As adults, we are almost always in touch with our health and are able to tell when we are feeling under the weather. However, when children – especially newborns – are feeling under the weather, they are not always able to voice how they are feeling and thus cannot advocate for themselves or make any decisions relating to their health. Healthcare for children is much different than healthcare for adults. While adults are fully developed, children are not. They have a smaller body size and organs that are not yet fully matured. Diagnosing a child’s condition and ensuring that they receive the correct treatment is significantly influenced on their symptoms and age.
While pediatricians are considered to be general practitioners, their sole focus is on the child/adolescent demographic. From birth to approximately age 2, a child will see a pediatrician on many different occasions. After age 5, your child should see a pediatrician for annual checkups. Unfortunately, due to the shortage of pediatricians not just in Canada, but worldwide, general practitioners like Dr. Ali Ghahary will often take on the role of being the child’s primary care physician.
Below is a look at some of the most common health issues that Dr. Ali Ghahary will see in the younger patients he treats at Brentwood Medical Clinic.
A fever by itself isn’t considered an illness. Instead, it is oftentimes the response to an illness, such as an infection. If your child is between 3 months and 6 months old and has a rectal temperature that is above 38 degrees Celcius, or if they exhibit other symptoms along with their fever such as a rash, irritability, lack of persistent vomiting and difficulty breathing, you should contact a doctor. If your child experiences a combination of a fever, stiff neck and sensitivity to light, they may have meningitis, which can be fatal.
The common cold is common in children and is caused by a virus. Symptoms include nasal congestion or runny nose, fever, cough and lack of appetite, and can last as long as 1 to 2 weeks.
If your child has the flu, dehydration can occur. It can also happen as a result of being in an overly warm environment or if they are not eating properly. Some of the symptoms of dehydration in a child include dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, and decreased urination.
This is something that is extremely common in infants and isn’t typically cause for concern unless they are having over 6 watery stools per day, or if there is blood present in their stools.
This is also something that is extremely common in children and infants. It is not typically cause for concern unless the vomiting is present with fever, is frequent, greenish in colour, or contains blood.
Rashes are most common in newborns. However, if they are accompanied by a fever, appear swollen, bleeding, ooze pus or appear infected, you should take your child to see a doctor.
For more information on Pediatric care and how you can make your child’s visit to the doctor stress-free, visit Dr. Ali Ghahary’s website at alighaharyvancouver.ca!