Dr. Pediatrician/Mom

Posts for category: Child Health

March 16, 2021
Category: Child Health
Tags: Pediatrician   Thumb-Sucking   Pacifier  
Thumb SuckingReflexively, your baby is born with the ability to suck. It makes sense. After all, your little one must be able to suck to get nutrients, whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Thumb sucking also has the ability to soothe and calm your little one. However, there are moments as your child gets older where thumb-sucking may become a problem. Your pediatrician can provide you with the tips and tricks to help your little one grow out of this habit.
Thumb-Sucking Tendencies

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.
When to Consider a Pacifier

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).
It is safe for children to use a pacifier while sleeping, whether at bedtime or when they go down for their naps. Just prepare for babies to wake up fussy in the middle of the night when the pacifier falls out of their mouths, as they aren’t able to place the pacifier back in their mouths themselves. Make sure that you do not try to place the pacifier on a string around your baby’s neck or tie it to the crib, as this can lead to a serious and potentially deadly injury.
How to Phase Out the Pacifier
There will come a point when your child will need to give up their pacifier. While the medical community has different age ranges, The American Dental Association recommends that children stop using a pacifier by age 2, as going beyond two years old could alter the alignment of your child’s teeth or impact the shape of their face.
Here are some tips to phase out the pacifier,
  • 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.
Even if you are concerned about your child’s thumb-sucking, it’s important to know that most children do grow out of it not long after starting school. While you can provide them with helpful ways to ditch the habit it’s important not to put pressure on them. With the help of your pediatrician, your child can and will outgrow this habit.
March 01, 2021
Category: Child Health
Tags: Autism  

Helping a child on the autistic spectrum poses many challenges which can be quite rewarding if we are equipped with the right tools to respond. If you have any questions or concerns about helping your autistic child gain valuable life skills and have some fun while doing so, come see our staff at ABC Pediatrics in McKinney, TX, for support.

Helping Your Child With Autism

All children need consistency, especially when reinforcing household rules and acceptable modes of behavior, but autistic children thrive in environments where they know what is expected of them.

Self Care

Time apart from your child may serve both of you well. Getting away from the home and coming back with fresh eyes helps to stave off frustration from both sides.

Become More Attentive

Each child with autism is unique and has quirks that you must get to know and accept. Some of these quirks are non-verbal or vocalized with others. Being conscientious in your communication will increase the quality of life for you and the child with autism.

Positively Reinforce Desirable Behavior

Working with your child is a learning process for everyone. If you show your child which behaviors you think are more beneficial, they will understand what you want more readily.

Break Things Into Smaller Steps

Sometimes, we want to keep our children calm while we ask them to do a favor or a chore. Because symptoms often lead them to become overwhelmed easily when being told what to do, the main thing is to maintain your patience and break the request down into smaller pieces to ensure that you are easily understood.

Do you need some autism support in McKinney, TX? ABC Pediatrics offers a range of services to help you help your child on the autistic spectrum. Contact our staff to schedule an appointment today at (972) 569-9904!

February 03, 2021
Category: Child Health
Tags: Diabetes  
Diabetes in ChildrenIn the past, the most common type of diabetes to affect children and teens was type 1 diabetes. This is also referred to as juvenile diabetes. In children with type 1 diabetes, their bodies do not produce insulin, a hormone responsible for helping deliver glucose into the cells. While type 1 diabetes is quite common in children, pediatricians are also seeing a rise in type 2 diabetes in children and teens. This coincides with an increase in childhood obesity rates.
Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes
While type 1 diabetes can appear in children of any age, it’s most commonly diagnosed in children between the ages of 5 and 6, and 11 to 13. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of type 1 diabetes early, as high blood sugar levels can lead to serious complications. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes typically appear suddenly, and the most common symptoms include,
  • 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
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

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
Treating Diabetes in Children

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.
The standard treatment includes managing diabetes through insulin therapy, which involves either daily insulin injections or an insulin pump. You will also need to monitor your child’s blood sugar levels throughout the day. Along with insulin therapy, you will also want to make sure that your child is eating a healthy diet and is getting regular exercise (at least one hour a day).
If your child is overweight or showing signs of diabetes, you must talk with your child’s pediatrician right away. A simple blood test can check their blood sugar levels and determine whether or not they have diabetes. Since uncontrolled diabetes can lead to serious health problems, it’s a good idea to see a pediatrician as soon as possible.
February 01, 2021
Category: Child Health
Tags: ADHD  

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, likewise known as ADHD, is a condition marked by specific differences in brain activity and development that negatively impact a child’s self-control, attention, and focus. It could affect children at home, school, and in relationships. If you suspect that your child might have ADHD, consult your pediatrician at ABC Pediatrics in McKinney, TX.

It’s very common for all children to sometimes struggle with sitting still, paying attention, waiting for their turn, or following and listening to instructions. Children with ADHD, however, struggle harder, and usually, all the time.

How Do I Know If My Child Has ADHD?

Children with ADHD typically display signs from at least one, two, or all these categories:

  • Hyperactive children are usually easily bored, restless, and fidgety. They might have difficulty staying quiet and sitting still. They might likewise rush through activities, resulting in careless mishaps. Additionally, they might roughhouse, jump around, or climb when they should not. Put simply, they might act in a disruptive manner.
  • These are kids who get distracted easily, are inattentive, and have difficulty concentrating, staying on task, and focusing their attention. They might have trouble listening well to instructions, finishing things that they’ve started, and miss crucial details. Likewise, they might appear forgetful or absent-minded, dawdle or daydream too much, and easily lose track of things.
  • These are kids who act too quickly before they think and do things. They might have trouble waiting for their turn, grab or push, and interrupt. They might also be too emotional in situations that don’t seem intense to others. Sometimes, they might engage in risky behaviors such as taking stuff that is not theirs and/or without permission.

How Do I Help My Child?

Keep in mind that self-control and focus are not things that you’re born with, as kids usually develop these traits, as they grow older. However, some children might not get better at waiting, listening, focusing, controlling their impulses, or paying attention. When this happens, it will eventually cause issues at home, school, and with relationships.

It might also mean that your child has ADHD and that you should consult with your pediatrician in McKinney, TX, as soon as possible. This way, you can start exploring the most appropriate supports and interventions for your child’s needs. Untreated ADHD could make navigating the world more difficult for your child. In turn, this could result in poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety, defiant and oppositional behavior, relationship conflicts, failure at school, and risky behaviors.

Most importantly, remember that your child will have ADHD for the rest of their life. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t outgrow ADHD—children with ADHD grow up to be adults with ADHD. But with the proper supports and accommodations in place, your child will learn to manage the negative effects and optimize the positive aspects of ADHD and go on to live a happy life, even with ADHD.

For Any Questions and Advice on ADHD, We Can Help

Set an appointment here at ABC Pediatrics in McKinney, TX, by calling (972) 569-9904.

December 18, 2020
Category: Child Health
Tags: Broken Bone  
Does My Child Have a Broken Bone?Accidents happen. Perhaps your child hurt themselves falling off their bike or taking a rough tumble down the stairs. In these instances, the first thing you’ll probably do is check your child over for bumps, bruises, and possibly broken bones. It’s important to recognize whether your child could be dealing with a broken bone so that you can bring them in to see their pediatrician right away.
The warning signs of a broken bone include,
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • A popping or snapping sound at the moment of impact or injury
  • Trouble straightening out the limb or affected area
  • Unable to put weight on the area
  • Limited range of motion or unable to move normally
If the bone is visible through the skin, you must call 911 or head to your nearest emergency room for care. If there is no bone visible but your child is still experiencing the symptoms above, then call your pediatrician right away. This problem should be treated on the very same day by your child’s doctor.
The most common fractures that we see in kids often affect the bones of the elbows, ankles, and wrists. Falling off monkey bars and other injuries on the playground are incredibly common and can lead to wrist and elbow fractures.
How is a broken bone treated?

First, your pediatrician will run X-rays to determine the location and severity of the break. Your doctor will place a splint or cast around the broken bone to provide support and stabilization and to restrict certain movements that could impede healing.
Your doctor may also recommend certain exercises that your child should do at home every day to help ease symptoms such as pain, limited mobility, and swelling. Your doctor may also refer your child to a pediatric orthopedist for physical therapy, depending on the type and extent of the injury. You will also need to bring your child back into the office in a few weeks to see how the broken bone is healing.
A broken bone is considered a serious injury. If your child is displaying symptoms of a broken bone, it’s a good idea to call your pediatrician right away for a consultation.