We consider our pediatricians to be experts when it comes to caring for our wee ones. We don't hesitate to call them in the middle of the night when our babies have unexplained fevers or aren't acting like themselves. Because children under the age of two cannot always communicate what is bothering them, the doctors can only treat the symptoms we can describe, often overlooking some serious, but treatable illnesses. Children's Health recently identified the most common medical conditions missed by pediatricians, and we have delved into them here.
- Vision and Hearing Issues - Just because baby leaves the hospital with a passing grade on vision and hearing tests does not mean perfection forever. Watch where the toddler holds her books and where she sits when watching TV. If she tends to turn her head to hear things or tilt her head one way to see or hear things, raise the concern with her doctor.
- Juvenile Diabetes - One of the most common chronic illnesses in youngsters, Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed as early as 6-months old. The symptoms for the illness are often overlooked as they can also be attributed to the flu, growth spurts and results of thirsty days. According to Children's Health, "It thus pays to keep an eye out for those relatively mild early symptoms, including previously 'dry' at night children who begin wetting the bed, and if you suspect there's any chance your baby might be diabetic, request that a blood-sugar or urine-sugar test be performed."
- Whooping Cough - Babies don't tend to receive their whooping cough or pertussis vaccine until they are two-months old. With more teenagers and adults contracting this illness, it can easily be passed on to unvaccinated tots. According to WebMD, "Whooping cough, or pertussis, starts like a cold. After 1 to 2 weeks, the cold symptoms give way to intense bouts of coughing. The coughing interferes with breathing and can cause vomiting. Pertussis can lead to complications that can be life-threatening."
- Acid Reflux - Many parents are familiar with the signs of colic, but babies that spit up constantly, stop gaining weight, vomit blood or refuse to feed at all may suffer from GERD or acid reflux. Unlike colic, acid reflux issues can usually be treated with acid-reducing drugs to help calm the lil one's stomach down.
- Torticollis - When babies are born, parents are told to expect misshaped heads, stork bites and little marks that take some time to disappear. But when the wee one's head is tipped to one side, while the chin is turned to the other, it may be torticollis. The condition, which can be present at birth, has become more present with popularity of the SIDS "back to sleep" campaign. If your baby always sleeps in the same position or if his head always tends to fall to the same side, don't be afraid to discuss it with your doctor.
- Head Injury - Parents can't always witness everything that happens to their lil ones, so they need to be aware of the signs of a head injury. According to KidsHealth.org, if mama knows that an infant has fallen on his head or if something strikes his head, she should call her doctor immediately if the tot has lost consciousness, won't stop crying, complains of head or neck pain, is difficult to console or isn't walking normally. If the child exhibits any of these signs on his own, it is best to call the doctor to have him checked out.
- Epilepsy - About 300,000 American children under the age of 14 live with epilepsy. First detecting the condition is often tricky with youngsters because the seizures are not likely to occur in the doctor's office. In the youngest of children, a seizure is more likely to look like "spaciness" than a traditional grand mal seizure. WebMD suggests keeping an eye out for "spells that come at inappropriate times, such as when your child is in the middle of speaking or doing something, and suddenly stops." If mommy can communicate with them during the spell, it is likely just daydreaming. If she can't communicate during the spell, it is best to contact your physician.
- Strep Throat - Strep throat is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, but it is not unheard of in tots under the age of 3. When young children contract strep, it can lead to heart and joint issues, so treating it early is key. According to Children's Health, "If your baby has a fever and a red throat (which are symptoms of many, many other diseases as well), it might be worth requesting a throat swab just to make sure."
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