Children’s Health: 3 Things your pediatrician wants you to know [Sponsored]

Sponsored by Ochsner Health


What’s more important than your child’s health? That’s why it’s important to find the right pediatrician—one who will be your partner from the child’s infancy through adolescence and often beyond.

The pediatrics team at Oschner Baton Rouge provides extensive care options for children, making that partnership possible. Besides general pediatrics, Ochsner has pediatric doctors specializing in gastroenterology, neurology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, orthopedics, urology, cancer care, ENT (ear, nose & throat), allergy, dermatology, pulmonology, and child and adolescent psychiatry.  They also offer EEG testing, infusion services, pulmonary exams and lactation support services.

Dr. Wane James Jr., MD

Dr. James Wayne Jr. is one of the many pediatric specialists at Ochsner Baton Rouge. Dr. Wayne shares three important things that your child’s pediatrician wants you to know.

1. Well-child visits are important.

Parents typically do an excellent job of bringing their children in for well-child visits in the first year or two of life. With infants and toddlers, parents have a lot of questions about nutrition, growth and development. They also know children should have routine immunizations. However, once children turn 4 years old and get the immunizations that they need to start school, they often go several years without a wellness visit. It’s essential for parents to still bring their children in for a yearly visit even if they don’t need immunizations. At these visits, we discuss your child’s overall health, growth and development, nutrition, goal setting and safety. Even after they start kindergarten, plan on bringing your child in for a yearly visit. Schedule it around their birthday, so you don’t forget.

2. Antibiotics are for bacterial infections, not viral infections.

If your child has a low-grade fever, runny nose, congestion and cough, they are most likely suffering from a cold. Many different viruses can cause these symptoms, and antibiotics can treat none of them. Antibiotics can only treat bacterial infections like strep throat, ear infections, bacterial pneumonia and skin abscesses. Using antibiotics for a viral infection doesn’t work and is harmful. The antibiotics kill off some of the body’s healthy bacteria and can leave behind some resistant bacteria. Ultimately, when we need an antibiotic to help fight something like pneumonia, our choices are limited because we are fighting resistant bacteria. Parents can help physicians be good stewards of antibiotics by not requesting antibiotics to treat viruses like the common cold and not using leftover antibiotics.

3. There is still no cure for the common cold.

When a child is sick, parents will do anything to try to help them to feel better. They will give them vitamin C, herbal tea, echinacea, elderberry syrup or Vick’s VapoRub. Dr. Wayne has even seen families put onions in their children’s socks to help treat fever. Pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars on a wide variety of over-the-counter cough and cold medications, each claiming to treat cold symptoms effectively. The reality is that none of them actually cure the common cold, they only manage the symptoms. Instead of looking for a miracle medicine or supplement, try this:

  • • Make sure they drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • • Use a cool-mist humidifier to help them to clear mucus.
  • • Treat fever with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • • Make sure they get plenty of rest.
  • • Give it some time.

To make an appointment at an Ochsner Health Center, call 225.761.5200, or visit Ochsner.org/BatonRouge.