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By Christine P. White, MD, FAAP
March 26, 2019
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: asthma  

Understand more about childhood asthma, its warning signs and treatment options.

Asthma is the leading chronic disorder in children, affecting about 6 million children under the age of 18. If you notice that your child has Asthmabeen having trouble catching their breath then you may be wondering whether or not they might have asthma. Let our Overland Park, KS, pediatricians answer all of your questions about childhood asthma,

What are the signs and symptoms of asthma in children?

The most common warning signs of childhood asthma include:

  • A persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Struggling to catch their breath
  • Wheezing when breathing
  • Coughing spells that are often worse at night or after exercise
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Feeling easily tired or weak

What can trigger an asthma attack?

There are many things that can trigger an attack such as:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Exercise
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Certain chemical and irritants
  • Changes in weather
  • Stress

It’s important to continuously monitor when your child’s symptoms appear to figure out what might be triggering their asthma.

When should I bring my child in for an evaluation?

If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms above it’s best to play it safe and to see your child’s doctor right away. Early treatment is key to getting your child’s symptoms under control and to reduce the chances of serious asthma attacks and possible hospitalizations.

How is asthma treated?

Asthma can be controlled with the help of prescription medication. Our Overland Park, KS, children’s doctor will determine the right medication based on the frequency, type and severity of your child’s symptoms. Also, what trigger their symptoms may also determine the appropriate medication.

In most cases your child will be prescribed a long-acting inhaler that often contains a corticosteroid. A fast-acting inhaler will also be prescribed. The long-acting medication is used everyday to help control symptoms while a fast-acting inhaler is only used when symptoms flare-up to help prevent an attack. There are also certain lifestyle adjustments you can make to reduce certain allergens in the home that could trigger an attack.

Will my child’s asthma go away?

While most children who are diagnosed with asthma will not grow out of it, it is possible that symptoms and flare-ups will decrease over time. Making sure your child is using their asthma medication properly is the best way to safeguard them from flare-ups and to reduce symptoms.

Do you suspect that your child may have asthma? If so, call Johnson County Pediatrics in Overland Park, KS, today for an immediate appointment.

By Johnson County Pediatrics
October 01, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Child Care   Sports Physical   Sports  

Your child is eager to start the school year so they can participate in sports. That’s great news! Keeping your child active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and sports can be a great experience for many children; however, it’s also important that your child’s pediatrician performs a yearly sports physical to make sure that they are ready for physical activity.

A sports physical is necessary for every child regardless of their current health. In fact, some schools make it mandatory for children to get an annual sports physical before they participate in any school sports. Regardless of whether this physical is mandatory or not, it’s highly advised that all children get a sports physical once a year.

Your child’s sports physical will involve going through their medical history and conducting a physical examination. The physical examination is pretty self-explanatory. We will check their vitals, as well as their height and weight. We will perform a vision test and evaluate everything from their heart and respiratory system to their musculoskeletal system. The goal of a physical exam is to make sure that your child hasn’t incurred any past injuries or developed any health problems that could be exacerbated by physical activity.

A pediatrician can also answer questions and provide counseling on nutrition, healthy weight loss or gain, and habits that could help your child’s physical health. Remember to bring any questions along with you.

Besides the physical examination, we will also sit down with you and your child and ask questions about their medical history. It’s important to be as detailed as possible. If it’s the first time they are having a sports physical it’s important to bring in a list of any supplements or medications (both over-the-counter or prescription) that they are currently taking.

We will ask a series of questions to find out if there are any serious or chronic health problems that run in the family, if your child has experienced any past injuries, if they’ve ever undergone surgery or been hospitalized, if they have any allergies or if they have any current disorders or illnesses. It’s important to provide as much detailed history as possible so that our pediatric team can perform a thorough and comprehensive physical.

Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your child’s sports physical. It’s important to get your child on the books before the summer is gone and the doctor’s schedule fills up. You don’t want your child being benched during the season because they didn’t get a sports physical. Call your pediatrician today.

By Johnson County Pediatrics
September 04, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: newborn care  

What your pediatricians want you to know
 
Having a newborn is a wonderful experience, but you may also be nervous. You probably have many questions about how to care for yournewborn care newborn. Don’t worry because your pediatrician wants to partner with you in caring for your baby. The pediatricians at Johnson County Pediatrics want to share a few simple tips that can help you and your newborn.

Your pediatrician will want to see your baby within the first 2 to 5 days after birth. This is a wonderful opportunity for you and your baby to get to know your pediatrician and ask any questions concerning caring for your baby. At this important visit, your newborn gets a thorough examination during which the pediatrician records baseline measurements of development and growth. These baseline measurements are critical to ensuring your baby is on a healthy path.

During this visit, you will also learn important facts about newborn care including:

  • Feeding: Your baby will want to feed every 2 to 3 hours on average if you are breastfeeding. Formula-fed babies want to feed every 3 to 4 hours.
  • Sleeping: your baby will want to sleep an average of 16 to 17 hours every day. Always place your child on his back.
  • Stooling: your baby’s first stools will appear black and these change to dark green to yellow later on. If you see red or white stool, bring your baby in for a pediatric visit.
  • Bathing: always use mild soap and water, making sure to clean in the folds of skin. Don’t wash your baby too often because it can cause dry, irritated skin. Until the umbilical stump falls off, do not submerge the baby in water – sponge baths only.

For additional information about newborn baby care, please visit the Newborn Care page on the Johnson County Pediatrics website at http://www.jocopediatrics.com/newborn-care.html
 
You can best take care of your newborn best when you are healthy and well-rested, so try and sleep when your baby does. Also, enlist the help of family and friends when you need it. Give yourself a break with housecleaning because taking care of your newborn is the most important activity you should be doing right now. Try taking long walks with your baby to relieve stress.

Having a newborn is a joy, but it can also be hard work. Your pediatrician can help simplify your life by helping you care for your newborn. Just pick up the phone and call Johnson County Pediatrics at 913.384.5500 today!

By Johnson County Pediatrics
August 21, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Vaccines  

We know your children’s health and wellness is important to you. One way of keeping them healthy is through vaccination. Vaccines are available for many serious diseases, including polio, the measles, rotavirus, both hepatitis A and B, and more. Vaccines protect your child vaccinationchildren by helping them develop immunity to various diseases. Your pediatrician’s office can keep your children on schedule with their vaccinations. Johnson County Pediatrics are your pediatricians in Overland Park, KS, for childhood immunizations.

Childhood immunizations are important for several reasons. Immunizing your children protects them from serious diseases, some of which are deadly. Immunizations also protect other children who cannot receive vaccinations due to a weakened immune system, as is the case with children undergoing chemotherapy. Children who cannot be vaccinated are still protected when everyone around them has already developed immunity to disease.

Immunization is also important for future generations. Continued widespread immunity can ultimately wipe out a disease so that it is no longer a threat. For example, years of smallpox vaccinations and widespread immunity in the general public has completely eradicated the disease. Vaccines undergo years of medical and scientific testing and review before being administered to the public so you can be confident in their safety and effectiveness.

Types of Vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed an immunization schedule of when the different available vaccines should be administered. Your children’s Overland Park, KS, pediatrician can help you keep your kids on schedule with all the required vaccinations. The standard immunization schedule includes the following vaccines:

  • Haemophilus Influenza type b
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis (DTaP)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Inactivated Polio Virus (IVP)
  • Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR)
  • Pneumococcal Conjugate
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Rotavirus (RV)

Immunizations are important for the health and wellness of your children. Your Overland Park, KS, pediatrician’s office can keep your children up to date with their vaccinations. To schedule a vaccination appointment for your child, call Johnson County Pediatrics at (913) 384-5500.

By Johnson County Pediatrics
July 17, 2018
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: asthma  

Childhood asthma is more common than you might think. In fact, it is the most common chronic disorder in children, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition that causes swelling within the airways, making it different for your little one to breathe. How do you know if your child might have asthma? The telltale signs include:

  • Trouble or difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing or whistling when breathing in
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Coughing that often gets worse at night
  • Fatigue, especially with exercise or play

If your child is experiencing or complaining about any of these symptoms it’s important that you schedule an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible. It’s important to write down the exact symptoms your little one has been experiencing, particularly because their symptoms may not be present during their evaluation. If you have a family history of asthma, this is something that your child’s pediatrician will want to know.

During the evaluation your doctor will also perform a physical exam, taking time to listen to both the heart and the lungs for signs of asthma. Sometimes a test known as spirometry will be used to test the lung function (this is most common in children over the age of 6 years old). This test is used to measure how much air is in the lungs and how quickly your child can exhale. Other tests may also be performed to check for other health issues that could be exacerbating your child’s asthma symptoms such as a sinus infection.

Asthma is serious and requires medication to keep this problem under control. While there is no cure for asthma, your pediatrician’s goal for asthma treatment is to prevent the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. We want to prevent your little one from having to rush to the hospital for a severe attack. Luckily, there are medications that your children’s doctor can prescribe to lessen asthma symptoms.

The type of asthma medication your child receives will depend on several factors including age. Infants and toddlers may require inhaled steroids to control asthma symptoms. The dosage will also change depending on your child’s age. Along with long-term medications that will be taken every day to help control symptoms and keep inflammation down there are fasting-acting medications that your child will also be prescribed (e.g. albuterol), which is only used when your little one feels an attack coming on. Before any medication is given to your child, your pediatrician will talk to both you and your little one about how to use asthma medication properly.