Author: Towson Pediatrics

Bullying and Its Impact on Children’s Mental Health

Over the years many of us as adults had to deal with aggressive and short-tempered employers. You probably remember how that made you feel, and how you reacted to being treated that way. Even as an adult, it was difficult to handle. Can you imagine how that will affect a child? Let’s consider bullying and its impact on children’s mental health.

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Helping Your Child Navigate Through Spring Allergy Season

Spring is great! Well, maybe not so much if you suffer with seasonal allergies. You know the drill with sneezing, itchy eyes, and needing to blow your nose continuously. It’s bad enough when you are the one suffering, but it’s harder to deal with if it’s your little one. Helping your child navigate through spring allergy season is not an easy task, but we can give you some useful tips.

Is It A Cold Or Allergies?

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether your child has a common cold or is suffering with allergies. There are symptom similarities like congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, nose and face, but there are some telltale signs of an allergy.

They include the following:

  • Your child gets a “cold” at the same time every year, like when the weather changes.
  • Your child is rubbing their face especially the eyes and nose.
  • You notice your child is breathing through their mouth instead of their nose.
  • The intense congestion can cause asthma symptoms like being short of breath.
  • The drainage from allergies will be clear and watery, whereas a cold will produce thicker mucus with a yellow or green color.

Best Ways To Help Your Child Navigate Through Spring Allergy Season

Once you are sure your child is suffering with seasonal allergies, there are ways to combat its effects.

Limit Outside Play Time
Of course you don’t want to prevent children from playing outside now that the weather is so pleasant, but you can choose the right time. Have them remain indoors in the morning when the pollen count is at its highest. Let them be outside in the afternoon or early evening. They need the valuable Vitamin D the sun provides.

little girl blowing her nose.

Try to watch the daily pollen counts, and avoid too much outdoor time on windy and dry days.

Keep Your Windows Closed
This is a tough one. You crave the warm air of spring after a long winter, but it’s best to close out the pollen. Use your AC.

Talk With Towson Pediatrics About The Right OTC Medications
There are many OTC children’s meds for allergy symptoms. Watch that you use the right dosage. Begin dosing as soon as symptoms begin and don’t stop until the pollen count drops. It takes a while for the medications to work properly, so give your kids a head start.

If they don’t seem to be working, it is best to speak to your pediatrician. It may be that your child needs weekly shots to combat their symptoms.

Expand The COVID Recommendations
This means not only wash hands as soon as you and your family come inside, but change clothes, bathe and wash hair before bedtime. Pollen will stick to everything, and it’s best your little one NOT bring it to bed with them.

Whatever you do to help your child navigate through spring allergy season, do not ignore it. Untreated allergies can lead to more serious problems like asthma flare ups.

Contact Towson Pediatrics if your child is not responding to over the counter medications for allergy symptoms.

Understanding Inhaled Medications for Asthma

If you or one of your children has asthma, you are well aware of the confusing and ever changing guidelines about inhaled medications. Asthma is a chronic disease that needs constant management, and most asthma sufferers carry around at least one type of inhaler. Understanding inhaled medications for asthma and which type to use, and when, is the best way to control symptoms.

What Is an Asthma Attack?

During an asthma attack, you experience three things:

  • There is a bronchospasm when the muscles around your airways tighten making those airways more narrow. Air can’t flow normally.
  • Inflammation causes the lining of the airways to become swollen.
  • Mucus production increases, making the airway even more clogged.

Asthma Affects All Ages, Many Varied Symptoms

Children, adolescents, and adults are all susceptible to asthma and their attacks. There are wide ranges of symptoms and severity as well as various treatment options. The most common being an inhaler.

child with an inhaler.

Since asthma is caused by inflammation and swelling of airways, the inhaled medication works two ways. A bronchodilator relaxes the muscles that tighten airways, and an anti-inflammatory reduces any swelling and mucus.

Recent studies are showing that overuse of bronchodilators can increase the frequency of symptoms and attacks, whereas anti-inflammatories can lead to better symptom relief.

Latest Asthma Treatment Recommendations

Researchers agree that short-term relief bronchodilators like albuterol should be used immediately for quick relief which can last up to 6 hours. Long-acting controller meds in combination with anti- inflammatory inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) can keep airways open for up to 12 hours. This is usually taken as a maintenance daily-use medication to control or prevent asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation. Therefore, a rescue inhaler will not be needed as frequently.

New guidelines from National Institutes of Health (NIH) state the preferred line of treatment for many asthma patients is a combination single maintenance reliever therapy or SMART. It can also be an option for some people. It consists of one inhaler with two meds: an ICS and formoterol, a long-acting therapy. This can be used for both maintenance and during an attack.

It is best to speak with a specialist like Towson Pediatrics in Towson and Fallston about your options and which therapy is best for you or your children.

Contact Towson Pediatrics for Towson clinic (410) 769-8801 and Fallston clinic (443) 981-3337 for additional information and recommendations for asthma treatment.

5 Tips To Prepare Your Home For A Newborn

You have spent several months preparing the nursery for your bundle of joy including new furniture, curtains, paint, and a spanking new rocking chair just for you. That feeling of satisfaction shouldn’t lull you into a sense of complacency, though. Sorry, there is still much to do! You have the time before your little one comes home to complete a few more tasks, so we suggest 5 tips to prepare your home for a newborn.

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COVID Vaccines for Children

When it comes to fighting COVID-19, we know there are many sources of information. We are grateful you trust us to give you the answers you need and the care your family deserves.

A child sitting on a chair with a band aid on her arm.

Our Approach to COVID-19 Vaccine

When you come to Towson Pediatrics, we want you to feel comfortable throughout the vaccine process. Here are a few things to get you started:

  • On the day of your appointment, you will check in to our front desk as you do for a normal appointment.
  • Children 6 months through 5 years of age can be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech.
  • We will ask you to view the CDC’s fact sheet and to sign a waiver or consent form.
  • After check-in, you and your child may wait in the lobby. We kindly ask for your patience as you allow us to get your vaccine ready.

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2022-2023 Flu Season: Preparing Your Family

To be clear, the CDC recommends everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot this year. The most vulnerable are seniors over age 65 and young children with respiratory issues like asthma and illness which lowers immunity. There is more to understand about the 2022-2023 flu season: preparing your family.

child getting a flu shot.

Timing Of The Flu Season

The flu season starts in October, peaks in December through February and can last through May. Getting the flu shot for yourself and your family is best completed by the end of October. It takes two weeks for the immunity to kick in, so don’t wait until the flu is rampant in your area. Keep in mind, you can still get a shot late in the season.

This year, the flu could be severe. It has been reduced the last few years due to the COVID restrictions.

Flu Is A Serious Disease

Every year there are millions of cases, several hundred thousand hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths. In a normal flu season 40,000 deaths can occur. Many of those deaths are children.

Both Flu And COVID Will Still Be Around

Some people could have the flu and COVID at the same time this season, overwhelming our healthcare system. Get protected from both — it is possible to get both vaccines at the same time.

You need a specific vaccine to protect you from each virus. The flu shot won’t protect you from COVID and vice versa.

If you have a well care visit coming up, ask for both vaccines to be administered. Of course you can visit almost any pharmacy or other clinic to receive the shot.

Double Dose For First Time Flu Shots

If your child is receiving their first flu vaccine, they need to get two shots several weeks apart to boost their immunity.  Talk to our staff at Towson Pediatrics about the specifics.

Know The Symptoms

The flu bug hits you quite suddenly. That is one of its telltale signs, whereas a cold usually comes on gradually.

Look for the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat and cough
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

With COVID, strep and other respiratory illnesses coming at us during 2022-2023, here is a valuable chart to help you decipher the symptoms. Dr. Assaad may also want to conduct tests.

Keeping your family safe from illness is a parent’s responsibility. Protection is always easier than the treatment.

Contact Towson Pediatrics at (410) 769-8801 to make an appointment for a flu shot or if you have questions about the flu season and preparing your family.

The Difference Between Pediatric Physicals And Well-Child Visits

Do you think alligators and crocodiles are the same? How about jam and jelly, or concrete and cement? These are examples of things that are similar but not the same. It is a roundabout way to get to our topic: the difference between pediatric physicals and well child visits. Both are necessary, somewhat similar, but NOT the same.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Now Recommended for Ages 12 and Older

The CDC and AAP now recommend adolescents ages 12 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19, down from the previous authorized age of 16. The team at Towson Pediatrics is naturally excited with this development, as we recognize that children getting vaccinated will bring us one step closer to getting back to normal!

Read more about the safety, efficacy, and vaccine administration strategy for this new age group at the

Read More About the Vaccine