Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back Pack Safety


What do I need to know about backpack safety?  
Backpacks are a popular and practical way for children and teenagers to carry schoolbooks and supplies. When used correctly, backpacks can be a good way to carry the necessities of the school day. They are designed to distribute the weight of the load among some of the body's strongest muscles. 
However, backpacks that are too heavy or are worn incorrectly can cause problems for children and teenagers. Improperly used backpacks may injure muscles and joints. This can lead to severe back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems. Share these guidelines to help your family use backpacks safely. 

Choose the Right Backpack

Look for the following:  

  • Wide, padded shoulder straps — Narrow straps can dig into shoulders. This can cause pain and restrict circulation.  
  • Two shoulder straps — Backpacks with one shoulder strap that runs across the body cannot distribute weight evenly.  
  • Padded back — A padded back protects against sharp edges on objects inside the pack and increases comfort.  
  • Waist strap — A waist strap can distribute the weight of a heavy load more evenly.  
  • Lightweight backpack — The backpack itself should not add much weight to the load.  
  • Rolling backpack — This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs. They may be difficult to roll in snow.  

To prevent injury when using a backpack, do the following: 

  • Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles. Wearing a backpack on one shoulder may increase curvature of the spine.  
  • Tighten the straps so that the pack is close to the body. The straps should hold the pack two inches above the waist.  
  • Pack light. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the student's total body weight.  
  • Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back.  
  • Stop often at school lockers, if possible. Do not carry all of the books needed for the day.  
  • Bend using both knees, when you bend down. Do not bend over at the waist when wearing or lifting a heavy backpack.
  • Learn back-strengthening exercises to build up the muscles used to carry a backpack.  

Ask Your Pediatrician for Advice  

Parents also can help in the following ways:  

  • Encourage your child or teenager to tell you about pain or discomfort that may be caused by a heavy backpack. Do not ignore any back pain in a child or teenager. Ask your pediatrician for advice.  
  • Talk to the school about lightening the load. Be sure the school allows students to stop at their lockers throughout the day. Team up with other parents to encourage changes.  
  • Consider buying a second set of textbooks for your student to keep at home.     
 **thanks to

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Date for Educational Seminar

If you have a child in preschool through grade 1 this is a class you will NOT want to miss! We will have this amazing seminar on Tuesday Sept 25th at 7:00 PM.  Please contact our office right away to hold a spot:)....
PREPARE your child
for a SUCCESSFUL school year!
Learn EASY and FUN ways to empower your
child to be a lifelong learner!

for the parents of children in preschool
 through Grade 1

Tuesday, September 25th 7:00 pm
Willowcreek Pediatrics Office
$20 per person. Register at the front office or
 call 801-942-1800 and ask to speak to Margie
Space is limited; reserve your seat NOW!

Featuring life-changing, research-based
information to implement simple & fun
practice lessons that include:
**Goals for learning
**interesting texts
**Fun, real-world experiences
**Expert Reading strategies

Presented by reading experts:
Emily Swan, Ph.D & Michelle Roderick, M.Ed.

For Free parenting tips prior to attending visit:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bumbo Baby Seats recalled

Safety agency recalls popular Bumbo infant floor seat

The recall comes five years after 1 million seats were recalled to add a warning label about using the seats on raised surfaces, which was how most of the new incidents occurred.
Bumbo International, the South African maker of the seats, said it would provide owners with a repair kit to add a strap to secure babies in the seats — something consumer groups had been urging for months. The seats are used to prop up babies before they can sit up on their own.
Because it's neither an infant carrier nor a walker, the Bumbo seat isn't covered by any federal or even industry standards, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission does have the authority to recall a product if it isn't covered by a safety standard and "presents a substantial product hazard," agency spokesman Scott Wolfson said in March.
Nancy Cowles, executive director of the advocacy group Kids in Danger, questions the need for the seats at all, as they are only recommended for babies from the time they can hold their heads up until they can sit unassisted. Says Cowles: "It might be better even with the fix to pass on this product."
Cowles and the Consumer Federation of America's Rachel Weintraub recommend parents instead opt for infant carriers or bouncy seats, as both are covered by voluntary safety standards that require them to restrain children.
Weintraub says adding restraints to the Bumbo seats is "significant" but says, "Too many children were injured while using this product."
Erika Bowles, who is moving to Richmond, Va., just had a yard sale and sold the Bumbo seat she used for her daughter, who is now 3. Bowles says she never felt comfortable with the seat after learning of safety issues and seeing how her daughter could tip backwards in it. "It wasn't worth the space of saving for potential baby No. 2 ," Bowles says.
The Bumbo seats, priced between $30 and $50 each, were sold online and at stores including at Walmart and Toys R Us from August 2003 through August 2012.
As of Wednesday, all new Bumbo seats will include the restraint belt. Some seats still in stores may include the restraint repair kit, but most will have it already attached, Bumbo says.
In February, the company said that "it is important to distinguish between seats with and without the additional warning added in 2007 to evaluate the efficacy of the additional warning." But the 84 reports of falls happened after the 2007 recall.
Order the free repair kit at or call (866) 898-4999 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. CT on Friday.

**info from USA today

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wildfires: How to help your kids

Recently we have had a lot of wildfires here in Utah. The AAP came out with some great suggestions to help during the wildfire, after the wildfire and Psychological affects it can have on kids.  Lets hope the wildfire season is over but just in case here is an amazing article by (full article click on bottom). Stay safe!

Wildfires: Information for Parents

During a Wildfire While burning, the major hazards of wildfires to children are fire and smoke.

Resulting health effects include:

  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Burning or stinging of the nose, throat, and eyes
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Steps to Minimize Harmful Health Effects and Protect Children

  • Stay indoors to minimize smoke exposure. Close all windows, doors, and any other openings. Put your air-conditioner on re-circulate if possible, and avoid activities that may add to indoor air contamination, such as cooking with a gas stove. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters or other room air filtration systems that do not generate ozone are recommended.
  • When in a car, keep windows and vents closed. Turn the air-conditioning to re-circulate.
  • Do NOT give your child a mask to filter contaminants, since masks do not work when not fitted correctly. Smaller sized masks may appear to fit a child’s face, but no manufacturers recommend their use for children. If your children are in an area with bad air quality, take them to an indoor environment with cleaner air, rather than give them a mask.
  • Outdoor activity should be minimized, and athletic and physical education stopped until air quality improves.
  • Evacuate the area if recommended by authorities.
  • Children with chronic respiratory problems, such as asthma, are at increased risk. Children at increased risk should remain in a clean-air environment, and be kept indoors until air quality improves. They should be monitored closely for signs or symptoms of harmful health effects. If they are showing these symptoms and their usual medications cannot bring them under control, they should be taken to a nearby medical facility, despite the risks of traveling.

After a Wildfire

The aftermath of a wildfire also poses dangers for children.

Take these steps to ensure your child’s safety following a wildfire:

  • If you evacuated your home or area, before returning you should:
    • Wait to be directed by authorities that it is safe to return
    • Know the location of the nearest medical facility
    • Be sure water supply, electricity, and phone lines are restored
    • Block off unsafe or unclean areas so children can’t go in them
    • Make sure your house is structurally sound
    • Arrange for removal of ash and debris by professionals or adults (children and adolescents should not take part in clean up)
  • Check with your water provider to make sure that your water is okay to drink. If you are unsure about the cleanliness of your water, heat it to a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill potentially harmful bacteria and other microscopic organisms before drinking.
  • Keep in mind that loss of power to refrigerators and freezers can cause food to spoil. If the food has been warmed to room temperature for more than 2 hours, throw it out and do not eat it.
  • Keep your child away from physical hazards. Potential physical hazards include:
    • Debris such as broken glass, wires, nails, wood, metal, plastics, and other objects
    • Ash pits, which are holes full of hot ashes created by burned trees and stumps
    • Unstable building structures, including flooring, stairways, railings, etc.
    • Stored items that may have moved into unstable positions
    • Slippery floors o Burned or damaged trees, since they may be unstable and fall
    • Roadways, bridges, and other outdoor structures that may be damaged and unstable
    • Animals that are deceased, stray, or wild
    • Altered automobile traffic as a result of clean-up activities, since there may be heavier traffic in areas where children play or travel
  • Ash is a particularly important hazard, as it may be irritating to the skin, nose, and throat, and can be difficult to clean up. Do NOT allow your child to play in ash and clean it up as soon as possible. When cleaning, avoid spreading ash into the air. Wet it down before attempting to remove it. Do NOT use leaf blowers or vacuums. Even if you are careful, it is easy to stir up dust that may contain hazardous substances. Children and adolescents should not take part in the clean-up.
  • If your child has had contact with any potentially hazardous substance or has been playing in a fire-damaged area, wash their hands and any other exposed body part thoroughly, including flushing of the eyes. Remove any exposed clothing and wash separately as soon as possible.
  • Monitor your child closely, particularly if your child has a chronic respiratory condition like asthma. Watch for symptoms such as coughing; wheezing; chest tightness; burning eyes, nose, or mouth; dizziness or lightheadedness. Move your child indoors or to a cleaner environment and bathe them (follow instructions in bullet above) if they show these symptoms. If your child has asthma or other respiratory conditions, give them their appropriate medication. If the symptoms do not improve, seek medical care right away.

Psychological Effects

Be alert to your child’s emotional health and psychological well-being. Grief associated with loss, stress, or anxiety from the disaster may cause emotional distress.

Signs of emotional distress can be different depending on your child’s age, and include:

  • Clinging behavior and fear of separation
  • Uncooperative behaviors (for example, argumentative)
  • Nightmares
  • Physical complaints (for example, stomach aches, headaches, generally feeling unwell)
  • Irritability
  • Fears
  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Returning to babyish behaviors
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Fatigue, both physical and emotional
  • Indifference
  • Withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing at home or on school work
  • Aggression or outbursts of anger
  • Uncontrollable crying
Continue your child’s established routines as much as possible and provide a listening ear. Encourage your child to express feelings through a variety of ways, such as music, art, journaling, talking, or playing with toys or dolls. Avoid exposing your child to excessive or unnecessary TV or other media coverage of the wildfire. Answer your child’s questions openly and honestly, as appropriate for your child’s age. Be patient and remain calm, because children often take cues on how to act based on their parents and their environment. Your reactions communicate an unspoken message to your child, and may add to a child’s feeling of distress.
In some cases, the whole family may benefit from supportive counseling. It is important to remember that it is not a sign of mental illness to accept professional support during times of emotional distress.

Additional Resources

Getting Ready for the Worst
How to Prepare for Disasters
Understanding Disasters
Family Disaster Supplies List
Promoting Adjustment and Helping Children Cope (AAP Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council)
Wildfires (AAP Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council)
Emergency Preparedness and Response: Wildfires (CDC)
Fires and Wildfires (NIH)
Talking to Children about Wildfires and other Natural Disasters (American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry)
Wildfires (

Full article click HERE
**resource and the AAP

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How to recognize a BULLY

Recently we had a question on our facebook account about how to recognize bulling at school. Here is some great suggestions on how to see if there is a problem. Remember that any of our doctors would be happy to help you with any situations or questions that you may have. We hope you are having a good end to summer or start to school

Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, or over the Internet.

When Your Child Is Bullied

  • Help your child learn how to respond by teaching your child how to:
    • Look the bully in the eye.
    • Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
    • Walk away.
  • Teach your child how to say in a firm voice. 
    • "I don't like what you are doing."
    • "Please do NOT talk to me like that."
    • "Why would you say that?" 
  • Teach your child when and how to ask for help. 
  • Encourage your child to make friends with other children. 
  • Support activities that interest your child. 
  • Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions. 
  • Make sure an adult who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child's safety and well-being when you cannot be there.

When Your Child Is the Bully 

  • Be sure your child knows that bullying is never OK.
  • Set firm and consistent limits on your child's aggressive behavior. 
  • Be a positive role mode. Show children they can get what they want without teasing, threatening or hurting someone. 
  • Use effective, non-physical discipline, such as loss of privileges. 
  • Develop practical solutions with the school principal, teachers, counselors, and parents of the children your child has bullied.

When Your Child Is a Bystander

  • Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying. 
  • Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying. 
  • Help your child support other children who may be bullied. Encourage your child to include these children in activities. 
  • Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop

Friday, August 10, 2012

Teach your child to be safe around dogs

Each year, almost five million people are bitten or attacked by dogs. Children are frequent victims of dog bites. In fact, 60 percent of all dog bites victims are children under the age of 12. Tragically of the 33 dog bites that resulted in death last year, 20 of these fatalities were young children.

Remember these two things to teach your children
- Teach young children to be careful around pets and to NEVER approach a dog they do not know.
-Always ask the dog's owner for permission before petting any dog.

For more information visit American Veterinary Medical Association at

**Thanks Dr Lynch for this great reminder

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reminder to use correct booster and car seats

A new article out by the American Journal of Preventive Medicines says : Few Americans follow recommended us of child passenger restraints:Researchers analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2007 to 2009 and found that the number of Americans using appropriate automobile child restraints was low. The AAP recommends that children use rear-facing car seats until age 2, but the study found that few of them remain in those seats after age 1. The findings appear in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

To read the full article click HERE

As a reminder:
Utah has Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations in every community throughout Utah that work to educate families about the proper use of child safety seats.  Many of these Inspection Stations offer child safety seats and booster seats at a reduced cost to low-income families. To find the nearest location, call the Primary Children's Car Seat Hot Line 801-662-CARS or visit these informative web sites:
We know you want to keep your children safe and we want to help. If you have any questions please ask your pediatrician or visit one of these great websites.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to school check list

Back to school is here! Some of you are already back in school while others have just a few short weeks! No matter what grade your child is about to enter, there’s the yearly back-to-school checklist of to-dos: shopping for school supplies, filling out permission forms, and the pediatric checkup.
While it may not seem as urgent, a yearly physical exam by your pediatrician is an important part of your child’s health care. The back-to-school season is a convenient time for putting the exam on your family’s schedule. The AAP has some great suggestions on why you need a Well Child Exam. Please call our office to schedule one today! You never know when you will need one and to be better prepared is always the best route to go.

Beyond the Athlete’s Physical

“Back-to-school checkups are often the only visit most kids and teenagers have with their doctor every year,” says Paul Stricker, M.D., FAAP, and author of Sports Success Rx! Your Child’s Prescription for the Best Experience. “The annual physical gives the pediatrician a chance to give the child a thorough physical exam. It’s also a good chance to address important questions, especially with teenagers, including adolescent issues of drinking, smoking, drugs, sexual activity, and depression.”
Children involved in school athletic programs often receive a sports-specific exam through the school. These exams are good at screening for potential athletic health problems. But Stricker points out that the school sports physicals alone tend not to address the child’s overall health.
“The mass school physical can certainly provide a quick identification of immediate danger to a child in relation to the child’s participation in sports,” he says. “But it is not a substitute for a general physical performed by the family pediatrician. Mass physicals are not as detailed or in-depth as a pediatrician’s exam. Of course, there’s nothing wrong at all with the child having both a pediatric exam with the family doctor and the school-sponsored sports exam.”

Building a Medical History

Stricker reminds parents that the school sports exam doesn’t get into the detailed medical history that the pediatrician knows. “The continuity of regular physical exams is invaluable,” Stricker says. “Having a long-term history with a child or adolescent gives the doctor the awareness of the child’s progress and development over time. This helps the doctor detect emerging problems, as well as being informed by the detail of the patient’s history, such as important past illnesses or injuries the child may forget to mention on the sports physical questionnaire.”
That detail includes immunization records. “A school exam will generally include a check box asking whether all vaccinations are up-to-date, requiring the parents to remember whether or not they are. The family pediatrician will have accurate records.”

Total Teen Health

Adolescence is a time when vital changes are taking place. “It’s important to have your child see the pediatrician during the transition years from later childhood to puberty,” Stricker says. “That is in terms of both development and the aches and pains your child sometimes feels. It also provides the pediatrician a sense of your child’s level of self-esteem and emotional balance.”
The annual pediatric exam also offers the doctor time to provide wellness guidance and advice. This has become critical as the nation wrestles with the childhood obesity epidemic. “Certainly pediatricians are paying more attention to obesity and related issues,” Stricker says. In addition to monitoring heart and blood pressure and testing for diabetes, pediatricians can use this annual visit with your child to discuss diet and exercise options.
“We can talk with the child and the parents about safe approaches to transitioning from little or no exercise to a sound, achievable exercise program,” he says.

Examining the Young Athlete

The other side of the exercise issue is the student athlete who is already involved in an exercise and training program. “Overuse and overtraining injuries are huge problems,” Stricker says. “They’re on the brink of becoming a national epidemic nearly as large as obesity.”
The doctor’s annual exam of a young athlete should be similar to one for any other child, Stricker says. But he adds that most pediatricians will address some sports-specific issues, including injuries, nutrition, training and exercise programs, and even attitudes in the course of the exam.
“Sports can improve a child’s self-esteem,” he says. “But they can also harm it. If there’s too much pressure, if there are brewing emotional issues, if the child is involved in the sport because of parent or peer pressure — anything like this can become an issue that affects the young athlete’s well being.”

Getting the Balance Right

Stricker is quick to point out that those issues are not limited to children involved in athletics. “Whatever the child’s interest — sports, academics, the arts — we want to be sure that the interest is a healthy one, and that it’s balanced with the other aspects of the child’s life.” A healthy childhood and adolescence calls for balancing home life, school, social activities, sports, and extracurricular pursuits. This is not easy, especially during a time when the child is passing through the years of growth, learning, exploration, and emotional and physical development. Which is all the more reason to set aside one day during each of those years for your child to see the pediatrician.
This article was featured in Healthy Children Magazine. To view the full issue, click here.

**thanks to for this great link

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month. This month we will giving you different resources to highlight the importance of keeping all members of the family up-to-date on recommended immunizations. It is also a great time to remember to schedule your children for Well Child Exams so we can update there immunization status.

The following schedules indicate the recommended ages for routine administration of currently licensed vaccines, as of February 1, 2012, for children. Any dose not administered at the recommended age should be administered at a subsequent visit, when indicated and feasible.


Remember if you have any questions about immunizations your pediatrician would be happy to discuss it with you.