Four Common Causes of Abdominal Pain in Infants and Children

Abdominal pain is a regular complaint from kids as they grow up. In a lot of cases, the pain usually goes away by itself and is not a significant cause for concern. If you are concerned, then you should contact your clinic for advice on whether you need to pay a visit.

There are many different reasons why kids get abdominal pain. In this latest article, we will take a quick look at the common causes of abdominal pain in infants and children.

Colic and Constipation

These two issues can be regular sources of abdominal pain in infants and generally get better as your child’s digestive system develops.  Colic is very upsetting for parents as your baby will cry a lot because of the discomfort in their abdomen. You may notice that your baby’s stomach is hard, or they are having a hard time getting rid of gas.

There is no definitive cause for colic, and the symptoms usually resolve by themselves. You can try and keep your little one as comfortable as possible. Speak with your pediatrician about it as there may be an issue with certain foods, and they can also make suggestions regarding different feeding schedules.

Four Common Causes of Abdominal Pain in Infants and Children

Infections

Bacterial and viral infections are widespread in kids of all ages. The abdominal pain will usually be accompanied by diarrhea and/or vomiting. There are many culprits for these infections, but the treatment usually consists of rest and keeping your child hydrated. They should be back to normal in 24-48 hours.

However, if the sickness is accompanied by fever or doesn’t get better after a couple of days, then you should get them checked out by a physician.

Food

Abdominal pain can often be related to food. All of us at some point will suffer a tummy ache because we have overeaten, and this usually happens with kids. However, if there are other symptoms such as a rash or diarrhea, then this could point to other causes.

It is very common for people with food allergies, such as dairy and gluten, to suffer from abdominal pain. If you suspect that your child has a food allergy or intolerance, then you should get your pediatrician to investigate further.

Food poisoning can also lead to abdominal pain, but this will usually be accompanied by other symptoms such as mild fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. Your little one should get better after a few days of rest and regular hydration. As with other conditions mentioned above, make sure you monitor their condition and if their symptoms don’t seem to be getting better then get them checked out.

Appendicitis

If your child has a mild fever and is complaining of severe abdominal pain around the belly button or lower right side, then they may have appendicitis. This condition is a medical emergency, so you should seek medical attention without delay.

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes infected. If it is left untreated, then the appendix could burst, which would lead to bacteria spreading around the body. Therefore, if your child is diagnosed with appendicitis, they will have their appendix removed in a minor surgical operation.

Things Parents Can Do to Stay on Top of Your Child’s Immunizations

Being a parent is a full-time job with so much to think about, from feeding times to doctor’s appointments, so there will be times when it may feel overwhelming. One of the things that require particular attention is your child’s schedule of immunizations, as they help your little one develop immunity against a whole host of diseases.

The problem is that it is sometimes difficult to keep track of all the shots, especially if your family moves around a lot or you have a large family. However, there are some simple steps that you can follow to stay on top of your child’s immunizations.

Why Does My Child Need Immunizations?

In the case of babies, they are vulnerable to various bacteria and viruses because their immune system has not yet fully developed. The immunizations give them a helping hand by exposing them to a small amount of a virus, so they can produce the necessary antibodies to fight the virus if they are exposed to it later on in life.

Things Parents Can Do to Stay on Top of Your Child’s Immunizations

As your kid gets older, vaccination against infectious diseases helps to protect your child and the community as a whole. In fact, failure to stay up to date with the shots might lead to your child being refused entry into kindergarten or school.

It can be challenging to stay up to date with the immunization schedule, but there is help on hand. 

Keeping on Schedule

The CDC has produced a thorough immunization schedule that should be followed throughout your little one’s childhood. When you initially see the schedule, it may appear daunting, but your local pediatric clinic will be on hand to help you manage it.

Before the birth of your child, the clinic will provide you with a schedule of the first shots your baby will need. These will play a part in the initial newborn checkups, so they are one less thing to worry about.

After your baby has her first shots, the doctor will provide you with a vaccination card that will detail the shots they have had and when the next ones are due. When you register with your clinic, see what help they have in place to help you meet the schedule. Some clinics will provide regular notifications by phone or email, while others may have online trackers.

Keep Your Own Records

Having the card is useful, but it can get misplaced, which can be a problem if you change clinics or move, as the new clinic might not have access to your old records. Some parents have their own files on their computer or record the details on a calendar which is in a prominent position. If you spend a lot of time online, a useful tool is the CDC’s Immunization Tracker, which can give you an up-to-date schedule from birth to six years old.

The old cliché, “two heads are better than one” helps in this situation, so if your partner is good at organizing and remembering things, ask them to take charge of the immunization schedule.

Four Essential Services Offered by A Pediatric Clinic

Having a child is one of the life’s most beautiful gifts, but as any parent will tell you, it is full of worry too. That is why it is always reassuring to know that there is someone there to support you when your kid is feeling under the weather. This is one of the many benefits of registering with a pediatric clinic.

Four Essential Services Offered by A Pediatric Clinic

Many people believe that pediatricians only work with newborns and young children, which couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the pediatricians and their team at a clinic will be on hand from before your child is born all the way through to young adulthood. A pediatric clinic will offer a full range of services to ensure that your child grows up healthily.

Newborn Exams

Whether you are a first-time parent or expecting another addition to your family, pregnancy and the period after the birth can be a challenging time, as you are likely to be sensitive to the smallest changes in your body and your newborn’s behavior.

That is why we highly recommend following the Centers for Disease Control and Protection’s (CDC) screening timetable. These exams occur on a regular basis and give you an opportunity to address any concerns you may have. During the exams, your doctor will perform a thorough exam to ensure your baby is developing well.

Your clinic will also be able to provide your baby’s immunization schedule, which although unpleasant, is one less thing to worry about, as you adapt to life with a little one.

Well-Child Exams

Once your baby starts growing into a toddler, the support certainly doesn’t stop. You will notice that changes come thick and fast, and you will probably want to call a timeout to enjoy each stage of your child’s development. During this exciting time, well-child exams are a useful way to check how your child is developing and address any issues – physical, behavioral, and emotional – as they arise.

When your child has a well-child exam, your pediatrician will check their general health and measure their growth and vital signs. You will be able to ask the doctor for advice about diets, behavior and any other worries and concerns you may have. In the first few years, the well-child exams will occur more regularly and become less frequent once they have started school.

School Physicals

Once your child has started school, the well-child exams are replaced by annual school physicals, which in many states are a legal requirement. Kids love spreading germs, and many childhood illnesses are highly contagious. Therefore, the school physicals are a necessary check-and-balance to protect the school community.

The school physicals take place once a year, and hopefully, they will be the only time of the year you need to visit the clinic. Your doctor will monitor the development and health of your child, and provide a safe place for you and your child to discuss any issues associated with growing up. This is particularly useful as the children become teenagers, which can be a confusing and challenging time for all concerned.

Sports Physicals

Playing sports is an excellent way to help your child develop both physically and socially. Like school physicals, these exams are a legal requirement in some states. And, they are a great way to help get kids, who suffer from pre-existing medical conditions, safely onto the playing field.

A sports physical exam gives the pediatrician the opportunity to take a medical history and check the general health of your child, which will allow them to identify any risk factors associated with your child playing a particular sport. From there, the doctor will be able to advise you on ways to minimize any risk and monitor the medication. In the case of conditions such as allergies and asthma, with slight adjustments to medication and increased awareness of the risk factors, can enable most kids to enjoy an active and successful sporting career.

4 Things to Expect from Pediatric Physicians

Pediatrics is an area of medicine that directly concerns the health and well-being of children from birth to around 21 years of age. The Pediatric Physicians will either practice general pediatric medicine or specialize in an area, such as asthma, behavior, sexual health, and nutrition.

4 Things to Expect from Pediatric Physicians

Having access to an experienced and professional pediatrician will take some of the stress out of parenthood.

A ‘Whole-Child’ Approach

No child is the same, and what is right for one might be bad for another. As your pediatrician will likely know your child from a very young age, they will be able to build a complete picture of your child’s overall health and development. This enables the physician to make informed choices regarding any treatment your child may need.

Regular Well-Child exams and physicals will look at how your child is growing and help your pediatrician find patterns that may warrant further examination. During these exams, all vital signs will be checked out to make sure that any issues with the eyes and ears can be spotted at an early stage.

A Safe Environment

As a new parent, you will likely have a lot of queries regarding your baby. You may even consider some of these questions to be stupid. The same can be true of adolescents that may be embarrassed to talk about changes in their body. Because of this, it is comforting to know that all pediatricians consider any question or concern a valid one. It is better to ask and find out the issue is entirely normal.

The safe environment is of particular importance as your children start developing into adults. There may be growing pains that they are simply too embarrassed to talk about. Luckily, the pediatric physicians have many years of experience discussing these subjects and will be able to broach the subject in a tactful and calming way.

A Smile a Day

A friendly pediatrician will certainly help comfort and reassure you and your child in any situation. The pediatrician should be a natural with kids and assist them to get through stressful events such as immunizations or minor injuries from slips and falls. In many cases, making a child smile or laugh will often distract them from whatever pain they are feeling.

A Range of Options

General pediatric physicians will usually be able to help with a variety of medical problems, but sometimes it is useful to have a specialist close at hand.

An experienced physician will know the best options for treatment and when it is best to ask for a second opinion. When there are a variety of doctors and nurses in one clinic, this makes life much easier for everyone. The last thing you want to do is go from clinic to clinic with your child.

There When You Need Them

Your chosen pediatric physician will be there to assist you and your child throughout their early years. They will even be able to help you prepare for the birth of your little ones. It is crucial that you do your homework and find a physician that will be an ideal fit. When you have found one, they will be able to advise, guide, listen, and help you as your child grows up.

5 Signs of the Onset of Spring Allergies

Many local pediatricians will tell you that you should keep an eye on your children once spring comes around. The main reason for this is because spring brings with it pollen and other allergens that will cause your children to suffer from difficult general symptoms that otherwise might be unexplainable. Diagnosing and treating these allergies ensures that your children will be able to enjoy the outside without suffering from allergies and their effects.

5 Signs of the Onset of Spring Allergies

The following are some common signs of allergies that start popping up as spring starts to kick into full swing.

1. Stuffy Nose

This is probably one of the most common signs of allergies and most parents will often correctly diagnose and treat it as such on their own. A stuffy nose will often be accompanied by a sore throat because the excess drainage will irritate your child’s throat. These symptoms will be more apparent at night and will be made worse if your child has a fan or air blowing directly on their face.

2. Sinus Issues

This will probably require diagnosis from local pediatricians because a sinus infection cannot be properly diagnosed on its own. More often than not, your child will make general complaints, but the most common signs are a headache and dizziness or a head rush when standing up quickly. A sinus infection is often caused by or associated with a runny nose.

3. Coughing

Children can suffer from coughing fits, particularly if they also have asthma, as allergens are some of the most common asthma triggers. A coughing fit associated with asthma will be hoarse and accompanied by rumbling or pain in your child’s chest. This type of cough is called a bronchospasm and is one of the most common symptoms of allergies’ effects on asthmatic children and adults.

4. Hives and Rashes

Skin reactions can be caused by things that cause allergies seasonally, and they are particularly common reactions to contact with mold spores. Skin reactions can happen in conjunction with the aforementioned symptoms and will most likely clear up on their own after taking antihistamines. However, in any case, unlike the other symptoms, it is good to take your child to local pediatricians as soon as this symptom appears.

5. Fever

A fever is a common reaction that the body creates to a wide range of illnesses. As far as allergies are concerned, there will often be a low-grade fever involved that might not be a cause for alarm. However, the fever often presents itself along with other common symptoms.

The above symptoms are among the most common allergy symptoms that will occur in children. However, they will always vary in severity and, therefore, might not be obvious. Above all else, it is best to keep in constant communication with your child to ensure that you understand what is happening with their body. Finally, if you have any questions, do not be afraid to consult a local pediatrician.

3 Common Misconceptions about the Flu Vaccine

Unlike vaccines like mumps and measles, which use herd immunizations to eradicate these diseases, the flu requires a yearly vaccine. There are many different strands of the flu, which makes it difficult to place which strand might be active for that flu season. On top of that, the flu has a remarkable adaptability that makes it so that a vaccine has to be created for that flu every year.

3 Common Misconceptions about the Flu Vaccine

The yearly administration of the flu vaccine is common for most people, especially those who are in groups that are considered at risk of complications when they get sick. However, despite the ubiquitous presence of vaccinations, people still tend to have misconceptions about immunizations, and specifically the flu. The following are just a few of those misconceptions.

1. “It’s better to get the flu.”

This is one of the most common things that people assume about the flu vaccine. They think that just because the vaccine is essentially a dead or weakened virus, getting sick with the virus is the same. Or that because your body actively fights the disease, getting sick is better.

This is simply untrue. There is no difference between your body making antibodies from fighting the healthy virus and the weakened vaccine version. On top of that, many people are vulnerable to the complications and symptoms caused by the flu, so fighting off the disease instead of getting vaccinated could be a serious risk to their health.

2. “I always get sick after a flu shot.”

This is a misconception, but it is not entirely untrue. The fact of the matter is that a flu shot can make you sick, but the symptoms will be mild or even unnoticeable. In fact, if you happen to symptomatic from the flu shot, your body’s reaction will be indistinguishable from allergy symptoms.

On the other hand, getting sick with the actual flu virus can be much more severe. Rather than showing mild symptoms for one or two days, you will be hit with the full-blown illness.

3. “I don’t need one this year.”

A lot of people tend to think that the flu this year is the same as the flu last year. In following this logic, those people, therefore, think that the immunizations from last year can carry over to the following year, much like how MMR or tuberculosis vaccinations work.

As previously stated, this is untrue because of the remarkable adaptability of the flu virus. Many viruses have varying levels of adaptability thanks in part to diversity created by multiple infections in different people. As a result, the flu of last year can be different this year.

Immunizations are an important part of today’s society because they prevent things like epidemics and pandemics. When vaccines are properly administered, they can get rid of a range of diseases like polio and tuberculosis. Today, a lot of these diseases are no longer a problem for most of us thanks to the work of vaccinations.

5 Things You Should Check before Your Next Visit to the Pediatric Office

Taking your child to the pediatrician is always an ordeal due to the process of taking your child out of class for a time and coordinating your own schedule with the appointment. That being said, because it is so difficult to plan your appointment, you should try to get as much done in a single appointment as possible. The next time you walk into the pediatric office for your child’s checkup, you should be ready to report any abnormalities.

5 Things You Should Check before Your Next Visit to the Pediatric Office

The following are five things in particular that you should look at before taking your child to the pediatrician.

1. Skin Problems

You should make sure to take note of any skin problems that your child complains about leading up to the appointment. Additionally, you should make sure that moles are accounted for, especially those that might appear to be changing shape or coloration. Finally, make sure you look for any rashes or growths, especially patches of flaky skin.

2. Digestive Problems

It might be difficult to get your child to communicate problems to you, but sometimes, it is absolutely necessary. If you notice that a particular food makes your child sick or uneasy, then you should report this to your doctor to get a referral to an allergist. One particular allergy of note is lactose intolerance, which often affects younger children.

3. Motor Issues

This problem is particularly important and often missed by parents, especially those who are not with their children throughout the day. While your child is playing, you should watch out for signs of poor motor skills such as falling over and other problems involving coordination. Make sure you pay attention to other problems that arise from this, such as knocking things over or other frequent accidents.

4. Communicative Issues

The pediatric office can also help give you referrals for psychiatric issues, which don’t always involve violence. Some children might have trouble concentrating or communicating how they are feeling, which can cause a parent to worry. In addition, problems with communication and irritability can be a sign of other health problems that might not otherwise be apparent to you.

5. Circulatory and Respiratory Problems

These types of problems are particularly common in childhood, and, more often than not, the child will grow out of these issues once they go through puberty. Asthma is particularly common in childhood, and it can be as subtle as a cough after intense physical activity. In addition, you should pay attention for circulatory problems such as reports of numbness or an uneasy feeling in the limbs.

It can be difficult to figure out what your child means when they complain about certain health issues, but it is imperative that you keep an open mind when communicating with him or her. Everyone in the pediatric office is there to help your child and to ensure that they grow into a healthy adult, but communication is key. Once you determine the health issues that are affecting your child, you and your child’s pediatrician can work together to help correct them.

3 Things to Expect in a Newborn Exam

A newborn exam is no cause for alarm, as it is a typical examination that is done immediately after your child is born. Immediately after your child’s birth, the doctor will begin the examination and look for any signs that could be cause for concern. More often than not, there is no cause for concern at all. However, sometimes the doctor may take the child out of your hands or even out of the room, which will obviously cause you to panic.

You should be aware that everything the doctor does from the point of birth and throughout the newborn’s stay at the hospital is on a “better safe than sorry” basis, and therefore should not be an immediate signal for you to worry. The following are some things that might appear out of the ordinary to you.

1. Breathing and Circulatory Tests

One minute after birth, the doctors will check the baby for a variety of circulatory problems such as breathing issues, muscle issues, and heart rate. This type of examination is completely normal and routine. In fact, the doctor will check the baby multiple times at several intervals after one minute, five minutes, and ten minutes.

3 Things to Expect in a Newborn Exam

The doctor may or may not communicate any warning signs to you, as they may end up being benign from one moment to the next; however, further monitoring may be necessary if the doctor deems it so.

2. The Physical Exam

Another routine part of the newborn exam is the physical examination that is done by the doctor. It is an important part of identifying any abnormalities that could indicate a health risk in the future. You may immediately worry when you see the doctor looking the baby over, as it might appear, based on the level of scrutiny, that he sees that you don’t see.

However, unless the doctor indicates any problems to you, the child will be fine. The physical exam could also indicate a problem at one point that later corrects itself as the child begins developing outside of its mother’s body.

3. Developmental Examinations

In the hours following birth, the doctor will begin looking for developmental signs as the child begins to figure out how to move and starts to get accustomed to breathing normally. The first exam is usually done two hours after birth and then as much as a day after that. These examinations look for signs of development and they can be especially helpful if you weren’t sure at what point the pregnancy began.

The examination will observe the baby’s movement, reflexes, and other physical features to determine if the child has developed normally.

The newborn exam can be the most difficult part after the child is born. However, the mother should take note that every procedure that the doctor does, whether it involves a high amount of scrutiny or even taking the baby out of the room, is completely normal. Your child is in professional hands, and you should be more concentrated on your own health while the doctors are taking care of your baby.

What Are Pediatric Specialists?

As an adult, you are accustomed to the process typically involved in going to see a specialist doctor. First, you go see a general physician and describe the problem. Then, that physician will refer you to a specialist if the issue merits further investigation. When maneuvering through the process as a parent, you may not realize that it is the same way when children see pediatric specialists.

Pediatric specialists are doctors that are specially trained to deal with children’s health issues. These issues can range from allergies to developmental issues to more common things such as skin conditions. These specialists not only work to identify a problem specific to children, they also work to prevent it from turning into a problem further on in their lives.

The following in a brief overview of referrals and some ways a pediatric specialist will help your children.

How Referrals Work

Pediatricians work a little differently from adult physicians. Since the pediatric field is highly specialized towards dealing with children, they often work in groups of different specialists in a single practice. That makes the referral process much easier, since you don’t have to go searching for a specialist on your own.

What Are Pediatric Specialists

Pediatric specialists therefore have a close relationship with the general pediatrician and the two will be in close contact throughout the process of identifying your child’s issue. When you take your child to see the specialist, it is possible that the physician will be there as well to make your child more comfortable. After all, your child knows the pediatrician and, therefore, will be more willing to speak with them about how they are feeling.

Be Ready for the Long Term

Pediatricians typically work with children from birth until early adulthood. This is because pediatricians are specialized in looking for specific health problems that could create lifelong issues. Once a problem has been identified, they will refer your child to a pediatric specialist for more information.

Just like a general pediatrician, the specialist will follow the child throughout their developmental stages in life. That means the specialist will be an important figure, just like a general pediatrician, if your child has an ongoing medical need. In fact, the two might keep constant communication about medications or specific studies so they can properly work on the illness together.

They Are There Even in an Emergency

There are pediatric specialists for all sorts of health problems and issues. They cover all fields of medicine and recovery, even physical therapy. When there is an emergency with your child, many hospitals will have a pediatric critical care specialist on hand to take care of your child.

The pediatric field has grown exponentially in the past few decades with the recent emphasis on child healthcare. This has been a contributing factor in the growing life expectancy throughout the United States, as we are more aware of problems that exclusively affect children. When you are working with your child’s pediatric physician, you will also most likely end up working with a wide range of pediatric specialists that will help your child as they grow up.

What is the American Academy of Pediatrics?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the leading organization for pediatricians. It acts as a resource and regulatory body for those who work in pediatric healthcare. It also provides help to parents by providing advice and much-needed information about child health.

The AAP takes part in many different activities. Below is some information on just a few of these activities so you can get to know more about the function of the AAP.

Research

As a resource for pediatricians all over the country and throughout the world, the American Academy of Pediatrics also acts as a forum for all pediatricians. It provides pediatricians with a much-needed medium to express ideas and look into new or changing health developments. For this reason, the AAP acts as a research body for the field of pediatrics.

What is the American Academy of Pediatrics

The research undertaken by the AAP is mainly geared toward improving the health of children in the United States, meaning it looks for new and innovative ways to improve children’s health. For example, they might fund research that involves finding cures or treatments for existing conditions.

The AAP is important in conducting research that affects the lives of children all over the world. It maintains several academic publications and academic journals that are published for the sole purpose of providing a resource for pediatricians to conduct their own research. It is for this reason that the AAP is important as a think tank and a knowledge base.

Advocacy

In conjunction with its research efforts, the American Academy of Pediatrics also takes part in advocacy and charitable causes. As an influential medical body, the movements and causes that the AAP supports are significant, and the attention garnered by the organization improves the outlook of the cause by providing more visibility.

In addition, the work towards the prevention of—or the end of—certain worldwide problems makes the organization’s research all the more important. The AAP helps to fund or back research that is made in order to stop or prevent diseases and other health problems.

Education

As has been covered, the AAP is an important part of researching common or rare conditions in the field of pediatrics. Apart from this important role, the organization also helps to coordinate and regulate the body of pediatric health professionals throughout the United States. That means that the AAP takes part in acting as a resource for medical students who desire to become pediatricians.

As a forum for pediatricians, the AAP also connects those new or learning pediatricians to veterans in the field and helps them learn or gain experience. Finally, as an educative body, the AAP backs or disavows medical professionals based on their views and publications.

The AAP is an important regulatory body in the field of pediatrics. As an important and influential organization in the United States, it helps to fund and improve children’s health all over the world.