Posts for category: Pediatric Care
When your child is fussy and feeling unwell, you should make a decision quickly: Where should I take my child? While many parents opt to go to the emergency room or ER, you should know that we here at Westchase Pediatric Care provide urgent care services in both our Tampa, FL, and Clearwater, FL, clinics. But how can you really know if your child needs to go urgent care?
When Should I Take My Child to Urgent Care?
As a general rule of thumb, if your child can still speak, walk, play, and interact, chances are that whatever’s ailing her or him doesn’t require urgent or emergency care. With that said, however, you should consider bringing your child to our urgent care clinic in Westchase, Tampa, FL, or Clearwater, FL, under these circumstances:
- Your child has been vomiting and passing loose stools (diarrhea) without blood, but is not showing any signs of dehydration and has no stomach pain.
- Your child has a moderate temperature along with cold symptoms and you feel that he or she has the flu.
- Your child is complaining about sore throat and is having difficulty eating because of it.
- Your child has infectious conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye.
- You think your child has an ear infection; telltale signs include ear pain, ear drainage, and constant ear pulling.
It’s very understandable for parents to have that “just to be on the safe side” mentality when it comes to young kids. In reality, however, plenty of situations don’t really require a trip to the ER and the extra burden on their finances that come along with it. With this in mind, however, “just to be on the safe side”, consider taking your child to urgent care instead.
Does your child need urgent medical care? Westchase Pediatric Care offers urgent care services for kids at our Tampa, FL, and Clearwater, FL, clinics. Walk-in or contact us at (813) 818-1543 or (727) 461-1543 for more details. You can also call our 24-hour number at (727) 346-4011 for more urgent concerns after business hours.
If your child has expressed an interest in trying out for a school-sanctioned activity, generally the first step to getting them involved is to schedule a physical examination with their pediatrician. Sometimes called pre-participation physicals or simply physicals, these examinations are often required before your child can try out for an athletic activity at their school. Read on to learn why school physicals are so important, and contact Clearwater Pediatric Care in Clearwater and Westchase, FL, to schedule one!
What's involved with a school physical?
Physical examinations are fairly straightforward; during one, your pediatrician will make a record of your child's height and weight, as well as their blood pressure and heart rate. Their breathing, flexibility, strength, and joint movement will also be evaluated. A satisfactory examination will then be forwarded to your child's school. However, any issues that are detected may require further testing or special accommodations for your child.
Which activities require physicals?
The requirements set forth can vary by the school district, but in general, any sport or club that involves activity will require a physical before your child can try out. This includes sports such as basketball, football, and soccer, as well as cheerleading, dance team, and marching band. These physicals are only good for the duration of the school year, but they can be usually applied to more than one sports season (such as soccer in the fall and baseball in the spring).
Why are school physicals necessary?
Regular exercise is an important part of a child's development, but it's also imperative that it's done safely. A school physical from your pediatrician in either Clearwater or Westchase, FL will help ensure that your child doesn't have any underlying issues, such as asthma or a heart murmur, as these conditions could put them at risk for problems when they're out on the playing field. At the very least, a physical on file will give your child's doctor a yearly baseline from which to operate in case something would change with your child's health.
To schedule a school physical with one of our pediatricians, contact Clearwater Pediatric Care today. We have locations in both Westchase and Clearwater to make it easier for you and your family to receive the best and most convenient care possible—for Clearwater, dial (727) 461-1543, and for Westchase, dial (813) 818-1543.
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.