Children's Health

Good health is an important element in a child’s quality of life as it can influence participation in many aspects of life, including schooling and recreation.

The early years of a child’s life provide the foundation for future health, development and well-being. A positive start in life helps children reach their full potential, while a poor start increases the chances of adverse outcomes.

Batavia Health has priority appointments for children with acute medical problems, and offers health checks and childhood vaccinations.

Specific Children’s Health issues covered include:

  • Paediatric coughs, colds and infections
  • Baby & childhood vaccination schedule
  • Infant feeding, growth and weight checks
  • Childhood behavioural issues
  • Paediatric and adolescent health care
  • Preschool checks
  • Childhood obesity management

Coughs, Colds & Infections

Coughs

Although it is upsetting to hear your child cough, coughing helps clear away phlegm from the chest or mucus from the back of the throat.

Children often cough when they have a cold because of mucus trickling down the back of the throat. If your child is feeding, drinking, eating and breathing normally and there’s no wheezing, a cough is not usually anything to worry about.
If your child has:

  • A bad cough that will not go away, make a time to see one of our doctors, or
  • If they have a high temperature and are breathless, they may have a chest infection.

If a chest infection is caused by bacteria rather than a virus your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection. Antibiotics will not soothe or stop the cough straight away.

If a cough continues for a long time, especially if it is worse at night or is brought on by your child running about, it could be a sign of asthma.

Some children with asthma also have a wheeze or breathlessness. If your child has any of these symptoms take them to the doctor. If your child seems to be having trouble breathing, seek medical attention urgently or call an ambulance, even if it is the middle of the night.

Sore Throats

Most sore throats clear up on their own after a few days. Sore throats are often caused by viral illnesses such as colds or flu.

Your child’s throat may be dry and sore for a day or two before a cold starts. Infant or child dosage paracetamol or ibuprofen can be given to reduce the pain.

If your child has a sore throat for more than four days, has a high temperature and is generally unwell, or is unable to swallow fluids or saliva, see your doctor.

Colds

It is normal for a child to have eight or more colds a year. This is because there are hundreds of different cold viruses and young children have no immunity to any of them as they have never had them before. Gradually they build up immunity and get fewer colds.

Most colds get better in five to seven days. Here are some suggestions on how to ease the symptoms in your child:

  • Increase the amount of fluid your child normally drinks.
  • If your child has a fever, pain or discomfort, paracetamol or ibuprofen can help. There are child and infant products that will state on the packet how much you should give children of different ages.
  • Encourage the whole family to wash their hands regularly to stop the cold spreading.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are common in babies and small children. They often follow a cold and sometimes cause a temperature. A child may pull or rub at an ear, but babies cannot always tell where pain is coming from and may just cry and seem uncomfortable.

If your child has an earache but is otherwise well, give them infant or child dose paracetamol or ibuprofen for 12-24 hours. Do not put any oil, eardrops or cotton buds into your child’s ear unless your doctor advises you to do so.

Most ear infections are caused by viruses, which cannot be treated with antibiotics. They will just get better by themselves.

After an ear infection, your child may have a problem hearing for two to six weeks. If the problem lasts for any longer than this, ask your doctor for advice.

Glue Ear

Repeated middle ear infections (otitis media) may lead to 'glue ear' (otitis media with effusion), where sticky fluid builds up and can affect your child’s hearing. This may lead to unclear speech or behavioural problems.

Your doctor will give you advice on treating glue ear.

Baby & Childhood Vaccination Schedule

The Australian Government - Department of Health have developed a vaccination program for all infants, children, and teenagers. We recommend you ensure your child complies with this schedule to ensure they are immunised against preventable disease.

The schedule is attached HERE

Infant Feeding, Growth, Weight Checks

Feeding Guidelines

In line with accepted guidelines we recommend infants are  breastfed until around 6 months of age when solid foods are introduced. For further recommendations please download the Infant Feeding Guide - HERE

Childhood Growth

Children's growth can be affected by a range of factors, including:

  • Genetics
  • Environment
  • Nutrition
  • Biological causes
  • Health and well-being

Our practice recommends regular growth monitoring for:

  • Detecting slow or excessive growth
  • Checking the impact of illness and response to treatment
  • Screening for high risk individuals

Where any questions or problems arise, ask one of our doctor for advice.

Childhood Behavioural Issues

Behavioural issues can be mild and subjective or quite obvious. Regardless, if as a parent you feel that you need advice or help with the management of these issues ask one of our doctor for advice.

Causes of Childhood Behavioural Issues

Behavioural problems can result from temporary stressors in the child's life, or they might represent more enduring disorders.

While not an exhaustive list, some common disruptive behaviour disorders include:

  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD),
  • Conduct disorder (CD) and
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

At Batavia Health we are here to help with advice, treatment and/or referrals to trained professionals.

Paediatric and Adolescent Health Care

Children's and adolescent health care for young people aged between 0-18 years include:

  • General medical follow up for special care newborns,
  • Developmental behavioral screening and neurology,
  • Orthopaedics (fractures),
  • Plastic surgery and
  • Ear, Nose and Throat surgery
  • Endocrine clinics for diabetes and children’s growth
  • Other health therapies and case management for dietetics and autism assessment.

Preschool Checks

The Australian Government recommends Healthy Kids Checks which aims to identify health problems and promote healthy lifestyles.

When to arrange a Preschool Health Check?

The recommended timing is before your 4 year old child's scheduled vaccination. The examination enables your doctor to remain engaged with your child and offer health surveillance at an important transition in your child’s early life.

What is involved in a Preschool Health Check

As parents we encourage this opportunity to discuss parenting or health concerns, but it also consists of a checklist of examinations and assessments, six of which are mandatory, including:

  • Compliance with the recommended Vaccination Schedule
  • Checks for vision, hearing and oral health
  • Toilet practices and allergies
  • Growth and developmental checks

Childhood Obesity Management

What is Childhood Obesity

Obesity increases risk factors for children’s health. A child is defined as obese if their Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 85% of children and teens of the same age and sex.  Assess your child's BMI HERE

Treatment for Childhood Obesity

Treatment for childhood obesity is based on your child's age and if he or she has other medical conditions.

Treatment can include:

  • Changes in your child's eating habits
  • Changes in your child’s physical activity level.

In certain circumstances, treatment might include medications or weight-loss surgery.

Childhood Obesity Assessment

If you have concerns about your child’s weight, diet or activity level, a medical assessment maybe a good place to start.

At Batavia Health we are here to help with advice, treatment and/or referrals to trained professionals.