My Blog

Posts for category: Pediatrics

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
December 05, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Nutrition  

Having healthy, happy children begins with a healthy diet. We know that in this day and age life gets pretty hectic and it isn’t always easy to eat right; however, for the health of your family it is important to make healthy eating habits part of your daily routine. The earlier in life that healthy eating habits are adopted by your children the easier it will be to keep them on this path to making smarter and healthier choices regarding their diet.

Of course, when you aren’t sure whether your child is getting the nutrients they need or you have questions or concerns about your child’s health a pediatrician can provide you with invaluable advice, insight and recommendations.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet for Your Children

A healthy diet is based on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods from each of the main food groups. This means getting a good balance of lean proteins, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. It’s important to change up food options to make eating healthy more exciting. A healthy diet also means avoiding processed foods, sugar, trans fat and vegetable oils. Moderation is key. While your child shouldn’t be drinking sodas or eating baked goods every day, having a treat every once in a while certainly won’t hurt them and could keep them from binging on these treats when they are available.

Keeping Your Kids Healthy

Along with eating healthy it’s important that your children are also getting regular physical activity. This may come in the form of school or community sports. Kids and teens should get at least one hour or more of moderate to intense physical activity everyday, toddlers should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity and play every day and preschoolers should get at least 120 minutes of activity a day.

Of course, in order to keep your child’s energy levels up and their body ready for activity, they must be eating right. If you are concerned about your child’s diet or if you need to schedule their annual physical exam before sports season begins don’t hesitate to turn to your children’s doctor for screenings, checkups, and dietary advice and recommendations.

It doesn’t have to be confusing or difficult to ensure that your child is getting all the proper vitamins and nutrients they need through diet. If you are experiencing challenges getting your kids on board with a healthy lifestyle this is where your pediatrician can help. Call them today to schedule a consultation or to book your child’s next routine checkup.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
November 25, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Sports Injuries   Sports  

Millions of children across the US regularly participate in some kind of sport. No matter whether your child is a dancer, gymnast, soccer player, or football player, the goals of parents are always the same: to keep their child healthy and to prevent injury. Having a pediatrician that you turn to regularly for care is invaluable, as this trusted medical doctor can also provide you and your child with guidance and counseling to ensure that you are taking all the precautionary measures necessary to prevent sports-related injuries in your little one.

Caring for Childhood Sports Injuries

With millions of kids also visiting the hospitals every year for sports-related injuries it’s important to acknowledge that the need for proper injury prevention practices is particularly crucial for children and teens. The most common sports-related injuries include repetitive motion injuries (e.g. tendonitis), ankle sprains, broken bones, and concussions.

Since many of these conditions are the result of overuse rather than injury symptoms may appear gradually over time. Therefore, it’s important to listen to your child when they complain about pain or other issues they are having. It’s also important that kids have ample time to rest and heal. If they don’t this can also put unnecessary stress the body and leave them prone to injury.

Minor sports injuries can often be treated with rest and home care. The RICE method is often used for treating minor to moderate sports injuries. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Children may also find relief through non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, but it’s important to talk with your pediatrician before starting your child on any new medication.

While you may wish to treat your child’s symptoms at home it’s also important to know when to turn to a pediatrician. Call your child’s doctor if their symptoms do not improve with at-home care, if symptoms get worse, or if their symptoms affect their training. These symptoms also require immediate medical attention:

  • Severe pain and swelling
  • Deformity (e.g. a misaligned bone)
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness
  • Trouble walking or putting weight on the injured part of the body

Preventing Injuries

As any pediatrician will tell you, it’s always better to prevent injuries than to treat them once they arise. There are a variety of measures you can put in place to reduce your child’s risk for injury. These injury-prevention tips include:

  • Making sure that your child gets a physical exam from their pediatrician at least once a year to make sure that they are healthy enough for physical activity.
  • Make sure that your child is getting ample training throughout the year so that once the season rolls around their body will be ready for the demands of their chosen sport.
  • Make sure that your child is wearing the appropriate footwear and protective gear. This includes helmets, mouthguards, shin guards, and other padding.
  • Your child should also stretch and warm-up for at least 10-15 minutes prior to game time. A proper warm-up can greatly reduce injury.

If your child is experiencing pain, swelling or other problems as a result of a sports injury don’t hesitate to give your pediatrician a call today. Catching and treating sports injuries right away can prevent further complications.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
November 12, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Immunizations  

Immunizations from your Kansas City pediatrician provide important protection against communicable diseases such as measles, /Immunizationpneumonia, influenza, mumps and more. Here at Pediatric Care North (an affiliate of Children's Mercy), your team of 10 pediatricians administers vaccines according to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Is your child on schedule with their immunizations?

 

Immunizations are important

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains that child immunizations are critical to both individual health and the vitality of the community at large. Due to a vigorous program of vaccine administration, many serious childhood maladies have been all but eradicated in the United States. Polio and its heavy toll in terms of mortality and long-term disability is a notable example.

Child immunizations from your Kansas City pediatrician also help to protect people who are medically fragile and unable to receive vaccines themselves. Examples include cancer patients, premature infants, the elderly, or others who are immuno-suppressed. The CDC calls this kind of blanket protection "herd immunity." When enough healthy people receive their vaccines, everyone benefits.

 

Is your child on schedule?

Your child's doctor at Pediatric Care North will make sure of it. Here, your youngster will receive vaccines at well-child check-ups, during which your pediatrician or nurse will document the administration on the patient chart.

Schools, clubs, daycares, camps, and many other organizations that serve children and their families require documentation of child immunization administration. Pediatric Care North will provide such documentation as needed when you request it.

Regarding the vaccine schedule, most children are able to complete it as outlined by the CDC and AAP. However, if illness or other circumstance interrupts the schedule, or if a child starts the immunization process late, there is a catch-up schedule to bring him or her current.

When you follow the schedule, you ensure your baby, child or teen is protected against 15 different—and potentially dangerous—diseases. Vaccines are safe, and any reaction typically is localized (arm soreness and tenderness and/or low-grade fever).

 

Do you have questions?

Please call Pediatric Care North to schedule your child's next check-up. Our office in Kansas City, MO, is reachable by dialing (816) 587-3200.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
November 11, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Newborn   Newborn Care  

Once you find out you’re pregnant it seems like everything shifts focus to how you are going to take care of yourself and your unborn child. Furthermore, you start making decisions about how to care for your baby once it enters the world. One of the most important aspects is choosing a pediatrician that your child can turn to from birth until adulthood for medical care. Choosing a doctor that you like and can trust is important not just for parents but also children.

Having the same doctor means that children are also more likely to get the proper care, tests, and vaccines they need to keep them healthy. Having a continuous, trustworthy relationship with your children’s doctor will ensure that your child gets the care and treatment they need through all aspects of their developing life.

Looking for a Pediatrician

So, when is the best time to start looking for a pediatrician? Usually a good time to start searching is between 28 and 34 weeks. This will give you enough time to do your homework and not feel rushed to find a doctor that you feel you truly can trust. You can ask your friends, colleagues, and family members for personal recommendations and referrals. Once you determine which doctors sound good it’s time to setup a one-on-one meeting to learn more about their training, practice and services.

This is also a time to determine whether the pediatrician is a good fit for your family and that you feel a good, positive connection with them. Prepare questions ahead of time so that you get the most out of your consultation.

Newborn Care

Once your child is born they will usually see a pediatrician for the first time within the first week of birth. After that, your newborn will come into the office regularly for monitoring, vaccines, screenings, and checkups. These routine checkups are crucial, as they allow your pediatrician to monitor everything from their hearing and vision to certain health problems and developmental delays. By bringing your child in for their regularly scheduled appointments your pediatrician will be able to catch problems and provide early interventions to reduce the risk for complications and long-term issues.

When your baby arrives it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Your pediatrician isn’t just here to provide your child with comprehensive health care; they can also provide you with answers to everything from breastfeeding and bathing to diet and sleep schedules.

Your pediatrician can educate parents, especially new parents, on the dos and don’t of caring for their newborn.

If you are currently pregnant it’s never too soon to find the right pediatrician for your budding family.

By Children's Mercy - Pediatric Care North
October 30, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Wellness Visits  

One moment your child is born and the next moment they are sitting up, saying their first word and taking their first steps. It’s amazing just how many milestones your child will wellness visitreach in just the first few years of their life, and in order to ensure that your child reaches all of these milestones it’s important to visit their pediatrician regularly for routine wellness visits.

Seeing the doctor isn’t just for moments when your child has a fever or the sniffles, it’s also important that they visit the doctor often for well-child checkups. The benefits of these regular visits include,

  • Vaccinating your child and preventing a variety of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases
  • Screening them for certain health problems
  • Checking their vision and hearing
  • Reducing your child’s risk of getting sick
  • Monitoring and treating preexisting conditions
  • Detecting health problems early on and treat them quickly
  • Improving your child’s health and their quality of life

There are many things that go into a well-child visit. When your child visits the pediatrician here are some things to expect,

  • Monitoring of vital signs, which includes taking their temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
  • Recording their height and weight
  • Asking questions about your child’s current health status, physical activity level, diet, sleeping patterns, etc.
  • A comprehensive physical examination
  • Administering immunizations

Additional screenings, vaccines and other elements may also be included in certain well-child checkups depending on their age. For example, most children will start getting a hearing and vision screening at around three years old.

These checkups won’t just detect physical health problems but also developmental disabilities such as ADHD and learning disorders. Bringing your child in for regular wellness checkups allows your child’s pediatrician to continue to monitor their speech to pinpoint early signs that there could be a developmental delay or disability present. All children should be screened for developmental delays by the time they are 9 months old, and again at 24 and 30 months.

Bringing your child in regularly will also get them comfortable with the doctor’s office. Your child’s first visit should happen just a few days after they are born. From there, your newborn will continue to visit the pediatrician at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.

Once they reach their first birthday, they will come into our office at 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and 3 years. From 4 to 21 years old, children and teens should visit their pediatrician once a year for a checkup.

When was the last time your child saw the doctor? Keeping them healthy means keeping up with these routine checkups. Schedule your child’s next wellness visit today.