Posts for category: Pediatric Health Care

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.

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.

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.