Posts for: July, 2018
Childhood asthma is more common than you might think. In fact, it is the most common chronic disorder in children, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition that causes swelling within the airways, making it different for your little one to breathe. How do you know if your child might have asthma? The telltale signs include:
- Trouble or difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or whistling when breathing in
- Tightness in the chest
- Coughing that often gets worse at night
- Fatigue, especially with exercise or play
If your child is experiencing or complaining about any of these symptoms it’s important that you schedule an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible. It’s important to write down the exact symptoms your little one has been experiencing, particularly because their symptoms may not be present during their evaluation. If you have a family history of asthma, this is something that your child’s pediatrician will want to know.
During the evaluation your doctor will also perform a physical exam, taking time to listen to both the heart and the lungs for signs of asthma. Sometimes a test known as spirometry will be used to test the lung function (this is most common in children over the age of 6 years old). This test is used to measure how much air is in the lungs and how quickly your child can exhale. Other tests may also be performed to check for other health issues that could be exacerbating your child’s asthma symptoms such as a sinus infection.
Asthma is serious and requires medication to keep this problem under control. While there is no cure for asthma, your pediatrician’s goal for asthma treatment is to prevent the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. We want to prevent your little one from having to rush to the hospital for a severe attack. Luckily, there are medications that your children’s doctor can prescribe to lessen asthma symptoms.
The type of asthma medication your child receives will depend on several factors including age. Infants and toddlers may require inhaled steroids to control asthma symptoms. The dosage will also change depending on your child’s age. Along with long-term medications that will be taken every day to help control symptoms and keep inflammation down there are fasting-acting medications that your child will also be prescribed (e.g. albuterol), which is only used when your little one feels an attack coming on. Before any medication is given to your child, your pediatrician will talk to both you and your little one about how to use asthma medication properly.
Statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that about 20 percent of American school-aged children are classified as obese, making it a public health concern. Obesity is defined as having 20 percent more than the ideal body weight for your height, age, and gender. Fat deposits build up around the organs of the body and beneath the skin. It can cause avoidable diseases in children like pre-diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. The team at Good Health Pediatrics in Friendswood, TX offer treatments for child obesity and guidance for how to keep your child healthy.
What Makes Children Obese?
Weight gain happens gradually, which is why parents are sometimes confused about why their children are carrying so much excess weight and considered obese. There are a number of possible causes:
- Eating processed, sugar-filled, and fatty foods daily.
- A diet that does not include a healthy portion of vegetables and plant-based foods.
- A sedentary lifestyle, which is more common for kids now because of new distracting technologies (video games and cell phones).
- Lack of participation in school sports.
- Medications that may contribute to weight gain.
Treating for Child Obesity
At Good Health Pediatrics in Friendswood, TX your child’s doctor will help you implement a new plan to help your child lose weight and keep the weight off, long-term. You’ll come in for a nutritional consultation, and receive detailed advice about how to make helpful lifestyle adjustments. Sometimes, seeing a doctor in person to discuss these issues is all that’s needed to motivate you to make important changes. If there are other factors contributing to the child’s weight problem, they will also be addressed.
Tips to Prevent Obesity in Children
After your child loses weight, the major challenge is helping him or her to commit to better habits going forward. Ideas for preventing future weight gain include:
- Changing your own dietary habits so that you can have be a positive influence for your child.
- Removing all junk foods from the household to reduce temptation and replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat.
- Bringing the child in for regular wellness checkups with your Friendswood, TX pediatrician to be weighed and to provide positive reinforcement when there’s progress.
- Limiting exposure to messages that inspire children to eat unhealthy foods (like cereal and fast food commercials).
Obesity and Your Child’s Health
Child obesity is one of the causes behind a wide range of illnesses in children, and can become a lifelong problem if it isn’t treated before adulthood, so be proactive. Call Good Health Pediatrics in Friendswood, TX today at (281) 534-9355 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Linda Neely-Shelmire.
The number one goal of parents is to make sure their little ones are healthy and have the best quality of life possible. Of course, this means having a pediatrician in which you can always turn, whether for preventive care or treatment when health problems arise. You want a pediatrician you can trust to always provide quality and individualized care for your little one time and time again.
Of course, why treat a health issue that could easily have been prevented in the first place, right? The best way to detect problems early on and to also protect your child from a variety of potentially serious health issues is by bringing them in to visit their pediatrician regularly. These checkups will occur frequently, particularly for the first few years of your little one’s life. This is because your child is reaching a lot of developmental milestones during these first few years and it’s important that you have a children’s doctor that can make sure that they are reaching these milestones.
Plus, these checkups are also important for parents, too. After all, we know that parents have a lot of questions regarding everything from their child’s nutrition to activity levels to vaccinations. While these checkups are most certainly about making sure your child is leading a healthy life it’s also important that you have all of your questions and concerns answered to promote that healthy lifestyle in your child. Make sure to write down any questions ahead of time so that you will have all of your questions addressed during your child’s next visit.
These checkups are crucial for preventing a variety of health problems and also making sure your little one gets the care and treatment they need should an issue arise. During these wellness checkups your pediatrician will monitor your child’s:
- Height and weight
- Heart rate and blood pressure
- Vision and hearing
- Reflexes and musculoskeletal system
- Lungs and heart
Your child will also have to get a series of immunizations throughout their childhood to protect against serious and potentially life-threatening health problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created a comprehensive vaccination schedule to make sure your child is getting all the immunizations they need.
Once your child is born it’s important that you bring them in regularly to see their doctor for checkups. After all, preventive medical care is the best way to stave off certain illnesses and injuries. Plus, these checkups also ensure that if there is a health problem present that it’s detected right away when it’s much easier to treat.