By Royal Oak Pediatric Associates
March 19, 2020
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Hearing Screening  

As soon as your baby is born but before they leave the hospital, they will need to undergo a hearing screening (most hospitals perform a hearing screening but it’s also a good idea to ask). Congenital hearing loss, which occurs at birth, affects less than 1 percent of newborns; however, it is also possible for hearing loss to develop later during a child’s life, which is why routine hearing screenings are necessary for all children.

Once they leave the hospital, it’s now your pediatrician’s responsibility to provide hearing screenings and other tests and treatments that your child will need until they turn 18 years old. Your pediatrician will be an asset to your child’s health and you will work closely with them, so it’s important that you choose a pediatrician that you trust and value.

Why are hearing screenings necessary for newborns?

As soon as your child is born one of the ways in which they will receive and interpret information is through what they hear; therefore, if they have problems hearing then they may also deal with other problems including delays in language development and speech problems.

By detecting hearing problems early on your pediatrician can provide early interventions including hearing aids or other treatment options to ensure that your child reaches these important and necessary developmental milestones.

Of course, if your child responds to your voice or responds to noises then you may think that their hearing is fine, but this isn’t always the case. There may still be certain noises that they can’t hear properly and sometimes even these minor hearing issues can still affect language and speech.

Should my child’s hearing be assessed regularly?

Even if your baby passes their first hearing screening it’s still important that you turn to a pediatrician for routine checkups. Most hearing screenings usually don’t warrant a separate trip to the office, which means that your child’s hearing will be assessed during regular wellness visits.

Of course, if your newborn has certain risk factors that could affect their hearing it’s important that you share these factors with your pediatrician. These factors include:

  • A family history of hearing loss
  • Facial deformities
  • Postnatal infections
  • Premature birth

Finding a knowledgeable and trustworthy pediatrician before your baby is born is one of the most important things soon-to-be parents can do. Let our team provide your little one with the quality care they need to grow up healthy and strong.

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.

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.





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