Posts for: April, 2022
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.
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
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)
What are the warning signs of food poisoning?
Food poisoning can be confused with other health issues and infections such as the “stomach bug”, so it’s important to recognize the symptoms and to call your child’s pediatrician if you are concerned. How quickly symptoms appear will depend on the germ or bacteria that your child has ingested. Some children may develop symptoms as quickly as 1-2 hours after consuming the contaminated food or beverage, while it may take weeks for symptoms to develop in other children.
The most common symptoms of food poisoning in children include:
- Stomach cramping and pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Some of the bacteria that are most responsible for food poisoning include,
- Staphylococcus aureus
How is food poisoning treated?
In many cases, food poisoning will simply run its course and your child will feel better after a few days. Make sure that they are resting and staying hydrated. If your child is dealing with a more severe form of food poisoning your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics. If your child is also showing signs of dehydration, it’s important that you call your pediatrician right away.
If your child is displaying symptoms of food poisoning it’s important that you talk with your pediatrician to find out if your child should come in for a visit. While food poisoning will often just run its course and go away on its own, your child may require antibiotics if they are dealing with a severe bacterial bout of food poisoning.
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
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.
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
- Increased irritability
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite (fewer feedings)
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- An increased urgency or need to go to the bathroom
- Pain with urination
- Wetting the bed
- Strong-smelling urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the urine
- Lower back pain (more common in lower urinary tract infections)