By Dr. Leslie Smith of Cornerstone Pediatric Associates of Kernersville

“Help!! My child is sick again.” This is something that I hear in my pediatric practice almost every day. Moms ask, “Why is my child always sick? Could it be that their immune system is broken in some way? Is it their diet? How can I keep from coming in here?”

The reality is that kids get recurrent viral infections because they’re chewing on each other’s toys, they have their fingers in their mouths, and all the other kids are sick at daycare too. Colds in toddlers can easily last 10-14 days and it is not uncommon to have six colds per year, mainly clustered in the cooler months. The minute they have snot, then ear infections and pink eye are next on the agenda. It is difficult to keep your child well and there is no magic answer. I feel your pain.

As a mother, I struggle with the same issues that every other mom faces. Even though my children are now teenagers, I still push them to make healthy food choices. I constantly remind them to get enough sleep. I ask that they respect themselves and know what their limits are. If you don’t sleep, don’t eat properly, and are always on the go – you will run down your body and you will get sick. This is true at any age. These are the things we all know as parents. The question remains, “Is there anything else I can do?”

Years ago, there was nothing else we could really offer. However, recent studies have shown huge benefits to supplementing with probiotics. One study showed that toddlers in daycare had a 72% reduction in the number of fevers when they were given a daily probiotic. This is where it gets a little bit clinical, but I want you to be able to find an effective option, should you choose to try one with your child. The study didn’t specify a brand of probiotic, but there are two species that need to be present in order for it to be worth the bother. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the two main bacteria that should be contained in the probiotic. Hopefully, with daily use you notice a reduction in the number of illnesses in your young ones. This will especially important during times when you are on an antibiotic to help build yourself back up.

While this isn’t a cure all, anything that can save you from long nights awake with your sick child and the inevitable trip to the doctor is a plus.

Cornerstone Pediatric Associates of Kernersville is part of Cornerstone Health Care, a group of more than 360 physicians and mid-level health professionals representing a wide range of specialties. One of the fastest growing physician groups in the Southeast, Cornerstone is a physician-owned and led multi-disciplinary practice with over 85 locations in communities throughout central North Carolina.

Since 2011, Cornerstone has been implementing changes in the organization with three distinct goals: improve the quality of care of our patients, improve the patient experience with all of our providers and, by achieving the first two goals, we will reduce the overall cost of care.

Cornerstone patients experience a team approach to their health care that includes providing the right services, by the right providers at the right time and place. After physician visits, patients receive follow up calls from health care professionals to help individuals work on their goals for improving their health. And Cornerstone asks patients if they are satisfied with their health care experience!

We invite you to join us in the Cornerstone experience!

*Today’s blog sponsored by Cornerstone Pediatric Associates of Kernersville