Posts for category: Pediatric Care
The biggest, most joyful and scariest time of your life as a parent--yes, it's caring for your newborn. However, At Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care, your Clearwater and Westchase, FL, pediatricians make that transitional time easier. Their comprehensive newborn care includes everything from vaccinations to well-baby checks to parent education. The doctors and their professional team help parents and their little ones every step of the way.
So many things to keep track of
You've read the books, watched the videos and gone to the classes, and now your baby has arrived. Is he feeding as well as he should? Is she growing on pace with other babies her age? What kind of vaccines does he need and when? Is her car seat safe? Your Westchase, FL, pediatrician helps parents with these questions and more. The goal is a healthy, happy baby.
You'll bring your newborn to the office a few days after discharge for measurements, a weight check and assessment of breastfeeding, circumcision and umbilical cord. As the weeks progress, your child's doctor will help you track your baby's social, behavioral and physical development, give him or her other vaccines as scheduled and discuss with you any concerns you may have.
Concerns parents raise
The well-baby visits are a great time to ask your pediatrician about issues such as:
- Breastfeeding and pumping
- Bottle feeding
- Crib and car seat safety
- Vaccination schedules
- Checking baby's temperature
- When and how to bathe a newborn
- When to call the office
- Diaper rash
- Bowel movements
- Other skin rashes
It's a little scary
When you bring that little bundle home, life changes, and parents worry. You can relax a bit, however, because Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care is there to help you and your baby adjust and thrive. We have convenient office hours Monday through Saturday and are available by phone and via our patient portal. In Clearwater, call us at (727) 461-1543, and in Westchase, reach us at (813) 818-1543.
What your pediatricians in Westchase and Clearwater want you to know
It’s natural to want to protect your child and when you see your child having difficulty breathing, it can be scary. It could be asthma, a potentially life-threatening condition. It’s important for you to recognize the signs and symptoms of asthma and know what to do. Your pediatricians at Westchase Pediatric Care and Clearwater Pediatric Care want you to know the facts about asthma in children. They have two convenient office locations in Westchase and Clearwater, FL, to help you and your child.
Childhood asthma produces more severe symptoms because a child’s airways are smaller. Asthma can be triggered by exposure to allergens including pollens, pet dander, dust mites, and other common substances. Some common signs and symptoms of asthma include:
- Severe coughing and wheezing
- Breathing difficulties
- A tight feeling in the chest
- Bronchitis that recurs frequently
Infants may feed more slowly and have breathing difficulties while feeding. Toddlers may not play or run because of breathing problems. Toddlers can tire quickly and cough while doing activities. Colds and other illnesses may last longer.
You should seek out emergency treatment for your child if you notice any of these life-threatening signs or symptoms:
- Difficulty speaking because of breathing problems
- Inability to breathe or gasping
- The abdomen getting sucked underneath the ribs during breathing
The first step in asthma treatment is to test the level of lung function through spirometry or peak flow measurement. Nitric oxide testing is performed to measure how well the lungs are working.
Recommended treatments for childhood asthma typically include rescue inhalers for short-term relief and long-term asthma medications. Sublingual immunotherapy and other allergy treatments may also be suggested.
You can do a lot to prevent asthma attacks by monitoring your child’s environment. Keep your child away from cigarette or cigar smoke and allergy triggers to limit the onset of symptoms.
You are not alone in treating your child’s asthma. Your pediatrician wants to help. Just pick up the phone and call your pediatricians in Westchase and Clearwater, FL. Call today!
Does your child or wheeze or frequently complain of chest pain? Asthma might be the cause of his or her symptoms. The pediatricians at Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care in Westchase and Clearwater, FL, share common symptoms of asthma and discuss treatment options.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Asthma causes inflammation and narrowing of the small airways in your child's lungs. The airways also produce excess mucus, which makes it even harder to breathe. Common symptoms of asthma in children include:
- Wheezing (You hear a whistling sound when your child breathes out.)
- Chest pain or tightness
- Coughing, particularly at night or after physical activity
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping
If asthma is severe, your child may breathe rapidly, be unable to speak easily, or you may notice that his or her chest rises and falls dramatically with each breath. Visit the emergency room immediately if you notice any of these signs of respiratory distress.
Why does my child have asthma?
It's not always possible to figure out why your child has asthma, but these factors may increase the likelihood that your son or daughter will develop the disease:
- Another family member also has asthma
- He or she has allergies
- Someone in the family smokes
- He or she had a low birth weight or had respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as an infant
- Frequent respiratory infections are a problem
How is asthma treated?
Treating asthma involves using inhaled or oral medications that open the airways, reduce inflammation, and relax muscles around the airways. When you visit our Westchase or Clearwater offices, we may recommend allergy testing to determine if allergies contribute to your son or daughter's symptoms. If he or she has allergies, medications or immunotherapy will not only improve his or her allergy symptoms but will also reduce asthma symptoms.
Making a few changes to your child's environment can reduce asthma flare-ups. Your son or daughter may breathe easier if you designate your home a smoke- and fragrance-free zone, vacuum regularly, replace carpets with hardwood flooring, and using air-conditioners and HEPA filters to remove allergens from the air.
Are you concerned that your child may have asthma? Schedule an appointment with the pediatricians at Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care by calling (813) 818-1543 for the Westchase office and (727) 461-1543 for the Clearwater office.
If your child is in school, they may need to have an annual physical before beginning their school year. However, you may not know why they need this doctor’s visit or how it can benefit them. Luckily, your child’s pediatrician can help you understand this requirement and ensure that your child’s health remains in tip-top shape. Find out more about school physicals and why they are necessary with your child’s pediatricians Dr. Raj Pai, Dr. Mary Ann Hicks, Dr. Pamela Kilbride or Dr. Sheila Mak at Clearwater Pediatric Care with locations in Westchase and Clearwater, FL.
What does a school physical involve?
A child grows at a rapid pace, allowing for many changes within a single year. Annual visits to the doctor to assess your child’s growth and development ensures they develop at a normal rate and that any issues, physical or developmental, are caught and treated early. Your doctor will use a physical examination to assess your child and ask a series of questions to assess many aspects of your child’s health, including sleep, nutrition, and their general well-being. These visits also give your pediatrician the chance to catch your child up on any vaccines they may require that year.
Does my child need a school physical?
Your child’s school will inform you if your child requires a school physical prior to the start of the school year. Younger children starting kindergarten will most likely require their 4/5 year vaccines at their physical. After starting school for the first time, your child will probably require a school physical every two years. Teenagers will also most likely need a physical every two years, but most schools require a yearly physical if the student plays a sport. Consult with your child’s school or coach to ensure that they are up to date on their school physical.
School Physicals in Clearwater and Tampa
For more information on school physicals, please contact your child’s pediatrician at Clearwater Pediatric Care. Call (727) 461-1543 to schedule your appointment at the Clearwater, FL location and (813) 818-1543 to schedule your appointment at the Westchase, FL location today!
The Centers for Disease Control says that asthma accounts for 1.6 million visits to hospital emergency rooms in the United States annually. Overall, about eight percent of children suffer from asthma. To avoid trips to the hospital, missed school days and sporting events and decreased overall well-being, the pediatricians of Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care partner with parents of asthmatic youngsters to manage this sometimes difficult chronic respiratory condition. Your child can breathe better and live well with proper asthma care in Westchase and Clearwater, FL.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
Asthma involves inflammation of the airway from the trachea on down to the smallest of bronchioli and alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs. Triggered by stress, exercise, weather changes and/or allergens, an acute asthma attack can include:
- Wheezing from constricted airways
- Muscular spasms
- Shortness of breath
- Decreased blood oxygen levels as measured by pulse oximetry
- Persistent coughing, particularly at night
Your pediatrician considers asthma poorly controlled when children's normal activities become limited and if they are symptomatic more than twice a week.
Control is key
You can get great help for your child's asthma in Westchase and Clearwater, FL. Of utmost importance is identifying what brings on, or triggers, an asthma attack. Is it exercise, cold weather, the family pet or something else?
Next, your pediatrician will formulate an asthma action plan to include:
- Measuring and charting peak flow of expelled air with a Peak Flow Meter (typically, peak flow begins to drop as asthma symptoms increase)
- Use of prescription medications such as fast-acting inhalers and maintenance steroids to reduce inflammation
- Documentation of symptoms, triggers (including things your child is allergic to) and what relieves them
- When to call Clearwater and Westchase Pediatric Care
- When to go to the hospital emergency room
Are you concerned about childhood asthma?
You and your child can breathe easier when you seek help from your Westchase pediatrician. If you need immediate help for an asthma-related issue or need some additional counseling on asthma control, please contact Clearwater or Westchase Pediatric Care. Call (727) 461-1543 in Clearwater. In Westchase, phone (813) 818-1543.