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Helping Your Child Deal With Minor Illnesses or Injuries

Here’s your first-aid guide on how to care for minor childhood injuries.

In a perfect world, your child would never get injured, sick, or hurt; unfortunately, this just isn’t 100 percent preventable. Children are deeply curious and far more fearless than adults, which often means that they leave themselves prone to injuries and incidents along the way. Fortunately, most minor illnesses and injuries can be treated from the comfort of home.

Quick and Dirty First Aid Tips for Injuries

Minor burns, cuts, scrapes, and wounds won’t necessarily bring your child into the pediatrician’s office but you do want to know that you are doing everything you can to treat the injury. For minor scrapes, cuts, and wounds, gently clean the area with water to wash away any debris. If there is blood, apply pressure first for about 10-15 minutes before washing the wound. Then apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage to the area to prevent an infection.

If your child is dealing with a strain or sprain, using the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method can certainly help. Ask your child’s healthcare provider about any over-the-counter pain medications they can use that might help them manage their pain as the injury heals.

When to Call Your Pediatrician

It’s important to recognize when injuries can be treated at home and when you need to make a trip to the pediatrician’s office. You should turn to a pediatrician if,

There are signs of an infection (e.g. fever; increased redness; pus or drainage)
There is a visible deformity after injury
There was a popping or snapping sound at the moment of injury
Pain is severe or getting worse
Your child can’t put weight on the injured leg, ankle or foot

Bleeding doesn’t stop after 10-15 minutes of applying pressure

Treating Minor Illnesses

So, what constitutes a minor illness? Minor illnesses include colds, ear infections, sore throats, and stomach flu. Viral infections like colds and certain ear infections don’t respond to antibiotics, so often the best course of action is to keep your child well hydrated and rested so the body can fight the infection. Of course, you also want to know when you should turn to a pediatrician for treatment. It’s time to call your pediatrician if,

Your child is dealing with a severe sore throat and is having trouble swallowing or breathing
Your child’s fever is high (102.5 F for children 3 months to 3 years and 103 F in children older than 3 years)
Their symptoms are getting worse or aren’t improving with home care
Your child is showing signs of dehydration
Your child is acting strangely (e.g. severely lethargic; confused)
New symptoms appear
Symptoms persist for more than 5 days

If you are ever concerned about an illness or injury your child is dealing with, it’s always best to play it safe and turn schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician.

Ear Infections in Children

Does an ear infection automatically warrant seeing a pediatrician? Here’s what you should know…

Your child is dealing with an ear infection for the first time and just like when they had their first fever, you’re pretty worried. You’re not sure how to handle it—whether they should see their pediatrician or whether it’s something you can treat at home. We understand that when your child’s sick it feels like everything around you stops. Here’s what parents should know about childhood ear infections.

What causes ear infections?

There is one major culprit that causes ear infections: the common cold. When your child comes down with a cold the fluids can sometimes get stuck in the middle ear, which can irritate the eardrum. Since the immune systems of children under 3 years old are still developing, this often means that they don’t have the antibodies necessary to fight off this infection. This means that it’s inevitable that many young children will deal with an ear infection at some point.

What are the symptoms?

It isn’t always easy to tell whether your child isn’t feeling well or what’s going on, particularly if your child is too young to tell you. Of course, there are some warning signs to be on the lookout for. You may notice that your child is irritable and fussier than usual. They may be upset more easily or cling to you. They may also have trouble sleeping. You may also notice them tugging or pulling at the ear.

On top of these common signs, they may also have a loss of appetite, upset stomach, diarrhea, fever or vomiting. If you notice any of these signs then it’s a good idea to call your pediatrician to see whether you should bring your child into the office.

How are ear infections treated?

How an ear infection is handled will really depend on the severity and cause of the infection, as well as your child’s age. In some instances, children between 6 months and 2 years may be prescribed a round of antibiotics while in other situations your pediatrician may just monitor their condition before deciding whether or not to prescribe medication.

Often, children over the age of 2 may not be prescribed medication right away; your pediatrician may take a “wait and see” approach since some ear infections clear up on their own.

If you are ever concerned about the issues or symptoms your child is experiencing, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for advice on the next steps. This can often provide parents with the peace of mind they need to know they are doing everything for their little one.

Infant And Newborn Care

Get the facts about how to care for your newborn.

The saying, “Having a baby changes everything” couldn’t be more accurate. Even before your child is born you want to make sure they get the best of everything, including the best medical care. If you’ve decided that our very own Arlington, TX, pediatrician Dr. Stephanie Gold is the right doctor for your growing family, we couldn’t be more honored to care for your little one. Here’s are some quick and helpful tips to make infant and newborn care a little smoother.

Consider Taking a Class

Handling and caring for a newborn can certainly be intimidating, especially for first-time parents. Taking a newborn class can be particularly helpful for soon-to-be parents, where you can learn everything from swaddling and breastfeeding to changing and bathing your baby. Talk with our Arlington, TX, pediatrician about newborn care class options and how they can help.

Self-Care is Important

We understand that your child is quickly going to become the center of your world, but it’s important that you are also caring for yourself. After all, you can’t care for others if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Ask family members, your partner or your friends to care for your little one while you take a shower or get a little time to yourself. There is nothing wrong with carving out this time, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for advocating for some self-care time, even as a parent.

Accept Help

Parents are superheroes, and even superheroes ask for help when they need it. Don’t be a hero when it comes to trying to do it all. If your family and friends ask if you need anything, take them up on it. This might mean asking a friend to pick up groceries for you or saying “yes” when your in-laws ask to help fold your laundry or clean up around the house. Take every opportunity of help that is offered.

Sleep When Baby Sleeps

We know that many parents just assume that sleep is going to be elusive from here on out, but it’s just important to plan out your sleep. It’s true that you won’t be getting a full 6-8 hours of sleep right now, especially with a newborn, but you can lie down to sleep whenever your baby does. This means getting around 2-3 hours of uninterrupted sleep before the baby gets up for another feeding. If bottle-feeding, you may swap out with your partner for feedings during the night.

Visiting Your Pediatrician 

It’s important that you start bringing your newborn into our Arlington, TX, practice for regular care from the moment they are born. Your child will have their first appointment with us about 3-5 days after birth and will continue to come in at,

1 month
2 months
4 months
6 months
9 months
12 months
15 months
18 months
24 months
After 24 months, you’ll bring your child in once a year for checkups

We understand that you’re going to have questions about newborn care along the way, and the best person to ask is our Arlington, TX, pediatrician Dr. Gold. To get your top questions answered or to schedule your child’s first checkup, call Gold Pediatrics at (817) 466-8008.

The Importance Of Well-Child Care Visits

A healthy child begins with the right doctor. A pediatrician can help you and your child make the best and most informed decisions regarding their health. It’s important to have a pediatrician that you trust to make sure that your child always gets the preventive care they deserve. And don’t forget the importance of regular wellness checkups with a pediatrician.

What is a well-child visit?

While newborns and infants have different schedules when it comes to how often they need to see their pediatrician, children over the age of 3 years old still need to come in once a year for a routine checkup.

These checkups are designed to check your child’s physical, mental and emotional health, and these checkups are not to be missed (no matter how healthy your child might seem). These visits are comprehensive because they are designed to help prevent health problems from occurring.

During your child’s checkup, a pediatrician will,

Check and record their vitals (e.g. blood pressure; heart rate)
Make sure they are meeting developmental milestones
Screen for certain illnesses
Administer necessary immunizations
Providing advice and health education to both children and their parents

A pediatrician focuses on both the physical and mental wellbeing of your little one to make sure they are getting the proper care they need. A pediatrician also knows that parents will have a lot of questions for them along the way. When you come in for your child’s appointment it’s a good idea to jot down those questions so that your child’s doctor can answer them for you.

Have concerns about your child’s health, whether it’s physical symptoms or behavioral issues? A pediatrician is here to help with all of those issues and more. Remember, our medical team wants to work with you to make sure your little one always has thorough and individualized medical care.

If it’s time to schedule your little one’s next checkup, or if you have questions about the pediatric medical services your pediatrician offers, don’t hesitate to call them today. After all—your child’s health is always a top priority.

Peanut Allergies in Children

In the past 15 years, we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of children with peanuts allergies, so it goes without saying that most parents are worried about giving their children peanuts; however, is the peanut a food to avoid, even in children that aren’t presenting with allergies? How do you know if your child has an allergy to peanuts? A pediatrician can provide you with the information you need on peanut allergies.

Is it safe to incorporate peanuts into my child’s diet?

Research shows that introducing a small number of peanut products to your baby’s diet may actually reduce their risk for an allergy. This means everything from adding a little bit of peanut butter to peanut powder to their food. You can introduce your child to peanut-based products at around 4-6 months old.

Is my child at risk for a peanut allergy?

It is important to recognize if your child is at high risk for a peanut allergy. If your child has an egg allergy or has severe eczema they may be more likely to have a peanut allergy and should be properly screened by a pediatrician, as even trace amounts of peanut products could cause a reaction. A skin or blood test may be performed to check your child’s response to peanuts and look for allergy signs.

What are the signs of a peanut allergy in children?

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, often coming on suddenly and lasting for hours. Mild symptoms may include hives on the face and mouth or a rash. Signs of a more severe allergic reaction include:

Widespread hives
Tongue or facial swelling
Trouble breathing
Wheezing
Vomiting
Swelling of the lips

If your child is experiencing symptoms of a severe peanut allergy it’s important to call 911 or to head to your local emergency room for immediate medical attention.

My child has a peanut allergy. Now what?

While there isn’t a way to cure a peanut allergy the best treatment option is to simply avoid consuming peanuts and peanut products. Your child’s pediatrician can provide you with an extensive list of products your child will need to avoid. Make sure that they also don’t share food with other kids at school. Your pediatrician may also prescribe an EpiPen, which is to be used if your child has a severe allergic reaction. Your pediatrician may also recommend that your child see a pediatric allergist who can provide further and more specialized recommendations.

If your child is showing signs of a peanut allergy, call your child’s pediatrician today to schedule an evaluation. If you simply have questions about incorporating peanuts into your child’s diet to reduce their risk for an allergy, your pediatrician can also provide you with expert advice.

FAQs About the Pediatric COVID Vaccine

No doubt you’ve been hearing a lot of discussions, particularly on the news, about the Covid-19 vaccine. You’ve also heard that kids five years old and older are now eligible to get the vaccine. Of course, any pediatrician understands that parents may have questions or concerns about this new vaccine and whether it’s right for their child. Here are the top questions about the Covid-19 vaccine and children.

Is the Covid-19 vaccine safe for children?

Yes, the Covid-19 vaccine is safe for kids 5 years old and older. The vaccine has undergone the same testing, clinical trials, and authorization that the Covid-19 vaccine has for adults. While it is normal to experience mild side effects such as soreness at the injection site or fatigue, these are signs that the body is building up protection. While some kids may experience side effects, not all kids will.

What is in the Covid-19 vaccine?

There is a blend of active and inactive ingredients within the vaccines and each manufacturer has published a list of their vaccine’s ingredients online. All vaccines are free from metals and manufactured products such as carbon nanotubes. Vaccines do not contain eggs, latex, preservatives, or gelatin. Each manufacturer offers its list of ingredients that you can check out: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson.

How many doses of the Covid-19 vaccine does my child need?

Pfizer is the only vaccine that is currently approved for use in children ages 5 years to 17 years old. Teens 18 years old and older can choose from Pfizer, Moderna, or the J&J vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses administered at least three weeks apart, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose.

Can my child get the booster shot?

It’s is recommended that everyone get the booster shot about 6 months after getting the Pfizer vaccine. Teens 16-17 years old and older are eligible for the booster shot and should get one. Talk to your pediatrician to find out if it’s time for your child’s booster.

If you need to schedule a Covid-19 vaccine for your child or teen, call your pediatrician today to book your child’s appointment. If you have additional questions about the vaccine, don’t hesitate to call your child’s doctor.

Know the Signs of Chickenpox

The infamous chickenpox, a virus known to cause itchy blisters all over the body. It most often happens to school-age kids, but unfortunately, if you’ve never had this infection as a kid you could get it as an adult. There is a chickenpox vaccine that children should get from their pediatrician. The first dose is administered between 12-15 months old and the second and final dose is given between 4-6 years old. While the vaccine is designed to protect kids against the virus, sometimes children can still get a milder form.

What are the signs and symptoms of chickenpox?

Chickenpox is notorious for causing fluid-filled and intensely itchy blisters on the body. Chickenpox blisters typically appear about 10 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus, and symptoms can last up to 10 days. In the beginning, your child may only show symptoms of a cold including loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, headache, and overall malaise. They may also experience a stomachache or sore throat. These symptoms will often appear before the rash.

The rash often starts on the face or stomach and then spreads throughout the rest of the body. Once the blisters break open, they will crust over and eventually fall off. It’s important that kids do not scratch these blisters, as this can lead to infections and scarring.

Is there a way to treat chickenpox?

Since chickenpox is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not be effective at treating this infection. Most treatment options are aimed at providing relief from symptoms while the body gets rid of the infection. If your child is at risk for complications related to chickenpox, their pediatrician may prescribe antiviral medication. Simple home care can help to alleviate discomfort due to chickenpox. This includes taking oatmeal baths and applying cold compresses to the blisters.

Is chickenpox preventable?

Absolutely. There is a chickenpox vaccine that all kids can and should get from their pediatrician. Even if kids still end up getting chickenpox after getting the vaccine, their symptoms will be much milder. If your child has already had chickenpox then they do not need to get vaccinated as they already have lifelong immunity.

If you have questions or concerns about chickenpox, or whether your child should get vaccinated, don’t hesitate to call your child’s pediatrician to learn more.

When a Fever Requires Medical Attention

A fever is one of the biggest concerns that parents have when it comes to their infant or child. We understand that a fever can sometimes be considered an emergency and you’ll need prompt medical attention. Of course, the good news is that often a fever will improve on its own. Know when your child’s fever warrants seeing their pediatrician for care.

What is considered a fever?

A healthy body temperature is 98.6 F; however, many things can elevate a person’s temperature including intense exercise, so not all temperature fluctuations mean that your child is sick; however, an illness or infection can certainly shift your body’s temperature as it works to fight off the bacteria or virus.

What can cause a fever?

There are quite a few reasons why your child might be dealing with a fever. Some common causes include:

Viral infections (e.g. cold; flu)
Bacterial infections
Severe sunburns
Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
Inflammatory health problems
Side effects of certain medications

When to see a pediatrician for your infant’s fever?

A fever that develops in an infant (babies under 3 months old) is often a far more serious matter than fevers in children. If your infant develops a fever of 100.4 F or over, it’s highly recommended that you bring them to your pediatrician right away for care.

When to seek medical attention for your child’s fever?

By the age of 3 years old, most children will have developed at least one fever. While some fevers won’t be anything to worry about and will go away on their own, it is important to know when your child’s fever requires medical attention. You should call your pediatrician if:

Your child’s fever persists for more than 5 days
The fever is over 104 F
Your child has symptoms of dehydrated
Medications aren’t helping to reduce their fever

If you are ever concerned about the health of your child, it’s important that you call your pediatrician. They can talk to you over the phone and discuss your child’s symptoms in greater detail to determine whether they need to come in for treatment. If your child has a fever and you’re worried, call your pediatrician right away to ease your worries.

Keeping up with your Child’s Immunization Schedule

As a parent, you want to do everything possible to make sure that your child is safe and protected. One of the best ways to make sure that your child stays healthy is by keeping them up to date with their immunization schedule. There are multiple immunizations that your child should receive throughout their life to make sure that they’re protected from specific diseases that could cause major issues. Dr. Stephanie Gold at Gold Pediatrics in Arlington, TX, can help you stay on schedule with your child’s immunizations so that your child is healthy and happy for years to come!

Staying On Schedule with Immunizations

Immunizations are the best way to make sure that your child is protected from germs and diseases. Being in school, they are exposed to bacteria and germs, and immunizations can help protect them from any issues. Your pediatrician in Arlington, TX, can help make sure your child is on schedule with their immunizations starting from birth.

The first vaccine that your child gets is right after they are born. They’ll have a Hepatitis B shot at the hospital and you can expect to visit your doctor multiple times a year for the first 6 years of your child’s life.

The most common immunizations include:

Hepatitis B
Tetanus
Influenza
Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
Hepatitis A
Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Rotavirus

Most vaccines will need more than one shot over a span of time. Once your child is 18, they should continue to come in once a year for a flu shot and every 10 years for a tetanus shot. Keeping your child on schedule with their immunizations is the best way to save money on their health and keep them from having illnesses that can be avoided.

Contact Your Pediatrician Today!

Keep your child protected! Contact Dr. Stephanie Gold at Gold Pediatrics in Arlington, TX, to make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. Call for more information today at (817) 466-8008 today!

Does my child have a UTI?

When bacteria enter the bladder or the kidneys this can result in a urinary tract infection. Unfortunately, UTIs are quite common in infants and kids, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms so that you can turn to your child’s pediatrician for treatment. After all, a urinary tract infection will not get better without treatment.

There are Two Main Types of Urinary Tract Infections

Children can develop either an upper or a lower urinary tract infection. An upper infection impacts the bladder while a lower infection impacts the kidneys. Some symptoms may be similar, but there are distinguishable differences between the two. Urinary tract infections can be caused by various bacteria, but seven main types of bacteria are most likely to cause UTIs. The bacteria that accounts for the majority of UTIs in children is E. coli.

Know the Risk Factors for Childhood UTIs

If your child has been on antibiotics for a long period of time, or if they have a weakened immune system, these are factors that could increase their risk for developing a UTI. It’s important to speak with their pediatrician to discuss ways to lessen their risk for these infections, particularly if they are dealing with frequent infections. Sometimes, structural abnormalities within the urinary tract can be to blame for UTIs.

Recognize the Signs and Symptoms

To ensure that your child gets the proper medical attention when necessary, you first need to be able to spot the warning signs of a UTI. It can be a bit more challenging to recognize these symptoms in infants and young children who may not be able to tell you the symptoms and issues they are experiencing. UTIs in babies may cause:

Abdominal pain
Strong-smelling urine
Fever
Increased irritability
Weight loss
Decreased appetite (fewer feedings)
Exhaustion
Vomiting and diarrhea

Older children may exhibit these symptoms,

An increased urgency or need to go to the bathroom
Pain with urination
Wetting the bed
Strong-smelling urine
Fever
Chills
Fatigue
Nausea and vomiting
Blood in the urine
Lower back pain (more common in lower urinary tract infections)

If your child is displaying symptoms of a UTI, it’s important that you call their pediatrician right away to schedule an appointment. A round of antibiotic therapy can help to clear up the UTI so they start feeling better right away.

Your Infant and constipation

It’s not typically common for infants to have issues with constipation; however, sometimes it happens. While many babies won’t deal with constipation they may have irregular bowel movements as their bodies naturally try to adjust to a set schedule. If you are concerned it’s always best to talk with your child’s pediatrician. Recognize the real signs of constipation in your infant.

Know the Warning Signs

For your child to truly be dealing with constipation, here are some of the warning signs:

Stools that are hard to pass

Infrequent stools

Excessive straining or straining more than normal

Swollen belly with gas

Painful stomach cramps

Stools that resemble small hard pellets, as well as stools that are too soft

Diarrhea-like stools

Treating Constipation in Infants

For an adult, they may simply take an over-the-counter laxative to help them go, but treating constipation in infants is different. You never want to give them an over-the-counter laxative or suppository unless otherwise told by your pediatrician. If your child is old enough to eat solid or strained foods, you may want to increase their fruits and vegetables to increase fiber intake.

If your infant is too young for strained food, give them just a couple of ounces of prune or apple juice each day to see if that helps soften the stools. If the stools are too loose, lessen the amount of juice you’re giving them.

When to See a Pediatrician

It’s important that you call your pediatrician if you are ever concerned about your infant’s health. No question is a silly one, especially when it comes to your child. You should call your pediatrician if you notice blood in your baby’s stool, if home remedies do not improve their constipation, or if your baby is fussy due to stomach cramping or pain.

If your little one is having trouble going to the bathroom, a pediatrician will be able to provide you with the answers you need, as well as tips for how to best address the issue. A pediatrician is going to be invaluable, especially for new parents, as they navigate parenthood. Talk to your pediatrician today.

Food poisoning in children

Food poisoning isn’t just a problem that impacts adults. It can also affect children, too. While, as a parent, you may be used to dealing with vomiting or diarrhea, food poisoning is a whole new animal. Since children under five don’t have a fully developed immune system they are often most susceptible to food poisoning. When germs or bacteria get into the foods and drinks we consume, these bacteria and germs cause toxins that result in food poisoning.

What are the warning signs of food poisoning?

Food poisoning can be confused with other health issues and infections such as the “stomach bug”, so it’s important to recognize the symptoms and to call your child’s pediatrician if you are concerned. How quickly symptoms appear will depend on the germ or bacteria that your child has ingested. Some children may develop symptoms as quickly as 1-2 hours after consuming the contaminated food or beverage, while it may take weeks for symptoms to develop in other children.

The most common symptoms of food poisoning in children include:

  • Stomach cramping and pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Malaise
  • Fever
  • Headache

What are the most common types of food poisoning?

Some of the bacteria that are most responsible for food poisoning include,

  • Salmonella
  • Ecoli
  • Campylobacter
  • Listeria
  • Staphylococcus aureus

While germs are most often found in animal-based products, unwashed fruits and vegetables can also carry germs. Even water can be contaminated. Children with weakened immune systems, as well as those with chronic health problems, are more at risk for foodborne-related illnesses.

How is food poisoning treated?

In many cases, food poisoning will simply run its course and your child will feel better after a few days. Make sure that they are resting and staying hydrated. If your child is dealing with a more severe form of food poisoning your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics. If your child is also showing signs of dehydration, it’s important that you call your pediatrician right away.

If your child is displaying symptoms of food poisoning it’s important that you talk with your pediatrician to find out if your child should come in for a visit. While food poisoning will often just run its course and go away on its own, your child may require antibiotics if they are dealing with a severe bacterial bout of food poisoning.

Know the warning signs of Pre – Diabetes

Diabetes is on the rise, and not just in adults. More and more children in the US are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be referred to as adult-onset diabetes, but today children are more at risk for prediabetes and types 2 diabetes than ever before. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent your child from developing diabetes.

Why is prediabetes a concern?

Okay, so prediabetes isn’t considered full-blown diabetes, so why should parents be worried? Well, being prediabetic will eventually lead to diabetes if the issue isn’t addressed by a pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to spot prediabetes through a simple blood test to check blood sugar levels. After all, blood sugar levels will be elevated even before your child develops type 2 diabetes. By catching elevated blood sugar levels early, your pediatrician can provide you and your child with simple lifestyle changes to see if that lowers their blood glucose naturally.

Are there warning signs?

The problem is that elevated blood sugar often doesn’t cause symptoms until a child develops type 2 diabetes. So, your child could be prediabetic and not even know it. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with your pediatrician if your child has risk factors. Your pediatrician will decide if blood tests are necessary to check glucose levels. If prediabetes isn’t checked and your child develops type 2 diabetes you may begin to notice these symptoms,

  • Wounds and injuries that are slow to heal
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger or thirst
  • Fatigue

What are the risk factors?

It’s important to recognize whether your child may be at risk for prediabetes. Some risk factors include,

  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Eating an ultra-processed diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle/lack of exercise (children should get at least one hour of aerobic exercise a day)
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • A mother with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy)

If you are concerned about your child’s risk for prediabetes or developing type 2 diabetes, it’s important that you speak to your pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to provide screening tools to monitor your child’s blood glucose, as well as lifestyle recommendations

Does my child have a concussion?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs as a result of a blow to the head. Since concussions can be serious, it’s important that you’re able to recognize the telltale signs of a concussion so you can seek immediate treatment. While your pediatrician may be able to provide you with immediate treatment, any serious symptoms should be addressed right away at your nearest emergency room.

What can cause a concussion?

The majority of concussions in children occur while playing sports; however, a traumatic injury or accident such as a car accident or bad fall can also leave your child dealing with a head injury. Some concussions may lead to a loss of consciousness, but most of the time this isn’t the case.

What are the warning signs?

Some of the most common symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of balance or unsteadiness
  • Trouble with cognition, particularly attention, focus, and memory

A child may look dazed or slur their speech. They may also be more irritable and fussy, as well as sensitive to certain lights or noises.

If your child is alert and responds and acts normally these are often signs that the head injury is mild and probably won’t require emergency care; however, even if your child doesn’t require urgent care you should schedule an appointment to see your child’s pediatrician within the next 48 hours.

When is a concussion considered an emergency?

You should take your child to the ER right away if they develop these symptoms after a head injury:

  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness for more than 30 seconds
  • A worsening headache
  • Fluid draining from the eyes or ears
  • Vision problems including dilated pupils
  • Persistent tinnitus
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Changes in behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble with coordination such as stumbling or falling
  • Seizures
  • Persistent dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Disorientation

If your child is showing signs of a concussion, we understand how scary this can be. Don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician right away, who can advise you as to what next steps to take.

Bike safety for your child

Just like responsible parents, our pediatricians are interested in keeping your children well – this includes helping your kids stay safe while riding their bikes.  The National Safety Council reports a 6% increase in bike accidents in recent years, likely due to increased traffic, population density in urban areas, and a variety of other causes. There are 80 million bicyclists now sharing the road with motorized vehicles, and your children are among them.

How to Keep Kids Safe When Biking

There are a few ways that your pediatrician recommends for teaching bicycle safety to your children:

  1. Help your kids stay visible to drivers: There are a few factors that can cause a driver not to view your child on a road, aside from texting while driving. Children are usually lower in a driver’s sightlines, and they are also vying for a driver’s attention among many other road distractions such as traffic signals, construction, and more. By clothing your children in bright colors, or even having them wear a brightly colored safety vest while riding, you can call a driver’s attention to their presence, thus avoiding an accident. Also, be sure that your child’s bike has reflectors on the rear and front of the pedals and possibly on the seat and handlebars.
  2. Encourage your child to wear a bike helmet. Helmets can protect the brain and reduce head injuries should they accidentally be hit by a driver. A properly fitting helmet should be buckled under the chin, and shouldn’t wiggle more than an inch when worn.
  3. Teach your kids to be proactive cyclists. When riding, teach your children to watch out for parked cars that might open their doors, road hazards, common traffic flows, and rules that motorists usually follow.  This can be a precursor to their learning to drive and will equip them with a sense of what drivers are most likely to do so that they can act accordingly while bicycling.

You can talk to your pediatrician about additional ways to keep your children safe when out riding their bikes. There is nothing more important than keeping your children safe, and bicycle safety is an important way to do it.

Is your child struggling with potty training?

Potty training is a big moment for your child and is something that may challenge them in many ways. Unfortunately, many young ones do struggle during this process and may find it very hard to understand. Is your child struggling, and you’re at your wit’s end? If so, a pediatrician can help you and your child overcome this frustrating situation with relative ease and understanding.

Reasons Why Some Children Struggle With Potty Training 

Most children after the age of 18 months or so should have little trouble acclimating to potty training. But if your child is struggling, and you aren’t sure why there are many potential reasons. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common causes of potty training difficulties with children:

  • Their Bodies are Just Not Ready — Before 18 months, your child may not have the ability to control when they “go.” So putting pressure on them too early may just frustrate them.
  • They May Not Have the Developmental Abilities — Some children just progress slower than others and may need more time in a diaper before they’re ready to potty train.
  • The Idea of Potty Training is Boring or Scary — Many children find potty training boring or even scary and may struggle to get used to the idea of “going” outside their diaper.
  • Fear of Accidents May Develop Early — Your child wants to make you happy, and if they have accidents or fear them, they might struggle with potty training.

You may also run into situations where a child just doesn’t want to learn and refuses. Even though the child knows what you want them to do and could do it, they just don’t want to listen. Any of these situations are very frustrating. As a result, you might need to work with a pediatrician who understands this situation and who can help your child start “going” when the time is right. They can help:

  • Assess while your child is struggling
  • Talk with the child to understand their concerns
  • Find a solution that makes sense for them
  • Work with you and your child to get great results
  • Adjust their care methods, as they need

Give Your Child a Helping Hand 

If you think you need help getting your child to use the potty, it might be time to reach out to a professional you can trust to help. A great pediatrician and medical team can provide you and your child with a better understanding of why they don’t want to use the potty. And it can also take some of the load off your back as a parent. Frankly, you deserve some rest and relaxation.

Cleft Lips and Clift Pallate

The day your child is born is one of the most exciting moments in a parent’s life. Of course, finding out your precious newborn has a cleft lip or palate can make things a little more complicated. Luckily, a pediatrician can help you determine the best way to treat your child’s cleft lip or cleft palate to put your mind at ease.

Why should a cleft lip or cleft palate be treated?

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.

How is a cleft lip and palate treated?

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.

If your child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate and you want to talk to us about their treatment options, then turn to your pediatrician to learn more. Your pediatrician is always here to provide you and your little one with the best care possible.

Keeping your Child on a Vaccine schedule

While no one likes getting needles they are an important part of keeping your child or teenager healthy. There are so many life-threatening and serious conditions that could affect your child’s health if they don’t get the proper vaccinations. Fortunately, seeing your Arlington pediatrician regularly will ensure that your child is up to date on all of their vaccinations. Here is the vaccination schedule you should follow.

Birth

After your baby is born they will usually come in for their first visit within the first 24 hours after being discharged from the hospital. During this time they should receive the first dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine.

1-2 months old

At this point, your child should receive the second round of their Hepatitis B vaccine.

2 and 4 months old

Two and four months are important ages for your little one because they will require several different vaccines including:

Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTap)
H. influenza type b (Hib)
Polio (IPV)
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
Rotavirus (RV)

6 months old

This is about the time that your child will get the third dose of DTap, Hib, PCV, and RV. You should also consider getting your child vaccinated every year for the flu.

6-18 months

During this time your child will get the last dose of the Hepatitis b vaccine, as well as the second half of the polio vaccine.

12-15 months old

Now is the time to get your child vaccinated for chickenpox. They will also get the final round of the Hib vaccine, as well as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), and the third round of the PCV vaccine.

12-23 months

During this period your little one will receive the Hepatitis A vaccine. This vaccine comes in two parts, which will be given about 6 months apart or more from each other.

15-18 months

The only vaccine your child will need during this time is DTap.

4-6 years

This is another important stretch for your child as they will need to get the DTap, MMR, IPV, and varicella vaccines during this period of time.

11-12 years

Besides the DTaP and meningococcal vaccinations, it’s also a good idea to talk to your child’s doctor about whether they should be vaccinated for HPV. This vaccine can protect teenage boys and girls from genital warts and certain forms of cancer.

16-18 years

Your teen will need to get the meningococcal B vaccine (which comes in either two or three doses). This immunization isn’t always necessary so your pediatrician will tell you whether your child should get it.

Do you have questions about your child’s vaccinations? Do you need to schedule your child or teen’s next doctor’s appointment? Turn to our pediatrician at Gold Pediatrics in Arlington, TX to get the best care possible time and time again. Vaccines are a surefire way to keep your children healthy as they continue to grow.

FAQs About Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease isn’t a childhood infection that’s often discussed but should be. After all, this communicable viral infection is more common in young children than most people realize. If you are concerned about hand, foot and mouth disease, or would simply like to know more, your pediatrician can certainly provide you with the information you need. In the meantime, here are some FAQS that can help you get the facts on this contagious infection.

Is hand, foot and mouth disease dangerous?

While the name might make this condition sound rather frightening, the truth is that many kids under the age of five develop this illness. This is because these viruses are quite contagious. Even though this most often impacts young children, this infection can also present in older children, teens, and even adults.

What are the symptoms?

The incubation period for hand, foot and mouth disease is about 3-6 days from exposure. At first, symptoms may appear mild and look similar to the common cold (e.g. runny nose, fever, and sore throat); however, blisters will then start to develop within the mouth and on the body (often the palms of the hands and soles of the feet).

How is it diagnosed?

A diagnosis is often made by a pediatrician through a simple physical evaluation. They will go through your child’s medical history, examine the blisters and ask questions about your child’s symptoms to determine whether this could be hand, foot and mouth disease. Some testing may be performed to rule out other conditions.

How is hand, foot and mouth disease treated?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a medication that will get rid of hand, foot and mouth disease. Like most viral infections, the infection just has to run its course; however, there are certain things your pediatrician may prescribe or recommend that you do to ease your child’s symptoms. For example, ibuprofen may be recommended to help ease the pain as well as your child’s fever. Of course, it’s always a good idea to speak with your pediatrician before you start your child on any medication, even over-the-counter medications.

If your child develops symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease it’s important that you see your pediatrician as soon as possible for an evaluation, as they will want to make sure that this is truly what’s causing their symptoms.