When a child is born, the first few years of life are a fascinating time when his brain grows and absorbs so many critical and amazing things, including language, thoughts, emotions, and actions. It's incredible to watch your infant go from being largely immobile to rolling, sitting, crawling, and eventually walking, running, and jumping! These huge milestones are greatly anticipated throughout the course of infancy and early childhood.
As your child's pediatrician, at every visit, we check on his or her development by asking questions about changes in language and activity based on his or her age. A child’s development should be evaluated as a newborn and at every well-child visit (2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years, and annually thereafter). If you ever have a concern that your child is not developing appropriately, it’s important to alert your pediatrician. The following checklist was created by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help parents keep track of your child’s progress!
If you have any concerns about your child’s development, please contact our office for a full evaluation!
Summer is a great time for outdoor fun, such as at the beach, BBQ-ing, and camping. We encourage you to wear sun protection, including hats, sunglasses, and SPF 30+ sunscreen when outside. However, one thing that often puts a damper on outside leisure is mosquito bites! Even worse, the uncomfortable itching of the bites cause scratching that can sometimes lead to skin infections.
Here are a few tips to help you and your child keep mosquitoes at bay:
- Wear loose, light or bright-colored clothing (avoid anything dark-colored, because this attracts bugs), preferably long-sleeved to cover as much of your skin as possible.
- Try to stay indoors at sunrise and sunset, as some mosquitoes tend to swarm and bite around these times. Also make sure window screens are intact so that the little insects can't sneak their way in!
- Try to avoid having standing water close-by, such as in pools, trash cans, or puddles on the ground, as this can attract mosquitoes who like to breed in still water.
- Use repellent. There are "natural" repellents, such as the oil of lemon eucalyptus, to help ward off biting insects (though this oil is NOT recommended for kids younger than 3 years old). Chemical repellents containing DEET have been approved and deemed SAFE for kids as young as 2 months old. Make sure to choose a concentration from 10 to 30% (but no greater) of DEET. The higher concentration (percentage) just means that the repellent will last longer, so if your child will only be outside for an hour or two, it's ok to go with the lower concentration.
- Don't use sweet smelling perfumes or lotions, as mosquitoes tend to be attracted to such floral or fruity scents.
Do you have any tricks for avoiding these pesky critters during your outdoor time?
It's hard to believe that the summer is almost over and the new school year is about to begin! We hope that you have soaked up all the sunshine you could (while wearing a hat, sunglasses, and SPF 30 sunscreen for protection, of course!) and hit the beach (with water safety in mind!) while you had more free time. In preparing for heading back to school, here are a few things to remember:
Is your child due for a physical exam, for school or sports? Check with your doctor to see if it's been over a year or two since your child's last physical exam. At these exams, we make sure your child is a healthy weight (weight gain is very common over the summer, and we can help you determine if it's normal or too much), with healthy vision and hearing, and up-to-date immunizations. It's often forgotten that starting at age 11, your child is due for boosters of their immunizations as well as brand new ones.
Is your child's backpack too heavy? With all of the books and supplies needed to succeed in school, children are often carrying a heavy load. Make sure their backpack is not more than 20% of their body weight and does not rest too low on their backs, which can lead to back strain and pain. Also it's important to use both straps on both shoulders (instead of one or two straps slung over one shoulder), in order to distribute the weight of the bag evenly and prevent back strain.
Is your child getting enough sleep? With early morning rising to get to school on time, children might be missing more sleep than they should. For most children, 9 hours of sleep per night is still recommended for optimal brain and body rest and growth (essential growth hormone is secreted only when sleeping, and this is what helps their bones grow longer and makes them taller)!
Are their school health records up to date? Make sure that the health office at school is up to date with the latest information on your child's medications, allergies, and potentially emergency conditions, such as asthma. If they do have a condition that might require urgent medications that should be stored at school, please make sure the medications on hand are up to date and not expired. If there have been any changes recently or if you haven't submitted or updated this information for awhile, please contact your school health office and do so.
Safety First! For your healthy child, one of the most common causes of harm are accidents! Don't forget safety from door to door, including in vehicles (buckling up always and, if they are 8 years old or younger, sitting in their booster seat), walking to school (review crosswalk and pedestrian safety), and after school (all students should have identification with emergency contact information in their backpack and memorized too)!
Let's make this a safe and healthy school year!
~ Hawaii Pediatrics
Welcome to Hawaii Pediatrics! Here on our blog, you will be updated on what is going on in our practice and all of the exciting quality services that are available to you as our patients.
Please refer back to this blog for updates on events related to our practice, news from our staff and doctors, and the most current information on pediatric health! Stay tuned for posts in the coming weeks and months on:
- Vaccinations and your child
- Common childhood illnesses
- Newborn and infant development
- Adolescent health
- Sports physicals for your child
- Skin conditions in infants and children
- How to manage and treat eczema
- Asthma and the health of your child
- Picky eating: How to avoid food fights
- Temper tantrums: What's normal and how to keep your cool
- Toilet Training
- Starting school
We are excited to share our knowledge with you, and we look forward to your feedback and comments on our posts! Let us know if there are any topics you want us to cover!
Welcome to Our Blog!
Hawaii Pediatrics would like to welcome you to our blog. Here you will find informative and useful postings about child health care and our practice.
At Hawaii Pediatrics we believe that educated parents are better prepared to make decisions regarding their child’s health and wellbeing. Our blog was designed to provide you with valuable health care information, the latest pediatric developments and child health care advice from our dedicated team.
Hawaii Pediatrics hopes you find our blog to be a great resource for keeping up to date with proper child health care and treatments.
We welcome all comments and questions.
-- Hawaii Pediatrics
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