Pediatric doctors- Dr. Constance Walker McMullan- Gastonia pediatricianWhat a pediatric specialist needs to be able to do

Pediatric specialists start by learning the same basic qualifications as a primary care physician, but they need another set of skills as well. They need to be able to talk to children at every stage of childhood from infants who can’t talk to teens who don’t listen. They need to be able not only to put patients of any age at ease in an unfamiliar setting, but to be able to explain complicated medical problems to frightened parents.

Growing pains

One of the hardest jobs of a pediatric specialist is diagnosing growing pains. The condition known as growing pains isn’t defined by any particular set of symptoms that make it clear what’s happening. In order to diagnose it, the pediatric specialist must rule out other possible conditions. If the joints are at all swollen or discolored or massaging the muscles causes further discomfort, this isn’t growing pains — it’s something more serious.

Growing pains appear in the thigh and calf muscles and behind the knees. They are most often seen between the ages of three and five, and between eight and twelve.

Problems in the ear, nose and throat

A pediatric specialist needs to be especially good at ear, nose and throat problems. Babies not only get a lot of ear infections, they get earaches while teething. Older children, who spend most of their waking hours in school around other children, catch whatever colds, flu and respiratory ailments are going around.

When allergies turn dangerous

Pediatric science isn’t quite sure why allergies have become more and more common, although one theory is that improvements in hygiene have left children’s immune systems more prone to false alarms, so to speak. About 50 million people in America have some form of allergy. The most common is hay fever, which is unpleasant but not dangerous. What you need to worry about are the potentially dangerous allergies that can cause anaphylactic shock. One of the most common triggers of anaphylaxis is, unfortunately, one of the most common foods — the peanut. Other potentially lethal triggers, like lavender, are less common but harder to anticipate. Since a common treatment for anaphylaxis is the epinephrine injection, part of pediatric care is teaching children how to inject themselves.

A pediatric clinic in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric clinic conveniently located west of Charlotte. It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If you need a pediatric specialist, call today.