Posts for: February, 2019
Immunizations offer important safeguards that protect your child's health. The life-saving shots ensure that your kids don't develop illnesses that once devastated young lives. Child immunizations are just one of the services offered by your Austin, TX, pediatrician, Dr. New Doctor's Name of Pediatric Center of Round Rock.
How do immunizations protect my children?
Immunizations prevent your child from becoming sick when exposed to the germs that cause contagious diseases. Vaccines contain a very weak or killed version of the germ responsible for causing the particular disease. The immunization won't cause your child to develop the disease—instead, it will trigger the production of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that attack and kill bacteria and viruses.
After the immunization activates the antibodies, your child will become immune to the disease. If they are then exposed to the illness, the antibodies will quickly kill the germs, preventing them from becoming sick.
Are all immunizations really necessary?
Some parents wonder if their children really need to receive immunizations for common childhood diseases, such as chickenpox or measles. In addition to making children very uncomfortable, these diseases can cause a variety of health problems, including hearing loss, pneumonia, brain inflammation, or even death.
The state of Washington recently declared a state of emergency due to an outbreak of measles. Whooping cough cases have also been rising due to a decrease in immunizations. When the majority of children are immunized, these diseases can't flourish. Child immunizations offered by your Austin pediatrician provide a simple way to protect your both child and other children, particularly those who are too young yet to be immunized or those who can't be vaccinated due to health issues.
What immunizations should my child receive?
Recommended immunizations and vaccines include:
- HBV: Hepatitis B
- DTaP: diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough
- MMR: Measles, mumps, and rubella
- HiB: Haemophilus influenza type b
- Varicella: chickenpox vaccine
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine: Protection from pneumonia, meningitis, and blood infections
- Polio: Although polio has been eradicated in the U.S., it still sickens people in a few countries in the world.
Child immunizations protect your son or daughter's health. Call your Austin, TX, pediatrician, Dr. New Doctor's Name of Pediatric Center of Round Rock , at (512) 250-1997 to schedule an appointment for your child's immunizations.
Confused about breastfeeding? We are here to help.
All mothers, at one point or another, will have questions about breastfeeding. While the Internet is certainly a wealth of information with many forums centered around the early motherhood experience, it’s also important to have a doctor by your side that can provide you with the information you need to make breastfeeding easier. Read below to learn the answers to some of the most common questions about breastfeeding, and contact Austin, TX, pediatrician, Dr. New Doctor's Name, for further counseling.
Q. When should I start breastfeeding?
A. Did you know that it is physically possible to start breastfeeding about one hour after your baby is born? Given this progression, it is recommended that you begin breastfeeding while still in the hospital. However, since the first 24 hours of your baby’s life is spent sleeping, it’s important to keep that in mind that it may be a bit more difficult for them to latch on right away.
Q. How often should I breastfeed?
A. Every baby is different when it comes to their feeding schedule; however, you can expect to feed every 1-3 hours both day and night, and you should know that your child should never go more than 4 hours without nursing. Of course, as your child continues to grow their stomach will expand. This means that they will consume more milk during feedings but will feed less often.
Q. How long will I breastfeed?
A. How long you choose to breastfeed your child is a decision that is left completely up to you. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding your child for up to six months, before splitting your child's diet between breastmilk and solid food for up to 2 years. This is something you can talk to our Austin, TX, children’s doctor about to figure out the best approach for you and your baby.
Q. What are the signs that my baby is hungry?
A. It’s good to try and nurse your baby before they begin crying from hunger. Signs that your baby is hungry include,
- Opening their mouths
- Puckering their lips
- Moving their head side to side
- Rooting reflex
Q. How can I make breastfeeding more comfortable?
A. We know that breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Finding a comfortable nursing position is one way to make the experience easier on the mother. While you’re nursing, place some specialty items near you such as magazines, healthy snacks, or even the remote so you can watch TV. You can also prop your feet up on a footstool for additional comfort and support. Remember: Just because you’re breastfeeding, doesn’t mean that you can't give yourself a bit of a break.
Do you still have questions about breastfeeding? If so, the caring medical team here at Pediatric Center of Round Rock in Austin, TX, is here for you. From new moms to experienced moms, we provide you with the support and care you deserve! Dial (512) 250-1997 today!
A hearing screening is the easiest way to determine if your child is suffering from hearing loss. Thanks to a hearing screening, your pediatrician can determine the degree of hearing loss and how best to help your child hear well again. If your child’s hearing loss goes undiagnosed, it can lead to problems with normal development, learning disabilities, and problems socializing with others.
Your child could be suffering hearing loss from a variety of causes including a family history of hearing problems, infection during pregnancy, or birth complications. Hearing problems can also be caused by middle ear infections, infectious diseases, or even loud noises.
So, how do you know if your child needs a hearing screening? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) these are some of the most common signs and symptoms of hearing loss in babies and children:
- Not turning toward sounds at 6 months
- Not saying single words at 1 year
- Not hearing all sounds
- Not answering to their name
- Delayed or unclear speech
- Difficulty following directions
Hearing screenings are often performed at well-child visits and during school physicals. If your child hasn’t had a hearing screening, and you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, you should schedule a hearing screen as soon as possible. Early detection of hearing difficulties leads to early treatment, which is much better for your child.
If your child has hearing difficulties, don’t worry. There are many effective ways to help with hearing loss including:
- State-of-the-art hearing aids, cochlear implants and other hearing devices
- Medications if the hearing loss is caused by an ear infection
- Surgical treatment to correct structural issues which may be causing the hearing loss
- Alternative communication techniques
- Educational and supportive services for the family
A hearing screening is important to the health and well-being of your child. You don’t want your child to miss out on all of the beautiful sounds of life. Your pediatrician can help you schedule a hearing screening to get your child started on the road to hearing well.
Named after the characteristic sound of its notorious coughing fits, whooping cough is an extraordinarily uncomfortable condition that typically manifests itself in babies and in children ages 11 to 18 whose vaccine-provided immunities have begun to fade. In addition to causing several debilitating symptoms, whooping cough also carries the possibility of infant mortality, particularly for patients under 12 months old. Further complicating the matter, initial symptoms often resemble a common cold, making quick detection a tricky task. To be more proactive in the treatment and prevention of this disease, read below to learn the basics on whooping cough and how to best go about alleviating it.
What is Whooping Cough?
Officially diagnosed by the name pertussis, whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that resides within the nose and throat. Whooping cough is spread through airborne bacteria produced by an infected person’s sneezes, coughs, or laughs. Once whooping cough has been contracted, the apparent symptoms begin in an identical fashion to the common cold. That includes:
Fever (below 102 F)
Congestion and sneezing
After a week to 10 days, these symptoms begin to grow worse. Mucus thickens and starts to coat the patient’s airways, leading to rampant and prolonged coughing. These fits can be so violent that that they may cause vomiting, lengthy periods of extreme fatigue, and result in blue or red face. This last sign is the direct outcome of the body’s struggle to fill the lungs with air, and once breathing is finally achieved, the loud “whooping” sound that defines the condition is produced.
What are the Dangers of the Disease?
If left untreated, whooping cough can produce a number of painful and dangerous complications, with the specific ailments depending on the age of the patient.
For teens and adults, untreated whooping cough can result in:
Bruised or cracked ribs
Broken blood vessels in the skin and whites of the eyes
For infants, complications from whooping cough are a great deal more severe. They include:
Slowed or stopped breathing
Feeding difficulties, which may lead to dehydration and severe weight loss
What Can I Do About It?
The best approach to preventing the disease is through vaccination. This is especially important for babies, as whooping cough leaves them in significant danger, though it is essential to keep your children on regular vaccination schedules, regardless of their individual age.
While vaccines are extremely effective in reducing the likelihood of contracting whooping cough, the possibility of developing the condition is still present. Due to this perpetual risk, if you witness your child’s cold symptoms continuing to worsen, arrange an appointment with their local pediatrician to find out if the problem may be whooping cough. If diagnosed early enough, antibiotics can be used to cut down on the painful symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading to others.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Whooping cough is a serious condition that can be extremely dangerous if left untreated. If you have any suspicions that your child may have developed this condition, give us a call today!