Posts for category: Child Care
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.
Even the most confident parents usually have a few questions during the first days or weeks of their newborns' lives. Your child's Friendswood, TX, pediatrician, Dr. Linda Neely-Shelmire of Good Health Pediatrics offers the care your newborn needs for a healthy start.
How much should my newborn drink at each feeding?
Newborns generally drink about two to three ounces of breast milk or formula per feeding. Don't be concerned if your baby occasionally drinks a little less or more. Your son or daughter may not be very hungry during one feeding but will drink more during the next feeding.
You can tell if your son or daughter is getting enough milk by the number of wet diapers he or she produces. By day five or six, you should be changing about six wet diapers per day. In some cases, producing fewer wet diapers can be a sign that your child isn't receiving enough milk and has become dehydrated.
Signs of dehydration in newborns include sunken eyes or soft spots, dark yellow urine, no tears when crying, irritability, sleepiness, or skin that doesn't immediately bounce back when you gently pull it up. If you notice any possible signs of dehydration, call your child's doctor in Friendswood, TX, immediately.
Does my newborn need daily baths?
Daily baths can dry or irritate your baby's skin. Luckily, newborns don't generally move around enough to become dirty. In fact, you'll only need to bathe your child every few days. Use sponge baths until the umbilical cord falls off. When you begin bathing your child in a bathtub or sink, make sure that the water is only lukewarm. Don't leave your child alone, even if he or she is supported by a bathtub seat. Babies can slip out of the seats and drown very quickly.
Can I put my baby to sleep on his or her stomach?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your baby sleeps on his or her back only. Babies who sleep on their sides or stomachs are at increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Don't put stuffed animals, blankets, or pillows in the crib, as those items can pose a suffocation risk.
Whether you have questions about specific symptoms or it's time for your child's next vaccine, visits to the pediatrician play an important role in your son or daughter's health. Call your child's Friendswood, TX, pediatrician, Dr. Linda Neely-Shelmire of Good Health Pediatrics at (281) 534-9355 to schedule an appointment.
It breaks your heart and frightens you. It's your child's asthma, the chronic lung condition that, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, affects 8.3 percent of American youngsters. As difficult as it is, you and your child absolutely can control asthma symptoms, and your pediatrician, Dr. Linda Neely-Shelmire, and her dedicated team in Friendswood can, and will, help.
What is Asthma?
Asthma constricts the narrow airway all the way from the throat down into the lungs and its tiny, air-exchanging alveolar sacs. Inflammation and mucous cause the all-too-familiar symptoms of asthma, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Nighttime coughing
- Chest heaviness
While symptoms vary in intensity, most all asthmatics experience a worsening of symptoms during periods of stress and strenuous physical activity.
What Triggers Asthma
Asthma seems to run in families, so there is certainly a strong hereditary component. However, the environment factors in as well, with common triggers such as:
- Outdoor pollution
- Allergens such as fragrances, pet dander, and plant pollen
- Cigarette smoke
- Cold weather
Treating Childhood Asthma
The identification and subsequent avoidance of asthma triggers is foundational to your pediatrician's child's lung health plan. Dr. Neely-Shelmire asks parents and children (as is age appropriate) to monitor asthma symptoms and possible triggers by keeping a written log.
Additionally, you and your pediatrician in Friendswood will formulate an asthma action plan as recommended by the American Lung Association. This tool will help you track how well your child is breathing (through simple monitoring with a peak flow meter), what medications maintain his or her lung function, which medications are rescue prescriptions, and what to do when your child has an attack or is sick with a cold or the flu.
A Word on Medications
Most children with asthma need a maintenance inhaler and a rescue inhaler. For severe attacks or times of prolonged symptoms, Dr. Neely-Shelmire may advise a nebulized bronchodilator or other medication to keep the airway as open as possible. She also informs parents about when to come into the office and when a hospital ER visit is warranted.
A Normal Healthy Life
Your friends at Good Health Pediatrics make this our goal for each and every patient who walks through the door. Through our proven methods and treatments, your child's asthma can be controlled and its impact minimized. So, if your child has this chronic condition, take advantage of the premier care Dr. Neely-Shelmire offers. If you have any questions or concerns about your youngster's asthma, please call our office at (281) 534-9335.
Your child is eager to start the school year so they can participate in sports. That’s great news! Keeping your child active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and sports can be a great experience for many children; however, it’s also important that your child’s pediatrician performs a yearly sports physical to make sure that they are ready for physical activity.
A sports physical is necessary for every child regardless of their current health. In fact, some schools make it mandatory for children to get an annual sports physical before they participate in any school sports. Regardless of whether this physical is mandatory or not, it’s highly advised that all children get a sports physical once a year.
Your child’s sports physical will involve going through their medical history and conducting a physical examination. The physical examination is pretty self-explanatory. We will check their vitals, as well as their height and weight. We will perform a vision test and evaluate everything from their heart and respiratory system to their musculoskeletal system. The goal of a physical exam is to make sure that your child hasn’t incurred any past injuries or developed any health problems that could be exacerbated by physical activity.
A pediatrician can also answer questions and provide counseling on nutrition, healthy weight loss or gain, and habits that could help your child’s physical health. Remember to bring any questions along with you.
Besides the physical examination, we will also sit down with you and your child and ask questions about their medical history. It’s important to be as detailed as possible. If it’s the first time they are having a sports physical it’s important to bring in a list of any supplements or medications (both over-the-counter or prescription) that they are currently taking.
We will ask a series of questions to find out if there are any serious or chronic health problems that run in the family, if your child has experienced any past injuries, if they’ve ever undergone surgery or been hospitalized, if they have any allergies or if they have any current disorders or illnesses. It’s important to provide as much detailed history as possible so that our pediatric team can perform a thorough and comprehensive physical.
Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your child’s sports physical. It’s important to get your child on the books before the summer is gone and the doctor’s schedule fills up. You don’t want your child being benched during the season because they didn’t get a sports physical. Call your pediatrician today.
No two children are ever the same and while you certainly want to let your child discover their unique personality it is important to know when these differences in your little one might mean that it’s time to schedule a behavioral or development consultation with a pediatrician.
Whether you’ve noticed that your child has difficulty making friends, doesn’t have any interests or seems to throw more temper tantrums then other kids their age, it’s important to not only be able to pinpoint these differences but also find out what might be causing them. This is where a behavioral or developmental consultation could benefit both your child and your family.
When you hear the words “behavioral consultation” it sounds pretty disconcerting; however, there are many reasons why parents bring their children in for these visits. Perhaps your preschooler hasn’t started talking yet, or your child has difficulties interacting socially with other children. Maybe their academics are falling behind or they aren’t able to keep up with the challenges of school. When scenarios like this arise a behavioral consultation is the best way to be able to figure out what might be going on and what our pediatric team can do to help get your child back on track.
While some of these situations may be due to behavioral disorders, it is also possible that there are certain developmental delays that could also be responsible for these behaviors. There are developmental milestones that every child must reach physically and mentally. No matter whether your child is displaying signs of an autism spectrum disorder or ADHD, or is having difficulties with social situations, sleep, anxiety, aggression or impulsivity, it is important that they visit a children’s doctor for an evaluation.
Whatever concerns you might have about your little one, it’s important that you turn to a pediatrician that you can trust to perform a thorough behavioral consultation while also providing compassionate care and support. It’s essential that your child has everything they need to be successful in their personal, academic and social life and by assessing, diagnosing and treating any behavioral or developmental disorders early, we can provide your child with the treatment they need to lead a healthy and happy life.