Posts for category: Children's Health
Your child just woke up with a runny nose, an elevated temperature and body aches. Could this just be a passing cold or could it be the flu? It’s important to be able to tell the difference between the two. A common cold is usually mild and will go away on its own without treatment but the flu often requires medical attention to prevent serious complications. While an annual flu shot can protect your child from developing the flu it’s also important to know what to look for and when to visit their pediatrician for care.
Warning Signs of the Flu
Unfortunately the common cold and the influenza viruses have a lot of the same symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine what your child might have. We know that you don’t want to worry unnecessarily and rush them into the office if you don’t need to but it’s also good to know when their condition warrants medical attention.
One difference is that a cold will come on gradually over the course of a couple of days while the flu will often attack suddenly, with symptoms showing up practically overnight. While a fever isn’t a common symptom of a cold a fever is almost always present with the flu, as well as full body achiness or weakness.
Children are also more likely to deal with diarrhea or vomiting with the flu. While symptoms of a cold are usually localized to the head, flu symptoms are more widespread.
You Suspect Your Child has the Flu. Now What?
The first step is to call your pediatrician. While it can take up to a week for your child to feel better after the flu sometimes medical attention is required. It’s especially important that you talk to your doctor if your child has flu-like symptoms and they are under the age of 5, as young children are more likely to deal with health-related complications from the flu.
You’ve talked to your doctor and you now know whether you are supposed to bring them in right away for care or whether you should continue to monitor their condition before bringing them in. At this point the most important thing you can do is help reduce their discomfort and control their symptoms. Make sure they are staying hydrated and getting as much rest as possible.
Avoid giving your child over-the-counter medications, as many of these medications aren’t safe for young children and won’t be effective for treating flu symptoms. If your child has a mild fever ask your pediatrician what over-the-counter medications could help alleviate their fever. Keep in mind: Children should never take aspirin!
The sooner you seek medical attention for the flu the better, as many antiviral medications can prevent the virus from getting worse if it’s administered within the first 48 hours. This medication is often taken for 5 to 7 days and it can help ease symptoms and speed up recovery.
The key is making sure to get your child proper medical care as soon as flu-like symptoms appear. Call your children’s doctor right away.
Find out the common warning signs and when to see our pediatrician for care.
While it’s certainly easy to be able to tell when your child has a rash or a fever, it isn’t always as easy to be able to discern whether or not your child is dealing with an ear infection. While older children can communicate that they are in pain, infants and toddlers cannot. Read below to learn which warning signs could mean that your child has an ear infection and how our pediatricians in San Francisco and Mill Valley can treat the problem.
Warning Signs of a Childhood Ear Infection
If your child is unable to tell you that their ear hurts, you may want to look out for these classic warning signs that your child has an ear infection,
- Pulling or tugging at the ear
- Drainage coming from the ear
- Fussiness or irritability
- Trouble sleeping or crying/fussiness when lying down
- Difficulty hearing
- Lack of appetite
So, your child is displaying some of these signs of an ear infection. Now what? Do you call one of our office in San Francisco or Mill Valley, or do you wait it out? Well, if your child is over the age of 6 months and their symptoms seem pretty minor, chances are good that you can try some home remedies and manage symptoms on your own at first. However, if the symptoms don’t seem to respond to at-home care, then it’s a good idea to get your child evaluated by a medical professional.
How are ear infections treated?
Most of the time ear infections will go away on their own without antibiotics. However, sometimes antibiotics are necessary if there is a fever present or if symptoms are serious enough. Amoxicillin is often the first type of antibiotic prescribed, but if symptoms don't clear up within 2-3 days, then your pediatrician may switch to a stronger antibiotic.
You should seek immediate treatment if:
- Your child has severe pain and they are under 6 months old
- Your baby under 2 years old is dealing with severe ear pain
- Your child over 2 years old has a fever of 102.2 Fahrenheit
If you suspect that your little one has an ear infection, it’s best to play it safe and give one of our pediatric offices a call. Turn to Town and Country Pediatrics for the personalized care your little one deserves. For the San Francisco office, dial (415) 666-1860, and for Mill Valley, dial (415) 383-0918.
Does Your Child Have Vision Problems?
Does your child have vision problems? Children learn through their eyes. Healthy vision is critical for children to see the computer and chalkboard, read, write, and even play. Children's eyes should be examined regularly, as many eye conditions and vision problems can be detected and treated early. Here are six signs that your child may have a vision problem.
1. Squinting eyes. If your child is nearsighted then squinting his eyes helps him make his vision a little clearer and can clear up any distorted vision. Nearsighted just means that they can see things that are near them but have a harder time with objects that are far away. Squinting is a coping mechanism to help relieve their blurry vision.
2. Sitting close to the TV. While it's a myth that sitting close to the television will damage your eyes, this habit may be a sign of a vision problem. If your child can't see televised images clearly or always holds a book too close, it could mean she or he is nearsighted.
3. Frequent eye rubbing. Yes, kids often rub their eyes when they're upset or tired. But if your child rubs her eyes while she's trying to concentrate on something, or while she is being active, it could mean that she has a vision problem. Frequently rubbing their eyes can be a sign of eye strain in children. It can be a sign of a focusing issue that causes the eyes to tire easily.
4. Losing place while reading. When children learn to read and are sounding out words, they will frequently use their finger to track which word they're on. But eventually children should be able to focus without losing their place. If after a while your child still uses his finger, ask him to try reading without pointing. If he has trouble, he may have a vision problem.
5. Sensitivity to light. Are your child's eyes sensitive to sunshine or indoor lighting? Many common eye conditions can make people more sensitive to light. If your child's light sensitivity is caused by an eye condition, then treatment for their condition can mean that his eye becomes less light sensitive.
6. Receiving lower grades. If your child is having a hard time seeing what her teacher writes on the board because of poor vision, she may not tell you about it. As a result, her grades can suffer. Most of what kids learn in schools is taught visually. That means if your child has an untreated vision problem, it could affect his or her development.
Yearly eye exams are as important as visits to the pediatrician. If you think your child may have a vision problem, schedule an appointment with a doctor. Early detection and treatment provide the best opportunity to correct a vision problem so your child can learn to see clearly.
There is no doubt about it—immunizations save lives. However, you may have some questions about the importance of vaccines, how they work, and if it is necessary for you or your child to receive vaccinations on schedule. Find out more about immunizations and why they are so crucial to the health of you, your child, and those around you by reading below, and if you are in need of treatment, contact Town and Country Pediatric Medical Associates in San Francisco, CA, and Mill Valley, CA.
What are immunizations?
Immunizations create immunity against particular diseases or illnesses in a patient through the administration of a vaccine. Vaccinations are usually given with an injection, though some vaccines are administered orally. Thanks to immunizations, diseases like diphtheria, mumps, whooping cough, measles, polio, and even chickenpox are no longer a deadly threat to you or your children.
How do vaccines prevent disease?
Vaccines create immunity against disease by introducing tiny amounts of that disease into the body’s immune system over time. These tiny amounts are so small they do not cause symptoms, allowing the body to create antibodies without it succumbing to the illness. Imagine that your body is in training to fend off these diseases, and vaccinations are its practice sessions, preparing the body to fend off the disease for good.
Does my child really need vaccinations?
The answer is a resounding “yes.” Vaccinations not only protect your body from disease, but they also protect everyone around you. Many people cannot receive vaccinations due to underlying conditions like cancer or because they are still too young to receive their immunizations. Vaccines provide herd immunity, which keeps diseases at bay and prevents its transfer to other people.
Vaccinations in San Francisco, CA, and Mill Valley, CA
Staying on the recommended immunization schedule is crucial for the health of your child and the people around them. Find out more about immunizations and your pediatrician’s vaccine schedule with Town and Country Pediatric Medical Associates in San Francisco, CA, and Mill Valley, CA. Call (415) 666-1860 to schedule an appointment in San Francisco, CA, or (415) 383-0918 to schedule your appointment in Mill Valley, CA, today!
When To Take Your Child To Urgent Care
As a parent, you want to always do everything you can when your child is sick, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly how sick your child is, especially when they’re very young and can’t communicate what is bothering them. Urgent care or a trip to the hospital isn’t always needed for simple problems such as a cold, mild diarrhea, or mild fevers. So, when is it necessary to take your child to urgent care?
Not all illnesses need an immediate visit with your pediatrician and it’s important for you to know what symptoms to look out for. Some symptoms that may require urgent care are:
Vomiting and diarrhea that lasts more than a few hours
Rash, especially with a fever
A cough or cold that lasts several days
Large cuts or gashes
Limping or the inability to move an arm or leg
Ear pain with fever
A severe sore throat or swallowing problems
Sharp and persistent stomach or abdomen pain
Blood in urine
Blood in stool
Not being able to drink for more than 12 hours
Rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 2 months old
Fever and vomiting
Any pain that gets worse and doesn’t go away after several hours
While many illnesses may go away with love and nurturing after a few days, there are times when it is necessary to see your pediatrician as soon as possible. If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, be sure to call your pediatrician right away to find out if it is necessary for your child to go in for an appointment so that your child can get well as soon as possible.