What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Bacteria are microscopic organisms, some of which may cause illness. Before bacteria can multiply and cause symptoms, the body’s immune system can usually destroy them. We have special white blood cells that attack harmful bacteria. Even if symptoms do occur, our immune system can usually cope and fight off the infection. There are occasions, however, when it is all too much and some help is needed. There is concern worldwide that antibiotics are being overused. Antibiotic overuse is one of the factors that contribute towards the growing number of bacterial infections, which are becoming resistant to antibacterial medications.
How do you know if my child needs antibiotics?
The only way for us to determine if the illness your child is experiencing is caused by a bacterial infection is for us to examine your child. As pediatricians, we wish that every time your child was sick we could prescribe them something to make it go away fast, but the truth is most infections that cause children to become sick are caused by viruses. Prescribing antibiotics for infections that are not bacterial in nature will not help your child get better, and in fact, sometimes it could make them feel worse and could lead to resistant strains of common bacteria.
What you need to know:
It is important for children to receive all of the childhood vaccines as laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC.Below is the schedule that we have chosen to use to vaccinate the children in our practice. We use combination vaccines when applicable.
Yearly visits after age 5 to discuss growth and development. Children ages 11-12 may receive a Tdap booster and Menactra (meningitis vaccine) and Gardasil (cervical cancer vaccine) at the family’s discretion.
Each time you visit our office you can expect questions about safety. Sometimes those questions will be about childproofing your home, other times we might ask about pets, or water safety. We are hoping to make you aware of some dangers that can exist inside and outside the home so that you can take every precaution to keep your children safe.
If you choose to keep firearms in your home, it is important that they are locked up so that children cannot get to them easily. It is also recommended that they be stored separately from their ammunition so that if a child does get a hold of a firearm they are less likely to harm themselves or someone else.
It is important for children to have adult supervision while swimming or even playing near a swimming pool. Swimming pools in your backyard should have a fence with a gate that can be locked to prevent your children or someone else’s children from gaining access to the water unsupervised. Even if your child can swim, it is important that an adult supervises them.
It is important that children wear a helmet every time they ride their bike or scooter. Head injuries are serious and avoidable by simply making sure they wear a helmet every time.
It is Georgia LAW that all children be secured in a car seat or booster seat EVERY time they are in the car. For the most up to date information about height, weight and age requirements and recommendations please visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website.
Every living creature needs to sleep. It is the primary activity of the brain during early development. The sleep-wake cycle is regulated by light and dark and these rhythms take time to develop, resulting in the irregular sleep schedules of newborns. The rhythms begin to develop at about six weeks, and by three to six months, most infants have a regular sleep-wake cycle.
Newborns age 0-2 months:
At first, your new baby is on a 24-hour feeding and sleep-wake cycle. Newborns may sleep between 10 and 18 hours a day. They stay awake only 1 to 3 hours at a time.
Signs that your baby is becoming sleepy include:
Sleep tips for newborns
Try putting your baby to bed sleepy, but not yet asleep.
To encourage your newborn to sleep more at night rather than during the day:
As evening or bedtime approaches, dim the lights, keep things quiet and reduce the amount of activity around your baby.
Sleeping with a baby younger than 12 months may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Infants age 3-12 months:
By age 4 months, your child might sleep for up to 6 to 8 hours at a time. Between ages 6 and 9 months, most children will sleep for 10 to 12 hours. During the first year of life, it is common for babies to take 1 to 4 naps a day, each lasting 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Sleep tips for infants
When putting an infant to bed, make the bedtime routine consistent and pleasant.
When you lay your baby in bed, they may cry due to a fear of being away from you. This is called separation anxiety. Simply go in, speak in a calm voice, and rub the baby’s back or head. DO NOT take the baby out of the bed. Once your baby has calmed down, leave the room. Your child will soon learn that you are simply in another room.
If your baby awakens in the night for feeding, DO NOT turn on the lights.
By age 9 months, if not sooner, most infants are able to sleep for at least 8 to 10 hours without needing a nighttime feeding. Infants will still wake up during the night. However, over time, your infant will learn to self-soothe and fall back asleep.
Sleeping with a baby younger than 12 months of age may increase the risk of SIDS.
Toddlers age 1-3 years:
A toddler will most often sleep for 12 to 14 hours a day. By around 18 months, children only need one nap each day. The nap should not be close to bedtime.
Sleep tips for toddlers
Make the bedtime routine pleasant and predictable.
Preschoolers 3-5 years:
Preschoolers typically sleep 11-13 hours each night and most do not nap after five years of age. As with toddlers, difficulty falling asleep and waking up during the night are common. With further development of imagination, preschoolers commonly experience nighttime fears and nightmares. In addition, sleepwalking and sleep terrors peak during preschool years.
Sleep tips for preschoolers
School-aged children 5 years and older:
Children aged five to 12 need 10-11 hours of sleep. School-aged children become more interested in TV, computers, and the Internet all of which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, nightmares and disruptions to their sleep. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to mood swings, behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and cognitive problems that impact on their ability to learn in school.
Sleep tips for school-aged children
As with anything, if you have additional questions that are not covered here you are welcome and encouraged to contact our office for help with specific questions or problems. We are for you and your child.
Parents are always curious about how the infants, toddlers and even school-aged children are growing and developing with relation to their peers. Please use the resources below to find valuable information regarding normal growth and development. Please be aware that all children grow and develop at different rates and that just because one child does something at a certain age doesn’t mean that not doing that by a certain age is inappropriate. If you have any concerns about how your child is growing and developing or meeting milestones please feel free to contact the office to discuss your specific concerns.