Anesthesia and Your Child: Information for Parents
Any time a child requires a hospital visit, it can cause anxiety for both a parent and the child. This especially may be the case when the visit involves any type of procedure that might require anesthesia. Examples of such procedures are surgery, medical imaging, and certain tests to examine the stomach or intestines. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about anesthesia.
Anesthesia and Your Child: The Day of the Procedure
Some hospitals allow 1 support person (usually a parent) to go with a child into the operating room or other area where the child is to receive anesthesia. This may be possible for scheduled procedures or surgeries but not for emergency surgery. Check on the policy at your hospital ahead of time. Your child’s anesthesiologist will make the final decision. Remember, if you stay with your child when anesthesia is given, the purpose of being there is to support your child and ease her fears. Do this for the child, not for yourself.
Appropriate Newborn Hospital Stays
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Mothers are often anxious to take their baby home with them from the hospital immediately after birth, but a longer hospital stay increases the chance that both mother and child will leave healthy and without complication. An average hospital stay post birth is 48 to 96 hours in order to properly monitor both mother and child.
ASDs Family Handout—Financial Assistance and Related Programs for Families
Many children with ASDs are able to get support from programs funded through their state or county. Some examples are financial help, education support, medical care, job skills training, and residential or living services. Some supports are available to all children because of federal laws, such as a free public education, including special education if the child is eligible. Other public benefits are based on need, such as financial or how serious the disability is. Most children with ASDs, especially those who also have intellectual disability, will qualify for these benefits.
ASDs Family Handout—Intervention Approaches Used for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders
As soon as the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is made, your child should be referred for intervention services. While speech and occupational therapy are important, the social and communication differences of a child with an ASD need a therapy team. That team should use special intervention strategies that do not necessarily depend on imitation or understanding social cues. A coordinated approach to intervention that is evidence-based is recommended. This means that there have been scientific studies that prove that the intervention helps children with ASDs. No matter what approach to therapy is used for your child with an ASD, it is very important that caregivers are involved and can use the approach at home and in the community as they interact with the child.
ASDs Family Handout—Lab Tests
All children have some lab tests at birth and as part of normal checkups. Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often need more tests. These tests can help find the cause of the disability or problems related to an ASD that may not be obvious and guide the doctor in treating your child most effectively. New genetic tests now make it possible to find an underlying cause for ASDs in many more children than was previously possible. Genetic testing can also provide information about the likelihood of an ASD in future children or for children of other family members.
ASDs Family Handout—Medications and Your Child
Medications are not the primary treatment for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Medications have not been shown to directly improve language or social skills. However, medications may help with behaviors that get in the way of progress in your child's intervention program. Such behaviors include
ASDs Family Handout—Visiting the Doctor
Going to the doctor can be stressful for any child. For a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there may be additional challenges because of sensory, communication, and other symptoms related to the ASD. Here are some tips to help make visiting the doctor easier.
Choosing a Pediatrician
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: The health care needs of children are different than those of adults. Pediatricians have been specially trained to deal with these special needs. Feel free to ask a pediatrician many questions so that you can be well informed about their qualifications before settling on a pediatrician for your child.
Choosing a Pediatrician
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed this information to help you
Connected Kids: Clinical Guide
CONNECTED KIDS: This extensive clinical guide to the
American Academy of Pediatrics' Connected Kids Program contains an
overview of all of the program's component parts, a counseling schedule,
ideas for practice implementation, and other supplemental materials. The program
is designed to help pediatricians discuss important social/developmental issues
with their patients/parents.
For Today's Teens: A Message From Your Pediatrician
Now that you are getting older, you have different health needs than you did when you were younger. However, your pediatrician is still there to help you stay healthy.
Government Insurance Programs
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: Many parents may be surprised to know that many teens are eligible for government funded insurance, as an attempt to reduce the unnecessary use of emergency room care. The SCHIP program can help children have access to a medical home and consistent medical care.
Imaging and Medical Radiation Safety: Important Information for Parents
Pediatricians use different tests and tools to help them diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses. This handout was written by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to answer questions about imaging and medical radiation safety.
Imaging Tests: A Look Inside Your Child's Body
If your pediatrician isn't sure what the cause of your child's illness or injury is, imaging tests may be needed. Imaging tests are used to “look” inside the body. They can help diagnose injuries and illnesses from broken bones to cancer. Some tests can even find problems before symptoms appear. Read this handout to learn more about imaging tests.
Maintaing a Medical Record
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: While your pediatrician maintains a complete medical record for your child, as a parent you may want to keep one of your own in case you move, change physicians, or need care while on vacation.
National Immunization Awareness Month
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: August is National Immunization Awareness Month and a good time to remind you to stay up to date on your child's immunizations. While many are given during the first two years of life, some require a booster dose in later years to remain effective and protect against many infectious diseases.
Parent's Guide to Complementary and Integrative Medicine, A
While most children in North America receive conventional medicine when they are sick, many parents want to know about natural therapies too. Alternative, complementary, and integrative medicine and folk remedies are some of the words used to describe these different therapies. Read on for more information.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created a series of fact sheets about different surgical and medical pediatric subspecialists to whom your children may be referred. The fact sheets are available on the official AAP Web site for parents: www.HealthyChildren.org.
Privacy of Medical Records
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: When you take your child to the doctor, you may be asked to sign a HIPAA form. This form deals with issues of privacy when it comes to your doctor disclosing specific health information over the phone or in the presence of others. Your doctor cannot disclose any private information if you have not given them this permission.
School Health Centers and Your Child
School health centers are becoming more and more common. Most handle medical emergencies, provide health screenings and refer students to doctors for health problems. A growing number of these centers also offer health services such as immunizations and physical examinations. Therapies for children with special needs may also be available.
Should My Child Join a Clinical Trial?
Clinical trials are research studies. They are designed to learn more about ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases. Clinical trials can also help people with chronic (long-term) illnesses find better ways to live each day with their illness.
Sports Medicine Professionals (Care of the Young Athlete)
Athletes may deal with many different types of
medical personnel after an injury. Athletes also may be referred by their
primary care doctors to a sports medicine doctor or other sports medicine
specialists for further evaluation and treatment. The following is information
from the American Academy of Pediatrics about the most common sports medicine
Treating Your Child's Pain: Medical Procedures
During certain medical procedures, your child may experience pain. These procedures can include having blood drawn, having breathing or feeding tubes put in, or lumbar punctures (spinal taps). Luckily, pain from these activities does not last long. Read on to find out how your child's pain from medical procedures can be managed.
Treating Your Child's Pain: Surgery
Often after children have surgery, they have problems with pain. Luckily, there are ways to help ease this type of pain. Read on to find out how your child's pain from surgery can be managed.
Treatment of Sports Injuries (Care of the Young Athlete)
There is often more than one way to effectively
treat an injury. Treatment programs are always adjusted to meet the individual
needs of the athlete and the unique requirements of the athlete's sport
Use of Medicines in Sports (Care of the Young Athlete)
The primary use of medicines in sports is to
treat pain and inflammation. Athletes may also take medicines to treat specific
medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, or to treat common illnesses,
like colds, congestion, cough, allergies, diarrhea, and skin infections.
What is a Child Neurologist?
If your child has problems involving the nervous system, a Child Neurologist has the special training and experience to treat your child. Examples of such problems are seizures, delayed speech, weakness, or headaches.
What is a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician?
If your child has a developmental, learning, or behavioral problem, a Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician has the training and expertise to evaluate and care for your child. Developmental-behavioral pediatricians possess training and experience to consider, in their assessments and treatments, the medical and psychosocial aspects of children's and adolescents' developmental and behavioral problems.
What is a Pediatric Allergist/Immunologist?
If your child suffers from allergies or other problems with his immune system, a Pediatric Allergist/Immunologist has special skills to treat your child.
What is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist?
If your child has an illness, injury, or disease that requires surgery, a Pediatric Anesthesiologist has the experience and qualifications to assist in the treatment and to help ensure a successful surgery for your child.
What is a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric Dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child's teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood.
What is a Pediatric Dermatologist?
If your child has skin conditions such as birthmarks, eczema, warts, or psoriasis, a Pediatric Dermatologist has the experience and qualifications to treat your child. Pediatric dermatologists treat a variety of pediatric skin conditions using the latest available treatment methods. Pediatric dermatologists treat children from birth through adolescence.
What is a Pediatric Emergency Physician?
A Pediatric Emergency Physician is a specialist in the care of children and teens who are acutely ill or injured. A pediatric emergency physician is trained to care for a wide range of problems that require immediate medical help. These problems are often serious and may be life-threatening.
What is a Pediatric Endocrinologist?
If your child has problems with growth, puberty, diabetes, or other disorders related to the hormones and the glands that produce them, a Pediatric Endocrinologist may treat your child.
What is a Pediatric Gastroenterologist?
If your child has a digestive system, liver, or nutritional problem, a Pediatric Gastroenterologist has the expertise to treat your child. Digestive, liver, and nutritional problems in children often are quite different from those seen in adults. Specialized training and experience in pediatric gastroenterology are important.
What is a Pediatric Geneticist?
Fortunately, most children are born healthy with no medical problems or birth defects. However, some children are born with differences in body structure, brain development, or body chemistry that can lead to problems with health, development, school performance, and/or social interaction. Pediatric Geneticists are trained to identify the causes and natural history of these disorders. They may suggest tests and treatments that can help in understanding and caring for your child's condition. Pediatric geneticists also can help families understand whether some conditions are hereditary (coming from the genes) and offer testing to family members who may be at risk for having children with similar problems.
What is a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist?
If your child or teen has a blood disease or cancer, a Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist has the experience and qualifications to evaluate and treat your child or teen. The unique nature of care of children or teens with blood diseases and cancer is learned from advanced training and experience in practice. Pediatric hematologists/oncologists treat children and teens from birth through young adulthood.
What is a Pediatric Hospitalist?
If your child has an illness or injury requiring hospitalization, he or she may be cared for by a Pediatric Hospitalist.
What is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist?
If your child has a recurring or persistent disease caused by an infectious agent such as bacteria, a fungus, a parasite, or other rare infection, a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist has the experience and qualifications to help your pediatrician diagnose and treat your child. Pediatric infectious diseases specialists treat children from birth through the teen years.
What is a Pediatric Nephrologist?
If your child has kidney or urinary tract disease, bladder problems, or high blood pressure, a Pediatric Nephrologist has the special skills and experience to treat your child. Pediatric nephrologists treat children from infancy through late adolescence.
What is a Pediatric Neurosurgeon?
If your child has problems involving the head, spine, or nervous system, a Pediatric Neurosurgeon has the experience and qualifications to treat your child.
What is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist?
If your child has an eye problem, is having difficulty with a vision screening exam or has difficulty reading or learning, or needs surgery or medical treatment for an illness affecting the eyes, a Pediatric Ophthalmologist has the experience and qualifications to treat your child.
What is a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon?
If your child has musculoskeletal (bone) problems, a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon has the experience and qualifications to treat your child.
What is a Pediatric Otolaryngologist?
If your child needs surgical or complex medical treatment for illnesses or problems affecting the ear, nose, or throat, a Pediatric Otolaryngologist has the experience and qualifications to treat your child. Many general otolaryngologists provide surgical care for children. However, in many areas of the country, more specialized otolaryngology care is available for children.
What is a Pediatric Plastic Surgeon?
If your child needs surgery to fix a deformity caused by a birth defect, injury, illness, or tumor, a Pediatric Plastic Surgeon has the experience and qualifications to treat your child.
What is a Pediatric Pulmonologist?
If your child has breathing problems, or a problem with his or her lungs, a Pediatric Pulmonologist has the experience and qualifications to treat your child. Pediatric pulmonologists diagnose, treat and manage children from birth to 21 years old with breathing and lung diseases.
What is a Pediatric Radiologist?
A Pediatric Radiologist is an expert in the diagnosis of illnesses, injuries, and diseases of infants, children, and adolescents, using imaging techniques and equipment.
What is a Pediatric Rheumatologist?
If your child has complaints of pain in the musculoskeletal system (joints, muscles, bones, or tendons), other symptoms of arthritis, or an autoimmune disorder, your pediatrician may recommend a Pediatric Rheumatologist.
What is a Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist?
If your child or teenager has an injury or illness that affects sports performance, exercise, or activity, a Pediatric Sports Medicine Specialist has the expertise, experience, and qualifications to treat his or her youth-specific problems.
What is a Pediatric Surgeon?
If your child has an illness, injury, or disease that requires surgery, a Pediatric Surgeon has the experience and qualifications to treat your child.
What is a Pediatric Urologist?
If your child has an illness or disease of the genitals or urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, bladder), a Pediatric Urologist has the experience and qualifications to treat your child.
What is a Pediatric/Neonatal Critical Care Transport Team?
If your newborn is premature or your child has a critical illness or injury requiring transportation from one medical facility to another, your newborn or child may require the care of a Pediatric/Neonatal Critical Care Transport Team.
What is an Adolescent Health Specialist?
If your child is between the ages of 11 and 21 years, he or she may benefit from the care of an Adolescent Health Specialist.
When to Call Emergency Services
A MINUTE FOR KIDS: It may be difficult to know when it is appropriate to seek emergency care for your child, but if you have any doubt go ahead and contact your local emergency services team. Be sure to stay calm. Work to prevent future emergencies by making sure that your child's environment is safe and free of injury risks.
When to See a Doctor (Care of the Young Athlete)
A safe and speedy return to activity following a
sports injury or an illness depends on early recognition and treatment. Knowing
when to see your doctor is an important step in this process. With major
injuries or illnesses, there is little doubt about the need to seek medical
attention. However, it is much more difficult to know when to seek help if there
is no obvious trauma or if the symptoms don’t get in the way of playing.
Many overuse injuries, such as tendonitis or stress fractures, happen over time
and often have subtle symptoms. The result can be a delay in diagnosis and
treatment, and delays can lead to a more serious or disabling injury.
When Your Child Needs Emergency Medical Services
It is rare for children to become seriously ill with no warning. Depending on your child's symptoms, you usually should contact your child's pediatrician for advice. Early recognition and treatment of symptoms can prevent an illness or injury from getting worse or turning into an emergency.