trained and knowledgeable pediatricians will be able to provide you with the information you need about childhood vaccines while also making sure that your child stays up to date on the immunizations they need to keep them safe from potentially serious illnesses.
During these routine well-child checkups your pediatrician will perform a comprehensive physical examination that includes monitoring their growth and development. During this checkup, your doctor may also administer any necessary vaccines as well as perform certain screenings (e.g. hearing and vision).
Vaccinations are often the best tools our doctors have against certain childhood diseases. Some vaccines can be administered in a single dose while others may require more than one shot. In order for your child to be fully immunized against the disease, all doses must be administered. If your child hasn’t received the full series of shots there is a chance that they can still catch the disease.
Some vaccines are required before your child can go to school or daycare. Our pediatrician can also provide you with additional information regarding the minimum requirements for school and daycare immunizations. Even homeschooled children will need to receive the same immunizations as children who attend school. During your child’s checkup we will provide proof of immunizations for your child’s school or daycare.
You should still make sure that you are bringing your child in at least once a year for routine checkups even if they don’t need vaccinations. A pediatrician isn’t just there to treat your child when they are sick; they can also provide your child with preventive care to reduce their risk for sickness or injury. If you have any questions or concerns, these checkups are also a great time for parents to talk with the pediatrician. These routine visits can also provide parents with the peace of mind that they need about their child’s health.
If you have questions about getting your child vaccinated or need to schedule their next checkup, call Virginia Pediatric Group in Fairfax, Herndon, Great Falls, and Aldie, VA, at (703) 573-2432.
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.