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Posts for category: Child Safety

By Bel Air Pediatric Center & Havre de Grace Pediatric Center
November 17, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Prediabetes  
PrediabetesDiabetes is on the rise, and not just in adults. More and more children in the US are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be referred to as adult-onset diabetes, but today children are more at risk for prediabetes and types 2 diabetes than ever before. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent your child from developing diabetes.

Why is prediabetes a concern?

Okay, so prediabetes isn’t considered full-blown diabetes, so why should parents be worried? Well, being prediabetic will eventually lead to diabetes if the issue isn’t addressed by a pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to spot prediabetes through a simple blood test to check blood sugar levels. After all, blood sugar levels will be elevated even before your child develops type 2 diabetes. By catching elevated blood sugar levels early, your pediatrician can provide you and your child with simple lifestyle changes to see if that lowers their blood glucose naturally.

Are there warning signs?

The problem is that elevated blood sugar often doesn’t cause symptoms until a child develops type 2 diabetes. So, your child could be prediabetic and not even know it. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with your pediatrician if your child has risk factors. Your pediatrician will decide if blood tests are necessary to check glucose levels. If prediabetes isn’t checked and your child develops type 2 diabetes you may begin to notice these symptoms,
  • Wounds and injuries that are slow to heal
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger or thirst
  • Fatigue
What are the risk factors?

It’s important to recognize whether your child may be at risk for prediabetes. Some risk factors include,
  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Eating an ultra-processed diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle/lack of exercise (children should get at least one hour of aerobic exercise a day)
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • A mother with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy)
If you are concerned about your child’s risk for prediabetes or developing type 2 diabetes, it’s important that you speak to your pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to provide screening tools to monitor your child’s blood glucose, as well as lifestyle recommendations
By Bel Air Pediatric Center & Havre de Grace Pediatric Center
November 08, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Concussion  
ConcussionA concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs as a result of a blow to the head. Since concussions can be serious, it’s important that you’re able to recognize the telltale signs of a concussion so you can seek immediate treatment. While your pediatrician may be able to provide you with immediate treatment, any serious symptoms should be addressed right away at your nearest emergency room.

What can cause a concussion?

The majority of concussions in children occur while playing sports; however, a traumatic injury or accident such as a car accident or bad fall can also leave your child dealing with a head injury. Some concussions may lead to a loss of consciousness, but most of the time this isn’t the case.

What are the warning signs?

Some of the most common symptoms of a concussion include:
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of balance or unsteadiness
  • Trouble with cognition, particularly attention, focus, and memory
A child may look dazed or slur their speech. They may also be more irritable and fussy, as well as sensitive to certain lights or noises.

If your child is alert and responds and acts normally these are often signs that the head injury is mild and probably won’t require emergency care; however, even if your child doesn’t require urgent care you should schedule an appointment to see your child’s pediatrician within the next 48 hours.

When is a concussion considered an emergency?

You should take your child to the ER right away if they develop these symptoms after a head injury:
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness for more than 30 seconds
  • A worsening headache
  • Fluid draining from the eyes or ears
  • Vision problems including dilated pupils
  • Persistent tinnitus
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Changes in behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble with coordination such as stumbling or falling
  • Seizures
  • Persistent dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Disorientation
If your child is showing signs of a concussion, we understand how scary this can be. Don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician right away, who can advise you as to what next steps to take.
By Bel Air Pediatric Center & Havre de Grace Pediatric Center
October 20, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Bike Safety  
Bike Safety for Your ChildJust like responsible parents, our pediatricians are interested in keeping your children well – this includes helping your kids stay safe while riding their bikes.  The National Safety Council reports a 6% increase in bike accidents in recent years, likely due to increased traffic, population density in urban areas, and a variety of other causes. There are 80 million bicyclists now sharing the road with motorized vehicles, and your children are among them. 

How to Keep Kids Safe When Biking

There are a few ways that your pediatrician recommends for teaching bicycle safety to your children:
  1. Help your kids stay visible to drivers: There are a few factors that can cause a driver not to view your child on a road, aside from texting while driving. Children are usually lower in a driver's sightlines, and they are also vying for a driver’s attention among many other road distractions such as traffic signals, construction, and more. By clothing your children in bright colors, or even having them wear a brightly colored safety vest while riding, you can call a driver’s attention to their presence, thus avoiding an accident. Also, be sure that your child’s bike has reflectors on the rear and front of the pedals and possibly on the seat and handlebars. 
  2. Encourage your child to wear a bike helmet. Helmets can protect the brain and reduce head injuries should they accidentally be hit by a driver. A properly fitting helmet should be buckled under the chin, and shouldn’t wiggle more than an inch when worn.
  3. Teach your kids to be proactive cyclists. When riding, teach your children to watch out for parked cars that might open their doors, road hazards, common traffic flows, and rules that motorists usually follow.  This can be a precursor to their learning to drive and will equip them with a sense of what drivers are most likely to do so that they can act accordingly while bicycling.
You can talk to your pediatrician about additional ways to keep your children safe when out riding their bikes. There is nothing more important than keeping your children safe, and bicycle safety is an important way to do it.
By Bel Air Pediatric Center & Havre de Grace Pediatric Center
June 01, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Immunization ScheduleWe understand that bringing your child in for a shot certainly isn’t fun for anyone, but keeping your child updated on vaccines is one of the most effective ways to protect them against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases. As soon as your child is born, they will begin to get a series of vaccines, which they will continue to get until they reach adulthood. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your child immunizations, including when to have them vaccinated and which vaccinations they will need at what age.
 
Getting Your Child Immunized

The CDC is your go-to for all accurate and updated information regarding childhood vaccines. They offer a variety of charts for kids 18 years old and younger that can easily help you determine what vaccines your child needs to get and at what age. Of course, your pediatrician also knows exactly what vaccines your kids need when they visit the office, so these charts are just for you to stay in the know. Of course, if you have any questions about upcoming vaccines for your child, don’t hesitate to talk with their pediatrician.
 
Throughout your child’s first 18 years of life, they will receive a series of vaccinations including:
  • Hepatitis A & B
  • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough)
  • Hib (meningitis, epiglottitis, and pneumonia)
  • Meningococcal (for bacterial meningitis)
  • Polio
  • MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
  • Pneumococcal (pneumonia, ear infections, and meningitis)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
Your child may also want to get the influenza virus once a year to protect themselves and their family members from the flu.
 
The Safety and Efficacy of Childhood Immunizations

We understand that some parents may be on the fence about vaccines. In fact, this is a common concern that pediatricians hear, and it’s best to talk with your child’s doctor who is well-informed about childhood immunizations. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it can lead parents to avoid certain vaccines that could put their child at risk for more serious health problems. While some immunizations can cause minor side effects these are so minor compared to the repercussions of not having your child vaccinated.
 
Do you have questions about your child’s upcoming vaccine? Need to schedule your child’s next wellness visit? Keeping your little ones fully vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect them and keep them safe and healthy. A pediatrician can provide you with valuable information and insight into childhood vaccines.
By Bel Air Pediatric Center & Havre de Grace Pediatric Center
February 17, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Pediatrician   Stitches  
When Does My Child Need StitchesWe all know how accident-prone kids can be. They get bruises, bumps, cuts, and scrapes from time and time. Most of the time, these boo-boos are nothing to worry about, but sometimes a cut or laceration may require turning to your pediatrician for stitches. Does your child need stitches? We know it isn’t always easy to tell. Here are some telltale signs that your child might need stitches,
  • Apply pressure to the cut for five minutes. If it’s still bleeding after five minutes, it probably needs stitches
  • The cut is more than ½-inch deep or longer
  • The cut is around their eye
  • The cut is on their face or neck and is longer than ¼ inch
  • The cut is gaping open
  • There is an object sticking out of it, including debris or glass
  • The cut is spurting blood
Any cut that spurts blood could be a sign of a nicked artery. Immediately apply pressure to the area and head to your local ER for immediate medical attention.

When should I call the pediatrician?

If in doubt about whether or not your child may need stitches, call your pediatrician. With the introduction of telehealth visits, many pediatricians can now look at images of the injury or wound through a simple online appointment and determine whether the child or teen needs to come in for stitches. While the warning signs above are telltale indicators that your child may need stitches, even if the cut doesn’t need stitches, you should still see the doctor if:
  • The cut was made by a rusty or metal object
  • There is redness, swelling, pus, or other signs of infection
  • The child has been bitten by an animal
  • The cut hasn’t healed within 10 days
  • There is still severe pain after a few hours
Cuts and wounds made by metal, rusty, or dirty objects may require your child to get a tetanus shot. This is why you should see your pediatrician right away, as it’s important for them to get this shot within 2-3 days after the injury.

If you still aren’t sure whether or not your child should get stitches, it doesn’t hurt to give your pediatrician a call. Let us know the symptoms your child is experiencing, and we can determine if their injury requires a closer look from our team. Call us today; we can deal with your child’s urgent medical matters.