My entire goal with this website is to educate – to make Smart Parents. With this goal in mind I have designed a simple pediatric course consisting of 7 modules. The course is set to cover the vast majority of things you will encounter regarding common childhood illness. The course is meant to be reviewed before your child gets sick. When your child is sick, you child needs a doctor, not this website. However, if you have reviewed the modules in Pediatrics 101, you will be much better equipped to determine when you need to see the doctor and what you should expect when you do see the doctor.
There is a new concept permeating the pediatric environment and it is called Shared-Decision Making. This is major progress in medicine and involves encouraging parents to be actively involved in the health care decisions of their children. With Shared-Decision Making, kids are less sick, spend less time at the doctor’s office, have fewer medical bills, and recover from routine illness much faster.
It is not easy though. It requires you as a parent to learn about basic pediatric illness, so you know the worrisome symptoms to look for in your child. It also requires you to ask questions of your child’s physician to make sure your child gets only those things they really need. All physicians in today’s medico-legal environment over-test and over-treat. Every test and treatment has potential side-effects. If the test or treatment will not offer anything meaningful to your child, then it is best avoided – along with all the potential side-effects. You have to advocate for your child in this respect.
The Great Temperature Menace
These are the common questions that I see parents asking when they come into the ER. Along with these questions, parents generally also bring in all kinds of myths and misconceptions surrounding fever. Fever in response to infection is good – ALWAYS! The body is much smarter than me or any other doctor and knows best how to care for itself. The primary response of the body to infection (any infection), is to raise the body temperature. Most infections only survive well at body temperature (98.6°F). By increasing the body temperature to above 100°F the body makes it very difficult for infections to thrive. In the setting of a fever, the immune system has time to rid the body of the infection, which normally takes 3-5 days. This is what fever does – and it is GOOD.
What goes down must come up
Like fever, there is considerable confusion over vomiting and I will attempt to resolve many of the myths with this post. First, let me remind you that the human race has survived for tens of thousands of years. Part of the credit for this amazing accomplishment is certainly due to the body’s ability to rid itself of those things that are harmful. Vomiting is one of the ways the body accomplishes this and in almost all cases it is GOOD. In otherwise healthy children, there is little reason to believe that vomiting is dangerous.
On the other hand, take your kid into the ER and you may expose them to real hazards. In the ER they will have to deal with other sick kids and unnecessary, painful, and potentially dangerous procedures. My opinion, avoid the ER if at all possible.
The Great Pulmonary Protector.
I see kids all the time that have a cough. Of course some coughs are serious, but most coughs are NOT. In fact, cough is generally a protective response. Without cough we would be unable to clear things out of our lungs. If your child is ill and coughing, this is probably a GOOD thing. Try to avoid the temptation to suppress this protective mechanism of the body.
A snotty little mess
The Cold and Flu Season is right around the corner. Both of these minor illnesses are generally accompanied by nasal congestion. Nasal congestion in the setting of a cold or flu, while sometimes uncomfortable, is the body’s way of protecting & healing itself. However, nasal congestion is also caused by other things such as allergies, both in the air and from food. Elimination of certain things in the environment and in your child’s diet is probably necessary far more often than medication. This page is designed to explore the myths & facts surrounding this troublesome problem in your kids.