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By AAA Pediatrics
June 15, 2017
Category: Pediatric Injury
Tags: Burns  

Burn HazardFrom washing up under too hot of water to an accidental tipping of a coffee cup, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns are some of the most common childhood accidents that occur. Babies and young children are especially susceptible to burns because they are curious, small and have sensitive skin that requires extra protection. Your child’s pediatrician is available to provide you with tips on proper treatment, and ways to prevent burns.

Understanding Burns

Burns are often categorized as first, second or third degree, depending on how badly the skin is damaged. Both the type of burn and its cause will determine how the burn is treated, but all burns should be treated quickly to reduce the temperature of the burned area and reduce damage to the skin and underlying tissue. 

First-degree burns are the mildest of the three, and are limited to the top layer of skin. Healing time is typically about 3 to 6 days, with the superficial layer of skin over the burn potentially peeling off within the next day or two. Second-degree burns are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer. These burns can produce blisters, severe pain and redness.

Finally, third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn, which involves all layers of the skin and underlying tissue. Healing time will vary depending on severity, but can often be treated with skin grafts, in which healthy skin is taken from another part of the body and surgically placed over the burn wound to help the area heal.

Prevention

You can’t keep kids free from injuries all the time, but these simple precautions can reduce the chances of burns in your home:

  • Reduce water temperature.
  • Avoid hot spills.
  • Establish ‘no’ zones.
  • Unplug irons.
  • Test food temperature.
  • Choose a cool-water humidifier or vaporizer.
  • Address outlets and electrical cords.

Contact your pediatrician for more information on how to properly care for burns and how you can further protect your children from potential burn hazards.

By AAA Pediatrics
June 02, 2017
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Vision  
Child Vision ImpairmentsAs a parent, you may rely on the results of a school vision screening or the fact that your child doesn’t report any symptoms as an indication he or she does not have a vision problem. However, these are not necessarily reliable ways of determining if a vision problem does exist. Children often will not be aware they are not seeing well. They may think the way they see things is the same way everyone else does, since they do not have anything else to compare it to but their own experiences.
 
In the first few months of life, infants can only see clearly objects that are 8 to 10 inches from their face. It isn’t until 12 to 16 weeks that their eyesight begins to improve, and they start seeing things more clearly from further away. Over the next year, children will develop depth perception, eye-body coordination, eye-hand coordination and the ability to judge distances. It is rare for children to have vision problems at this age.

Detecting Eye and Vision Problems in Children

Most of the time, vision problems are not obvious, and the best way to catch issues early is through vision screenings offered by your pediatrician. Sometimes, though, there are symptoms of eye problems such as infection, cataracts or other issues. Warning signs may include:
  • Eye rubbing
  • Tearing
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pus
  • Crust
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Bulging or jiggly eyes
  • Droopy eyelids
  • White, yellow, or gray-white material in the pupil
If your child has any of these symptoms, or their eyes change in any way, or you are worried about their vision, don’t wait until they are 3-years old to get their first vision test. If you are concerned, it is always better to be on the safe side by visiting your pediatrician to have them checked.
By AAA Pediatrics
May 23, 2017
Category: Children's Health

Do you have a child with ADHD? Find out what treatment options are available.

When your child is diagnosed with ADHD, it can often feel rather confusing. You may be wondering the best way to treat their symptoms so that days at school are easier or that even problems at home go more smoothly. Our Woodbridge, VA, pediatricians, Dr. Oscar Sugastti and Dr. Griselda Meza, understand, which is why we want to breakdown the treatment options that are available for your child.

Medications and ADHD

ADHD medication is often recommended, but it’s not the only way to manage your child’s symptoms. While these medications will not cure this condition, stimulants such as Adderall can actually help your child stay focused at school or help improve their behavioral issues. Of course, medications should not be considered a cure-all for your child’s symptoms. There are other great tools at your disposal that don’t require medication but can help your child better cope with their ADHD.

Lifestyle, Habits and At-Home Care

There are so many ways to help ease your child’s ADHD symptoms:

Get Out and Play

Exercise is one of the best ways to help your child with ADHD. Whenever your child exercises it will release certain neurotransmitters (e.g. dopamine) in the brain that can help increase attentiveness. Find an activity that they love, whether it’s horseback riding, soccer or martial arts, and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Gotta Get Your ZZZs

As our Woodbridge children’s doctors will tell you, sleep is so important for every child, but particularly for children with ADHD. Some children find it difficult to wind down and fall asleep, making nighttime a particularly challenging time for some parents. If this is the case, it’s time to adopt some simple habits and changes to make sleeping a bit easier:

  • Make sure your child goes to bed at the same time every night (stick by this rule)
  • Make sure to turn off the television and power down electronics about one hour before bed (using electronics at night can contribute to feeling wired before bedtime)
  • Keep exercising to the morning and afternoon and limit it in the evening
  • Opt for a sound-cancelling machine, which might help soothe your child while they sleep

A Healthy Diet is Everything

A balanced, healthy diet is also critical for all children, but what your child eats and how often is so important if they have ADHD. Make sure to schedule regular meal times and stick with it to reduce a child’s chances of irritability due to low blood sugar. Opt for meals with complex carbs and protein, which can help keep children more alert. If you have questions about what your child should be eating, we would be happy to discuss this with you!

If you have questions about ADHD treatments and which one is right for your child, call AAA Pediatrics in Woodbridge, VA, today to schedule a consultation. We are here to make sure that your child gets the care they deserve.

Childhood ObesityMore and more, childhood obesity is becoming prevalent in the U.S. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over the past two decades it has doubled in children and tripled among teens.

Obesity during childhood is a serious matter that can lead to medical problems, including diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. Additionally, being overweight can also take an emotional toll on kids, leading to depression and low self-esteem brought on by various psychological stresses.

As a parent, you should play an important role in encouraging your child to make important changes to help them lose weight and overcome obesity. Ask your pediatrician for support in guiding your child toward an overall healthier lifestyle.

Incremental Lifestyle Changes Starting at Home

Kids who are overweight or obese need guidance from their parents to make healthier lifestyle choices. These changes start at home and include eating better and exercising. Involve the entire family in your child’s efforts to lose weight, supporting him by setting good examples and modeling healthy eating behaviors that you want him to adopt both now and into adulthood.

  • Be a good role model, leading the way to a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and staying active.
  • Remove unhealthy temptations from the home and gradually introduce healthier foods into your child’s diet over a period of time.
  • Prepare meals that are rich in vegetables, fruits and whole-grains, and limit consumption of foods high in sugar and saturated fats.
  • Allow your child to participate in preparing the family meals to learn the benefits of cooking at home.
  • Limit the amount of time your child can spend watching television playing video games or using the computer.
  • Incorporate exercise into your child’s daily routine, which can include a wide range of activities such as walking the dog, raking leaves, swimming, playing tag or washing the car.

Talk to Your Pediatrician

Your child’s pediatrician can also play an important role in monitoring your child’s weight gain starting from age one, helping to make sure it remains within normal guidelines as he grows. If the pediatrician suspects a weight problem, they can discuss it with you and your child, and then help you prioritize the changes that need to be made to manage the child’s weight. YOur pediatrician can work with you to help you set health goals and make the necessary lifestyle changes such as improving diet and becoming more physically active starting at home.

By AAA Pediatrics
April 25, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Sore Throats  

Child with Sore ThroatIn infants, toddlers and preschoolers, the most frequent cause of sore throats is a viral infection. No specific medicine is required when a virus is responsible, and the child should get better over a seven to ten day period. During this period, your child may develop a fever, but they generally are not very sick. 

It is not uncommon to experience a sore throat when your child has a cold or the flu. Unfortunately, there are other reasons for sore throats to develop that may be symptomatic of more serious problems.  Children tend to have sore throats more often than adolescents or adults, with sore throats being the most common during the winter months when upper respiratory infections are more frequent. 

The major cause of a sore throat is an infection, whether it is viral or bacterial, and can also be caused by allergies and environmental conditions. If your child has a sore throat that lasts longer than the typical five to seven day duration of a cold or flu, and is not associated with an avoidable allergy or irritation, it is important to contact your local pediatrician. The following are signs and symptoms to alert you to take your child to the pediatrician:

  • Severe and prolonged sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Joint pain
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • Fever that is over 101 degrees
  • Frequent recurring sore throat
  • Lump in the neck
  • Hoarseness lasting over two weeks

At the first onset of a sore throat it is always important to monitor the progress and recognize any other symptoms that may accompany the sore throat, which could cause it to worsen into strep throat, inflamed tonsils, or laryngitis. Contact your pediatrician if your child is experiencing a sore throat that won’t go away. Your pediatrician will help diagnose and treat your child’s symptoms. 





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