The Department of Pediatrics of our hospital promotes the health of children and adolescents with a balanced program that seeks new knowledge through research, delivers high quality comprehensive clinical care and service, advocates vigorously for children and adolescents, and is responsive to the changing needs of our community and society.

Common conditions treated

Fever: A high temperature can be alarming, but in an otherwise healthy child it usually isn’t something serious. A fever often means that a body is working the way it should and fighting off infection.

Come to us immediately if:

  • You think the child needs medical attention.
  • The child is younger than 3 months old
  • The child is younger than a year with a temperature of 103 F or higher or has had any fever more than one day.
  • The child is 1 to 2 years old with a high fever lasting more than 24 hours.
  • The child is any age with a temperature of 104 F or higher.
  • The soft spot on the child’s skull is bulging.
  • The child vomits repeatedly or has severe diarrhea.
  • The child has signs of dehydration, such as not wetting diapers, crying without tears, dry mouth or mucous membranes, or sunken soft spot.
  • The child has a fever and a rash.

Cold: A cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. They are the most common illness among children of all ages. Although this respiratory virus lasts only for a week or so, colds can make most children feel miserable.

More than 200 different viruses can cause a cold, but the rhinovirus is the most common culprit. Because colds are viral infections, antibiotics, which treat bacterial infections, are not useful for treatment.

Some of the symptoms of cold in your children can be:

  • Watery nasal mucus
  • Sneezing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever (sometimes)
  • Sore throat
  • Cough

Allergies: Children get allergies from coming into contact with allergens. Allergens can be inhaled, eaten, or injected (from stings or medicine) or they can come into contact with the skin.

Some of the more common allergens are:

  • Pollens from trees, grasses, and weeds
  • Molds, both indoor and outdoor
  • Dust mites that live in bedding, carpeting, and other items that hold moisture
  • Animal dander from furred animals such as cats, dogs, horses, and rabbits
  • Some foods and medicines
  • Venom from insect stings

Allergies tend to run in families. If a parent has an allergy, there is a higher chance that his or her child also will have allergies. This risk increases if both parents are allergic.

Asthma: Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways, characterized by recurrent, reversible, airway obstruction. Airway inflammation leads to airway hyperreactivity, which causes the airways to narrow in response to various stimuli, including allergens, exercise, and cold air.

The most common symptoms of childhood asthma are coughing and wheezing.

  • Coughing is typically non-productive and can frequently be the only symptom. When it is the only symptom, this is termed cough-variant asthma.
  • Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound produced by turbulent airflow through narrowed airways.
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Poor exercise endurance

Vomiting: Throwing up: It seems to be one of those unwavering rites of childhood, right alongside skinning your knees, and asking “Are we there yet?”

There are dozens of conditions that can lead to vomiting or nausea, but there are a few more common causes:

  • Gastroenteritis: This is what most of us call the stomach flu. Gastroenteritis can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites – and often leads to diarrhea and vomiting in kids.
  • Food allergies and irritations: Although any food can provoke a reaction, several in particular tend to cause most food allergies, including eggs, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, wheat, and fish. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain can occur within minutes or hours after ingesting the offending food.
  • Anxiety and stress: Worries about the new school year, tension about the big game, pressures at work — all kinds of emotional upsets can lead to nausea and vomiting, though this tends to happen more often with adults or older children.
  • The flu and other illness: A few other common reasons kids might have nausea or vomiting include ear infections, seasonal flu, swine flu, acid reflux, and reactions to medication.
  • Eating too much: Many people, especially kids, may eat too much at a holiday dinner or a fair without realizing it, and then throw up
  • Food poisoning: Undercooked meats, dairy products, or foods that have been out too long can lead to food poisoning, usually caused by bacteria. Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramps are other common symptoms of food poisoning.

Diarrhea: Diarrhea is the body’s way of ridding itself of germs, and most episodes last a few days to a week. Diarrhea often occurs with fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps, and dehydration. Some of the most common reasons kids get diarrhea includes:

  • Infection from viruses like rotavirus, bacteria like salmonella and, rarely, parasites like giardia.
  • When treating viral gastroenteritis
  • Medications like laxatives or antibiotics can also lead to diarrhea in children as well as adults.
  • Food poisoning can also cause diarrhea in kids. Symptoms usually come on quickly, may include vomiting, and tend to go away within 24 hours.
  • Other causes of diarrhea include irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, food allergies, and celiac disease.

Severe dehydration is dangerous; some of the symptoms of severe diarrhea are:

  • Dizziness and light-headedness
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Dark yellow urine, or very little or no urine
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Cool, dry skin
  • Lack of energy

Ear infection: An ear infection, or otitis media, is the most common cause of earaches. The infection in the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum where tiny bones pick up vibrations and pass them along to the inner ear) very often accompanies a common cold, the flu, or other types of respiratory infections. This is because the middle ear is connected to the upper respiratory tract by a tiny channel known as the Eustachian tube.

The most common cause of an ear infection is an upper respiratory viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. These disorders can make the eustachian tube so swollen that air can no longer flow into the middle ear.

Allergies — to pollen, dust, animal dander, or food — can produce the same effect as a cold or flu, as can smoke, fumes, and other environmental toxins. Bacteria can cause an ear infection directly, but usually these organisms come on the heels of a viral infection or an allergic reaction, quickly finding their way into the warm, moist environment of the middle ear.

Eczema or atopic dermatitis: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronically relapsing skin disorder with an immunologic basis. The clinical presentation varies from mild to severe. In the worst cases, atopic dermatitis may interfere with normal growth and development.

Although often used interchangeably, the terms eczema and atopic dermatitis are not equivalent. Eczema is a reaction pattern with various causes and the most common pediatric cause is atopic dermatitis.

Other causes of eczematous dermatitis include allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, nummular eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, asteatotic eczema, and lichen simplex chronicus. Eczematous reactions can be classified as acute, subacute, or chronic, depending on historical and physical characteristics.

Insect bites and stings: Insect stings and bites in young children may be painful, frightening, or irritating, but they’re rarely a cause for concern unless your child has an allergic reaction.

The signs and symptoms include:

  • Minor skin reaction with a painful itchy lesion where the insect has bitten or stung
  • Some children have a more significant reaction with swelling and redness larger than 5 cm.

Some of the symptoms like the following can be dangerous and treated immediately:

  • Child has any swelling of the lips or tongue, or difficulty breathing
  • Your child has been bitten or stung near the mouth
  • The area seems to be getting larger or redder or is oozing, which are signs of infection.

Foreign Body Insertion: Foreign bodies can enter the human body by swallowing, insertion, or traumatic force, either accidentally or on purpose. The word “foreign” in this context means “originating elsewhere” or simply “outside the body”. Children may experience health problems caused by foreign objects getting stuck in their bodies.

The causes of foreign body ingestion or insertion range from traumatic accidents or casual exploration and play to intentional risk-taking, desire for sexual stimulation, an eating or personality disorder, or psychotic behavior. Cases of repeated swallowing of foreign objects by small children may indicate neglect or a dysfunctional home environment.

The symptoms of foreign body ingestion or insertion depend in part on the organ or part of the body affected.

  • Eyes Dust, dirt, sand, or other airborne material can lodge in the eyes as a result of high wind or an explosion, causing minor irritation and redness.
  • Swelling, redness, bleeding from the surface blood vessels, sensitivity to light, and sudden vision problems are all symptoms of foreign matter in the eyes.
  • Toddlers sometimes put small objects into their noses, ears, and other openings. Beans, dried peas, popcorn kernels, hearing-aid batteries, and raisins are just a few of the many items that have been found in these bodily cavities.
  • On occasion, insects may also fly into a child’s ears or nose. Pain , hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the ear are symptoms of foreign bodies in the ears. A smelly or bloody discharge from one nostril is a symptom of foreign bodies in the nose.
  • At a certain age children will eat almost anything. A list of items recovered from young stomachs includes the following: coins, chicken bones, fish bones, beads, pebbles, plastic toys , pins, keys, buckshot, round stones, marbles, nails, rings or batteries.