Is My Child Sick? – KidsDoc Symptom Checker

Is your child sick? Whether you’re on the go or at home, this interactive tool (created by the American Academy of Pediatrics) will help you know what to do next. The care guides help parents make smart decisions on what level of care (if any) is needed and how to provide speedy symptom relief for minor illnesses or injuries you can manage on your own.  Please click on the link below!

Symptom Checker

American Academy of Pediatrics

Healthy Children — The AAP’s officially sponsored website with a wealth of information for parents


Centers for Disease Control

Traveler’s Health — Up-to-date information on medical recommendations prior to and during travel abroad

Vaccines & Immunizations: Basic and Common Questions — Addresses frequently asked questions regarding vaccinations


Other Helpful Links

California Poison Control

Miller Children’s Hospital

Long Beach Dept. of Health & Human Services


Car Seat Safety

CDC – Child Passenger Safety

CDC – Child Passenger Safety Infographics

Patient Portal

Please click on the link to access our Patient Portal.  If you haven’t already created an account please call our office for assistance in setting this up!


We now offer TeleHealth video visits for certain medical conditions, so please call our office to see if your concerns can be accommodated through a video chat.  Keep in mind that TeleHealth never replaces an office visit, so some symptoms will still need to be evaluated by our doctors in person.

We are using the ZOOM platform for our TeleHealth visits and have listed some useful links and a “Tip Sheet” below.  As always, do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns!



Columbia Pediatrics understands how difficult these times have been as we navigate vaccines and school and work and daily routines!  Please read on below for more information that we hope families will find helpful.


We have provided a “Decision Tree” – created by the Long Beach County Department of Public Health  – to help families navigate every day COVID decisions.  PLEASE REMEMBER that these recommendations can change and to consult our office for further questions.

LBDPH – School Decision Tree


Please clink on the links below for more information about current testing options.

Long Beach Department of Public Health

Los Angeles Department of Public Health

Orange County Department of Public Health


CDC Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines

California|DPH Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines

Long Beach|DPH Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines

LAC|DPH Isolation Guidelines

LAC|DPH Quarantine Guidelines


In addition, we have provided a link below to more information from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics about the COVID vaccine for children and teens.

AAP – Updated Recommendations

Ask the Pediatrician: COVID-19 Roundup

COVID-19-Vaccine-for-Preteens Teens

The Science Behind COVID-19 Vaccines: Parent FAQs


Please be aware of vaccination sites in the community.  Below is more information.

Please sign up for California’s My Turn system to get notified when it’s your turn to get vaccinated for COVID-19.  You will receive instructions for booking your appointment when the vaccine is available for your group.

In addition, we have included information from our local health departments for vaccine scheduling as well as a list of local COVID vaccination sites:

Long Beach Vaccine Information

Orange County Vaccine Information

Los Angeles County Vaccine Information


Last Updated: 6/22/2022



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Maintaining a healthy weight and proper nutrition is essential for children of all ages. Developing babies and adolescents need a balanced diet and adequate exercise to continue growing well. At Columbia Pediatrics in Long Beach, CA, we strive to provide helpful information to parents and teens for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s weight and how it can affect his or her health, contact Columbia Pediatrics for an appointment or consultation.

Weight Management & Nutritional Counseling Q & A

How can I tell if my child is at a healthy weight?

Children can be a variety of shapes and sizes. A percentile chart is used to determine if a child is at a normal height and weight for their age. From these measurements, the body mass index (BMI) is calculated which can be an indicator of appropriate weight. These measurements provide a baseline for analysis. Together with information on diet and exercise habits, the pediatrician can determine if your child is maintaining a healthy weight.

What are the risks associated with being over or underweight?

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for optimal physical and emotional development. Even at an early age, overweight children are at risk for developing diabetes, heart problems, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea. On the opposite end of the spectrum, underweight children are at risk for malnutrition and developmental delays. An unhealthy weight can limit a child’s participation in age-appropriate sports and activities. Weight issues can also cause children to feel isolated from their peers, depressed, or anxious about social gatherings.

What is nutritional counseling?

Nutritional counseling helps parents and adolescents understand the growing body’s nutritional and caloric needs. For parents of young children, our pediatricians provide guidance for what and how much your child should eat. Topics ranging from picky eating to managing portion sizes can also be discussed. For adolescents, we provide nutritional education to establish healthy eating habits that can be maintained through adulthood. With so many sources of information around, it is important to speak to a doctor for advice on your child’s nutritional needs. Lifestyle adjustments may be suggested to maintain a healthy weight.


SUPER Kids has been a collaborative effort between Columbia Pediatrics, the CSULB Nutrition and Dietetics department, and the Lakewood-Weingart Family YMCA, providing a six-week course to grade-school children and their parents free-of-charge.  Follow the link below for the Super Kids Flyer!

Super Kids Flyer Fall 2019

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommend vaccinations for infants, children, and adolescents as a safe and effective means of protection against preventable disease. Columbia Pediatrics in Long Beach, CA, strongly supports these recommendations and are ready to provide timely immunizations to families living in the greater Los Angeles area.

Vaccines Q & A

What are vaccines and how do they work?

Our body’s main line of defense against infection is our immune system. Whenever a new infection enters our bodies, it can be a race against time between the spread of the germ and the time it takes for our body to learn and mount an effective defense against it. Once learned, however, our immune system adapts and can quickly protect us against any future infection by that same germ. Scientists have discovered that by introducing a part of a germ or a severely weakened live germ to the immune system, the body can learn just as if it were exposed to the actual disease but with far less risk. This is exactly what happens when we vaccinate.

Why are vaccines important?

Children, especially young infants, can become severely ill when faced with an infectious disease. Through vaccination, the immune systems of these little ones are trained to recognize and counter these specific infections before they can overwhelm the body. Furthermore, as entire communities become immunized, these infections have nowhere to spread and can be potentially eradicated altogether.

Will vaccines make my child sick?

Ever since the early 1900’s, the United States has enacted safeguards to oversee that our vaccines remain both safe and effective. The worldwide scientific community also remains vigilant in their continual testing of both new and established vaccines. As with any medication, there can be side effects, but vaccine side effects are very rarely serious and mostly consist of mild fevers or a small amount of irritation at the injection site. These temporary symptoms, if they even occur at all, are far more preferable than the potentially deadly and devastating symptoms that can occur with a real infection.

How can I tell which immunizations my child needs?

Our doctors will discuss the recommended immunization schedule with you during your child’s routine visits. Your pediatrician will review your child’s and family’s histories to determine if there are any rare situations where a vaccine should be rescheduled or temporarily withheld. Otherwise, we as board-certified pediatricians firmly believe in vaccinating all of our patients in a timely fashion, in accordance with the standard of care that is expected from us by our families.

Many sports teams and schools require children to have a physical exam before being allowed to participate on a team. The pediatricians at Columbia Pediatrics in Long Beach, CA provide sports physicals and supporting paperwork to children from throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Sports Physical Q & A

What are sports exams?

Sports exams are physical assessments for youths and teens who are planning to join a competitive sport or activity to ensure they are fit and healthy to participate. The exam is quick but comprehensive with the young athlete’s entire body and overall wellbeing and conditioning under review. The goals of a sports exam are to determine or detect the following:

  • Overall health of the athlete
  • Present fitness level of the athlete
  • Conditions which could lead to injury
  • Any existing injuries
  • Development and physical maturity of the athlete
  • Congenital anomalies which could increase risk of injury

Why does a youth need a physical before joining a sports team?

Many of the states have a legal requirement for young athletes to have a medical assessment before a sports season begins. Young people develop and change at a rapid pace, and an athlete’s health and well-being can be affected. While routine checkups provide the opportunity to monitor a child’s development, sports physicals supplement annual exams and focus specifically on his or her physical health and ability to participate in sport. The requirements for sports participation vary depending on school district and state; most sports teams require an annual physical and vaccination record to protect the overall well-being of the sports teams and to protect the overall health of the young athlete.

What is the difference between an annual exam and a sports physical?

The sports physical specifically checks a young athlete’s health and physical condition to ensure that he or she is fit and capable of participating in a specific sport without undue risk of injury. An annual physical exam monitors the development and health of a child and is an opportunity for developmental as well as medical screenings. In both physicals, the doctor will perform a variety of tests and checks to record the child’s progress. Many of the tests and measurements administered during a sports exam are similar to those of a standard annual physical but are reviewed with a specific view as to how the results indicate the child will perform in his or her sport.

As children grow up, the pediatricians at Columbia Pediatrics in Long Beach, CA can provide developmental screening services to ensure the emotional, mental and social health of the child. Regular screening can help children and their families achieve better health and wellness outcomes.

Developmental Screening Q & A

Screening is a simple procedure used to identify children who may be at risk for developmental or social-emotional issues. The screening is usually a questionnaire for the parents or an observational session to learn more about the child’s development. The screening is standardized and is not a diagnostic tool. Its purpose is to identify if further evaluation and support may be necessary at an early age, so the child and parents can access the services and programs available as well as promote understanding about the child’s wellbeing.

What does developmental screening look for?

These procedures aim to check the child’s cognitive skills, his or her fine and gross motor skills, speech and language development, and social-emotional development. It helps to tell if a child is learning basic skills within appropriate timeframes. These screenings should be carried out regularly, at Well-baby and Well-child exams.

Why is developmental screening important?

In the United States approximately 13% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 have some behavioral or developmental disability, ranging from autism to intellectual disabilities to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Many children are not diagnosed early and end up waiting for the help they need to thrive in social and educational settings. Early intervention treatment has been shown to improve a child’s development. Services can help a child to talk, walk and interact with others.

What signs should a parent look for?

There are some developmental milestones children are expected to reach by certain ages. For example, by two months, babies should be smiling at people, briefly self-sooth, make gurgling sounds, react to sounds, pay attention to faces, follow objects with their eyes, and hold his or her head up and push up while having tummy time. The pediatricians at Columbia Pediatrics will be able to provide guidance on expected milestones. Parents who feel that their child is not developing at the right pace should make an appointment with Columbia Pediatrics for a well-child visit and developmental screening.

The pediatricians at Columbia Pediatrics in Long Beach, CA can help children and their parents learn to manage and live with allergies and asthma. These conditions should not stop children from participating in any school, sports or other activities when managed properly.

Asthma and Allergies Q & A

What are allergies?

An allergy is a hypersensitive immune response to a substance called an allergen. Most allergens are harmless, but there are some that can prove life threatening if not immediately treated. Each person may have a different allergic response to any number of allergens. Substances such as pet dander, mold, insect venom and pollen are common allergens. Some people may even have a reaction to materials like latex, wool, or cotton. The most common forms of allergens can be found in the pollen from plants and flowers, foods and beverages, insect bites or stings, or pet dander. While hay fever is the most commonly known allergy, food allergies are becoming much more prevalent. When a person has an allergic reaction, the body fights the allergen as if it were a pathogen and tries to eliminate it from the system. An acute reaction to an allergen results in anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition which requires immediate emergency care. Allergies can be treated with over-the-counter medications, prescription medicines such as inhalers, or through shots administered by a physician.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease where the airways, or bronchi, of the lungs, are swollen and inflamed. This inflammation makes it difficult to move air in and out of the lungs. A person with asthma is often more sensitive to airborne allergens like dust, pollen, or pet dander. When the already irritated airways come into contact with an allergen, they swell, even more, further constricting lung function causing an asthma attack. Asthma affects nearly 26 million Americans, including more than 7 million children.

What do symptoms indicate an allergy or asthma? When should a child be taken to the doctor to check?

Children who cough and sneeze a lot without presenting other symptoms of a cold or those who have stomachaches, cramping or nausea after eating certain foods may have allergies. Difficulty breathing or wheezing could indicate asthma. Early diagnoses of asthma and identification of specific allergies lead to earlier treatment and management which can improve the child’s quality of life. Some of the common allergy symptoms in children include skin rashes or hives, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, difficulty in breathing, and stomach upsets. Children who present these symptoms should be taken to their pediatrician for an evaluation.

The pediatricians at Columbia Pediatrics in Long Beach, CA are experienced in helping children and families living with ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) and other behavioral issues.

ADHD & Behavioral Issues Q & A

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that begins in childhood and can continue throughout adolescence and adulthood.

For children with ADHD, levels of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity are greater than those in other children their age. ADHD can make it difficult for a child to do their best in school or to behave at home, school or other community settings. There are three types of ADHD: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive, and impulsive, and a combined form.

How is ADHD diagnosed?

There is no single test that diagnoses ADHD. Evaluation for ADHD includes discussion of your concerns, examination of your child and use of rating scales or inventories of ADHD symptoms. The doctor will collect information from the parents, the child and the child’s teacher(s) as part of the evaluation.  Also, if the child exhibits other symptoms or features in addition to symptoms of ADHD, your doctor may refer your child to an educational psychologist, behavioral psychologist, or a therapist to explore other co-existing conditions, such as learning disability or other behavior disorders.

How is ADHD treated?

Children with ADHD can improve with treatment. The three basic types of treatment are:
1. Medication- The most common type of medication used is a stimulant. Close monitoring by your doctor will find the best medication and dose for your child.
2. Therapy- Behavioral therapy can teach children to control their behavior at school and home. People with ADHD sometimes have coexisting conditions like anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. These conditions may require a different type of therapy.
3.Medication and therapy combined- Many children will do best with a combination of medication and therapy.

What other behavior issues are common in children?

Other behavioral disorders in children include autism, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and bipolar disorder, although the last is rarely diagnosed. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that there is a wide degree of variation in the way it affects people. The disorder can make it difficult for a child to interact with their surroundings or build emotional connections with others.

When a child has anxiety, he or she may feel distressed, uneasy, or frightened for no apparent reason. OCD is characterized by compulsive, repeated behaviors or thoughts that can not seem to be stopped. Bipolar disorder is characterized by intense mood swings. It is often misdiagnosed as ADHD in children.

The pediatricians at Columbia Pediatrics will help children affected by any of these disorders by directing them to the appropriate specialists and the therapists. We will work closely with the specialists to ensure that the patients receive the best care.

How can a parent tell if a child’s behavior is abnormal?

Many of the behaviors associated with ADHD and other mental health disorders are normal attitudes and conduct as a child develops. However, if a child’s demeanor or activities are more than six months outside of what is considered normal, or if the behavior is disruptive to the family, professional assessment should be sought.

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