What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), or autism, is a developmental disability that can cause significant communication, communication, and behavioral challenges. The thinking, learning, and problem-solving abilities of individuals with autism can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some individuals with autism need only a bit of help in their daily lives; others need more. While there's no cure for autism, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children.
ASD is the fastest growing serious, developmental disability, affecting an estimated one out of 59 kids in America. Autism begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society — at work, in school, and socially, for example. Often kids show symptoms of autism within the first year. Autism impacts how people perceive and socialize with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication.
Autism can look different in different people. Kids with autism have a hard time interacting with others. Social skills difficulties are some of the most common signs. A child with ASD might want to have close relationships but not know how. Most have some problems with communication. Kids with ASD also act in ways that seem unusual. Examples of this can include repetitive behaviors like jumping, hand-flapping, constant moving, fixations on certain objects, fussy eating habits, impulsiveness, and aggressive behavior.
The exact cause of ASD is not known, but it's believed that genetic and environmental factors are involved. Research shows that ASD tends to run in families. Changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child with develop autism. Research also shows that certain environmental influences may increase autism risk in people who are genetically predisposed to the disorder. Researchers are exploring whether certain factors such as medications, viral infections, or complications during pregnancy play a role in triggering ASD.
Treatment options may include nutritional therapy, physical therapy, behavior and communication therapies, educational therapies, family therapies, and medications. No medication can improve the core signs of ASD, but specific medications can help control symptoms. For example, antipsychotic drugs are sometimes used to treat severe behavioral problems; certain medications may be prescribed if your child is hyperactive; and antidepressants may be prescribed for anxiety.
Autism can impact your child's quality of life. If you think your child may have autism, find a pediatrician near you and schedule a consultation. Proper diagnosis and treatment of autism can help your child live a happier, more successful life. The earlier children with autism get help, the greater their chance of treatment success.
Here’s everything you should know about getting your child vaccinated in West Jordan, UT.
From infancy, your child should begin to get immunizations for protection against a variety of illnesses. While once serious and potentially life-threatening, the conditions targeted from these vaccines have largely been eradicated. Despite the amazing benefits of immunizations, we do understand that some parents may have questions or concerns about getting their children vaccinated. Read on to learn the answers to some common questions on the topic, and give our West Jordan, UT, pediatric office a call if you desire more information!
Why are vaccinations necessary?
Vaccinations have the ability to protect children from a number of serious and potentially fatal diseases. Some of these illnesses include polio, pertussis, diphtheria, meningococcal, and rubella. Even diseases like chickenpox, which may not be known to be life-threatening, are still responsible for thousands of hospitalizations and about one hundred deaths each year, despite a vaccine existing.
Are vaccines safe?
Yes. Vaccines have to undergo rigorous testing and the FDA must approve them before they can be administered to the public. Of course, as with any medication or treatment, some side effects can occur. Most of the time, these side effects include minor issues like redness, tenderness, or swelling near the injection site, which will go away in a couple of days.
Although serious reactions are rare, you can still talk to our West Jordan podiatrists about any concerns that you have before getting your child vaccinated.
How do shots work?
When an infection enters our bodies, our immune system begins to produce antibodies to fight the infection. These antibodies then remain in the body even once the infection has gone away, in order to protect you from being infected again in the future. This is known as immunity. By vaccinating your child, we are helping their immune system learn how to fight infection by providing it with the antibodies they need to protect them in the future.
Why does my newborn need so many doses of a vaccine?
As you might imagine, when your child is first born, their immune systems is quite fragile. Accordingly, it’s important that they receive certain vaccinations from the moment of infancy so that they can achieve immunity as soon as possible.
Give us a call!
If you have additional questions about vaccinations or if it’s time to schedule a checkup for your little one, call Southwest Children's Clinic in West Jordan, UT, today at (801) 563-1975!
Your child just woke up with a runny nose, an elevated temperature and body aches. Could this just be a passing cold or could it be the flu? It’s important to be able to tell the difference between the two. A common cold is usually mild and will go away on its own without treatment but the flu often requires medical attention to prevent serious complications. While an annual flu shot can protect your child from developing the flu it’s also important to know what to look for and when to visit their pediatrician for care.
Warning Signs of the Flu
Unfortunately the common cold and the influenza viruses have a lot of the same symptoms, which can make it difficult to determine what your child might have. We know that you don’t want to worry unnecessarily and rush them into the office if you don’t need to but it’s also good to know when their condition warrants medical attention.
One difference is that a cold will come on gradually over the course of a couple of days while the flu will often attack suddenly, with symptoms showing up practically overnight. While a fever isn’t a common symptom of a cold a fever is almost always present with the flu, as well as full body achiness or weakness.
Children are also more likely to deal with diarrhea or vomiting with the flu. While symptoms of a cold are usually localized to the head, flu symptoms are more widespread.
You Suspect Your Child has the Flu. Now What?
The first step is to call your pediatrician. While it can take up to a week for your child to feel better after the flu sometimes medical attention is required. It’s especially important that you talk to your doctor if your child has flu-like symptoms and they are under the age of 5, as young children are more likely to deal with health-related complications from the flu.
You’ve talked to your doctor and you now know whether you are supposed to bring them in right away for care or whether you should continue to monitor their condition before bringing them in. At this point the most important thing you can do is help reduce their discomfort and control their symptoms. Make sure they are staying hydrated and getting as much rest as possible.
Avoid giving your child over-the-counter medications, as many of these medications aren’t safe for young children and won’t be effective for treating flu symptoms. If your child has a mild fever ask your pediatrician what over-the-counter medications could help alleviate their fever. Keep in mind: Children should never take aspirin!
The sooner you seek medical attention for the flu the better, as many antiviral medications can prevent the virus from getting worse if it’s administered within the first 48 hours. This medication is often taken for 5 to 7 days and it can help ease symptoms and speed up recovery.
The key is making sure to get your child proper medical care as soon as flu-like symptoms appear. Call your children’s doctor right away.
It’s important to know when it’s time to bring your child in for a medical checkup.
While you will certainly bring your child in regularly to see our West Jordan, UT, pediatricians for standard wellness visits, it’s also important to know when certain conditions, injuries, and symptoms require immediate and professional medical attention. Not sure when to handle illness at home and when to bring your sick child in for a visit? Here are some rules to follow...
It’s a good idea to call our pediatricians in West Jordan if your child is experiencing,
- A high or prolonged fever
- Trouble breathing
- Severe or persistent pain (e.g. earache; sore throat)
- Thick eye discharge
- Vomiting or diarrhea that is persistent or contains blood
- Signs of dehydration (this is considered an emergency situation)
- Severe lethargy or illness lasting more than 4-5 days
- Symptoms of a contagious illness (e.g. chickenpox; mono)
- Symptoms after recently traveling outside the country
- A widespread or painful rash
When it comes to a fever, it’s important that you monitor your child closely for any changes. Watch out for a high fever, especially if it is accompanied by lethargy and other symptoms. If your child is also having trouble breathing, they will require immediate medical attention.
Additionally, the age of your child is a large factor when determining whether the fever warrants a trip to our office. A pediatrician should see babies under the age of three months who have a fever over 100.4 F. Children between three months and 3 years should also be evaluated by a medical professional if their fever is over 102 F.
Ear pain is often caused by an infection, and while some ear infections will go away on their own without medication, sometimes it’s important for your little one to receive antibiotics in order to fight the infection. If your child’s earache is accompanied by a high fever/additional symptoms, if the pain is severe, or if there is discharge coming from the ear, then you should see a pediatrician as soon as you can.
Vomiting or Diarrhea
Again, this is a symptom you’ll want to watch closely. If symptoms persist or are severe, then you’ll want to see a doctor right away. Call us if,
- There is blood in the stool
- Your child is showing signs of dehydration (e. dark urine)
- The fever is over 104 F
When in doubt, if your child is very sick or seems in distress, it’s best to play it safe and give us a call right away.
Concerned? Contact Us!
Dealing with a sick child? We know just how stressful this can be. Luckily, the pediatric medical team here at Southwest Children’s Clinic in West Jordan, UT, can help. Call us today at (801) 563-1975.
Why Proper Nutrition is Important
As a parent, it goes without saying that you want what is best for your child. Making sure that your little ones grow up healthy, happy, and prepared for the future is often one of the most difficult, yet regarding, tasks in all of parenthood. This all-important mission to provide a great life for your child encompasses a number of different factors, including one which is the subject of this article: nutrition.
According to recent reports from the CDC, one in five school children within the United States qualify as obese. This epidemic of unhealthy living inevitably creates a number of ill effects in the children who suffer from the condition. Read on to learn how proper nutrition can keep your child at a healthy weight and avoid the consequences of obesity.
Why Obesity Must Be Avoided
Before we examine the intricacies of proper nutrition, it is important that we look at why being overweight/obese is to be avoided:
- Onset of chronic diseases: Although they are more often diagnosed in adults, conditions such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes have been increasingly seen in younger children, largely because of poor eating habits.
- Childhood habits traverse into adulthood: Humans tend to be creatures of habit, and accordingly, we largely carry childhood tendencies into our adult lives. For this reason, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the National Institute for Health Research has found that “55% of obese children go on to be obese in adolescence, around 80% of obese adolescents will still be obese in adulthood and around 70% will be obese over age 30.”
- Obesity shortens life: The National Institute of Health has found that obesity has the possibility of shortening life spans by up to fourteen years, and with the established link between childhood and adulthood obesity, it’s essential to promote healthy
Other Benefits of Proper Nutrition
The most obvious benefit of providing proper nutrition for your child is that they are then much more likely to maintain a healthy weight, and thus avoid all of the dangers associated with obesity. In addition to escaping the clutches of type 2 diabetes and a shortened life expectancy, your little one will also feel the immediate advantage of higher physical energy levels and increased brain activity. These boosts to your child’s wellbeing can be attributed to an increased bloodflow throughout the body, allowing them to not only stay healthier, but feel happier as well!
If you need help with getting your child on the path of proper nutrition, contact your local pediatrician today—we’re here to help!
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