Your seven-year-old complains of a sore throat. She is running a fever and says that the sides of her throat feel puffy. Does she have strep throat? Here at 7 Days Pediatrics, in Edison, NJ, our team of six board-certified children's doctors can help you find the answer!
It's pretty common
Strep throat is a common childhood illness affecting kids up to age 15 before becoming less frequent in adulthood.
Different from the throat discomfort that results from the common cold, strep isn't caused by a virus, but rather, from a bacteria called Streptococcus pyrogenes. Detected through a throat examination (visual inspection) and throat culture, strep throat requires treatment with an antibiotic to quell symptoms and avoid complications.
Why strep can be dangerous
Besides the symptoms of painful sore throat, fever, fatigue, and stomach ache, strep can cause swollen glands in the neck which then impede the airway and create complications in other bodily systems. Untreated, strep throat may also lead to rheumatic fever, a debilitating illness which damages the heart valves and joints.
The strep test
Your Edison children's doctor uses a rapid strep test to detect this bacteria quickly. All it takes is a quick throat swab, with results appearing in 10 to 15 minutes. Your pediatrician may send a sample to a medical lab for a culture and analysis to confirm the diagnosis of strep throat.
Most children respond well to treatment with antibiotics. Amoxycillin is a common choice to combat the illness, while ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be used to lessen any pain. Parents should also push fluids, offer a soft diet, and ensure that children rest for a couple of days after beginning treatment.
To help avoid contracting strep throat (and other communicable diseases, such as the flu and the common cold), practice careful hand washing, cough/sneeze into a tissue, and stay out of crowds during the winter months.
Strep throat? We can help
At 7 Days Pediatrics, your sick child will see a real pediatrician whatever day of the week you bring them to the office. We offer exceptionally skilled and compassionate care for both acute and chronic conditions, as well as provide immunizations, well-child check-ups, and more.
Call us at (732) 548-3210 to schedule an appointment with one of our children's doctors. We have two offices in Edison and one in South Plainfield.
Your child's sports injury can be treated just as your injury was. Or, can it? Your pediatrician knows that a child's body is still developing, responding differently to acute and overuse injuries from organized sports, gym class, and more. As such, he or she can help your child avoid injury and in the event of sprain, strain, laceration, dislocation, or head injury, will help your youngster recover and stay healthy.
Kids sports injuries
They're very common, says the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Annually, 3.5 million American children under the age of 14 suffer significant sports injuries. Some injuries are related to poor conditioning. Others occur because of inadequate instruction or proper protective gear such as padding, eye wear, sneakers, dance shoes, skates, and cleats.
In addition, diligent supervision on the part of parents, coaches, teachers, and other well-informed adults is critical to safe play. Well-maintained game fields and indoor surfaces avoid foot, ankle, and knee injuries.
Finally, KidsHealth reports that Pre-participation Physicals review medical histories and spot possible weaknesses in children's physiology and anatomy. Most school and organized sports teams require these check-ups either with the school physician or the family pediatrician before the sports season commences.
Treating sports injuries
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that proper assessment and prompt treatment of kids' sports injuries prevent long-term problems, including pain and proper growth of areas of the body such as the long bones. Traditionally, coaches and parents have used the RICE protocol to stabilize and injury, relieve pain, and begin the healing process. It still works exceptionally well. RICE stands for:
- Ice to the affected area
- Compression with an elastic bandage
- Elevation of the affected limb/injured area above heart level
Then, your pediatrician and other health care providers can devise a specific treatment plan to include physical therapy, strengthening exercises, over the counter analgesics, braces, and casts as needed. As a parent, you know your child well. So be sure to fully participate in your youngster's care plan.
Be safe, be well
Each child responds differently to athletic training depending on his or her gender, size, age, physical conditioning, underlying health issue,s and natural ability. You and your pediatrician can partner together in encouraging a safe sports season for your child. That's a win-win situation.
It’s easy for parents to be able to pinpoint when there is something physically wrong with their child. They may have a fever, body aches, or abdominal pain. When these symptoms arise parents often know to seek care from their pediatrician. Mental health issues, on the other hand, are just as important to treat as physical complaints; however, these symptoms and problems aren’t always as clear-cut.
Good mental health allows children to feel confident, think properly and develop the proper skills needed for social, personal, and even professional success throughout their lifetime. A child’s environment can greatly impact their emotional and mental states, and it’s important that parents are in tuned with their children, their emotions and what’s going on for them to spot problems right away so that they can seek proper care.
Here are some ways to foster healthy mental well-being in your child:
- Provide your child with unconditional love
- Foster a safe, nurturing environment
- Help build their self-esteem and confidence
- Encourage their passions and dreams
- Provide guidance and discipline when necessary
Along with these simple tips it’s also important to ensure that your child is:
- Getting regular exercise
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Getting adequate sleep
Modeling Good Mental Health
Your child mirrors everything you do so by giving them a positive role model your child can mirror good behaviors that foster good mental health. When you take care of yourself your child also learns the importance in self-care. When you find joy in your life your child will also make a priority out of finding things that bring them joy.
Talk to a Pediatrician
We know that it isn’t always easy to determine what behaviors are normal and which ones warrant a deeper look. This is where your children’s doctor can provide you with the information you need. A pediatrician can answer questions about everything from healthy social and emotional skills to behaviors that could be problematic.
It’s also important that parents do not ignore their own mental well-being. After all, mentally healthy parents also provide better care and a positive, happy environment for their children to thrive. If you are having trouble with your own mental well-being it’s okay to talk to your child’s pediatrician about your issues.
If you have questions about your child’s mental health and wellness don’t hesitate to sit down and discuss your questions or concerns with a pediatrician who will be able to guide you along the way to make sure that you are providing your child with everything they need for optimal mental and emotional well-being.
What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is a developmental disability that can cause significant communication, communication, and behavioral challenges. The thinking, learning, and problem-solving abilities of individuals with autism can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some individuals with autism need only a bit of help in their daily lives; others need more. While there's no cure for autism, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children.
ASD is the fastest growing serious, developmental disability, affecting an estimated one out of 59 kids in America. Autism begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society — at work, in school, and socially, for example. Often kids show symptoms of autism within the first year. Autism impacts how people perceive and socialize with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication.
Autism can look different in different people. Kids with autism have a hard time interacting with others. Social skills difficulties are some of the most common signs. A child with ASD might want to have close relationships but not know how. Most have some problems with communication. Kids with ASD also act in ways that seem unusual. Examples of this can include repetitive behaviors like jumping, hand-flapping, constant moving, fixations on certain objects, fussy eating habits, impulsiveness, and aggressive behavior.
The exact cause of ASD is not known, but it's believed that genetic and environmental factors are involved. Research shows that ASD tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child with develop autism. Research also shows that certain environmental influences may increase autism risk in people who are genetically predisposed to the disorder. Researchers are exploring whether certain factors such as medications, viral infections, or complications during pregnancy play a role in triggering ASD.
Treatment options may include nutritional therapy, physical therapy, behavior and communication therapies, educational therapies, family therapies, and medications. No medication can improve the core signs of ASD, but specific medications can help control symptoms. For example, antipsychotic drugs are sometimes used to treat severe behavioral problems; certain medications may be prescribed if your child is hyperactive; and antidepressants may be prescribed for anxiety.
Autism can impact your child's quality of life. If you think your child may have autism, find a pediatrician near you and schedule a consultation. Proper diagnosis and treatment of autism can help your child live a happier, more successful life. The earlier children with autism get help, the greater their chance of treatment success.
Worried that your child’s daydreaming and lack of focus could actually be ADHD?
Hyperactivity and trouble staying focused can be telltale signs of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in your child. If you suspect that your little one might have ADHD, it’s important that you turn to our Edison and South Plainfield, NJ, pediatricians as soon as possible for an evaluation. But first, it’s important to know what behaviors and patterns to look for first. Does your child,
- Have trouble listening to instructions or paying attention in class?
- Make careless mistakes?
- Often have trouble staying focused or on task?
- Often jump from one thing to the next but never completes anything?
- Have trouble staying organized?
- Frequently lose items like toys, homework, or books?
- Often seem like they are daydreaming or not listening?
- Seem easily distracted?
If you said “yes” to several of these statements, then your child may be displaying one of the classic signs of ADHD: inattentiveness.
Some children with ADHD may also display symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Here are some additional questions to consider. Does your child,
- Have trouble sitting still?
- Often squirm around in their seat or fidget?
- Talk excessively or interrupt others?
- Have trouble staying quiet or joining in on quiet activities?
- Have trouble waiting their turn?
- Blurt out answers in class without waiting to be called on?
It’s important to recognize that these behaviors should be present in all environments, not just at home or at school. These behaviors may also affect your child’s relationships and ability to socialize. If you have been noticing these issues for a few months, then it might be time to have your child evaluated for ADHD by one of our children’s doctors in Edison or South Plainfield, NJ.
If your child does have ADHD, it’s important that they get treated as soon as possible, so that we can help them better manage their symptoms and improve both their home and school life. After all, children don’t outgrow ADHD, but by getting them the therapy and medication they need early on, we can make it easy for them to grow up and adjust well to any environment.
If your child is falling behind in school or you’re having trouble with your child at home because of any of the behavioral issues above then it’s time to call (732) 538-3210 to schedule an ADHD screening at 7 Days Pediatrics in Edison, NJ, or South Plainfield, NJ.
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