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In 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
- 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.
A hit to the head during a soccer game or a hard fall from skateboarding may result in a serious head injury and even a concussion. The American Academy of Pediatrics describes a concussion as any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. These injuries are typically caused by a blow to the head, most often occurring while playing contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer, wrestling or skateboarding.
For some children, concussions only last for a short while. Other times, a person can have symptoms of a concussion that last for several days or weeks following the injury. Not all symptoms of concussions will be obvious, and in some cases take several hours to set in. Look for these signs of a concussion if your child suffers a head injury:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Memory loss or confusion
- Poor concentration
- Vision problems
- Irritability or changes in mood
- Sensitivity to light or noise
Seek Medical Attention
If your child injures his head or you believe he may have a concussion, it is important that the child discontinues play immediately and visits a healthcare provider for an evaluation. All concussions are serious and should be monitored right away. A pediatrician can properly diagnose the concussion and its severity, and then make appropriate treatment recommendations.
Rest from all activities is the best treatment for concussions. Your pediatrician can make appropriate recommendations for when the child should return to future play. Recovery time depends on the child and the severity of the concussion.
Preventing Head Injuries
Not all head injuries can be avoided, but you can do a few important things to prevent them.
- Buckle Up. Make sure your child is properly buckled up in a seat belt, car seat or booster seat.
- Safety Gear. If your child plays sports, make sure he wears appropriate headgear and other safety equipment.
- Awareness. Children should be taught how to play safe and understand the importance of reporting any type of head injury to their parent or coach.
All head injuries should be taken seriously. Early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent serious complications. It’s never a bad idea to contact your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns about your child’s head injury.
How your pediatricians in La Jolla, CA, can help with minor sports injuries
Playing sports is a great activity for your child to enjoy. The sense of achievement and being part of a team are important milestones for your child. Unfortunately, sports injuries also can be part of children’s sports. The pediatricians at Children’s Clinic La Jolla in La Jolla, CA, offer a wide range of children’s medical services, such as treating minor sports injuries. Major sports injuries with fractures, lacerations, head trauma, loss of consciousness are referred to trauma centers such as Rady children’s hospital or the nearest facility.
Your child’s muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones have not finished growing, which can cause differences in coordination and strength. These differences can lead to an increased risk of sports injuries. Children also have differences in stamina, and if your child gets fatigued quickly, it can also lead to an increased risk of a sports injury.
You can do a lot to help your child prevent sports injuries. It’s important for your child to:
- Do stretches and warm-up exercises before playing sports
- Wear protective, appropriate gear like helmets, padding, and shin guards
- Follow the rules when playing sports
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated while staying active
Overuse is a common type of sports injury. Some examples of overuse injuries include tennis elbow, shin splints, or tendonitis. If your child is suffering from an overuse injury, you can try:
- Placing ice packs on the area several times during the day
- Resting and elevating the affected area for a short period of time
- Wrapping the painful area to provide cushioning and support
Serious sports injuries or injuries that don’t respond to home therapies should be treated by your pediatrician. Traumatic sports injuries, falling, or twisting can result in sharp, severe pain. Sudden injuries that cause strained ligaments, sprained muscles, and broken bones should all be treated by your pediatrician. Professional medical care can give your child relief from pain and help speed the healing process.
You don’t have to let your child be sidelined by a sports injury. Relief is just a phone call away. To find out more about the treatment of sports injuries and other pediatric medical care, call the pediatricians at Children’s Clinic La Jolla in San Diego and La Jolla, CA, today!
Generally, a fever is brought on by an infection from a virus or bacterial infection. While many times a parent’s first instinct is to worry when their child has a fever, it’s not necessarily a sign that something serious is taking place. That’s because a fever is the body’s normal, infection-fighting response to infection and in many cases is considered a good sign that the child’s body is trying to heal itself.
When to Visit Your Pediatrician
Fevers are one of the most common reasons parents seek medical care for their child. Most of the time, however, fevers require no treatment.
When a child has a fever, he may feel warm, appear flushed or sweat more than normal—these are all common signs. So, when does a child’s fever warrant a pediatrician’s attention?
You should call your pediatrician immediately if the child has a fever and one or more of the following:
- Exhibits very ill, lethargic, unresponsive or unusually fussy behavior
- Complains of a stiff neck, severe headache, sore throat, ear pain, unexplained rash, painful urination, difficulty breathing or frequent bouts of vomiting or diarrhea
- Has a seizure
- Is younger than 3 months and has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher
- Fever repeatedly rises above 104°F for a child of any age
- Child still feels ill after fever goes away
- Fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years or more than 3 days in a child 2 years of age and older
All children react differently to fevers. If your child appears uncomfortable, you can keep him relaxed with a fever-reducing medication until the fever subsides. Ask your pediatrician if you have questions about recommended dosage. Your child should also rest and drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated. Popsicles are great options that kids can enjoy!
For many parents, fevers can be scary, particularly in infants. Remember, the fever itself is just the body’s natural response to an illness, and letting it run its course is typically the best way for the child to fight off the infection. Combined with a little TLC and a watchful eye, your child should be feeling normal and fever-free in no time.
Whenever you have a question or concern about your child’s health and well being, contact your La Jolla pediatrician for further instruction.
How a sports physical from the Pediatricians in La Jolla, CA, can protect your child
Sports are an important activity for everyone, especially kids. So, is your child healthy enough to play sports? That’s a good question, and there is an excellent way to find out, a sports physical! The pediatricians at Children’s Clinic La Jolla in La Jolla and serving San Diego, CA, offer a wide range of children’s healthcare services, including sports physicals to protect your child.
Sports physicals are required for your child to play a sport, and there is a good reason for this. Illnesses and medical conditions can be sneaky, sometimes causing no symptoms. There is a good chance you may think your child is perfectly healthy. The reality is, when your child plays a sport, heart rate, breathing, and other vital body functions can be stretched to the limits. There is a potential for serious consequences if your child has an underlying condition you don’t know about.
During a sports physical, your child’s pediatrician will record a thorough medical history, including your child’s allergies, current medications, whether your child has been hospitalized, and other important information. Along with your child’s medical history, your family medical history is also important. Knowing a family’s medical history can help uncover illnesses and conditions your child might be at greater risk of acquiring.
It’s important for you as a parent to discuss any current or past medical concerns with the pediatrician. Don’t forget to mention if your child has chest pain, breathing issues, or other signs or symptoms.
A physical examination is a vital part of the sports physical. The pediatrician will record your child’s height, weight, heart rate, breathing, flexibility, and other important functions. Vision and hearing may also be checked during this appointment. Flexibility and muscle strength will be evaluated to determine your child’s fitness to play sports.
If your child plans on playing a sport, a sports physical is an important step. Make sure your child is scheduled for a sports physical by calling the pediatricians at Children’s Clinic La Jolla in La Jolla, CA, and serving San Diego, CA. Call today!
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