Posts for category: Pediatric Health Care

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
April 14, 2021
Tags: Kissing Disease   Mononucleosis   Mono  
MononucleosisMono, nicknamed the “kissing disease” because of how easily it spreads from person to person, is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Pediatricians most often see this infection in teens and it may be mistaken for the flu. While most cases of mono will go away on their own, it can take months for a child or teen to fully recover. It’s important to be able to recognize the differences between the influenza virus and mono.

What are the symptoms of mono?

Symptoms will vary between children, teens, and adults. Children don’t typically show the standard symptoms of mono. In fact, mono might look more like a cold or flu in your little one. The classic symptoms associated with mono are more apparent in teens and young adults between the ages of 15 to 24 years old.

Classic mono symptoms include,
  • High fever
  • Extreme fatigue and exhaustion
  • Body aches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Swollen lymph nodes of the neck
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Headache
Symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, and muscle weakness may be severe and can last for several weeks.

When should I turn to a pediatrician?

As you might already know, many of the symptoms above can be caused by colds, flu, and other infections that aren’t mono. If your child’s symptoms are mild, then you might not need to come into our office right away. Of course, if symptoms persist for weeks or get worse, then it’s time to visit your pediatrician.

You should call your pediatrician right away if,
  • Your child develops a severe headache or sore throat
  • Has seizures
  • Displays changes in behavior
  • Has a very high fever over 104 F
  • Is dehydrated
  • Develops a rash
While teens and adults can often be diagnosed through a standard physical examination, your pediatrician may need to perform blood tests to detect the Epstein-Barr virus in babies and young children.

If you are concerned that your teen may have mono, you must schedule an appointment with their pediatrician as soon as possible. While most cases will go away on their own without treatment, your child’s doctor can provide you with options for helping your child better manage their symptoms and feel better faster.
By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
October 29, 2020
Tags: Chicken Pox  
Your Child and Chicken PoxYou just got the call from your child’s school: someone in your kid’s class has chickenpox. This highly contagious virus isn’t usually anything to worry about, but it can certainly cause some very unpleasant symptoms for your child, including a terribly red and itchy rash all over the body and face. If you’re concerned about chickenpox, your pediatrician can tell you everything that you should know about this common childhood infection.

How can I tell that it’s chickenpox?

Since chickenpox is caused by a viral infection, most children will develop common symptoms of an infection before the rash even develops. These symptoms include:
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite
The rash will usually appear 1-2 days after your child has been exposed to chickenpox. This rash consists of itchy, fluid-filled blisters that crust over within 4-5 days. Some children may only develop a few blisters on their body while others may develop hundreds.

How is chickenpox treated?

It is incredibly important that you keep your child from scratching the rash, as this can lead to infection and make their symptoms worse. Several home remedies can ease discomfort and itching. Some of these include:
  • Applying calamine lotion
  • Making sure that your child is drinking enough water and staying hydrated
  • Soaking in a bath with baking soda for 20-30 minutes to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Applying cold compresses to the rash
  • Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine (talk with your pediatric doctor first before giving your child any medication)

Should my child see a doctor?

If your child is experiencing the typical symptoms of chickenpox, then chances are good that you won’t have to bring them into the office. The only thing you can do is wait. You should call your pediatrician if:
  • Your newborn is showing signs of chickenpox
  • Your child’s fever goes away and then comes back
  • Your child has a high fever
  • Some areas of the rash are getting larger or are painful (signs of infection)

Is there a way to prevent chickenpox?

The good news is that children today can be protected against chickenpox with a simple vaccine. The chickenpox vaccine is administered in two doses: the first vaccine is administered when your baby is 12 to 15 months and a second vaccine is administered at 4-6 years old.

If you want to protect your child against the chickenpox, then talk to your pediatrician about getting them vaccinated. Your child has enough to worry about, without chickenpox being one of them.
By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
June 26, 2020

Have you been wondering why your child needs to get a school physical each year?

About the time your child has to go back to school it’s always a good idea to schedule their school physical. This is something that should happen every year without fail and it may even be required before students can enter school or play in a school sport. So, why are school physicals so important? Our Marion, VA, pediatricians have the answer.

Protect Against Serious Illnesses

While it’s impossible to keep your child from ever getting sick, there are precautions you can take to ensure that many serious and life-threatening illnesses do not happen to them. How? By following the vaccine schedule laid out by your Marion, VA, children’s doctor. These annual exams make sure that your child is up-to-date on all vaccines to protect them, their classmates, and others in the community from severe diseases that still exist.

Be Preventative

Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” During these school physicals, your child will receive a full examination to track their development and to make sure they are reaching certain developmental milestones. By tracking their progress early on, we can pinpoint potential issues right away and address them.

Protect Against Injury

Whether your child has asthma or has experienced broken bones in the past, their medical history can be very telling when it comes to whether or not they are healthy enough for certain physical activities. We can determine whether your child has injuries that may not have fully healed. This is important because we can talk to you and your child about things they can do to prevent injury (e.g. dynamic stretching and warm-ups; wearing protective gear) while playing sports. We can also determine whether your child is fit for the specific sports activity they want to participate in.

Don’t let your kid sit out on the sidelines until they get their physical. Make sure to schedule your child’s next appointment at Royal Oak Pediatric Associates in Marion, VA.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
April 03, 2020
Tags: Warts  

Warts are common, benign bumps that develop on the skin as a result of a viral infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are pretty common in children and can develop just about anywhere on the body; however, they are most often found on the face, feet, and hands. Generally, warts usually don’t cause any problems and will go away on their own, but if you don’t want to wait a pediatrician can offer effective wart removal options.

Types of Warts

There are different kinds of warts that can develop. These warts include:

  • Common warts: these rough bumps are often found on the elbows, fingers, and hands and are usually gray in appearance. If you look closely at the bump you may also notice small black dots.
  • Flat warts: these smooth warts are often pink or light brown and most often develop on the face
  • Plantar warts: these warts develop on the soles of the feet, which can be very uncomfortable for your child, especially when walking
  • Palmar warts: just as plantar warts develop on feet, palmar warts develop on the hands

Treating Warts

While warts will go away without treatment it can take months or even years. If your child is embarrassed by the wart, if your child is dealing with multiple warts or if the wart is causing discomfort or pain then this warrants seeing a pediatrician. There are many ways in which a pediatrician can remove the wart.

Your child’s best treatment option will depend on the size, location, type, and number of warts. While there are certainly over-the-counter medications that you can try (these medications should not be used on certain areas of the body including the face), a pediatrician will be able to provide you with safe, effective treatment under proper medical supervision.

Common wart removal options include:

  • Cryotherapy: freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen (a very common wart removal technique)
  • Salicylic acid: a doctor can also provide a strong prescription solution that contains salicylic acid (this can be applied at home as per your pediatrician’s instructions)
  • Laser: sometimes laser therapy is used to target and destroy the wart

Usually the wart will fall off within a few days after treatment, but sometimes more than one treatment session is necessary to successful remove the growth.

If your child has plantar warts or warts in embarrassing places then they will most likely need to turn to their pediatrician to treat the problem. Call your children’s doctor today and let them know that you want to discuss wart removal options for your child or teen.

By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
March 02, 2020

Sneezing. Watery eyes. Stuffy nose. These could just be symptoms of a cold or these could be signs that your child has allergies. If you notice that your child’s symptoms flare-up during certain times of the year then this could definitely be a sign of seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, allergies can impact everything from performance in school to participating in outdoor activities such as school sports. If you suspect that your child may have allergies it’s important to talk with your pediatrician.

Childhood Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms can also seem a lot like a cold or other upper respiratory problems. Common symptoms associated with allergies include:

  • Watery, red, and itchy eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Dark circles under the eyes or puffy eyelids
  • Ear pain and chronic ear problems
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest tightness

So, how can you tell that your child is dealing with allergies and not an infection? Some telltale signs include itchy eyes and nose, which are classic signs of allergies. If your child has a fever this is usually a sign of an infection and not allergies. Unlike a cold, allergy symptoms can last for weeks. You may also notice that your child’s symptoms come and go, appearing more often during the spring and fall months. Again, this is a trademark of childhood allergies.

Treating Childhood Allergy

There are many ways in which a pediatrician can help your child manage their allergy symptoms, and the treatments that are recommended will depend on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms. Most treatment plans include a variety of lifestyle changes and medication. Children with minor symptoms may find relief through over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, while other children may require a prescription-strength allergy medication to tackle more moderate to severe symptoms.

Lifestyle modifications may include using a dehumidifier in your child’s bedroom, wearing glasses instead of contacts during allergy seasons, bathing immediately after being outdoors, limiting outdoor activities during high pollen counts, and keeping pets out of bedrooms (if your child suffers from pet dander allergies).

For severe or unresponsive allergies, your pediatrician may recommend immunotherapy, or allergy shots. Allergy shots may be a good option for your child when other treatment options and medications have not been successful.

Are your child’s allergy symptoms impacting their daily routine? If so, our pediatricians can help them manage their symptoms so they can get back to enjoying days on the playground and time spent with family.