Posts for category: Child health
When it comes to caring for your baby, nail care is often overlooked. In the first few months of life, you may not be too worried about caring for your baby’s nails. But at some point your little one will take a swipe at you, and you will quickly find out how sharp those nails are. Baby nail care is easy—for the most part. Your pediatrician is available to offer helpful tips to ensure proper care for your baby’s nails.
Proper nail care can be as simple as trimming the nails when they get long enough to scratch you. However, your baby may squirm and move around, which makes cutting his or her nails difficult. Your pediatrician, we want the process of cutting your baby’s nails to be as easy as possible, which is why we are available to offer friendly advice.
There is no wrong way to cut your baby’s nails, as long as you do not nick the baby, and the nails get trimmed. Your pediatrician shares some basic tips:
- Clean your baby’s hands, feet and nails during regular bathing.
- Hold your baby’s finger and palm steady with one hand and trim with the other.
- Press down on the fleshy pad of his or her fingertip to move the skin away from the nail.
- Cut along the shape of the nail and snip any sharp corners or use an emery board.
While these tips may be easy to follow, some parents may still remain concerned about cutting their baby’s nails. If you are still concerned, follow these tips to make the job easier:
- Have your partner hold the baby while you trim the nails.
- Do it while your baby is sleeping.
- Use only baby nail clippers to trim the nails.
- Wait until your baby is in a good mood and find something to distract him or her, such as a new video, toy or snack.
Visit your pediatrician for more information on how to care for your baby, including proper nail care.
As the skin cancer rate continues to rise, many of us can’t help but wonder why people continue to expose themselves to harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. A tan, whether it’s acquired from the pool, in a salon or through incidental exposure, is always dangerous.
The use of tanning beds today is an especially common practice among teenagers, specifically the female population. What many young girls don’t realize, however, is that the bronzed image they so desire is only the skin’s visible reaction to damage from harmful UV rays. Melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer, is now the second most common cancer seen in young adults. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly 28 million people tan indoors in the United States annually. Of these, 2.3 million are teens. Their findings go on to report that 70 percent of tanning salon users are Caucasian girls and women, primarily aged 16 to 29 years.
Skin cancer aside, basking in UV rays—indoor or outdoors—also leads to premature aging of the skin. That means that even just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years without protection can cause noticeable changes to the skin later in life. Freckles, age spots, leathery skin, wrinkles, saggy skin and uneven skin tone can all be traced to UV exposure.
The good news is that skin cancer and premature aging of the skin can easily be prevented. For one, stay away from tanning beds. Pediatricians also recommend that children and teens wear proper clothing, hats and sunglasses when outdoors. Always use sunscreen and avoid exposure during peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is no such thing as a safe tan. Talk to your teen about the serious, life-threatening consequences of tanning. If your teen insists on a sun-kissed glow, suggest safer sunless methods, such as spray tans and other sunless gels or creams.
Giving your baby his first spoonful of solid foods is an exciting time! Many parents look forward to the day their little one takes their first bite of rice cereal, and in many cases, baby is just as eager! So how do you know if your baby is ready to transition to solids?
Here are a few tips for helping you introduce and successfully navigate feeding your baby solids.
Is my baby ready for solids?
As a general rule, most babies are ready to tackle solids between 4 and 6 months of age.
- Weight gain. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies are typically big enough to consume solids when they reach about 13 pounds—or about the time they double their birth weight.
- Head control. Your baby must be able to sit up unsupported and have good head and neck control.
- Heightened curiosity. It may be time to introduce your baby to solids when they begin to take interest in the foods around him. Opening of the mouth, chewing motions and staring at your plate at the dinner table are all good indicators it’s time to give solid foods a try.
To start, give your baby half a spoonful or less of one type of solid food. Generally it doesn’t matter which food is introduced first, but many parents begin with an iron-fortified rice cereal. Once they master one type of food, then you can gradually give them new foods.
Other foods, such as small banana pieces, scrambled eggs and well-done pasta can also be given to the baby as finger foods. This is usually around the time the baby can sit up and bring their hands or other objects to their mouth.
As your baby learns to eat a few different foods, gradually expose them to a wide variety of flavors and textures from all food groups. In addition to continuing breast milk or formula, you can also introduce meats, cereals, fruits and vegetables. It’s important to watch for allergic reactions as new foods are incorporated into your baby’s diet. If you suspect an allergy, stop using that food and contact your pediatrician.
Talk to your pediatrician for recommendations about feeding your baby solid foods. Your pediatrician can answer any questions you have about nutrition, eating habits and changes to expect as your baby embarks on a solid food diet.
The health of your little one is so important and it’s important that your pediatrician understands this, too!
The moment your child is born everything changes. Now all of your time and focus goes into this adorable little being that you want to make sure stays healthy and grows up strong. So it seems rather obvious that your child will need a pediatrician that they can trust. But how do you choose the right doctor for your child?
A pediatrician is a doctor that has specialized training in the health and wellness of children from birth to 21 years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics can help you find a board-certified pediatrician like Dr. Jamali that serves the Gaithersburg community and can provide your child with the medical care they need throughout their childhood.
Once you schedule an appointment, the first visit will be all about establishing rapport with both you and your child. It’s important that during this visit you ask whatever questions you may have so that you know your child is always getting the best care possible. Here are some key questions to ask both your potential pediatrician to decide whether we are right for you:
- What medical school did Dr. Jamali attend? What was her postgraduate and residency training?
- Is our Gaithersburg pediatric office easily accessible for your needs either by car or by public transportation?
- Is our office hours suitable to you and your child’s schedule? (We offer appointments on most days up to about 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. and we can also offer Saturdays for urgent visits).
- How quickly will the doctor call me back if there is a non-life threatening medical emergency?
- Do the doctors and staff make your visit comfortable and professional while also providing your child with compassionate, unique care that isn’t rushed?
- How easily can you make appointments on short notice for sore throats, ear infections, etc.?
- Do we take your health insurance and how much of the visits will you be responsible for?
There are so many questions to ask and it can feel rather overwhelming at times, but you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your Gaithersburg, MD children’s doctor is here to answer any and all questions you have. We know choosing a pediatrician is important, so anything we can do to make your first visit a bit easier just let us know. If you are ready to schedule your child’s first visit turn to Prime Pediatrics in Gaithersburg today!
It’s normal for a child to get a rash at one time or another. But one common type of rash, known as eczema, can be especially troubling. Eczema refers to many types of skin inflammation, with atopic dermatitis being one of the most common forms of eczema to develop during a baby’s first year.
You may first notice signs that your child has eczema as early as one to four months of age, appearing as a red, raised rash usually on the face, behind the knees and in the bends of elbows. The rash is typically very itchy and with time may spread and lead to an infection. The patches can range from small and mild to extremely itchy, which may make a small child irritable.
While the exact cause of eczema is not known, the tendency to have eczema is often inherited. Allergens or irritants in the environment, such as winter weather, pollen or certain foods, can trigger the rash. For most infants and small children, eczema improves during childhood. In the meantime, however, parents should help reduce the triggers that cause eczema outbreaks and control the itch to prevent infection.
While there is no cure for eczema at this time, there is treatment. Talk to your pediatrician about ways to alleviate itching and reduce the rash. Minimizing how often a child scratches the rash is especially important as the more the child scratches, the greater the risk of infection.
To prevent flare-ups and help your child cope with eczema, parents should follow these tips:
- With your doctor’s direction, use antihistamine to relieve itching and reduce scratching.
- Minimize nighttime itching by having child sleep in long-sleeved clothing to prevent scratching through the night.
- Apply cortisone creams or medication to reduce inflammation.
- Use mild soaps during bathing, and avoid frequent, hot baths, as it will dry out the child’s skin.
- Wrap moist bandages around the affected areas of the skin before bed to soothe and rehydrate the child’s skin.
- Avoid triggers that aggravate eczema, such as rapid changes in temperatures or seasonal allergies.
Many kids will outgrow atopic dermatitis, but it is still important to treat the condition right away to keep it from getting worse. Work with your pediatrician to find the best combination of skin care strategies and medications to ease the itch and inflammation and keep infection at bay.