Posts for: March, 2020
As soon as your baby is born but before they leave the hospital, they will need to undergo a hearing screening (most hospitals perform a hearing screening but it’s also a good idea to ask). Congenital hearing loss, which occurs at birth, affects less than 1 percent of newborns; however, it is also possible for hearing loss to develop later during a child’s life, which is why routine hearing screenings are necessary for all children.
Once they leave the hospital, it’s now your pediatrician’s responsibility to provide hearing screenings and other tests and treatments that your child will need until they turn 18 years old. Your pediatrician will be an asset to your child’s health and you will work closely with them, so it’s important that you choose a pediatrician that you trust and value.
Why are hearing screenings necessary for newborns?
As soon as your child is born one of the ways in which they will receive and interpret information is through what they hear; therefore, if they have problems hearing then they may also deal with other problems including delays in language development and speech problems.
By detecting hearing problems early on your pediatrician can provide early interventions including hearing aids or other treatment options to ensure that your child reaches these important and necessary developmental milestones.
Of course, if your child responds to your voice or responds to noises then you may think that their hearing is fine, but this isn’t always the case. There may still be certain noises that they can’t hear properly and sometimes even these minor hearing issues can still affect language and speech.
Should my child’s hearing be assessed regularly?
Even if your baby passes their first hearing screening it’s still important that you turn to a pediatrician for routine checkups. Most hearing screenings usually don’t warrant a separate trip to the office, which means that your child’s hearing will be assessed during regular wellness visits.
Of course, if your newborn has certain risk factors that could affect their hearing it’s important that you share these factors with your pediatrician. These factors include:
- A family history of hearing loss
- Facial deformities
- Postnatal infections
- Premature birth
Finding a knowledgeable and trustworthy pediatrician before your baby is born is one of the most important things soon-to-be parents can do. Let our team provide your little one with the quality care they need to grow up healthy and strong.
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Human Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that usually cause illnesses like the common cold. Almost everyone gets one of these viruses at some point in their lives. Most of the time, the illness only lasts for a short time.
COVID-19: a new Coronavirus
It was discovered in December 2019 and has now spread throughout the world. As the virus spreads, we are seeing some people with mild illness, some who get very sick, and some who have died. The reason health officials are concerned is because the virus is new, which makes it hard to predict how it will continue to affect people. Researchers and doctors are learning more about it every day, including exactly how it spreads and who is most at risk
Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and can include:
- Shortness of breath
Who is at risk?
According to the CDC, children do not seem to be at higher risk for getting COVID-19.
However, some people are, including:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Suppressed immune systems
How to protect your family ?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, but there are a few things you can do to keep your family healthy:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer. Look for one that is 60% or higher alcohol-based.
Link here to StoryBots why we wash our hands video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBKvbQ12X1U
- Keep your kids away from others who are sick and keep them home if they are ill.
- Teach kids to cough and sneeze into a tissue (make sure to throw it away after each use!) or to cough and sneeze into their arm or elbow, not their hands.
- Clean and disinfect your home as usual using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.
- Avoid touching your face; teach your children to do the same.
- Avoid travel to highly infected areas.
What should you do in case you have COVID-19 or think you have been exposed to COVID-19?
While influenza and other viral syndromes are still more likely, there are steps you should take now that COVID-19 has been detected in our community.
Please consider the following actions:
- If your child is not sick, please have him or her stay home, avoid public places and monitor them for 14 days from the time when you think they were exposed.
- Severe illness: If you are experiencing a medical emergency (such as severe shortness of breath, chest pain or altered mental status), please call 911 and request an ambulance to go to one of our local emergency rooms. If you transport yourself to the emergency room, please contact the hospital prior to your arrival.
- Moderate or mild illness: In an effort to protect you, our care teams, and the general public we encourage you to utilize telemedicine to help screen and treat her/his illness. You may also contact Allegheny County Health department at 412-687-2243.
We have clinicians available 24/7 through http//www. https://anytimepediatrics.com our virtual urgent care platform. Enroll at our web site at steelcitysouthpediatrics or download the free iOS or Android mobile app, anytime pediatrics App from the App Store.
- If you or your children are experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, and do not wish to utilize telemedicine please do not walk directly to our office or to any emergency department without calling us first. A phone call allows our team to determine the best location for you to be evaluated. In some cases ,this phone call may allow you to avoid an in-person evaluation, which helps minimize exposure to the public from those with less severe symptoms. If you choose to visit our office without calling ( Walk-In), please be advised that place a mask on your face covering your nose and mouth as soon as you arrive to the office and needs to answer few screening questions before your child can be seen .Keep your child in your car until she/he is clear to come in..
- If your child has an existing routine appointment in our office, and she /he has respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, you should call our office prior to the appointment to discuss how your child care will best be served.
A note about facemasks: The CDC only recommends facemasks for people who have symptoms of COVID-19, not for people who are healthy. Healthcare workers and anyone taking care of someone with COVID-19 should wear facemasks.
More information for parents/caregivers on disease prevention and household cleaning from the CDC can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fprevention.html
Helping Children Adjust during School/Daycare Closures
As of March 13, 2020, local schools have announced that schools will be closed for at least 2 weeks. During this time, try to keep your children’s days as routine and scheduled as possible. Here are a few tips that can help:
- Read books with your child. It's not only fun, but reading together strengthens your bond with your child AND helps their development.
- Make time for active play. Bring out the blocks, balls, jump ropes and buckets and let the creativity go. Play games that kids of all ages can play, like tag or duck duck goose. Let your kids make up new games. Encourage older kids to make up a workout or dance to keep them moving.
- Keep an eye on media time. Whenever possible, play video games or go online with your child to keep that time structured and limited. If kids are missing their school friends or other family, try video chats to stay in touch.
Talking to children about COVID-19
There's a lot of news coverage about the outbreak of COVID-19 and it can be overwhelming for parents and frightening to kids. We encourage you to filter information and talk about it in a way that children can understand. These tips can help:
- Simple reassurance. Remind children that researchers and doctors are learning as much as they can, as quickly as they can, about the virus and are taking steps to keep everyone safe.
- Give them control. It's also a great time to remind your children of what they can do to help – washing their hands often, coughing into a tissue or their sleeves, and getting enough sleep.
- Watch for signs of anxiety. Children may not have the words to express their worry, but you may see signs of it. They may get cranky, be more clingy, have trouble sleeping, or seem distracted. Keep the reassurance going and try to stick to your normal routines.
- Monitor their media. Keep young children away from frightening images they may see on TV, social media, computers, etc. For older children, talk together about what they are hearing on the news and correct any misinformation or rumors you may hear.
- Be a good role model. COVID-19 doesn't discriminate and neither should we. While COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China, it doesn't mean that having Asian ancestry – or any other ancestry – makes someone more susceptible to the virus or more contagious. Stigma and discrimination hurt everyone by creating fear or anger towards others. When you show empathy and support to those who are ill, your children will too.
Source :American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2020)
Sneezing. Watery eyes. Stuffy nose. These could just be symptoms of a cold or these could be signs that your child has allergies. If you notice that your child’s symptoms flare-up during certain times of the year then this could definitely be a sign of seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, allergies can impact everything from performance in school to participating in outdoor activities such as school sports. If you suspect that your child may have allergies it’s important to talk with your pediatrician.
Childhood Allergy Symptoms
Allergy symptoms can also seem a lot like a cold or other upper respiratory problems. Common symptoms associated with allergies include:
- Watery, red, and itchy eyes
- Itchy nose
- Dark circles under the eyes or puffy eyelids
- Ear pain and chronic ear problems
- Nasal congestion
- Facial pain and pressure
- Persistent cough
- Chest tightness
So, how can you tell that your child is dealing with allergies and not an infection? Some telltale signs include itchy eyes and nose, which are classic signs of allergies. If your child has a fever this is usually a sign of an infection and not allergies. Unlike a cold, allergy symptoms can last for weeks. You may also notice that your child’s symptoms come and go, appearing more often during the spring and fall months. Again, this is a trademark of childhood allergies.
Treating Childhood Allergy
There are many ways in which a pediatrician can help your child manage their allergy symptoms, and the treatments that are recommended will depend on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms. Most treatment plans include a variety of lifestyle changes and medication. Children with minor symptoms may find relief through over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, while other children may require a prescription-strength allergy medication to tackle more moderate to severe symptoms.
Lifestyle modifications may include using a dehumidifier in your child’s bedroom, wearing glasses instead of contacts during allergy seasons, bathing immediately after being outdoors, limiting outdoor activities during high pollen counts, and keeping pets out of bedrooms (if your child suffers from pet dander allergies).
For severe or unresponsive allergies, your pediatrician may recommend immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Allergy shots may be a good option for your child when other treatment options and medications have not been successful.
Are your child’s allergy symptoms impacting their daily routine? If so, our pediatricians can help them manage their symptoms so they can get back to enjoying days on the playground and time spent with family.