All About Allergies!

All About Allergies!

Everyone is excited about spring with the warmer temperatures and sunshine it can bring! However, for those that struggle with allergies, the increased pollens in the air can cause miserable allergy symptoms. Nasal allergies are an allergic reaction of the nose and sinuses to an inhaled substance. Most allergens float in the air. Trees, grass, weeds, and mold are the most common pollens. Tree pollens come in the spring, grass pollens come in the summer, and weed pollens come in the fall. Most nasal allergies continue through pollen season and can last 4 to 8 weeks.

Seasonal pollen allergies usually begin around 2 to 5 years and peak in school-aged children, teens, and young adults. Pollen symptoms are rare in children under 2 since they require at least 2 seasons of exposure to the pollen. If a child under 2 has chronic nasal symptoms, it is most likely due to other causes such as recurrent colds, large adenoids, or a cow’s milk allergy. Fevers do not accompany nasal allergies.


  • Clear nasal discharge with sneezing, sniffing, and itching of the nose
  • Red, watery, itchy, and puffy eyes
  • Ear and sinus congestion or fullness
  • Scratchy, hoarse, or tickly throat
  • Itchy ear canals or skin
  • Symptoms occur during pollen season
  • Similar symptoms occur during the same month of the last year


Have your child shower before bedtime to remove the pollen from the hair and skin. Keep windows closed in the home and the car, and turn on the air conditioner in your car to recirculate to help. Try to avoid window or attic fans which can pull in pollen. It is also helpful to stay indoors on windy days because pollen counts are much higher when it is dry and windy! Last, avoid playing with outdoor dogs, pollen collects in their fur.


The key to controlling allergies is to give allergy medication every day during pollen season. 

  • Allergy medicines are called antihistamines. They are the drug of choice for nasal allergies to help control symptoms such as runny nose, nasal itching, and sneezing.
  • You can give a short-acting allergy over-the-counter medicine such as Benadryl every 6-8 hours.
  • The bedtime dosage is especially important for healing the lining of the nose.
  • You can also use a long-acting over-the-counter allergy medicine such as Zyrtec. This medicine usually lasts up to 24 hours and may cause less drowsiness than Benadryl.


Saline nose drops or spray can help with seasonal allergies and are available at any drugstore without a prescription. This treatment helps to wash out pollen or to loosen up dried mucus. Put 3 drops in each nostril, blow each nostril out while closing off the other nostril, then repeat on the other side. Repeat nose drops and blowing until the discharge is clear.

Use nasal washes when your child can’t breathe through the nose or their nose is very itchy. Saline nose drops can also be made at home. Use ½ teaspoon of table salt, and stir the salt into 1 cup (8 ounces) of warm distilled or boiled water. A warm shower can also be effective to loosen mucus. Have your child breathe in the moist air, then blow each nostril.

If your child’s symptoms are not better in 2 days after starting an allergy medicine, contact the Pediatric Center for an appointment. At the Pediatric Center, we want to give you and your child the best information and treatment you can get. If your child becomes worse or you are concerned about your child’s health for any reason, please don’t hesitate to call the Pediatric Center. You can contact us at our Idaho Falls location at (208) 523-3060 or our Rigby location (208) 745-8927, to set up your appointment. We have a wonderful team of providers available for all of your children’s needs! 




Let’s Talk About Constipation!

Let’s Talk About Constipation!

Being able to go when you need to is something most people take for granted until they can’t! Constipation can happen to anyone no matter how young or old they are. If constipation isn’t taken care of properly, it can become quite painful for children and adults alike. There are some things you can do to help prevent constipation and to help relieve it if it happens to your children.


  • High Milk Diet. Milk and cheese are the only foods that in high amounts can cause constipation.
  • Low Fiber Diet. Fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • Low Fluid Intake. This is rarely the only cause of constipation, but can contribute to it.
  • Lack of Exercise. Exercise helps keep things moving! This is not usually a cause in children unless they are confined to a bed.
  • Trying not to go due to pain. If going causes pain, many children will hold off on going. This can also happen in the case of bad diaper rash or other health issues.
  • Holding it in because of power struggles. This is the most common cause of recurrent constipation in children. Most often it’s a battle around toilet training. If they are already trained, it may begin with the start of school. Some children refuse to use public toilets or others don’t go because they are too busy to sit down.
  • Slow passage of food through the intestines. This type usually runs in families and is sometimes called slow transit time.


Symptoms can vary from person to person but usually include stomach pain or even crying when trying to use the bathroom. Another symptom is not being able to pass a stool after straining or pushing longer than 10 minutes. Going to the bathroom should be free of pain. Any child with pain during stool passage or lots of straining needs treatment. At the very least, the child should be treated with changes in diet.

The normal range is passing a stool once every 2 days or up to 3 times per day. Once children are on normal table foods, their pattern is like adults. If your child has gone 3 or more days without passing a stool, they could be dealing with constipation. The exception to this is breastfed babies who are over 1 month old.


There are things you can do to help with your child’s constipation. These suggestions vary greatly depending on the age of your child. If your baby is constipated, help them by holding their knees against the chest. This is a natural position for pushing out a stool and can help. Gently pumping the lower stomach may also help. If the constipation is a result of toilet training, it is ok to put your child back in diapers or pull-ups for a short time. Give praise when they go into a diaper and give reassurance that it won’t hurt. Avoid any pressure or punishment and never force your child to sit on the potty against his will. This will only cause a power struggle. Treats, hugs, and rewards for not holding it in always work better!

If your child is toilet trained, try setting up a normal routine to sit on the toilet for 10 minutes after meals, especially after breakfast. Once able to go, they don’t need to sit again that day. Sitting in warm water can also help your child relax. There are also dietary changes that can help ease constipation:

  • Age over 1 month old only on breast milk or formula- Add fruit juice. Give 1 ounce (30 ml) per month of age per day. Pear or apple juice is okay at any age.
  • Age over 4 months old- Add baby foods with high fiber twice a day. Examples are peas, beans, apricots, prunes, peaches, pears, or plums.
  • Age over 8 months old on finger foods- Add cereals and small pieces of fresh fruit.

Diet for Children Over 1 Year Old

  1. Increase fruit juice apple, pear, cherry, grape, prune. Note: Citrus fruit juices are not helpful.
  2. Add fruits and vegetables high in fiber content. Examples are peas, beans, broccoli, bananas, apricots, peaches, pears, figs, prunes, or dates. Offer these foods 3 or more times per day.
  3. Increase whole grain foods. Examples are bran flakes or muffins, graham crackers, and oatmeal. Brown rice and whole wheat bread are also helpful. Popcorn can be used if over 4 years old.
  4. Limit milk products. This includes limiting milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt to 3 servings per day.
  5. Try a stool softener. If a change in diet doesn’t help, you can add a stool softener such as Miralax to children over 1. Give 1-3 teaspoons (5-15 ml) each day with dinner. 
  6. Fiber products such as Benefiber are also helpful. Give 1 teaspoon (5 ml) twice a day. Stool softeners and fiber work 8-12 hours after they are given and are safe to continue as long as needed.

At the Pediatric Center, we want to give you and your child the best information and treatment you can get. If your child’s constipation lasts more than 1 week after making changes to diet or you are concerned about your child’s health for any reason, please don’t hesitate to call your doctor at the Pediatric Center. You can contact us at our Idaho Falls location at (208) 523-3060 or our Rigby location (208) 745-8927, to set up your appointment. We have a wonderful team of physicians available for all of your children’s needs! 




Media Use Tips for Families

Media Use Tips for Families

Most of us and our children spend a lot of time every day on devices like tablets, smartphones, and laptops, etc. There can be a lot of good information and fun activities online, but too much time on devices can also have negative consequences. Excessive media use has been associated with aggression, behavior issues, obesity, lack of sleep, and problems in school. The beginning of a new year is a great time to set some media goals and guidelines for your children.  Here are some tips from The AAP on setting a media guideline plan for your family.

  1. Keep screens out of bedrooms. Set a media curfew where phones are in a different location for the night.
  2. Limit screen time to less than 1 or 2 hours per day.
  3. For children under 2, substitute unstructured play and human interaction for screen time.
  4. View the programs and apps your child is using. Talk about your family’s values and standards. An app that is rated for kids doesn’t necessarily mean it is free from inappropriate ads or content. Be vigilant and an active part of your child’s screen time.
  5. Look for activities and programs that are educational and set good examples for your kids.
  6. Be firm about not allowing any inappropriate content viewed on screens. Watch ratings and read reviews on all apps and games. If your teenager is using social media, be an active part of their account. Follow or friend them on social media sites so you can be a part of their social media experience.
  7. Talk to your children about the dangers of the internet. Make sure they understand the things they do and say on the internet cannot be deleted. Warn them about predators and strangers who might try to interact with them online. Teach them not to engage with strangers and to never share personal information. Talk about online bullying and treating people with as much respect online as in person.
  8. Have screen-free zones such as at mealtimes or family events. Turn off the TV when it isn’t in use instead of keeping it on in the background.
  9. Don’t use technology as a pacifier or babysitter. Children need to know how to deal with emotions. Encourage them to find ways other than technology to calm down.
  10. Remember kids will be kids. Handle mistakes or errors in judgement with empathy and try to use those mistakes as teachable moments to help them do better next time.

Media and digital devices are going to remain a part of our everyday lives, and some of the benefits and knowledge that can come online can be great. Remember that face-to-face interaction plays an even more important role in life for everyone of all ages. Playing with your kids and encouraging play dates and in-person social activities are great ways to help your kids have less screen time and more time with friends and family. If you want help creating a family media plan, you can get started at

At the Pediatric Center, we want to give you and your child the best information and treatment you can get. If you are noticing any issues related to screen time or any other matter, please don’t hesitate to call your doctor at the Pediatric Center. You can contact us at our Idaho Falls location at (208) 523-3060 or our Rigby location (208) 745-8927, to set up your appointment.


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Sleep Problems in Children

Sleep Problems in Children

All children differ in how much sleep they need, how long it takes them to fall asleep, and how easily they wake up. Read on for more information on how parents can help their children develop good sleep habits, even at an early age.


Babies have different sleep schedules than toddlers or even adults. They sleep longer during the day but for shorter periods of time amounting to about 16 hours a day. As they get older they need less sleep. My Pediatric Center suggests a few of the following tips for helping you and your baby sleep at night.

  • Keep your baby calm and quiet when you change them or feed them during the night.
  • Make daytime playtime – this allows them to know that when it is quiet at night that it is bedtime.
  • Put your baby to bed when drowsy but still awake.
  • Wait a few minutes before responding to their fussing. If it persists go in quietly without turning the light on and if you have to feed or change a diaper, do so quietly and gently to keep them in nighttime mode.

Toddlers and Preschoolers

Many parents tell My Pediatric Center that putting their kids to bed is the hardest part of their day. They often resist going to sleep especially if they have older siblings. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Set up a quiet routine before bedtime to help them understand that this is what they are supposed to do each night before bed. Things might include, brushing teeth, reading stories, taking a bath.
  • Be consistent about not playing games that get them riled up before going to bed.
  • Allow them to take a favorite item or toy to bed each night.
  • Make sure they are comfortable.
  • Don’t let them sleep in the same bed with you.
  • Don’t return to the bed every time they call or complain.
  • Give it time!!!

Common sleep problems in children

There are many things that can cause a child to wake up during the night. Most of these happen when children are overtired or under stress. Keeping your child on a regular sleep schedule may help prevent many of these problems. If your sleep problems with your child persist or get worse, talk with your child’s doctor.


What can you do when your children have nightmares and are having a hard time falling back asleep? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Go to them as quickly as possible
  • Assure them that you are there and won’t let anything harm them
  • Remind them that dreams are not real
  • Allow them to keep a light on if necessary
  • Try to get to the root of the problem and take care of it if you can. It could be as simple as shadows in their bedroom

Night Terrors

Night terrors cause major sleep problems in children. Night terrors occur in the deepest sleep which can be before their parents go to bed. My Pediatric Center says that your child might do these during the terror:

  • Cry uncontrollably
  • Sweat, shake, or breathe fast
  • Have a terrified, confused, or glassy-eyed look
  • Thrash around, scream, kick, or stare
  • Not recognize you or even realize you are there
  • Try to push you away, especially if you try to hold them

Night terrors can last as long as 45 minutes. Most children fall asleep right after or because they have not actually been awake or not realized what was happening.
What you can do:

  1. Stay calm – Night terrors are often more frightening for the parent than the child
  2. Do not try to wake your child
  3. Make sure your child cannot hurt themselves. If they try to get out of bed, gently restrain them

Sleep walking and sleep talking

Like night terrors, your child can sleep talk and sleep walk without actually being awake. Sleepwalking tends to run in families and can occur several times in one night in older children and teens. Here are some things that My Pediatric Center suggests you can do:

  • Make sure your child is safe and doesn’t hurt themselves
  • Lock outside doors so your child cannot leave the house
  • Block stairways so your child cannot go up or down them
  • Do not try to wake your child when they are sleepwalking or sleep talking. Gently guide them back to bed


Bedwetting at night is very common in children with sleep problems. Here are some things that we know about bedwetting:

  • Your child’s bladder cannot hold urine for a full night
  • Your child is a deep sleeper and can’t wake up to use the toilet
  • Your child is constipated, It can put pressure on the bladder
  • Your child’s body produces too much urine at night
  • Your child has a minor illness, is overly tired, or is responding to changes or stresses going on at home
  • There is a family history of bedwetting.

Here is what you can do:

  • Do not blame or punish them for wetting the bed and reassure them it will get better in time
  • Have your child us the toilet right before bed
  • Avoid giving them fluids before bed
  • Put a rubber or plastic cover over their mattress
  • Encourage them to help you change the wet sheets. This will help teach them responsibility and avoid embarrassment of having other family members know about the problem every time it happens.

Teeth Grinding

Children with sleep problems can also grind their teeth at night. This is not necessarily bad for their teeth, but check with a dentist to make sure. It is usually a sign they are under stress or tension and will go away with time. Here are some things that you can do:

  • Help your child deal with the stresses in their life
  • Talk with your child’s doctor to rule out any medical problems that may be causing the problem

If you have any questions or concerns please contact The Pediatric Center if you notice any of these, or any other, sleep problems in your child.

RSV Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention!

RSV Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention!

RSV (or  (or respiratory syncytial virus) is one of the many viruses that cause respiratory illness―illnesses of the nose, throat and lungs. Typically, RSV causes a cold which may or may not be followed by a a lower respiratory tract infection (bronchiolitis) or pneumonia. Symptoms usually last about 5-7 days. Almost all children get RSV at least once before they are 2 years old. For most healthy children, RSV is like a cold. But, some children get very sick with RSV.

Cold Symptoms Vs. Bronchiolitis

Cold symptoms may include fevers, wet or dry coughs, congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and fussiness or poor feeding in babies. Bronchiolitis can include the cold symptoms plus fast breathing, flaring of the nostrils, head bobbing with breathing, rhythmic grunting during breathing, belly breathing, tugging between the ribs and/or lower neck, and wheezing. Watch your child’s rib cage as they inhale. If you see it “caving in” and forming an upside-down “V” shape under the neck, they are working too hard to breathe.

    Infants at Greater Risk of RSV

    • 12 weeks old or younger at the start of RSV season
    • Premature or low birth weight infants (especially those born before 29 weeks gestation)
    • Chronic lung disease of prematurity
    • Babies with certain types of heart defects
    • Additional risk factos include mother smoking or being around secondhand smoke, history of allergies and eczema, not breasteeding, and being around children in a child care setting.

    At The Pediatric Center

    Call the Pediatric Center right away if your child develops any symptoms of bronchiolitis, symptoms of dehydration, pauses or difficulty breathing, gray or blue color to tongue, lips, or skin, or significantly decreased activity and alertness. Your Pediatric Center provider can diagnose your child by doing a physical exam, nasal swab test, or even a chest x-ray or oxygen saturation test to check for lung congestion in severe cases.


    Treatment for RSV is similar to the treatment you would give your child if they had a bad cold. To make them feel more comfortable:

    • Use nasal saline with gentle suctioning to allow easier breathing and feeding.
    • Run a cool-mist humidifier to help break up mucus and allow easier breathing.
    • Make sure they stay hydrated with fluids and frequent feedings. Try to suction baby’s nose before feeding.
    • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen (if older than 6 months) can be used to help with low-grade fevers. Always avoid aspirin and cough and cold medications in babies and young children.


    RSV is spread just like any other common-cold virus through direct person-to-person contact with saliva, mucus, or nasal discharge. To prevent RSV, limit your child’s exposure to crowds, other children, and anyone who is sick. Disinfect objects and surfaces in your home regularly, and feed your baby breastmilk which has unique antibodies to prevent and fight infections. One of the best things you can do to prevent RSV or any other illness is to WASH YOUR HANDS! Scrub for at least 20 seconds with soap and water! 

    Call The Pediatric Center

    At the Pediatric Center, we want to give you and your child the best information and diagnosis, you can get. If you are noticing any severe cold or bronchiolitis symptoms in your child, don’t hesitate to call your doctor at the Pediatric Center. You can contact us at our Idaho Falls location at (208) 523-3060 or our Rigby location (208) 745-8927, to set up your appointment.


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    Urinary Tract Infection in Children

    Urinary Tract Infection in Children

    Knowing the symptoms, causes and treatments for Urinary Tract Infections in children, is the first step in preventing this serious infection from occurring. First, we need to understand what the urinary tract is so we can better understand the infection.

    The Urinary Tract

    The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and the urethra. The urinary tract makes and stores urine. Urine is produced in the kidneys and then runs down two tubes known as the ureters. The bladder, a thin muscular bag, stores the urine until it is ready to exit the body. When it is time for the urine to exit the body, a muscle relaxes and urine is expelled through the body, through the urethra. The urethra opening is located above the vaginal opening for girls and at the end of the penis for boys.

    Urinary Tract Infections

    Normal urine has no bacteria. However, if bacteria does enter the urine this can lead to Urinary Tract Infections in children, two of the ways that germs can enter the urine are:

    • The skin that surrounds the rectum and genitals.
    • The blood stream from other parts of the body.

    Bacteria can cause infections in one or all parts of the Urinary Tract, such as the following:

    • Kidneys (called pyelonephritis)
    • Bladder (called cystitis)
    • Urethra (called urethritis)

    Urinary Tract Infections in children are common and by 11 years old about 3% of girls and 1% of boys will have had one. Babies born too soon or infants that have something blocking the flow of urine are more likely to experience a UTI sooner in life. While it is more common for girls to contract UTIs than boys, boys can get UTIs as well. Boys who are uncircumcised have more UTIs than those who have been circumcised. Children who have a high fever, have a 1 in 20 chance of a UTI, even if they do not show any other symptoms.

    Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections in Children

    Symptoms of UTIs may include the following:

    • Pain or burning, during urination
    • Needing to urinate more often or frequent bedwetting of a child who knows to use the toilet
    • Urgent need to urinate
    • Fever
    • Refusing to eat, vomiting
    • Side or back pain
    • Abdominal pain
    • Foul-smelling urine
    • Bloody or cloudy urine
    • Poor growth in an infant
    • Unexplained and persistent irritability in an infant

    Urinary Tract Infection Diagnosis

    If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms caused by a UTI, your pediatrician at The Pediatric Center will do any of the following procedures for Urinary Tract Infections in children:

    • Ask about your family’s medical history, especially the history pertaining to Urinary Tract infections.
    • Ask your child about their symptoms.
    • Examine your child.
    • Ask what foods your child has been eating and drinking.
    • Get a urine sample, this is to test is check to see if your child’s urine contains bacteria or any other abnormalities.

    How Urine is Collected

    When it comes to Urinary Tract Infections in children, the urine must be tested and analyzed to determine whether there is a bacterial infection in the urinary tract. Older children will be asked to leave a urine sample in a container. Urine can be collected three different ways:

    • Catheter – The preferred method to collect urine is by using a catheter. A catheter is a small tube that goes through the urethra into the bladder. The urine flows through this tube and is expelled into a special container
    • Needle Aspiration – another method to obtain urine is to insert a needle into the bladder and extract the urine.
    • Plastic Bag – for Urinary Tract infections in children that are too young to use the toilet, the doctor may place a plastic bag over the child’s genitals to get a good urine sample. Bacteria on the skin can contaminate the sample and give a false result, that’s why this method is only used to screen for an infection. If an infection does seem to be present within the urine, the doctor will collect the urine by using one of the first two methods mentioned earlier, to determine if bacteria is present in the urine.

    Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections in Children

    Since UTIs are caused by bacteria, antibiotics are used to treat this type of infection. The antibiotics will usually need to be taken for 7 to 14 days, depending on what your doctor at The Pediatric Center prescribes. Antibiotics can be administered orally with a liquid or pills. If your child is not able to hold food down, antibiotics may need to be given by injection. Even if your child feels better, you need to make sure that they take the entire prescribed medication to get rid of the infection. Urinary Tract Infections in children need to be treated to:

    • Prevent the spread of the infection outside of the urinary tract.
    • Reduce the chances of kidney damage.
    • Get rid of the infection.

    Follow up at The Pediatric Center

    Urinary Tract Infections in children that occur when they are very young, are no cause for alarm, but they do require follow up appointments at The Pediatric Center. Your doctor will want to see your child for an ultrasound to see if the kidneys and bladder are acting normal. Remember early diagnosis and treatment for Urinary Tract infections in children is important because if left untreated, this can lead to long term medical issues in the future. If a child has had a UTI in the past, they are more likely to get one again. Call The Pediatric Center at (208) 523-3060 to talk to your doctor if you suspect your child has developed a Urinary Tract Infection.

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