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Health Library A to Z

P

  • Apnea of Prematurity
  • It’s a cliché that many new parents need to reassure themselves that the baby is still breathing. But what if your baby really is having breathing problems? A breathing condition called apnea of prematurity affects some babies, especially if they’re born early. But you can learn what symptoms to look for.

  • Blood Types in Pregnancy
  • A baby may have the blood type and Rh factor of either parent, or a combination of both parents.

  • Care of the Uncircumcised Penis
  • In an uncircumcised boy, the foreskin will begin to separate from the glans, or the tip of the penis. This happens naturally while the male is an infant. This is called foreskin retraction.

  • Choosing a Pediatrician
  • A pediatrician, family practice physician, or pediatric nurse practitioner can be your baby's primary care provider. The medical specialty dealing with children is called pediatrics.

  • Dialysis
  • Detailed information on dialysis, including peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis

  • Paging Dr. Mom
  • One of the many hats that parents wear is that of a “first responder.” When their child is sick, they are the first to assess the symptoms and treat the illness.

  • Pain Control
  • If your child has moderate to severe pain, he or she may receive narcotics during and after surgery. If your child is in the ICU after surgery, he or she may receive sedatives along with pain medications.

  • Pain Management and Children
  • When a child has cancer or another pain-causing disease, one of his or her greatest fears is pain. Every effort should be made to ease the pain during the treatment process.

  • Pap Test for Adolescents
  • A Pap test, along with a pelvic examination, is an important part of a female's routine health care because it may detect abnormalities that can lead to invasive cancer.

  • Parents: Check Toys for Lead
  • If you have toys that have been recalled, don’t throw them out. Take them back to the store where they came from.

  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
  • PDA is a heart problem in which the connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery remains open after birth, instead of closing as it should.

  • Peanut Allergy Diet for Children
  • Ethnic foods, commercially prepared baked goods, and candy can be cross-contaminated with peanuts, because peanuts are frequently used in these types of foods.

  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Children are at higher risk for pedestrian injury and death because they often don't understand traffic rules or the danger that vehicles pose. In addition, parents and caregivers often overestimate a child's traffic skills.

  • Pediatric Blood Disorders
  • Detailed information on blood disorders, including Anemia, Aplastic Anemia, Hemolytic Anemia, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Megaloblastic Anemia, Sickle Cell Anemia, Thalassemia, Alpha Thalassemia, Beta Thalassemia (Cooley's Anemia)

  • Performance Anxiety Can Choke Up Athletes
  • Anxiety can help focus and sharpen performance. For some athletes, however, the pressure of performing well takes its toll in the form of performance anxiety, which causes them to do less than their best.

  • Pericarditis in Children
  • Pericarditis is inflammation or infection of the pericardium, the thin sac that surrounds the heart.

  • Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)
  • The head is one of the most fragile parts on your baby, especially after birth. Sometimes, damage can occur, particularly if your baby is born prematurely. One type of brain damage is called periventricular leukomalacia. Read on to better understand what this diagnosis means for you and your baby, and what doctors can do to help.

  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension
  • In this condition, a newborn's circulation changes back to the circulation of a fetus, where much of the blood flow bypasses the lungs.

  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Detailed information on pheochromocytoma, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Phobias in Children and Adolescents
  • Common phobias include fear of animals, blood, heights, closed spaces, or flying. In teens, the fear must last at least six months to be considered a phobia.

  • Physical Needs of the Dying Child
  • A terminally ill child has many of the same needs as any seriously ill child, including a routine for sleep and rest, and for pain management.

  • Picking Snacks for Picky Eaters
  • Nutrition experts agree that a wide assortment of nutritionally balanced snacks served in moderation can be a healthy, essential part of a child's diet.

  • Pilomatrixoma
  • Detailed information on pilomatrixoma, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Play
  • Detailed information on the stages of play for all ages

  • Play It Cool in the Hot Tub
  • What's more relaxing that a good soak in a hot tub? Hot water sure makes you feel great, but hot tubs and whirlpools can sometimes be dangerous -- and even deadly.

  • Play Therapy
  • Play therapy is used to help children understand and cope with illness, surgery, hospitalization, treatments, and procedures.

  • Pneumococcus
  • Pneumococcus bacteria can cause serious illness in children, including pneumonia, infection in the blood, and meningitis.

  • Pneumonia in Children
  • Detailed information on pneumonia, including different types, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Pneumothorax
  • Pneumothorax is a lung disorder in which air in the lungs leaks out through holes in the lung tissue into the spaces outside the lung airways.

  • Poison Ivy and Children
  • Detailed information on poison ivy/poison oak, including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention

  • Poisons and Children
  • Detailed information on poisoning, preventing poisoning and how to respond in an emergency

  • Polio (IPV)
  • The poliovirus destroys the nervous system, causing paralysis. Today, polio is extremely rare in the United States because of the polio vaccine. It's still common in other countries, though, so children still need to be immunized.

  • Pollen and Children
  • Detailed information on pollen allergy, also called hay fever, including information on which plants produce the most pollen and allergic rhinitis prevention during pollen season

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease
  • Detailed information on the different types of polycystic kidney disease, including autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, and acquired cystic kidney disease

  • Polycythemia
  • Mild polycythemia may not cause problems, but too many red blood cells can increase the blood volume or thicken the blood, making it harder to circulate through the blood system and to the organs.

  • Posterior Urethral Valves
  • Detailed information on posterior urethral valves, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Postmaturity
  • The most common symptoms of postmaturity in a baby are dry, peeling skin; overgrown nails; and abundant scalp hair.

  • Prematurity
  • Other terms often used for prematurity are preterm and "preemie." Many premature babies also weigh less than 5.5 pounds and may be referred to as low birthweight.

  • Preparing the Infant for Surgery
  • It's important to keep your baby's routine the same before the day of surgery. Make sure you, your baby, and your family are well rested.

  • Preparticipation Physical Examinations
  • A preparticipation examination may be required for any child who wants to take part in a school athletic activity or in an organized sports activity outside of school.

  • Preschool Play
  • A preschooler needs space in which to run and explore. Take him or her on trips to the playground, park, or beach. Encourage him or her to play with other children.

  • Preschooler Nutrition
  • Preschool children are still developing their eating habits and need encouragement to eat healthy meals and snacks.

  • Prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome
  • While being a new Mom brings lots of joy, it also brings stress—something a crying baby can make worse. Better understanding why your baby cries can help you deal with this stress in a healthy way and help you avoid the most common form of child abuse: Shaken baby syndrome.

  • Preventing Injuries--How You Can Help Your Child
  • You can help your child by being prepared and preventing injuries from occurring. It is important to take charge of your child's health and follow a program designed to help you and your family stay healthy and safe.

  • Prevention of Heart Disease Starts in Childhood
  • You may think of heart disease as a problem for adults, not your young children. But diet and exercise habits started in childhood can begin a lifetime of heart health, or a lifetime of heart damage.

  • Problems in Puberty
  • Detailed information on problems in puberty, including precocious puberty, gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty, and delayed puberty

  • Protect Kids From Lead Poisoning
  • Although lead poisoning is often associated with the paint of older homes, children may be exposed to lead if the soldering on water pipes is new. In fact, lead may be found in many parts of a home, including soil, food or even the air.

  • Protect Your Kids From Internet Crime
  • Youngsters spend time online messaging, chatting, searching and surfing. Although most of these Internet experiences are likely positive, parents need to be aware of the dangers to better protect their children.

  • Protect Yourself Against Chlamydia
  • Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States, but many people don't know about it.

  • Prune Belly Syndrome
  • Detailed information on prune belly syndrome, including causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  • Psychiatric Treatment Team
  • Team members may include a child and adolescent psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker, and a psychiatric nurse.

  • Pulmonary Atresia (PA)
  • PA is a serious heart defect in which the pulmonary valve does not allow blood to flow from the heart to the lungs to pick up oxygen.

  • Pulmonary Stenosis
  • Pulmonary stenosis affects the leaflets of the pulmonary valve, making it difficult for blood to flow from the right ventricle to the lungs.

  • Puncture Wounds
  • A puncture wound is a deep wound made by a sharp object. This type of wound may become infected easily because dirt and germs are carried deep into the tissues.

  • Put Peer Pressure in Its Place
  • Peer pressure can get the best of children and push them to do things that they don't really want to do. Parents can counter it, if they're ready to help.

  • Pyloric Stenosis
  • Pyloric stenosis is a problem that affects babies between 2 and 8 weeks of age and causes forceful vomiting that can lead to dehydration.

  • Special Care
  • Premature babies especially need a supportive environment to help them continue to mature and develop as they would in their mother's womb.

  • Thumb Sucking
  • Thumb sucking is normal in infants and young children. It shouldn't cause any permanent problems if your child stops by age 5.