By Clearwater Pediatric Care
May 13, 2022
Tags: School Physical  

Find out why all children need a back-to-school physical.

It might be hard to think of back-to-school physicals right now, but before you know it, summer will be flying by, and you’ll be getting your kids ready for another school year. Don’t forget about your child’s school physical, especially since these physicals book up quickly with our Westchase, FL, pediatricians.

What is a school physical?

Sometimes referred to as a pre-participation physical examination (PPE), this simple checkup is essential for evaluating your child’s health as a whole and pinpointing any potential issues they may have, such as changes in vision or other health problems that could impact their ability to participate in school or certain activities including physical activity.

But my child goes in once a year for a doctor’s checkup. Isn’t that enough?

While it’s important for your child to see their doctor at least once a year (or more often, depending on their age), this won’t take the place of this physical. A back-to-school physical is explicitly focused on the parts of their health. If your child is going to play sports, they must undergo a comprehensive school physical with our Westchase, FL, pediatrician.

What happens during a school physical?

Several things will occur during your child’s checkup. First, our nurses will come in to check their vital signs (e.g., heart rate; blood pressure) and record their height and weight.

After this, your doctor will go through your child’s medical history. It’s important to document any past illnesses, hospitalizations, surgeries, injuries, or current symptoms they are experiencing (e.g., abdominal pain; wheezing). Any information you provide can help our doctor identify possible problems that may require treatment.

Lastly, our pediatrician will perform your child’s physical exam. During this exam, every area of the body is thoroughly examined, from head to toe, to make sure everything is healthy and functioning correctly. We will listen to the heart and lungs, check your child’s reflexes, examine their posture, test their reflexes, and check everything we need to protect your child from potential health problems.

Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your child’s school physical. All it takes is a quick call to our Clearwater or Westchase, FL, office. Call Clearwater Pediatric Care at (727) 461-1543 or (813) 818-1543 today.

By Clearwater Pediatric Care
March 31, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Immunizations  

Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care is your expert pediatrician in Clearwater, FL, and Westchase, FL. Our skilled team of dedicated pediatricians is here for you and your child when you have any health concerns, and we recommend keeping up with regular annual physicals and all the recommended immunizations.

What is a vaccine?

Vaccines boost the body’s natural defenses by an injection of a dead or weakened form of the infection. The injection is just enough to trigger the immune system to start producing antibodies without causing an infection. The shot is administered in your pediatrician’s office and you can stay with your child. Once your child builds up their immunity (within a few weeks of the shot) the body can maintain its defense and prevent future infections.

Why are immunizations important?

Some parents have concerns about vaccines, but vaccines are thoroughly tested and must pass very rigorous testing and approval by the FDA before they are administered to the public. It’s normal to worry about your child having to get a shot but vaccines are entirely safe, and often required for school enrollment. Children have a higher chance of being exposed to viruses when they're at school around other kids who aren't always hygienic, but immunizations are a safe and effective way to help stop the spread of disease.

When a majority of the population is vaccinated we achieve what's called herd immunity and there's less chance of disease being spread. Immunizations help protect others, like those with weakened immune systems or new babies who can’t be vaccinated.

Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care is here for you with a team of expert pediatricians in Clearwater, FL, and Westchase, FL. If your child needs to be vaccinated, contact us for an appointment in Clearwater, FL, at (727) 461-1543, and in Westchase, FL, at (813) 818-1543.

By Clearwater Pediatric Care
March 23, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Asthma  

How your pediatricians in Clearwater and Westchase, FL, can help you and your child manage asthma symptoms

If your child has asthma, you may feel powerless to stop an asthma attack. Having an asthma action plan can help you and your child feel safe and in control. Your pediatrician can help.

The pediatricians at Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care provide a wide variety of medical services for children, including diagnosis and treatment of asthma.

Your asthma action plan should start with prevention. An asthma attack can be brought on by allergies, so be sure to:

Know what your child is allergic to; you can do this by having allergy testing performed by your pediatrician

Have your child undergo allergy treatment, which can be in the form of allergy shots, or sublingual immunotherapy

Look out for environmental allergies, including:

  • Dust; vacuum and dust frequently and use hypoallergenic linens
  • Pollens; keep doors and windows closed in spring and summer
  • Pet dander; keep pets off of furniture and out of your child's bedroom

In addition to treating your child’s allergies, your pediatrician may recommend several ways to protect your child from an asthma attack. These include:

  • Short-acting rescue inhalers, to help your child with an acute asthma attack
  • Long-term asthma medication, to provide constant relief from an asthma attack

Make sure to have your child keep these medications on hand to manage an asthma attack.

A severe, acute asthma attack can be life-threatening, so call emergency services if your child is:

  • Unable to speak due to breathing difficulties
  • Severely gasping and wheezing, even with medications
  • Breathing so deeply the chest gets sucked under the ribcage

You and your child can take control of asthma, so it doesn’t control you and your child. To learn more about asthma and why it’s important to have an asthma action plan, call the pediatricians at Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care. You can reach them in the Clearwater, FL, office at (727) 461-1543, or in Westchase, FL, at (813) 818-1543, so call today.

By Clearwater Pediatric Care
January 25, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Newborn Care   Newborn  

Whether you've just given birth to your first child or your third, Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care can help you take care of your new and precious gift. The best newborn care in Westchase, FL, and Clearwater, FL, requires life changes and various wellness checks with your pediatrician. Here's what you need to know about this process and how you can take better care of your newborn after their birth.

Prepare for Their Daily Care

The best way to help your newborn child is to understand what steps you need to take when caring for them daily. The following three steps are just a few things you need to consider, including feeding your child properly and ensuring that they get burped after every meal:

  • Diapering: Find diapers that you enjoy using and which are simple to put on and take off. Buy enough to last your child for at least a month or two: you'll probably use 3-4 per day, depending on the child.
  • Cleaning: Make sure that you have enough wipes, ointments, and baby shampoos to help prepare your baby for daily care. These items keep them healthy and clean.
  • Learn to Hold Your Baby: If you're taking care of a newborn the first time, you need to practice various holding techniques to keep them safe. Your pediatrician can teach you a few of these methods.

These simple methods can help prepare you for the unique challenge of caring daily for your baby. Beyond these steps, you also need to schedule wellness checks with your pediatrician to track your baby's development. These checks come at various times throughout your baby's life.

Schedule Wellness Checks

Your doctor can help schedule your newborn care visits in Westchase, FL, to ensure that your child is properly handled. These checks will occur every few months when your child is freshly born and will track various elements of their progress, including:

  • Cognitive abilities and general physical health
  • Developmental concerns, such as a slowly-growing body
  • Early warning signs of potential bone or muscle issues

These wellness checks help track your baby's progress and make it easier to spot potential diseases. For example, your child may show early warnings signs of developmental problems that careful therapy and treatments may help correct slowly over time.

You Can Take Better Care of Your Baby

At Clearwater & Westchase Pediatric Care, we can provide newborn care in Westchase, FL, or in nearby Clearwater. Call our Clearwater office at (727) 461-1543 or Westchase at (813) 818-1543 to learn more. Our team of professionals will schedule you and your child for a visit, teach you the various steps you need to take when caring for your child and make sure they are healthy and safe.

By Clearwater Pediatric Care
January 11, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Allergies   Allergy  

Does your child suffer from itchy eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing, and other allergy symptoms? Making a few changes in your home and visiting your Clearwater and Westchase, FL, pediatricians at Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care will help you keep your son or daughter's allergies under control.

6 ways you can reduce or prevent allergy symptoms

Reduce your child's exposure to allergens, substances that trigger allergy symptoms, by following these suggestions:

  • Wash soft items regularly: Allergens can collect on any surface, including clothing, pillows, sheets, and towels. Washing these items often keeps allergens under control. Covering pillows and mattresses with mite-proof covers can be helpful if your son or daughter is allergic to dust mites.
  • Close the window: Opening the windows and letting a little fresh air in your home is an excellent idea - unless your child has allergies. Open windows make it easy for allergens to enter your home, even if you only open a window for a brief time. Using your air-conditioner is a better option. Air-conditioners not only cool your home but contain filters that trap allergens. HEPA filters also offer a good way to trap allergens.
  • Vacuum and mop often: Mopping floors and vacuuming floors and upholstered furniture will keep allergens from building up on these surfaces.
  • Take off your shoes: Allergens also accumulate on your shoes. If you take off your shoes as soon as you enter your house or apartment, you won't track allergens throughout your home.
  • Give your pet a bath: Baths remove allergens and make living with pets more comfortable. In between baths, wipe your pet's coat with a moist washcloth or wipe to remove allergens.
  • Check out the allergy forecast: Spending time outdoors isn't a good idea if a particular allergen is high in your area. Many weather websites include allergy forecasts that make it easy to decide the best time for a trip to the playground or a picnic.

If these suggestions don't help, talk to your child's pediatrician in Clearwater and Westchase, FL, about other ways to control allergies. Your son or daughter's doctor can offer a variety of treatments, including prescription decongestants, antihistamines, oral corticosteroids, nasal steroid sprays, or immunotherapy.

Allergies don't have to make your son or daughter uncomfortable. Your child's pediatricians in Clearwater and Westchase, FL, offer helpful allergy treatments. Call (813) 818-1543 to make an appointment at the Westchase Pediatric Care or (727) 461-1543 to schedule a visit at Clearwater Pediatric Care.

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