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Posts for category: Child Health Care

By Virginia Pediatric Group
March 26, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Whooping CoughPertussis, more commonly referred to as whooping cough, is a contagious bacterial infection of the lungs. The nickname comes from the “whooping” sound that occurs when a child breathes. While many people assume that whooping cough is an infection that no longer exists, it’s actually more common in the US than we’d like to admit. In fact, pediatricians have seen an increase in the number of whooping cough cases over the last couple of decades.
 
Whooping Cough May Look Like a Cold

You might brush off the early signs of whooping cough because they look an awful lot like the common cold. Older children and teens may develop congestion, mild fever, cough, or runny nose; however, within the first 1-2 weeks you will notice that the cough gets worse. In fact, your child may develop severe and sudden coughing fits.

Children and newborns are more likely to display severe symptoms. They may not have a whoop in their cough, but they may vomit or show severe fatigue after coughing. While anyone can develop whooping cough, infants are at particular risk for serious and life-threatening complications so it’s important to have your family vaccinated.
 
Vaccines Can Protect Against Whooping Cough

While newborns are too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough, you should make sure that the rest of your family is fully vaccinated. The DTaP vaccine will protect against whooping cough and will be administered at 2, 4, and 6 months old, again at 15 to 18 months, and again at 6 years for a total of five doses.
 
Turn to a Pediatrician Right Away

If you suspect that your child might have whooping cough, you must call your pediatrician right away. Children under 18 months old may require hospitalization so doctors can continuously monitor them, as children are more likely to stop breathing with whooping cough. Of course, coming in during the early stages of the infection is important as antibiotics are more effective at the very start of the illness.
 
Until the body clears whooping cough, some of the best ways to manage your child’s symptoms include,
  • Resting as much as possible
  • Staying hydrated
  • Sticking to smaller meals to safeguard against cough-induced vomiting
  • Making sure your family is up to date on their vaccinations
If you want to fully protect your child against many dangerous communicable diseases, one of the best ways is through vaccinations. Your child must be up to date on all of their vaccines. Talk with your pediatrician to find out when your child should get the whooping cough vaccine.
By Virginia Pediatric Group
March 04, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Allergies  

Discover some simple ways to keep your child’s allergies in check.

Breaking out in hives after your child eats something they are allergic to or dealing with red, itchy eyes and sneezing when your little one goes out to play during the springtime are just some of the problems that parents face when they have kids with allergies.

Our pediatricians have convenient locations in Fairfax, Herndon, Great Falls, and Aldie, VA, where they offer both in-office and telemedicine visits to help you better control your child’s allergy symptoms, here are some additional helpful tips for controlling your child’s allergies.

Wash Up

If your child is playing outside or playing with the neighbor’s dog, it’s important that the moment they come inside that they wash their hands and face thoroughly to remove any trace of the allergen. If your child has outdoor allergies, you’ll also want to immediately toss their clothes into the wash and have your child hop in the shower or take a bath.

Avoid the Allergen

Sometimes this is easier said than done. However, there are certain allergies that may be a little easier to avoid. For example, if your child has food allergies it’s important that you not only know what food or foods that they are allergic to but also that they avoid these foods. By avoiding these foods, you can prevent hives, stomach issues, and other symptoms from flaring-up. If your child has outdoor allergies, it’s best to check the weather reports before letting your little one go outside to play.

Have Meds Handy

Regardless of whether your child is taking simple over-the-counter allergy medication or our pediatricians have prescribed an allergy medication, it’s important that your child always has easy access to their medications when symptoms arise. There are some chewable allergy meds that are easy for your child to take regardless of whether they are at home, school, or on the go.

Talk to a Doctor

If you’re having trouble getting your child’s allergy symptoms under control our Fairfax, VA, pediatricians can help. If you don’t want to come into the office right now, we offer telemedicine visits with our pediatricians so that you can talk to one of our doctors about ways to get your child’s symptoms under control or to discuss other treatment options. We can even refill prescriptions with a telemedicine visit.

Do you think your child has allergies but you’re not quite sure? If so, you should consult our pediatricians. With telemedicine visits, we can offer a lot of the same care that you have come to expect when walking through our doors here at Virginia Pediatric Group but virtually.

To schedule an in-person or telemedicine visit for your child at one of our convenient locations in Fairfax, Herndon, Great Falls, and Aldie, VA, call (703) 573-2432 today.

By Virginia Pediatric Group
February 24, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Head Lice  
Head LiceYou’ve just received a call from the school: someone in your child’s class has head lice. We know that hearing that your child has or might have head lice can be stressful, but don’t worry. Your pediatrician can help guide you through the best methods for getting rid of pesky head lice once and for all.

If you notice head lice in your child there’s no way around it: you have to treat the lice. They will not go away on their own. It might give you the heebie-jeebies but it’s important to find a treatment that will get rid of these little critters quickly. You should also check all members of your family to make sure they don’t have lice too, as this problem can spread quickly.

The good news is that you can often treat lice from the comfort of your own home. While there are certain hair salons that may cater to the treatment of lice, it’s worth it to try and treat the problem yourself. There are a variety of over-the-counter shampoos and rinses that can kill lice and their eggs (also known as nits). You may want to talk with your pediatric doctor about the treatment process, which products to use and whether or not you should reapply the shampoo or rinse days after the first application.

Still seeing lice? This is a literal head scratcher for some parents, but don’t worry. This is when a pediatrician can prescribe a much stronger treatment option such as shampoos containing benzyl alcohol, or lotions containing either ivermectin or malathion (both pesticides), or spinosad (an insecticide).

Since some of these products work differently from others, it is important that you read and follow all instructions. Some products will require more than one application while others will only require one. Again, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s lice treatment don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician.

Treating Your Home After Lice

The good news is that lice need blood in order to survive so they won’t live very long if they don’t have a human host. However, you will want to wash all bedding, towels and clothes that may have lice or nits on them. Make sure to wash them thoroughly in hot water that is higher than 130 degrees F. If you can’t wash these items immediately, promptly bag them until you can clean them properly.

Head lice can be annoying, but turning to a qualified pediatric doctor can help you get the answers you need to tackle this hairy little problem. Call your pediatrician to learn more.
By Virginia Pediatric Group
February 19, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Pediatrician   Newborn Care  

We provide parents with the knowledge and education they need to raise healthy, happy children. We know how overwhelming it can be, particularly for first-time parents, to welcome their new baby into their home. While it can be incredibly exciting, our Fairfax, Herndon, Great Falls, and Aldie, VA, pediatricians also want to make providing newborn care easier for everyone. That’s why you can turn to our health care providers anytime you have questions or concerns.

When should I start bringing my newborn in to see a pediatrician?

It’s important that you are keeping up with the wellness check-ups, especially since your newborn will continue to get rounds of vaccines at each visit until they reach 18 months old. These vaccines are incredibly important for helping them build antibodies to protect against potentially dangerous infections.

Along with vaccines, your Fairfax, VA, doctor will provide comprehensive care to your newborn which includes:

  • Monitoring height, weight, heart rate, and blood pressure
  • Pinpointing any emotional or behavioral changes that could be a cause for concern
  • Identifying health problems early on
  • Providing recommendations on sleep habits, diet, bathing, and more

What can our pediatricians do to help?

Having concerns about breastfeeding? Need to travel with your little one? We know that having a pediatrician that can provide you answers to your questions and individualized care is crucial. First-time moms may have issues with breastfeeding, and we can provide breastfeeding help to make the whole process easier!

We can also provide travel vaccinations, dietary recommendations, car safety advice, sleeping positions, same-day care, and more. Our pediatricians are here for your family, whether it’s a routine wellness checkup or your baby has a fever. Your first point of contact will most likely be your child’s doctor, so it’s important that you have a caring expert that you trust.

Furthermore, if there are certain behavioral, psychological, or physiological concerns that require specialists, we can provide referrals to everyone from mental health professionals to asthma specialists and cardiologists. We want to make sure that your child gets the proper care they need, and we can offer a list of referrals to provide further evaluations, testing, and treatments for your little one.

Virginia Pediatric Group provides comprehensive pediatric and newborn care to families living in Fairfax, Herndon, Great Falls, and Aldie, VA. To learn more about the services we offer, particularly to first-time parents, call our office at (703) 573-2432.

By Virginia Pediatric Group
October 28, 2020
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Chicken Pox  
Your Child and Chicken PoxYou just got the call from your child’s school: someone in your kid’s class has chickenpox. This highly contagious virus isn’t usually anything to worry about, but it can certainly cause some very unpleasant symptoms for your child, including a terribly red and itchy rash all over the body and face. If you’re concerned about chickenpox, your pediatrician can tell you everything that you should know about this common childhood infection.


How can I tell that it’s chickenpox?

Since chickenpox is caused by a viral infection, most children will develop common symptoms of an infection before the rash even develops. These symptoms include:
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite
The rash will usually appear 1-2 days after your child has been exposed to chickenpox. This rash consists of itchy, fluid-filled blisters that crust over within 4-5 days. Some children may only develop a few blisters on their body while others may develop hundreds.


How is chickenpox treated?

It is incredibly important that you keep your child from scratching the rash, as this can lead to infection and make their symptoms worse. Several home remedies can ease discomfort and itching. Some of these include:
  • Applying calamine lotion
  • Making sure that your child is drinking enough water and staying hydrated
  • Soaking in a bath with baking soda for 20-30 minutes to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Applying cold compresses to the rash
  • Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine (talk with your pediatric doctor first before giving your child any medication)
Should my child see a doctor?

If your child is experiencing the typical symptoms of chickenpox, then chances are good that you won’t have to bring them into the office. The only thing you can do is wait. You should call your pediatrician if:
  • Your newborn is showing signs of chickenpox
  • Your child’s fever goes away and then comes back
  • Your child has a high fever
  • Some areas of the rash are getting larger or are painful (signs of infection)
Is there a way to prevent chickenpox?

The good news is that children today can be protected against chickenpox with a simple vaccine. The chickenpox vaccine is administered in two doses: the first vaccine is administered when your baby is 12 to 15 months and a second vaccine is administered at 4-6 years old.

If you want to protect your child against the chickenpox, then talk to your pediatrician about getting them vaccinated. Your child has enough to worry about, without chickenpox being one of them.