Kids may complain about being restrained in the car, but car seats and booster seats save lives. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that using a car or booster seat in a passenger car reduces the risk of fatal injury 71 percent in children younger than 1 and 54 percent in toddlers ages 1 to 4. The statistics are just as impressive for older kids.
What type of seat should I use for my child?
Infants and toddlers should ride in rear-facing seats until they reach the highest weight or height recommended by the manufacturer. In the past, children were routinely removed from rear-facing seats when they were 2, even if they didn't meet height or weight limits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed their guidelines and now recommend that kids remain in the seats as long as possible.
Toddlers and pre-schoolers who have reached the maximum height or weight limits for rear-facing seats should use forward-facing car seats. Again, the seats should be used until the child reaches the maximum height and weight recommendations.
Once kids are too tall or heavy for car seats, they will transition to booster seats. Booster seats should be used until children are 4'9" tall and 8 to 12 years old. Older children can begin using seat belts at that point but should sit in the back seat when possible, particularly if they're younger than 13.
How can I tell if the car seat is installed correctly?
Both car and booster seats should be securely fashioned with a latch system or seat belt. If the seat moves back and forth freely, it's not installed correctly. Properly installed seats should move no more than an inch in any direction.
My child's legs seem too long for the car seat. What should I do?
You may wonder if your child should move up to the next seat or a booster seat if your child's feet touch the back of car seat. As long as your child is shorter than the maximum height for the seat, he or she should remain in the current seat.
Should my child use a secondhand car seat?
Passing a seat down to your next child can be a good idea if your children are only a few years apart in age. Before you reuse a seat for a younger child, make sure that it hasn't expired or been recalled since you bought it. Throw away car and booster seats after accidents, even minor ones. The seat may look perfectly fine but may be damaged internally.
Buying secondhand car seats online or at yard sales should be avoided. You won't necessarily know if the seat has been in an accident or if it has defective latches or restraints.
Using car seats consistently, whether you're going to the grocery store or taking a cross-country trip, can help your child avoid serious injuries due to traffic accidents. Talk to your child's pediatrician if you have questions about the seats.
Find out everything you need to know about childhood asthma and treatments.
Has our Gaithersburg, MD, pediatrician Dr. Farnoush Jamali at Prime Pediatrics just recently told you that your child has asthma? This is one of the most common chronic respiratory conditions to affect children. It’s normal to have questions and concerns after your child’s diagnosis. Here’s what you should know about asthma.
What is asthma?
Asthma is the result of chronic inflammation within the lining of the airways, which makes it difficult for a person to breathe.
Common symptoms and warning signs of childhood asthma include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Wheezing (an audible whistling sound) when breathing in
- Tightness in the chest
- Coughing that gets worse at night
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Recurring respiratory infections
Whether you notice these symptoms in your child or your child is complaining about having trouble breathing it’s important that you bring them in right away for care.
When does asthma start?
Asthma can appear at any age; however, it’s common for most people with asthma to experience symptoms by the time they are 10 years old. Most children with asthma experience their first attack before 6 years old.
What can trigger an asthma attack?
There are certain things that can make asthma symptoms worse or even lead to an attack. These triggers include:
- Viral infections such as a cold or flu
- Cold weather
- Indoor and outdoor allergens (e.g. pet dander; pollen)
- Air pollution and other environmental irritants
- Certain foods or additives
- Certain medications (e.g. aspirin)
Is asthma curable?
Currently there is no cure for asthma; however, our children’s doctor has helped countless children living in Gaithersburg, MD, get control of their asthma symptoms and to improve their quality of life with simple lifestyle changes and medications.
How is asthma treated?
Along with avoiding possible triggers through lifestyle changes, your children’s doctor will also provide long-term medication to help manage symptoms to reduce asthma attacks. Controllers are used to reduce inflammation and open up airways. These inhaler medications are used every day to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Your child will also be prescribed a “fast-acting” medication, which should only be used when they feel symptoms of an attack coming on. When taken as soon as symptoms appear this medication can prevent an attack.
If your child is experiencing problems breathing it’s important that you schedule an evaluation as soon as possible with your pediatrician in Gaithersburg, MD. Here at Prime Pediatrics, we have helped countless children manage their asthma symptoms; let us help your child get their breathing under control.
Once your child is born it’s amazing just how quickly they grow and develop. It seems like you blink and suddenly they are talking and walking. During these important milestones it’s also important to have a pediatrician that you turn to regularly to make sure that these developmental milestones are being met and that your child is healthy. After all, if there are any problems you want to find out as soon as possible when early medical interventions can make all the difference.
From the moment your child is born until 2 years old, your pediatrician will most likely want to see them every six months for wellness check ups. After your child turns 2 years old you should still bring them in once a year for a routine physical exam and preventive care. Along with checking your child’s vital signs and monitoring their height and weight your pediatrician will also check hearing, eyesight, respiration, cardiac activity and reflexes.
A physical exam will check all systems of your child’s body to make sure that everything is functioning properly. If your child’s doctor does detect a problem it can be treated immediately. Along with a physical exam your child will also undergo any additional screenings and vaccinations that are necessary for maintaining optimal health.
Furthermore, your pediatrician can also recommend workout routines and appropriate physical activity for your child based on their current health and lifestyle, as well as recommendations on diet, sleeping habits and even their emotional and behavioral health. Even if a pediatrician won’t be able to fully treat all conditions they can still refer your child to a specialist who will be able to handle a specific health problem or injury.
Once a child is old enough to go to school it’s also important that parents schedule their child’s sports physical so that they can participate in physical activity and school sports. An annual sports physical can detect past injuries and other problems that could affect your child’s ability to participate in certain activities.
These physical exams are often mandatory before a child can play school sports; however, even if it isn’t mandatory you should still bring your child in once a year for a comprehensive sports physical to make sure that they are healthy enough for certain physical activity.
Make sure your child is seeing their pediatrician regularly for care, not just when they are sick but also to ward away infections and other health problems. Schedule your child’s next physical exam today.
How immunizations from your pediatrician in Gaithersburg, MD, can protect your child
You may be wondering about vaccines. Do they work? Are they safe? The truth is, vaccines are one of the most effective, safest ways to prevent serious diseases. Dr. Farnoush Jamali at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, MD, offers comprehensive pediatric care, including immunizations to help protect your child.
Vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness and approved by the Food and Drug Administration before they are ever released to the public. You can be assured they are a safe way to protect your child from serious diseases.
Vaccines have reduced and eliminated many serious diseases including polio, meningitis, influenza, the measles, and many others. You can be assured vaccines are an effective way to protect your child from serious diseases.
Your child is required to be vaccinated against certain diseases in order to be admitted to daycare and to attend school. You must show proof that your child is current with immunizations, but that’s not the most important reason to get your child immunized. Immunizations protect children from serious, and even deadly diseases. Children are very susceptible to serious complications from diseases. Immunizations can help keep your child healthy.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends these vaccinations from birth to 18 years old:
- (Hep B) Hepatitis B
- (Dtap) Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis
- (Hib) Haemophilus influenza type B
- (IPV) Polio
- (PCV13) Pneumococcal conjugate
- (RV) Rotavirus
- (MMR) Measles, mumps, rubella
- (Varicella) Chickenpox
- (HepA) Hepatitis A
- (HPV) Human papillomavirus
- (MCV4) Meningococcal conjugate
- (Influenza) Flu
There is a lot of conflicting, incorrect information available about vaccines. The truth is, vaccines are an important way to protect your child’s health. Get the facts from an expert, your pediatrician! Just call Dr. Farnoush Jamali at Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg, MD. Call now to find out more!
Your child's sports injury can be treated just as your injury was. Or, can it? Your pediatrician knows that a child's body is still developing, responding differently to acute and overuse injuries from organized sports, gym class, and more. As such, he or she can help your child avoid injury and in the event of sprain, strain, laceration, dislocation, or head injury, will help your youngster recover and stay healthy.
Kids sports injuries
They're very common, says the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Annually, 3.5 million American children under the age of 14 suffer significant sports injuries. Some injuries are related to poor conditioning. Others occur because of inadequate instruction or proper protective gear such as padding, eye wear, sneakers, dance shoes, skates, and cleats.
In addition, diligent supervision on the part of parents, coaches, teachers, and other well-informed adults is critical to safe play. Well-maintained game fields and indoor surfaces avoid foot, ankle, and knee injuries.
Finally, KidsHealth reports that Pre-participation Physicals review medical histories and spot possible weaknesses in children's physiology and anatomy. Most school and organized sports teams require these check-ups either with the school physician or the family pediatrician before the sports season commences.
Treating sports injuries
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that proper assessment and prompt treatment of kids' sports injuries prevent long-term problems, including pain and proper growth of areas of the body such as the long bones. Traditionally, coaches and parents have used the RICE protocol to stabilize and injury, relieve pain, and begin the healing process. It still works exceptionally well. RICE stands for:
- Ice to the affected area
- Compression with an elastic bandage
- Elevation of the affected limb/injured area above heart level
Then, your pediatrician and other health care providers can devise a specific treatment plan to include physical therapy, strengthening exercises, over the counter analgesics, braces, and casts as needed. As a parent, you know your child well. So be sure to fully participate in your youngster's care plan.
Be safe, be well
Each child responds differently to athletic training depending on his or her gender, size, age, physical conditioning, underlying health issue,s and natural ability. You and your pediatrician can partner together in encouraging a safe sports season for your child. That's a win-win situation.
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