Pediatric Health Care Services at Sim Family Clinic
When your little ones are not feeling well, turn to the compassionate family medicine doctors at Sim Family Clinic. From ear infections, sore throats, and fever to diaper rash and coughs, our medical team staff can help get your child or teen on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. The kind, compassionate, and family-friendly providers at Sim Family Clinic also provide childhood vaccinations and well-child exams.
Our physicians provide a host of pediatric services that children need and treat a number of health issues that children and teenagers are at high risk for, including:
Children are much more prone to ear infections than adults. In fact, almost all children will experience at least one ear infection by the age of 3. At Sim Family Clinic in Houston, Texas, ear infections are one of the most common reasons parents bring their children in to see our doctors.
Childhood ear infections are most common in the middle ear. Also called otitis media, middle ear infections occur because fluid and germs get trapped behind the eardrum, causing inflammation and pain in the area. Because a child’s body is still developing, the eustachian tubes, which help drain excess fluid from the middle ear down to the throat, are short, narrow, and more horizontal than vertical – all of which increase the risk of fluid buildup and infection in the area.
Ear infections can also occur in a child’s outer ear – the area of the ear canal that leads up to the eardrum. This usually happens when bacteria is introduced into a scratch in the ear during swimming or due to germs on ear plugs or other objects placed in a child’s ear.
Your child’s symptoms of an ear infection may differ depending on his or her age and can include:
- Ear pain
- Tugging or pulling on the ear
- Irritability or fussiness
- Crying more than normal
- Difficulty hearing
- Balance problems
- Loss of appetite
In some cases, ear infections in children and teens may clear on their own, depending on the cause and severity. To be on the safe side, ask your Sim Family Clinic doctor to assess your child’s condition and whether medication is warranted to clear the ear infection.
A fever is a common ailment, especially in children, and it typically goes away on its own in a couple days. However, if your child has a fever for more than a few days, you’ll want to have a doctor examine him or her. You can take your child’s temperature in a number of ways, depending on your child’s age: under the tongue, in the underarm area, or in the rectum.
Fevers may be caused by infection (such as the flu, ear infection, chickenpox, etc.), as a side effect of a vaccination, heat exposure, allergies, or other issues. Fevers in very small children can be potentially very serious. A fever can also cause other problems such as dehydration.
Ask your family doctor about at-home methods of soothing your child’s fever.
Having your child vaccinated according to schedule can keep your child healthy and safe from many serious but preventable illnesses, including:
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTap)
- Human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to cervical cancer
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
The recommended vaccines are safe and effective for children at the appropriate ages. Many are covered by insurance. Ask your family doctor which immunizations are appropriate for your child.
For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
There are some skin conditions that just happen to be most prevalent during childhood. Many require treatment by a physician before they will heal. There are many problems affecting the skin that can be diagnosed and treated by the family medicine doctors at Sim Family Clinic, including:
- Acne – very common with the hormonal shifts that occur during puberty
- Eczema – red, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin that first appear in childhood
- Head lice – wingless insects that commonly infect the scalp (common in school-aged children)
- Hives – red, itchy, and raised bumps on the skin that are part of an allergic reaction
- Rash – could be caused by allergies, heat, or irritants
- Warts – common in children and can appear anywhere on the body, most commonly on the feet and hands
Having a sore throat is very common during childhood. Causes may include respiratory infections (cold, flu), strep throat, and mononucleosis. When a sore throat is due to a viral infection, it often gets better on its own and treatment is focused on relieving symptoms only. Bacterial infections, however, may require antibiotics, which are used to heal the infection, prevent complications, and stop the spread of the illness.
Strep throat, for example, is a bacterial infection that is very contagious. It occurs most often in children between the ages of 5 to 15 years. Parents of school-age children also have an increased risk of infection. Coming into contact with someone who has strep throat is the biggest risk factor for the illness.
Strep throat is believed to be responsible for nearly one-third of all sore throats. Among its most notable symptoms are painful swallowing and fever without a cough. If you suspect your child has strep throat, see your family doctor as soon as possible. Your child will no longer be contagious after 1 day of antibiotics. Without antibiotics, your child may remain contagious for up to a month. Treatment is also important for teenage children, as they may develop a rheumatic fever if a strep infection is left untreated. If a member of your household has strep throat, your doctor may encourage everyone be tested for the illness to stop the spread of infection to others you come into contact with.
If your child’s tonsils – the fleshy protrusions at the back of the throat – are red and swollen, it could be tonsillitis. It is a common childhood illness. The tonsils may become irritated and inflamed after coming into contact with germs that enter your body through the mouth. A cold, for example, can lead to tonsillitis, as can a bacterial infection like strep throat. If you suspect tonsillitis, see your family doctor. Treatment will depend on the type of germs causing your child’s tonsillitis. When the condition is persistent and recurs numerous times within a single year, your doctor may refer you to a specialist who may advise surgical removal of the tonsils (a tonsillectomy).
These exams ensure your child’s growth and development is appropriate for his or her age. This physical exam can help identify or prevent possible problems. Your family doctor will take your child’s vital signs, including weight, height, and more – and compare his or her changes since the previous visit. Screenings conducted during the exam typically also include hearing and vision tests.
For children age 5 years old and up, well-child visits are usually recommended annually.
Pediatric Care in Houston, TX
If you need pediatric care in Houston, Texas, for your child or teen contact the kind, compassionate, and knowledgeable family doctors at Sim Family Clinic. Call us today at (281) 893-5870 to schedule your appointment.