Exploring the Leading Health Concerns for Children
It’s perfectly normal for parents to rush their kids to the local hospital because of bumps and bruises, and sniffles and sneezes. However, some children have more serious health concerns that require long-term treatment and may even lead to emergency room visits. Three of the most common health concerns for children are obesity, allergies, and asthma.
Physicians at community hospitals across the country have been noting an increase in the number of children who are overweight or obese. This is of particular concern because children with obesity are more likely to suffer from serious health problems later in life, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Obesity can also contribute to asthma and social discrimination. A pediatrician at your local hospital can assess your child’s weight using a body mass index (BMI) chart that factors in age. It’s best for parents to be supportive of overweight and obese children, and to gently encourage them to choose healthy foods and a physically active lifestyle.
If your child frequently sneezes and wheezes, or suffers a runny nose, itchy eyes, and hives, he or she may have allergies. A pediatrician can perform a simple skin prick test to check for allergic reactions. Allergic reactions occur when the immune system treats harmless substances as germs. Some common triggers of childhood allergies include dust mites, mold, pollen, and foods such as nuts, seafood, milk, and soy.
A child with asthma has chronically inflamed airways. Sometimes, children with asthma suffer from asthma attacks or flare-ups, which occur when the airways become very narrow and swollen. This makes it difficult to breathe. Pediatricians can help parents and children learn how to manage asthma symptoms and respond to an asthma attack.
The pediatric medical staff at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center of Thousand Oaks provides child-friendly care , including specialty services such as pediatric cardiology, nephrology, orthopedics, and rheumatology. You can learn more about the pediatric services available at our hospital by browsing our website. Or, call (805) 497-2727 and ask a registered nurse at our hospital about requesting a free Emergency Kid Care Card.