Top Ten Questions Asked By Parents:
We asked our staff to list the top ten most frequently asked questions by parents. Below is that list and links to answers from some of our most trusted resources. Please remember this is not to be considered as medical advice. If you have questions or concerns, you can always call our office to talk to a physician or nurse.
Should I be concerned about a Fever?
A fever is defined as a temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher. In kids less than 2 years old a rectal temperature should be taken. For kids greater than 2 years an ear (or tympanic) temperature or oral temperature is appropriate. Forehead scanners should never be used.
Fever is not an illness but instead a symptom that your child’s body is fighting off an infection (either viral or bacterial).
Fever can get as high as 104-105 F in some illnesses from common cold to flu or ear infections/strep throat. Fever that lasts greater than 72 hours should be investigated at your doctor’s office to see if an antibiotic is needed to treat a bacterial source.
Children that may have a fever can be fussier than normal, less active, not as talkative, have a decreased appetite, or may be sleepier.
** Babies less than 2 month of age with a rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher need to be evaluated immediately. Call us (or your pediatrician) immediately (24/7) for guidance. **
If a fever is making your child uncomfortable/fussy then it should be treated.
Fever reducer medications include Tylenol for babies 2 months – 6 months of age and Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) for babies or kids 6 months and older. Never give your child asprin. This may cause a fatal disease called Reye’s (Reye) Syndrome.
What should I do if my child is constipated?
Constipation is a common problem in childhood that consists of very dry hard and painful stools/poops (at any age). Stooling patterns can vary from newborns to toddlers to older kids.
Newborns may stool/poop anywhere from 6-8 times a day to 2 times a day to 1 time a day or even every other day. Some breast fed babies may even stool once a week but in all cases stools should be soft and loose/liquidy.
Toddlers may stool/poop daily or every other day. If your child is only going once or twice a week then they may be constipated or withholding their stool and should see their regular pediatrician to discuss causes and solutions.
Other signs of constipation include crampy abdominal pain that is relieved after going to the bathroom to poop or even soiled underwear with small smudges of stool or diarrhea.
**If you see blood in your child’s stool then see your pediatrician right away.**
Is Diarrhea a serious problem?
In most children the leading cause of diarrhea illness is acute gastroenteritis (AGE). The biggest concern for diarrheal illnesses is dehydration in small children.
Antibiotics and antidiarrheal medications are not recommended for treatment of acute diarrhea.
Viral sources of diarrhea usually consist of symptoms such as abdominal cramping, loose watery stools, frequent stools and gas which lasts for 1-3 days. Bacterial sources of diarrhea may be associated with bloody stools.
If diarrhea lasts more than 3 days, stools are bloody, or your child has decreased urine output see your pediatrician to determine the cause and get a treatment plan.
How can I eliminate Diaper Rash?
Diaper rash is one of the most common infant rashes and may be due to several causes. Diaper rash due to skin irritation (making your baby’s skin red and tender) may be eliminated by:
1) Change dirty / poop diapers as soon as possible. Stools can be very irritating to skin if left on for long periods of time (greater than 15 minutes).
2) Use a super absorbent diaper to wick away moisture from urine/sweat. Baby cornstarch power can also be used to help reduce moisture/irritation.
3) Be gentle when wiping your baby’s bottom. Vigorous or rough wiping on red/irritated skin can worsen diaper rash and cause pain.
4) Use a diaper cream that is zinc oxide based. (Desitin Diaper Rash Cream, A+D Original Diaper Rash Ointment,Boudreaux’s Butt Paste) Apply a liberal thick layer to all red areas in the genital area. Think thick like frosting on a cupcake not thin and skimpy! Do this for every diaper change for 1-2 days. Remember not to wipe too roughly when changing the next diaper and reapply a thick layer of barrier cream.
5) If diaper rash does not clear up with barrier cream or frequent diaper changes after 2-3 days then call us (or your pediatrician).
What can I do if my child has a cough?
Coughing is a common symptom of most childhood illnesses. It can come in a variety of forms from very dry and scratchy to very wet and productive. Some coughs may even sound like a seal barking. Often a cough is just a healthy way for a child to clear his or her throat. Most coughs are viral like with common colds or the flu, but some may have bacterial origins. Others could be pollen related. Viral coughs may take an average of 21 days to resolve. If your child develops hoarseness of voice, noisy inhalations, difficulty breathing, labored breathing, wheezing, feelings of chest tightness, or vomiting due to cough, your child likely needs to be seen by us (or their pediatrician). Telemedicine evaluations are insufficient in diagnosing and treating coughs appropriately because of the inability to listen to the lungs.
What are ways to relieve a runny nose?
A runny nose can have a variety of causes, but often can be treated in a similar fashion. Over the counter antihistamines may help dry up drippy noses. Certain antihistamines are safe to give as young as 1 year of age. We recommend Claritin as first line therapy. Nasal saline spray can help to thin out thick secretions, loosen dry secretions and decrease swelling of the nasal passages.Vicks VapoRub on the chest at night can also help to decrease drippy noses for a better nights sleep. A cool mist humidifier running in the bedroom at night may also help to thin out thicker mucus and moisturize irritated nasal passages. Make sure to empty the humidifier daily and sanitize weekly to avoid mold growth. As always, rest and drinking plenty of fluids may also aid in symptom relief.
What are common Flu Symptoms?
The Difference Between a Cold and the Flu:
The flu shares a lot of symptoms with the common cold, so it can be hard to tell the difference early on. But the Center for Disease Control (CDC) created a set of guidelines that can help. We’ve recreated that information in the table below. You can save it as an image on your phone to keep the information handy at all times.
What To Do If You Think Your Child Has the Flu:
For most healthy adults, the flu can be effectively treated with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications. However, the flu poses a greater risk for children, seniors, and pregnant women. If you think that your child might have the flu, we recommend that you schedule an appointment in our office as soon as possible.
In some cases, influenza in children can pose an emergency risk. Follow your instincts. If your child has difficulty breathing, develops a rash with fever, has a blueish color, does not fully wake up, does not interact or respond, does not consume enough fluids, or is irritable/not wanting to be held, seek medical care immediately.
How do I know if my child is eating the right foods?
Feeding your child may prove to be one of the most difficult parenting tasks. Toddlers are notoriously picky and stubborn, but there are a few tips you can incorporate into your daily routine to ensure healthy eating habits. Keep it simple. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store to ensure a refrigerator well stocked with healthy fruits and veggies. Avoid excess packaged foods as these often contain artificial dyes, preservatives, added sugars, and salt that may taste good but provide no real nutrition. With most meals offer a variety of healthy choices – a fruit, a vegetable, a protein, and a small serving of grains. Then let your child decide what he or she would like to eat. Avoid snacks, including milk right before meal times. Encourage your child to take two bites of everything they are offered. Avoid only offering meals you know they will eat or giving in to meal time demands or tantrums. It is ok if this results in a skipped meal because this also encourages a child to try new things, resulting in an evolving palate. Plus it’s just polite! Avoid pushing a “clean plate” especially in the hopes of “earning” dessert. Finally, if you have any concerns about what your child is eating talk to us (or your pediatrician) about other ways to establish healthy habits for life.
Should I have a sore throat tested for Strep?
A sore throat doesn’t always mean strep throat. Most sore throats are actually viral. Some can even be caused by seasonal allergies. Most viral sore throats will resolve in 3-5 days without additional medicine and are often associated with cough and/or congestion. Both viral and bacterial causes of sore throats may present with or without fever, headache, decreased appetite, fatigue, vomiting or irritability. If your child’s sore throat does not resolve within 3-4 days of onset, is associated with hoarseness or inability to tolerate liquids, you may want to bring your child in to be evaluated.
Are headaches a sign of a more serious problem?
Just have a quick question? We have a nurse advice line available during office hours to assist you. The nurses that handle these calls are the same nurses that care for your child at our office. Calls are normally returned within 1-2 hours of your message; messages left after 4:45pm will be returned the following business day.
These links will allow you access to printable office forms. Note these forms should not be emailed back to the office. If you prefer, you can fax these to us at 770-772-6099, or bring them with you on your next visit."
- Patient Information Sheet - Attention New Patients - This form is now done in the office on one of our iPads. Please come in 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment so we can get your child in our system and keep them on time for their first appointment with us.
- Consultation Form
- Medical Record Release
- Vanderbilt ADHD ADD Parent Form
- Vanderbilt ADHD ADD Teacher Form
Use these links to find more information about topics listed:
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Diabetes
- Centers for Disease
- Children's Healthcare of
- Children and Adults with Attention Deficit and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
- The Cord Blood
- Immunization Schedules from the
- US Dept of Health and Human Services
- Vaccine information from the CDC