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By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
July 17, 2018
Category: Children's 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.

By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
July 02, 2018
Category: Children's Health

The number one goal of parents is to make sure their little ones are healthy and have the best quality of life possible. Of course, this means having a pediatrician in which you can always turn, whether for preventive care or treatment when health problems arise. You want a pediatrician you can trust to always provide quality and individualized care for your little one time and time again.

Of course, why treat a health issue that could easily have been prevented in the first place, right? The best way to detect problems early on and to also protect your child from a variety of potentially serious health issues is by bringing them in to visit their pediatrician regularly. These checkups will occur frequently, particularly for the first few years of your little one’s life. This is because your child is reaching a lot of developmental milestones during these first few years and it’s important that you have a children’s doctor that can make sure that they are reaching these milestones.

Plus, these checkups are also important for parents, too. After all, we know that parents have a lot of questions regarding everything from their child’s nutrition to activity levels to vaccinations. While these checkups are most certainly about making sure your child is leading a healthy life it’s also important that you have all of your questions and concerns answered to promote that healthy lifestyle in your child. Make sure to write down any questions ahead of time so that you will have all of your questions addressed during your child’s next visit.

These checkups are crucial for preventing a variety of health problems and also making sure your little one gets the care and treatment they need should an issue arise. During these wellness checkups your pediatrician will monitor your child’s:

  • Height and weight
  • Heart rate and blood pressure
  • Vision and hearing
  • Reflexes and musculoskeletal system
  • Lungs and heart

Your child will also have to get a series of immunizations throughout their childhood to protect against serious and potentially life-threatening health problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created a comprehensive vaccination schedule to make sure your child is getting all the immunizations they need.

Once your child is born it’s important that you bring them in regularly to see their doctor for checkups. After all, preventive medical care is the best way to stave off certain illnesses and injuries. Plus, these checkups also ensure that if there is a health problem present that it’s detected right away when it’s much easier to treat.

By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
July 02, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: newborn care  

Caring for a newborn can be a daunting experience, particularly during the early days when you're sleep deprived and haven't quite newborn caredetermined the meaning of your child's various cries. Pediatrician Dr. Alexandra Kostur of Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics addresses new parents' concerns and provides a wealth of information on newborn care during visits to her Jacksonville, FL, office.

Newborn care tips

Following these tips can help you ensure that you're providing the care that your little one needs to grow and thrive.

  • Daily Baths Aren't Necessary: During the first weeks of your child's life, he or she won't be active enough to get dirty. In fact, bathing him or her too often can dry his or her sensitive skin. Sponge baths are best until your little one's umbilical cord falls off. When you do begin bathing your child in a tub, never leave him or her unattended. It only takes a few seconds for drowning to occur.
  • Breast Fed is Best: Breastfeeding offers valuable benefits for babies, and it is nature's perfect food for babies. You will give your baby lasting benefits with any breastmilk that you can provide for your baby.  However, breastfeeding doesn't always work for all mothers and all babies. If you don't produce enough milk, or can't breastfeed, feeding your baby formula is perfectly fine. There are ways to increase your breast milk supply, so before you make the switch, please talk to us! From extra pumping after feedings to Fenugreek supplements/teas, there are many ways to improve your milk supply. They are making formulas closer and closer to breastmilk so formula is a good option if continuing to breastfeed is not an option.  Both options provide the vitamins and nutrients your child needs to develop. If you breastfeed your baby, he or she will probably need to be fed every two or three hours, while bottle-fed infants may only need to be fed every three to four hours during the first several weeks.
  • Follow Safe Sleeping Practices: The risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in higher in babies who sleep on their sides or stomachs. Follow the recommendation of The American Academy of Pediatrics and put your baby to sleep on his or her back. Don't use blankets or pillow or place stuffed animals in the crib, as these items may pose a suffocation risk.
  • Schedule Regular Visits with the Pediatrician: Regular visits with your child's Jacksonville pediatrician will help ensure that he or she is growing and developing normally. The visits also offer the perfect opportunity to share your concerns and ask questions about your child's health.

Do you have any questions or concerns about newborn care? Schedule an appointment with pediatrician Dr. Alexandra Koustur of Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics in Jacksonville, FL, by calling (904) 446-9991.

By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
June 19, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Nutrition  

Your child is growing by leaps and bounds, so it should go without saying that the foods they consume can provide ample energy and fuel their mind and body, or they can cause deficiencies, mood swings, sluggishness, and health problems. Your child’s nutrition is of the utmost importance and establishing healthy eating habits early on can greatly benefit your child for both the short-term and for the future.

With childhood obesity still being a very serious and real problem in our country, it’s never too early to start your child eating a healthy, balanced diet. It’s amazing how what you eat can either help or harm your health. Here are some tips to support good nutrition in your little one.

Don’t Forget Breakfast

While busy parents might forget to eat first thing in the morning (or turn to coffee to get that burst of energy) growing children should not skip out on breakfast. Making sure they have a hearty protein-rich breakfast will help them stay fuller longer. Greek yogurt or eggs can be a great source of protein. Couple that with whole grains and some veggies and you have the ultimate, energized breakfast.

Let Your Child Be an Active Participant

If you just tell your child what to eat all the time it’s can be far more challenging to have them eat what they should and children don’t really understand for themselves why certain foods are good for them. Getting your child actively involved in their own nutrition is a great and invaluable lesson that they will carry with them throughout life. Let them choose their favorite fruits and vegetables. Plant a garden together and show them how to tend to herbs and vegetables. Make cooking together a priority and enjoy time with the family while teaching your child how to cook.

Revamp Your Diet

We know that it can be difficult to completely transition your child into a healthier lifestyle, particularly if eating habits haven’t been the best so far; however, a pediatrician can help guide you through the process to help you make simple decisions that could greatly improve your child’s diet. Simply swapping out certain unhealthy options for healthier ones might be all you need. For example, replace soda with flavored water, ice cream with yogurt, and potato chips with mixed nuts.

Sugar in Moderation

Okay, we know it’s impossible to prevent your child from ever consuming sugar (after all, what’s a birthday party without the birthday cake?); however, you should limit how much sugar your child consumes each day. Keep sodas, sports drinks, desserts and the like out of the house to prevent temptation. Sure, these treats aren’t that bad for you when consumed sparingly, but we all know the negative effect sugar has on our physical and mental health.

If you have questions about your child’s nutritional habits or their health, it’s important that you have a pediatrician that you trust to provide you with the comprehensive and understanding care you and your little one need. Turn to a pediatrician today to have all your questions and concerns addressed regarding your child’s nutrition and lifestyle.

By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
May 31, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Fever  

Your child awoke in the middle of the night complaining that they didn’t feel well. Your first reaction is to put your hand up to their forehead to see if they have a fever. Of course, if their head feels warm the next step is to take their temperature to see if they are actually running a fever. While most children will experience a fever at some point, it’s important to know when you can treat the problem at home and when you need to visit a pediatrician immediately.

Most of the time a fever isn’t anything to worry about, especially if your child is otherwise healthy. A fever is the body’s way of fighting off the infection, after all; however, there are instances in which you will want to call your children’s doctor to find out whether you need to come in for care.

We believe in a parent’s intuition, so if it seems like something just isn’t right, you should give us a call and find out if your child’s symptoms or behaviors are something that need to be handled right away. Your child’s exact temperature and their age are two very important factors when it comes to whether or not your child should receive medical attention.

It’s important to call your pediatrician if your baby is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 100.4 F or higher. A baby between the ages of 3 to 6 months old that has a fever of 101 F or higher (or has a fever that lasts more than a day) should also see a pediatric doctor. If your child is between the ages of 6 months and one year old and has a temperature at or above 103 F or has a fever lasting more than a day, give us a call.

Other times to call a pediatrician include:

  • A high fever that lasts more than a day in children who are 1 to 2 years old
  • A child that has a fever of 104 F or higher (age does not matter in this case)
  • A fever that is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea
  • Signs of dehydration along with a fever
  • A fever that is also accompanied by a rash
  • Children who have weak or compromised immune systems and develop a fever

If your child’s fever doesn’t require a visit to your pediatrician you can try applying warm compresses or bathing your child in lukewarm water to help ease their symptoms. Never use cold water or ice to bring down a fever.

If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician to find out what you should do about your child’s fever.





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