Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Years and Holiday Hours

We want to wish you a very HAPPY and HEALTHY New Years. We will be in the office all weekend for those kiddos who love to get sick over the holiday weekends! We will be in the office on Saturday New Year's Eve with our phones starting at 8:30--we will be seeing sick patients only and book in order. Sunday New Years Day will be also be there for sick only and our phones will turn on at 9:30 with one doctor to see SICK only. Monday we observe the holiday and have one doctor to see SICK only with urgent medical problems! Our phones on Monday Jan. 2nd will be on at 8:30 and we will stay in the office until our latest scheduled appointment.(for sick only).  Tuesday Jan 3rd we start 2012 as a "normal" day and our phones will be on 8:00 to book with any of our pediatricians.
The doctors and staff of Willow Creek Pediatrics would like to wish all of our patients and their families a very happy and healthy 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Build-A-Bear Recall

Here is a breaking news Large TOY recall--Thanks to Dr Lynch for providing us with this info from CNN:

(CNN) -- The Build-A-Bear Workshop company is recalling nearly 300,000 Colorful Hearts Teddy Bears sold in the United States and Canada due to risks of choking, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced.
The agency warned that while no injuries have been reported, the "teddy bear's eyes could loosen and fall out, posing a choking hazard to children," according to a statement.
"Consumers should immediately take the recalled teddy bear from children and return it to any Build-A-Bear store to receive a coupon for any available stuffed animal from Build-A-Bear," the statement said, advising buyers to contact the firm at 866-236-5683 with additional questions.
The Chinese-made toy is a stuffed animal, roughly 16 inches tall with black plastic eyes, that is sold in the United States for $18.
The bears were sold at Build-A-Bear Workshops and through the firm's website from April through December.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays and Holiday Hours!

We wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Just a reminder, for your convenience, the Willow Creek office does have holiday hours! We will have a doctor available on Christmas Eve (Saturday) for sick patients.  Our phones will turn on at 8:30 for you to schedule an appointment or to speak to a nurse for medical advice. We will book appointments in order and stay until our latest scheduled appointment. We will be closed on Christmas day (there will be a doctor available for phone calls for urgent medical advice) and we will reopen on Monday, December 26th for SICK only. The phones will turn on at 9:00 and we will book in order and again stay until our latest scheduled appointment. We will have a nurse available for medical advice. Our normal regular schedule will resume on Tuesday Dec 27th with our phones turning on at 8:00 AM. We hope you have a very safe and healthy Holiday season from everyone here at Willow Creek Pediatrics.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Enfamil recall Warning

We wanted you to be aware of a new voluntary Enfamil formula probe (from the AAP)

Wal-Mart announced Wednesday it has pulled Enfamil Premium Newborn formula from its store shelves nationwide after the death in Missouri of a newborn boy who was given the formula. The move was a precautionary measure, Wal-Mart said. No government or manufacturer recall had been issued as of Thursday, December 22. Mead Johnson Nutrition said the lot of 12.5-ounce cans had tested negative for the suspected rare bacterium, Cronobacter sakazakii, before being shipped. The lot number ZP1K7G is stamped on the bottom of the formula can. Public health experts are investigating the source of the possible contamination and also whether any patient or environmental factors such as the water used in preparing the powdered formula played a part. Mead Johnson is preparing a public statement to be posted to its Enfamil.com website. Parents are encouraged to follow World Health Organization guidelines for safely preparing powdered infant formula. These include: washing your hands with soap and water, cleaning all feeding equipment in hot, soapy water and preparing enough formula for just one feeding at a time. As we go into a long holiday weekend (the AAP is closed until Tuesday, December 27), updated information may appear on the FDA.gov, CDC.gov, Missouri Department of Health (http://health.mo.gov/) and Enfamil.com websites.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Don't let this season be a nutrition nightmare

The holidays don't have to be a nutrition nightmare. In fact, many popular appetizers and even some desserts are low in calories and pack a powerful nutrient punch, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, a nutrition blogger and author of Read It Before You Eat It. Dr. Jopling found this article and wanted to share it with you.
Like holiday gifts, the food's wrapping has a lot of impact, she says. "Fried foods and those wrapped in bacon or bathed in sauces can add unwanted pounds."
Some holiday foods are loaded with good nutrition such as lean protein in shrimp appetizers, fiber in roasted vegetable side dishes and beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian in Chicago.
"Just because the appetizers never made it to a plate doesn't mean these foods won't make it to your hips," she says. To read the full article click here.
**info from USA today

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Safety Tips from the AAP

2011 HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS

The holidays are an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday season, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Trees
 1-When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness.  A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles. When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood.  This allows for better water absorption and will help keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
2-Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly. 
 
Lights
 
1-Check all tree lights--even if you've just purchased them--before hanging them on your tree.  Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted. Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.  To hold lights in place, string them through hooks or insulated staples, not nails or tacks.  Never pull or tug lights to remove them.Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks.
2-Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
 
Decorations
 
1-Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or nonleaded metals. Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked over. In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.  Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to prevent them from swallowing or inhaling small pieces.  Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them. Wear gloves to avoid eye and skin irritation while decorating with spun glass "angel hair." Follow container directions carefully to avoid lung irritation while decorating with artificial snow sprays.
2-Remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened.  These items can pose suffocation and choking hazards to a small child or can cause a fire if near flame. 
 
Toy Safety
 
1-Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child.  Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children. Before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy that he has received as a gift, read the instructions carefully.  To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, don’t give young children (under age 10) a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet.  Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated. Children under age three can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations specify that toys for children under age three cannot have parts less than 1 1/4 inches in diameter and 2 1/4 inches long. Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death -- after swallowing button batteries and magnets.  Keep them away from young children and call your health care provider immediately if your child swallows one. Children under age 8 can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons; do not allow young children to play with them.  Remove strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.  Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length. They could be a strangulation hazard for babies.
2-Parents should store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy chest, and keep older kids’ toys away from young children.

Food Safety

1-Bacteria are often present in raw foods.  Fully cook meats and poultry, and thoroughly wash raw vegetables and fruits. Be sure to keep hot liquids and food away from the edges of counters and tables, where they can be easily knocked over by a young child’s exploring hands. Be sure that young children cannot access microwave ovens. Wash your hands frequently, and make sure your children do the same.Never put a spoon used to taste food back into food without washing it.Always keep raw foods and cooked foods separately, and use separate utensils when preparing them.Always thaw meat in the refrigerator, never on the countertop.
2-Foods that require refrigeration should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
                         
Happy Visiting

1-Clean up immediately after a holiday party.  A toddler could rise early and choke on leftover food or come in contact with alcohol or tobacco.Remember that the homes you visit may not be childproofed.  Keep an eye out for danger spots.Keep a list with all of the important phone numbers you or a baby-sitter are likely to need in case of an emergency. Include the police and fire department, your pediatrician and the national Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222. Laminating the list will prevent it from being torn or damaged by accidental spills.
2-Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, etc., can all increase your child's stress levels. Trying to stick to your child's usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, can help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.
Fireplaces

1-Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area.  Check to see that the flue is open.
2-Use care with "fire salts," which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.
Do not burn gift wrap paper in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
**Thanks to the American Academy of Pediatrics for all the above information! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sharing the gift of Christmas :Guest Post

Our friend Amanda over at NOTJUSTCUTE has an amazing post today! It can be challenging to teach your children about service and there are some great ideas! Read part of the article below and click on bottom to read the full article. Thanks Amanda!

December can be a tricky time.  While we all want children who understand concepts of unselfishness and service, Christmastime too often ends up with a lot of emphasis on “What do YOU want for Christmas?”

One of the ways I have tried to help children get a hands-on feel for service is by turning our preschool Christmas party into a service party.  (Details and links can be found in this older post.)  I took a preschool social studies approach, including projects that represent expanding spheres of social connection: family, neighborhood, and city.
At the service party there are several activities going on at the same time (and parents are there to help).  As service to family, the children can decorate cookies to bring home and share.  To serve a neighbor, they put together a meal to share with a neighbor who may be in need, sick, or lonely.  To serve others in the city, they help make simple fleece scarves or blankets to donate to a local homeless shelter.
The children really seem to enjoy the activities, and I enjoy taking a break from focusing only on what they want out of Christmas.  I hope they really get a sense of the joy of service as they take part in each activity. TO read MORE....click here....

**INFO FROM www.notjustcute.blogspot.com

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fact Friday: Fever Medication CHANGE!

We wanted you to be aware of a major change in infant’s and children’s liquid acetaminophen products (such as Tylenol) available on store shelves. Since Summer 2011, manufacturers have changed the amount of acetaminophen in these medicines to one standard amount. Infant drops, which contain 3 times more medicine than the children’s liquid, will be phased out and no longer available. However during this transition, you may find both concentrations on store shelves and in your home.

Thanks to articles in healthychildren.org the AAP is clarifying some information for us and also click below to see what Tylenol is saying.
Parents need to be aware that the dosing amounts are different depending on the concentration they are using.
Why the change?The change to one concentration for all children is being done to help reduce dosing errors that can lead to accidental overdoses. Too many times parents have mistaken the strength of the infant drops, which are stronger than the liquids, and accidently given their children too much medicine.
What to doAlways call your pediatrician before giving acetaminophen to a child under 2 years of age, and call right away if your child is under four months of age and has a fever. Be sure when calling that you know which concentration you have, either 80mg/0.8mL (these are the drops which are being discontinued) or 160mg/5mL (children’s liquid). You can find this information on the front of the medicine bottle.  Have the bottle with you when you call. For children over the age of 2 years, check the label to see how much medicine to give. If you know your child's weight, use that. If you do not know your child’s weight, go by age for the dose amount.
Important reminders•Keep all medicines out of the reach of children
•Use only the dosing device that comes with the product
•Never give adult medicines to children
•Always read and follow the instructions on the label
•Talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions and pick up our current dosing chart in the office
•If you think your child has taken too much of this or any medicine, call poison control at 800.222.1222

Also TYLENOL has a great website with further information to help with this transition. Click here for the full article.

**full article and links http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/treatments/pages/Fever-and-Pain-Medicines-Major-Change-Parents-Need-to-Know.aspx
**info from Tylenol.com

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tips on a Healthy December

December is such a busy month. We wanted to remind you of somethings that will help to keep you healthy at this time of the year. Here are some tips on Hand washing and also a great article with Tips to stay healthy during December. Thanks Dr Jopling. 

Hygiene Strategies

When your child or another family member has a cold or cough, there are extremely important steps in addition to frequent hand washing that can lower the risk of spreading the infection to others. Some experts call these strategies respiratory hygiene, and they can be very effective if followed carefully. For example, to keep your sick child from blowing secretions into the air, where they can land on other people or on toys and other objects
  • Encourage her to cough or sneeze into a tissue or, if a tissue isn’t available, onto her sleeve.
  • Discourage your child from covering her mouth with her hands while coughing or sneezing because this will leave germs on the hands that can be spread by touching other people or objects. Most often, germs are spread by the hands, not through the air.
  • Throw away tissues immediately after each use, putting them in a nearby wastebasket or other container.
  • Once your child is old enough, teach her how to blow her nose into a tissue.
  • Don’t allow your child to share pacifiers, drinking cups, eating utensils, towels, or toothbrushes whether she is sick.

Clean and Disinfect

Housecleaning may not be the most enjoyable activity in your day. If you spend a few minutes killing germs, especially those in the kitchen and bathroom, it can go a long way toward keeping your child healthy.
After you’ve prepared a meal, wash the kitchen counters with hot, soapy water and disinfect them using a household bleach solution or other disinfectant. Infectious bacteria can thrive in foods like uncooked beef and chicken. In the bathroom, use the same cleaning and disinfecting routine on the toilet, sink, and other surfaces. This is especially important when a family member is sick with an infectious disease, particularly one that causes diarrhea. Also, frequently clean the area where you change diapers, including the changing table. (Be sure you keep the bleach and all cleaning products out of the reach of infants and young children.) Avoid changing diapers in areas where food is being prepared or consumed.
Some germs can survive and thrive for hours unless you take steps to wipe them away. After using soap and disinfectant, dry the cleaned surfaces with paper towels or a clean cloth. After you clean up, be sure to wash your own hands.

Click here to read a great article put out by the Washington Post.
**Info from aap.org
**Link to Washington Post above

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fact Friday : Kindergartners today Heavier overall

Dr. Lynch wanted to share this article he found. It is a sad reflection on the direction of our American youth, if we don't pay great attention to diet and exercise guidance. "Today's kindergarteners are heavier than kids brought up in the 1970s and 1980s and appear to be on the road to becoming overweight and obese in the years to come, a new study finds It's not just kids who are already overweight getting more and more so, there is an entire shift. Even those who are normal weight are gaining weight," to read the full article click HERE.

So what can you do to help this: We have several old post with great information so click on the following links.
The AAP has a great worksheet that you can down load to assess your child's eating. Click here for the link. What can you do to make sure your child is not becoming a "heavier" child?
**info from usatoday.com
**info from healthychildren.org
and www.willowcreekpediatrics.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Educations Toys Ideas!

The holidays are upon us and the last thing anyone needs is more "stuff", so here's a link to a post on Not Just Cute with educational gift guides to find a purposeful gift that encourages your child to learn through play. What kind of education gifts do you love? Happy Shopping and hopefully these ideas will help!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Parents urged to use Caution : Bumbo Baby Seats

We wanted to make sure you know about the most current recalls and warnings to protect your child. For more information click on www.saferproducts.gov

Serious Head Injuries to Infants Continue Due to Falls from Bumbo Baby Seats Used on Elevated Surfaces Injuries occurring despite previous recall warning; parents urged to use caution

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Due to the serious risk of injury to babies, CPSC and Bumbo International Trust of South Africa ("Bumbo International") are urging parents and caregivers to never place Bumbo Baby Seats on tables, countertops, chairs or other raised surfaces. Infants aged 3-10 months old have fallen out of the Bumbo seat and suffered skull fractures and other injuries.
CPSC and Bumbo International are aware of at least 45 incidents in which infants fell out of a Bumbo seat while it was being used on an elevated surface which occurred after an October 25, 2007 voluntary recall of the product. The recall required that new warnings be placed on the seat to deter elevated usage of the product. Since the recall, CPSC and Bumbo International have learned that 17 of those infants, ages 3-10 months, suffered skull fractures. These incidents and injuries involved both recalled Bumbo seats and Bumbo seats sold after the recall with the additional on-product warnings.
CPSC and Bumbo International are also aware of an additional 50 reports of infants falling or maneuvering out of Bumbo seats used on the floor and at unknown elevations. These incidents include two reports of skull fractures and one report of a concussion that occurred when babies fell out of Bumbo seats used on the floor. These injuries reportedly occurred when the infants struck their heads on hard flooring, or in one case, on a nearby toy.
The Bumbo seat is labeled and marketed to help infants sit in an upright position as soon as they can support their head. The product warnings state that the seat "may not prevent release of your baby in the event of vigorous movement." Infants as young as 3 months can fall or escape from the seat by arching backward, leaning forward or sideways or rocking.
At the time of the 2007 recall announcement, CPSC was aware of 28 falls from the product, three of which resulted in skull fractures to infants who fell or maneuvered out of the product used on an elevated surface. CPSC and Bumbo International are now aware of at least 46 falls from Bumbo seats used on elevated surfaces that occurred prior to the 2007 recall, resulting in 14 skull fractures, two concussions and one incident of a broken limb.
Approximately 3.85 million Bumbo seats have been sold in the United States since 2003. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product alert or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about your experience with the product on www.saferproducts.gov 
info from : http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12047.html

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday: Toy tips and warnings before you buy

As you begin your shopping this holiday season we hope you keep a few things in mind. "Safety and Quality"

SAFETEY:
The consumer advocate's report, released Tuesday, found just over a dozen toys on store shelves that violate federal safety standards. Some had unsafe levels of lead or chemicals called phthalates, and others contained small parts that young children could choke on. Government figures show 34 toy recalls in fiscal year 2011 -- down from 46 recalls the previous year; 50 in 2009 and 172 in 2008. Recalls related to lead were down from 19 in 2008 to four this past year.To read the full article and see the list of "unsafe" toys click HERE and for the full list click HERE.
QUALITY:
Babies rely primarily on their 5 senses (seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, and—yes—tasting) to play and explore. If you keep this concept in mind, it will serve you well when selecting the best toys for your baby.
  • Eye catching. Babies typically prefer objects with bright colors, high contrast, simple designs, and clear lines.
  • Shakes, rattles, and rolls. Your baby’s exploratory efforts will be rewarded with both sounds and movement.
  • Touchy feely. Remember to let your baby explore various textures. Think soft, smooth, fluffy, and fuzzy.
  • Holds its own. Look for toys that will be easy to hold so your baby can get a good grasp.
  • Drool resistant. As soon as they’re able, babies use their mouths to explore their world. Fortunately, there are plenty of baby toys today designed with this in mind.
  • Stands up under pressure…not to mention all of the pushing, pulling, dropping, and smushing that baby toys are inevitably subjected to.

Be Pro-Active

When it comes to toys (and, ultimately, learning), active play always wins out over passive entertainment such as watching a TV. Although your newborn certainly won’t be getting a full-fledged workout just yet, she’ll be moving more in a matter of mere months. As she does, offer her toys that she can reach for and hold, look at, listen to, wave, shake, chew on, make noise with, and more. An activity mat that you put on the floor can make an excellent fitness center for your new baby as she learns about the textures and sounds of different objects as well as works on her depth perception skills by trying to grab such items as hanging rings and plastic mirrors.

The Perfect Fit

Finally, be sure to offer toys to your baby that are at an appropriate level for her development. While you may love the idea of building Legos together, she won’t yet have the required dexterity (or self-control to avoid eating the pieces) to make them a good fit. If a toy is too advanced (or too simplistic) for a child, they will quickly lose interest or get frustrated.
**info from The Boston Globe/Associated Press
**info from http://www.healthychildren.org/

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The Willow Creek office WILL be open on Thanksgiving day, November 24, for Willow Creek and Draper patients! We have a doctor on call to see patients with URGENT problems only! We will book patients in consecutive order and will stay until the latest scheduled appointment, so call first thing in the morning if your child needs to be seen to be sure to get an appointment! Our phones will turn on at 9:30 am.

We will also be open the day after Thanksgiving. We will have a few doctors in the office to see sick patients. This will be treated as a regular day with regular office hours for the Willow Creek office!
 
This time of the year makes us all reflect on the many thanks we have. Here are just a few things we are thankful for:
 
Dr. Steve Lynch--.Health, Love, Family (two legged and four legged) and compassionate friends!
Valerie (nurse)-- Good Health!
Jan (front office)--My awesome family and grand kids
Shaylyn (front office coordinator)--My family
Dr Ryan Donnelley--Thankful that my wife is still pregnant (24 weeks along with preterm labor on bed rest) and for my kids and for my new job with great patients and staff.
Traci (nurse)--My family and my patients
Trishell (front office)--My family....and that we are all healthy and happy
Dr. Jim Memmott--Thankful for my great family and for a great job and my amazing patients.
Margie (office coordinator)--A great job with amazing physicians and staff, good health, and great family and friends.
Kari (front office)--I can think of hundreds of things from one day to the next. Today is breathing, smiling,living and loving.  I can not begin to express how grateful I am for every day!
Mandy (nurse/blogger)--My two boys and a great husband, my family who is my life, my health and my children's healthy and an amazing job that I love and work with such amazing people and patients!
Dr. Joe Jopling--Thankful for family and good health. Especially when we work in an industry like this, it makes me appreciate good health even more.
 
The staff and doctors of Willow Creek would like to wish all of our patients and their families and happy and safe Thanksgiving week!
 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Adding "greens" to your Thanksgiving Table

We hope you are all enjoying a wonderful week of Thanksgiving. Dr Jopling found this great article about adding "green's" to your Thanksgiving table. It's not easy being green — particularly at the Thanksgiving table. Unless you're a snap bean forced into an arranged marriage with a can of cream of mushroom soup, green vegetables get short shrift on America's day of giving thanks. To read the full article click HERE.

We also know many of you travel during this time of the year and wanted to remind you to buckle up your little ones. For a few reminder tips click HERE and HERE.

Have a wonderful week and coming up this week--"What our staff is thankful for!"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Successful Parenting Class & Tech Tip

Thank you so much to Amanda Morgan for a very successful course of parenting classes. We had such a great turn out and learned so much! Remember to check out Amanda at her blog NotJustCute and let us know if you interested in attending any of her Parenting classes. She will be doing more after the first of the year.

Tech Tip: Dr Lynch found this great "App" and wanted to share it. It is called Infant Risk Center Mobile Application at www.infantrisk.com  It is a app from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. It is based on Medications and Mothers' Milk by Thomas Hale. One benefit it has is it tells you which drugs are safe during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. We promise to give you information and we receive it and thought this was great. Do you have a great "App" that you love?...Let us know!
**Info from www.aapnew.org

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Varicella-related deaths in US children plummet thanks to vaccine

Dr Lynch recently found this article and wanted to share it with you.
                         
The use of the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine in the U.S. since 1995 has reduced the death rate from this disease by 97 percent among children and adolescents, according to an analysis of data from the National Center for Health Statistics from 1990-2007.  Because deaths from varicella are relatively few, the major benefit of the vaccine is considered to be the reduction in lost work and medical care associated with cases and severe complications. Varicella deaths are a powerful reminder of the importance of vaccines for prevention. For most of the time period since 1995, a one-dose vaccine was used for children. Since 2006, a two-dose regimen has been recommended. This could possibly eliminate deaths altogether in this age group from the disease in the future. The full article can be read in th August 2011 issue of Pediatrics called  , “Near Elimination of Varicella Deaths in the US Following Implementation of the Childhood Vaccination Program."

Here is some basic information about the Chicken Pox vaccine and why it is important.

Why get vaccinated?

Chickenpox (also called varicella) is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults.
  • It causes a rash, itching, fever, and tiredness.
  • It can lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or death.
  • The chickenpox virus can be spread from person to person through the air, or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters.
  • A person who has had chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles years later.
  • Before the vaccine, about 11,000 people were hospitalized for chickenpox each year in the United States.
  • Before the vaccine, about 100 people died each year as a result of chickenpox in the United States.
Chickenpox vaccine can prevent chickenpox.
Most people who get chickenpox vaccine will not get chickenpox. But if someone who has been vaccinated does get chickenpox, it is usually very mild. They will have fewer blisters, are less likely to have a fever, and will recover faster.

Who should get chickenpox vaccine and when?

Children who have never had chickenpox should get 2 doses of chickenpox vaccine at these ages:
  • 1st Dose: 12-15 months of age
  • 2nd Dose: 4-6 years of age (may be given earlier, if at least 3 months after the 1st dose) 
To read more about the chicken pox vaccine please click HERE for the full article.
**info from http://www.aapnews.org/, http://www.healthychildren.org/ and http://www.cdc.gov/

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fact Friday :Children's exposure to soda ads doubled from 2008 to 2010

American children and teenagers are seeing far more soda advertising than before, with blacks and Hispanics the major targets as marketers have expanded online, according to a study released Monday.
The report from the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity also said many fruit and energy drinks, which are popular with teens, have as much added sugar and as many calories as regular soda.
"Our children are being assaulted by these drinks that are high in sugar and low in nutrition," said Yale's Kelly Brownell, co-author of the report. "The companies are marketing them in highly aggressive ways." To read the full story click HERE. It is very shocking and eye opening. As a reminder American Academy of Pediatrics said such highly caffeinated beverages are not appropriate for children and adolescents. Here are some quick facts about sugary drinks. It is a great reminder!
Sodas
A 12-ounce can of full-calorie soda typically contains 10 1/2 teaspoons of sugar.
Fruit drinks
An 8-ounce serving of a full-calorie fruit drink has 110 calories and 7 teaspoons of sugar, the same amount found in an 8-ounce serving of a full-calorie soda or energy drink.
Some fruit drink packages are covered with images of real fruit, even though the drinks might contain no more than 5 percent real fruit juice. The ingredients are water and high-fructose corn syrup, or in some cases "real sugar," such as cane sugar.
Iced teas, sports drinks, flavored waters
Full-calorie versions of these drinks typically contain 3 to 5 teaspoons of sugar per 8-ounce serving.
Despite their high sugar content, more than half of sugary drinks and energy drinks market positive ingredients on their packages, and 64 percent feature their "all-natural" or "real" ingredients.

**Info from The Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity
**Info from AAP

Monday, November 7, 2011

Impact Test now at Willow Creek

We are now offering the IMPACT TEST for evaluation of concussions. The Impact Test is a computerized test used by many professional and collegiate athletes and is felt to be the state of the art to evaluate for concussions and determine when athletes can return to play. We would suggest that athletes greater than ten years of age take a baseline test, then if they do get a head injury a post concussion test can given to evaluate the seriousness of their injury. Please ask your doctor for more information, and as always, make sure your child is evaluated by his or her doctor if he or she has any signs of a concussion.
 

So what is a Concussion

 
A concussion is any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. Concussions are typically caused by a blow or jolt to the head. The following is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about concussions, including guidance on treatment and prevention.

When do concussions occur?

Concussions can happen in any sport but more often occur in collision sports, such as football, rugby, or ice hockey. They also are common in contact sports that don’t require helmets, such as soccer, basketball, wrestling, and lacrosse. However, a concussion can also occur from a collision with the ground; a wall; a goalpost; or a ball that has been thrown, hit, or kicked. Many concussions also occur outside organized sports. For example, a child riding a bike or skateboard can fall down and bump his head on the street or an obstacle.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a concussion range from subtle to obvious and usually happen right after the injury but may take hours to days to show up. Athletes who have had concussions may report feeling normal before their brain has fully recovered. With most concussions, the player is not knocked out or unconscious.
Symptoms of a concussion include the following:
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling dazed or stunned
  • Feeling mentally “foggy”
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble remembering
  • Confused or forgetful about recent events
  • Slow to answer questions
  • Changes in mood—irritable, sad, emotional, nervous
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleeping more or less than usual
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • What to do if you suspect a concussion
All concussions are serious, and all athletes with suspected concussions should not return to play until they see a doctor. A doctor can confirm the diagnosis of concussion; determine the need for any specialized tests, such as CT scan, MRI, or neuropsychological tests; and decide if it is OK for the athlete to return to play. Prematurely returning to play after a concussion can lead to another concussion or even death. An athlete with a history of concussion may be more susceptible to another injury than an athlete with no history of concussion.
No one knows how many concussions are too many before permanent damage occurs. Repeated concussions are particularly worrisome, especially if each one takes longer to resolve or if a repeat concussion occurs from a light blow. The doctor needs to know about all prior concussions, including those that occurred outside of a sports setting, in order to make proper recommendations regarding return to play and future sports participation.

Treatment

The best treatment for a concussion is complete rest from all physical and mental activity. Children should be monitored often, but there is no need for wake-up checks during sleep. Loud music, computer, and TV should be limited or stopped if they increase the symptoms. School attendance and work may need to be modified with tests and projects postponed. Students need to be excused from gym class or recess activities. Any worsening of concussion symptoms or changes in behavior (eg, agitation, grogginess, disorientation) should be immediately reported to your doctor.

Returning to physical activity

Recovery time from concussion is variable based on the individual, the severity of the concussion, and the history of prior concussions. An athlete may feel better and want to return to play before their brain has completely recovered. Given the uncertain and unpredictable time frame for recovery, all sports activity should be suspended until symptoms have completely resolved at rest. At this point, a stepwise return to physical activity can begin if the athlete’s doctor says it’s OK. The stepwise plan should be progressive and individualized. Having an athletic trainer involved in monitoring this plan can be very helpful. It is important to pay close attention to worsening symptoms (like increasing headache, nausea, or dizziness). Any concussion-related symptoms that return with exertion are a clear indicator that the concussion has not healed. Final clearance to return to full activity should also be at the direction of a physician.

Prevention

Not all concussions can be prevented, but some may be avoided. Helmets should be worn for any riding activities (like horseback, all terrain vehicle [ATV], motorbike, bike, skateboard, or snowboard) or contact sports (like football, hockey, or lacrosse). Helmets should fit appropriately and be in good condition. Athletes should be taught safe playing techniques and to follow the rules of the game. Most importantly, every athlete needs to know how crucial it is to let their coach, athletic trainer, or parent know if they have hit their head or have symptoms of a head injury—even if it means stopping play. Never ignore a head injury, no matter how minor.
“When in Doubt, Sit Them Out!"
**INFO from the AAP and click here to read the full article

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Web INFO: Why it is smart to be bilingual

The brain’s real super-food may be learning new languages.

It has been only two years since Utah legislators secured funding to experiment with immersion education, but already the state has 51 programs up and running. Fourteen more are set to take off this fall. By 2014, educators hope to have 30,000 of Utah's students signed up."Our main goal is to mainstream immersion," said Gregg Roberts, the world language specialist at the Utah State Office of Education. "In the past, it has been a boutique program for elite private schools. We want to make that option available to all parents." In the meantime, other states are taking note. Utah is the first in the nation to develop standardized immersion curriculum. In June, representatives from Arizona, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland and North and South Carolina dropped in to take a peek at the state's program. "Utah is leading the nation in immersion education," said Myriam Met, deputy director of the National Foreign Language Center in Maryland. "I'm in awe of what you're doing for your children and your communities."( Info By Elizabeth Stuart, Deseret News Published: Wednesday, July 7, 2010)

Dr. Jopling found this great article on the web and thought it was great to share
.
On a sweltering August morning, in a classroom overlooking New York’s Hudson River, a group of 3-year-olds are rolling sticky rice balls in chocolate sprinkles, as a teacher guides them completely in Mandarin.
This is just one toddler learning game at the total--immersion language summer camp run by the primary school Bilingual Buds, which offers a year-round curriculum in Mandarin as well as Spanish (at a New Jersey campus) for kids as young as 2. Bilingualism, of course, can be a leg up for college admission and a résumé burnisher. But a growing body of research now offers a further rationale: the regular, high-level use of more than one language may actually improve early brain development.
According to several different studies, command of two or more languages bolsters the ability to focus in the face of distraction, decide between competing alternatives, and disregard irrelevant information. These essential skills are grouped together, known in brain terms as “executive function.” The research suggests they develop ahead of time in bilingual children, and are already evident in kids as young as 3 or 4.
While no one has yet identified the exact mechanism by which bilingualism boosts brain development, the advantage likely stems from the bilingual’s need to continually select the right language for a given situation. According to Ellen Bialystok, a professor at York University in Toronto and a leading researcher in the field, this constant selecting process is strenuous exercise for the brain and involves processes beyond those required for monolingual speech, resulting in an extra stash of mental acuity, or, in Bialy-stok’s terms, a “cognitive reserve.”
Bilingual education, commonplace in many countries, is a growing trend across the United States, with 440 elementary schools (up from virtually none in 1970) offering immersion study in Spanish, Mandarin, and French, in that order of popularity.
For parents whose toddlers can’t read Tolstoy in the original Russian, the research does offer some comfort: Tamar Gollan, a professor at University of California, San Diego, has found a vocabulary gap between children who speak only one language and those who grow up with more. On average, the more languages spoken, the smaller the vocabulary in each one. Gollan’s research suggests that while that gap narrows as children grow, it does not close completely.
The rule of thumb for improving in any language is simple practice. “The more you use it, the better off you are,” Gollan says. “Vocabulary tests, SATs, GREs—those are tests that probe the absolute limits of your ability, and that’s where we find that bilinguals have the disadvantage, where you know the word but you just can’t get it out.”
Gollan believes this deficit can be compensated for with extra study. A more complicated question is how and whether bilingualism may interact with other cognitive issues that can appear in early childhood, specifically attention disorders, says Bialystok. Because attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is linked to compromised executive functioning, it is unclear what impact learning a second language—which calls upon exactly these executive skills—might have on children with this condition. Research on this question is underway.
Some of the most valuable mental perks of bilingualism can’t be measured at all, of course. To speak more than one language is to inherit a global consciousness that opens the mind to more than one culture or way of life.
Bilinguals also appear to be better at learning new languages than monolinguals. London-based writer Clarisse Lehmann spent her early childhood in Switzerland speaking French. At 6, she learned English. Later she learned Spanish, German, and, during three years spent living in Tokyo, Japanese.
“There’s a witty humor in English that has a different sensibility in French,” she says. “And in Japanese, there’s no sarcasm. When I tried, it would be ‘We don’t understand what you’re trying to say.’?”
With five languages under her belt—and a working familiarity with Latin and Greek as well—Lehmann finally considers herself sufficiently multilingual. “Enough, enough!” she says. “I don’t want to learn any more languages.”

What are your thoughts on this in our schools? Does anyone have an experience good or bad that they would mind letting us know so we can all keep making good informed decisions for our children?

*first Part of  article from By Elizabeth Stuart, Deseret News
**article from: Casey Schwartz is a graduate of Brown University and has a master's degree in psychodynamic neuroscience from University College London. She has previously written for The New York Sun and ABC News. She is currently working on a book about the brain world.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Web Info: Average Child collects 7,000 calories from candy Halloween Night

Dr Jopling found this great article on the web. The average U.S. child collects between 3,500 and 7,000 calories from candy on Halloween night, a public heath expert estimates. Donna Arnett, head of the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, said a 100-pound child who consumed 7,000 calories would have to walk for nearly 44 hours or play full-court basketball for 14.5 hours to burn those calories

To read the full article from this "scary" article read here .If you ever find a great article let us know and we will send it out.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween and Part three Tips

Happy Halloween! We hope as you plan your day with your families you can keep a few of these tips in your mind.

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween
Ever wonder what to do with all of that extra Halloween candy that you don't want to keep around your house?  Maybe we can help with that!  There are numerous dental and orthodontic offices around the valley that will pay you for your leftover Halloween candy!  Most of the offices who participate in this will donate the candy to a charitable cause.  There is even a dentist in our building that is paying people for their Halloween candy for the entire week after Halloween!  This particular office is donating all of the candy they collect to our troops overseas.  So if you are wanting to get rid of some of those mountains of candy, call up your dentist office and see if this is something they do!

We are wishing you a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN and please have fun and BE SAFE!
**safety tips from AAP

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fact Friday: Crib Bumpers are more harm than good

Parents will soon hear from their pediatricians that bumper pads should not be used in cribs because babies can suffocate against or be strangled by the popular bedding product.The American Academy of Pediatrics set the guideline for its physicians as part of updated policies to create safer sleep environments for babies and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. To read more about this article and the new guidelines click here. Here is part of the article with some great "FACTS". Remember to talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions.

Every five years the pediatrics academy updates its official policies, which serve as a guide to pediatricians and other medical professionals throughout the country. Previously, the policies stated that if crib bumpers were used, they should be thin, firm, well secured and not "pillow-like" — a vague term that irked safe-sleep experts and SIDS groups.

"It was just confusing," said Nancy Cowles, director of Kids in Danger, a safety advocacy group. "I think this clarifies things — bare is best."

In a statement, the academy said that although the number of deaths associated with sudden infant death syndrome has declined in the last two decades, sleep-related deaths from suffocation, entrapment and asphyxia have increased.

Besides stating that bumper pads should not be used, the group also recommended that babies always sleep on a firm surface, not in car seats or other products that babies sit in. Wedges and positioners shouldn't be used, and the policies recommend
breast-feeding and immunizations to reduce SIDS deaths

Info from AAP and http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-crib-bumper-warning-20111018,0,1998372.story

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Safety Part 2

This is part two of our three part series about Halloween Safety. This part is about keeping your home safe for your children and also while you are on the "trail". Also remember that small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting. Thanks to healthychildren.org and the AAP for part of this information that we have for you today. HAPPY HALLOWEEN 

Home Safe Home:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

On the Trick-or-Treat Trail:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:
  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
    Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom).
  • Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
Info from healthychildren.org to read the full article click here

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Safety tips Part one

Are you children counting down the hours until Halloween? We know that this can be such a fun holiday to celebrate but wanted to give you some great reminders and tips to make sure you have a very safe and healthy Halloween. The American Academy of Pediatrics has some great tips for dressing up during Halloween.

Dressed up/Costumes:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
To read the full article click here (thanks to healthychildren.org for the info)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Remember to sign up for Parenting Class!!

Remember only a few more days to sign up for the Parenting Classes offered at Willow Creek. Ask your self these questions--Do you want better behavior from your kids? Less shouting and arguing?  More patience? Better family relationships? Fewer tantrums? If you answered YES to any of these questions you should sign up and attend the 4 part class "Parenting with Positive Guidance". Click here for more information.
  • Four sessions that start Thursday nights, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm October 27-Nov 17th
  • At Willow Creek Pediatrics Conference Room
  • $65 for individuals or $100 for couples
  • Sign up at the front desk or email margiet@wasatchpeds.net to reserve your spot!
Amanda has been a guest "blogger" on our site and has given us valuable information. Our doctors are so excited to offer such a great resource to our parents. Amanda has a Master's degree in Family and Human development and has worked with children and families in a variety of settings. She currently works part-time as a trainer and consultant for The Children's Center of Salt Lake, and full time as a mom to three boys. She also writes at Not Just Cute,a blog devoted to intentional whole child development.

Check our her blog here to see her great ideas and if you can't attend let us know if you would be interested in another session. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Utah Child Care centers improve diet and add exercise

It is so great to see Utah Child Care providers taking an aggressive role in helping with childhood obesity. Dr Jopling recently found this article from the Standard Examiner and thought we would share it.
Ask yourself each day three questions. 
1- Does my child eat healthy?
2-Did my child get exercise?  
3- How much TV does my child watch?
 It is a great reminder to look at these once in a while and reevaluate!
  
OGDEN -- Healthy food choices and more exercise are among the lifestyle changes being made by dozens of child care centers in the Top of Utah. Both Weber-Morgan and Davis County health departments are participating in the pilot program called "Targeting Obesity in Preschool and Child Care Settings (TOP Star)," coordinated through the Utah Department of Health.
"The purpose of the program is to help child care providers improve their physical activity and nutrition environments," said Jessica Haymond, TOP Star project coordinator at UDOH.
"The assistance from the participating local health departments has been key to the implementation of this project."
Tiffany Leishman, community health educator at Davis County Health Department, said she likes the results she's seeing so far.
"The program hasn't been running long enough to get all of the results back yet, but some of the changes I'm seeing are just remarkable," she said.
"One home day-care center has cut down the amount of TV the kids watch from 56 hours a week to 30 minutes a week. They've replaced that screen time with healthy physical activities."
Monica Gailey, director of Let Them Be Kids in Clearfield, said her day-care center has made several changes so far, including providing more fruits and vegetables for the children.
"We have also added an extra recess for the kids, so they can get out and exercise more," she said.
"The teachers are also more involved with the kids during recess. Instead of watching them, they are participating in physical activities with them. The kids are having a lot of fun and don't even realize they're getting exercise."
Leishman said one in five Utah children is considered overweight or obese by the time they enter first grade. She said it's important to instill healthy lifestyle habits before children get used to bad ones.
Rochelle Creager, program manager for physical activity, nutrition and obesity prevention at Weber-Morgan Health Department, said each day care that participates in the program is given a self-assessment to see in which areas it is doing well and which areas need improvement.
"We talk about nutrition, exercise and breast-feeding environments," she said. "Once we see where they are in those areas, we come up with an action plan and set some goals."
Leishman and Creager said each center is given about three to six months to work on its goals.
"We hope to see an improvement, but if not, we will continue to work with them," Leishman said.
Some of the changes that can be made include serving more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, as well as playing games that include running, skipping and jumping.
"If we can have an impact before these kids get into school, then hopefully we can prevent some bad behaviors," Creager said.
"If the day-care centers are successful, we will give them an endorsement both on our website and the state health department's website."
--Info from http://www.standard.net/stories/2011/09/27/care-providers-increasing-childrens-healthful-eating-exercise

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fact Friday: Facts about the Flu

What is the flu?

The influenza (flu) virus causes serious illness that may result in hospitalization or death. It mostly affects the breathing system, but may also affect the whole body. The flu season usually starts in the fall and ends in the spring.
People can get the flu many times in their lives. Flu viruses are always changing over time and from year to year. Three seasonal flu viruses are expected to make children sick again this flu season.

Signs of the flu

All flu viruses cause a respiratory illness that can last a week or more. Flu symptoms include
  • A sudden fever (usually above 101°F or 38.3°C)
  • Chills and body shakes
  • Headache, body aches, and being a lot more tired than usual
  • Sore throat
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Stuffy, runny nose
Some children may throw up (vomit) and have loose stools (diarrhea). Talk with your child’s doctor if your child has ear pain, a cough that won’t go away, or a fever that won’t go away. There can be serious complications, even death, from the flu, but these are uncommon.

How to prevent the flu

Get the flu vaccine every year

Safe vaccines are made each year to protect against the flu. This year’s flu vaccine protects against the same 3 strains of influenza virus in last year’s vaccine. These are
  • Influenza A (H3N2)
  • Influenza A (H1N1)
  • Influenza B
The number of vaccine doses your child needs this year depends on his age at the time the first dose is given and his flu vaccine history.
  • Children 6 months through 8 years of age should get 2 doses if they did not get a flu vaccine last year and 1 dose if they did.
  • Children 9 years and older need only 1 dose.
Everyone should get the flu vaccine each year to update their protection because
  • Protection from the flu vaccine lasts for about 6 to 12 months.
  • The virus strains in the vaccine may change, so your protection usually needs updating.


Who should get which flu vaccine?

There are 2 types of flu vaccine.

Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) is given as a shot. There are 2 kinds of shots. The intramuscular (into the muscle) shot is licensed and recommended for children 6 months and older and adults, including people with and without chronic medical conditions. The new intradermal (into the skin) shot has been licensed for the 2011–2012 season to use in people 18 through 64 years of age. 
Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of getting severely ill from the flu and their close contacts, the close contacts of healthy children younger than 5 years, all health care personnel, and all pregnant (or postpartum) women.
Live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is sprayed into the nose. LAIV is recommended for healthy children 2 years and older.
Both types of flu vaccine are very safe and work well to protect your child from the flu. Check with your doctor about which is best for your child and family.

Are there side effects of the flu vaccine?

There are very few side effects of the flu vaccine. The area where the TIV flu shot is given may be sore for a day or two. Fever may occur within 24 hours after in about 10% to 35% of children younger than 2 years but rarely in older children and adults.
Because LAIV is sprayed into the nose, your child might get a stuffy, runny nose within the first few days. LAIV may produce mild symptoms, including rhinitis, headache, wheezing, vomiting, muscle aches, and fever.
You or your children will not get the flu from the vaccine. It takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to start working, so people can catch the flu before they are protected. 

Is the flu vaccine safe for children with egg allergies?

In the past, children with egg allergies were not recommended to get the flu vaccine because they might have a reaction. There is now enough scientific information to show that influenza vaccine given in a single, age-appropriate dose is well received by nearly all children and adults who have egg allergy. Check with your doctor if you have any questions.
  • Children with a history of mild egg allergy (hives) can get the flu vaccine safely at their doctor’s office.
  • Children with a history of severe egg allergy should have their doctor consult with their allergist before getting the flu vaccine.

When should my child get the flu vaccine?

The best time to get the flu vaccine is the early fall or as soon as it is available in your community. If your child does not get the flu vaccine right away, it is still important to get it anytime. The flu virus infects people in the fall, winter, and well into the spring each year. Your child can still be protected if she gets a flu vaccine as late as March, April, or May. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about the flu vaccine.

Keep flu germs from spreading

The flu virus spreads easily through the air with coughing and sneezing, and through touching things like doorknobs or toys and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Here are some tips that will help protect your family from getting sick.
  1. Everyone should wash their hands often. You can use soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. That is about as long as singing the “Happy Birthday” song 2 times. And an alcohol-based hand cleanser or sanitizer works well too. Put enough on your hands to make them all wet, then rub them together until dry.
  2. Teach your child to cover his mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Show your child how to cough into the elbow or upper sleeve (not a hand) or use a tissue.
  3. Throw all tissues used for runny noses and sneezes in the trash right away.
  4. Wash dishes and utensils in hot, soapy water or the dishwasher.
  5. Don’t let children share pacifiers, cups, spoons, forks, washcloths, or towels without washing. Never share toothbrushes.
  6. Teach your child to try not to touch her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  7. Wash doorknobs, toilet handles, countertops, and even toys. Use a disinfectant wipe or a cloth with soap and hot water. (A disinfectant is a cleaner that kills germs.)
**info from Healthychildren.org
full article here

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flu Shot and Flu Mist time!

It is that time again to get your annual flu shot or flu mist. Flu shots for all children ages 6 months and up, as well as FluMist for all children ages 2 years and up!  All of our doctor's do recommend getting an annual flu vaccination.

Flu vaccines will be by appointment only; we will not be doing walk-in flu vaccines this year.  Appointments are available on Tuesday from 2:00-7:30, Wednesday from 2:00 7:00 and Thursday from 2:00- 5:00.  Feel free to call the office Monday through Friday to schedule your children for their flu vaccine!

Please contact your insurance company prior to your appointment to find out if they cover the flu vaccine and if they require a copay.  Most insurance companies do require a copay anytime a fee is generated.  If you choose not to pay your copay at the time of service, there is an additional $5 fee to bill you for your copay