Posts for category: Pediatric Health
How a sports physical from your pediatrician in Jacksonville, FL, can help your child
Does your child want to play sports? If so, your child will need to have a sports physical. Being checked out by a doctor beforehand can potentially help avoid injuries or medical problems by identifying whether your child is healthy enough for sports. Dr. Alexandra Kostur at Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics in Jacksonville, FL, offers a wide range of pediatric services including sports physicals to help your active child stay healthy.
A sports physical is required if your child wants to participate in sports. A sports physical helps to identify any medical concerns related to playing sports. When your child plays a sport, important body functions like heart rate and breathing are pushed to the limit. A sports physical helps determine whether these and other important body functions could be taxed too much by physical activity.
During your child’s appointment, a full medical history will be recorded. It’s important for your doctor to know any allergies, recent illnesses, hospitalizations, current medications, and other important medical information. Your pediatrician will also want to know about your family's medical history. Knowing this information can help your doctor determine the medical risks your child may be facing.
The sports physical also includes a complete physical examination. Your pediatrician will evaluate your child’s heart sounds and heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, reflexes, and muscle tone to determine overall wellness. Your child’s height and weight will be measured and vision and hearing may also be checked.
Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics offers a screening EKG (electrocardiogram) to make sure that your child's heart is healthy enough for rigorous sports activity and to detect any abnormalities of the heart that could seriously affect their cardiac health and sports performance. The EKG screening only takes a few minutes, is painless, and involves placing leads (stickers) on the chest wall, arms and legs to record the electrical activity of the heart. Sudden cardiac events are rare in children, but JK Peds offers this important screening. If your child's EKG is abnormal, they will be referred to a pediatric cardiologist for evaluation and diagnosis.
It’s also a perfect time for you to discuss any potential concerns or ask any questions you have about your child’s medical status. Your pediatrician may also use the sports physical appointment to make sure your child is up-to-date on immunizations.
A sports physical can help protect your active child, and give you peace of mind. To find out more about sports physicals and other pediatric services, call Dr. Alexandra Kostur at Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics in Jacksonville, FL. Call now and schedule an appointment for your child’s sports physical!
Make sure your little one is visiting their doctor for regular pediatric checkups.
Your child’s health is of the utmost importance; therefore, it’s just as important to find a pediatrician that will provide your child with the very best care from the moment they’re born. Here in Jacksonville, FL, our pediatrician Dr. Alexandra Kostur believes that parents and pediatricians should work together to make sure that children are getting the proper medical attention they need. Here are some tips on newborn care and some ways to raise healthy, happy kids.
Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy
Everything from taking folic acid to nixing certain foods from your diet to avoiding alcohol can reduce the risk for complications and birth defects. It’s also important that you understand your family’s medical history and to discuss this with your doctors so they can perform the necessary tests. Having a doctor by your side that you trust will ensure that you have a healthy and safe pregnancy.
Keep Up with Check Ups
Once your child is born they will need to start visiting a children’s doctor in Jacksonville, FL, to make sure that they are healthy and keeping up with vaccinations to protect against serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. These checkups will not only monitor your child’s developmental milestones but also detect early signs of health issues that can be treated right away and prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Here is a handy chart to know how often to bring your little one in for wellness visits and when they should be vaccinated.
Eat a Healthy Diet
While the occasional treat won’t hurt them, it’s important that you teach your child healthy eating habits. While the choice to breastfeed is a personal one it does offer many benefits for both mother and child. Once your child switches to solid foods it’s important to keep track of what they are eating and to make sure they are getting enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Avoid sugary treats and processed, junk foods.
Make Sure Kids Stay Active
Getting regular exercise is important for everyone, from children to adults. For at least one hour a day make sure that kids power down the electronics and enjoy getting their hearts pumping. Have them join school or community sports teams or just let them go outside and run around and play. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for your child’s health and can prevent chronic health problems such as diabetes.
If you are looking for a pediatrician in Jacksonville, FL, who will take time out to listen to your child’s needs and to make sure they don’t feel like just another number then turn to the compassionate pediatric team at Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics. We are here to help and answer any questions about child and newborn care!
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.
A hearing screening is the easiest way to determine if your child is suffering from hearing loss. Thanks to a hearing screening, your pediatrician can determine the degree of hearing loss and how best to help your child hear well again. If your child’s hearing loss goes undiagnosed, it can lead to problems with normal development, learning disabilities, and problems socializing with others.
Your child could be suffering hearing loss from a variety of causes including a family history of hearing problems, infection during pregnancy, or birth complications. Hearing problems can also be caused by middle ear infections, infectious diseases, or even loud noises.
So, how do you know if your child needs a hearing screening? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) these are some of the most common signs and symptoms of hearing loss in babies and children:
- Not turning toward sounds at 6 months
- Not saying single words at 1 year
- Not hearing all sounds
- Not answering to their name
- Delayed or unclear speech
- Difficulty following directions
Hearing screenings are often performed at well-child visits and during school physicals. If your child hasn’t had a hearing screening, and you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed above, you should schedule a hearing screen as soon as possible. Early detection of hearing difficulties leads to early treatment, which is much better for your child.
If your child has hearing difficulties, don’t worry. There are many effective ways to help with hearing loss including:
- State-of-the-art hearing aids, cochlear implants and other hearing devices
- Medications if the hearing loss is caused by an ear infection
- Surgical treatment to correct structural issues which may be causing the hearing loss
- Alternative communication techniques
- Educational and supportive services for the family
A hearing screening is important to the health and well-being of your child. You don’t want your child to miss out on all of the beautiful sounds of life. Your pediatrician can help you schedule a hearing screening to get your child started on the road to hearing well.