Almost every child develops a medical condition at some point of their pediatrics age. They might have an infectious disease, a skin condition, bad vision, an allergy, or even a developmental problem. Here at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, we employ doctors who specialize in pediatrics. They can diagnose and treat your child in an age-appropriate way and make sure that small issues don’t spiral out of control.
What Issues Are Treated in Pediatrics?
The vast majority of conditions can be diagnosed and treated by an experienced pediatrician. The first step is to book an appointment with your doctor at least once a year, or more often if your child is less than two years old. This not only allows them to check that there are no issues, but it also helps the pediatrician to monitor your child’s growth and development during pediatrics age.
In between these annual appointments, visit the doctor whenever there is an issue. Don’t hesitate to call if your child is feeling unwell, or they have a problem such as a rash. You can also reach out if you believe that your child’s lifestyle is unhealthy, you think they might have a mental health concern, or you’re worried about their eyesight. We will either diagnose and treat the child at the clinic or refer you to a specialist.
Annual Physicals and Sports Physicals
When your child is very young, they’ll need to see the pediatrician more often than once a year. Experts recommend that you take your baby to the doctor once a month for the first six months, then once every two months until the child turns one. During the toddler stage, decrease the number of visits to once every three months until your child is two or three years old. After that, an annual checkup should be enough.
Regular physicals are important because they help you to monitor the growth and development of your child, and they allow you to catch conditions early. Your doctor might weigh and measure your child, check that they are acting in an age-appropriate manner, and ask you about your family’s diet and habits. If your child would like to play sports, you might need to book an extra appointment, so the doctor can carry out a sports physical.
Allergy Testing and Treatment
Around 5.6 million American children have food allergies, and many others are allergic to substances such as latex, pollen, and pet hair. Because this issue is so common, most pediatricians can easily recognize, test for, and treat allergies. Don’t hesitate to bring your child to the clinic if they have developed symptoms such as a runny nose, a rash, diarrhea, swollen lips, mouth, or throat, or a cough.
While many of these symptoms can be related to an infectious disease, they can also be the result of an allergy, especially if they don’t subside within a few days or if they recur regularly. Your doctor will test your child for allergies or put them on an elimination diet if they suspect that food is causing the problem. Some kinds of allergies can be dangerous or even life-threatening, so it’s important not to ignore the symptoms.
Treatment for Infectious Diseases
Unlike most adults, children don’t yet have a strong immune system, and they are therefore more susceptible to infectious diseases. The first time your child gets ill, you might be very worried, especially if they are still small. Call us at Southside Medical Center, and ask to speak to the pediatrics specialist. They will ask you questions about your child’s symptoms to determine whether there is a serious problem.
If your child has only just developed the illness, and they don’t have a very high fever or trouble breathing, your doctor might tell you to stay home and treat them with home remedies, such as cough syrup, child-appropriate painkillers, and plenty of hydration. However, you might need to visit the clinic if your child doesn’t get better, the fever gets worse, or they are struggling to breathe.
Vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious diseases. Your pediatrician will speak to you about your child’s immunization schedule and explain the CDC’s guidelines. In the early years, patients get vaccinated against Hepatitis B, rotavirus, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, and more. Your child can be vaccinated at the clinic, and you can combine this appointment with the regular physical checkup, so you don’t need to come in twice.
Many young children have skin conditions such as rashes, warts, birthmarks, and hives. Older children and teens often suffer from acne on the face, back, and shoulders. Sometimes, these issues go away on their own, but at other times, they need to be treated at the clinic. If your child develops an unusual rash or growth on their skin, book an appointment with your pediatrician. They will either give you medication or refer you to a dermatologist.
When you come to the clinic, your doctor might speak to you about your child’s lifestyle and environment to make sure that they are growing up in a healthy way. Some important factors include your child’s sleep schedule, nutrition, and the activities they participate in, and the people they interact with. A healthy environment helps your child to develop their emotional, intellectual, and physical skills, so they grow up to become well-adjusted adults.
Developmental Problems on Pediatrics Age
One of the reasons why you need to take your infant and toddler to the pediatrician so often is to check their development. Although every child is unique, there are certain milestones that indicate whether development is healthy. For example, four-month-old babies might smile on their own, make cooing sounds, hold up their heads without support, and hold toys.
Most one-year-olds can play simple games with adults, pull themselves up to a standing position, drink from a cup, and pick things up with their hands. Your doctor understands each age group’s milestones and can check that your child is reaching the appropriate ones. If not, they might give you advice about how to help them or ask you to see a specialist.
More and more young people are suffering from mental health issues. In fact, one in six children between the ages of five and sixteen suffer from a condition like depression or anxiety. ADHD is another common issue, which affects the patient’s concentration, behavior, and ability to do well in school.
As a parent, it can be hard for you to perceive emotional issues since you see your child every day. However, a good pediatrician, who has built up a relationship with your child, will recognize potential mental health conditions and refer your child to a trusted psychologist.
Good eyesight is crucial for everyone, but especially for children. If they have blurred vision or a lazy eye, they might struggle to reach regular developmental milestones, and they won’t be able to interact normally with their peers. Once they go to school, they’ll have trouble reaching their educational goals.
As you can see, getting your child’s vision problems addressed is crucial. A regular pediatrician might be able to determine whether your child has any vision problems, but it’s unlikely that they can treat this issue. For this reason, we have a special optometry department at Southside Medical Center, where you can take your child for eye tests and treatment.
Does My Child Need To Visit a Pediatrician?
If you have a good doctor already, you might wonder why your child needs to see someone different. Can’t they see the same medical professionals as you? The answer is that children have very different needs from adults, and a pediatrician has been trained to work with their growing bodies. Although a regular doctor can diagnose most health concerns, they might miss developmental problems, and their care might not be age-appropriate.
Qualified pediatricians have spent at least three years specializing in their field, so they have a lot of experience with children and teens. They know how to speak to young patients at their level and therefore make the doctor’s office visit more pleasant. If you use the same person from birth to age 18, your doctor will get to know your child, and they can build up trust. This makes it much easier for your child to discuss difficult medical problems.
Help Your Child To Get Well and Stay Well
Keeping your child healthy and well is crucial for their physical, intellectual, and emotional development. By visiting a pediatrician, you make sure that their unique needs are taken care of and that any issues are caught early. Book an appointment with us at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, and ask to speak to a pediatrics specialist. They will perform a comprehensive physical and address your child’s health issues with care and compassion.