Posts for tag: Asthma
Does your child need a physical in order to participate in a sport? School physicals, offered by your Clearwater and Westchase, FL, pediatricians at Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care, ensure that your child is healthy enough to play sports.
Why are physicals important?
School physicals identify issues that could threaten your child's health or affect his or her performance on the playing field. If the physical uncovers any health issues, the pediatrician will recommend appropriate treatments. In some cases, your child may not be cleared to play until the health condition is treated or controlled.
What happens during a school physical?
During a school physical, also called a sports physical, your child's pediatrician evaluates his or her health and ability to handle physical activity.
Your son or daughter's Clearwater or Westchase pediatrician will measure your child's height, weight and blood pressure. He or she will also listen to your child's heart and lungs; examine eyes, ears, mouth, and nose; and look for abdominal abnormalities. If your son or daughter isn't up-to-date on vaccinations, he or she will receive them during the visit.
Sports physicals also focus on issues that could affect your child's health during a game or practice, such as scoliosis, heart conditions, asthma or other breathing issues, or joint instabilities. If your child has been injured in the past, the pediatrician will make sure that your son or daughter has recovered sufficiently to practice and play this season.
School physicals may also include:
- Information about avoiding injuries: Your child's pediatrician may discuss how to prevent new injuries or avoid aggravating an old injury. Proper use of protective gear, such as helmets, pads, and goggles will also be discussed.
- Discussions about healthy habits: During the physical, your child may learn about healthy food choices and the importance of avoiding drugs and alcohol.
- Recommendations for handling chronic conditions: Suggestions for managing conditions that can affect performance, such as asthma, will help your child avoid problems while playing. For example, his or her pediatrician may recommend using an inhaler before practices and games and taking more frequent breaks.
School physicals help safeguard your child's health. Schedule a physical with the pediatricians at Westchase Pediatric Care or Clearwater Pediatric Care by calling (813) 818-1543 for the Westchase, FL, office or (727) 461-1543 for the Clearwater, FL, office.
Though the words “chronic condition” are not something any parent wants to hear, childhood asthma is a problem that is both common and very manageable. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, knowing what to do to keep it under control is crucial to your child’s short and long-term health. Read below to learn how to identify childhood asthma and manage its symptoms, and if you are concerned about your child's health, call Dr. Raj Pai, Dr. Mary Ann Hicks, Dr. Sheila Mak, and Dr. Emily Jones at either Clearwater Pediatric Care or Westchase Pediatric Care.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic condition which causes breathing problems by narrowing the airways and causing extra mucus production, thereby triggering symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Asthma symptoms can range from mild to severe to even life-threatening, all while affecting daily activities as simple as walking up the stairs. Though asthma cannot be cured, it can be managed with the proper precautions and treatments.
Does my child have asthma?
Asthma symptoms may differ from patient to patient and can occur at any time:
- Chest pain
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing sound while breathing
- Whistling sound while breathing
- Coughing (especially overnight, in children)
Some people may have asthma induced by exercise or allergies, asthma triggered by certain fumes, gases, or dust, or have asthma symptoms which occur at random.
Asthma Management in Clearwater, FL, and Tampa, FL
Treating asthma depends on its severity and the patient who has it. Avoiding triggers to prevent asthma attacks can greatly reduce the instances of symptoms. Quick-relief and long-term asthma control medications are also a common treatment for this condition. Having an asthma action plan can help parents and children act quickly in the event of an attack and know what to do to avoid complications and get the help they need.
For more information on childhood asthma, please contact Dr. Raj Pai, Dr. Mary Ann Hicks, Dr. Sheila Mak, and Dr. Emily Jones at Clearwater Pediatric Care (in Clearwater, FL) and Westchase Pediatric Care (in Tampa, FL). Call (727) 461-1543 to schedule an appointment in Clearwater or (813) 818-1543 to schedule an appointment at the Westchase office today!
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.
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.