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Posts for: May, 2021

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
May 28, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Immunization ScheduleWe understand that bringing your child in for a shot certainly isn’t fun for anyone, but keeping your child updated on vaccines is one of the most effective ways to protect them against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases. As soon as your child is born, they will begin to get a series of vaccines, which they will continue to get until they reach adulthood. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your child immunizations, including when to have them vaccinated and which vaccinations they will need at what age.
 
Getting Your Child Immunized

The CDC is your go-to for all accurate and updated information regarding childhood vaccines. They offer a variety of charts for kids 18 years old and younger that can easily help you determine what vaccines your child needs to get and at what age. Of course, your pediatrician also knows exactly what vaccines your kids need when they visit the office, so these charts are just for you to stay in the know. Of course, if you have any questions about upcoming vaccines for your child, don’t hesitate to talk with their pediatrician.
 
Throughout your child’s first 18 years of life, they will receive a series of vaccinations including:
  • Hepatitis A & B
  • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough)
  • Hib (meningitis, epiglottitis, and pneumonia)
  • Meningococcal (for bacterial meningitis)
  • Polio
  • MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
  • Pneumococcal (pneumonia, ear infections, and meningitis)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
Your child may also want to get the influenza virus once a year to protect themselves and their family members from the flu.
 
The Safety and Efficacy of Childhood Immunizations

We understand that some parents may be on the fence about vaccines. In fact, this is a common concern that pediatricians hear, and it’s best to talk with your child’s doctor who is well-informed about childhood immunizations. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it can lead parents to avoid certain vaccines that could put their child at risk for more serious health problems. While some immunizations can cause minor side effects these are so minor compared to the repercussions of not having your child vaccinated.
 
Do you have questions about your child’s upcoming vaccine? Need to schedule your child’s next wellness visit? Keeping your little ones fully vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect them and keep them safe and healthy. A pediatrician can provide you with valuable information and insight into childhood vaccines.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
May 19, 2021
Category: Child Healthcare

Well child physicals play an important role in children’s health and wellbeing. Scheduling regular pediatric visits enable the doctor to monitor your child’s growth and development and ensure your child is up to date with vaccinations. The frequency with which well child physicals are needed varies by age. The experienced and friendly pediatricians at Pediatric Care North in Kansas City, MO, can advise you as to how often to schedule a visit for your child.

Well Child Visits

The purpose of well child visits or physicals is to promote better overall health for your child. There are several aspects to a well child visit, including information gathering for personal and family medical histories, and a physical exam. All of these things help the pediatrician better monitor your child’s growth and development. Well child physicals also enable the doctor to identify health, growth, or development concerns and treat potential problems right away before they become more serious.

Several topics are usually discussed with parents during a well child physical, including nutrition, dietary guidelines, vaccine recommendations, physical and growth development, developmental skills, social skills, and emotional well-being. The specific topics that are addressed vary based on the age of the child. For example, toilet training is discussed during the toddler years, while school and peer interactions are talked about when kids are in upper-grade school.

Younger children can benefit from scheduling a well visit every few weeks or months, depending on their age. Kids two years of age or older only need to schedule one well child physical per year. The skilled pediatricians at our office in Kansas City, MO, can develop a schedule for how often your child should come in for a checkup.

Immunizations

An important component of well child visits is immunization. The purpose of immunization is to help kids develop immunity to certain illnesses and diseases, such as measles or the flu. The way children build immunity is through vaccination. Many vaccines are administered by injection, while a few are taken orally.

The experienced pediatricians at our office recommend children receive all vaccines at the age-appropriate visit according to the immunization schedule developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Kids who are behind on their vaccinations can be placed on a catch-up schedule.

Well child physicals help your child enjoy better health by enabling the doctor to monitor growth and development, as well as help your child stay up to date with vaccinations. To schedule your child’s next well visit with one of our caring pediatricians, call Pediatric Care North in Kansas City, MO, at (816) 587-3200.


By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
May 18, 2021
Category: Child Health
Children's NutritionWhen you turn to your pediatrician for nutritional advice or help, they will always take a personalized approach to help your child meet their nutritional goals, whether that’s losing weight, getting more regular activity, or eating a healthier diet. You may have questions about your child’s nutritional needs, particularly as they grow. We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions regarding childhood nutrition.
 
Is fruit juice healthy?

Many people seem to think that juice is healthy, and while it does contain vitamin C, there are certainly better sources for ensuring your child gets enough of this important nutrient. Today, most fruit juices found at the grocery store are chock full of sugar and can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk for cavities. A better alternative is whole fruits since they provide more nutritional value than juice will.
 
How many calories should my child consume a day?

How many calories your child consumes will depend on their gender, age, and activity level. A recommended calorie range for kids between 6-12 years old is between 1600-2200 per day. Verywell Family provides a more detailed breakdown by age and gender.
 
I’m worried that might child might not be getting the nutrients they need. What should I do?

First, it’s important to keep in mind that kids don’t need to eat as much as we do, so their portions will be considerably smaller than ours. If your child is growing then chances are good that they are getting the nutrients they need; however, if you find that your child is refusing meals or isn’t eating it’s important to bring this up with your pediatrician as soon as possible.
 
How can I prevent my child from becoming overweight or obese?

To help your child maintain a healthy weight they must be eating a healthy, balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. Make sure that they are also getting at least one hour of physical activity every day. Limit sugar and processed foods.
 
Is snacking okay for my child?

Young children may seem voraciously hungry and may beg for snacks. How many are actually okay? It’s normal for little ones to want food every 3-4 hours. While snacking can be a great way to prevent kids from overeating during mealtimes you don’t want to ply them with treats (and you want to be sure you’re providing them with nutrient-rich snacks rather than sugary ones).

A snack mid-day between lunch and dinner is typically the best time. If it’s only going to be a couple of hours before a meal, then something small like a piece of fruit or a slice of cheese with crackers is good. If your child isn’t going to eat for more than four hours then you’ll want a snack that incorporates protein, fat, and carbs to satiate their appetite.
 
If you are concerned about your child’s health because they are “picky eaters” or are struggling with their weight, you must speak with their pediatrician to find out options that can help them lead a healthier lifestyle.