A sore throat is one of the most common symptoms of a childhood illness. The cause is generally viral, however, allergies and bacterial infections like Strep are also quite common. Strep symptoms usually include fever, headache, stomachache, sore throat and swollen neck lymph nodes. It is very important to treat children with a Strep infection. Untreated patients can go on to have serious complications to the heart, kidneys, joints and more. We run a rapid test and a backup culture to find 100% of these cases, as we never want to see a complication. If your child tests positive for strep, we will treat her with an antibiotic for 10 days. It is imperative that you complete the entire 10 day treatment to avoid the complications. Children with strep are highly contagious until 24 hours after the antibiotic has been taken. Do your best to avoid spreading the disease by quarantining your child for this 24 hour period.
For more information follow this link.
Summer is full of fun, sunshine... and accidents! Here are some types on how to make your summer more fun and less painful:
Pools and lakes
Kids love to swim, laugh and horse around in the water. While this is awesome for their happiness, it can turn tragic without proper supervision. Most important piece of advice – keep an eye on swimmers at all times if a lifeguard is not present! Know where the lifesaving equipment is and also learn CPR just in case. Toddlers are especially troublesome, as they will jump into a pool well before they know how to swim. Vigilance is key around water.
With the beautiful sunshine and the spring season, comes the lawn mowing duties. When mowing, be aware that the blades spin very fast and can kick out debris that can seriously hurt a child. Follow these tips: remove debris prior to mowing, use a grass catcher or deflector to prevent flying debris, wear safety glasses, avoid mowing when the grass is wet to avoid slipping and keep kids away from the mower at all times.
Bicycles, skateboards and skates
Riding or skating is very popular and we unfortunately see too many concussions and head injuries. There is one simple rule when a child is going to ride or skate. Wear your helmet or you do not get to ride. End of story! Second, do not ride or skate with headphones turned up loud or preferably not at all. Headphone music can significantly reduce your reaction time to oncoming danger in traffic.
For more information about helmets follow this link!
Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Our providers believe that immunizing our children with the vaccines that we offer in our practice is imperative in the process of eradicating deadly diseases that we now have a method of preventing. In the past few years our providers have seen an increase in families that wish to decline immunizations and we have actually instated a policy at our practice that requires our patients to receive required vaccines. We do however offer options for alternate vaccine schedules but do expect parents to comply and make sure that their children are brought in regularly for vaccines. You can check out more information about our vaccination policy here. If you would like more information about specific diseases that are vaccine preventable then follow this link. Our providers and nurses are always available to discuss any concerns that you would have about vaccines.
Vomiting & Diarrhea
Splash... every parent has experienced the sound of vomit hitting a surface which is not the toilet. When a nasty stomach bug hits your home it means lots of sanitary cloths, Lysol and constant loads of clothes going through the washing machine. There are countless viruses that cause both vomiting and diarrhea which are not curable with medication. These viruses can last 3-7 days with diarrhea lingering a little longer. Stomach pain and cramping can also accompany vomiting and diarrhea. The most important thing to remember when someone in your home is going through a stomach bug is to keep them hydrated. Start with small sips and slowly increase their intake. Our office also recommends the usage of probiotics (Culturelle) anytime stomach issues arise. If at any time your child begins with to have blood in their vomit or stool, have green vomit or stingy mucus in the stool then they should be seen by a medical provider.
Follow this link for Dr. Magryta's guide about rehydration!
Every concussion one endures is potentially a serious negative event in your brain’s growth and stability. One of the most important things you can do is rest and monitor headaches, fatigue, and neurological symptoms. You should be evaluated immediately following a head injury.
- Rest for the first few days following the head injury. Never return to sports unless cleared by a medical provider. Your long-term health depends upon prompt healing. Slowly increase school activity according to professional recommendations. Stop immediately if symptoms worsen with school activity.
- Red flag symptoms immediately post injury include the following: vomiting, worsening headache, neck pain, drowsiness, watery or bloody discharge from your nose or ears, passing out, slurred speech and numbness in an extremity. Go to the emergency room immediately if any of these symptoms develop.
- Red flag symptoms over the subsequent days include worsening headache, worsening mental fatigue, ringing in the ears, significant insomnia and severe emotional lability or irritability.
- Avoid foods that contain large volumes of omega 6 fats. These include most processed foods, corn oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil, margarines, corn fed standard meats, commercially produced French fries and most snack foods. All of these foods have been found to promote inflammation through the production of voluminous amounts of inflammatory chemicals like arachidonic acid.
- Avoid flour and sugar based foods as they clearly spike blood sugar and promote inflammation in the body in the short and long term.
- Consume large volumes of omega 3 fats. These are found principally in small oily cold water fish like salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel. Flax and chia seeds are also loaded with omega 3 fats for those that are vegetarians. Grass fed beef and bison, pasture raised chicken are ideal for consumption and are not inflammatory.
- We recommend large volumes of berries, green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower for antioxidants and brain healing chemicals.
- Drink water. Urine color should be straw/clear.
Follow this link for Dr. Magryta's article about concussions.
Swimmer’s ear is inflammation of the external ear canal and occurs when water gets in the ear during swimming or bathing and doesn’t drain properly. Children/teens/young adults will complain with itching or ear pain. To help avoid them, your youngster should place drops in the ears after swimming—either a 70 percent alcohol solution or a mixture of one-half alcohol, one-half white vinegar. Also, dry the ears with a towel immediately after swimming or bathing. For proper diagnosis see your healthcare provider to ensure your child doesn’t have an ear infection.
For more information about swimmer's ear follow this link!
Sprains are common among athletes and active children/adolescents. A sprain is an injury to a ligament or joint caused by overuse or stress. The best treatment is rest, icing, compression, and elevate (RICE), and ibuprofen. Immobilizing the injured joint is also part of treatment to prevent further stress until the affected area heals. Call your primary care provider or seek medical treatment to ensure you get a proper diagnosis and to make sure the injury is not a fracture.
For more information about sprains follow this link!
Pesky bug bites are an issue that we deal with in our area frequently. As adults, it is easier for us to understand that we should not scratch and irritate these irritated areas if we can possibly help it. Children however simply know that something itches and they are going to scratch it! There are something that we can do to prevent:
- Dress in loose fitting clothing and long sleeves
- Use bug spray like All Terrain
- Use Calendula cream, topical Benadryl or cortisone 1% cream to relieve itching
If you haven’t been successful at preventing and the bugs have won their war then you have to try to keep nails trimmed and minimize scratching! If after treating the affected area it has developed a great red coloration, swelling and discharge then you child needs to be seen. Follow this link for one of Dr. Magryta’s articles about bug bites.
As an adult, having an earache can be excruciating. Children deal with ear infections very frequently. We would like our parents to understand why ear infections happen. The ear drum creates a closed environment inside of the ear. The drainage that appears from ones nose and eyes also drains to your ears into this closed environment. This warm and moist area is a breeding ground for the growth of bacteria and infection when the fluid does not drain regularly. Children that could possibly have an ear infection will most likely complain of ear pain and sometimes jaw pain (this can sometimes only be teething though). Fever is also a frequently seen symptom as well. Our providers make sure to do thorough exams during all visits and if they are unable to visualize the ear drum they may have to remove some ear wax. The only time our providers recommend the insertion of anything smaller than an elbow in the ear is if you are in a medical office and medical provider is the one doing so!
For more information follow this link!
Dental Care and Fluoride
It is very important t o instill in our children at young ages the need for good oral hygiene. Dental care begins as soon as the first pearly white pops up. In the early stages, it is important to just clean the teeth with a cloth or brush, advancing to full brushing with toothpaste by age 1 year old. Apply a rice grain sized or very thin smear of toothpaste and brush twice daily. Oral hygiene is mostly affected by sugar exposure, therefore, avoiding refined sugar is key. We do not recommend juice for children. All sweetened beverages like sweet tea, soda, energy drinks, sports drinks have absolutely NO value and are notorious for damaging teeth and leading to obesity. Do not use bottles past 1 year of age. Breast milk and water are the best beverages until 2 years of age.
Follow this link for more information about dental health!
Did you know that the leading cause of belly pain here at our practice is constipation? That’s right most of our children are simply backed-up! Constipation can be a very painful problem and in small children that are potty training it can actually cause regression. Things to watch for if your child is complaining of belly pain are large, adult size stools, or small hard balls, bleeding during and after stooling, frequent urination and stooling Make sure to ask your child how they are feeling. Create an open relationship where they feel confident in talking with you about things like this. There are some things that you can do to prevent and overcome constipation, follow this link to read Dr. Magryta’s article about this!
Choking Prevention & Treatment
Infants and toddlers are at significant risk for choking on small objects. Their airway is small and they love to put things in their mouths setting up a recipe for disaster. Be prepared for such events by learning infant and toddler CPR by taking a local course near you at the YMCA, local hospital or online. If an event does occur, remain calm and follow your training while triggering the 911/EMS system. Follow this link for examples and recommendations from Dr. Magryta about prevention.
The following is a list of locations in Rowan County that offer CPR classes:
Novant Health Rowan Medical Center
Ticks are small brown bugs that are typically found in the woods and at times on our animals. Ticks do not cause any pain when the latch onto their host and can go unnoticed for any length of time. If you notice that your child has a tick on them then try and remove the tick at home. Always take care to try and remove the tick from the head. If this is difficult or you would feel better with a medical professional's help then do not hesitate to call our office! When planning on hiking or hunting in forrested areas be sure to check your children when you return. Start training their eyes to look for ticks as well!
For more information follow the links below:
In Case of Poisoning
Has your child gotten into something that they shouldn’t have? Please call 911 if your child is in need of immediate medical attention (convulsions or seizures, unconscious, not breathing). If you know your child ingested or came in contact with a medicine, chemical or poisonous substance call poison control at 1-800-222-1222. Then notify your primary care office after speaking with poison control. Store all medicines, laundry or cleaning products, pesticides, chemicals (of any kind), batteries, or paints in locked cabinets out of sight and reach of children. Purchase or place all medications in containers with safety caps. Safety caps are made to be child resistant but are not always fully child proof. Always ask your child’s provider or read the label on the bottle before giving any medication to ensure you are giving the correct dose.
For more information click this link.
Conjunctivitis is a common infection of the eye that is very contagious. Our school aged children or children that go to preschool are more likely to become infected. Symptoms that your child may have are pink or red eyes, discharge, pain and itching. There are different types of conjunctivitis though, some cases are caused by allergies, bacteria or a plain old virus. If you think that your child may have pink eye then please give us a call and our office would be more than happy to take care of them! In the meantime keep all hands washed!
Follow this link for more information!
Chicken pox is virus that is also known as varicella. Our children receive this vaccine at one and five years. If your child has received this vaccine then their risk of contracting this virus has been greatly reduced! Chicken pox is a virus that causes small red bumps, blisters, sores and fever. The most important thing to remember when treating your sick child is to maintain hydration! Dr. Magryta has provided us with an awesome rehydration guide that you can find here. You can also treat your child with ibuprofen. As always, our office is only a phone call away and we available for any of your needs or concerns.
Follow this link for more information!
Blocked Tear Duct
Infants present with worried parents frequently at our practice with eye discharge. Most of the time this is a common issue that just takes some patience and lots of care. Infant tear ducts are approximately the size of a needle… take a moment and imagine how easy it must be to clog such a tiny hole. Something as harmless as dust can clog their tear duct and cause symptoms that are similar to pink eye. The first thing that you will notice is that your baby will seem to have constant watery eyes that may begin to crust. This is most likely worse when they wake up from nap or bed. Things that you can do to help your baby:
Using a clean and wet wash cloth massage the eye from the nose to the outer edge
Do not stress! If you start to notice that the eye is becoming pink or red then it may be time to give our triage nurses a call or come by the office to get your little one checked out.
Follow this link for more information!
Acne is a right of passage for most teenagers as they progress through puberty. The hormonal shifts that occur trigger an increase in the oil that gets trapped in the oil producing glands of the skin. Bacteria grow here and trigger inflammation leading to red swollen lesions that we see on the skin. Our providers recommend that acne sufferers avoid scratching, excessively touching or irritating these acne lesions as this will worsen the situation. Gentle face cleansers are ok to use like Neutrogena or Dove, however, do not vigorously scrub your face. Benzoyl peroxide topical treatments are beneficial as well. Some people are very sensitive to dairy products, especially if they have cystic acne lesion. A 30 day trial off of all dairy products can be very beneficial. If you do not receive significant benefit at this point, Schedule and acne visit and we will take the treatments a step further.
Follow this link for more information!
Daily short 15 minute bursts of sun exposure is very necessary for the human skin to develop Vitamin D. Being out in the sun is invigorating and we all love it. The downside of the sun is excessive exposure will cause a traumatic burn. To avoid sunburns, wear protective clothing or appropriate sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. If you do burn your skin, make sure to hydrate with water and apply aloe gel to burned areas for healing. If there are any blisters or you feel confused or feverish, go immediately to seek medical care. Remember that small doses of sun exposure are in our best interest. Doses that lead to a burn are never good.
Follow this link for more information!