By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
February 20, 2020
Tags: Ear Infection  

Concerned that your child may have an ear infection? Here at Royal Oak Pediatric Associates in Abingdon and Marion, VA, your pediatricians see many young children suffering from this condition and outline plans for best care and treatment. Here's what Drs. Hanley, Etter, and Lawrence recommend.

What Is an Ear Infection?

An ear infection is a painful childhood malady affecting 75 percent of youngsters before the age of three. This statistic from John Hopkins Medicine speaks to how common earaches are but does not address the pain, fever, hearing loss, and general malaise that accompany them. Missed work for parents and missed daycare and school days usually result as well.

How does an ear become infected? The infection stems from the germs from a cold or flu or the chronic stuffiness associated with allergies. Additionally, a child's eustachian tube (the tube that connects the nose and the middle ear), is typically horizontal and short, often leading to fluid collection, inflammation, and infection. The result is a bulging eardrum, pain, and fever.

In-Office Treatment of Otitis Media

Many ear infections resolve without any in-office treatment. Persistent symptoms, however, may require a five-to-ten day course of antibiotics. Chronic ear infections may need placement of tympanostomy tubes (ear tubes) to facilitate drainage of fluid. These thin tubes are easily inserted by an ear, nose, throat specialist and normally fall out on their own over time.

At-Home Care

Comfort care goes a long way when your child has an ear infection. Administer antibiotics if prescribed by one of our pediatricians. Also, ibuprofen or acetaminophen reduces pain and fever. A warm compress to the affected side helps, as do fluids and rest. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says to keep your child home from school and daycare until fever resolves and pain improves.

Concerned? Call One of Our Offices in Abingdon and Marion, Va, Today

At Royal Oak Pediatric Associates, your pediatricians, Dr. Leesa Lawrence, Dr. Anita Henley, and Dr. Tara Etter will help you manage your child's ear, nose and throat health. Call us at 276-783-8183. We have same-day sick visits with two offices to serve you in Abingdon and Marion, VA.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
February 14, 2020
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Strep Throat  

It's important to be able to spot the differences between a regular sore throat or viral infection and strep throat. Anyone can get strep throat, but it is most common in children and teenagers. If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, it's important to see your pediatrician immediately to determine whether or not your child has strep throat. Here are some symptoms of strep throat.

Throat Pain

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and throat pain. Severe pain in the throat is normally the first sign of strep throat. If you notice that your child's sore throat isn't going away easily, you may need to take your child to the pediatrician because it's usually difficult to get rid of the discomfort completely without the use of prescription medication.

White Patches

Yellow or white patches on the tonsils or in the back of the throat are another symptom of strep throat. Instead of yellow or white patches, you may instead notice long streaks of pus coating your child's tonsils. 

Difficulty Swallowing

Pain during swallowing is another common symptoms of strep throat. If it becomes difficult for your child to swallow and they experience pain when they attempt to swallow, they may have strep throat.

Swollen Glands

If you touch the glands in your child's neck, you may be able to feel if their glands are swollen. The lymph nodes in your child's neck will usually be tender to the touch and swollen if they have strep throat, because normal lymph nodes are generally not painful or tender.

Headaches

Headaches are another common symptom of strep throat. They can range in severity from mild to extremely excruciating. If your child's headache occurs frequently or worsens, be sure to consult a pediatrician immediately.

Fever

Another common symptom of strep throat in children is a fever over 100'F. A lower fever may end up being a symptom of a viral infection and not strep throat, so be sure to take note of that. With a viral infection, most fevers should go away on their own within one or two days, and by the third day, other symptoms should start to disappear.

So what are you waiting for? If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, be sure to consult your pediatrician as soon as possible so that they can determine whether or not your child has strep throat or just a viral infection and your child can receive all the relief they need.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
February 04, 2020
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Diabetes   Child Care  

With the rise of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children in the US, it’s now more important than ever for both parents and children to understand ways to prevent diabetes, as well as being able to identify the symptoms of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. A pediatrician is an integral part of your child’s health, providing everything from screenings and vaccines to routine checkups and lifestyle recommendations to ensure that your child stays healthy.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects glucose levels in the body. When the cells in the pancreas responsible for making insulin do not produce enough insulin or are insulin resistant, this results in diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is most often diagnosed during childhood and is not the result of a poor diet or being overweight. In those with Type 1 diabetes the cells in the pancreas are unable to produce enough insulin. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent type 1 diabetes in children.

On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is also becoming increasingly common in children because of the high rates of obesity. Type 2 diabetes means that the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Ensuring that your child eats right, gets regular exercise and maintains a healthy weight can greatly reduce your child’s risk for type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of childhood diabetes?

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes will appear suddenly, while type 2 symptoms will develop over time. Symptoms may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Mood swings
  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Cuts or sores that don’t heal
  • Dark patches of skin

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child it’s best to see a pediatrician right away. The sooner a diagnosis is made the sooner your child can get the proper medication and treatment they need to manage their blood sugar levels. By managing your child’s diabetes right away our doctors can prevent potentially serious complications and hospitalizations.

How is diabetes treated?

There are a variety of lifestyle modifications and medications that will be recommended to help treat your child’s type 1 or type 2 diabetes. For both forms of diabetes, a healthy diet and active lifestyle are paramount. Talk with your doctor about what foods your child should avoid. You will also want to monitor your child’s glucose levels during the day to make sure that the insulin medication is working effectively.

All children should visit their pediatricians regularly for checkups, vaccines and care. Of course, if your child displays any symptoms of diabetes, call our office immediately.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
January 17, 2020
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Asthma  

While there is no cure for asthma, there are ways to manage your child’s asthma symptoms and to reduce the risk for a flare-up. Of course, to be able to properly control your child’s asthma it’s important to understand more about this condition and what triggers your child’s symptoms. A pediatrician will be a valuable asset when it comes to discussing asthma treatment options and addressing any concerns that you might have.

Know Your Child’s Triggers

There are a variety of environmental elements and conditions that can also trigger airway inflammation and lead to an asthma attack. It’s important to figure out what your child’s triggers are so you can avoid them as much as possible. Of course, this is something that your pediatrician can help you determine as well. Common triggers include:

  • Outdoor allergens such as pollen and mold
  • Indoor allergens such as pet dander
  • Viral infections
  • Exercise
  • Weather changes

Stick With Your Plan

Once a pediatrician has diagnosed your child with asthma, the next step is to create an asthma management plan (also referred to as an action plan). This plan is designed based on your child’s specific triggers to minimize the severity and the frequency of your child’s flare-ups, which also reduces the need for emergency medical care. So, what’s including in an asthma action plan? Here’s what should be in your child’s action plan:

  • The medications prescribed to your child, along with how much they take and when they should take them
  • Possible triggers
  • Pinpointing the early signs of asthma flare-ups and what to do when they occur
  • How to handle an asthma attack
  • When to seek immediate medical attention

Take Medications as Directed

Medication is the most common way to manage asthma symptoms. Your pediatrician will prescribe a long-term controlling medication that your child will use daily to reduce airway swelling. When signs of a flare-up appear, a quick-acting inhaler can reduce swelling and prevent it from getting worse.

Know Signs of a Flare-up

Once your child has experienced a couple of flare-ups you’ll begin to pick up the warning signs so that you can start to recognize when another one might occur. These warning signs might come in the form of a persistent cough or wheezing. When these symptoms appear it’s important to have your child’s medication readily available.

If your child is showing symptoms and warning signs of asthma it’s important that you bring them in for an immediate medical checkup. Call your pediatrician today to learn more about ways to help your child better control their asthma symptoms.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
January 03, 2020
Category: Pediatrics
Tags: Ear Infection  

An ear infection is one of the most common infections that children have to deal with. In fact, most children will experience at least one ear infection by the time they are five years old. Of course, it’s important to understand the telltale signs of an ear infection, as well as know how to treat the infection and when you should turn to a pediatrician for care.

An ear infection isn’t contagious and usually isn’t a cause for concern; however, you will want to monitor your child’s symptoms to make sure problems aren’t getting worse or don’t warrant seeing a doctor. In many instances, a child may develop an ear infection after they’ve had a cold.

Signs and Symptoms of an Ear Infection

So, how will you know if your child has an ear infection? Children who are old enough to talk will certainly be able to let you know that they are experiencing an earache or pain; however, a baby or toddler won’t be able to tell you that they are experiencing an earache. Therefore, signs that your baby might have an ear infection include:

  • Increased fussiness
  • A fever
  • Pulling at the ears
  • Crying or tantrums, particularly when lying down
  • Having difficulty hearing noises or not responding to sounds
  • Fluid draining from the ears

So, when should you wait out an infection and when should you call a pediatrician? You should give your child’s doctor a call if they have an ear infection and they are also experiencing:

  • A rash
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Ear swelling

You should also turn to a doctor for care if your child:

  • Has an ear infection and they are under 6 months old
  • Is in significant pain or still experiences pain after two days of taking ibuprofen
  • Also has other serious health problems

How is an ear infection treated?

In most cases an ear infection will go away on its own. If your child isn’t in significant pain and they don’t have a high fever your pediatrician may tell you to wait a couple of days to see if symptoms improve. If symptoms remain or get worse then you should bring them back to the doctor’s office.

While antibiotics are not normally prescribed to treat an ear infection they may be used if your child has a very high fever, is in significant pain or if their ear infection hasn’t improved within 48 hours. It’s important not to give your child any over-the-counter medications without first talking with your pediatrician.





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