Posts for category: Children's Health
Your child's long term health deserves the best possible protection. That's why Dr. Kenneth Kim, your child doctor in Fairfax, VA, and his professional team urge parents to keep their children's immunizations current, avoiding the many harmful symptoms and complications of a variety of communicable diseases. Learn more here about the importance of vaccines.
Just what is an immunization?
Also called vaccines, inoculations or even "shots," childhood immunizations are medications introduced into the body to confer protection against communicable diseases. One of the most famous childhood immunizations is the polio vaccine which has all but eradicated infantile paralysis in the United States and other developed countries.
Vaccines contain live or weakened bacteria or viruses, and when placed under the skin or muscle via injections, they start the body's own defense systems against specific diseases. The body responds to the vaccine by producing antibodies, proteins which combat foreign invaders.
Your child doctor in Fairfax, VA, firmly believes in the routine administration of vaccines--according to specific schedules--to give as much protection as possible against diseases such as:
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
In all, vaccines defend children against 18 diseases. Vaccines start at birth and go through age 18. Dr. Kim strictly adheres to the vaccination schedules from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control. These schedules include a "catch-up" schedule for youngsters who have not received all their shots on time for various reasons.
It's not just for your child
Childhood immunizations confer a community immunity, or herd immunity, that is very important. And, it's another reason why Dr. Kim urges you to keep current with immunizations. Widely distributed and on-time immunizations given to as many healthy kids as possible benefit us all, including those children and teens who cannot for medical reasons receive their shots.
A word about safety and practicality...
Vaccines are safe, and while your child may experience localized swelling, tenderness, redness, or even a low-grade fever after an inoculation, these concerns are miniscule compared to the serious complications illnesses may cause.
Plus, from the practical side of things, many organizations, most schools and day cares and other child-centered activities require shot records for admission. Your friends at Kenneth J. Kim Pediatrics will maintain these important records and distribute them as needed per your request.
Do you have questions?
Your child will receive his or her vaccines according to the age-appropriate schedule at his or her well-child visit from their child doctor at Kenneth J. Kim Pediatrics. We'd love to answer any questions you have so you feel assured of the safety and efficacy of these vital medications. Call us today to learn more and to schedule an appointment at our Fairfax, VA, office at (703) 246-0022.
Though notorious for frequent illnesses, there are few things more heartbreaking for a parent than a sick child. Simple at-home care with over-the-counter medications and plenty of rest is often enough to help your child feel better. However, knowing when you should consult with your child’s doctor can ensure that their health remains in top condition. Find out more about diagnosing and treating your child’s sickness with Dr. Kenneth Kim in Fairfax, VA.
Common Childhood Illnesses
- Influenza: Though your child is probably vaccinated against it, they can still get the flu. The flu causes fever, body aches, chills, headache, sore throat, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
- Pinkeye: This highly contagious condition spreads quickly and comes from a bacterial infection, but can also be viral. Your doctor will probably prescribe eyedrops to help combat the symptoms of pinkeye.
- Common Cold: The common cold causes fever, congestion, coughing, and a sore throat. This can often be treated at home using over-the-counter medications, plenty of fluids, and lots of rest.
- Gastroenteritis: This stomach issue, often referred to as a “stomach bug”, causes diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pains. Though it normally clears up on its own, you may need the help of your child's doctor when it lasts longer than a few days.
- Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease: Often called HFM, this condition is very contagious and spreads quickly through daycares. HFM causes itchy, red, oozing sores to appear in the areas of the hands, feet, and mouth.
- Strep Throat: Though babies and toddlers are not as susceptible to this condition, children often come down with cases of strep throat when they are a bit older. Strep throat causes throat pain and swelling which can become quite severe. White patches may appear on the tonsils. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to help treat this condition.
Diagnosing and Treating Childhood Illnesses in Fairfax, VA
If you think your child could have a bacterial infection like pinkeye or strep throat, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible as these conditions are treated with prescription antibiotics. In many cases, you can treat your child’s illness at home with rest, fluids, over-the-counter medications to manage discomfort and fever, and plenty of TLC. If your child has a high fever, becomes dehydrated, has difficulty breathing, stops eating, or has a preexisting condition, you should contact your child's doctor for testing, diagnosis, and treatment options.
For more information on diagnosing and treating childhood illnesses, please contact Dr. Kenneth Kim in Fairfax, VA. Call (703) 246-0022 to schedule your child’s appointment with Dr. Kim today!
It goes without saying that keeping your children healthy is high on your parenting priority list. One of the best ways to stay proactive about your children's health is by working with Dr. Kenneth Kim, your Fairfax, VA, pediatrician, to ensure that they're up to date on their immunizations against potentially dangerous diseases. Dr. Kim has outlined the standard schedule of vaccines in this post.
Infants and toddlers
Babies who visit Dr. Kim for immunizations will receive a series of vaccines and boosters designed to protect them against tetanus, pertussis (also known as whooping cough), hepatitis, polio, and pneumonia. As they grow, your children will be immunized against chickenpox and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella). Many of these vaccines are given in a series to reduce discomfort for your child and time spent in the doctor's office. Your Fairfax pediatrician follows the CDC's recommendation that parents to vaccinate their children against the flu each year once they reach six months of age; this is to avoid complications of this common cold-weather condition.
Most of the immunizations your children will receive during their elementary school years are designed to boost the effectiveness of the ones they received in infancy. This is especially important as they enter kindergarten, as most schools require an updated vaccination record before they can be registered to attend.
The teen years are full of changes, and your child's immunization schedule is no exception. Starting at age 11, Dr. Kim encourages parents to protect their kids from contracting human papillomavirus, which has shown to cause reproductive cancer later in life, with a vaccination. Teens should also have their tetanus and pertussis vaccine updated, as well as be immunized against meningitis. This is of particular concern for young adults who are going away to college or otherwise living in close quarters where an outbreak can occur.
If you need to update your children's immunization records, contact the office of Dr. Kim, your pediatrician in Fairfax, VA, today!
Your child may need a sports physical if he or she will be participating in an individual or team sport that is recreational or competitive. Sports physicals ensure your child is healthy and in good physical condition to participate in athletic activities. Sports physicals also give your child’s pediatrician an opportunity to identify potential health concerns, such as asthma, that could be problematic while participating in sports. At Kenneth J Kim Pediatrics, Dr. Kenneth Kim is your pediatrician for children’s sports physicals in Fairfax, VA.
Sports physicals include a thorough physical examination. This allows the pediatrician to verify your child is in good physical health and has not developed a health condition that would be aggravated by participation in sports. While your child is being examined, the doctor might advise you about how best to prevent incurring injuries while playing sports. In Fairfax, VA, children’s sports physicals include an examination of the following:
- Lungs and breathing
- Pulse and heartbeat
- Blood pressure
In addition to a thorough physical examination, the doctor will inquire about your child’s daily physical activity and dietary habits to make sure everything is normal. Other things the doctor might ask about include whether your child is taking any medications; has any allergies; is experiencing any unusual symptoms, such as chest pain or dizziness; or if there is a history of serious injury or illness.
A sports physical is needed to ensure your child is healthy enough to participate in sports. In many cases, a sports physical is required by the school or organization sponsoring the sport. Without a current physical, your child might not be able to play. In Fairfax, VA, children’s sports physicals are available at Kenneth J Kim Pediatrics. To schedule a physical for your child with Dr. Kim, call the office at (703) 246-0022.
Understanding the importance of your child's nutritional needs is a priority. Dr. Kenneth Jae Yoon Kim cares about children's health.
Here are a few FAQs
What should your child's dinner include?
Your child's food plate must consist of the five food groups: dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins. Half your child's grains should have whole grains, since it's good for the heart, digestion, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Your child's protein should vary, so, at least once a week, include beans and peas at dinner. Another way to think about it is to eat your colors. Offer your children dark-green, red, or orange vegetables at dinner, and make sure they drink milk. Offer low-fat milk at meals so children have strong bones.
What are some examples of healthy food?
Your Fairfax, VA, doctor wants you to make sure your child gets the necessary amount of nutrients. Here are some tips:
- Fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables. Choose frozen fruits and vegetables that do not have added fat, salt, or sugars, and buy canned fruits stored in juice or water.
- Start their day with 100% whole-grain. So serve them whole-grain versions of cereal, bread, or pancakes at breakfast because the fiber will satiate your child for a longer period of time.
- Children should get the calcium, protein, and vitamin D found in milk for strong bones, teeth, and muscles, but make sure you give them fat-free milk. If your child is lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk. Sometimes calcium-fortified soy beverages may work as well.
- Drinking plenty of water is extremely important.
How important is exercise?
Incorporating exercise and activities into your child's daily schedule will help improve their physical fitness. Childhood obesity is dangerous, but here are a few ways to ensure a healthy lifestyle:
- The family can go out for a walk after dinner.
- Play with your child: bike riding, basketball, baseball, jump rope, tag...etc.
- Exercise can be fulfill chores like raking leaves and shoveling snow.
For more information, just call your child's doctor in Fairfax, VA.