Posts for category: Child Health Care
At Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care, our skilled team of pediatricians can help your child find relief if they are suffering from allergies in Clearwater, and Westchase, FL. Allergic reactions can be scary, but we are here to help, and it's possible for your child to live a full and happy life managing their allergies.
What is an allergy?
An allergic reaction happens when a normally harmless substance is introduced and the body's immune system reacts as if it's a threat. Some of the most common allergies are environmental like pollen and grass, certain foods, and pet dander. Symptoms of allergies are:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face and tongue
- Stomach irritation
Any of these symptoms after being exposed to or consuming an allergen could mean your child is allergic. If you think your child has allergies in Clearwater, and Westchase, FL, contact us for an allergy test.
Testing for allergies
When your child has had allergic reactions or allergy symptoms, your doctor will recommend an allergy test. An allergy test involves exposing a patch of skin to an allergen to see how the skin reacts. This is done multiple times with different allergens across tiny patches of skin. Once you know how your child reacts to certain substances, you can start avoiding their allergens.
Your child can live a normal and healthy life with allergies. Your doctor's recommendations will include avoiding your child's allergens and may involve medication. There are several medications available that help control reactions to allergens that are hard to avoid like environmental and animal allergies. If your child has severe allergic reactions, your doctor could recommend an EpiPen as a precaution. Carrying an emergency injection has saved the lives of children with allergies.
Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care are here for you and your child to help you manage allergies in Clearwater, and Westchase, FL. Contact us for an appointment at (813) 818-1543, or (727) 461-1543.
It’s important to know the warning signs so you can act fast.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses in children here in the US. Despite being quite common, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that asthma can be dangerous and even life-threatening (particularly if it isn’t properly controlled); however, it isn’t always as easy as you might think to detect asthma symptoms in your child. Here are the warning signs that should bring your child in to visit our Westchase, FL, pediatrician Dr. Raj Pai for an evaluation:
- Wheezing or whistling when breathing in
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness and/or pain
- Frequent coughing (that often gets worse at night)
- Easily tired or fatigued after exercise or physical activity
Some children may have difficulty sleeping due to chest tightness or wheezing. You may also find that these symptoms intensify when your little one catches a cold or respiratory infection. In some cases, asthma may also hinder your child’s ability to play sports or be involved in more strenuous activities without feeling easily winded or having trouble catching their breath.
Since symptoms do vary greatly, it’s important that if your child is displaying any of these asthma symptoms (no matter how minor they may seem) that you call our Westchase, FL, pediatrician right away.
Treating Asthma in Children and Teens
As you might imagine, the sooner we treat your child’s asthma the better, as we can help your little one control not just day-to-day symptoms but also prevent future asthma attacks. The overall goals of asthma treatment are to lessen and even prevent the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, reduce and even eliminate day-to-day symptoms and make sure that the medications we prescribe are managing their symptoms effectively enough to enjoy activities and exercise without issue.
There are a couple of ways in which we will help your little one treat their asthma. First and foremost, we will prescribe a long-term controlled medication that will be used every day to reduce inflammation within the airways to prevent attacks. We will also give your child a fast-acting medication for when asthma attacks flare up, as the long-term controlled medication will not be able to treat attacks once they start. This fast-acting medication is only to be used when your child feels the symptoms of an attack coming on.
Clearwater Pediatric Care provides general and urgent health care to children and teens in the Clearwater and Westchase, FL, areas. Whether your child is displaying symptoms of asthma or you need to discuss better treatment options to control your child’s asthma, call (727) 461-1543 or (813) 818-1543 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pai.
Find out why your child should visit the pediatrician once a year.
So much can change when it comes to the health of your child that it’s important to keep tabs on it. The best way to do that is through annual school physicals with our Clearwater, and Westchase, FL, pediatricians. Through regular school physicals, our pediatric team can monitor your child’s health and development and provide early interventions when problems arise.
Why are school physicals important?
As your child grows by leaps and bounds, sometimes health concerns arise that need to be addressed. Not all children will show symptoms so you might not even realize there is a problem. This is why yearly checkups with your Clearwater, and Westchase, FL, pediatricians are crucial for kids of all ages, yes, even teens. By coming in once a year we can detect health problems and developmental issues early on.
During these school physicals, we also provide screening tools and vaccines to protect your child from disease. It’s important to ensure that kids feel at their best before the start of the school year. By making sure your child is up to date on their vaccines you can protect them from many potentially dangerous communicable diseases.
When should my child get a school physical?
We know that the summertime is when you’re thinking of vacations, BBQs, and all things anti-school, but it’s important that you’re also scheduling your child’s school physical before the school year begins. Back-to-school physicals are necessary for all kids in Westchase, and Clearwater, FL. Try to schedule your child’s school physical about six weeks before the start of the school year.
How should I prepare for my child’s upcoming physical?
Before coming into our Clearwater, or Westchase, FL, practice for your child’s school physical you may wish to write down all the questions or concerns you might have about your child’s health, whether it’s about their sleep routine, diet, or current fitness routine. We would be happy to answer any and all questions you might have.
It’s also important to let us know if there are any changes to your child’s medical history, any symptoms you’ve noticed your child displaying, or if there are any changes in the supplements or over-the-counter medications they are taking. It’s important to provide us with as much information as possible.
To schedule your child’s school physical, call your Clearwater, and Westchase, FL, pediatricians at (727) 461-1543 or (813) 818-1543.
Childhood asthma is a serious lung condition. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says over six million kids in the US currently live with it. At Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care, your team of 5 pediatricians helps children live well with their asthma. In fact, this is a special interest of Dr. Raj Pai in Westchase, FL. Here's more on this important health topic.
What constitutes asthma?
Asthma involves both sudden and chronic respiratory symptoms of varying severity, including:
- Lung inflammation and spasm
- Coughing, particularly during the night
- Extreme fatigue
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Skin pallor
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
Also, many asthmatic children experience allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, itching, and sneezing. But, whatever the symptoms, asthma can be life-threatening, and accordingly, it requires close monitoring at home and by your pediatrician in Westchase, FL.
Why do children develop asthma?
Asthma is something of a mystery. However, allergens, such as animal dander, mold, and pollen, seem to trigger it. Additionally, heredity, emotional stress, exercise, environmental pollution, and changes in the weather exacerbate a cascade of symptoms.
Can my child live well with asthma?
Of course, our physicians at Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care understand your concern for the well-being of your child. They'll work with you to identify symptoms and possible triggers and do a complete physical exam to rule out other health conditions.
Also, your pediatrician will prescribe medications. Most children use a short-acting bronchodilator (rescue inhaler) for sudden symptoms. Others benefit from an inhaled corticosteroid to reduce inflammation continuingly. We provide in-office nebulized medications to control severe episodes.
Finally, you and your child should employ an asthma care plan at home to recognize symptoms and to administer medications as needed. Bring teachers, daycare, and others into the information loop so everyone can help your youngster breathe well.
Find out more
Children have asthma more than any other chronic health problem. At Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care, we'll work with you and your child to treat asthma, allowing your family to function well together. For questions or concerns about childhood asthma, please call our Westchase, FL, office at (813) 818-1543 or in Clearwater, phone (727) 461-1543.
Urgent care clinics could ease your worries when your child needs urgent medical attention. Their primary goal is to provide urgent help in a timely and convenient way, making them an excellent alternative to your local emergency room or ER for issues that are not really true medical emergencies. They’re likewise great alternatives at times when you can’t visit your child’s pediatrician.
Here at Westchase Pediatric Care, we offer urgent care services in our Westchase, FL, and Clearwater, FL, clinics. In general, here’s what you should know about urgent care clinics so you know what to expect when you visit us.
Urgent Care DOES NOT Equal Emergency Care
Put simply, you should head to the ER for true medical emergencies, which are those that are life-threatening or very serious. Otherwise, you’ll be delaying the necessary treatment, as the urgent care clinic will just tell you to head to the ER.
That being said, urgent care clinics are capable of handling minor illnesses, including headaches, earaches, urinary tract infections, minor breathing issues, the flu, high fever, sore throat, and cough. They can likewise manage minor injuries like cuts that need stitches, minor burns, minor sports injuries, minor bone fractures, animal bites, and the like.
Ensure That You Have Sufficient Time
In most cases, urgent care clinics have a first-come, first-served policy. This means that your time will be dependent on how many people are ahead of you. So call in advance to check on the waiting time.
Prepare to Share Your Child’s Medical History
Unless you’ve visited our urgent care clinic in our Westchase, FL, or Clearwater, FL, location, we won’t have details about your child’s medical history, which is vital for the most accurate diagnosis and treatment of your child. In general, prepare to inform the doctor about any allergies, chronic conditions, past injuries or illnesses, as well as medicines your child is taking, including supplements, vitamins, OTC meds, and prescription meds.
Don’t Forget Your Insurance Card
Usually, major healthcare insurance places are honored in urgent care clinics. There’s a chance that you may need to shell out for a copay at the time of your visit, but visiting an ER is still way more expensive than going to an urgent care clinic.
Reach Out to Us To Learn More About Our Urgent Care Services
Walk-in here at Westchase Pediatric Care in our Westchase, FL, or Clearwater, FL, clinic or call us at (813) 818-1543 or (727) 461-1543 for more information. Dial our 24-hour number at (727) 346-4011 for more urgent concerns after business hours.