By Royal Oak Pediatric Associate
November 11, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: newborn care   Newborn  

Once you find out you’re pregnant it seems like everything shifts focus to how you are going to take care of yourself and your unborn child. Furthermore, you start making decisions about how to care for your baby once it enters the world. One of the most important aspects is choosing a pediatrician that your child can turn to from birth until adulthood for medical care. Choosing a doctor that you like and can trust is important not just for parents but also children.

Having the same doctor means that children are also more likely to get the proper care, tests, and vaccines they need to keep them healthy. Having a continuous, trustworthy relationship with your children’s doctor will ensure that your child gets the care and treatment they need through all aspects of their developing life.

Looking for a Pediatrician

So, when is the best time to start looking for a pediatrician? Usually a good time to start searching is between 28 and 34 weeks. This will give you enough time to do your homework and not feel rushed to find a doctor that you feel you truly can trust. You can ask your friends, colleagues, and family members for personal recommendations and referrals. Once you determine which doctors sound good it’s time to setup a one-on-one meeting to learn more about their training, practice and services.

This is also a time to determine whether the pediatrician is a good fit for your family and that you feel a good, positive connection with them. Prepare questions ahead of time so that you get the most out of your consultation.

Newborn Care

Once your child is born they will usually see a pediatrician for the first time within the first week of birth. After that, your newborn will come into the office regularly for monitoring, vaccines, screenings, and checkups. These routine checkups are crucial, as they allow your pediatrician to monitor everything from their hearing and vision to certain health problems and developmental delays. By bringing your child in for their regularly scheduled appointments your pediatrician will be able to catch problems and provide early interventions to reduce the risk for complications and long-term issues.

When your baby arrives it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Your pediatrician isn’t just here to provide your child with comprehensive health care; they can also provide you with answers to everything from breastfeeding and bathing to diet and sleep schedules.

Your pediatrician can educate parents, especially new parents, on the dos and don’t of caring for their newborn.

If you are currently pregnant it’s never too soon to find the right pediatrician for your budding family.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associate
October 31, 2019
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Wellness Visits  

One moment your child is born and the next moment they are sitting up, saying their first word and taking their first steps. It’s amazing just how many milestones your child will wellness visitreach in just the first few years of their life, and in order to ensure that your child reaches all of these milestones it’s important to visit their pediatrician regularly for routine wellness visits.

Seeing the doctor isn’t just for moments when your child has a fever or the sniffles, it’s also important that they visit the doctor often for well-child checkups. The benefits of these regular visits include,

  • Vaccinating your child and preventing a variety of serious and potentially life-threatening diseases
  • Screening them for certain health problems
  • Checking their vision and hearing
  • Reducing your child’s risk of getting sick
  • Monitoring and treating preexisting conditions
  • Detecting health problems early on and treat them quickly
  • Improving your child’s health and their quality of life

There are many things that go into a well-child visit. When your child visits the pediatrician here are some things to expect,

  • Monitoring of vital signs, which includes taking their temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
  • Recording their height and weight
  • Asking questions about your child’s current health status, physical activity level, diet, sleeping patterns, etc.
  • A comprehensive physical examination
  • Administering immunizations

Additional screenings, vaccines and other elements may also be included in certain well-child checkups depending on their age. For example, most children will start getting a hearing and vision screening at around three years old.

These checkups won’t just detect physical health problems but also developmental disabilities such as ADHD and learning disorders. Bringing your child in for regular wellness checkups allows your child’s pediatrician to continue to monitor their speech to pinpoint early signs that there could be a developmental delay or disability present. All children should be screened for developmental delays by the time they are 9 months old, and again at 24 and 30 months.

Bringing your child in regularly will also get them comfortable with the doctor’s office. Your child’s first visit should happen just a few days after they are born. From there, your newborn will continue to visit the pediatrician at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months.

Once they reach their first birthday, they will come into our office at 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and 3 years. From 4 to 21 years old, children and teens should visit their pediatrician once a year for a checkup.

When was the last time your child saw the doctor? Keeping them healthy means keeping up with these routine checkups. Schedule your child’s next wellness visit today.

Just as it’s important for your child to undergo a physical to make sure that they don’t fall ill, it’s just as important to pinpoint behavioral and mental issues early on so that our Marion, VA, pediatricians, Dr. Anita Henley, Dr. Leesa Lawrence, and Dr. Tara Etter, can help you address them. Read on to learn more about what is involved in a behavioral health consultation and the benefits surrounding them.

Who could benefit from a behavioral health consultation?

It may be time to schedule a mental health consultation at our Marion office if you suspect that your child may be dealing with a mental disorder. This consultation can pinpoint, and even prevent, certain mental health problems. This evaluation may also benefit children who are exhibiting certain behaviors that are impacting their social, school, or home lives.

If your child is displaying signs of any of these mental illnesses, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with us:

  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Somatic symptom disorders

During a consultation, a physical exam may be performed to rule out any physical causes for your child’s symptoms. The other part of the consultation will consist of an interview to talk with you and your child about their symptoms and feelings. A diagnosis may be made during your child’s consultation or further testing from a psychologist may be recommended. Once a diagnosis has been reached, we can immediately create a treatment plan for your little one. Early intervention is key to providing your child with the best support and care possible.

What are the benefits of a behavioral health consultation?

The most obvious benefit is that our pediatrician can identify certain issues early on to find simple and effective solutions before the problem gets any worse. In some cases, we may even be able to prevent certain mental health problems from occurring in the first place. Furthermore, this consultation ensures that your child gets the proper attention and support they need, particularly if they are dealing with emotional or social issues.

Give us a call

If your child is displaying serious or troublesome behaviors, it’s important that you have a pediatrician that you can turn to for answers and help. Call Royal Oak Pediatric Associates in Marion, VA, today (276) 783-8183 at to talk with us.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associate
July 09, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: allergies  

Over 6 million children are affected by some type of allergy. That includes allergies to foods, substances in the air, and chemicals that come in contact with their skin. With reactions ranging from mild to life-threatening, these allergic reactions should be mediated by a pediatrician in order to keep your child in full health. Fortunately, the doctors at Royal Oak Pediatric Associates in Marion and Abingdon, VA, can help.

Allergies in Children
Young children are some of the most social beings in society, frequently spending time around other children, adults, and outdoor elements—it’s no wonder that they are often affected by allergic reactions! Some children have allergies to the pet dander and pollen that floats in the air (common in spring and summer), two common triggers that can cause hay fever, sinusitis, and other respiratory issues. Food allergies are also common in children, preventing them from eating certain foods, such as nuts, shellfish, or eggs without having swollen lips, facial swelling, breathing issues, or digestive disruptions.

Treating Children for Allergies
To help your child, it’s important that you thoroughly explain their symptoms to a pediatrician at either our Marion or Abingdon, VA. Afterward, the first thing your child’s doctor may recommend is an allergy test to determine the triggering substance. Other treatments may include antihistamine medication (prescribed by your doctor), decongestants, and immunotherapy treatments (allergy shots).

Reducing Allergic Reactions
There are also steps thatyou can take to reduce allergic reactions in your child and their frequency. The most important step is basic education—inform and educate your child about the allergy and what causes them to have the unwanted symptoms. Another tip is to do a sweep of your home to eliminate all potential allergens. This includes tossing away certain detergents/soaps, clearing the fridge of foods that contain unfavorable ingredients, cleaning up pet hair, and wiping down walls or floors that may be covered in pollen. Also, make sure to close windows to avoid allowing pollen and other allergens into the home.

A Pediatrician Can Help
It’s best to be proactive about treating and controlling your child’s allergy symptoms. Schedule a visit with Dr. Anita Henley, Dr. Leesa Lawrence, or Dr. Tara Etter at Royal Oak Pediatric Associates in Marion and Abingdon, VA, by calling (276) 783-8183 today.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associate
April 25, 2019
Tags: Behavioral Issues  

How your pediatricians in Marion, VA, can help with behavioral issues

Your child’s behavior can be complicated. It can be difficult to know whether behavior is normal, or whether it may be a sign of ADHDdevelopmental issues. That’s where your pediatrician comes in. The pediatricians at Royal Oak Pediatrics can help with diagnosis and treatment of common behavioral issues. They have two convenient office locations in Abingdon and Marion, VA, to help you and your child.

As your child grows and develops, you may experience these normal behaviors:

  • Your child being defiant; this is a sign of independence and testing boundaries.
  • Your child withdrawing from you; this is a sign of your child wanting autonomy and independence.
  • Your child acting out; this may be your child’s reaction to major changes in life including moving, family separation or divorce, or issues at school.

Your child may also exhibit some behaviors which could benefit from professional treatment. Consider visiting your pediatrician if your child demonstrates:

  • Anxiety about school, relationships, and activities
  • Frequent depression or feelings of unhappiness
  • Purposefully damaging or destroying items belonging to others
  • Hostile feelings toward others, especially authority figures

You and your child should definitely visit your pediatrician if your child is:

  • Threatening other children, pets, or adults
  • Threatening or harming himself or herself or you
  • Stealing, smoking, doing drugs or unlawful behavior
  • Doing badly in school, or missing school entirely

Attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder or ADHD is one of the most common behavioral issues in children. Your child may have ADHD if you notice that your child is:

  • Frequently forgetting or losing things
  • Excessively talking or squirming around
  • Frequently daydreaming or not paying attention

If you are wondering about your child’s behavior, your pediatrician can help. A great pediatrician can help make sure your child is healthy and help you care for your child’s health, growth and development. For more information about common behavioral issues and other pediatric topics, call the pediatricians at Royal Oak Pediatrics, with offices in Abingdon and Marion, VA, today!





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