Common Pediatric Conditions

The Common Cold

What is the Common Cold?
The common cold (also known as nasopharyngitis, rhinopharyngitis, or a cold) is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract which affects primarily the nose. Symptoms include coughing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, and sometimes a fever which usually resolve in seven to ten days, with some symptoms lasting up to three weeks. No cure for the common cold exists, but the symptoms can be treated. Over-the-counter cold remedies are not recommended for use in children under 6 years old. Children under 6 years old can use saline drops in the nose and acetaminophen or ibuprofen (not for use in children less than 6 months old) for pain or fever. Sleeping slightly elevated can also help ease breathing.

How do you get it?
The common cold is caused by a virus. There are over 200 different viruses that are blamed with causing the cold. Since the common cold is caused by a virus, antibiotics will NOT get rid of it. Most colds resolve on their own in 7-10 days. Colds are spread most easily through the hands, primarily through touching the nose or eyes after hands have been exposed to a cold virus. The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your child is to wash your hands frequently, especially in the winter months when colds are most prevalent.

When to call us
Colds can sometimes turn into a bacterial infection. If your child is experiencing the symptoms below, please call us for an appointment.

  • Cold symptoms lasting more than ten days without improvement
  • A fever for three or four days in a row of 100.4 degrees or more
  • Headache around the eyes.


What is constipation?

Constipation is one of the most frequent reasons children are brought to a pediatric office. It is a common cause of abdominal pain in children, while other times it presents with urinary symptoms. Sometimes this issue builds gradually over months and may take many weeks or months to completely resolve, while for others it has a more acute onset. The medical definition of constipation describes a stool that is hard, dry, large, or difficult to pass. Those stools may cause a child to strain, experience pain or even have small amounts of blood in the toilet from a fissure, or a small tear in the anus.Constipation in children usually occurs at three distinct points in time:

  • After starting formula or processed foods (while an infant)
  • During toilet training in toddlerhood
  • Soon after starting school (as in a kindergarten)

After birth, most infants pass 4-5 soft liquid bowel movements (BM) a day. Breastfed infants usually tend to have more BM compared to formula-fed infants. Some breastfed infants have a BM after each feed, whereas others have only one BM every 2–3 days. By the age of two years, a child will usually have 1–2 bowel movements per day and by four years of age; a child will have one bowel movement per day.

How is constipation treated?
The treatment of constipation is dependent on the child’s age. For babies, you should speak with our office before initiating treatment. Sometimes we will use small amounts of juice, water, or glycerin suppositories. In older children and teens, we usually first recommend increasing water intake and high fiber foods. Some foods that may be helpful include beans, broccoli, apples, pears, and whole grain breads and cereals.

After trying dietary changes, if your child is still experiencing issues with their stool, we may recommend an over-the-counter stool softener. Please call our office for advice and questions about the use of over-the-counter medications.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is usually diagnosed during childhood and often persists into adulthood. It is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children, and can cause significant problems with home, school, and social interaction. In the United States, 8-10% of children under age 18 will be diagnosed with ADHD at some time in their lives, typically during their grade school years.ADHD is classified into 3 different types:

  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type. Behavior marked by hyperactivity and impulsivity, but not inattentiveness.
  • Predominantly Inattentive Type. Behavior marked by inattentiveness, but not hyperactivity and impulsivity.
  • Combination Type. A combination of hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattentive symptoms. This is the most common type of ADHD.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Symptoms of ADHD typically become apparent at a young age. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ADHD symptoms can first emerge in children as young as age 4. A diagnosis of ADHD in children requires 6 or more symptoms that have persisted for at least 6 months.

Symptoms of inattention in children include:

  • Often fails to give close attention to detail or makes careless mistakes
  • Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play
  • Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Often does not follow through and fails to finish tasks
  • Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Often avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort
  • Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities
  • Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities

Symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity in children include:

  • Often fidgets, squirms, or taps when sitting
  • Often has difficulty remaining seated when required to do so
  • Often runs about or climbs in inappropriate situations
  • Has difficulty playing quietly
  • Is often “on the go” and is unable to sit still for extended periods
  • Often talks excessively
  • Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been completed
  • Has difficulty waiting for his or her turn
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others

In young preschool children, hyperactivity may be the initial sign of ADHD. As the child enters grade school, attention problems become more noticeable. During adolescence, hyperactivity usually diminishes, but issues with impulse control and inattention persist. Adolescents with ADHD often have problems with restlessness, and difficulty making and carrying out plans. Although some children (especially younger ones) without ADHD may exhibit similar behaviors at times, children with ADHD present with these symptoms for a longer period of time and in various settings.

How is ADHD treated?
There are quite a few different treatment options for children with ADHD. The best course of treatment is one that works for your child and your family. If you think that your child might have ADHD the best thing to do is call our office and set up a consultation with one of our physicians. At that time we can discuss your child’s individual symptoms and decide what the best choice would be. You can bring your child to this appointment or you can come alone for the initial discussion. Testing for ADHD can be done in our office for children over the age of 6 years. After starting treatment it will be necessary for the physician to recheck your child in about 3 months.

Please also note that some medications used to treat ADHD cannot be called into the pharmacy or e-prescribed for refills. It will be very important to call our office about 3-5 days prior to needing a refill to ensure we can get it to you.

Although it can be challenging to raise kids with ADHD, it’s important to remember they aren’t “bad,” “acting out,” or being difficult on purpose. And they may have difficulty controlling their behavior without the help of medication, behavioral therapy or other treatment options.

Ready for an appointment?
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