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Posts for category: Child Healthcare

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
April 14, 2021
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Mono   Kissing Disease   Mononucleosis  
MononucleosisMono, nicknamed the “kissing disease” because of how easily it spreads from person to person, is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Pediatricians most often see this infection in teens and it may be mistaken for the flu. While most cases of mono will go away on their own, it can take months for a child or teen to fully recover. It’s important to be able to recognize the differences between the influenza virus and mono.

What are the symptoms of mono?

Symptoms will vary between children, teens, and adults. Children don’t typically show the standard symptoms of mono. In fact, mono might look more like a cold or flu in your little one. The classic symptoms associated with mono are more apparent in teens and young adults between the ages of 15 to 24 years old.

Classic mono symptoms include,
  • High fever
  • Extreme fatigue and exhaustion
  • Body aches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Swollen lymph nodes of the neck
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Headache
Symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, and muscle weakness may be severe and can last for several weeks.

When should I turn to a pediatrician?

As you might already know, many of the symptoms above can be caused by colds, flu, and other infections that aren’t mono. If your child’s symptoms are mild, then you might not need to come into our office right away. Of course, if symptoms persist for weeks or get worse, then it’s time to visit your pediatrician.

You should call your pediatrician right away if,
  • Your child develops a severe headache or sore throat
  • Has seizures
  • Displays changes in behavior
  • Has a very high fever over 104 F
  • Is dehydrated
  • Develops a rash
While teens and adults can often be diagnosed through a standard physical examination, your pediatrician may need to perform blood tests to detect the Epstein-Barr virus in babies and young children.

If you are concerned that your teen may have mono, you must schedule an appointment with their pediatrician as soon as possible. While most cases will go away on their own without treatment, your child’s doctor can provide you with options for helping your child better manage their symptoms and feel better faster.
By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
March 26, 2021
Category: Child Healthcare
Whooping CoughPertussis, more commonly referred to as whooping cough, is a contagious bacterial infection of the lungs. The nickname comes from the “whooping” sound that occurs when a child breathes. While many people assume that whooping cough is an infection that no longer exists, it’s actually more common in the US than we’d like to admit. In fact, pediatricians have seen an increase in the number of whooping cough cases over the last couple of decades.
 
Whooping Cough May Look Like a Cold

You might brush off the early signs of whooping cough because they look an awful lot like the common cold. Older children and teens may develop congestion, mild fever, cough, or runny nose; however, within the first 1-2 weeks you will notice that the cough gets worse. In fact, your child may develop severe and sudden coughing fits.

Children and newborns are more likely to display severe symptoms. They may not have a whoop in their cough, but they may vomit or show severe fatigue after coughing. While anyone can develop whooping cough, infants are at particular risk for serious and life-threatening complications so it’s important to have your family vaccinated.
 
Vaccines Can Protect Against Whooping Cough

While newborns are too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough, you should make sure that the rest of your family is fully vaccinated. The DTaP vaccine will protect against whooping cough and will be administered at 2, 4, and 6 months old, again at 15 to 18 months, and again at 6 years for a total of five doses.
 
Turn to a Pediatrician Right Away

If you suspect that your child might have whooping cough, you must call your pediatrician right away. Children under 18 months old may require hospitalization so doctors can continuously monitor them, as children are more likely to stop breathing with whooping cough. Of course, coming in during the early stages of the infection is important as antibiotics are more effective at the very start of the illness.
 
Until the body clears whooping cough, some of the best ways to manage your child’s symptoms include,
  • Resting as much as possible
  • Staying hydrated
  • Sticking to smaller meals to safeguard against cough-induced vomiting
  • Making sure your family is up to date on their vaccinations
If you want to fully protect your child against many dangerous communicable diseases, one of the best ways is through vaccinations. Your child must be up to date on all of their vaccines. Talk with your pediatrician to find out when your child should get the whooping cough vaccine.
By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
February 24, 2021
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Head Lice  
Head LiceYou’ve just received a call from the school: someone in your child’s class has head lice. We know that hearing that your child has or might have head lice can be stressful, but don’t worry. Your pediatrician can help guide you through the best methods for getting rid of pesky head lice once and for all.

If you notice head lice in your child there’s no way around it: you have to treat the lice. They will not go away on their own. It might give you the heebie-jeebies but it’s important to find a treatment that will get rid of these little critters quickly. You should also check all members of your family to make sure they don’t have lice too, as this problem can spread quickly.

The good news is that you can often treat lice from the comfort of your own home. While there are certain hair salons that may cater to the treatment of lice, it’s worth it to try and treat the problem yourself. There are a variety of over-the-counter shampoos and rinses that can kill lice and their eggs (also known as nits). You may want to talk with your pediatric doctor about the treatment process, which products to use and whether or not you should reapply the shampoo or rinse days after the first application.

Still seeing lice? This is a literal head scratcher for some parents, but don’t worry. This is when a pediatrician can prescribe a much stronger treatment option such as shampoos containing benzyl alcohol, or lotions containing either ivermectin or malathion (both pesticides), or spinosad (an insecticide).

Since some of these products work differently from others, it is important that you read and follow all instructions. Some products will require more than one application while others will only require one. Again, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s lice treatment don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician.

Treating Your Home After Lice

The good news is that lice need blood in order to survive so they won’t live very long if they don’t have a human host. However, you will want to wash all bedding, towels and clothes that may have lice or nits on them. Make sure to wash them thoroughly in hot water that is higher than 130 degrees F. If you can’t wash these items immediately, promptly bag them until you can clean them properly.

Head lice can be annoying, but turning to a qualified pediatric doctor can help you get the answers you need to tackle this hairy little problem. Call your pediatrician to learn more.
By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
January 22, 2021
Category: Child Healthcare

Don’t scramble to find a pediatrician for your baby at the very last minute.

There is so much to do and prepare for before your baby arrives. While you’re also thinking about what color to paint the nursery, what car seat will bring your baby home from the hospital and what to pack in your hospital bag, you may also be wondering what pediatrician your child will go to. For more than 30 years, our board-certified pediatric doctors have provided comprehensive medical care to newborns, children and teens living in and around Kansas City, MO.

When to Start Looking

A good rule of thumb is to start searching for a pediatrician about three months before your baby’s due date. You may wish to talk with family members or friends to get recommendations and referrals for pediatricians they love. Online reviews of the practice can also provide helpful insight.

What To Look For

There are certain factors that you’ll want to consider before choosing the right newborn doctor here in Kansas City, MO. After all, weren’t there certain factors that played a role in which general doctor or dentist you turn to for care? Here are some factors to consider before deciding if our practice is right for your family,

Location: How easy is it for you to get to our practice? We know that for many families, the proximity of their pediatrician’s office is the most important factor. If you’re a quick drive to our practice, then we may be ideal for you.

Scheduling: How easy is it for you to get an appointment? At Pediatric Care North we may it easy to schedule an appointment by calling our practice or simply requesting an appointment online. We also know that some parents don’t want to take their kids out of school or don’t want to have to leave work for a doctor’s visit. That’s why we offer appointments until 8pm, Monday through Thursday and appointments on Saturdays between 9am-12pm.

Personality: Do you jive with the pediatrician who is providing you and your child with care? How friendly is the staff, from the person who greets you to the nursing team that checks your child’s vitals to your child’s doctor? Do you feel like your pediatrician is listening to your needs and concerns? It’s important that you feel comfortable with every member of the team. We work hard to provide a friendly, caring environment.

If you are looking for a Kansas City, MO, doctor for your newborn that can provide your little one with the care they need to help them grow healthy and strong, then call Pediatric Care North at (816) 587-3200 to schedule a no-risk consultation with our team to see if we’re a great fit for your family.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
November 20, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Jaundice   Newborn  

Does your baby have jaundice? Find out how to handle this problem.

Jaundice in newborns is actually more common than you might think. While seeing your newborn with yellowing skin and eyes may be alarming it’s usually nothing to worry about. When red blood cells breakdown in the body they release a substance known as bilirubin. When your baby’s liver is unable to break down the bilirubin quickly enough this leads to jaundice. Find out how our Kansas City, MO, newborn doctors will treat this problem at Pediatric Care North.

What causes newborn jaundice?

There are several reasons your baby may develop jaundice. Premature babies (babies born before 37 weeks) are more at risk for developing jaundice, as are babies that aren’t getting enough breast milk (or formula) or babies that have a different blood type from their mother.

In some cases, an infection or liver problem could be to blame. While newborn jaundice will often go away on its own within 2-3 weeks, if your baby’s symptoms persist for more than 3 weeks this could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

When will symptoms appear?

Newborn jaundice will typically appear not long after birth (usually within 2-4 days). If you notice your baby’s skin appears yellow, especially when pressing on their skin, this is a telltale sign of jaundice.

Do I need to call a Kansas City Newborn Doctor right away?

While you may not necessarily need to call our Kansas City, MO, newborn doctor right away if your child has symptoms of jaundice, it is important to know when to turn to us for care. Give us a call if your baby’s symptoms get worse or spread, if your baby develops a fever, if they aren’t feeding, or they seem sluggish.

How is newborn jaundice treated?

While many cases of newborn jaundice will go away without treatment, more severe cases will require treatment from a qualified medical professional. One way in which we can treat more serious cases of jaundice in newborns is with phototherapy, which helps to break down bilirubin in the body.

If you notice any health changes in your newborn that have you concerned, you must visit our Kansas City, MO, children’s doctor as soon as possible. The team at Pediatric Care North is dedicated to providing you with immediate, comprehensive pediatric care. To schedule an appointment, call us at (816) 587-3200.