My Blog
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
February 15, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Pediatrician   Stitches  
When Does My Child Need StitchesWe all know how accident-prone kids can be. They get bruises, bumps, cuts, and scrapes from time and time. Most of the time, these boo-boos are nothing to worry about, but sometimes a cut or laceration may require turning to your pediatrician for stitches. Does your child need stitches? We know it isn’t always easy to tell. Here are some telltale signs that your child might need stitches,
  • Apply pressure to the cut for five minutes. If it’s still bleeding after five minutes, it probably needs stitches
  • The cut is more than ½-inch deep or longer
  • The cut is around their eye
  • The cut is on their face or neck and is longer than ¼ inch
  • The cut is gaping open
  • There is an object sticking out of it, including debris or glass
  • The cut is spurting blood
Any cut that spurts blood could be a sign of a nicked artery. Immediately apply pressure to the area and head to your local ER for immediate medical attention.

When should I call the pediatrician?

If in doubt about whether or not your child may need stitches, call your pediatrician. With the introduction of telehealth visits, many pediatricians can now look at images of the injury or wound through a simple online appointment and determine whether the child or teen needs to come in for stitches. While the warning signs above are telltale indicators that your child may need stitches, even if the cut doesn’t need stitches, you should still see the doctor if:
  • The cut was made by a rusty or metal object
  • There is redness, swelling, pus, or other signs of infection
  • The child has been bitten by an animal
  • The cut hasn’t healed within 10 days
  • There is still severe pain after a few hours
Cuts and wounds made by metal, rusty, or dirty objects may require your child to get a tetanus shot. This is why you should see your pediatrician right away, as it’s important for them to get this shot within 2-3 days after the injury.

If you still aren’t sure whether or not your child should get stitches, it doesn’t hurt to give your pediatrician a call. Let us know the symptoms your child is experiencing, and we can determine if their injury requires a closer look from our team. Call us today; we can deal with your child’s urgent medical matters.
By Virginia Pediatric Group
February 03, 2021
Category: Child Health
Tags: Diabetes  
Diabetes in ChildrenIn the past, the most common type of diabetes to affect children and teens was type 1 diabetes. This is also referred to as juvenile diabetes. In children with type 1 diabetes, their bodies do not produce insulin, a hormone responsible for helping deliver glucose into the cells. While type 1 diabetes is quite common in children, pediatricians are also seeing a rise in type 2 diabetes in children and teens. This coincides with an increase in childhood obesity rates.
 
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
While type 1 diabetes can appear in children of any age, it’s most commonly diagnosed in children between the ages of 5 and 6, and 11 to 13. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of type 1 diabetes early, as high blood sugar levels can lead to serious complications. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes typically appear suddenly, and the most common symptoms include,
  • Frequent urination, particularly at night
  • Excessive thirst or hunger
  • Weight loss, despite increased appetite
  • Cuts, bruises, and wounds that don’t heal or are slow to heal
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes symptoms usually appear gradually. While type 2 diabetes has always been considered “adult-onset” diabetes, this has changed over the years, thanks to the obesity epidemic in children. If your child is obese or overweight, they may be at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to type 1 diabetes, the only marked differences in symptoms are,
  • Blurry vision
  • Severe fatigue
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
Treating Diabetes in Children

Even though there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways that your child’s pediatrician can help manage their symptoms. The goal of treatment is to control blood sugar levels to prevent complications and lessen symptoms.
 
The standard treatment includes managing diabetes through insulin therapy, which involves either daily insulin injections or an insulin pump. You will also need to monitor your child’s blood sugar levels throughout the day. Along with insulin therapy, you will also want to make sure that your child is eating a healthy diet and is getting regular exercise (at least one hour a day).
 
If your child is overweight or showing signs of diabetes, you must talk with your child’s pediatrician right away. A simple blood test can check their blood sugar levels and determine whether or not they have diabetes. Since uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious health problems, it’s a good idea to see a pediatrician as soon as possible.
By Virginia Pediatric Group
January 20, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Tetanus Shot  
Tetanus ShotAll children need to get a tetanus shot. When we think of tetanus we often think of rusty nails; however, this bacterium isn’t just found on rusty metal items, it also lives in soil and dirt. If bacteria come in contact with a wound or opening in the skin this can lead to a serious infection. If your child, like many, enjoys running around outside barefoot, they must be keeping up with their tetanus shots.
 
When should my child get their first tetanus shot?

While tetanus can cause some serious symptoms including “lockjaw," it is completely preventable with a vaccination. The DTaP vaccine is used to prevent tetanus (along with diphtheria and pertussis) and your child will get their first series of shots at 2, 4, and 6 months. Your child will also need another tetanus shot between the ages of 15 to 18 months old and between 4-6 years old.
 
Children should continue to get a tetanus shot during their annual pediatric checkup until they turn 18 years old. Instead of getting the DTap vaccine, which they got as a young child, they will get the Tdap booster shot that still protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.
 
Once your child reaches adulthood, they will get a Td vaccination, which will protect them against tetanus and diphtheria.
 
What are the signs and symptoms of tetanus?

Most children will develop symptoms within two weeks of exposure to the bacteria. Symptoms of tetanus include,
  • Painful and severe muscle spasms
  • Shoulder, jaw, and neck stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
If left untreated, tetanus can be life-threatening so it’s important to bring your child in right away if they develop any of these symptoms.
 
If it’s time for your child’s next tetanus shot, your pediatrician will be able to administer the vaccine either during their next routine checkup or at a separate important. You must be keeping up with your child’s vaccine schedule so that they are fully protected against potentially dangerous communicable diseases.
By Virginia Pediatric Group
January 08, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Social Distancing   Mask  

Do your part to stop the spread of coronavirus among children and teens.

 

With COVID-19 cases on the rise across the country, it’s important that we make our best efforts to keep our families safe and reduce the spread of the virus in our communities.  The hardest part is knowing when one might be exposed, especially when children may be asymptomatic yet capable of sharing the infection.  We are providing testing for our patients, using both a quick antigen test performed on-site with results within a few hours, and the more sensitive PCR test which is sent to the reference lab and may take a few days to get a result.  However, prevention is the best medicine and there are familiar routines we advocate that can help.

Wash Your Hands

Nothing works better than hand washing.  It is most effective when using soap, washing the front and back of the hands, and doing it for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice).  If there isn’t soap and water available, make sure that your child has access to hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol. Then have them wash their hands properly when possible.

Wear a Mask

Wearing a face mask over your nose and mouth dramatically reduces the spread of the virus.  Wearing a mask when out in public or in any group setting outside of your home down to age 5, and younger if they are willing and able.  This is a big commitment and, for some, an inconvenience, but even if it reduces the likelihood of spread by 10%, it can save lives.  Help your kids get used to and feel good about wearing a mask.  Put one on their favorite stuffed animal.  Praise them for their good behavior.  Find fun and interesting masks that they can choose and feel good about wearing.

Keep Your Distance

There is no more effective way to prevent infection or spread of the virus than social distancing.  That starts with staying at home more, at least until we see this pandemic recede.  If you are in a group setting, the common advice of a 6-foot perimeter and limited numbers of people in gatherings is the smart way to go.  If you are not in contact with infected people-and many do not know they are infected and spreading the virus because they are asymptomatic-you will not get it!

When to get tested

There are many situations where testing for COVID-19 is appropriate and even required.  If you are notified that someone you or your child was around has tested positive, testing should be considered.  It is important to know who in your household is at high risk for severe disease and to understand how to deal with a positive test.  Our offices are available for telemedicine visits (virtual visits from your home or other location) and we can provide testing in the offices and offer “curbside” services at our Fairfax, Herndon, and Aldie locations.  Please call the office to arrange an appointment and we will accommodate your needs as quickly and conveniently as possible.

If you have questions about COVID testing or any of the other services we offer, simply call us at (703) 573-2432.





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