Posts for category: Children's Healthcare

By Walpole Pediatric Associates
December 04, 2017
Tags: Bottle   Sippy Cup   Weaning  
Making the switch from bottle to sippy cup may seem like a lost cause, but with tips from your pediatrician, you can easily transition your child. If you are ready to wean your baby to a cup, here are
some tips to make the transition easier:

Start Early. Try to introduce a sippy cup at 6 months to get your child acquainted with it before it is necessary for them to give up the bottle. Children than are older than a year often have a much more difficult time with this transition because the bottle becomes a source of comfort and security. 

Introduce a sippy cup in a fun way. Show your child how to drink from the cup and encourage them to imitate you. Start by filling the cup with a little water and celebrate each successive approximation toward the end goal of drinking from the cup.  
 
Try different cups. Sippy cups come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. The spouts can also vary in texture and size, and some children will respond better to one type of cup over another. Choose a sippy cup with your child’s favorite character or animal on it to grab your child’s attention. 
 
Eliminate bottle feedings gradually. Reduce bottle feedings systematically. Each week, remove one bottle feeding and offer a sippy cup instead. Your pediatrician encourages you to start by eliminating the midday bottle first, then the morning bottle and finally the evening bottle. 
 
Remember, out of sight, out of mind. Your pediatrician encourages you to remove all bottles from your child’s view during the weaning process. Only take the bottle out when necessary. If your child requests a bottle anyway and you have already determined that a bottle should not be given at that time, offer the sippy cup and food instead. 
 
With help from your pediatrician, you can easily wean your child off of bottles.  
By Walpole Pediatric Associates
November 03, 2017
Tags: Baby Care   Infants   Thumb Sucking  

Thumb SuckingMost young children use a pacifier or suck on their thumb or fingers. Sucking is a natural instinct for an infant and often sticks around as a comforting habit into the toddler years. However, this can be troublesome if your child persists sucking a thumb or pacifier past the age of four or when the permanent teeth begin erupting. The risk of these habits can lead to include overcrowded and crooked teeth, problems with the development of roof and mouth development and bite problems. Sometimes the front teeth may even tilt toward the lip or not come in properly.

Pacifiers and thumb sucking usually stop on their own when your child begins pre-school or kindergarten due to the peer pressure associated with begins around other children their age.  However, if your child is having trouble giving up thumb sucking or a pacifier, your pediatrician can offer you some helpful suggestions.

How to Stop Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Dependence

As a first step in dealing with your child’s sucking habits, ignore them. Most often, your child will stop on his or her own. Instead of forcing a change, your pediatrician offers these helpful tips:

  • Praise your child when he or she isn’t sucking their thumb or pacifier. Be positive and do not punish him or her.
  • Reward your child if he or she does not resort to thumb sucking or a pacifier during stressful situations or falls asleep without sucking.
  • Try trading the pacifier for another special toy.
  • Don’t make it into a power struggle or a dramatic experience trying to wean your child off the pacifier. Be patient and always remain positive.
  • Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety that may be causing your child to be dependent on sucking their thumb or a pacifier.
  • Bandage the thumb or place a sock over the hand at night to remind your child of the habit.
  • If serious enough, your dentist may also suggest a mouth appliance to block the ability to suck.
  • In infancy, avoid ever dipping your child’s pacifier in honey, sugar or syrup.

For more advice or counseling about your child’s thumb sucking or pacifier habits, please visit your pediatrician. With their help, you can successfully wean your child off of their thumb sucking and pacifier habit. 

By Walpole Pediatric Associates
April 03, 2017
Tags: Appendicitis  

Truth is, anyone with an appendix can get appendicitis—even our children. Appendicitis is a painful inflammation of the hollow, finger-shaped organ attached to the end of the large intestine. If left untreated, an inflamed appendix can rupture, leading to a lengthy hospital stay for complications including abdominal infection and bowel obstruction.  

When your child complains of stomach pain, consult your pediatrician for proper diagnosis and to ensure the health of your child. Since appendicitis is potentially life-threatening, it is important to understand the symptoms so that you can spot appendicitis in your child. In order of appearance, the symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

Unfortunately, symptoms of appendicitis might also be hidden by a viral or bacterial infection that preceded it. Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fever may appear before the typical pain of appendicitis, which makes the diagnosis much more difficult.

Your child’s discomfort might also disappear, which will persuade you that they are better. However, this disappearance of pain could also meant that the appendix has just broken open or ruptured. The pain might leave for several hours, but this is the moment when the appendicitis becomes dangerous, making it more important than ever to visit your pediatrician for immediate care for your child.

Treatment

When your pediatrician diagnoses your child with appendicitis, surgery is usually needed as soon as possible. Surgically removing the appendix is usually the treatment of choice, as it is important to eliminate the inflamed appendix before it bursts.  

While most children with abdominal pain do not have appendicitis, you can never be too safe when it comes to the health of your child. Visit your pediatrician for further diagnosis of this serious problem and to take the next steps toward a healthy child.



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Walpole Pediatric Associates

(508) 668-2200
1350 Main Street Walpole, MA 02081