Posts for category: Children's Health

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
December 17, 2021
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Constipation  
Your Infant and ConstipationIt’s not typically common for infants to have issues with constipation; however, sometimes it happens. While many babies won’t deal with constipation they may have irregular bowel movements as their bodies naturally try to adjust to a set schedule. If you are concerned it’s always best to talk with your child’s pediatrician. Recognize the real signs of constipation in your infant.

Know the Warning Signs

For your child to truly be dealing with constipation, here are some of the warning signs:
  • Stools that are hard to pass
  • Infrequent stools
  • Excessive straining or straining more than normal
  • Swollen belly with gas
  • Painful stomach cramps
  • Stools that resemble small hard pellets, as well as stools that are too soft
  • Diarrhea-like stools
Treating Constipation in Infants

For an adult, they may simply take an over-the-counter laxative to help them go, but treating constipation in infants is different. You never want to give them an over-the-counter laxative or suppository unless otherwise told by your pediatrician. If your child is old enough to eat solid or strained foods, you may want to increase their fruits and vegetables to increase fiber intake.

If your infant is too young for strained food, give them just a couple of ounces of prune or apple juice each day to see if that helps soften the stools. If the stools are too loose, lessen the amount of juice you’re giving them.

When to See a Pediatrician

It’s important that you call your pediatrician if you are ever concerned about your infant’s health. No question is a silly one, especially when it comes to your child. You should call your pediatrician if you notice blood in your baby’s stool, if home remedies do not improve their constipation, or if your baby is fussy due to stomach cramping or pain.

If your little one is having trouble going to the bathroom, a pediatrician will be able to provide you with the answers you need, as well as tips for how to best address the issue. A pediatrician is going to be invaluable, especially for new parents, as they navigate parenthood. Talk to your pediatrician today.
By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
November 29, 2021
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Behavioral Health  

If you have concerns about your child's behavioral health in Marion, VA, contact the team at Royal Oaks Pediatrics, and Abingdon, VA. Dr. Anita Henley, Dr. Leesa Lawrence, Dr. Tara Etter, and the skilled practitioners and nurses are ready to help with any developmental problems, including social, mental, or physical problems.

Know the Signs of Mental Health Problems In Children

For many parents, behavioral health isn't easy to identify as a problem. Some parents may think their children are just acting out or doing what kids normally do. However, a child who "acts out" is often masking underlying mental health problems.

Sadly, many parents don't see the symptoms and warning signs of serious behavioral problems. What makes it even more difficult is children lack the developmental ability or vocabulary to accurately express what they're feeling.

So, here are some common warning signs of behavioral problems with children.

  • Sudden changes in mood such as withdrawal or sadness
  • Overwhelming feelings or sudden, intense fear for no apparent reason
  • Struggling to concentrate or losing focus
  • Loss of appetite
  • Physical symptoms like weight loss or vomiting
  • Substance abuse among older children or teens

Treatment Options

Counseling or therapy is a common treatment option used by pediatricians. In many cases, a child or teen just needs someone to listen. Cognitive-behavior therapy is also a common treatment option that teaches parents how to interact with their children. In some instances, a doctor may prescribe medication to help children adjust and cope with their problems.

Sometimes a child benefits from a combination of treatments. Start a consultation today about your child's behavioral health in Marion, VA, and Abingdon, VA, with Dr. Henley, Dr. Lawrence, Dr. Etter, and the professional staff.

What You Can Do to Help Your Child Cope

You might feel anger, sadness, helplessness, or frustration over your child's mental health struggles. However, now is the time to give your child struggling with mental health all the support you can. When you receive your consultation, ask how you can interact with your child today if the behavior is getting more problematic.

If your child does have a behavioral issue, consider joining a support group or seek family counseling outside of the doctor's office. Also, inform a child or teen's teachers about their difficulties. Finally, don't avoid seeking help. Fear or shame isn't an excuse for not getting the help a child needs to thrive. 

Explore how behavioral health in Marion, VA, and Abingdon, VA, can have a lasting impact on a child's emotional well-being by calling Royal Oaks Pediatrics and Dr. Henley, Dr. Lawrence, and Dr. Etter at (276) 783-8183 or (276) 525-4603.  

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
October 04, 2021
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Potty Training  
Potty TrainingPotty training is a big moment for your child and is something that may challenge them in many ways. Unfortunately, many young ones do struggle during this process and may find it very hard to understand. Is your child struggling, and you're at your wit's end? If so, a pediatrician can help you and your child overcome this frustrating situation with relative ease and understanding.

Reasons Why Some Children Struggle With Potty Training 

Most children after the age of 18 months or so should have little trouble acclimating to potty training. But if your child is struggling, and you aren't sure why there are many potential reasons. Let's take a look at a few of the most common causes of potty training difficulties with children:
  • Their Bodies are Just Not Ready — Before 18 months, your child may not have the ability to control when they "go." So putting pressure on them too early may just frustrate them. 
  • They May Not Have the Developmental Abilities — Some children just progress slower than others and may need more time in a diaper before they're ready to potty train. 
  • The Idea of Potty Training is Boring or Scary — Many children find potty training boring or even scary and may struggle to get used to the idea of "going" outside their diaper. 
  • Fear of Accidents May Develop Early — Your child wants to make you happy, and if they have accidents or fear them, they might struggle with potty training. 
You may also run into situations where a child just doesn't want to learn and refuses. Even though the child knows what you want them to do and could do it, they just don't want to listen. Any of these situations are very frustrating. As a result, you might need to work with a pediatrician who understands this situation and who can help your child start "going" when the time is right. They can help:
  • Assess while your child is struggling 
  • Talk with the child to understand their concerns 
  • Find a solution that makes sense for them 
  • Work with you and your child to get great results 
  • Adjust their care methods, as they need
Give Your Child a Helping Hand 

If you think you need help getting your child to use the potty, it might be time to reach out to a professional you can trust to help. A great pediatrician and medical team can provide you and your child with a better understanding of why they don't want to use the potty. And it can also take some of the load off your back as a parent. Frankly, you deserve some rest and relaxation.
By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
September 21, 2021
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Cleft Lips   Cleft Palate  
Cleft LipsThe day your child is born is one of the most exciting moments in a parent’s life. Of course, finding out your precious newborn has a cleft lip or palate can make things a little more complicated. Luckily, a pediatrician can help you determine the best way to treat your child’s cleft lip or cleft palate to put your mind at ease.
Why should a cleft lip or cleft palate be treated?

A cleft lip and palate can present many challenges if left untreated including serious hearing, speech, and swallowing problems. As you can imagine, a cleft lip or palate can affect a child’s speech. Children born with these birth defects are also more likely to deal with recurring ear infections and even hearing loss. By repairing this birth defect as soon as possible we can minimize these issues.

Most children will undergo a cleft lip repair between 3-6 months old, while children will often get a cleft palate repair within the first 12 months. Consequent surgeries may be required later on depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of the defect.
How is a cleft lip and palate treated?

Surgery is the only way to correct a cleft lip or palate. The goal of this surgery is to not only improve your child’s appearance but also make it easier for them to speak, chew, or hear. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so your child will be asleep throughout the procedure.

To repair a cleft lip, a surgeon will make incisions on both sides of the defect and then stitch the two pieces of tissue together to close the gap, which will greatly improve the shape and appearance of your child’s lip. A cleft palate repair is also performed under general anesthesia and involves making incisions on both sides of the palate to restructure and rebuild the roof of the mouth.
If your child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate and you want to talk to us about their treatment options, then turn to your pediatrician to learn more. Your pediatrician is always here to provide you and your little one with the best care possible.
By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
September 01, 2021
Category: Children's Health

Royal Oak Pediatric Associates provides school and sports physicals in Marion, and Abingdon, VA, for your children. Physicals and wellness visits by Dr. Anita Henley, Dr. Tara Etter, and nurse practitioners, Becky Ewald and Brittany Thomas are important to track your child's growth and development. Especially when your child plays sports, it's important to have regular physicals to see that they have healthy development and help prevent potential injuries.

What is a growth plate?

Growth plates are areas of new bone growth we see in children and adolescents. They are made of cartilage which is more porous and flexible than solid bone. Most growth plates are located at the end of some of the major bones in the body including the arms, legs, hands, and feet. Growth plates are usually on either end of the bone, and as a child matures it hardens into solid bone to add length and width to the bone. Most growth plates close, or harden into solid bone, by the end of puberty when a child fully matures. This is from ages 15-17 in boys and ages 13-15 in girls

Growth plate injuries

Growth plates are weaker than solid bone and are part of an overall immature skeletal system, so they are more prone to injury. When you get a school or sports physical in Marion, and Abingdon, VA, your doctor can advise you on the best way to prevent injuries when playing your sport of choice.

The most common growth plate injuries happen to the ankle, wrist, and knee growth plates when your child is active in sports. Most growth plate fractures heal and do not affect future bone growth, but sometimes a fracture in the growth plate can change the overall shape of the bone, making it crooked, or longer or shorter than expected. Your doctor can monitor any of these changes in the bone.

Royal Oak Pediatric Associates provides school and sports physicals in Marion, and Abingdon, VA, to help monitor your child's bone growth. To make an appointment with Dr. Henley, Dr. Etter, and nurse practitioners, Becky Ewald and Brittany Thomas contact us at (276) 783-8183 or (276) 525-4603.