Posts for category: Children's Health
A cleft lip and palate can present many challenges if left untreated including serious hearing, speech, and swallowing problems. As you can imagine, a cleft lip or palate can affect a child’s speech. Children born with these birth defects are also more likely to deal with recurring ear infections and even hearing loss. By repairing this birth defect as soon as possible we can minimize these issues.
Most children will undergo a cleft lip repair between 3-6 months old, while children will often get a cleft palate repair within the first 12 months. Consequent surgeries may be required later on depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of the defect.
Surgery is the only way to correct a cleft lip or palate. The goal of this surgery is to not only improve your child’s appearance but also make it easier for them to speak, chew, or hear. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so your child will be asleep throughout the procedure.
To repair a cleft lip, a surgeon will make incisions on both sides of the defect and then stitch the two pieces of tissue together to close the gap, which will greatly improve the shape and appearance of your child’s lip. A cleft palate repair is also performed under general anesthesia and involves making incisions on both sides of the palate to restructure and rebuild the roof of the mouth.
Accidents happen, but if bedwetting or daytime enuresis is becoming quite frequent in older children then it’s worth seeing your pediatrician for a closer evaluation. Girls happen to gain bladder control a little faster than boys. Girls are often diagnosed with enuresis if they continue to have bladder control issues past the age of 5, while it’s often diagnosed in boys after age 6.
There are many reasons why your child might be dealing with enuresis, which is another reason to see a pediatrician for answers. Whether your child is dealing with nighttime or daytime enuresis, or both, gives us some idea of what the cause might be. Common causes of nighttime or daytime enuresis include:
- Overactive bladder
- Small bladder
- Intense deep sleep
- Urinary tract infection
- Sleep disorders (often obstructive sleep apnea)
- Structural issues within the urinary tract
Sometimes enuresis goes away on its own without treatment, while other causes may require treatment. For example, a urinary tract infection will require medication to treat the infection and alleviate the enuresis. Underlying health problems such as diabetes will also require proper treatment and long-term maintenance and care.
This is a normal habit in newborns that typically goes away around 6-7 months; however, this seemingly innocuous habit may actually be a cause for concern if thumb sucking continues beyond 2-4 years, where it can alter the shape of the face or cause teeth to stick out.
Many children desire a pacifier between feedings, but this should not be a replacement for feedings. It’s important to recognize when your child is sucking because they are hungry and whether they merely want to self-soothe. If your child still has an urge to suck and they don’t need to nurse, then a pacifier is a safe way to soothe and ease your child’s needs (if they want it).
- Do not tease or punish your child for using a pacifier, but instead praise them when they do not use it. Provide them with rewards when they go without it.
- Some children use pacifiers out of boredom, so give your child something to do to distract them such as playing with a game or toy (to keep their hands busy).
- If incentives and rewards aren’t enough and your child is still using a pacifier, your pediatrician may recommend a “thumb guard” that can prevent your child from sucking their thumb. While you may feel in a rush to get rid of your child’s pacifier, it’s important to be patient. All children eventually stop this habit.
Is your child simply daydreaming or could they have ADHD?
It seems like more and more children are being diagnosed with ADHD these days. So much so that you may be concerned when you notice your child having trouble paying attention or seeming a bit flighty. Most kids’ attention spans are going to be short. There are also going to be moments where they bounce off the walls. These moments don’t necessarily mean your child has ADHD. Have questions about ADHD? Our Jacksonville, FL, pediatricians Dr. Alexandra Kostur, and Dr. Roman Criollo are happy to answer all of your questions.
What are the warning signs?
Symptoms of ADHD will vary from child to child, making it difficult for parents to tell whether these are just typical behaviors or whether these are signs of ADHD. A child with ADHD may be more likely to:
- Make careless mistakes with homework
- Misplace and lose items frequently
- Fidget, rock, and have trouble sitting still
- Have trouble waiting their turn
- Be prone to outbursts and cutting in on conversations
- Daydream and space out
- Have trouble playing quietly
Are ADD and ADHD different?
We know that this can be a bit confusing when you see ADHD and ADD being used (sometimes interchangeably). ADD was the original term for this disorder, but it changed to ADHD in the mid-90s. Now, any child with symptoms of attention deficit disorder is diagnosed with ADHD (not ADD). However, this does not mean that a child has to display symptoms of hyperactivity in order to be diagnosed with ADHD.
How is ADHD diagnosed?
If you suspect that your child might have ADHD, the best thing you can do is to talk with our Jacksonville, FL, pediatricians. When your child comes into the office, we can evaluate their behaviors to see if they are displaying signs of ADHD.
There is no one test that is used to diagnose childhood ADHD, but rather a series of evaluations that need to show that your child experiences several of the symptoms, that they have been happening for months on end, and that they impact their academic, social, and emotional wellbeing. We can also work together with your child’s psychologist or counselor to provide a definitive diagnosis.
How is ADHD treated?
Most people assume that the only way to treat ADHD is with medication, but our pediatricians will map out a comprehensive treatment plan that provides a variety of interventions and strategies to not just manage your child’s symptoms but also to set them up for academic and social success. Every child’s needs are different. Some of the treatment options we provide include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Educational assistance and support
- Parent education
- Skills training
- Support groups
- Lifestyle changes (e.g., dietary changes, regular physical activity, practicing good sleep hygiene)
If you are concerned that your child could have ADHD, the first person you should turn to is your Jacksonville, FL, pediatrician. We can evaluate your child’s behaviors and provide you with the next steps if we suspect that ADHD could be a possibility. To schedule an evaluation with our pediatricians, call Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics today at (904) 446-9991.
- Frequent urination, particularly at night
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Weight loss, despite increased appetite
- Cuts, bruises, and wounds that don’t heal or are slow to heal
Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes symptoms usually appear gradually. While type 2 diabetes has always been considered “adult-onset” diabetes, this has changed over the years, thanks to the obesity epidemic in children. If your child is obese or overweight, they may be at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are similar to type 1 diabetes, the only marked differences in symptoms are,
- Blurry vision
- Severe fatigue
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
Even though there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways that your child’s pediatrician can help manage their symptoms. The goal of treatment is to control blood sugar levels to prevent complications and lessen symptoms.