Find out how to best manage your child’s allergy symptoms.
Childhood allergies are actually pretty common. In fact, as many as 50 million Americans, including children, have some kind of allergy. Whether your little one is allergic to hay fever during the spring and summer months or they are dealing with food allergies, our Clearwater and Westchase, FL, pediatricians are here to provide the care and support you and your child need to get their allergies under control.
What are the different kinds of allergies?
There are a lot of things that surround us that can cause an allergic reaction, but the most common allergens tend to be:
- Pollen (also known as hay fever)
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
- Foods (often eggs, shellfish, wheat, and nuts)
- Insect bites or stings
What are the symptoms of an allergy?
If your child has an airborne allergy (e.g. pollen; mold) then you may find that they experience symptoms such as:
- Red, itchy, or watery eyes (this can also be a symptom of conjunctivitis)
- Itchy nose
- Scratchy throat
- Stuffy nose
If your child is allergic to certain medications, foods, or insect bites/stings, symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening. If your child begins wheezing, is having trouble breathing or experiences lightheadedness it’s important that you seek emergency medical attention right away. Other symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, hives, and a stomachache should also be evaluated by our Clearwater and Westchase children’s doctors if they are reoccurring.
Of course, you won’t know whether your child’s symptoms are due to allergies or not unless you bring them in for testing. The sooner we figure out what allergies your child has the sooner we will be able to provide an individualized treatment plan for them.
Clearwater Pediatric Care and Westchase Pediatric Care in Clearwater and Westchase, FL, are here to help your little one find the relief they need from their allergy symptoms. If you suspect your child might have allergies call our office today to schedule an appointment with us.
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!
In infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the most frequent cause of sore throats is a viral infection. No specific medicine is required when a virus is responsible, and the child should get better over a seven to ten day period. During this period, your child may develop a fever, but they generally are not very sick.
It is not uncommon to experience a sore throat when your child has a cold or the flu. Unfortunately, there are other reasons for sore throats to develop that may be symptomatic of more serious problems. Children tend to have sore throats more often than adolescents or adults, with sore throats being the most common during the winter months when upper respiratory infections are more frequent.
The major cause of a sore throat is an infection, whether it is viral or bacterial, and can also be caused by allergies and environmental conditions. If your child has a sore throat that lasts longer than the typical five to seven day duration of a cold or flu, and is not associated with an avoidable allergy or irritation, it is important to contact your local pediatrician. The following are signs and symptoms to alert you to take your child to the pediatrician:
- Severe and prolonged sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Joint pain
- Fever that is over 101 degrees
- Frequent recurring sore throat
- Lump in the neck
- Hoarseness lasting over two weeks
At the first onset of a sore throat it is always important to monitor the progress and recognize any other symptoms that may accompany the sore throat, which could cause it to worsen into strep throat, inflamed tonsils, or laryngitis. Contact your pediatrician if your child is experiencing a sore throat that won’t go away. Your pediatrician will help diagnose and treat your child’s symptoms.
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