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Posts for category: Children's Health

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:

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.

By Old Fort Bay Pediatric
May 01, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Autism  

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.

By Old Fort Bay Pediatrics
April 23, 2019
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Immunizations  

Find out the many ways in which your child can benefit from getting regular immunizations in Nassau!

Immunizations are one of the smartest and most effective ways to prevent disease. While we wish that there were immunizations to Immunization Nassaucombat every disease out there, we are still fortunate that our pediatrician in Nassau, Dr. Maria Francis, offers a variety of immunizations that protect against serious and life-threatening diseases that we couldn’t always protect against in the past.


So, Why Should Children Get Immunized?

There are several benefits to getting your children vaccinated at our Nassau office, including:


Vaccines Save Lives

As we mentioned above, vaccines have made it possible to protect children from a host of serious and potentially deadly illnesses that once used to kill thousands of children. With vaccines, we have now largely eliminated the danger of these once vicious viruses!

For example, polio was a disease that would cause serious paralysis or even death in children. Thanks to vaccines, however, we no longer have to worry about polio in the US anymore!


Vaccines are Safe

The concerns over vaccine safety are something that we hear a lot from parents. While we do understand that all parents want to make sure that they are making the best decisions for their children, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to immunizations! Vaccines have been thoroughly tested and have to pass very rigorous testing and approval by the FDA before they are administered to the public.

Before the FDA can approve a vaccine there must be studies to test both the effectiveness and the safety of the vaccine. There are usually three phases of clinical trials that a vaccine must undergo.

Of course, it is common for children to experience a little tenderness, pain, or redness near the injection site, but these side effects are minimal. Serious allergic reactions are also very rare. Overall, the benefits of preventing diseases through vaccinations far outweigh the potential side effects that can occur from getting vaccinated.


Vaccines Protect Our Loved Ones, Too

Did you know that vaccinating your children also protects other members of your family? That’s right—making sure that your child is immune to certain serious diseases can prevent them from getting infected and then spreading the illness to other susceptible individuals including some senior citizens and babies who are too young to receive all of their vaccinations.


Call Us Today!

Old Fort Bay Pediatrics is proud to provide comprehensive pediatric care to children of all ages living in Old Fort Bay, Town Centre Nassau, and Paradise Island, Bahamas. Call us today at (242) 377-7050 to schedule your child’s next wellness checkup!