Posts for category: Child Health
As a caring parent, you want to keep track of what your child is doing in school, what they're eating, and who their friends are. It can be exhausting staying on top of all of these things, but immunizations are one thing that you can count on to always keep your child safe!. All it takes is a visit to Downers Grove Pediatrics in either Downers Grove or Bolingbrook, Illinois. Below, you'll find the answers some of the most common questions asked about immunizations.
Why are immunizations still important?
Although illnesses like diphtheria and polio are very uncommon in the United States, infections can still happen, often as a result of world travel. Additionally, outbreaks of pertussis and measles continue to occur, as well. Luckily, vaccinations like the ones from your Bolingbrook pediatrician keep these pockets of affliction from becoming epidemics. A vaccinated population also keeps very young babies and people who cannot receive vaccines from becoming ill.
Why should I follow the recommended immunization schedule?
In recent years, there has been some controversy associated with the number of vaccines that children receive at one time. However, the pediatricians at our Downers Grove and Bolingbrook offices advise against going against the recommended schedule set forth by the scientists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These experts have determined a childhood vaccination schedule that works with the natural processes of the human immune system, offering the best chance at prevention of disease. The CDC's schedule is safe and will help keep your children as healthy as possible!
Are vaccines painful?
Each child responds to the feeling of getting a "shot" differently. You can expect that there will be a brief twinge of discomfort when the vaccine is applied, but this is in no way harmful to your child and the pain will subside quickly. Some of our patients experience some achiness or tenderness at the injection site, as well as fever or fussiness, but this is temporary.
Interested? Give us a call!
To schedule your child's vaccinations with one of our pediatric staff, contact Downers Grove Pediatrics today! For your convenience, we have locations in both Bolingbrook (630-852-4551) and Downers Grove (630-759-9230).
A hearing screening is the easiest way to determine if your child is suffering from hearing loss. Thanks to a hearing screening, your pediatrician can determine the degree of hearing loss and how best to help your child hear well again. If your child’s hearing loss goes undiagnosed, it can lead to problems with normal development, learning disabilities, and problems socializing with others.
Your child could be suffering hearing loss from a variety of causes including a family history of hearing problems, infection during pregnancy, or birth complications. Hearing problems can also be caused by middle ear infections, infectious diseases, or even loud noises.
So, how do you know if your child needs a hearing screening? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) these are some of the most common signs and symptoms of hearing loss in babies and children:
- Not turning toward sounds at 6 months
- Not saying single words at 1 year
- Not hearing all sounds
- Not answering to their name
- Delayed or unclear speech
- Difficulty following directions
Hearing screenings are often performed at well-child visits and during school physicals. If your child hasn’t had a hearing screening, and you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, you should schedule a hearing screen as soon as possible. Early detection of hearing difficulties leads to early treatment, which is much better for your child.
If your child has hearing difficulties, don’t worry. There are many effective ways to help with hearing loss including:
- State-of-the-art hearing aids, cochlear implants and other hearing devices
- Medications if the hearing loss is caused by an ear infection
- Surgical treatment to correct structural issues which may be causing the hearing loss
- Alternative communication techniques
- Educational and supportive services for the family
A hearing screening is important to the health and well-being of your child. You don’t want your child to miss out on all of the beautiful sounds of life. Your pediatrician can help you schedule a hearing screening to get your child started on the road to hearing well.
Named after the characteristic sound of its notorious coughing fits, whooping cough is an extraordinarily uncomfortable condition that typically manifests itself in babies and in children ages 11 to 18 whose vaccine-provided immunities have begun to fade. In addition to causing several debilitating symptoms, whooping cough also carries the possibility of infant mortality, particularly for patients under 12 months old. Further complicating the matter, initial symptoms often resemble a common cold, making quick detection a tricky task. To be more proactive in the treatment and prevention of this disease, read below to learn the basics on whooping cough and how to best go about alleviating it.
What is Whooping Cough?
Officially diagnosed by the name pertussis, whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that resides within the nose and throat. Whooping cough is spread through airborne bacteria produced by an infected person’s sneezes, coughs, or laughs. Once whooping cough has been contracted, the apparent symptoms begin in an identical fashion to the common cold. That includes:
Fever (below 102 F)
Congestion and sneezing
After a week to 10 days, these symptoms begin to grow worse. Mucus thickens and starts to coat the patient’s airways, leading to rampant and prolonged coughing. These fits can be so violent that that they may cause vomiting, lengthy periods of extreme fatigue, and result in blue or red face. This last sign is the direct outcome of the body’s struggle to fill the lungs with air, and once breathing is finally achieved, the loud “whooping” sound that defines the condition is produced.
What are the Dangers of the Disease?
If left untreated, whooping cough can produce a number of painful and dangerous complications, with the specific ailments depending on the age of the patient.
For teens and adults, untreated whooping cough can result in:
Bruised or cracked ribs
Broken blood vessels in the skin and whites of the eyes
For infants, complications from whooping cough are a great deal more severe. They include:
Slowed or stopped breathing
Feeding difficulties, which may lead to dehydration and severe weight loss
What Can I Do About It?
The best approach to preventing the disease is through vaccination. This is especially important for babies, as whooping cough leaves them in significant danger, though it is essential to keep your children on regular vaccination schedules, regardless of their individual age.
While vaccines are extremely effective in reducing the likelihood of contracting whooping cough, the possibility of developing the condition is still present. Due to this perpetual risk, if you witness your child’s cold symptoms continuing to worsen, arrange an appointment with their local pediatrician to find out if the problem may be whooping cough. If diagnosed early enough, antibiotics can be used to cut down on the painful symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading to others.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Whooping cough is a serious condition that can be extremely dangerous if left untreated. If you have any suspicions that your child may have developed this condition, give us a call today!
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.
Find out if your child’s symptoms could actually be the result of allergies.
From the foods we eat to elements in the air that we breathe in, there are a variety of things in our daily world to which we can become allergic. If you notice that your child is sneezing, coughing a lot, or dealing with stomachaches after eating certain foods, you may be wondering if it’s time to turn to our Bolingbrook, IL, pediatricians to find out if they have allergies.
The symptoms your child experiences will really depend on the specific allergen. Common allergy symptoms include,
- Rash or hives
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Runny or stuffed up nose
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Bloodshot eyes
While allergy symptoms are often self-limiting, if your child is having difficulty breathing then it’s important to see a doctor right away.
Common Childhood Allergies
Just about anything can become an allergen. Of course, the most common childhood allergy triggers include,
- Outdoor allergies such as pollen, insect bites, or stings
- Indoor allergies such as pet dander, mold, and dust mites
- Cigarette smoke or perfume
- Food allergies particularly to dairy, eggs, shellfish, and nuts
If you find that your child experiences sneezing or coughing fits when they play outside, this could be a warning sign that they have outdoor allergies. If you notice that your child develops stomach pains or other intestinal issues after eating certain foods this could be a sign of a food allergy. Since it isn’t always easy to tell what might be triggering your child’s symptoms, it’s a good idea to visit a pediatrician for a simple allergy test.
When to See a Doctor
The sooner our pediatrician can detect and diagnose your child's allergies, the sooner we can provide them with the relief they need. This equates to an improved quality of life and fewer sick days from school. If your child’s symptoms are happening regularly or are severe, don't hesitate to give us a call.
If you are living in Downers Grove or Bolingbrook, IL, and you believe your child is suffering from allergies then it’s time to get answers right away. Call Downers Grove Pediatrics to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors today. For our Downers Grove Office, call (630) 852-4551, and for our Bolingbrook Office, call (630) 759-9230.