Posts in: Preventative Health
Healthy Development: Search Engine Parents Beware!
By: Holly Bishop
When your new baby is born one of the first things family and friends ask is, “How much did she weigh?” Healthy growth and development has such a wide range of what is acceptable it can sometimes be difficult to notice if there is a problem.
As a mom, I am guilty of “Googling” every little odd symptom my daughter has had since birth. I have probably visited more than 100 mommy blogs, health sites and pediatrician’s websites; I even looked for similar photos of rashes in hopes of diagnosing the problem. Something I have come to realize in my first 18 months of parenting is there really is no such thing as “average” or “normal.” Every child is different, thus, symptoms and growth chart levels will be different. The important thing to remember is to weed out the bad information and use your doctor and trust care provider as a resource, when you have concern
Be wary of opinion based information people put out there on blogs and forums or websites from organizations written by individuals that are not medically trained or certified. That’s a hard thing to stay away from, especially while you’re frantically searching for answers on the internet at 3 a.m. While the internet and search engines are a wonderful tool, they can be tricky with information.
While it is important to educate yourself as a parent on the general developmental milestones, health issues and common problems in young children, be picky with the websites you base your knowledge from and always go to legitimate physician based source first.
As always, no matter what any reliable website says, if you as a parent have a gut feeling that something is wrong, take your child to the pediatrician immediately. Most doctors would rather parents be proactive, than wait until things got worse.
A few great sites with quality information:
http://www.Kidshealth.org – Based from Nemours Children’s Clinic and most articles written are from Nemours physicians.
http://www.Healthychildren.org – Sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics
5 Tips for Picking a Pediatrician
By: Holly Bishop
For an expectant family, choosing a pediatrician can be an overwhelming task, especially for first time parents. When I learned I was going to be a mom, it was certainly the last thing on my to-do list. That was mostly because I didn’t know what I was looking for and there are so many pediatricians in our area. To me, a doctor was a doctor. As I asked my close friends and family and did a little research it became clear there are many different kinds of pediatricians out there. So, to help in that journey of selecting your child’s care provider, here are a few steps I took ¬when choosing the doctor for my daughter.
1) Make a list of the things you absolutely require in your pediatrician.
• 24/7 on call nurses/doctors?
• Do they offer delayed vaccinations if needed?
• Do they have lactation consultants or do they support breastfeeding moms?
• Insurance and Payment plans. Consider the financial aspect.
• Can they ensure you see the same doctor every time?
2) Research reviews from other families on the doctor and their facility. Once you narrow down the list of your local pediatricians start your homework. Ask current families their opinions as they walk out of the building or ask friends and family about the doctors they recommend or don’t recommend. Check online reviews on Google or Health Grades. Also, many facilities have a website with contact information and links for resources.
3) Research the background of the doctor. When you get your list down to just a few, do some homework on the qualifications of the doctor. What is their education history and professional background? How long have they been in practice?
4) Have a consultation and meet the staff. Most doctors willingly schedule consultation appointments even for expectant parents. These visits are free and can be quite helpful in your decision process. They may give you informational brochures or handouts about their procedures and office policies. This is the time to ask your questions and get a feel for the atmosphere of the facility. (Have a list ready before your appointment!)
5) Do you feel a connection to the doctor? During the consultation you will be able to decipher the personality of the doctor and if you feel comfortable. Listen to your gut and make sure the doctor speaks clearly about how they provide care. It’s important to feel at ease with your pediatrician and fully understand what they are doing when they treat your child.
(Caption: My daughter at 1 day old and her first pediatrician)
By: Virginia Pillsbury
As the mother to six kids, I know sniffles. One of my best friends, Martha Rich, is a nurse at Orange Park Pediatrics. She shares the following information about when to worry about the sniffles.
Normal cold symptoms?
Stuffy head, nasal drainage or congestion, cough (tickle in throat), some loss of appetite, low grade fever. “Colds are viral in nature and can’t be treated with antibiotics,” says Nurse Martha. “You can only treat the symptoms, but the cold can develop into a secondary infection such as an ear infection or even strep throat.”
How to treat?
*Medicate your child with appropriate doses of Tylenol or Motrin. NEVER give aspirin.
*Cold remedy medications should never be given without first consulting your healthcare professional.
*Dab a bit of petroleum jelly under the nose/above the upper lip if the runny nose is making your child’s nose sore or red.
*Steam from the shower can loosen congestion. Sit in the steamy room and see if it helps.
*Cool mist humidifiers keep the air moist and help clear stuffy noses.
*Teach your child how to blow his or her nose.
*Plain saline drops can help think thick mucus from a baby’s nose. Follow it by a gentle bulb suction.
*Gives your child plenty of fluids to keep them well hydrated and to help thin mucus secretions.
*Elevate your child’s head when they are sleeping.
*Putting your baby in an infant seat to elevate them can sometimes provide relief.
Call the doc if:
*Your child has a high fever, chills, muscles aches or shortness of breath, it is likely the flu.
*Symptoms get worse or there is no improvement after three days.
*Coughing lasts longer than a week
*Wheezing, difficulty breathing or lethargy are part of the symptoms.
*Your child starts pulling at the ears.
*Your child is vomiting or has diarrhea.
*There is a severe headache or stiffness in the neck.
*Teach children, caregivers and other family members to wash hands well throughout the day.
*Keep your sick children home from school or daycare.
*Do not share eating/drinking utensils.
*Cover mouth with the crook of your arm instead of you hand when coughing.
*Dispose of soiled tissues properly.