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By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
June 04, 2019
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Asthma  

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 asthmacould 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
  • Wheezing
  • 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!

By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
June 04, 2019
Category: Pediatric Health
Tags: Sports Injuries  

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:

  • Rest
  • 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.

By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
May 28, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: ADHD  

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
  • Forgetfulness
  • 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.

By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
May 16, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Mental Health  

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.

By Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics
May 03, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Autism  

What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is a developmental disability that can cause significant communication, communication, and behavioral challenges. The thinking, learning, and problem-solving abilities of individuals with autism can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some individuals with autism need only a bit of help in their daily lives; others need more. While there's no cure for autism, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children.

Overview

ASD is the fastest growing serious, developmental disability, affecting an estimated one out of 59 kids in America. Autism begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society — at work, in school, and socially, for example. Often kids show symptoms of autism within the first year. Autism impacts how people perceive and socialize with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication.

Symptoms

Autism can look different in different people. Kids with autism have a hard time interacting with others. Social skills difficulties are some of the most common signs. A child with ASD might want to have close relationships but not know how. Most have some problems with communication. Kids with ASD also act in ways that seem unusual. Examples of this can include repetitive behaviors like jumping, hand-flapping, constant moving, fixations on certain objects, fussy eating habits, impulsiveness, and aggressive behavior.

Causes

The exact cause of ASD is not known, but it's believed that genetic and environmental factors are involved. Research shows that ASD tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child with develop autism. Research also shows that certain environmental influences may increase autism risk in people who are genetically predisposed to the disorder. Researchers are exploring whether certain factors such as medications, viral infections, or complications during pregnancy play a role in triggering ASD.

Treatment

Treatment options may include nutritional therapy, physical therapy, behavior and communication therapies, educational therapies, family therapies, and medications. No medication can improve the core signs of ASD, but specific medications can help control symptoms. For example, antipsychotic drugs are sometimes used to treat severe behavioral problems; certain medications may be prescribed if your child is hyperactive; and antidepressants may be prescribed for anxiety.


Autism can impact your child's quality of life. If you think your child may have autism, find a pediatrician near you and schedule a consultation. Proper diagnosis and treatment of autism can help your child live a happier, more successful life. The earlier children with autism get help, the greater their chance of treatment success.





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