In just a few hours ENT Health Month For Kids will be well underway. The month-long celebration is designed to promote awareness and education for ear, nose, and throat related issues. National health statistics reveal that pediatric ear, nose, and throat disorders remain among the primary reasons children visit a physician, with ear infections ranking as the number one reason for an appointment. From earaches to choking hazards, kids can suffer from a variety of ailments that require prompt diagnosis and treatment. If you work in pediatrics, you’ll be no stranger to these various aches and pains. While they may seem like minor growing pains, if left untreated, these can lead much more serious issues. Let’s take a look at why ENT Health Month For Kids is such an important time.
ENT Health Month For Kids
When is it Time to See a Specialist?
If you’re a pediatric doctor or deal with kids in the healthcare realm, you’ll probably stumble across cases that you need to forward to a specialist. Now that we’re well into winter, you’ve probably even seen an increase of these types of cases. Part of the importance of ENT Health Month For Kids is to know exactly what to look for when a patient comes in.
The Persisting Cold
It’s no secret that children are more susceptible to colds. With their willingness to touch the dirtiest of surfaces, and constant interaction with other children, it’s no surprise that your usual patient is probably a child suffering from a cold. While it’s normal for a child’s cold to last longer than expected, if it’s persistent for over a week, it might be time to pass them on to an ENT specialist.
One of the biggest recommendations during ENT Health Month For Kids is the use of ear tubes. These tubes are designed to provide relief for children who get ear infections on a regular basis. The decision whether to use ear tubes is made with input from a child’s parents, a pediatrician and the pediatric ENT specialist. As always, recommend to patients that they avoid going underwater and going outside in the cold while still wet. Both of these can greatly increase the chances of getting an ear infection.
It’s also important to monitor a child’s hearing in the earlier months as well. Three million children under the age of 18 have some hearing loss including 4 out of every 1,000 newborns. So, every parent and caregiver should be watchful of the signs of hearing the loss in his/her child and seek a professional diagnosis. Hearing loss can increase the risk of speech and language developmental delays.
Although many think it’s cute when a child snores, it’s actually a sign of a serious issue. Certain conditions, such as sleep apnea, can lead to a variety of health issues including malformation of facial bones, behavior issues, and even bed-wetting. If your patient snores frequently, it could be tonsillitis, sleep apnea, or a deviated septum. These are all serious issues that should be looked at right away by a specialist. Luckily, most of these issues can be fixed with minimally invasive procedures.
ENT Health Month For Kids also wants you and your patients to be aware of the importance of keeping your microbiome healthy. Our microbiome is the collection of all of the trillions of bacteria living in and on our body. It can be split up into several smaller, site-specific microbiomes. Our oral microbiome lives in our ear, nose, and throat and helps to keep the oral part of our body healthy. Probiotics are crucial when remaining healthy. Make sure to recommend fruits and vegetables, as well as foods that contain vitamin K12. These will help regulate the microbiome so it can fend off any future illness. It’s also a good idea to avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. While these can surely fight off major illness, they will also wipe out the good bacteria as well, leaving many children vulnerable.
As always, if you have any other ways you’re celebrating ENT Health Month For Kids, feel free to leave a comment below! It’s time that we celebrate ENT Health Month For Kids!