Vision Care for Children

Children should start routine vision screening early—before they start school. This is important, mainly to rule out a condition known as amblyopia or “lazy eye.” If it’s not treated early, it can lead to permanent vision loss. Usually, your child’s doctor can do routine vision screening. The child reads a vision chart using letters or… Read more »

Pelvic Exams, Pap Tests and Oral Contraceptives

Before you get birth control pills, your doctor may want you to have a pelvic exam with a Pap test. Your doctor should get a complete medical history before giving you a prescription for birth control pills. But you usually don’t need a Pap test and pelvic exam, especially if you are a teen. The… Read more »

CT Scans for Children with Head Injuries

A blow to the head can be scary. But usually it is not very serious. Often there is just a mild concussion, with no serious injuries like bleeding or cracks to the skull. After a head injury, the doctor may order a test called a CT scan (pronounced “cat” scan). A CT scan takes many… Read more »

Antibiotics For Your Skin

Skin problems can sometimes look like infections, especially if they’re red, swollen, or tender. So it might seem like treating them with antibiotics is a good idea. But some skin problems don’t stem from infections at all. So treating them with antibiotics can do more harm than good. Learn about situations when you don’t need… Read more »

Antibiotics for Ear Infections in Children

Many children get ear infections. The infections are usually in the middle ear behind the eardrum. They may be caused by bacteria or by a virus. Doctors often treat bacterial infections with antibiotics. Antibiotics are strong medicines that kill bacteria. Infants and some babies and children do need antibiotics. But using antibiotics too often can… Read more »

Oral Antibiotics for Ear Infections

Antibiotics are strong medicines that can kill bacteria. For ear infections, doctors often prescribe oral antibiotics that you swallow in pill or liquid form. However, eardrops can sometimes be safer and more effective than oral medicines. Here’s why: Oral antibiotics have risks. Oral antibiotics are more likely to cause resistant bacteria outside the ear. Then,… Read more »

Antibiotics for Pink Eye

Pink eye is a common condition, especially in children. It is also called conjunctivitis. The eyes are pink because they are infected or irritated. They may be itchy and teary, with a watery discharge, and swollen, crusty eyelids. Doctors often prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointments for pink eye. But antibiotics don’t usually help, according… Read more »

Antibiotics for a Sore Throat, Cough, or Runny Nose

If your child has a sore throat, cough, or runny nose, you might expect the doctor to prescribe antibiotics. But most of the time, children don’t need antibiotics to treat a respiratory illness. In fact, antibiotics can do more harm than good. Here’s why: Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses. If your child has a bacterial… Read more »

Spirometry for Asthma

Spirometry is a simple breathing test. It measures how much air flows in and out of your lungs. If you have symptoms that could be a sign of asthma—like shortness of breath—you should have a spirometry test. Here’s why: Asthma and other diseases can have the same symptoms. When you have asthma, the lining of the airways in… Read more »