My Blog

By Odochi Nwagwu, MD
November 15, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Prediabetes  
PrediabetesDiabetes is on the rise, and not just in adults. More and more children in the US are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be referred to as adult-onset diabetes, but today children are more at risk for prediabetes and types 2 diabetes than ever before. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent your child from developing diabetes.

Why is prediabetes a concern?

Okay, so prediabetes isn’t considered full-blown diabetes, so why should parents be worried? Well, being prediabetic will eventually lead to diabetes if the issue isn’t addressed by a pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to spot prediabetes through a simple blood test to check blood sugar levels. After all, blood sugar levels will be elevated even before your child develops type 2 diabetes. By catching elevated blood sugar levels early, your pediatrician can provide you and your child with simple lifestyle changes to see if that lowers their blood glucose naturally.

Are there warning signs?

The problem is that elevated blood sugar often doesn’t cause symptoms until a child develops type 2 diabetes. So, your child could be prediabetic and not even know it. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with your pediatrician if your child has risk factors. Your pediatrician will decide if blood tests are necessary to check glucose levels. If prediabetes isn’t checked and your child develops type 2 diabetes you may begin to notice these symptoms,
  • Wounds and injuries that are slow to heal
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger or thirst
  • Fatigue
What are the risk factors?

It’s important to recognize whether your child may be at risk for prediabetes. Some risk factors include,
  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Eating an ultra-processed diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle/lack of exercise (children should get at least one hour of aerobic exercise a day)
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • A mother with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy)
If you are concerned about your child’s risk for prediabetes or developing type 2 diabetes, it’s important that you speak to your pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to provide screening tools to monitor your child’s blood glucose, as well as lifestyle recommendations
By Odochi Nwagwu, MD
November 04, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Concussion  
ConcussionA concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs as a result of a blow to the head. Since concussions can be serious, it’s important that you’re able to recognize the telltale signs of a concussion so you can seek immediate treatment. While your pediatrician may be able to provide you with immediate treatment, any serious symptoms should be addressed right away at your nearest emergency room.

What can cause a concussion?

The majority of concussions in children occur while playing sports; however, a traumatic injury or accident such as a car accident or bad fall can also leave your child dealing with a head injury. Some concussions may lead to a loss of consciousness, but most of the time this isn’t the case.

What are the warning signs?

Some of the most common symptoms of a concussion include:
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of balance or unsteadiness
  • Trouble with cognition, particularly attention, focus, and memory
A child may look dazed or slur their speech. They may also be more irritable and fussy, as well as sensitive to certain lights or noises.

If your child is alert and responds and acts normally these are often signs that the head injury is mild and probably won’t require emergency care; however, even if your child doesn’t require urgent care you should schedule an appointment to see your child’s pediatrician within the next 48 hours.

When is a concussion considered an emergency?

You should take your child to the ER right away if they develop these symptoms after a head injury:
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness for more than 30 seconds
  • A worsening headache
  • Fluid draining from the eyes or ears
  • Vision problems including dilated pupils
  • Persistent tinnitus
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Changes in behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble with coordination such as stumbling or falling
  • Seizures
  • Persistent dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Disorientation
If your child is showing signs of a concussion, we understand how scary this can be. Don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician right away, who can advise you as to what next steps to take.
By Odochi Nwagwu, MD
October 18, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Bike Safety  
Bike Safety for Your ChildJust like responsible parents, our pediatricians are interested in keeping your children well – this includes helping your kids stay safe while riding their bikes.  The National Safety Council reports a 6% increase in bike accidents in recent years, likely due to increased traffic, population density in urban areas, and a variety of other causes. There are 80 million bicyclists now sharing the road with motorized vehicles, and your children are among them. 

How to Keep Kids Safe When Biking

There are a few ways that your pediatrician recommends for teaching bicycle safety to your children:
  1. Help your kids stay visible to drivers: There are a few factors that can cause a driver not to view your child on a road, aside from texting while driving. Children are usually lower in a driver's sightlines, and they are also vying for a driver’s attention among many other road distractions such as traffic signals, construction, and more. By clothing your children in bright colors, or even having them wear a brightly colored safety vest while riding, you can call a driver’s attention to their presence, thus avoiding an accident. Also, be sure that your child’s bike has reflectors on the rear and front of the pedals and possibly on the seat and handlebars. 
  2. Encourage your child to wear a bike helmet. Helmets can protect the brain and reduce head injuries should they accidentally be hit by a driver. A properly fitting helmet should be buckled under the chin, and shouldn’t wiggle more than an inch when worn.
  3. Teach your kids to be proactive cyclists. When riding, teach your children to watch out for parked cars that might open their doors, road hazards, common traffic flows, and rules that motorists usually follow.  This can be a precursor to their learning to drive and will equip them with a sense of what drivers are most likely to do so that they can act accordingly while bicycling.
You can talk to your pediatrician about additional ways to keep your children safe when out riding their bikes. There is nothing more important than keeping your children safe, and bicycle safety is an important way to do it.
By Odochi Nwagwu, MD
October 01, 2021
Tags: Potty Training  
Potty TrainingPotty training is a big moment for your child and is something that may challenge them in many ways. Unfortunately, many young ones do struggle during this process and may find it very hard to understand. Is your child struggling, and you're at your wit's end? If so, a pediatrician can help you and your child overcome this frustrating situation with relative ease and understanding.

Reasons Why Some Children Struggle With Potty Training 

Most children after the age of 18 months or so should have little trouble acclimating to potty training. But if your child is struggling, and you aren't sure why there are many potential reasons. Let's take a look at a few of the most common causes of potty training difficulties with children:
  • Their Bodies are Just Not Ready — Before 18 months, your child may not have the ability to control when they "go." So putting pressure on them too early may just frustrate them. 
  • They May Not Have the Developmental Abilities — Some children just progress slower than others and may need more time in a diaper before they're ready to potty train. 
  • The Idea of Potty Training is Boring or Scary — Many children find potty training boring or even scary and may struggle to get used to the idea of "going" outside their diaper. 
  • Fear of Accidents May Develop Early — Your child wants to make you happy, and if they have accidents or fear them, they might struggle with potty training. 
You may also run into situations where a child just doesn't want to learn and refuses. Even though the child knows what you want them to do and could do it, they just don't want to listen. Any of these situations are very frustrating. As a result, you might need to work with a pediatrician who understands this situation and who can help your child start "going" when the time is right. They can help:
  • Assess while your child is struggling 
  • Talk with the child to understand their concerns 
  • Find a solution that makes sense for them 
  • Work with you and your child to get great results 
  • Adjust their care methods, as they need
Give Your Child a Helping Hand 

If you think you need help getting your child to use the potty, it might be time to reach out to a professional you can trust to help. A great pediatrician and medical team can provide you and your child with a better understanding of why they don't want to use the potty. And it can also take some of the load off your back as a parent. Frankly, you deserve some rest and relaxation.
By Odochi Nwagwu, MD
September 21, 2021
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Cleft Lips   Cleft Palate  
Cleft LipsThe day your child is born is one of the most exciting moments in a parent’s life. Of course, finding out your precious newborn has a cleft lip or palate can make things a little more complicated. Luckily, a pediatrician can help you determine the best way to treat your child’s cleft lip or cleft palate to put your mind at ease.
 
Why should a cleft lip or cleft palate be treated?

A cleft lip and palate can present many challenges if left untreated including serious hearing, speech, and swallowing problems. As you can imagine, a cleft lip or palate can affect a child’s speech. Children born with these birth defects are also more likely to deal with recurring ear infections and even hearing loss. By repairing this birth defect as soon as possible we can minimize these issues.

Most children will undergo a cleft lip repair between 3-6 months old, while children will often get a cleft palate repair within the first 12 months. Consequent surgeries may be required later on depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of the defect.
 
How is a cleft lip and palate treated?

Surgery is the only way to correct a cleft lip or palate. The goal of this surgery is to not only improve your child’s appearance but also make it easier for them to speak, chew, or hear. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so your child will be asleep throughout the procedure.

To repair a cleft lip, a surgeon will make incisions on both sides of the defect and then stitch the two pieces of tissue together to close the gap, which will greatly improve the shape and appearance of your child’s lip. A cleft palate repair is also performed under general anesthesia and involves making incisions on both sides of the palate to restructure and rebuild the roof of the mouth.
 
If your child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate and you want to talk to us about their treatment options, then turn to your pediatrician to learn more. Your pediatrician is always here to provide you and your little one with the best care possible.




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