Saturday, April 28, 2012

With much sadness we say Goodbye

 It is with deep sadness and heartfelt sympathy that we share with you Dr Ashton's obituary.  Dr Ashton was one of the co-founders of Willow Creek Pediatrics and the heart and soul of our office. He had such a positive impact on so many people. We know so many our patients loved Dr Ashton just like we all love and honor him. We hope we can continue his love and legacy in his honor. Dr Ashton you will be missed by so many--We love you. To the Ashton family--we love you, from your Willow Creek Family! Please visit his guest book at the bottom of this page

1945 ~ 2012
Dennis Ashton
, a quiet man, a fierce warrior, left this life in triumph. He was an extraordinary husband, father, grandfather, brother and doctor.
We are sad because it's over, but we smile because he lived.
He is survived by his wife, Joan, his daughters Erin (Dave) Gubler and Brodi (Sam Johnson) Ashton, his grandkids Abram, Josh, Necie, Asher, Carter and Beckham, his brothers David (Sandy) Ashton, Ron (Vicki) Ashton, Jon (Pat) Ashton, sisters Kathy (Brent) Harper, Jane (Kent) Norton. He was preceded in death by his parents Reed and Emma Lucy Ashton, and Bernice "Yaya" Dorrity Jacobson.
A viewing will be held Monday, April 30, 2012 from 6-8 p.m. at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary (3401 South Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, UT, 84106). Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 at the Holladay 25th Ward Building located at 4650 Naniloa Drive, Salt Lake City, UT, 84117. Family and friends may visit beginning at 9:30.
Thank you to the angels at the Huntsman Cancer Institute

Visit Guest Book

Friday, April 27, 2012

Guest Post Week 2: Expert Readers

Three Key Things Expert Readers Do That Novice Readers Don’t Do!

Emily A. Swan, Ph.D.

Last week, I talked about What Reading Does for the Mind and I encouraged readers of this blog to read to their children for 30 minutes per day. Well… how did you do?

 Did you do it? Did your kids LOVE it? Did you have fun? I’d love to hear your comments.

If you didn’t do it, or didn’t do so well, guess what? You have another chance! Start Tonight! They won’t be little forever! You only have to read on the days you eat!

This week, I’m going to talk about the difference between an expert reader and a novice reader. There are some distinct differences that are crucial for children’s success in school. I believe if all parents knew these differences it would have an impact on not only parents’ conversations with their children, but also on the way children approach reading!

What is an Expert Reader?

I define an expert reader in terms of what expert readers KNOW and DO: expert readers do different things when they read, compared to novice readers. Expert readers know that there are things they can do to make reading make sense, make reading more interesting, make reading easier… and expert readers DO these things! Expert readers are also strategic. There are several strategies expert readers use before, during, and after they read. This makes such a difference in how much they comprehend, how interested and engaged they are while they are reading, and how much they remember about what they read.

 So, what are these things? I’ll teach you three!

 Three Key Things Expert Readers DO.

1.   Expert Readers ASK QUESTIONS!

What do you WONDER? This is a great question to ask your child! Questioning and wondering about the world means that your child is curious. Curiosity provides a wonderful purpose for reading… any book any topic! Questions are so important and sometimes it’s our questions that get us into a book in the first place.

·         Questions give us a purpose for reading. Where are you going for summer vacation?? Washington, D.C.? France? Lake Powell? What do your children know about where you are going? Do they know how Lake Powell was formed? How many people visit Lake Powell each summer? What makes the water levels change from year to year? All of these kinds of questions are great reasons to READ. Then, wherever you go, you can talk about what you have learned. Your children will remember the vacation so much more because they learned about the place and their experiences there will be deepened because they read about it! (OR because you read to them about it!)

·         Questions are diagnostic tools for thinking. Questions give us, as parents, a window into our child’s thinking. What are they worried about? What does that word mean? Why did that person do that? Who is this character? What do you think is going to happen next? All of these kinds of questions help children THINK. Wondering is the beginning of knowledge. When your child wonders things, and then you help them find the answers to their questions in books, they learn. Learning is fun! It’s a very empowering cycle! Wonder-read-learn!

·         Questioning can be done before, during, and after reading. Sometimes our questions get us into a book; we wonder something so we read for the answer. Other times, we have questions while we are reading. Questioning during reading is also important. Knowing what words mean, questioning what the author is saying, figuring out things that don’t make sense are all things expert readers do. This means readers are thinking and reading isn’t fun unless readers understand. Questioning is the way to keep readers thinking. After reading, sometimes readers have unanswered questions or additional questions. This is great news because then readers are more likely to keep reading additional books to find their answers!

2.   Expert Readers MAKE CONNECTIONS when they read!

We are always looking for ways to make connections. Think about the popularity of Facebook! It’s all about connections. When we read, it is important to make connections to what we already know or think to what we are reading. When we can help children make connections with characters, concepts, places, ideas, facts, pictures, settings, events, or problems and their solutions in books, we help them love reading more.

·         Help your child make personal connections to books they are reading. Help your child connect to people, events, or things in the books you read to things in their personal life: a pet, a friend, an interest, favorite colors, foods, places, or talents that are similar to your child’s.

·         Help your child make connections to other books they read. Help them connect to characters, places, settings, events, problems, topics that are in one story or book you have read, with the book you are currently reading.

·         Help your child make connections to the world. There are universal concepts that authors write about: love, friendship, fear, forgiveness, families, favorite places, humor, special characteristics or features of a topic or idea. Help your child recognize and think about these universal ideas. The more connections you can help your child make, the more interesting books become to them!

 3.   Expert Readers choose books about their INTERESTS! I have had plenty of 4th grade boys tell me that reading is boring. When I ask them what they are reading, many times the titles of the books they are reading ARE boring! (note: Sarah Plain and Tall is NOT the best book for 4th grade boys!) My advice to them: “Why are you reading that book? Choose something you are INTERESTED in reading instead!” Sometimes, kids just need permission to read what they want. Take your children to the library. Find what is interesting to them, it might be non-fiction topics like bugs or frogs or volcanoes. Great! Go to the non-fiction section and check out 30 books on that topic! It’s free! It’s fun! You get to read the books for three weeks! What is better than that? Then take them back and get some more! Life is too short to read boring books. If your kids think reading is boring, they need to find some interests!

In school, oftentimes, teachers assign reading and often assign it without a purpose. So kids do the reading, without much thinking, and it is pretty boring that way. They do the reading because it was assigned (this is called compliance), not because they chose it. But there ARE ways to add personal interest into an assigned reading. Here is a suggestion: When your child is assigned a chapter at school to read, ask them: “What is the teacher’s purpose for having you read this chapter? What is the assignment?” Your child may or may not know this, depending on the teacher. If you know the teacher’s purpose, write it down. THEN, ask your child: “Given this topic and this assignment, what are YOU interested in learning about?” Write this down too. It might even be in the form of a question. Encourage your child to do the reading first for their interest and see how much they can learn. Then, after that first reading, check to see if they also found the answer to the teacher’s purpose. If not, have them then read for the teacher’s purpose. Teaching your child how to find their OWN interests, regardless of whether or not the reading is assigned, is a powerful lesson in autonomy. Even though your child’s interest was not assigned, learning about their own interests FIRST, makes the teacher’s assignment more interesting, relevant, and valuable. Another suggestion when your child’s teacher wants your child to read a chapter and answer the questions at the end of the chapter is this: Have your child read the questions at the end of the chapter FIRST. Have your child choose the question(s) that are most interesting to them. Then have your child read the chapter to answer the “interesting” questions first and then the other ones may be easier to answer. Focusing on your child’s personal interest keeps them engaged; they pay more attention, and as a result, learn more!

Expert Readers versus Novice Readers

The biggest difference between an expert and a novice reader is that novice readers do not understand that they don’t understand! Think about it. They don’t know what they don’t know. Novice readers also don’t know that it is smart to question, make connections, and choose interesting books or find something interesting within the parameters of assigned readings. Novice readers don’t read. They don’t see a purpose, don’t understand the value, and don’t realize that when they read, they are getting SMARTER! But expert readers DO! Expert readers READ!

Action Plan for this week:  Help your child become an expert reader by acting like one! Find out what they WONDER! Help them make CONNECTIONS to what they are reading! Help them figure out what their INTERESTS are and read about them. You can spend your 30 minutes per day focusing on these things and I think it will really make a difference! Try it yourself. Share with your children what you read and why! They’ll love hearing about it!

 Next week: Motivating Kids to Read: What NOT To Do! The things that parents do that undermine children’s motivations to read.

****We are in the the process of producing some useful tools for mothers and others to help kids LOVE reading. If you are interested in receiving these updates, please let us know at We'll keep you informed when our new tools are ready! If you have any questions or comments you can also email Emily! Thanks!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Family dinners healthier for KIDS

How many times do you have family dinner? Do you find that you eat a better nutritional diet if you eat at home? This article that was just published gives some great information about the importance of family dinners. This week we encourage you to have one more family dinner than you did the week before and let us know how it went!  Have a great week!

More than 40 percent of the typical U.S. food budget is spent on eating out but family meals at home are linked to healthier eating, U.S. researchers said.
Study co-authors Jennifer Martin-Biggers, Amanda Berhaupt-Glickstein, John Worobey and Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, all from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, said aside from negative effects on the family budget, eating out has been shown to be generally associated with poor food choices and bad health.
The researchers evaluated results from 68 previously published scientific reports considering the association between family mealtime and children's health.
The review found numerous benefits to children associated with having frequent family meals, including increased intake of fruits, vegetables, fiber, calcium-rich foods and vitamins. In addition, the more a family ate together the less children consumed dietary components thought to be harmful to health such as soda.
The researchers found a weak link between family meals and obesity risk, but children in families with frequent family meals tended to have lower body mass index than those who enjoyed fewer family meals.
The findings were presented at the American Society for Nutrition's scientific sessions in San Diego

Read more:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

CPR Class Reminder!

Only a few more slots left in the CPR Courses for Parents! Such a huge hit last time and so many of you keep asking for it! Great for parents or grandparents!

Saturday, April 28th 2012 at 2:00 pm

The class will last approximately 1 hour

$15 per person

15-20 spots available

To sign up, please speak with our office coordinator, Margie. You can contact her by calling the office at 801-942-1800 or email her at
Spots will be offered on a first come first serve basis!
This is only a CPR class, NOT certification. It will be taught by Christine Keddington, who is certified to teach CPR.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What did you do for EARTH DAY?

Yesterday was Earth day and while we forgot to mention it we hope you take a moment this week and think of the impact you can have on your child by teaching them small and simple things to help this EARTH we live in. This week we ask you to take time to think about five things we find so simple and yet take for granite.
 LOOK at nature--
LOOK at your footprint you leave--
LOOK at what we teach our children about our earth--
LOOK at your neighborhood and community and see what you can improve--
LOOK and learn together something new about EARTH DAY!
 Have a great week!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Guest Post: The Incredible Power of Reading: What It Does For Your Mind

The Incredible Power of Reading: What It Does For Your Mind
Emily A. Swan, Ph.D.

An Introduction

Semester after semester, the most frequent comment I receive from my students on my course evaluations is: “Why didn’t I learn these things when I was younger? It would have made the biggest difference in my life!”  When I first began teaching college reading courses, I thought these kinds of comments were made simply because I had just gotten out of graduate school and I was teaching my students these things for the first time.

          Fourteen years later, I can honestly say that this comment is still the most frequent comment made—regardless of which level of reading class I happen to be teaching! How can this be? Theoretically, the teachers I taught 5, 7, even 10 years ago should have taught their students what they learned, right? The students I have now were only in the 2nd or 3rd grade when I was first teaching their teachers about these reading concepts and principles. You’d think that somewhere along the way, they would get at least one teacher who could teach them what reading does for their mind. But somehow, all of the teachers I have taught, are either not teaching what they learned explicitly to their students or they aren’t teaching my future students, neither of which makes any sense to me. When I ask my students, semester after semester, “What does reading do for your mind?” they have NO idea!

Do YOU know what reading does for the mind? I’ll tell you up front: A LOT!

For the next few weeks, I will be teaching you how to empower your own children. I believe if parents understand the impact that reading, or not reading, can have on their children’s success in school and in life, they will be more motivated to take a more active and purposeful role in helping their children be successful. I cannot think of an example of a parent who doesn’t want their children to be successful; but being armed with knowledge sure makes it easier to help them! I will teach you the most important things I know that will make the biggest difference for your children. And hopefully, if any of your children decide some day to become teachers, and they happen to take a reading class from me, they might say: “Oh I know this! My parents taught me this! It has made a big difference in my life!”

Wouldn’t that be great?

What Reading Really Does Do For The Mind

1. Reading impacts cognitive development in children in powerful ways. Reading has both dramatic and exponential consequences on a child’s cognitive development. Reading can cause a “Matthew Effect” where the rich-get-richer and the poor-get-poorer. Anne Cunningham and Keith Stanovich (1998) describe this Matthew Effect which begins in the early stages of reading development. Young children, who are poor readers, have a difficult time decoding words and/or struggle with comprehension. These poor readers are exposed to fewer books than their more skilled peers. Poor readers find books too difficult, get frustrated more easily, and as a result read less, if at all. Their motivation to read decreases and their avoidance of reading increases. The less time poor readers spend reading, the fewer opportunities these children have to increase their skills. Poor readers expend lots of energy trying to sound out words, while not being able to focus on the meaning of the story, which makes reading boring and seemingly more difficult. When reading is difficult, poor readers continue to avoid doing it, which may create feelings of frustration and a loss of self-confidence. For poor readers there are both cognitive and motivational factors at play. Poor readers disengage in reading-related activities, withdraw, and develop negative attitudes towards reading. Unrewarding literacy experiences multiply and eventually create a downward spiral that continues to get worse, not better, if the situation is not corrected.

On the other hand, skilled readers learn how to sound out words early and practice their reading skills by reading often. Skilled readers’ word reading becomes more automatic, so they can focus more on comprehension, which makes reading more fun because they understand what’s happening in the books they read. The more they read, the more they learn, which gives skilled readers more to talk about with others, which increases confidence. Reading volume (or the amount of time spent reading) increases vocabulary development, a larger and deeper knowledge base, and more practice using thinking skills such as questioning, making inferences, retelling, and reading increasingly more difficult texts. For skilled readers, there is also a spiral effect, but this spiral moves upward. As you can imagine, the gap between the poor reader and the skilled reader continues to get wider as the years progress.

2. Reading volume makes a difference! Children who read a wide variety of books and spend longer periods of time reading literally get smarter. How much kids read really counts! Reading is the BEST way to increase knowledge so it makes sense that children who read often and for sustained periods of time learn more than children who do not read for very long or do not read a variety of different kinds of books. These children build background knowledge on a variety of topics and concepts. This background knowledge is key in understanding new information. Voracious readers have an easy time connecting new information to their background knowledge, making school easier and more enjoyable, compared to children who don’t read and who don’t have a lot of background knowledge.

3. What your child reads makes a difference; reading books with rare words increases vocabulary and language skills.

On the other hand, children’s picture books contain a relatively high number of rare words and exposure to these books has a greater impact on your child’s vocabulary development than you’d think. The kinds of texts that have the greatest impact on your child’s vocabulary include newspaper articles, informational texts on scientific topics (e.g., books about animals, habitats, space, etc.), comic books, and children’s picture books.

One of the greatest impacts reading has on children is how much it impacts their vocabulary and language use, both in verbal and written language. Think about these facts: if your child only spends only 4.6 minutes per day reading or being read to, they are only exposed to 282,000 words in a year. But if you increase the time spent to just 14.2 minutes per day, your child would be exposed to 1,146,000 words in a year. What’s even more powerful is if your child reads or is read to for 65 minutes per day the number of words your child is exposed to is exponential: 4, 358,000 words per year! Just imagine! If you read a couple of stories to your child at bedtime every night, your child is not only getting exposed to tons of words, but the conversations you have with your child about what you are reading helps your child associate these rare words and the sheer number of words with this positive experience. Over time, the effects of this kind of exposure to words, manifests itself in a variety of ways. Children’s abilities to remember stories, use higher-level vocabulary words in their every day language, write with more imaginative language, build background knowledge, and connect stories to each other and to their lives are all powerful ways reading can impact your child in school.

The other thing to note is that the time spent reading with your child can never be made up later. The preschool years are such important years for cognitive growth that the exposure young children get to books and words will make all the difference in their lives for years to come. I cannot emphasize this fact enough! Reading to your children has a cumulative effect. Nothing can compensate for it later!

4. Reading makes you SMART! I tell young people all the time that the best thing reading does for your mind is that it literally makes you smart. Reading is the number one way to gain knowledge. You can read books about anything and everything. You can learn about people, places, inventions, history, the way things work, the way things are made, how to build things, create things, all about animals, space, ancient civilizations, you name it. Getting smart is the goal of reading. Playing videogames and watching television could never teach you what you can learn from reading. That is a fact.

Many parents believe that their children are either born smart or not and there’s nothing they can do about it. Kids are born with a certain amount of intelligence; this is true. But our intelligence can be influenced by the amount of reading we do. Children can get smarter by the way they use their minds and reading, thinking, and building knowledge have an important impact on intelligence. There are many children who are born with high intelligence who don’t read much. Their intelligence declines when they do not actively and purposefully use their minds or improve their skills. Yet, children who may be born with a lower amount of intelligence can improve their mental ability and agility through wide and frequent reading. The good news for parents is that the long term effects of children who read is that they create a habit for reading and this habit can impact their lives in exponential ways for years to come. Reading has positive effects on mental reasoning, memory, vocabulary, and declarative knowledge as found in many longitudinal studies.

So parents, take heart. Regardless of your child’s age or ability, reading to and with your children will have a positive effect on their academic and emotional success. If you are reading to your children regularly, keep it up; it matters. If you haven’t started reading to your children because they are too young; remember—they are never too young. They need to hear your voice. You can even read Sports Illustrated to your babies; they don’t care. They love to hear your voice and be held on your lap.

If your children are toddlers, read them stories or books about anything around them. Just read. Hold them on your lap, put your arms around them, and share stories together before bed. It’s the best time of the day and it will make a huge difference in their life for years to come. If your children can read on their own, you can still read chapter books to them and with them. Your children can read to and with each other. Take turns. Have fun! There are so many great books out there!

Action Plan for this week:  Read to your children. 30 minutes per day, minimum. No excuses!

Next week: I’ll share three key things expert readers do that novice readers don’t do.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Introducing Emily Swan: Guest Blogger and Reading expert

We are so excited to announce a new guest blog series by Emily Swan! Every Friday we will be posting her ideas and thoughts! We are excited to add Emily to our family here at Willow Creek Pediatrics and hope you enjoy this educational information! Welcome EMILY!

         Emily A. Swan received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Reading at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1998. She is a nationally recognized scholar, author, clinical professor, and reading consultant. Her first book, Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI): Engaging classrooms, lifelong learners, was published in 2003. This book outlines a research-based reading framework for engaging kids in reading and teaching them how to become expert readers. She has also authored several articles and book chapters on reading comprehension and engagement at both the elementary and middle school levels.

          Dr. Swan is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education, at the University of Utah She teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in Reading. Her research interests include motivation and engagement in reading, comprehension, and teacher professional development. She has served on the Utah State Office of Education’s College Reading Endorsement Committee since 1999. She is a member of the International Reading Association and has served as a reviewer from 2002-2005 for The Reading Teacher journal. Dr. Swan has received outstanding teaching awards at both the college level and the university levels from both the University of Utah’s College of Education (2002) and the Associated Students of the University of Utah (2004). She received the Olene Walker Literacy Service Award in 2004.

          Dr. Swan has written and led research grant projects in Salt Lake City at the State level and for SLC School District. She has also worked extensively in the state of Iowa from 2004-2009 to implement CORI in many of their schools in grades 4-9.  CORI has also been implemented in schools in Maryland, Utah, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, and New York. As a former classroom teacher, Dr. Swan focuses her time and energy on teaching classroom teachers how to create engaging classrooms and empower students to become lifelong learners.

          Most recently, Dr. Swan has taught Reading Camps to kids ages 7-18 over the past two summers and during the school year to help them improve their literacy skills. This was a great experiment and was the impetus for developing a new product as a solution to help parents know how to help their kids love reading and improve their reading skills. Dr. Swan is getting ready to launch her latest literacy project in May with her colleague and partner, Michelle Roderick, M.Ed. Together, Emily and Michelle have created a turn-key, research-based FUN solution for busy moms. Emily lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and two adorable and busy children.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Utahns SHAKEOUT Tuesday 10:15!!

Have you heard about the SHAKEOUT? Tomorrow April 17th at 10:15 am hundreds of thousands of Utahns will "Drop, Cover, and Hold On” in The Great Utah ShakeOut, our largest earthquake drill ever! 

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the drill. Major earthquakes may happen anywhere you work, live, or travel in Utah. The ShakeOut is our chance to practice how to protect ourselves, and for everyone to become prepared. The goal is to prevent a major earthquake from becoming a catastrophe for you, your family and community.

Why is a “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill important? As with anything, to act quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you. Millions of people across the country have participated in ShakeOut drills since 2008. Utahns will join the activity this 2012 as part of a statewide earthquake response exercise.

Everyone can participate!
Individuals, families, business , schools, colleges, government agencies and organizations are invited to register.

The more our children can be prepared the better. Make sure you check out there website and read below the benefits of practicing before a natural disaster.

Children experience trauma and fear during a natural disaster.

If they know what to do during a disaster because they have practiced family disaster drills, they will be better off. When parents are calm, children calm down more quickly.

Before a disaster, parents can:

  • Familiarize yourself with the emergency response plans of schools and/or daycare your children attend.
  • Find out if the school/daycare will keep your kids or send them home in an emergency.
  • Decide if your child gets into your home if you are not there.
  • Decide if your children take care of themselves or if a neighbor takes care of them.
  • Develop and practice a family disaster plan.
  • Teach children how to recognize danger signals.
  • Explain how to call for help (911).
  • Help children memorize important family information.
  • Help children memorize their street address, not the PO Box.
  • Include children's toys and special foods in 72-HOUR KIT.
After a disaster, children are most afraid the disaster will happen again, someone will be hurt or killed, or they will be separated from family and left alone.

Parents can help minimize their children's fears by:

  • Keeping the family together; do not leave children with relatives or friends - take your children with you.
  • Calmly and firmly explain the situation and your plans.
  • Talk to your children at eye level.
  • Encourage children to talk about the disaster and ask questions.
  • Include children in recovery activities by giving them chores that will help them feel they are helping things get back to normal.
  • Reassure children with firmness and love.
  • Sympathize with and resolve their anxieties.
  • Hold your children and spend more time with them.

Let us know how it went!!

thanks to

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Aid Reminder

Over the next few weeks we will be giving you some first aid reminders. Now that our children are out in this beautiful weather it is a great time to remember some basic first aid. This week we have some great tips about STINGS, BITES, and ALLERGIES--Please always remember to call 911 if you have a life threatening emergency. Also remember your doctor is here to answer any questions you may have.

General things to know--

  • Know how to get help.
  • Make sure the area is safe for you and the child.
  • When possible, personal protective equipment (such as gloves) should be used.
  • Position the child appropriately if her airway needs to be opened or CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is needed.
  • DO NOT MOVE A CHILD WHO MAY HAVE A NECK OR BACK INJURY (from a fall, motor vehicle crash, or other injury, or if the child says his neck or back hurts) unless he is in danger.
  • Look for anything (such as emergency medical identification jewelry or paperwork) that may give you information about health problems.

Stings, Bites, and Allergies

Stinging Insects

Remove the stinger as soon as possible with a scraping motion using a firm item (such as the edge of a credit card). Put a cold compress on the bite to relieve the pain. If trouble breathing; fainting; swelling of lips, face, or throat; or hives over the entire body occurs, call 911 or an emergency number right away. For hives in a small area, nausea, or vomiting, call the pediatrician. For spider bites, call the pediatrician or Poison Help (1-800-222-1222 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-222-1222 end_of_the_skype_highlighting). Have the pediatrician check any bites that become red, warm, swollen, or painful.

Animal or Human Bites

Wash wound well with soap and water. Call the pediatrician. The child may need a tetanus or rabies shot or antibiotics.


Use tweezers or your fingers to grasp as close as possible to the head of the tick and briskly pull the tick away from where it is attached. Call the pediatrician if the child develops symptoms such as a rash or fever.

Snake Bites

Take the child to an emergency department if you are unsure of the type of snake or if you are concerned that the snake may be poisonous. Keep the child at rest. Do not apply ice. Loosely splint the injured area and keep it at rest, positioned at or slightly below the level of the heart. Identify the snake, if you can do so safely. If you are not able to identify the snake but are able to kill it safely, take it with you to the emergency department for identification.


Swelling, problems breathing, and paleness may be signs of severe allergy. Call 911 or an emergency number right away. Some people may have emergency medicine for these times. If possible, ask about emergency medicine they may have and help them administer it if necessary.

**thanks to AAP for the current info

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Protect your kids from excess "screen time"

Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-Turnoff) is an annual event where children, families, schools and communities are encouraged to turn off screens and "turn on life." Instead of relying on television programming for entertainment, participants read, daydream, explore, enjoy nature, and spend time with family and friends. This year it is April 30-May 6th and we encourage you to Get out there and have fun !

The Salt Lake Tribune recently published this great article by Ben Fulton and Dr Jopling wanted to share it!
Douglas Goldsmith, executive director of The Children’s Center and a licensed child psychologist, remembers a time when some parents threw the family television in the trash in desperate hopes of spending more quality time together.
"For a while we heard that," Goldsmith said. "That was before cable and satellite television. Now parents are as addicted to TV as the kids."
Never mind violent video games and "SpongeBob SquarePants." The "game-changing" episode of the latest HBO series is the stuff of adult discussion around the water-cooler. Internet access is the new lifeblood. It’s harder than ever for adults to set examples for children when it comes to time spent sitting in front of a glowing screen.
If you’re a parent, especially to a newborn or toddler age 3 or younger, the stakes couldn’t be higher, recent research shows. Television conditions developing minds to expect unreasonable levels of stimulation from the reality of actual surroundings. According to Dmitri Christakis, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and director of the Center on Human Development and Disability in Seattle, this increases vastly the chance your child will exhibit attention problems later in life. It also impedes the chances your child will demonstrate an interest in novel objects and ideas, traits crucial to learning and building skills.
Even past age 3, chances are great excess screen time will reap the unsavory harvest of obese children uninterested in activities that can’t live up to the excitement and stimulation of their favorite program. It also can increase the chance of sleep problems.
"We’re ‘technologizing’ childhood today in a way that’s unprecedented," Christakis tells an audience in a recent TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talk available on YouTube. Christakis will be in Salt Lake City on April 19 to present the findings of his recent research regarding media and children’s behavioral development to Utah pediatricians as part of Intermountain Health Care’s Pediatric Grand Rounds program.
In 1970, the average age a child began watching television was 4 years old, he noted. Today that average stands at 4 months old. Between the ages of 1 month and 2 years, the human brain triples in size. Growing along with its size is the network of connections between different regions of the brain. Television stimulates those connections beyond what they’re accustomed to. Even a program as seemingly innocuous as "Baby Einstein" accomplishes this, offering developing brains up to seven scene changes in a 20-second excerpt.
All that stimulation can be counteracted with quality time parents spend with their children engaged in more participatory, cognitive stimulation such as reading aloud or singing to them, playing outside, or visiting the museum. Christakis said every hour of cognitive stimulation decreases by 30 percent the negative impact of one hour of television.
For busy parents, the trick is finding the time and energy to spend with your children apart from letting them sit in front of a television. It’s an all-too familiar challenge, Goldsmith said.
"When I ask many children what they’d like to do instead of watch television, I get blank stares," he said. "Parents should spend time exploring what their children like to do. We need to be cheerleaders for them and get them excited about what they could do instead of watch television. If you just say, ‘Turn off the TV and color,’ they’ll give you a look that says, ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’ "
Also important, said Chuck Norlin, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah, is never letting children eat in front of the television. It’s so distracting that children, and even adults, lose sense of when they’ve eaten enough food. Letting kids have a television set in their bedroom is a surefire way to disrupt sleeping patterns, as the flickering light stimulates the brain long after they’ve nodded off.
The best way to pre-empt time your children spend in front of a computer or television is to engage them about how they spent their day right when you pick them up from school, or shortly after getting home. That said, Norlin believes parents should not feel too guilty about telling their children to turn off the television without offering a ready alternative.
"Boredom can be good if it helps kids figure out how to keep themselves occupied," Norlin said. "It’s not necessarily the parents’ job to keep the child ‘unbored.’ If kids don’t learn how to entertain themselves, they quickly become even more dependent on parents for amusement."
1. Schedule it » Your child attends school at a set time. Your family eats meals at a set time. Do the same for time your children are allowed to watch television, play video games or surf the Internet.
2. Limit it » The amount varies, but most pediatricians agree that one hour per day is sufficient, with any amount over two hours excessive.
3. Ban channel surfing » Television scrambles young minds enough as it is. Mindless channel surfing exacerbates it. Let your child name a favorite one-hour show, letting him watch straight through for focus. Then turn off the television.
4. Discover other activities » Coloring, drawing, hiking, dancing to music or playing outside are all activities most children also enjoy apart from watching “The Powerpuff
5. Watch together » Parents are increasingly shocked by what their children are exposed to through television. If you don’t want to be among these parents, the best you can do is watch what your children watch.

**Thanks to the SLC trib and Ben Fulton for a great article!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Weekend Hours

We wanted you to know when we will be having clinic over this Easter/Spring break!

Saturday April 7th we will start taking phone calls at 8:30 am and will have two doctors here to see patients in the morning. We book in order and are happy to see your child for a sick appointment.

Sunday we will turn our phones on at 9:30 am and once again will book in order to help you with your sick child. We hope you all have a very nice and safe spring break!

Reminder to sign up for our CPR class and watch for a new exciting guest post coming soon!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Utah Food Allergy Network Easter Egg Hunt

Our friends over at UFAN have a great fun FOOD/CANDY-Free Event! Make sure you RSVP!! All info above!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Parenting with Positive Guidance Ecourse

Our friend over at NOTJUSTCUTE.COM has that new EParenting Course that starts tomorrow. If you are interested in a positive parenting class check it out HERE. She has done several post on our blog and we love to bring you good information. Also remember to sign up for the CPR class! Click here for more information! Have a great week!