Dr. Colin Knight

Preparing Your Children for a COVID Variant

The COVID-19 pandemic can be a daily frustration as new variants emerge and protocols change. The fast rollout of vaccines reduced cases over the winter and spring months.

A recent Siena College poll revealed that many New Yorkers had resumed gatherings, but the vaccines remain unavailable for children under 12. So, parents continue to have the burden of protecting their kids against COVID-19.

Dr. Philip Zachariah and Dr. Denis Nash talked about how the delta variant requires the parents to weigh the risks of their children’s social activities.

THE DELTA VARIANT

Even though the severity level is much higher in adults than children, the delta variant proves to be dangerous because it spreads faster. When the infection rate increases, the cases and hospitalization of children also rises. During the second wave in Britain, every 300 in 10,000 children between the ages of 10 and 19 contracted the COVID virus. 

A recent study by the CDC revealed three times more adolescents hospitalized this winter from COVID. Dr. Dave Chokshi, New York’s Health Commissioner, stated on July 8th that parents should seriously consider having their adolescents vaccinated.

TIPS FOR PREPARING CHILDREN FOR A SAFE SUMMER

Dr. Zachariah suggested that parents remember that their children may be around unvaccinated adults during summer camps and family reunions.

Also, he stated that parents should confirm whether other people will follow mask rules during their summer activities and when using public transportation. It is vital, especially in places with low vaccination rates and higher transmission rates, as teenagers tend to mix with their peers.

SHOULD VACCINATED PARENTS GET TESTED?

The Delta variant causes high breakthrough infections in vaccinated people, so parents should get vaccinations to avoid infecting their children. According to information for the Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer vaccines, Delta also weakens antibody defenses.

In addition, there are reports of extra sneezes, COVID-filled breaths, and coughs, suggesting that more people have the virus than previously. Parents should also avoid indoor areas with many unvaccinated folks.

Dr. Zachariah said that the chances of infections might be low for vaccinated people, but instead of risking, parents should stick to places with vaccinated people only.

Dr. Colin Knight

The Best Foods For Growing Children

For proper growth, learning, and development, children need the right foods for fuel. Their food needs the right nutrients and little sugars, with an appropriate amount of calories and fats. Serving nutrient-rich meals and snacks helps provide children with the essentials for a strong and healthy life. Here are some suggestions to help make choosing these healthy foods easier.

Whole-Grain Foods

Whole grains that have carbohydrates, B-vitamins, and fiber provide a lot of fuel for children’s bodies which are growing and active. With so many grain products available, it’s hard to know which ones pack the best nutritional value. Check labels to make sure the grains are listed as the first ingredients. When choosing breakfast cereals, check the sugar content and choose whole-grain cereals that are lower in sugar. To add variety to dinners, try whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables pack many important nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Whether they are fresh or frozen, adding fruits and vegetables to each meal throughout the day is good for a child’s health. Berries can be added to cereal or smoothies, crunchy carrots and apples are excellent additions to lunch and snacks, and colorful vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and corn are important sides to have at dinner.

Low-Fat Dairy Foods 

Dairy foods contain nutrients like calcium, protein, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Most children in America are not getting enough potassium or calcium, and these nutrients are important for them. There are many options for getting in three servings of low-fat dairy products each day. A glass of milk, fat-free or low-fat yogurt, and string cheese are quick and easy ways to consume dairy. You can also find these nutrients in non-dairy sources like tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt. Children under the age of 2 should drink full-fat milk, not whole.

Meat, Poultry, Eggs, Fish, Beans, and Nuts 

For the right amount of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B, lean meats, eggs, legumes, and nuts should be included in a child’s diet. These nutrients help with growing and active muscles and brains. Consuming enough protein also helps children feel satisfied or full after eating. Most people serve meat with lunch and dinner, but at breakfast, it’s easy to overlook. Serving eggs, bean burritos, peanut butter, and hummus with breakfast and for snacks is a great way to bulk up a child’s protein consumption.

Dr. Colin Knight

What to Know About Pediatric Physical Therapy

In recent years, pediatric physical therapy has become a much more common practice. However, not everyone may understand what this entails. Pediatric physical therapy is a distinctive area of rehabilitation that focuses on improving function in children and babies. Physical therapy is mainly administered by a certified physical therapist who specializes in pediatrics.

PEDIATRIC PHYSICAL THERAPY RELATED CONDITIONS

There are many reasons why a child may need physical therapy services. Most of these services are likely to be orthopedic in nature. Perhaps they have weak muscles or tight tendons. Some conditions may be neurological or even developmental, thus calling for closer attention.

These conditions might include spina bifida, autism, developmental delay, or down syndrome, among others. It’s good to understand that pediatric physical therapy can easily manage any condition that may cause your child to have issues with movement.

SERVICE PROVIDERS

Pediatric physical therapists should be licensed by the licensing board of their given region. For better assistance, you should consider taking your child to a pediatric physical therapy specialist. Pediatric physical therapists are individuals who specialize in physical therapy for children.

The therapists are taken through a detailed examination by the certification board members to verify their ability. This ensures that the therapists can offer exceptional services to children and sort out any available issues.

WHERE TO GET PEDIATRIC THERAPISTS

Note that the services offered by therapists should be naturally available in the environment where children spend most of their time. This is mostly at home, daycare centers, schools, and outpatient clinic facilities. If you have a child at school and qualify for the services, then the services should be offered at school.

If you have a child at home and require those services, then the therapist should be responsible and take over.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY

When a physician recommends physical therapy to your child, you should ensure you get in contact with a therapist. This is only recommended when your child is found to have functional problems that may require therapy for their well-being. Sometimes, your child might be diagnosed with a condition limiting them from accessing various programs or services, thus calling for pediatric physical therapy.

Dr. Colin Knight

Children’s Viruses That Are Returning After the Pandemic

After the lockdowns issued in most countries, common viruses affecting children that had disappeared throughout the pandemic have started to reappear. Hospitals that were usually quiet most times of the year have started getting regular children’s visits concerning respiratory infections. Doctors have been reporting a rise in non-COVID diseases in children.

Though public health measures like staying home, masking, and physical social distancing were to curb the spread of coronavirus, it also prevented other respiratory diseases such as human parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and colds. But, specialists say it is because children were not exposed to those viruses for many years. Hence they haven’t increased the normal antibodies they should have for immunity.

Since things are getting normal and children are now seeing each other, those infections can now be seen coming up. They can recover independently from most of the illnesses, but the rise in RSV is alarming. Though it is a common virus, it can cause severe breathing problems in toddlers and infants; hence hospital may be required.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US issued a health recommendation to health care providers notifying them about the rise of RSV in many parts of the country. They were asked to test for RSV in children having acute respiratory symptoms if COVID-19 was eliminated. According to them, RSV is the top common cause of pneumonia and bronchiolitis in children below one year.

A rise in influenza has not  been noticed yet. Nevertheless, after a year with no flu season, mainly because of COVID-19 precautions, the return of influenza is expected. Fortunately, there is an effective and safe vaccine for when the flu returns. Therefore, immunologists suggest that this year is the perfect time to get a flu vaccination.

Though more respiratory infections are seen in children, experts say that should not alarm parents since it is not a big deal for most children. Instead, they can use some of the COVID-19 precautions they learned during the pandemic to curb the spread of childhood viruses.

Precautions like hand washing reduce respiratory virus infection risks. Specialists have proven that washing hands reduces infection risks by 25%. Keeping children at home when sick should also be adopted.

Dr. Colin Knight

TODDLER MILESTONES PARENTS SHOULD KNOW

Developmental milestones are physical or behavioral markers in children that signal how they are developing compared to their peers. The ability to recognize familiar faces, reach for toys, and smile are all examples of milestones that occur during infancy. Each age range has its own set of appropriate milestones. Here are the developmental milestones that parents of toddlers should know.

Toddler Milestones Parents Should Know

By age 1

By this time, toddlers should be able to stand on their own, take a few steps, understand a few words, and perhaps say a few words, as well. One-year-olds are also able to point to things and hand objects to others. Parents should notify their pediatrician if their toddler isn’t able to mimic others, is unable to learn new words, or shows regression in any of their milestones.

By age 2

Toddlers at this age are not only walking with confidence, but running, jumping, climbing, and talking, as well. They should be able to name body parts, understand simple commands, scribble with crayons, and group objects by color or shape. Cognitively, two-year-olds are far more curious and independent than they were in previous stages. Some red flags to watch out for are the failure to follow simple commands, unsteady or unconfident walking, and the inability to use common household objects.

By age 3

At three, children are able to communicate with full sentences, ask questions, speak in the past tense, and count a few numbers. They should also be able to feed themselves, pull on clothes, play with other children, and draw a line. Imaginative play develops around this age along with fears, such as fear of the dark or monsters under the bed.

When to be Concerned

Every child develops at his or her own pace, so developmental milestones only serve as a general guideline. Some toddlers may reach some milestones late, some milestones early, or skip some entirely. But milestones are still important in case anything goes wrong in the child’s development.

Sometimes, failure to complete milestones can be a sign of a developmental disability, such as a hearing impairment. In these cases, tracking milestones can signal to the parent that something might be wrong, allowing them to intervene early.

This article was originally published on DrColinKnight.net