Posts for category: Child Care
What causes ear infections?
There is one major culprit that causes ear infections: the common cold. When your child comes down with a cold the fluids can sometimes get stuck in the middle ear, which can irritate the eardrum. Since the immune systems of children under 3 years old are still developing, this often means that they don’t have the antibodies necessary to fight off this infection. This means that it’s inevitable that many young children will deal with an ear infection at some point.
What are the symptoms?
It isn’t always easy to tell whether your child isn’t feeling well or what’s going on, particularly if your child is too young to tell you. Of course, there are some warning signs to be on the lookout for. You may notice that your child is irritable and fussier than usual. They may be upset more easily or cling to you. They may also have trouble sleeping. You may also notice them tugging or pulling at the ear.
On top of these common signs, they may also have a loss of appetite, upset stomach, diarrhea, fever or vomiting. If you notice any of these signs then it’s a good idea to call your pediatrician to see whether you should bring your child into the office.
How are ear infections treated?
How an ear infection is handled will really depend on the severity and cause of the infection, as well as your child’s age. In some instances, children between 6 months and 2 years may be prescribed a round of antibiotics while in other situations your pediatrician may just monitor their condition before deciding whether or not to prescribe medication.
Often, children over the age of 2 may not be prescribed medication right away; your pediatrician may take a “wait and see” approach since some ear infections clear up on their own.
If you are ever concerned about the issues or symptoms your child is experiencing, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for advice on the next steps. This can often provide parents with the peace of mind they need to know they are doing everything for their little one.
Here’s your first-aid guide on how to care for minor childhood injuries.
In a perfect world, your child would never get injured, sick, or hurt; unfortunately, this just isn’t 100 percent preventable. Children are deeply curious and far more fearless than adults, which often means that they leave themselves prone to injuries and incidents along the way. Fortunately, most minor illnesses and injuries can be treated from the comfort of home.
Quick and Dirty First Aid Tips for Injuries
Minor burns, cuts, scrapes, and wounds won’t necessarily bring your child into the pediatrician’s office but you do want to know that you are doing everything you can to treat the injury. For minor scrapes, cuts, and wounds, gently clean the area with water to wash away any debris. If there is blood, apply pressure first for about 10-15 minutes before washing the wound. Then apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage to the area to prevent an infection.
If your child is dealing with a strain or sprain, using the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method can certainly help. Ask your child’s healthcare provider about any over-the-counter pain medications they can use that might help them manage their pain as the injury heals.
When to Call Your Pediatrician
It’s important to recognize when injuries can be treated at home and when you need to make a trip to the pediatrician’s office. You should turn to a pediatrician if,
- There are signs of an infection (e.g. fever; increased redness; pus or drainage)
- There is a visible deformity after injury
- There was a popping or snapping sound at the moment of injury
- Pain is severe or getting worse
- Your child can’t put weight on the injured leg, ankle or foot
- Bleeding doesn’t stop after 10-15 minutes of applying pressure
Treating Minor Illnesses
So, what constitutes a minor illness? Minor illnesses include colds, ear infections, sore throats, and stomach flu. Viral infections like colds and certain ear infections don’t respond to antibiotics, so often the best course of action is to keep your child well hydrated and rested so the body can fight the infection. Of course, you also want to know when you should turn to a pediatrician for treatment. It’s time to call your pediatrician if,
- Your child is dealing with a severe sore throat and is having trouble swallowing or breathing
- Your child’s fever is high (102.5 F for children 3 months to 3 years and 103 F in children older than 3 years)
- Their symptoms are getting worse or aren’t improving with home care
- Your child is showing signs of dehydration
- Your child is acting strangely (e.g. severely lethargic; confused)
- New symptoms appear
- Symptoms persist for more than 5 days
If you are ever concerned about an illness or injury your child is dealing with, it’s always best to play it safe and turn schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician.
Reasons Why Some Children Struggle With Potty Training
Most children after the age of 18 months or so should have little trouble acclimating to potty training. But if your child is struggling, and you aren't sure why there are many potential reasons. Let's take a look at a few of the most common causes of potty training difficulties with children:
- Their Bodies are Just Not Ready — Before 18 months, your child may not have the ability to control when they "go." So putting pressure on them too early may just frustrate them.
- They May Not Have the Developmental Abilities — Some children just progress slower than others and may need more time in a diaper before they're ready to potty train.
- The Idea of Potty Training is Boring or Scary — Many children find potty training boring or even scary and may struggle to get used to the idea of "going" outside their diaper.
- Fear of Accidents May Develop Early — Your child wants to make you happy, and if they have accidents or fear them, they might struggle with potty training.
- Assess while your child is struggling
- Talk with the child to understand their concerns
- Find a solution that makes sense for them
- Work with you and your child to get great results
- Adjust their care methods, as they need
If you think you need help getting your child to use the potty, it might be time to reach out to a professional you can trust to help. A great pediatrician and medical team can provide you and your child with a better understanding of why they don't want to use the potty. And it can also take some of the load off your back as a parent. Frankly, you deserve some rest and relaxation.
First, is it actually cradle cap?
It’s important to be able to pinpoint the signs and symptoms of cradle crap. This condition most often occurs within the first 2-4 weeks of a baby’s life. This condition is characterized by oily, scaly, white or yellow patches that may crust over. While it might look unpleasant it isn’t painful and shouldn’t itch, but may be slightly red. You may also find these scaly patches on other parts of the body including the nose, ears and groin.
If the patches are itchy or painful, this could be a sign of another skin condition that will warrant seeing your pediatrician for an accurate diagnosis.
Should I seek treatment from a pediatrician?
Your baby’s cradle cap should go away on its own with a few weeks or months. You can care for cradle cap by simply using a mild shampoo and by shampooing your baby’s scalp every few days, which can help to remove scales. It’s important that you don’t scrub or become too aggressive with the scalp; however, if your child’s symptoms are severe or aren’t responding to home care, then it’s time to turn to a pediatrician who can prescribe a special, medicated cream or shampoo.
If you ever have concerns about your child’s health or any symptoms they may have, even minor ones, it’s important to bring it up with a qualified pediatrician that can address these concerns and also provide a fast diagnosis. No concern is too small when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your child.
You Catch Them Squinting When Reading
When your eyes have trouble focusing on an image, squinting may actually help your child see or focus better. Your child may squint when reading anything far away such as a menu behind a restaurant counter or when reading the chalkboard at school. Your child’s teacher may even let you know that your child needed to move closer to the front to see what was written on the chalkboard. This is a telltale sign that your child needs to have their vision evaluated by their pediatrician.
Sitting Close to the TV
Another sign that your child may have trouble with their vision is if they put phones and other electronic devices close to their face to see it. Your child may also sit really close to the TV. These could be signs of nearsightedness.
If your child’s eyes have been overworked and straining all day your child might complain of frequent headaches, particularly in the evening.
Difficulties in School
When parents and teachers notice that their child is having trouble focusing on work they may immediately think that they have ADHD, but sometimes bad vision is actually the culprit. If your child can’t properly see the board, it’s no surprise that their attention focuses on other things. This is when you should talk to your child and find out if they are having trouble seeing the board. It might not be behavioral issues, it might just mean that they need to get an eye exam.
If you are noticing changes in your child’s vision, or if your child mentions having blurry vision or trouble seeing, you must schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible. While your pediatrician does have the tools necessary for hearing and vision screenings, they can also refer your child to a pediatric optometrist who can provide further and specialized vision testing and fit them with glasses, if necessary.