If your child is planning to participate in sports they will need a physical.
Has your child’s school required that they get a sports physical? If so, you may be wondering what a sports physical entails and why it’s so important. If your child is healthy, you may certainly wonder how this physical can benefit them (after all, they are healthy right?). From the office of our Eden Prairie, MN, pediatricians, find out more about sports physicals and why every child should have one.
Why does my child’s school require a sports physical?
Also referred to as a pre-participation examination, a sports physical at our Eden Prarie office is the best way for your pediatrician to evaluate the overall health of your child before any physical activity begins. A sports physical will examine all parts of the body so as to detect any problems that could hinder your child’s ability to participate in sports. By making sure that your child gets a sports physical every year, you are also staying up-to-date on their health.
What is involved in a sports physical?
If your child has just decided to participate in sports for the first time this year, you may have no idea what goes into getting a sports physical. Well, when your child comes into our office for their evaluation, we will,
- Record their vital signs (e.g. blood pressure; heart rate), as well as their height and weight
- Check their hearing, respiration, and vision
- Check their posture and musculoskeletal system
- Test reflexes, joint flexibility, and strength
Some children have past injuries or health issues that they don't even know about until they come in for a sports physical. For example, we may discover that your child has asthma. Given that asthma attacks can be brought about by exercise, your child will need some accommodation before participating in sports. By providing your child with the proper inhalers and medications to keep their asthma symptoms under control, they can enjoy being involved in sports and reduce their risk for an asthma attack.
It’s important to plan ahead when it comes to scheduling your child’s sports physical, for once they start the school year, their schedules can become rather jam-packed. Why not schedule their physical before the start of the school year so that it isn’t an issue? Call All About Children Pediatrics in Eden Prairie, MN, today at (952) 943-8200 to schedule your child’s upcoming sports physical.
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.
Named after the characteristic sound of its notorious coughing fits, whooping cough is an extraordinarily uncomfortable condition that typically manifests itself in babies and in children ages 11 to 18 whose vaccine-provided immunities have begun to fade. In addition to causing several debilitating symptoms, whooping cough also carries the possibility of infant mortality, particularly for patients under 12 months old. Further complicating the matter, initial symptoms often resemble a common cold, making quick detection a tricky task. To be more proactive in the treatment and prevention of this disease, read below to learn the basics on whooping cough and how to best go about alleviating it.
What is Whooping Cough?
Officially diagnosed by the name pertussis, whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that resides within the nose and throat. Whooping cough is spread through airborne bacteria produced by an infected person’s sneezes, coughs, or laughs. Once whooping cough has been contracted, the apparent symptoms begin in an identical fashion to the common cold. That includes:
Fever (below 102 F)
Congestion and sneezing
After a week to 10 days, these symptoms begin to grow worse. Mucus thickens and starts to coat the patient’s airways, leading to rampant and prolonged coughing. These fits can be so violent that that they may cause vomiting, lengthy periods of extreme fatigue, and result in blue or red face. This last sign is the direct outcome of the body’s struggle to fill the lungs with air, and once breathing is finally achieved, the loud “whooping” sound that defines the condition is produced.
What are the Dangers of the Disease?
If left untreated, whooping cough can produce a number of painful and dangerous complications, with the specific ailments depending on the age of the patient.
For teens and adults, untreated whooping cough can result in:
Bruised or cracked ribs
Broken blood vessels in the skin and whites of the eyes
For infants, complications from whooping cough are a great deal more severe. They include:
Slowed or stopped breathing
Feeding difficulties, which may lead to dehydration and severe weight loss
What Can I Do About It?
The best approach to preventing the disease is through vaccination. This is especially important for babies, as whooping cough leaves them in significant danger, though it is essential to keep your children on regular vaccination schedules, regardless of their individual age.
While vaccines are extremely effective in reducing the likelihood of contracting whooping cough, the possibility of developing the condition is still present. Due to this perpetual risk, if you witness your child’s cold symptoms continuing to worsen, arrange an appointment with their local pediatrician to find out if the problem may be whooping cough. If diagnosed early enough, antibiotics can be used to cut down on the painful symptoms and prevent the infection from spreading to others.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Whooping cough is a serious condition that can be extremely dangerous if left untreated. If you have any suspicions that your child may have developed this condition, give us a call today!
There is a lot of care and work that goes into raising a newborn, and your pediatrician is here to help right from the beginning. Your pediatrician typically sees your newborn for their very first appointment within a few days of being discharged from the hospital. Your pediatrician is here for you to ask any questions or address any concerns you may have about your newborn and caring for your newborn. Some of the topics that your pediatrician may discuss in that first visit are:
Feeding- Your pediatrician will watch your baby’s feeding habits during this period and make sure that their growth is right on schedule. During the first six months of your newborn’s life, you’ll feed them formula or breastmilk. Breastfed babies tend to eat more frequently than babies who are fed formula.
Sleep- Every baby has different sleep schedules and needs. Most newborns tend to sleep sixteen to seventeen hours a day, but only sleep a few hours at a time. Sleep cycles don’t tend to normalize until your baby is about six months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy infants should sleep on their backs until they are able to roll over on their own.
Bathing- Infants do not usually require daily bathing, as long as the diaper area is thoroughly cleaned during changes, because daily bathing dry out their skin. Instead, it’s recommended to sponge bathe areas as needed.
Umbilical Cord Care- An infant’s umbilical cord should eventually dry up and fall off on its own by the time your baby is two weeks old. Until then, make sure to keep the area clean and dry by using sponge baths instead of submerging your baby in the tub. Small drops of blood are normal around the time that the umbilical cord is supposed to fall off. If you notice any active bleeding, foul-smelling yellowish discharge, or red skin around the stump, contact your pediatrician.
Your newborn should see their pediatrician at 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, and regularly throughout their life. Call your pediatrician for any questions on newborn care today!
Your child's chronic cough may actually be a symptom of asthma. The lung disease affects 8 percent of people under 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma treatments offered by the pediatricians at All About Children Pediatrics in Eden Prairie, MN, can help your child breathe easier.
Does my child have asthma?
Asthma affects the small airways in the lungs, causing swelling and excess mucus production that make breathing difficult. Although your child may struggle to breathe if he or she has severe asthma, symptoms may be more subtle in milder cases. Common symptoms of asthma include:
- Coughing: Does your child cough often even though he or she doesn't have a cold or an upper respiratory virus? Asthma may be to blame. You may notice that coughing worsens after your child is active.
- Tightness in the Chest: Kids with asthma may complain that their chests hurt or feel tight or strange.
- Shortness of Breath and Wheezing: Both shortness of breath and wheezing can occur if your son or daughter has asthma. Wheezing sounds like a whistling or rattling sound and tends to occur when your child breathes out.
- Trouble Sleeping: It's difficult to get a good night's sleep if you can't stop coughing or have trouble breathing. Lack of sleep can lead to daytime fatigue and irritability and may even affect your child's performance at school.
How is asthma treated?
Your child's Eden Prairie pediatrician will recommend treatments aimed at keeping symptoms under control. Inhaled and oral medications are generally used to treat asthma. These medications reduce inflammation, open airways and relax the muscles surrounding the airways.
Allergy testing may be suggested, as allergies can trigger asthma symptoms. If your child does have allergies, allergy medication or immunotherapy may help decrease asthma flare-ups. Your child's doctor can also provide a few tips that will help your son or daughter breathe easier at home, such as using a HEPA filter to remove airborne allergens, banning smoke and strong-smelling products in your house, replacing feather pillows with foam, or vacuuming often to get rid of dust and allergens.
Does your child have any of these asthma symptoms? Call your child's Eden Prairie, MN, pediatricians and certified pediatric nurse practitioners at All About Children Pediatrics at (952) 943-8200 to schedule an appointment.
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