Posts for category: Child Health
By Belkis R. Cepero, MD
December 22, 2020
Tags: Broken Bone
Accidents happen. Perhaps your child hurt themselves falling off their bike or taking a rough tumble down the stairs. In these instances, the first thing you’ll probably do is check your child over for bumps, bruises, and possibly broken bones. It’s important to recognize whether your child could be dealing with a broken bone so that you can bring them in to see their pediatrician right away.
The warning signs of a broken bone include,
- A popping or snapping sound at the moment of impact or injury
- Trouble straightening out the limb or affected area
- Unable to put weight on the area
- Limited range of motion or unable to move normally
If the bone is visible through the skin, you must call 911 or head to your nearest emergency room for care. If there is no bone visible but your child is still experiencing the symptoms above, then call your pediatrician right away. This problem should be treated on the very same day by your child’s doctor.
The most common fractures that we see in kids often affect the bones of the elbows, ankles, and wrists. Falling off monkey bars and other injuries on the playground are incredibly common and can lead to wrist and elbow fractures.
How is a broken bone treated?
First, your pediatrician will run X-rays to determine the location and severity of the break. Your doctor will place a splint or cast around the broken bone to provide support and stabilization and to restrict certain movements that could impede healing.
Your doctor may also recommend certain exercises that your child should do at home every day to help ease symptoms such as pain, limited mobility, and swelling. Your doctor may also refer your child to a pediatric orthopedist for physical therapy, depending on the type and extent of the injury. You will also need to bring your child back into the office in a few weeks to see how the broken bone is healing.
A broken bone is considered a serious injury. If your child is displaying symptoms of a broken bone, it’s a good idea to call your pediatrician right away for a consultation.
By Belkis R. Cepero, MD
December 07, 2020
A urinary tract infection isn’t just something that happens to adults. Children can also develop UTIs. Since children are more likely to suffer from kidney damage as a result of a UTI you must see your pediatric doctor right away if you suspect that your child may be dealing with a urinary tract infection. Signs and symptoms include,
- Increased urgency to urinate, even if there is no output
- Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
- A decreased output of urine
- Children may complain of a burning sensation when urinating
- Older children may complain of lower stomach or back pain
- Younger children may cry when urinating
- Wetting the bed
We know that infants and young children can’t tell us what hurts and where, so we have to look for other signs that they could be dealing with a urinary tract infection. Young children may have a fever, loose stools, refuse to eat, and be more irritable than usual. When they wet their diaper, you may notice that the urine smells strong or bad.
Diagnosing UTIs in Children
If your child is showing symptoms of a UTI you must see your pediatrician right away. A simple urine sample is all that’s needed to be able to detect the presence of bacteria. We can examine the urine sample under the microscope and provide results in a matter of minutes. The kind of bacteria that’s present will help us determine the type of antibiotics we will prescribe.
Treating Childhood UTIs
It’s important to seek treatment right away, as untreated UTIs can lead to more serious problems including kidney infections, abscesses, and sepsis. Your pediatrician can prescribe antibiotics. Your child should also be getting plenty of fluids during the course of their treatment to help flush out bacteria.
It’s also important that your child continues to take their medication even if they start to feel better (do not stop the medication). If symptoms do not improve within three days, or if they get worse, you must call your pediatrician immediately.
Our pediatrics team is here to make sure that your child gets the care they need, whenever they are dealing with everything from a fever or stomach upset to a UTI. If your child develops a UTI, talk to your pediatrician right away.
By Belkis R. Cepero, MD
September 11, 2020
You want your child to lead a healthy, happy life but it can be difficult if they are picky eaters or only seem to crave junk food. If you’re having trouble making smart nutritional choices when it comes to your kids, your child’s pediatrician can help you create some healthier eating habits and map out a treatment plan if your child is currently struggling to lose excess weight.
Choose Smarter Snacks
Kids always seem hungry, so they may be begging for snacks throughout the day. Snacks should be small, and they shouldn’t be enjoyed too close to mealtimes, as this could ruin their appetite. Instead of reaching for a bag of candy or potato chips try opting for smarter snack options such as nuts, apple slices or celery with peanut butter, whole-grain crackers and cheese sticks, or hummus and carrots.
Get Your Kids Cooking
One of the best ways to get your child dedicated to nutrition is by making them an active part of the process. Cooking can be fun, especially for kids, and by cooking together they will experience a source of pride in the foods they’ve helped to make (which typically leads to them being more likely to eat it). Enjoy this quality time together and show them how eating and cooking healthy foods can be fun.
Hide Healthier Foods
Particularly at the beginning of this new nutritional journey, you may find that your child has an “aversion” to eating healthy. They may turn their nose up at broccoli, carrots or certain veggies, but don’t despair. Instead of making them eat it plain, you can hide these important veggies into dishes they already love such as whole grain mac and cheese, soups, or sandwiches.
Show Your Kids How It’s Done
Kids watch and mimic what parents do, so if parents aren’t eating healthy chances are fairly good that they won’t see a reason to eat healthily either. Therefore, it’s a good idea for parents to also show how important eating healthy can be. Lead by example and this simple habit could actually improve not just your child’s health but yours as well.
A healthy child begins with a healthy diet. If you are having concerns about your child’s health and nutrition, it’s important that you talk with a qualified pediatrician to figure out the right dietary choices for your little one.
By Belkis R. Cepero, MD
August 17, 2020
While we may not love it, all kids are going to act up, throw tantrums and be irritable at times; however, if your child is displaying negative actions and behaviors regularly, you may be concerned that there is something more going on. Is your child just “going through a phase” or is this a sign of a more serious problem?
Is This Normal Behavior?
Common behaviors issues may include:
- Being defiant
- Issues around bedtime
- Issues around food (being a “picky eater” or refusing to eat)
- Temper tantrums
Most of these issues are common and while they certainly aren’t pleasant at the moment, they are typically fleeting. However, you may want to seek professional help if your child’s behaviors:
- Are still occurring regardless of discipline or punishment
- Are affecting their schoolwork and/or social interactions
- Aren’t appropriate for their age (e.g. throwing temper tantrums as an older child)
While the behaviors above are fairly common in children, certain behaviors are not normal and should be a cause for concern:
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Harm to self, others, or animals
- Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
- Breaking the rules or skipping school
- Sudden or extreme behavioral changes
- Showing no remorse
How can a pediatrician help?
Pediatricians come equipped to handle and address any issues regarding your child’s health, and this includes behavioral concerns you may have as a parent. If your pediatrician believes that a developmental, neurological, or mental health disorder could be to blame, then they may recommend additional testing and evaluations. This is done either through their practice or with a specific specialist who can properly diagnose and treat certain conditions such as depression, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, or autism spectrum disorder.
Based on the results of your child’s screening, your pediatrician will then be able to create a custom treatment plan to help you and your child manage their condition and their symptoms. Your pediatrician can also refer your child to therapists and other specialists who can also provide additional support and treatment for the whole family.
If you’re having concerns about your child’s behavior, it’s best to talk with your pediatrician at your child’s next wellness checkup.
By Belkis R. Cepero, MD
June 18, 2020
Tags: Vision Test
Parents want nothing more than their children to be healthy and happy. This applies to every element of their well-being, including their eyes! Your pediatrician recommends that all children receive a comprehensive eye exam by the age of one. These tests detect any problems that require correction. Prolonging an exam can damage your child’s eyes for life.
When Should My Child’s Vision Be Tested?
Your child should have had several tests done by the age of five. This confirms for your pediatrician that they are developing normally. Follow this recommended time-table:
- At birth: this is performed right away on your child, as part of the newborn physical assessment.
- 6 months: your pediatrician evaluates your child’s eyes at their regular appointment.
- 3.5 years old: at your child’s appointment, the pediatrician tests their eyes and also their visual acuity.
- 5 years old: a standard assessment performed at a pediatric appointment.
After this, eye screenings are implemented at your discretion. Your pediatrician will check your child’s eyes at their annual checkup. If your child fails an eye exam, you need to schedule a full pediatric eye evaluation right away.
Another reason you should get your child’s eyes checked is if you have a family history of eye conditions. This is especially true if you have other children that have vision problems.
Why Does My Child Need an Eye Exam If They Passed the Vision Screening?
There are certain circumstances where your pediatrician refers your child for a full eye examination. This is common for infants that show signs of a lazy eye or crossed eyes. Other possible red flags in infants are problems tracking objects or a strangely colored pupil.
Is your child struggling in school? Don’t jump to conclusions without an eye examination from your pediatrician. If a child can’t see the board or follow along with lessons, their performance will suffer. Corrective eyewear and other treatment options can help. Eye examinations are even more important for children with learning disabilities. Eye problems can make coping with a learning disorder much harder.
What to Expect at Your Child’s Eye Examination
Your child has nothing to be worried about at their appointment. There is nothing scary or painful! The pediatrician will ask you about your family history, especially anything related to eye health. From there, they check your child’s pupil and muscle function, along with sharpness.
In certain cases, your pediatrician will dilate the eyes. This is performed by placing special drops in the eyes. After about forty minutes, the pediatrician can examine the major structures.