If your child has just been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important that you have a pediatrician you can turn to in order to create a customized and effective treatment plan. While diabetes cannot be cured, diagnosing, and treating your child’s diabetes as soon as possible is key to helping them maintain a long, healthy and happy life.
There are two different kinds of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, usually happens during childhood. This autoimmune disorder occurs when the body attacks the pancreas so that it doesn’t produce insulin. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in adults; however, children can also develop type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, with the increase in childhood obesity our doctors are seeing a rise in type 2 diabetes in children, as well. The pancreas of children and teens with type 2 diabetes does produce insulin but the body just doesn’t properly respond to it.
Symptoms of Diabetes
Both types of diabetes often present with the same symptoms including:
- Increased hunger and thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Sores and cuts that don’t heal properly
Other symptoms may include:
- Mood swings
- Unexpected weight loss
- Numbness or tingling
Treating Type 1 Diabetes
There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Since your child’s body doesn’t produce insulin this means that they will need to receive daily insulin injections. Along with taking these injections, you will need to monitor your child’s blood sugar every day to make sure their levels aren’t too high or don’t drop too quickly.
Treating Type 2 Diabetes
Even though children and teens with Type 2 diabetes produce insulin, the body doesn’t respond properly to it. Because of this, your child will need to take daily medication to maintain healthy glucose levels. As with type 1 diabetes, daily blood sugar monitoring is necessary to make sure that the medication your pediatrician prescribed is effective.
Along with taking medication, there are certain lifestyle modifications that can also go a long way to controlling your child’s type 2 diabetes. In fact, sometimes type 2 can be reversed with a healthy diet and regular exercise alone, depending on the severity. Lifestyle modifications include:
- Eating a healthy balanced diet
- Limiting sugar and carbs, which can spike blood sugar
- Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day most days of the week
- Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight
If your child is experiencing symptoms of diabetes or if you have questions about the best way to treat your little one’s diabetes don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for an appointment.
Find out the warning signs of asthma and how we can help treat it!
According to the CDC, asthma is the most common chronic disorder in children. Everything from stress to cold air to cigarette smoking could trigger a mighty swelling of the airways, the hallmark characteristic of an asthma attack. Since asthma can be serious and potentially life-threatening, it’s important that you turn to our Jacksonville, FL, pediatrician, Dr. Alexandra Kostur, if you suspect that your child might have asthma.
What are the warning signs of asthma?
Asthma symptoms can range from barely noticeable to severe. Although asthma attacks generally appear suddenly, your child’s symptoms will vary both in frequency and severity.
Common signs and symptoms of asthma include,
- Changes in breathing
- Labored or shallow breathing
- Itchy throat
- Chest tightness
- Runny nose
- Persistent cough
- Trouble sleeping
You may notice that your child becomes easily fatigued or out of breath while exercising. Other times, being outdoors during peak allergy season may exacerbate your child’s asthma symptoms. If your child has trouble talking, if their breathing becomes very fast, or if their labored breathing is causing them to hunch over, you should seek immediate medical attention.
How is asthma treated?
If your child is displaying any of the symptoms listed above, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with your Jacksonville, FL, pediatrician as soon as possible. Even though asthma isn’t curable, it can be well managed with lifestyle modifications and medication.
When it comes to treating asthma, your pediatrician will most likely prescribe both a long-term inhaler that controls inflammation and an immediate, fast-acting inhaler that should only be used in emergency situations (i.e. when your child feels an asthma attack coming on). This “rescue inhaler”, as it’s often called, can reduce the severity of an attack, while the long-term, maintenance inhaler will be used to control your child’s symptoms and should be taken every day.
Give us a call!
Whether you are concerned that your child’s breathing difficulties stem from asthma or you just need to schedule your child’s next sports physical here in Jacksonville, FL, don’t hesitate to call Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics today at (904) 446-9991!
Your child's sports injury can be treated just as your injury was. Or, can it? Your pediatrician knows that a child's body is still developing, responding differently to acute and overuse injuries from organized sports, gym class, and more. As such, he or she can help your child avoid injury and in the event of sprain, strain, laceration, dislocation, or head injury, will help your youngster recover and stay healthy.
Kids sports injuries
They're very common, says the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Annually, 3.5 million American children under the age of 14 suffer significant sports injuries. Some injuries are related to poor conditioning. Others occur because of inadequate instruction or proper protective gear such as padding, eye wear, sneakers, dance shoes, skates, and cleats.
In addition, diligent supervision on the part of parents, coaches, teachers, and other well-informed adults is critical to safe play. Well-maintained game fields and indoor surfaces avoid foot, ankle, and knee injuries.
Finally, KidsHealth reports that Pre-participation Physicals review medical histories and spot possible weaknesses in children's physiology and anatomy. Most school and organized sports teams require these check-ups either with the school physician or the family pediatrician before the sports season commences.
Treating sports injuries
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that proper assessment and prompt treatment of kids' sports injuries prevent long-term problems, including pain and proper growth of areas of the body such as the long bones. Traditionally, coaches and parents have used the RICE protocol to stabilize and injury, relieve pain, and begin the healing process. It still works exceptionally well. RICE stands for:
- Ice to the affected area
- Compression with an elastic bandage
- Elevation of the affected limb/injured area above heart level
Then, your pediatrician and other health care providers can devise a specific treatment plan to include physical therapy, strengthening exercises, over the counter analgesics, braces, and casts as needed. As a parent, you know your child well. So be sure to fully participate in your youngster's care plan.
Be safe, be well
Each child responds differently to athletic training depending on his or her gender, size, age, physical conditioning, underlying health issue,s and natural ability. You and your pediatrician can partner together in encouraging a safe sports season for your child. That's a win-win situation.
Is your child impulsive and inattentive to what you and his or her teachers say? Does your child's restlessness seem above and beyond what other kids his or her age exhibit? If so, you may wish to ask your Jacksonville pediatrician, Dr. Alexandra Kostur, about ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. At Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics, Dr. Kostur and nurse practitioners Lori Barnhart and Julie Stephens help you pinpoint this common syndrome and get the help your family needs.
The details on ADHD
It's a syndrome, or brain difference, which affects up to 11 percent of youngsters four to 17 years of age, states the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Boys with the diagnosis outnumber girls with ADHD by a ratio of three to one. In addition, adults may have ADHD, impacting their social and family relationships, professional performance and more.
What are the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? They are many and varied, including:
- Impulsive, irrational actions
- Inattentiveness to tasks, details and instructions
- Poor concentration
- Perceived laziness
- Poor organizational skills
- Inability to complete complex tasks
- Excessive and disruptive activity and loud talking
The Attention Deficit Disorder Association says that ADHD has little to nothing to do with diet or brain injury. Rather, it likely is a difference in brain structure and neurotransmitter levels that is inherited. In other words, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder runs in families and lasts throughout life.
Can ADHD be managed?
Yes, this syndrome and its associated behaviors can be managed, and your Jacksonville pediatrician is a wonderful resource on how to do just that. Medication is sometimes a treatment option, along with strategies such as positive reinforcement, behavioral redirection and life coaching (meeting goals, organizational skills and more) can be applied effectively. Dr. Alexandra Kostur may also suggest behavioral therapy.
Find out more
At Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics, Dr. Kostur and her dedicated staff provide care for your child's physical, emotional, mental and behavioral needs. If you need help with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or other issues, please contact our office for a consultation. Call (904) 446-9991.
It’s easy for parents to be able to pinpoint when there is something physically wrong with their child. They may have a fever, body aches, or abdominal pain. When these symptoms arise parents often know to seek care from their pediatrician. Mental health issues, on the other hand, are just as important to treat as physical complaints; however, these symptoms and problems aren’t always as clear-cut.
Good mental health allows children to feel confident, think properly and develop the proper skills needed for social, personal, and even professional success throughout their lifetime. A child’s environment can greatly impact their emotional and mental states, and it’s important that parents are in tuned with their children, their emotions and what’s going on for them to spot problems right away so that they can seek proper care.
Here are some ways to foster healthy mental well-being in your child:
- Provide your child with unconditional love
- Foster a safe, nurturing environment
- Help build their self-esteem and confidence
- Encourage their passions and dreams
- Provide guidance and discipline when necessary
Along with these simple tips it’s also important to ensure that your child is:
- Getting regular exercise
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Getting adequate sleep
Modeling Good Mental Health
Your child mirrors everything you do so by giving them a positive role model your child can mirror good behaviors that foster good mental health. When you take care of yourself your child also learns the importance in self-care. When you find joy in your life your child will also make a priority out of finding things that bring them joy.
Talk to a Pediatrician
We know that it isn’t always easy to determine what behaviors are normal and which ones warrant a deeper look. This is where your children’s doctor can provide you with the information you need. A pediatrician can answer questions about everything from healthy social and emotional skills to behaviors that could be problematic.
It’s also important that parents do not ignore their own mental well-being. After all, mentally healthy parents also provide better care and a positive, happy environment for their children to thrive. If you are having trouble with your own mental well-being it’s okay to talk to your child’s pediatrician about your issues.
If you have questions about your child’s mental health and wellness don’t hesitate to sit down and discuss your questions or concerns with a pediatrician who will be able to guide you along the way to make sure that you are providing your child with everything they need for optimal mental and emotional well-being.
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