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Pediatric Specialty Care with your Primary Care Physician

When a child feels unwell "in the moment" - during cold and flu season, for example - parents immediately think to call their pediatrician. But what if your child is struggling with a more complex or chronic problem? For these types of visits, it may feel as if a specialist, urgent care, or even an emergency room is the better place to go. However, your pediatrician is actually the best place to go for non-emergency care.

Capital Area Pediatrics understands that not every health issue a child faces will be from an acute problem such as a cold or the flu. To help your family better address a wide range of concerns, we offer management for a variety of complex or chronic conditions. From concussion evaluations, to chronic headaches, to struggles with skin conditions, our practice is here to help your family address a variety of health issues. To schedule an appointment and discuss an issue of concern with your family pediatrician, find your nearest location and contact us today.


Pediatrician examining the kid

FAQs on Pediatric Speciality & Chronic Care Services

When Should I Contact Your Practice, Versus Another Care Center?

Whenever possible, to maintain continuity of care, we recommend contacting your pediatrician before visiting with another doctor or center. The exception to this rule, of course, is that families should visit an ER during an emergency situation. 911 should be contacted promptly in the event of problems such as:

  • a child turning blue due to breathing difficulties
  • a child losing consciousness due to an accident or injury
  • a child suffering from a prolonged seizure
  • a child experiencing uncontrolled bleeding
  • your family develops concerns about a potential neck or spine injury to a child

Whenever it is possible to visit your family doctor, and waiting is safe for your child, we recommend doing so. This will allow families to maintain care within their family practice, which allows for better continuity of care and is more cost-effective than an ER and some urgent care visits.

What are Some Examples of Specialty, Long-Term Care Available at CAP?

The following is a very short list highlighting just some of the more specialized, long-term care services available at our practices. More information on each service is also available below.

  • Concussion
  • Acne
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Eczema
  • Chronic Headaches

How Can Capital Area Pediatrics Help with Concussion Care?

It is important to know that concussions aren't just for sports players. Bike accidents, falls, and other accidents can all lead to a concussion - even if the child isn't hit in the head. Because of this, it's important for parents to report concerning symptoms to their regular doctor, as well as to mention any injuries that occurred prior to the symptoms developing.

Symptoms parents should monitor for following an injury, fall, or similar incident include the following:

  • A dazed or stunned appearance
  • Confusion about what is going on
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slowed speech
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Mood swings, behavior changes, and changes in sleep patterns
  • Complaints of headaches or pressure within the head
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Complaints of feeling sluggish, hazy, groggy, or just plain “off”

Based on what you report to them, your doctor may recommend that your child come in for additional evaluation based on their symptoms. During the visit, your doctor can conduct an exam, as well as ask for information regarding any accidents leading up to the child’s symptoms. As part of the exam, your doctor may also test your child’s strength, senses, balances, reflexes, and memory. If needed, they may order additional tests to confirm a diagnosis.

Following diagnosis, an individualized treatment plan will be created based on the severity of the child's symptoms and the findings of their evaluation. Regular follow up visits are usually scheduled to reassess your child’s progress during recovery.

How Can Capital Area Pediatrics Help with Acne Management?

Children, particularly teenagers, commonly suffer from stubborn acne that doesn't respond to the same hygienic practices that adults use to care for and clean their skin. If your child is struggling to clear up their skin, a visit to your Capital Area Pediatrics doctor may be in order before visiting a dermatologist. We can offer recommendations on over-the-counter and prescription medicines designed specifically to treat acne; as well as offer lifestyle advice to assist in acne control. If treatment plans are not successful, the next team will be providing a referral to a local dermatologist.

How Can Capital Area Pediatrics Help with Constipation Care?

Constipation is an extremely common condition that makes it difficult to have a bowel movement. It is so common that we are all likely to experience it at least occasionally during our lifetimes. But when children begin to suffer from more than an occasional bout with constipation, it's important to bring them to your pediatrician for an evaluation and consultation.

Many cases of constipation can be improved by simple dietary adjustments that your pediatrician can review. Additionally, your doctor can provide medication to assist with short term and long term treatment of constipation. Your doctor can also rule out an underlying health condition as a contributing factor to your child’s difficult bowel movements. Many children with constipation have more than just one bout, often becoming chronically constipated. Our pediatricians are equipped to develop a long term treatment plan for your child and will establish regular follow up to make sure your child feels their best.

How Can Capital Area Pediatrics Help with Abdominal Pain?

Abdominal pain, often called a stomach ache, can present anywhere from the bottom of the ribcage to the belly button to the groin. Acute abdominal pain is one of the most common reasons that children visit their doctor; and chronic or recurrent abdominal pain occurs in 9 to 15 percent of all children.

In most cases, abdominal pain is not serious and gets better without treatment. However, when it lasts a long time or happens over and over again - and a specific cause has not been found - chronic abdominal pain can be quite bothersome. The pain can affect the child's ability to have a normal life, including attending school. And in the worst case scenarios, the pain may indicate an uncommon but life-threatening condition that requires emergency care.

If your child suffers from acute or chronic abdominal pain, we recommend bringing them to their pediatrician for an initial evaluation. Based on our exam and findings, we can either prescribe treatment for the cause of your child's symptoms, or recommend additional testing (or, if needed, emergency care) to further assess the problem. We can also provide a referral to the appropriate specialist based upon our initial workup and treatment results.

How Can Capital Area Pediatrics Help with Eczema?

Eczema is a medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed. About 1 out of every 10 kids will develop eczema. While this skin condition does not appear to be preventable, it's known that certain triggers can make it worse. Therefore, it's important to meet with your pediatrician to discuss how to manage and prevent flare-ups of the condition. This meeting will also allow your doctor to conduct an examination, review a child's medical history, and confirm an eczema diagnosis. Following confirmation, your doctor can prescribe an appropriate treatment, as well as identify potential triggers.

How Can Capital Area Pediatrics Help with Chronic Headaches?

Headaches are one of the most common sources of discomfort among both adults and children. When children struggle with chronic headaches, it's important to identify their cause. Infections, stress or anxiety, poor sleep, and even head trauma may be to blame for the discomfort. If your child experiences frequent headaches, contact your doctor for an examination. Depending on the source of the headaches, your doctor may recommend pain relievers, dietary changes, stress management techniques, and other treatment plans. We can also provide a referral to a specific headache clinic or neurologist that offers specialized care, and will address your child’s needs based upon our initial intake and plan.