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By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
April 17, 2020
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Immunizations  

To keep your child healthy and happy this involves making sure that they eat the right foods, exercise regularly and get quality sleep. Of course, visiting your pediatrician for routine checkups and care is also necessary for maintaining optimal health in your child or teen. Along with making sure that your little one is reaching those developmental milestones, our pediatricians can also protect your child from a variety of serious and potentially life threatening illnesses through regular immunizations.

What do immunizations do?

Immunizations or vaccines are used to boost the body’s natural defenses to help it properly fight infection. In order to do this, a vaccine needs to contain either a dead or weakened form of the infection. This is just enough to trigger the immune system to start producing the necessary antibodies to fight the infection without actually causing an infection. Even once the body fights off these germs it will still maintain these defenses to prevent being infected in the future.

Your child won’t build up an immediate immunity once they’ve been vaccinated. It can take up to three weeks for the body to build a complete immune response to the specific germs. Therefore, during this time it is possible that your child could still become infected with any of the viruses for which they haven’t fully been vaccinated. Each vaccine is different and your pediatrician can discuss with you the expected length of time that a vaccine will take to fully work.

Why are immunizations important?

Immunizations are one of the most effective preventive tools we have for protecting children and teens from potentially dangerous or fatal infections and diseases. Since many of these conditions can also cause serious complications including hospitalizations, getting your child vaccinated can prevent the need for extensive and expensive medical treatments.

Certain people, especially those with weakened immune systems, may not be able to get certain vaccinations. This means that they are particularly susceptible to infection. By getting more and more children vaccinated we can also protect other members of our community who can’t be vaccinated so they don’t deal with life-threatening illnesses, themselves.

We know that parents usually have a lot of questions when it comes to getting their child vaccinated and during your child’s next visit we would be happy to discuss these options with you. The CDC also has a handy immunization schedule that every family should follow to make sure that their child is getting the proper immunizations at the right time so they are always fully protected from certain illnesses and diseases.

If you have questions about the immunizations your child is supposed to be getting or if you need to schedule their next checkup call your pediatrician today.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
April 02, 2020
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Warts  

Warts are common, benign bumps that develop on the skin as a result of a viral infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are pretty common in children and can develop just about anywhere on the body; however, they are most often found on the face, feet, and hands. Generally, warts usually don’t cause any problems and will go away on their own, but if you don’t want to wait a pediatrician can offer effective wart removal options.

Types of Warts

There are different kinds of warts that can develop. These warts include:

  • Common warts: these rough bumps are often found on the elbows, fingers, and hands and are usually gray in appearance. If you look closely at the bump you may also notice small black dots.
  • Flat warts: these smooth warts are often pink or light brown and most often develop on the face
  • Plantar warts: these warts develop on the soles of the feet, which can be very uncomfortable for your child, especially when walking
  • Palmar warts: just as plantar warts develop on feet, palmar warts develop on the hands

Treating Warts

While warts will go away without treatment it can take months or even years. If your child is embarrassed by the wart, if your child is dealing with multiple warts or if the wart is causing discomfort or pain then this warrants seeing a pediatrician. There are many ways in which a pediatrician can remove the wart.

Your child’s best treatment option will depend on the size, location, type, and number of warts. While there are certainly over-the-counter medications that you can try (these medications should not be used on certain areas of the body including the face), a pediatrician will be able to provide you with safe, effective treatment under proper medical supervision.

Common wart removal options include:

  • Cryotherapy: freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen (a very common wart removal technique)
  • Salicylic acid: a doctor can also provide a strong prescription solution that contains salicylic acid (this can be applied at home as per your pediatrician’s instructions)
  • Laser: sometimes laser therapy is used to target and destroy the wart

Usually the wart will fall off within a few days after treatment, but sometimes more than one treatment session is necessary to successful remove the growth.

If your child has plantar warts or warts in embarrassing places then they will most likely need to turn to their pediatrician to treat the problem. Call your children’s doctor today and let them know that you want to discuss wart removal options for your child or teen.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
March 18, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Hearing Screening  

As soon as your baby is born but before they leave the hospital, they will need to undergo a hearing screening (most hospitals perform a hearing screening but it’s also a good idea to ask). Congenital hearing loss, which occurs at birth, affects less than 1 percent of newborns; however, it is also possible for hearing loss to develop later during a child’s life, which is why routine hearing screenings are necessary for all children.

Once they leave the hospital, it’s now your pediatrician’s responsibility to provide hearing screenings and other tests and treatments that your child will need until they turn 18 years old. Your pediatrician will be an asset to your child’s health and you will work closely with them, so it’s important that you choose a pediatrician that you trust and value.

Why are hearing screenings necessary for newborns?

As soon as your child is born one of the ways in which they will receive and interpret information is through what they hear; therefore, if they have problems hearing then they may also deal with other problems including delays in language development and speech problems.

By detecting hearing problems early on your pediatrician can provide early interventions including hearing aids or other treatment options to ensure that your child reaches these important and necessary developmental milestones.

Of course, if your child responds to your voice or responds to noises then you may think that their hearing is fine, but this isn’t always the case. There may still be certain noises that they can’t hear properly and sometimes even these minor hearing issues can still affect language and speech.

Should my child’s hearing be assessed regularly?

Even if your baby passes their first hearing screening it’s still important that you turn to a pediatrician for routine checkups. Most hearing screenings usually don’t warrant a separate trip to the office, which means that your child’s hearing will be assessed during regular wellness visits.

Of course, if your newborn has certain risk factors that could affect their hearing it’s important that you share these factors with your pediatrician. These factors include:

  • A family history of hearing loss
  • Facial deformities
  • Postnatal infections
  • Premature birth

Finding a knowledgeable and trustworthy pediatrician before your baby is born is one of the most important things soon-to-be parents can do. Let our team provide your little one with the quality care they need to grow up healthy and strong.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
March 02, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare

Sneezing. Watery eyes. Stuffy nose. These could just be symptoms of a cold or these could be signs that your child has allergies. If you notice that your child’s symptoms flare-up during certain times of the year then this could definitely be a sign of seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, allergies can impact everything from performance in school to participating in outdoor activities such as school sports. If you suspect that your child may have allergies it’s important to talk with your pediatrician.

Childhood Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can also seem a lot like a cold or other upper respiratory problems. Common symptoms associated with allergies include:

  • Watery, red, and itchy eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes or puffy eyelids
  • Ear pain and chronic ear problems
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest tightness

So, how can you tell that your child is dealing with allergies and not an infection? Some telltale signs include itchy eyes and nose, which are classic signs of allergies. If your child has a fever this is usually a sign of an infection and not allergies. Unlike a cold, allergy symptoms can last for weeks. You may also notice that your child’s symptoms come and go, appearing more often during the spring and fall months. Again, this is a trademark of childhood allergies.

Treating Childhood Allergy

There are many ways in which a pediatrician can help your child manage their allergy symptoms, and the treatments that are recommended will depend on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms. Most treatment plans include a variety of lifestyle changes and medication. Children with minor symptoms may find relief through over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, while other children may require a prescription-strength allergy medication to tackle more moderate to severe symptoms.

Lifestyle modifications may include using a dehumidifier in your child’s bedroom, wearing glasses instead of contacts during allergy seasons, bathing immediately after being outdoors, limiting outdoor activities during high pollen counts, and keeping pets out of bedrooms (if your child suffers from pet dander allergies).

For severe or unresponsive allergies, your pediatrician may recommend immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Allergy shots may be a good option for your child when other treatment options and medications have not been successful.

Are your child’s allergy symptoms impacting their daily routine? If so, our pediatricians can help them manage their symptoms so they can get back to enjoying days on the playground and time spent with family.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
February 21, 2020
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Newborn  

How your pediatricians in Kansas City, MO, can help you care for your newborn

Newborn babies are a wonderful gift, but they do require a lot of care, which can cause you to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, Michael H.Dershowitz, DPM, your pediatrician here at Pediatric Care North in Kansas City, MO, offers comprehensive pediatric care, including newborn care visits.

Your pediatrician will recommend a first newborn care visit within 2 to 5 days of birth. The pediatrician will take vital measurements including height and weight to provide a baseline for future appointments. These initial measurements are critical for the pediatrician to monitor growth and development at future appointments. This first visit is an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions about caring for your newborn.

The pediatrician performs an important role of guiding you through caring for your newborn. These are just a few of the topics your pediatrician may discuss with you:

  • Feeding: if you are breastfeeding, your baby will want to feed every 2 to 3 hours. If you feed your baby formula, the baby will feed less, usually at 3 to 4-hour intervals.
  • Sleeping: newborns typically sleep 16 to 17 hours every day. It’s important for you to place the baby on their back for sleeping, as this help prevents sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
  • Bathing: don’t bathe your baby too often because it can cause dry skin. You should give your newborn sponge baths using mild soap and water. Carefully clean the folds of skin where bacteria can accumulate.
  • Stool Color: stool is normally black in color initially, and then the color changes to dark green and then yellow. If you notice the stool is red or white, it could be a sign of a medical problem and you should contact your pediatrician.

One of the most important things to remember when you have a newborn is to also take good care of yourself. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps. Ask for help from family members or friends, and don’t try to do everything. Remember to get some exercise and get out of the house.

Having a newborn is a joyous time in your life, and your pediatrician can help you manage the stress of this time period. To learn more about newborn care and other pediatric medicine topics, call the pediatricians of Pediatric Care North in Kansas City, Missouri at (816) 587-3200 today.





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