A hit to the head during a soccer game or a hard fall from skateboarding may result in a serious head injury and even a concussion. The American Academy of Pediatrics describes a concussion as any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. These injuries are typically caused by a blow to the head, most often occurring while playing contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer, wrestling or skateboarding.
For some children, concussions only last for a short while. Other times, a person can have symptoms of a concussion that last for several days or weeks following the injury. Not all symptoms of concussions will be obvious, and in some cases take several hours to set in. Look for these signs of a concussion if your child suffers a head injury:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Memory loss or confusion
- Poor concentration
- Vision problems
- Irritability or changes in mood
- Sensitivity to light or noise
Seek Medical Attention
If your child injures his head or you believe he may have a concussion, it is important that the child discontinues play immediately and visits a healthcare provider for an evaluation. All concussions are serious and should be monitored right away. A pediatrician can properly diagnose the concussion and its severity, and then make appropriate treatment recommendations.
Rest from all activities is the best treatment for concussions. Your pediatrician can make appropriate recommendations for when the child should return to future play. Recovery time depends on the child and the severity of the concussion.
Preventing Head Injuries
Not all head injuries can be avoided, but you can do a few important things to prevent them.
- Buckle Up. Make sure your child is properly buckled up in a seat belt, car seat or booster seat.
- Safety Gear. If your child plays sports, make sure he wears appropriate headgear and other safety equipment.
- Awareness. Children should be taught how to play safe and understand the importance of reporting any type of head injury to their parent or coach.
All head injuries should be taken seriously. Early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent serious complications. It’s never a bad idea to contact your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns about your child’s head injury.
With the arrival of flu season, many parents will be watching their children closely for symptoms of this dreaded virus. The flu, also known as influenza, is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs). The virus spreads easily in settings where many people are contained in close quarters such as schools and childcare, making children especially susceptible to the flu.
Often confused with the common cold, flu symptoms are typically more severe. The following symptoms are good indicators that your child has the flu:
- Rapid onset of fever (typically above 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Excessive tiredness, lack of energy and general weakness
- Muscle aches and chills
- Dry cough
- Stuffy, runny nose
Other symptoms that accompany the flu may include sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Remember, if your child comes down with the flu, keep them home from school or childcare for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. The flu is highly contagious and can infect other children and caregivers. It can spread by direct contact, such as drinking from the same cup or through indirect contact, such as when a classmate sneezes on his hand and then touches the door handle.
Flu Prevention Tips
Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu typically occur during the fall through the spring. Knowing how to identify flu symptoms and prevent the virus will help you protect your family from getting the flu. Here are just a few tips to keep the virus away from your household.
- Teach your children proper and consistent hand washing
- Avoid sharing cups, bottles, and other utensils
- Encourage your children to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to prevent germs from spreading
- Practice the importance of coughing or sneezing into your arm or a tissue
To prevent seasonal influenza, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children receive the influenza vaccination every year starting at six months of age. Ask your pediatrician about flu vaccinations for your child.
When your child is experiencing the flu, extra rest and drinking plenty of fluids can help relieve symptoms. Typical recovery time for the flu is one or two weeks. Contact your pediatrician if your child’s fever persists, he or she develops a cough, or if he or she complains of ear pain. Flu is a serious illness that should be monitored closely.
Welcome to the Blog of Kangos Pediatrics
Whether your child is an existing patient or you’re searching for a pediatrician in the Austin, TX area, we’re excited you are here. With the pediatric industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping parents and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote a lifestyle of good health for your child. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including pediatric health care news, advancements in pediatric treatment, practical child health care advice and updates from our practice.
We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your child’s best health.
As always, feel free to contact Kangos Pediatrics with any health questions or concerns.
-- The Pediatric Team at Kangos Pediatrics
If your child’s attention seems to be causing issues, discover some of the telltale signs of ADHD.
ADHD has been given a lot more attention over the recent years, most likely because we’ve seen an increase in the number of children with this attention disorder. In fact, according to the CDC, about 6.4 million children between the ages of four and 17 years old have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. So, what exactly is ADHD and when should your child visit their pediatrician for an evaluation?
While there are certainly moments when kids seem like they have a ton of energy, don’t want to sit still or don’t always listen to what we say, there are certain signs that your child may actually be dealing with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In most cases, these symptoms will begin to manifest before your child is seven years old. Common signs include:
Being inattentive: Your child’s teacher may have already noticed that your little one has a lot of trouble focusing. Your child may become easily distracted by other things around them and may lack concentration. It may sometimes seem as if your child isn’t even listening to you.
Because of their inattentiveness, they may have trouble with organization or finishing assignments. They may forget instructions given to them by a teacher or parent. A child with ADHD will often forget things like homework or lose things more often.
Being hyperactive: Another obvious sign that your child may suffer from ADHD is being extremely hyperactive. This often means that your child can’t sit still. They need to move around or fidget. It’s challenging for them to sit in their seat for any period of time. They may have trouble being quiet and instead they may talk your ear off or feel the need to constantly be moving. You may also find that children who are hyperactive also are more likely to display a temper.
Being impulsive: While we know that children are often testing the waters of what they should and shouldn’t do, a child that truly has ADHD will often act out without thinking about their actions first. They may not be able to wait their turn and they may often interrupt what you or others are saying. Children with impulsivity may also be more likely to have temper tantrums or show sudden angry outbursts.
When to see your pediatrician?
Children exhibit a lot of these symptoms at some point, so visiting your children’s doctor isn’t always necessary, but if your little one is displaying a variety of these symptoms more often than not and it’s affecting their school, home or personal life then it’s time to call us.
If your child is displaying any of the signs of ADHD, it’s never a bad idea to bring your child in for a full medical evaluation. If their lack of concentration and attention is affecting their personal and school lives, it’s time to call your pediatrician to schedule an appointment.
Recent family studies (200 families over 7 years) have shown that social skills and self-esteem are enhanced when teenagers spend more time with their parents and especially alone time with their dads. Perhaps this is due to fathers spending more time joking with their kids and in more active, fun activities. The mom’s role is also integrated early into the child’s life so that later skill development through mom’s interactions go relatively unacknowledged. It appeared that teenagers continue to want close relationships with parents overall but over shorter periods of time.
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