Adults aren’t the only people that need mental health services. Children can suffer mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and other conditions, just like adults. If your child suffers from mental health issues, a pediatrician is an important member of your child’s healthcare team.
Children often deal with life’s stressful events. Adults have coping skills and experience that makes dealing with these events easier. Children don’t have the same resources to draw from. Life’s stressful events can have a huge impact on a child’s mental health.
Children often suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions because of:
- Changing schools
- Losing friends
- Death of a close family member
Your child can benefit from children’s mental health services if your child is having:
- Difficulty in school
- Anxiety about going to school
- Anxiety about participating in social activities
- Frequent aches and pains
- Fits of temper or rage
- Frequent nightmares
- Thoughts about self-harm or suicide
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, your pediatrician can perform a mental health screening for your child, to help identify potential mental health issues.
These are some of the mental health issues your pediatrician can identify and help treat:
- Fear and anxiety disorders
- Sleeping and eating disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Manic depression and clinical depression
Your pediatrician can counsel your child on healthy ways to cope with stress and stressful events. There are also several effective ways your pediatrician can treat mental health issues, including:
- Medications to manage anxiety, depression, and other conditions
- Counseling about coping mechanisms to deal with stressful situations
- Relaxation techniques to help manage stress
Children’s mental health issues can be managed effectively, with a little help from your pediatrician. Your pediatrician may also provide counseling on diet and exercise, so your child has the best chance for a healthy, happy life. To find out more about the importance of children’s mental health and how your pediatrician can help, call your pediatrician today.
It’s normal for children to act out. You want your child to test boundaries and show independence, which are both normal milestones in a child’s development. If your child is demonstrating inattentiveness, fidgeting, not listening, and other behaviors on a regular basis, your child could have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD.
The Child Development Institute lists the characteristics of ADHD as:
These characteristics can contribute to some noticeable signs and symptoms, including:
- Repetitive motions, like clapping hands
- Continuous fidgeting and squirming
- Inability to remain seated for an extended period of time
- Running or climbing at inappropriate times
- Excessive talking and blurting out comments
- Inability to focus on details
- Problems listening and following directions
- Difficulty getting and staying organized
- Frequently losing or forgetting things
ADHD can be difficult to recognize and can easily go untreated, which is why an ADHD screening from your pediatrician is so important. Your pediatrician has effective screening tools to help identify ADHD. If your child has ADHD, there are several therapies your pediatrician may recommend, including:
Behavioral Therapy, which involves both child and parents; this type of therapy can help establish techniques to limit destructive, aggressive, and inappropriate behaviors.
Lifestyle Modification, which involves dietary and exercise alterations; sugar intake is reduced, and vitamin and nutrient intake is increased. Exercise is increased, to help focus on healthy behaviors.
Medication Therapy, which involves using medications to increase focus, improve brain function, and increase self-control. Medications may include Adderall and Ritalin, among others.
If ADHD goes untreated, it can lead to problems when your child becomes an adult. Some of the ways ADHD can affect an adult include:
- Destructive and harmful behaviors
- Poor grades in school
- Poor performance at work
- Inability to form friendships
- Aggressive, belligerent behaviors
- Moodiness, depression, and frustration
- Physical growth issues
- Difficulty sleeping
If you are worried about your child having ADHD, you need to consult with your pediatrician. An ADHD screening is easy, and can help identify ADHD, so it can be treated. To find out more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of ADHD, call your pediatrician today.
When your child is sick, it’s comforting to know that help and advice from your pediatrician are just a phone call away. So, what happens when your child is very ill and is getting worse? Your pediatrician has a special option for you. It’s called a sick child visit.
A sick child visit can help your child feel better and recover more quickly. You need to schedule a sick child visit with the pediatrician if your child has a fever which:
- Has lasted longer than 2 days
- Is higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit for children under 2 months
- Is at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit in older children
You also need to schedule a sick child visit if your child has:
- An ear infection
- A bacterial or viral infection
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Headaches and sinus problems
- Allergies or asthma
- Abdominal pain
- Rashes and other skin irritations
- Fractured or broken bones
- Injuries from an accident or sport
When you bring your child in for a sick child visit, your pediatrician will:
- Record your child’s symptoms and health history
- Perform a complete physical examination
- Measure and record your child’s vital signs
Your pediatrician may also order laboratory testing and x-rays to help determine the cause or extent of an injury or illness.
Your pediatrician will also prescribe any necessary medications to make your child more comfortable and eliminate the illness. Medications may include:
- Antibiotics, to eliminate bacteria causing the infection
- Antivirals, to kill the virus causing illness
- Anti-inflammatory medication, to reduce swelling
- Pain medication, to make your child more comfortable
- Specialized medications to treat asthma, allergies, and other conditions
When you bring your child in for a sick child visit with the pediatrician, you can be assured of excellent, compassionate care. A sick child visit can help your child heal and recover more quickly, and be more comfortable.
When your child is sick, it can be difficult to know what to do. When your child has a fever, it can be especially scary, because a fever may indicate an infection. It’s good to know what to do when your child has a fever, and whether you should bring your child in for a visit with the pediatrician.
In most cases, fever is easy to treat, and it usually doesn’t lead to a more serious condition. Fevers can come on due to exposure to a virus like a cold or the flu. However, fever is also a common indicator of a bacterial infection.
When your child has a fever, you can try a few easy remedies to help your child feel better. Remember to:
- Give your child infant or children’s Tylenol to reduce pain
- Give your child a sponge bath or apply cold washcloths to your child’s skin
- Have your child suck on popsicles
You should bring your child to see the pediatrician if:
- Your child is under four months old and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
- Your child is over four months old and has a temperature of over 104 degrees
- Your child still has a fever after 2 to 3 days
You should also bring your child to visit the pediatrician if your child’s fever is accompanied by any of these signs or symptoms:
- A rash or bruising
- Shortness of breath
- Nonstop crying
- A stiff neck
- Pain while urinating
- Decreased urine output
A fever is a common health concern for children, and you can enjoy peace of mind, because you will know what to do when your child has a fever.
If you are in doubt about how to care for your child’s fever, your pediatrician can help. Just a simple phone call to your pediatrician can put your mind at ease. To find out more about caring for your child’s fever, and other pediatric medical questions, talk with an expert. Call your pediatrician today.
Children exhibit all kinds of interesting behaviors. Many of these behaviors are normal boundary testing, showing independence, and other healthy milestones you want to see.
Children can also exhibit behaviors you don’t want to see, like aggressiveness, sadness, and fear. Your pediatrician is an expert on child development and can help you with your child’s behavioral health.
First let’s look at normal behaviors you want to see. These include:
- Defiance, because your child may be testing boundaries and exerting independence
- Withdrawing, because your child needs to show autonomy, and wants to accomplish things without your help
- Acting out, because your child may be reacting to major changes in life, like moving to a new school, divorce, or death of a close family member
Now, let’s look at behaviors that could be warning signs of a behavioral disorder. These include:
- Threatening or harming others, pets, or themselves
- Damaging possessions belonging to others
- Having difficulty forming or keeping relationships with others
- Showing frequent signs of unhappiness or depression
- Demonstrating anxiety about going to school
- Exhibiting defiance and hostility toward authority figures
- Frequently lying, arguing, stealing, or skipping school
- Using drugs, drinking, or smoking at an early age
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, it’s time for a behavioral health evaluation from your child’s pediatrician.
When you bring your child in for a visit with the pediatrician, a complete medical examination is necessary to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions which may be causing your child’s behavior or making it worse. Your pediatrician may also request additional testing including lab work and other studies.
Your pediatrician will develop a treatment plan designed to help with your child’s behavior. Treatment may include:
- Individual, group, and family counseling
- Lifestyle modification including diet and exercise
- Medication if necessary to modify behavior
- Additional specialty care with a child psychologist
Your child’s behavioral health is just as important as physical health. You want the best for your child, so call your pediatrician today.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.