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Posts for category: Children's Health Care

By Dr. Anne Georgulas
May 02, 2022

Make sure your child is following a healthy, balanced diet.

One in 5 school children is considered obese in the US. So, how do we stop these statistics from getting any higher? It starts with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Your child's pediatrician can always provide some helpful tips for ensuring your child is getting the vitamins and nutrients they need.

Daily Caloric Guidelines By Age

The number of calories your child consumes every day will depend on their age and their activity levels and gender. These are the caloric guidelines you should follow,

  • 2-3 years old (both girls and boys): 1,000-1,400 calories
  • 4-8 years old (boys): 1,200-2,000 calories
  • 4-8 years old (girls): 1,200-1,800 calories
  • 9-13 years old (boys): 1,600-2,600 calories
  • 9-13 years old (girls): 1,400-2,200 calories
  • 14-18 years old (boys): 2,000-3,200 calories
  • 14-18 years old (girls): 1,800-2,400 calories

Incorporating the Right Foods into Your Child’s Diet

It’s important that your child is getting a variety of healthy foods to ensure that they get all the essential vitamins and nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy. This includes,

Lean protein: This includes seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts

Vegetables: It’s important to incorporate many vegetables into your child’s diet every day. This can include everything from leafy greens to vibrant peppers to beans. If you do choose canned vegetables, make sure to check nutrition labels to ensure that there isn’t added sugar or sodium.

Fruits: Stay away from fruit juice, which can have a ton of added sugar, and opt for fresh or frozen fruit instead. Also, limit dried fruits, which can be high in calories.

Whole grains: Whole grains provide more benefits than refined grains (e.g., white bread and rice) and include whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice.

Dairy: Include some low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, or milk into your child’s daily diet.

While sugar won’t cause harm in moderation, it is important to limit added sugars and trans and saturated fats (found in red meat, full-fat dairy, and poultry). Wonder if your child’s diet gives them all the nutrients they need? This is something that your pediatrician can discuss with you during their next well-child visit.

Are you having challenges helping your child maintain a healthy weight? Are you concerned about their health? If so, it’s time to turn to your child’s pediatrician. They can provide you with strategies to help your child eat healthier and maintain a healthy weight.

By Dr. Anne Georgulas
April 18, 2022
Tags: Injury   Illness  

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.

By Dr. Anne Georgulas
April 04, 2022
Tags: Prediabetes  
PrediabetesDiabetes is on the rise, and not just in adults. More and more children in the US are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be referred to as adult-onset diabetes, but today children are more at risk for prediabetes and types 2 diabetes than ever before. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent your child from developing diabetes.

Why is prediabetes a concern?

Okay, so prediabetes isn’t considered full-blown diabetes, so why should parents be worried? Well, being prediabetic will eventually lead to diabetes if the issue isn’t addressed by a pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to spot prediabetes through a simple blood test to check blood sugar levels. After all, blood sugar levels will be elevated even before your child develops type 2 diabetes. By catching elevated blood sugar levels early, your pediatrician can provide you and your child with simple lifestyle changes to see if that lowers their blood glucose naturally.

Are there warning signs?

The problem is that elevated blood sugar often doesn’t cause symptoms until a child develops type 2 diabetes. So, your child could be prediabetic and not even know it. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with your pediatrician if your child has risk factors. Your pediatrician will decide if blood tests are necessary to check glucose levels. If prediabetes isn’t checked and your child develops type 2 diabetes you may begin to notice these symptoms,
  • Wounds and injuries that are slow to heal
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger or thirst
  • Fatigue
What are the risk factors?

It’s important to recognize whether your child may be at risk for prediabetes. Some risk factors include,
  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Eating an ultra-processed diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle/lack of exercise (children should get at least one hour of aerobic exercise a day)
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • A mother with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy)
If you are concerned about your child’s risk for prediabetes or developing type 2 diabetes, it’s important that you speak to your pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to provide screening tools to monitor your child’s blood glucose, as well as lifestyle recommendations
By Dr. Anne Georgulas
April 04, 2022
Tags: Constipation  
Your Infant and ConstipationIt’s not typically common for infants to have issues with constipation; however, sometimes it happens. While many babies won’t deal with constipation they may have irregular bowel movements as their bodies naturally try to adjust to a set schedule. If you are concerned it’s always best to talk with your child’s pediatrician. Recognize the real signs of constipation in your infant.

Know the Warning Signs

For your child to truly be dealing with constipation, here are some of the warning signs:
  • Stools that are hard to pass
  • Infrequent stools
  • Excessive straining or straining more than normal
  • Swollen belly with gas
  • Painful stomach cramps
  • Stools that resemble small hard pellets, as well as stools that are too soft
  • Diarrhea-like stools
Treating Constipation in Infants

For an adult, they may simply take an over-the-counter laxative to help them go, but treating constipation in infants is different. You never want to give them an over-the-counter laxative or suppository unless otherwise told by your pediatrician. If your child is old enough to eat solid or strained foods, you may want to increase their fruits and vegetables to increase fiber intake.

If your infant is too young for strained food, give them just a couple of ounces of prune or apple juice each day to see if that helps soften the stools. If the stools are too loose, lessen the amount of juice you’re giving them.

When to See a Pediatrician

It’s important that you call your pediatrician if you are ever concerned about your infant’s health. No question is a silly one, especially when it comes to your child. You should call your pediatrician if you notice blood in your baby’s stool, if home remedies do not improve their constipation, or if your baby is fussy due to stomach cramping or pain.

If your little one is having trouble going to the bathroom, a pediatrician will be able to provide you with the answers you need, as well as tips for how to best address the issue. A pediatrician is going to be invaluable, especially for new parents, as they navigate parenthood. Talk to your pediatrician today.
By Dr. Anne Georgulas
April 04, 2022
Tags: UTI  
Does My Child Have a UTIWhen bacteria enter the bladder or the kidneys this can result in a urinary tract infection. Unfortunately, UTIs are quite common in infants and kids, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms so that you can turn to your child’s pediatrician for treatment. After all, a urinary tract infection will not get better without treatment.

There are Two Main Types of Urinary Tract Infections

Children can develop either an upper or a lower urinary tract infection. An upper infection impacts the bladder while a lower infection impacts the kidneys. Some symptoms may be similar, but there are distinguishable differences between the two. Urinary tract infections can be caused by various bacteria, but seven main types of bacteria are most likely to cause UTIs. The bacteria that accounts for the majority of UTIs in children is E. coli.

Know the Risk Factors for Childhood UTIs

If your child has been on antibiotics for a long period of time, or if they have a weakened immune system, these are factors that could increase their risk for developing a UTI. It’s important to speak with their pediatrician to discuss ways to lessen their risk for these infections, particularly if they are dealing with frequent infections. Sometimes, structural abnormalities within the urinary tract can be to blame for UTIs.

Recognize the Signs and Symptoms

To ensure that your child gets the proper medical attention when necessary, you first need to be able to spot the warning signs of a UTI. It can be a bit more challenging to recognize these symptoms in infants and young children who may not be able to tell you the symptoms and issues they are experiencing. UTIs in babies may cause:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Fever
  • Increased irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite (fewer feedings)
  • Exhaustion
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
Older children may exhibit these symptoms,
  • An increased urgency or need to go to the bathroom
  • Pain with urination
  • Wetting the bed
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower back pain (more common in lower urinary tract infections)
If your child is displaying symptoms of a UTI, it’s important that you call their pediatrician right away to schedule an appointment. A round of antibiotic therapy can help to clear up the UTI so they start feeling better right away.