Posts for: November, 2015

By Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates
November 13, 2015
Tags: Sore Throats  

Child with Sore ThroatIn infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, the most frequent cause of sore throats is a viral infection.  No specific medicine is required when a virus is responsible, and the child should get better over a seven to ten day period.  During this period, your child may develop a fever, but they generally are not very sick. 

It is not uncommon to experience a sore throat when your child has a cold or the flu.  Unfortunately, there are other reasons for sore throats to develop that may be symptomatic of more serious problems.  Children tend to have sore throats more often than adolescents or adults, with sore throats being the most common during the winter months when upper respiratory infections are more frequent. 

The major cause of a sore throat is an infection, whether it is viral or bacterial, and can also be caused by allergies and environmental conditions. If your child has a sore throat that lasts longer than the typical five to seven day duration of a cold or flu, and is not associated with an avoidable allergy or irritation, it is important to contact your local pediatrician. The following are signs and symptoms to alert you to take your child to the pediatrician:

  • Severe and prolonged sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Joint pain
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • Fever that is over 101 degrees
  • Frequent recurring sore throat
  • Lump in the neck
  • Hoarseness lasting over two weeks

At the first onset of a sore throat it is always important to monitor the progress and recognize any other symptoms that may accompany the sore throat, which could cause it to worsen into strep throat, inflamed tonsils, or laryngitis.  Contact your pediatrician if your child is experiencing a sore throat that won’t go away.  Your pediatrician will help diagnose and treat your child’s symptoms. 

By Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates
November 05, 2015
Tags: Diaper Rash  

Diaper RashFirst and foremost: NEVER TAKE A DIAPER RASH PERSONALLY.

It is inevitable that at some point your child will develop a diaper rash through no fault of yours. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than half of babies between 4 months and 15 months of age will experience diaper rash at least one time in a two-month period. Diaper rash is most common between 8 to 10 months of age, or when a baby is introduced to solid foods, which increases the frequency of bowel movements.

A baby’s soft, smooth skin is delicate, making it susceptible to irritation from their bowel movements and the ammonia and moisture in urine. The baby’s skin becomes red, irritated and prone to chafing. The skin may even break down causing painful sores to develop. Any time the skin barrier is disrupted, the baby also becomes vulnerable to "secondary" infection of the skin. In young infants yeast and bacterial infections are common. Yeast in particular thrives in an environment  which is dark, hot and moist and a yeast diaper rash may also be accompanied by a yeast infection of the mouth, called Thrush, which can cause white, thick, curd-like patches on the inside of the cheeks, roof of the mouth, and or tongue. 

Soothing Your Baby’s Diaper Rash

There is a tendency when one notices a diaper rash to be more aggressive in cleaning the diaper area, but in fact, this may aggravate the situation. Put another way, although you didn't cause the diaper rash, you have the power to aggravate it. Although it's probably a good idea to change the diaper frequently, or even let the baby's bottom be exposed to air, BE EXTRA GENTLE when wiping the baby's bottom.   Other helpful ways to treat diaper rash include:

  • Rinsing the affected area with warm water and a soft washcloth
  • Pat dry; never rub
  • Avoid baby wipes that contain alcohol or are fragranced
  • Allow your baby’s bottom to air out whenever possible         

    Preventing Diaper Rash

Parents can not prevent diaper rash completely, but you can do a lot to keep the irritation to a minimum.  The American Academy of Pediatric recommends the following steps to keep diaper rash at bay:

  • Apply a heavy layer of diaper ointment or cream to your baby’s bottom after every change-Every parent and pediatrician has their favorite diaper balm to apply after cleansing and drying the area. Pediatricians at LLPA often recommend Vitamin A & D Ointment, Desitin Maximum Strength, Triple Paste, and Balmex although there are many other products available for your consideration. 
  • Leave breathing room in the baby’s diaper, and avoid putting the diapers on too tightly as it will trap moisturize and prevent air circulation.
  • Switch diaper brands or use extra absorbent diapers to whisk away moisture and keep skin dry.
  • Change the baby’s diaper immediately after it becomes wet—this is the key to preventing diaper rash.  

The good news is that preventing and treating a diaper rash is fairly easy, and most breakouts can be resolved in just a few days. Call your pediatrician if the rash won’t go away or doesn’t improve after a few days or if the rash is accompanied by blisters, a fever or pain. It could mean there is a secondary infection that would require more specific treatment.