Posts for category: Child Health
Childhood immunizations are a critical component of pediatric healthcare. In addition to protecting children from potentially serious illnesses like polio and the measles, immunizations also protect vulnerable members of your family and community who are unable to be vaccinated or have weakened immune systems due to age or underlying illnesses. The pediatricians at Johnson County Pediatrics provide immunizations and other childhood healthcare and wellness services in Overland Park, KS.
Childhood Immunizations in Overland Park, KS
Children receive immunizations at specific intervals from infancy to age 18 according to guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the recommended schedule for every child can vary depending on a number of factors such as health, age, family history, and geographic location among others.
Most vaccines are administered in several doses that are spread out over several years depending on the immunization schedule, which is subject to change. Here is an example of a current immunization schedule as of 2018-2019, according to age:
- Hepatitus B
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis
- Haemophilus influenza type b
- Pneumococcal conjugate
- Inactivated poliovirus
- Measles, mumps, rubella
- Hepatitis A
- Human papillomavirus
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide
What Immunizations Protect From
Many debilitating/fatal illnesses and diseases that once affected the entire population in the United States and around the world have effectively been eliminated via immunizations. Even common illnesses like the flu virus can be serious and even fatal, especially for the more vulnerable members of society such as infants, the elderly, and people with underlying health issues and weak immune systems that can't adequately fight off viruses and infections.
Immunizations help to protect everyone, especially the people that can't be vaccinated because of health issues. This is what is known as herd immunity. If you or your child can't be vaccinated, the immunity of the people around you protects you from exposure to serious diseases and viruses.
Find a Pediatrician in Overland Park, KS
For more information about immunization schedules, contact Johnson County Pediatrics by calling (913) 384-5500 today to schedule an appointment with one of our pediatricians.
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.
Is your child coughing at night? Does she wheeze after her dance class? These symptoms and more could indicate your child has asthma. At Johnson County Pediatrics in Overland Park, KS your team of caring pediatricians diagnose, treats and helps parents and children manage this chronic respiratory condition. Your child can live well with asthma.
Symptoms of asthma in Overland Park
They are familiar to most of us:
- Shortness of breath, particularly after exercise, laughing, crying or exposure to weather
- Chest tightness
These symptoms happen when airways constrict due to autoimmune factors, the environment (the weather in particular), allergens (pet dander, cigarette smoke and other indoor and outdoor pollutants), aerobic exercise and more. While asthma also seems to run in families, physicians, parents and caregivers understand that stress appears to escalate the problem.
What can you do?
If you suspect your youngster has asthma or asthma-like symptoms, come to Johnson County Pediatrics where your child's doctor will examine her and note her symptoms. The doctor may order blood work, allergy tests and a chest X-ray. Spirometry is one of today's most common diagnostic tests for asthma, and it's simple and comfortable--measuring the amount of air forcibly expelled in a single breath.
If your child is diagnosed with asthma, expect a management plan which may include:
- Rescue medications such as inhaled bronchodilators
- Maintenance medications which manage inflammation (inhaled steroids)
- An asthma action plan which helps you and your child track symptoms and take appropriate interventions as needed
- Sublingual medications to suppress allergy symptoms
Asthma is categorized as intermittent and mild, moderate or severe persistent. Your child's symptoms and how well and how quickly they are relieved determine the extent of the diagnosis and long-term treatment strategies. Diligent trigger and symptom tracking are the best defenses against missed school days, prolonged illness and hospital ER visits. Your physician at Johnson County Pediatrics will partner with you and your child in controlling asthma for best possible lung function and a happy, full childhood.
You and your child are not alone in managing asthma. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American states that a full 8.3 percent of American children deal with asthma, and research on this prevalent problem grows year by year. Call Johnson County Pediatrics for an asthma consultation with your pediatrician: (913) 384-5500.
When To Take Your Child To Urgent Care
As a parent, you want to always do everything you can when your child is sick, but sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly how sick your child is, especially when they’re very young and can’t communicate what is bothering them. Urgent care or a trip to the hospital isn’t always needed for simple problems such as a cold, mild diarrhea, or mild fevers. So, when is it necessary to take your child to urgent care?
Not all illnesses need an immediate visit with your pediatrician and it’s important for you to know what symptoms to look out for. Some symptoms that may require urgent care are:
Vomiting and diarrhea that lasts more than a few hours
Rash, especially with a fever
A cough or cold that lasts several days
Large cuts or gashes
Limping or the inability to move an arm or leg
Ear pain with fever
A severe sore throat or swallowing problems
Sharp and persistent stomach or abdomen pain
Blood in urine
Blood in stool
Not being able to drink for more than 12 hours
Rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 2 months old
Fever and vomiting
Any pain that gets worse and doesn’t go away after several hours
While many illnesses may go away with love and nurturing after a few days, there are times when it is necessary to see your pediatrician as soon as possible. If your child has any of the symptoms listed above, be sure to call your pediatrician right away to find out if it is necessary for your child to go in for an appointment so that your child can get well as soon as possible.
The importance of immunizations
Childhood immunizations are one of the most important safeguards against communicable diseases and their serious, long-term complications. Your pediatrician closely adheres to the vaccination schedules published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Why? Well, there's nothing more important than your youngster's health and well-being, and immunizations effectively guard them.
Just what is an immunization?
Most immunizations are given as "shots," or injections, but some, such as the Rotavirus vaccine, are oral medications. However administered, vaccines boost your child's immune system in its battle against diseases which easily spread from person to person.
Each vaccine contains a small amount of a killed or weakened micro-organisms. These altered viruses or bacteria raise the body's defenses against a particular illness such as chicken pox. pneumonia, polio, tetanus, and more...up to 14 in all by time your child is two years old, says the CDC.
Are immunizations necessary?
Your pediatrician, his or her colleagues and decades of research prove that vaccines protect the health of individual children and of the community at large. Also called herd immunity, community immunity works best when as many babies and youngsters receive all their "shots" on schedule. Community immunity protects youngsters who cannot receive vaccines because of cancer treatment, HIV infection or other serious reason. It also shields the general population when people travel from countries which cannot provide access to these important medications.
Both the AAP and the CDC publish and recommend set vaccine schedules carried out at well-baby and well-child visits at the doctor's office. In addition, there is a "catch-up" schedule for children who have begun their immunizations late or had them interrupted by illness or other serious concern.
Your pediatrician's services
They're so important. Your child's doctor keeps your child's immunization records and can distribute them to schools, camps, college, sports, daycare and other organizations who require proof of up-to-date vaccines. The doctor also monitors your child for any adverse reactions, although typically, vaccines produce no more than:
- Localized redness and soreness at the injection site
- Low grade fever
- Pain and swelling