Posts for: September, 2017
Immunizations are an essential part of well-child care. Proper immunizations protect the health of the individual child and protect all children in the community as a whole. Many parents have concerns about immunizations, and may choose to not immunize their children, but it is important to fully understand each immunization. As a parent, you are encouraged to talk to your pediatrician for more information on proper immunization scheduling for your child.
Immunizations for Teenagers and Young Adults
Many parents only think of vaccines as something needed for infants and young children, and that they are less important later in life. However, teenagers and young adults often get a number of vaccine-preventable diseases, including hepatitis B, measles, German measles and chickenpox. Teens and young adults need protection against infectious illnesses as well.
Teenagers are encouraged to see their pediatrician or other physician on a regular basis and should keep an updated record of their immunizations. Many will need more vaccinations as teenagers, particularly if they have not been previously vaccinated against hepatitis B or chickenpox. Important vaccines for your teenager include:
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus-diptheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) or tetanus-diptheria (Td) booster
- Hepatitis A
As a responsible parent, it is important for you to be fully informed on the vaccines offered for your child. If you have any questions or concerns, you can talk with your pediatrician.
A hit to the head during a soccer game or a hard fall from skateboarding may result in a serious head injury and even a concussion. The American Academy of Pediatrics describes a concussion as any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. These injuries are typically caused by a blow to the head, most often occurring while playing contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer, wrestling or skateboarding.
For some children, concussions only last for a short while. Other times, a person can have symptoms of a concussion that last for several days or weeks following the injury. Not all symptoms of concussions will be obvious, and in some cases take several hours to set in. Look for these signs of a concussion if your child suffers a head injury:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Memory loss or confusion
- Poor concentration
- Vision problems
- Irritability or changes in mood
- Sensitivity to light or noise
Seek Medical Attention
If your child injures his head or you believe he may have a concussion, it is important that the child discontinues play immediately and visits a healthcare provider for an evaluation. All concussions are serious and should be monitored right away. A pediatrician can properly diagnose the concussion and its severity, and then make appropriate treatment recommendations.
Rest from all activities is the best treatment for concussions. Your pediatrician can make appropriate recommendations for when the child should return to future play. Recovery time depends on the child and the severity of the concussion.
Preventing Head Injuries
Not all head injuries can be avoided, but you can do a few important things to prevent them.
- Buckle Up. Make sure your child is properly buckled up in a seat belt, car seat or booster seat.
- Safety Gear. If your child plays sports, make sure he wears appropriate headgear and other safety equipment.
- Awareness. Children should be taught how to play safe and understand the importance of reporting any type of head injury to their parent or coach.
All head injuries should be taken seriously. Early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent serious complications. It’s never a bad idea to contact your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns about your child’s head injury.
With the arrival of flu season, many parents will be watching their children closely for symptoms of this dreaded virus. The flu, also known as influenza, is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs). The virus spreads easily in settings where many people are contained in close quarters such as schools and childcare, making children especially susceptible to the flu.
Often confused with the common cold, flu symptoms are typically more severe. The following symptoms are good indicators that your child has the flu:
- Rapid onset of fever (typically above 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Excessive tiredness, lack of energy and general weakness
- Muscle aches and chills
- Dry cough
- Stuffy, runny nose
Other symptoms that accompany the flu may include sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Remember, if your child comes down with the flu, keep them home from school or childcare for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. The flu is highly contagious and can infect other children and caregivers. It can spread by direct contact, such as drinking from the same cup or through indirect contact, such as when a classmate sneezes on his hand and then touches the door handle.
Flu Prevention Tips
Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu typically occur during the fall through the spring. Knowing how to identify flu symptoms and prevent the virus will help you protect your family from getting the flu. Here are just a few tips to keep the virus away from your household.
- Teach your children proper and consistent hand washing
- Avoid sharing cups, bottles, and other utensils
- Encourage your children to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to prevent germs from spreading
- Practice the importance of coughing or sneezing into your arm or a tissue
To prevent seasonal influenza, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children receive the influenza vaccination every year starting at six months of age. Ask your pediatrician about flu vaccinations for your child.
When your child is experiencing the flu, extra rest and drinking plenty of fluids can help relieve symptoms. Typical recovery time for the flu is one or two weeks. Contact your pediatrician if your child’s fever persists, he or she develops a cough, or if he or she complains of ear pain. Flu is a serious illness that should be monitored closely.
For most children, nothing beats the excitement of joining his or her first soccer league or school basketball team. But along with the many benefits of childhood sports and team activities, comes the increased risk of sprains, fractures, and broken bones. While some juvenile sports injuries are inevitable, there are precautions that children and parents can take in order to keep them healthy and enjoying their favorite activities throughout the year.
Common Childhood Athletic Injuries
Accidents can happen at any time, either on the soccer field or even walking home from the bus stop after school. The doctors at Woodbridge, NJ based Edison Pediatrics treat children for common problems like pain, swelling, sprains, and fractures. Depending on the nature and severity, milder conditions like a sprained wrist or ankle often respond to conservative treatments like rest, icing, and over the counter pain and anti-inflammatory medication like Advil and Tylenol. However, it is important to seek medical attention for pain and soreness that persists and does not respond to conservative treatment. Bone fractures and breaks, as well as ligament and tendon tears, require prompt treatment to prevent complications and the potential permanent damage.
Some of the most common athletic injuries for young children and teenagers include:
- Ankle, wrist, and hand sprains and fractures
- Knee pain, ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears, meniscus sprains and tears
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts and bruises
Precautions for Preventing Juvenile Sports Injuries
- The most important and basic precaution active children can take is to wear protective gear and proper footwear. Goggles, shin guards and knee pads, and sneakers with the appropriate level of support can make the difference between an injury free season and several trips to the pediatrician.
- Maintain a healthy weight - With obesity growing, especially among children, proper nutrition, and healthy diets are more important than ever. Extra weight puts added pressure and stress on the joints and lower back, which can increase the risk of injury.
Contact a Pediatrician in Woodbridge
Occasional cuts and scrapes and a broken bone or two are a normal part of growing up. For more information on injury prevention and treatment for your children, contact Edison Pediatrics at (732) 548-3210 to schedule an appointment in Woodbridge today. And our fax number is (732)906-3966.
This painful eye condition may be common but it’s important that you know the proper way to treat it so it doesn’t spread.
Kids carry a lot of germs, so it’s not surprising when your child comes back from school with some odd symptoms that are telltale signs that they are sick. Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, causes an inflammation of the conjunctiva, or clear tissue that covers the white part of the eye. Find out more about this condition and how our Edison pediatricians Dr. Nimisha Shukla, Dr. Aparna Bhamidipati and Dr. Jaishree Ramachandran treat conjunctivitis.
What are the symptoms of pink eye?
Symptoms will be a bit different depending on the cause of your child’s pink eye but common symptoms include:
- Thick discharge that crusts over (usually while they are sleeping)
- Itchy and burning eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Teary eyes
- Blurry vision
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms then it’s important that you see our Edison children’s doctor right away for treatment.
What is the cause?
There are many causes of conjunctivitis including:
- Irritants (e.g. smoke; chlorine)
Pinkeye that is caused either by bacteria or viruses is considered contagious and can spread from person to person. If it’s treated right away then there is less of a concern that the condition will spread.
How is it treated?
Pinkeye treatment will depend on the cause. If the cause is bacterial then antibiotics will be prescribed. These antibiotics may be taken orally or given in the form of eye drops. After about a week symptoms should improve with antibiotics.
Pinkeye caused by a virus is considered highly contagious. This means that you should avoid contact with others until symptoms have gone away. As with many viruses, pinkeye will also just go away on its own after a few days. But if your little one experiences blurred vision then you need to come into our office right away.
If irritants are causing your pinkeye rinse your eye out for several minutes. You should find that symptoms improve after a few hours. And if allergies are the culprit it’s important that you talk to us about which allergy treatments are the best and to avoid these allergens whenever possible.
Is your child displaying classic symptoms of conjunctivitis? Don’t worry! Just call 7 Days Pediatrics in Edison, NJ today to schedule your little one’s much-needed appointment so they can get the care they need.