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Posts for category: Children's Health

By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
June 02, 2020
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Autism  
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that affects how a person views and interacts with the world around them, including other people. In most cases, differences become apparent by the time your child reaches 24 months. Mainly, parents notice behavioral differences and language delays. If you suspect that your child has ASD, schedule an appointment with your local pediatric office. We work with you to figure out what to do next.
 
Signs of ASD 
Every child with ASD is different. Not everyone will have the same symptoms or experiences. With that in mind, here are some summaries on social, communication, and behavioral differences. 
 
Social Differences
  • Your child doesn’t keep or make eye contact
  • They don’t respond to your facial expressions or smiles
  • Does not reciprocate facial expressions or have the appropriate ones
  • Doesn’t respond to parent’s pointing 
  • Has problems making friends
  • Shows a lack of concern for others
Communication Differences
  • Your child hasn’t spoken by 16 months
  • Repeats or parrots what others say
  • Doesn’t feel the need or want to communicate 
  • Starts missing language and social milestones after 15 months
  • Doesn’t pretend play but does have a good memory for numbers, songs, and letters
Behavioral Differences
  • Has an affinity for routines and schedules and does not like altering them
  • Likes to twirl their fingers, sway, rock, or spin
  • Has strange activities that they enjoy doing repeatedly
  • They are sensitive to sounds, lights, touch, textures, and smells
  • They are more interested in the parts of a toy instead of the whole thing
Common Examples
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the information listed above. As mentioned, a child can have a mixture of any of these behaviors. There are a few other common examples that your pediatrician sees. These give you insight into how a neurotypical child reacts in certain situations versus a child with ASD.  
 
By the age of 12 months, your child should turn their head when they hear their name. A child with ASD won’t respond even if their name is called multiple times.
 
By 18 months, a child with speech delays finds accommodations through gestures, facial expressions, or pointing. Children with ASD find no reason to compensate for speech. 
 
After 24 months, many children enjoy bringing their parents objects or toys to look at or play with. A child with ASD may bring their parent an object but will not play with their parent or respond to their reaction.
By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
May 04, 2020
Category: Children's Health
Tags: ADHD  
ADHDParents want the best for their child, which is why check-ups and appointments with their pediatricians are so important. Yet your pediatrician isn’t just available for when your child is sick or has physical ailments. They can also help with mental and behavioral conditions, including the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. If your child struggles with focus, impulsivity, attention, or hyperactivity, schedule them for an evaluation. It’s also important to note that children must be at least four years old for a diagnosis.
 
The Three Facets of ADHD
There are three parts to pediatric ADHD: impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Each of them is signs and are necessary for a diagnosis. Here is some information about each of them.
 
Inattention: your child spends a lot of time daydreaming or not paying attention, struggles to listen, is easily distracted, makes careless mistakes, rarely finishes tasks, and is disorganized to the point of losing or forgetting important things. 
 
It’s important to understand that children with ADHD can pay attention, it’s just harder with topics that don’t interest them. They can tune out when tasks get repetitive. Working with them to organize their schoolwork and tasks is essential. Try to provide them with a quiet and calm environment to work in.
 
Impulsivity: your child can’t wait or acts without thinking, interrupts others, and has problems taking turns.
 
Children with ADHD have trouble with self-control, which leads to the impulsive characteristics mentioned above. They have a harder time censoring themselves. This results in them invading people's personal space or asking overly personal questions. Impulsivity problems also lead to moodiness and overreactions. 
 
Hyperactivity: your child seems to constantly be moving, without being able to sit still without squirming. They also talk too much and loudly, often playing in areas that aren’t permitted. 
 
It’s normal for younger children to have high energy levels. It’s only when your child seems to be constantly moving that it could be an issue with hyperactivity. When they do sit still, they are still moving. They may tap their fingers, shake their legs, or move their feet. 
 
Diagnosing ADHD
A diagnosis won’t happen right away. There are many steps in the process before an accurate understanding is available. Your pediatrician will most likely want statements from not just you and your child, but other caregivers and teachers. 

At the appointment with your child’s pediatrician, they’ll want you and others to fill out a questionnaire about your child’s behavior. Symptoms need to be present in multiple settings, like at home and school and cause issues at both. 
 
The criteria change depending on your child’s age, so it isn’t one-size-fits-all. Your pediatrician will work with you to get an accurate picture of your child’s situation. 
By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
July 26, 2019
Category: Children's Health

You want to do everything you can to protect your child’s health, and well-child care exams are a vital tool to keep your child healthy. Regular well-child visits can help your pediatrician diagnose small medical issues before they can become serious medical problems or illnesses. Dr. Maria Francis at Old Fort Bay Pediatrics in Nassau, Bahamas offers a wide range of children’s healthcare services including well-child care exams to help your child stay healthy—read on to learn more.

How regular appointments help your child

Well-child care exams are an important way to ensure that your child is current on immunizations. Today’s vaccines protect against diseases like polio, measles, meningitis, and others. While these diseases used to cause fatal epidemics with thousands of casualties, your children can stay protected as long as they receive their immunizations.

In addition to administering vaccines, your children's doctor will also perform hearing/vision testing and record important milestones like your child’s height, weight, behavior, social development, and learning abilities. These milestones will then be tracked at regular visits to ensure that your child is on track for excellent growth and development.

The well-child care exam is also an excellent opportunity for you to discuss any concerns or ask any questions you might have about your child’s health, growth, development, or other issues.

The American Academy of Pediatrics publishes a schedule for recommended pediatric healthcare. To view or print the schedule, please click here: https://www.aap.org/en-us/Documents/periodicity_schedule.pdf

Time for an appointment? Give us a call!

Your child’s health is vitally important, but you don’t have to take care of it alone—Dr. Maria Francis is here to help. To find out more about the importance of well-child care exams and other pediatric services, call Old Fort Bay Pediatrics in Nassau, Bahamas. Dial (242) 377-7050 today to schedule an appointment with your local children's doctor.

By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
June 28, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Child Care   Physical Exam  

Once your child is born it’s amazing just how quickly they grow and develop. It seems like you blink and suddenly they are talking and walking. During these important milestones it’s also important to have a pediatrician that you turn to regularly to make sure that these developmental milestones are being met and that your child is healthy. After all, if there are any problems you want to find out as soon as possible when early medical interventions can make all the difference.

From the moment your child is born until 2 years old, your pediatrician will most likely want to see them every six months for wellness check ups. After your child turns 2 years old you should still bring them in once a year for a routine physical exam and preventive care. Along with checking your child’s vital signs and monitoring their height and weight your pediatrician will also check hearing, eyesight, respiration, cardiac activity and reflexes.

A physical exam will check all systems of your child’s body to make sure that everything is functioning properly. If your child’s doctor does detect a problem it can be treated immediately. Along with a physical exam your child will also undergo any additional screenings and vaccinations that are necessary for maintaining optimal health.

Furthermore, your pediatrician can also recommend workout routines and appropriate physical activity for your child based on their current health and lifestyle, as well as recommendations on diet, sleeping habits and even their emotional and behavioral health. Even if a pediatrician won’t be able to fully treat all conditions they can still refer your child to a specialist who will be able to handle a specific health problem or injury.

Once a child is old enough to go to school it’s also important that parents schedule their child’s sports physical so that they can participate in physical activity and school sports. An annual sports physical can detect past injuries and other problems that could affect your child’s ability to participate in certain activities.

These physical exams are often mandatory before a child can play school sports; however, even if it isn’t mandatory you should still bring your child in once a year for a comprehensive sports physical to make sure that they are healthy enough for certain physical activity.

Make sure your child is seeing their pediatrician regularly for care, not just when they are sick but also to ward away infections and other health problems. Schedule your child’s next physical exam today.

By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
June 03, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: sports injury  

Your child's sports injury can be treated just as your injury was. Or, can it? Your pediatrician knows that a child's body is still developing, responding differently to acute and overuse injuries from organized sports, gym class, and more. As such, he or she can help your child avoid injury and in the event of sprain, strain, laceration, dislocation, or head injury, will help your youngster recover and stay healthy.

Kids sports injuries

They're very common, says the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. Annually, 3.5 million American children under the age of 14 suffer significant sports injuries. Some injuries are related to poor conditioning. Others occur because of inadequate instruction or proper protective gear such as padding, eye wear, sneakers, dance shoes, skates, and cleats.

In addition, diligent supervision on the part of parents, coaches, teachers, and other well-informed adults is critical to safe play. Well-maintained game fields and indoor surfaces avoid foot, ankle, and knee injuries.

Finally, KidsHealth reports that Pre-participation Physicals review medical histories and spot possible weaknesses in children's physiology and anatomy. Most school and organized sports teams require these check-ups either with the school physician or the family pediatrician before the sports season commences.

Treating sports injuries

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that proper assessment and prompt treatment of kids' sports injuries prevent long-term problems, including pain and proper growth of areas of the body such as the long bones. Traditionally, coaches and parents have used the RICE protocol to stabilize and injury, relieve pain, and begin the healing process. It still works exceptionally well. RICE stands for:

  • Rest
  • Ice to the affected area
  • Compression with an elastic bandage
  • Elevation of the affected limb/injured area above heart level

Then, your pediatrician and other health care providers can devise a specific treatment plan to include physical therapy, strengthening exercises, over the counter analgesics, braces, and casts as needed. As a parent, you know your child well. So be sure to fully participate in your youngster's care plan.

Be safe, be well

Each child responds differently to athletic training depending on his or her gender, size, age, physical conditioning, underlying health issue,s and natural ability. You and your pediatrician can partner together in encouraging a safe sports season for your child. That's a win-win situation.