My Blog

Posts for: September, 2021

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
September 29, 2021
Category: Child Health
Tags: Pinkeye  

At Children's Mercy Pediatric Care North, our skilled team of pediatricians in Kansas City, MO, is here for you if your child has pink eye. Pinkeye is contagious so you need to be careful, but don't panic! We can help with advice and treatment to get your child feeling better. Keep reading about pinkeye and come see your Kansas City, MO, pediatrician if you think your child has pinkeye.

What is pink eye?

Pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, is an eye infection of the clear membrane which covers the eye (the conjunctiva). It causes the eye to become red and produce discharge, which can accumulate overnight and even stick your child's eyelids together. Other symptoms are swollen eyes and sensitivity to light. Teens and adults can get pink eye too, but it's most common in young children so you may hear about an outbreak at a place like a playground or preschool.

Pinkeye can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Pinkeye caused by a virus usually goes away without treatment, and pinkeye caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment.

What do I do?

If you notice symptoms of pinkeye in your newborn, call your Kansas City pediatrician and seek help immediately. Newborns are more likely to suffer from other complications if not treated with antibiotics and ointment immediately.

When your child has pinkeye, there are a few things you can do to ease discomfort. If they wear contacts your doctor will recommend using their glasses until the infection has cleared. Warm or cool compresses can soothe the eyes, and it's best to use disposable cotton. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after treating your child to prevent spreading pinkeye. Your doctor will recommend keeping the child out of school or daycare.

If your child is having recurring bouts of pinkeye they could have allergic conjunctivitis, which you should talk to your pediatrician about. Certain allergy medications can help prevent repeated flare-ups. Our skilled team of pediatricians at Children's Mercy Pediatric Care North can help if your child has pink eye. Contact us for an appointment in Kansas City, MO, at (816) 587-3200.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
September 21, 2021
Category: Child Health
Tags: Cleft Lips   Cleft Palate  
Cleft LipsThe day your child is born is one of the most exciting moments in a parent’s life. Of course, finding out your precious newborn has a cleft lip or palate can make things a little more complicated. Luckily, a pediatrician can help you determine the best way to treat your child’s cleft lip or cleft palate to put your mind at ease.
Why should a cleft lip or cleft palate be treated?

A cleft lip and palate can present many challenges if left untreated including serious hearing, speech, and swallowing problems. As you can imagine, a cleft lip or palate can affect a child’s speech. Children born with these birth defects are also more likely to deal with recurring ear infections and even hearing loss. By repairing this birth defect as soon as possible we can minimize these issues.

Most children will undergo a cleft lip repair between 3-6 months old, while children will often get a cleft palate repair within the first 12 months. Consequent surgeries may be required later on depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of the defect.
How is a cleft lip and palate treated?

Surgery is the only way to correct a cleft lip or palate. The goal of this surgery is to not only improve your child’s appearance but also make it easier for them to speak, chew, or hear. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so your child will be asleep throughout the procedure.

To repair a cleft lip, a surgeon will make incisions on both sides of the defect and then stitch the two pieces of tissue together to close the gap, which will greatly improve the shape and appearance of your child’s lip. A cleft palate repair is also performed under general anesthesia and involves making incisions on both sides of the palate to restructure and rebuild the roof of the mouth.
If your child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate and you want to talk to us about their treatment options, then turn to your pediatrician to learn more. Your pediatrician is always here to provide you and your little one with the best care possible.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
September 02, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Hand, Foot and Mouth DiseaseHand, foot and mouth disease isn’t a childhood infection that’s often discussed but should be. After all, this communicable viral infection is more common in young children than most people realize. If you are concerned about hand, foot and mouth disease, or would simply like to know more, your pediatrician can certainly provide you with the information you need. In the meantime, here are some FAQS that can help you get the facts on this contagious infection.

Is hand, foot and mouth disease dangerous?

While the name might make this condition sound rather frightening, the truth is that many kids under the age of five develop this illness. This is because these viruses are quite contagious. Even though this most often impacts young children, this infection can also present in older children, teens, and even adults.

What are the symptoms?

The incubation period for hand, foot and mouth disease is about 3-6 days from exposure. At first, symptoms may appear mild and look similar to the common cold (e.g. runny nose, fever, and sore throat); however, blisters will then start to develop within the mouth and on the body (often the palms of the hands and soles of the feet).

How is it diagnosed?

A diagnosis is often made by a pediatrician through a simple physical evaluation. They will go through your child’s medical history, examine the blisters and ask questions about your child’s symptoms to determine whether this could be hand, foot and mouth disease. Some testing may be performed to rule out other conditions.

How is hand, foot and mouth disease treated?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a medication that will get rid of hand, foot and mouth disease. Like most viral infections, the infection just has to run its course; however, there are certain things your pediatrician may prescribe or recommend that you do to ease your child’s symptoms. For example, ibuprofen may be recommended to help ease the pain as well as your child’s fever. Of course, it’s always a good idea to speak with your pediatrician before you start your child on any medication, even over-the-counter medications.

If your child develops symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease it’s important that you see your pediatrician as soon as possible for an evaluation, as they will want to make sure that this is truly what’s causing their symptoms.