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5 important things your pediatrician wants you to know

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

We know that keeping your children healthy is a full-time job! That's why FOX 26 News turned to Texas Children's Hospital to get tips to help your child be as healthy as possible.

Dr. Christina Propst with Texas Children's Pediatrics shares with us the top 5 things your pediatrician wants you to know, ranging from prevention to treatments.

1. "The most important one to me is vaccines and that they're safe and are important. There has been a lot of misinformation about vaccines in the press and online and vaccines have been proven to prevent important and deadly diseases. It is still pertinent right now here in Texas. For example, pertussis or whooping cough," says Dr. Propst.

2. Fever: "For children under 2 months of age, we consider a fever of anything over 100.4 degrees F, 38 degrees C. A baby who is one month to two months old with a temperature of 100.4 that family should call their pediatrician! They will need to be seen in the ER or pediatrician's office that day. For the older child, 102.2 or 39 degrees C is our reference point for concern. Children who are six years old with a 100 degree fever are more likely to have a viral infection than to have a serious bacterial infection," explains Dr. Propst.

3. Know the difference between a common cold and a bacterial infection. "For most older children, if their temperature is below 102.2, have a mild cough and clear congestion, a scratchy throat, that would be from a viral, upper respiratory infection or common cold. A child with fever over 102.2 - wheezing or difficulty breathing, severe ear or throat pain, that is more likely to be bacterial and we would want to see that child in the office," says Dr. Propst.

4. Diet: "Portion size is very important. A lot of families are busy and they eat out a lot and I talk to my families about when you go out and order something, before you take that first bite, take a look at the size of what's on your plate. and think, am I really that hungry, or should I put some in a go box and have it for lunch tomorrow. Good nutrition starts young. We want to avoid the high fructose, high juice diet. We want to avoid the high fat, fried food diet. Be sure they get different colors, the whole rainbow on their plate and it doesn't have to be all at one meal, but gradually get them interested in different colors and textures," says Dr. Propst.

5. Prevention: "It's very important for anyone with a child to be aware of safety concerns and just good habits to keep their children safe. There are some good resources that are handy to getting children used to how germs and colds are spread. Safety also includes things like car seats. It includes helmets when they're on a scooter or bike. Water safety, sun safety, that's all a part of prevention," explains Dr. Propst.

No matter how simple these steps may be, doctors agree that it's important to be reminded about them. Doctors say following a plan like this really can increase your child's quality of life.

For more resources, visit http://www.texaschildrenspediatrics.org/

Doctors at Texas Children's Hospital use "Henry the Hand" to teach children how important it is to wash those little hands, and they get feedback from their patients, who watch it.

On the Web:

Henry the Hand -- http://www.henrythehand.com/

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