My Blog

Posts for category: Child Healthcare

By Desert Sun Pediatrics
October 30, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Chicken Pox  
Your Child and Chicken PoxYou just got the call from your child’s school: someone in your kid’s class has chickenpox. This highly contagious virus isn’t usually anything to worry about, but it can certainly cause some very unpleasant symptoms for your child, including a terribly red and itchy rash all over the body and face. If you’re concerned about chickenpox, your pediatrician can tell you everything that you should know about this common childhood infection.

How can I tell that it’s chickenpox?

Since chickenpox is caused by a viral infection, most children will develop common symptoms of an infection before the rash even develops. These symptoms include:
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite
The rash will usually appear 1-2 days after your child has been exposed to chickenpox. This rash consists of itchy, fluid-filled blisters that crust over within 4-5 days. Some children may only develop a few blisters on their body while others may develop hundreds.

How is chickenpox treated?

It is incredibly important that you keep your child from scratching the rash, as this can lead to infection and make their symptoms worse. Several home remedies can ease discomfort and itching. Some of these include:
  • Applying calamine lotion
  • Making sure that your child is drinking enough water and staying hydrated
  • Soaking in a bath with baking soda for 20-30 minutes to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Applying cold compresses to the rash
  • Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine (talk with your pediatric doctor first before giving your child any medication)

Should my child see a doctor?

If your child is experiencing the typical symptoms of chickenpox, then chances are good that you won’t have to bring them into the office. The only thing you can do is wait. You should call your pediatrician if:
  • Your newborn is showing signs of chickenpox
  • Your child’s fever goes away and then comes back
  • Your child has a high fever
  • Some areas of the rash are getting larger or are painful (signs of infection)

Is there a way to prevent chickenpox?

The good news is that children today can be protected against chickenpox with a simple vaccine. The chickenpox vaccine is administered in two doses: the first vaccine is administered when your baby is 12 to 15 months and a second vaccine is administered at 4-6 years old.

If you want to protect your child against the chickenpox, then talk to your pediatrician about getting them vaccinated. Your child has enough to worry about, without chickenpox being one of them.
By Desert Sun Pediatrics
September 11, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
 Tips to Help Your Child Eat HealthierYou want your child to lead a healthy, happy life but it can be difficult if they are picky eaters or only seem to crave junk food. If you’re having trouble making smart nutritional choices when it comes to your kids, your child’s pediatrician can help you create some healthier eating habits and map out a treatment plan if your child is currently struggling to lose excess weight.

Choose Smarter Snacks

Kids always seem hungry, so they may be begging for snacks throughout the day. Snacks should be small, and they shouldn’t be enjoyed too close to mealtimes, as this could ruin their appetite. Instead of reaching for a bag of candy or potato chips try opting for smarter snack options such as nuts, apple slices or celery with peanut butter, whole-grain crackers and cheese sticks, or hummus and carrots.

Get Your Kids Cooking

One of the best ways to get your child dedicated to nutrition is by making them an active part of the process. Cooking can be fun, especially for kids, and by cooking together they will experience a source of pride in the foods they’ve helped to make (which typically leads to them being more likely to eat it). Enjoy this quality time together and show them how eating and cooking healthy foods can be fun.

Hide Healthier Foods

Particularly at the beginning of this new nutritional journey, you may find that your child has an “aversion” to eating healthy. They may turn their nose up at broccoli, carrots or certain veggies, but don’t despair. Instead of making them eat it plain, you can hide these important veggies into dishes they already love such as whole grain mac and cheese, soups, or sandwiches.

Show Your Kids How It’s Done

Kids watch and mimic what parents do, so if parents aren’t eating healthy chances are fairly good that they won’t see a reason to eat healthily either. Therefore, it’s a good idea for parents to also show how important eating healthy can be. Lead by example and this simple habit could actually improve not just your child’s health but yours as well.

A healthy child begins with a healthy diet. If you are having concerns about your child’s health and nutrition, it’s important that you talk with a qualified pediatrician to figure out the right dietary choices for your little one.
By Desert Sun Pediatrics
September 01, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
Preventive CareWhat parent doesn’t want to protect their child from getting injured or sick? While it will happen at some point, there are certainly ways that both you and your pediatrician can work together to ensure that your child doesn’t have to deal with completely avoidable injuries or illnesses. One way to do that is through regular wellness visits with your pediatrician.

What is a wellness visit?

While you should bring your child into the doctor’s office when they are sick, this isn’t the only time that they should be visiting a pediatrician. Regular wellness visits allow your child’s doctor to continue to monitor their health and development throughout their childhood and teen years. A wellness or well-child visit typically involves:
  • Recording your child’s height and weight
  • Providing a detailed medical history of your child
  • Checking vital signs
  • Hearing and vision screenings (depending on the age)
  • A full physical examination (painless and non-invasive)
  • Additional testing or blood work, if necessary
  • Vaccinations, as needed
  • Answer any questions that the parent may have about their child’s health and provide information and advice on ways to keep your child healthy
Once your baby is born, they will come in regularly for wellness visits (nearly every month until they are three years old). Throughout these wellness visits your pediatrician will continue to monitor their development and pinpoint any issues early on when some problems can be treated or even reversed.

Furthermore, children will need to go through a series of vaccines during the first few years of life. Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect your child from serious and potentially life-threatening diseases such as polio. By keeping up with your child’s wellness and vaccine schedule you ensure that you are providing your child with everything that they need to stay healthy.

Why are wellness visits so important?

As you can probably assume already, these checkups are the best way to prevent health problems from happening in the first place (which we can all agree is so much better than just treating the problem once it comes along). Other benefits of wellness visits include:
  • Providing parents with support, peace of mind, and advice regarding everything from sleep schedules and diet to medications and behavioral concerns.
  • Catch problems early on, whether physical, mental or behavioral, when they can easily be managed and treated through simpler and less invasive treatment options
  • Having a doctor that becomes an important part of your family; someone you can trust and rely on to always be there for your child. After all, knowing that you have a doctor that you can turn to in an emergency is invaluable.
A wellness visit is one of the easiest ways to keep your child healthy. If it’s time for your little one’s next checkup call your pediatrician today. 
By Desert Sun Pediatrics
October 15, 2019
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Appendicitis  

Truth is, anyone with an appendix can get appendicitis—even our children. Appendicitis is a painful inflammation of the hollow, finger-shaped organ attached to the end of the large intestine. If left untreated, an inflamed appendix can rupture, leading to a lengthy hospital stay for complications including abdominal infection and bowel obstruction.  

When your child complains of stomach pain, consult your pediatrician for proper diagnosis and to ensure the health of your child. Since appendicitis is potentially life-threatening, it is important to understand the symptoms so that you can spot appendicitis in your child. In order of appearance, the symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

Unfortunately, symptoms of appendicitis might also be hidden by a viral or bacterial infection that preceded it. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fever may appear before the typical pain of appendicitis, which makes the diagnosis much more difficult.

Your child’s discomfort might also disappear, which will persuade you that they are better. However, this disappearance of pain could also mean that the appendix has just broken open or ruptured. The pain might leave for several hours, but this is the moment when appendicitis becomes dangerous, making it more important than ever to visit your pediatrician for immediate care for your child.

Treatment

When your pediatrician diagnoses your child with appendicitis, surgery is usually needed as soon as possible. Surgically removing the appendix is usually the treatment of choice, as it is important to eliminate the inflamed appendix before it bursts.  

While most children with abdominal pain do not have appendicitis, you can never be too safe when it comes to the health of your child. Visit your pediatrician for further diagnosis of this serious problem and to take the next steps toward a healthy child.

By Desert Sun Pediatrics
February 20, 2018
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Childhood Obesity  

Childhood ObesityMore and more, childhood obesity is becoming prevalent in the U.S. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over the past two decades it has doubled in children and tripled among teens.

Obesity during childhood is a serious matter that can lead to medical problems, including diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. Additionally, being overweight can also take an emotional toll on kids, leading to depression and low self-esteem brought on by various psychological stresses.

As a parent, you should play an important role in encouraging your child to make important changes to help them lose weight and overcome obesity. Ask your pediatrician for support in guiding your child toward an overall healthier lifestyle.

Incremental Lifestyle Changes Starting at Home

Kids who are overweight or obese need guidance from their parents to make healthier lifestyle choices. These changes start at home and include eating better and exercising. Involve the entire family in your child’s efforts to lose weight, supporting him by setting good examples and modeling healthy eating behaviors that you want him to adopt both now and into adulthood.

  • Be a good role model, leading the way to a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and staying active.
  • Remove unhealthy temptations from the home and gradually introduce healthier foods into your child’s diet over a period of time.
  • Prepare meals that are rich in vegetables, fruits and whole-grains, and limit consumption of foods high in sugar and saturated fats.
  • Allow your child to participate in preparing the family meals to learn the benefits of cooking at home.
  • Limit the amount of time your child can spend watching television playing video games or using the computer.
  • Incorporate exercise into your child’s daily routine, which can include a wide range of activities such as walking the dog, raking leaves, swimming, playing tag or washing the car.

Talk to Your Pediatrician

Your child’s pediatrician can also play an important role in monitoring your child’s weight gain starting from age one, helping to make sure it remains within normal guidelines as he grows. If the pediatrician suspects a weight problem, they can discuss it with you and your child, and then help you prioritize the changes that need to be made to manage the child’s weight. YOur pediatrician can work with you to help you set health goals and make the necessary lifestyle changes such as improving diet and becoming more physically active starting at home.