Summer Swim Safety

Summer is a time for kids to get out and enjoy playing outdoors. Because we live in the south, it is HOT! Many turn to swimming in a pool, at a beach, or the lake to cool off. Because swimming is a big part of summer outdoor activities, we need to think about how we can safeguard our children. 

Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of death among children aged 1-4 and a top cause of death among teens? It can happen to any family. Drowning deaths are silent and can can happen fast. Unlike drownings portrayed in movies, there is little splashing or cries for help. It takes as few as twenty seconds to drop below water and less than a minute to drown. 

Prevention is the key. One major step with drowning prevention is teaching your children to swim. This is a skill that could save their lives. We know know that children can benefit from and begin with swim lesions as early as 1 year of age. Lessons for children aged 1-4 years will mostly consist of water survival skills. Most children are ready for actual swim lessons by the age of 4. It is important to realize, however, that swim lessons are just on of the many layers of protection to keep your children safe. Regardless of location, even experienced swimmers should never swim alone. Always enforced the buddy system. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends multiple layers of protection in order to prevent drowning deaths. Depending on the setting, there are various ways to protect your children when near water or swimming. 

Backyard Pools

Most drownings in children under the age of 4 occur in backyard pools. Over half of these drownings occur while the child was not supposed to be outside or near the water. If you are planning of spending a lot of time in the pool, or if you are a homeowner with a pool, please take time to safeguard your pool. 

  • Pool fence: It is best to have a pool fence that is at least 4 feet tall and surrounds the pool on all four sides. Nothing should be near the fence that would allow the child to climb over. The slats should be no more than 4 inches apart. The gate should always be latched. A gate alarm adds an additional layer of safety. 
  • Designate a water watcher: This person should be free of all distractions and should watch the water at all times. A water watcher should be a responsible teen or a sober adult. It is a good idea to alternate the designated person frequently. 
  • Make you pool a safe zone at all times: Ensure all pool drains are updated with anti-entrapment drain covers. When watching children in the pool, make sure they do not play near drains. It is also a good idea to tie back long hair and for children to wear properly fitting swimsuits. Additionallly, never leave toys floating in the pool. Children might try to retrieve the toy and and fall in. 
  • Life jackets: Non-swimmers should always wear a properly fitted life jacket. You should never rely on flotation devices such as a water rings, floaties, or pool noodles. It is a good idea to have life vests available if you own a pool. 
  • Buddy System: Even experienced swimmers should never swim alone. 

Open Water Safety

Children aged 5-17 are more likely to drown in open water such as a lakes, ponds, oceans. Talk to your older children about open water safety. 

  • Designate a water watcher: As with pool safety, it is imperative that children be supervised while in the water at all times. Young swimmers and inexperienced children should be within arms reach. The water watcher should be free of all distractions. 
  • Life jackets: Always wear a life jacket when participating in water activities. All persons on a boat should wear a life jacket, including adults. It is best for non-swimmers to wear a life jacket even when around the water, such as playing near the waterfront, while on a dock, or on the beach near the water. 
  • Teach water survival skills: These skills include such things as jumping in the water feet first. Once submerged in the water, come back to the surface immediately.  Learning to float or tread water are also important skills to teach your child. 
  • Identifying potential hazards: There are different hazards depending on location. Always be aware of hazards such as rip tides, undertow, limited visibility, and depth. 
  • Only use designated swimming areas: Try to swim in areas where there will be a lifeguard present. Additionally, pay attention to weather warnings and red flags at the beach. There are usually signs posted regarding hazards and lifeguard schedules. 

Always safety first! Knowing what to do in an emergency situation is crucial. It could be the difference between life or death. 

  • Learn first aid and CPR. 
  • Always have a phone with you in case of an emergency. 
  • Teach your children how to call 911. 
  • Recognize warning signs of drowning.
    • The person may be quiet. 
    • They may remain upright in the water. 
    • Eyes may look glassy or be closed. 
    • Hair might be covering eyes or forehead. 
    • The person’s head might be low in the water tilted up. 
    • Often do not seem in distress. 
    • Trying to swim in a particular direction, but appear to be getting nowhere. 
    • Hyperventilating or gasping. 
    • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder. 

For more information about pool and water safety, visit:

Happy and safe summer to all!

Understanding Fever in Children: A Pediatrician’s Guide

As parents, it’s natural to worry when our children develop a fever. Fever is not an illness in itself, but rather a symptom indicating that the body is fighting an infection. As a pediatrician, I often encounter concerns and questions from parents about fever. Let’s cover what fever means, when to be concerned, and how to manage it.

What is fever?

Fever is the body’s natural response to an infection. It’s characterized by an elevation in body temperature above the normal range, which is around 98.6° F (37° C) when measured orally. In children, fever is generally considered when their temperature exceeds 100.4° F (37° C) rectally.

When to be Concerned

Fever itself is not usually a cause for alarm. However, certain circumstances warrant medical attention:

  • Age: In infants younger than three months, even a slight increase in temperature can be significant. Contact your pediatrician immediately if your newborn has a fever.
  • Duration: If the fever lasts more than a few days or is persistent despite home treatments, consult your pediatrician.
  • High Fever: High fever accompanied by other symptoms such as lethargy, difficulty breathing, or a rash could indicate a more serious condition.
  • Dehydration: Watch for signs of dehydration in a child with fever, such as dry mouth, decreased urine output, or excessive fussiness.

Managing Fever at Home

Most fevers in children are harmless and resolve on their own. However, here are some steps you can take at home to help your child feel more comfortable:

  • Fluids: Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids like water, diluted fruit juices, or oral rehydration solutions. If they will not voluntarily drink these, you can also offer them liquids with a medicine syringe. Offering 5mL of oral rehydration solution such a Pedialyte every 10 minutes for an hour will deliver approximately one ounce.
  • Rest: Ensure your child gets adequate rest to help their body recover. Often children sleep more when they are febrile. If your child seems extra sleepy, check their temperature to see if they are running a fever that needs to be treated.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter fever reducers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) can help lower fever and ease discomfort. It is important to remember that ibuprofen is not indicated for children under 6 months of age. Always follow the recommended dosage for your child’s age and weight. Most of the time, the dosage will be different for your child’s age versus their weight. Following the manufacturer’s guidance for weight-based dosage will give your child the most appropriate response from the medication.

When to Call Your Pediatrician

It is crucial to contact your pediatrician if:

  • Your child is under three months old and has a fever.
  • The fever is high and not responding to the medication.
  • Your child is unusually drowsy, irritable, or has difficulty breathing.
  • You’re concerned about your child’s condition.

Remember, fever is the body’s defense mechanism. It’s often a sign that the immune system is actively fighting an infection. Trust your instincts as a parent and seek medical advice when in doubt. I am a mom and have acted on my instinct many times. I also tent to listen to parents when they have that gut feeling. That is what we are here for.

In Conclusion

Fevers are common occurrences in childhood and are usually a sign that the body is combating an infection. While they can be concerning, especially for parents, most fevers are harmless and resolve on their own. Trust your parental instincts, and don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s fever.


Mid City Pediatrics website offers a Symptom Checker function on our website to help assist parents. We also offer Medication and Dosing Charts.

The doctors at Mid City Pediatrics are here to help you. We see sick patients six days a week and have a doctor on call after hours to assist in emergency situations. Click to schedule your Fast Lane walk-in appointment.  You may also call our office at (318)221-2225 to schedule an appointment with your child’s regular physician.

5 Weird Newborn Symptoms That Are Perfectly Normal

As a pediatrician, I frequently encounter new parents who are understandibly concerned by the seemingly “weird” behaviors of their newborns. It’s completely natural; after all, infants do some pretty perculiar things! I use the term “weird” in quotes because what might appear as “weird” to parents is often perfectly normal in the world of newborn behavior. Let me shed some light on some of these behaviors to help put your mind at ease.

  1. Startle Reflex: Ever noticed your baby suddenly jerking their arms outwards as if they’ve been startled? That is called the Moro reflex. Some babies exhibit this reflex more prominently than others. It’s a normal response to stimuli and typically fades away by the time your baby is 3 or 4 months old.
  2. Hiccups: Rhythmic, involuntary contractions of the diaphragm can occur multiple times a day in a newborn. Yes, multiple! While it might seem alarming, hiccups are harmless. You may even remember feeling your baby have hiccups while you were pregnant. They tend to decrease in frequency as the baby’s digestive system matures and they grow.
  3. Crossed Eyes: Observing your baby’s eyes occasionally crossing might raise concerns about their vision. However, newborns often have underveloped eye muscles, causing their eyes to appear misaligned. This is normal as their vision continues to develop over the first few months of life. There is no need for concern, as this condition usually corrects itself around 3 to 4 months of age.  
  4. Strange Noises: Grunts, snorts, and other peculiar sounds that your baby makes, especially during sleep are surprisingly normal. The adage “sleeping like a baby” is not necessarily true because babies are actually restless sleepers. As long as your baby is breathing comfortably and showing no signs of distress, these noises are typically harmless.
  5. Sneezing: Newborns sneeze frequently, which is usually their way of clearing their nasal passages of dust, mucus, or any other irritants. They can’t blow their noses like we can, so sneezing is the most efficient way for them to clear their nasal passages. Pretty smart, huh?

Remember, every baby is unique. While these behaviors are common, if you ever feel concerned about your baby’s actions or notice sudden changes in behavior, it’s always best to consult your pediatrician. As a rule of thumb, if your baby is eating, sleeping, and growing well, the behaviors listed above are usually just part of their normal development.

Parenthood is a wonderful journey filled with surprises. As a pediatrician, I find that understanding these quirks can bring comfort to parents, reassuring them that their baby’s “weird” behaviors are just a normal part of early development. Hopefully, this will help a few parents rest more easily when frantically searching for answers in the middle of the night.

We welcome you to visit us at Mid City Pediatrics. We see children for same-day sick visits 6 days a week. Appointments may be scheduled online. Please click here to schedule an appointment or call us at (318) 221-2225

What Is RSV?

RSV: Understanding Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is a common respiratory illness that affects people of all ages, but it can be particularly severe in infants and young children. RSV tends to be a seasonal virus, with infections peaking at certain times throughout the year. A typical RSV seasons runs from the Fall to the Spring months.  Especially in the winter months, it is essential for parents to be aware of this virus, its symptoms, preventative measures, and the recent developments regarding an RSV vaccine.

Understanding RSV

RSV is a highly contagious virus that primarily affects the respiratory system. It can lead to mild cold-like symptoms in older children and adults, but in infants and toddlers, especially those under six months old, it can cause more severe complications such as bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lungs) and pneumonia. Premature infants, children with weakened immune systems, and those with certain heart or lung conditions are at higher risk of severe RSV infection.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under one year of age in the United States. Each year, RSV leads to numerous hospitalizations, particularly among infants. Ultimately, 2-3 out of every 100 babies with RSV may need to be hospitalized.

The New RSV Vaccine

Beyfortus is a monoclonal antibody vaccine that received approval in July of 2023. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that imitate our body’s natural ability to offer protection against severe RSV infection in young children. It is now available for neonates and infants born during their first RSV season as well as other children up to 24 months of age who remain vulnerable to severe RSV upon entering their second RSV season. Mid City Pediatrics provides Beyfortus to our patients. Please contact our office to confirm vaccine avaibility.

Things to Look for and When to Call the Pediatrician

Parents should watch for potential signs of RSV infection in their children, such as:

  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing.
  • Fever
  • Lethargy or irritability
  • Refusal to feed or decreased fluid intake

If you child exhibits any of these symptoms, especially if they’re under six months old or have other risk factors, it’s essential to contact your pediatrician. Early detection and medical intervention can significantly impact the outcome of RSV infections.

Prevention Tips:

Whild there’s no specific treatment for RSV, several preventative measures can reduce the risk of infection:

  • Frequent handwashing: Encourage everyone in the household to wash their hands regularly, especially before handling the baby.
  • Limit exposure: Try to avoid close contact between young infants and individuals showing signs of respiratory illness.
  • Keep surfaces clean: Regularly disinfect surfaces and toys that children frequently touch.
  • Practice good hygiene: Cover coughs and sneezes, and avoid sharing cups and utensils.
  • RSV vaccine: If your infant is eligible for Beyfortus, get your child vaccinated to help prevent serious RSV infection.

In Conclusion

RSV can pose a serious threat to young children, particularly infants. Understanding the signs and symptoms, staying informed about availability of vaccines, and implementing preventative measures are essential in protecting children from severe RSV infections. Always consult your pediatrician for personalize guidance and recommendations regarding your child’s health.

We welcome you to visit us at Mid City Pediatrics. We see children for same-day sick visits 6 days a week. Appointments may be scheduled online. Please click here to schedule an appointment or call us at (318) 221-2225

Contact Us

2225 Line Ave,
Shreveport, LA 71104

Phone: (318) 221-2225
Fax: (318) 459-2955

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 11:00 am
Sunday: Closed

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