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Just a reminder! Thanks for visiting us at Shots Hurt Less Blog! This is just a reminder that the information on this site is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should never replace the recommendations of your doctor - check with your doctor if you have any specific questions! We will always honor and protect patient confidentiality, and we ask that you all do the same, if you choose to comment on our posts. Thanks for visiting!

Friday
Sep282012

Twin City Peds News: Fall is here (and so are our Flu Vaccines)

It's that time of year again..... school is in full swing, beautiful autumn leaves are falling, pumpkins await carving, and flu vaccines have arrived at Twin City Peds.

Are you wondering if you should give the flu vaccine to your child? If so, the answer is a resounding YES! Check out some wonderful resources online that answer many frequently asked questions about the flu shot. And if you still have reservations, please let your doctor know so we have an opportunity to address your concerns and answer your questions.

Given how important we feel it is for kids to be immunized against the flu, we try to make it as easy on our families as possible to get the vaccine. This year, we have set aside several dates in the next few weeks to host our Flu Vaccine Clinics. The schedule is as follows:

Maplewood Office Flu Vaccine Clinic Dates

Thursday October 11 and Thursday October 25 from 1PM-5PM
and
"No Flu" Drive Thru Dates
(at the Medical Park office - see our website for traffic instructions)
Sunday October 7th and Sunday November 11th from 1:00pm-4:00pm

This is a fantastic (and fast) way to get your children immunized Please note, only the flu mist will be available at these clinics. Children 2 years old and older who do not have a chronic health condition can receive flu mist (also if your child is less than 5 years old and has asthma or had an episode of wheezing in the past year, they can not receive the flu mist). Children ages 6 months to 2 years should receive the flu shot instead. Consent forms for these vaccines can be found on our website (scroll to the bottom of the page). Please bring a completed and signed consent form with you to the clinic.
Please schedule online at www.Shotshurtless.com and click on Make an Appointment for a Flu Vaccine Clinic.

Tuesday
Sep252012

In the News: Sleep Training for Infants

There are a million books on the market designed to help you get your infant to sleep better at night. Why are there so many? Because there isn’t a right answer! Finding the right sleep technique depends a lot on your baby’s personality as well as your own. That being said, sleep is vital for daily functioning for both you AND your baby, so it is important to try to establish a good sleep routine in your home for everyone. Most babies are able to sleep longer stretches at 4-6 months, and this is usually a good time to consider implementing some sleep strategies to get some more zzzzz’s!

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Sep232012

Safety Alert: Laundry PODS  

Like most everyone with young children, any product designed to save me time on household chores scores big points with me.  The recent debut of the "Laundry Pods" seem like a perfect time-saver.  These colorful little packets are made to be thrown in with your clothes, no more mess of measuring soap out or maneuvering bulky containers of detergent.   

But there is a definite downside!  These pods first came onto the market in February 2012 and by May 2012, the poison control centers started to realize how dangerous they are when swallowed.  And they are being swallowed at alarming rates by small children all over the country.  The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports over 3,000 calls nationwide

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Tuesday
Sep182012

In the News: Music...it's good for you!

Dr. Perri Klass, a pediatrician who writes for the “18 and Under” column of the New York Times, recently tackled the topic of early music lessons and its effect on brain development. There’s no doubt that music is good for the soul – it can be uplifting, emotional, and even healing (which is why we have music therapy in hospitals). But is it good for the brain too?

Recent studies suggest that musicians tend to be able to discern certain sounds in noisy backgrounds more effectively than non-musicians. They are also better able to distinguish pitch. These tools are important in the development of speech and language, and may come in handy when acquired at an early age. Music lessons also appear to improve attention and memory, which are other helpful skills to have in childhood. 

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Wednesday
Sep122012

Television & Technology - Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

I had the pleasure of helping Dr. Satterwhite and Dr. Kribbs give a presentation today to a group of lovely young mothers in our area and wanted to share some helpful tidbits that I learned while preparing my talking points.  Our presenation was titled "Television and Technology: Raising Kids in a Brave New World" and we covered all sorts of interesting information about the effects of all the types of media our kids are exposed to nowadays.

I came across some fascinating articles while researching the topic.  Articles such as Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction, Your Brain on Computers - Risks of Parenting while Plugged In, and a favorite of Dr. Kribbs' Make it a Summer without iStuff.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep112012

Apps for parents: Kids Doc

There’s another great app out there that is a “must-have” for parents (and pediatricians and nurses for that matter): Kids Doc. This app has been developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, so it is a reliable source of information – though, disclaimer: it is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it is never intended to replace your physician! Use it wisely! :

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep102012

FYI: Rear Facing until 2 years 

We recently celebrated my son, Henry's, second birthday at our house and along with the balloons and cupcakes came more excitement - turning him forward facing in his car seat!  My husband and I were more excited about the change than Henry. Although he seems pleased with his new vantage point, his reaction was rather underwhelming once it came time for his first forward-facing car ride.

Two years may seem like a long time to be rear-facing, especially since we pediatricians used to recommend turning kids around in their car seats as early as their first birthday.  However, in March 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed the recommendation to keep children rear facing as long as possible - at least through 2 years.   Many of you have older children who were turned around at 1 year and did just fine, so...very reasonably, we are often asked about the reasoning behind this change in recommendations.

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Tuesday
Sep042012

Milk for toddlers: does a body good? 

I get this question all the time at the 12 month checkup: How much cow’s milk should our child be getting now?

The answer: Less than you might think! After a year, children only need 12-16 oz of milk per day, which is a big transition from the first year of life when most nutrition is obtained from breast milk or formula.


Milk is a great source of calcium, fat, and vitamin D, which are important for the growth and development of toddlers. At the one year milestone, we recommend starting cow’s milk (whole milk) – but a common misconception is that cow’s milk completely takes the place of formula or breast milk in their diet. Instead, milk becomes more of a “side” rather than a “meal,” and children transition from drinking all of their calories to eating them in the form of solid foods.

 

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Monday
Sep032012

Your Questions, Answered: Quitting the Pacifier

 

We love hearing from our readers!   One of you, dear readers, asked us for tips for saying goodbye to the pacifiers.  So, here's my two cents.

First, a brief primer on the pacifier...

There are many wonderful attributes of a pacifier, first and foremost, as the name implies, they pacify, your fussy baby.  Sucking is a reflex that all infants are born with, to help them feed and also to provide comfort. Non-nutritive sucking occurs universally (usually with fists or hands), but younger infants lack the coordination to get those hands to their mouth, so unfortunately it can be an infrequent occurance.  For me, and millions of other parents like me, anything that worked to minimize the ear-piercing screams that my son could emit in his early days, was welcomed with open arms in my house.  Especially given the recent research that has been published reporting the association of pacifier use with decreased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (there are multiple proposed mechanisms for how pacifiers could affect SIDS risk, but for now, no one is sure how this is accomlished).

But, in clinic, I want to provide a balanced picture, so in addition to the benefits of pacifier use, I also warn parents of the potential downsides....

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Tuesday
Aug282012

Twin City Peds News: ADHD Parent Series 

Are you the parent of a child who has ADHD?  Do you wonder if your child may have ADHD?  Do you have questions about the diagnosis or management of ADHD?

In the month of September, Twin City Pediatrics will be hosting a series of ADD/ADHD Parent Information Sessions from 5:30 – 6:30 pm on Tuesday evenings in our lobby at our Maplewood Practice, located on 2821 Maplewood Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.

Tuesday, Sept 11, 5:30 – 6:30 pm    ADHD Care & Medication

Meet some of our doctors, our fabulous ADHD coordinator, and learn how Twin City Pediatrics is making ADHD care a priority! Hear about the

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug282012

In the News: West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus has reared its ugly head again – first appearing as a mosquito borne virus in 1999, we’ve had a resurgence this year with the worst ever US outbreak after a hot summer. In the past few weeks, there have been many documented cases of West Nile, and it has been all over the media. Most cases have been in Texas and surrounding areas, but cases have been reported in 38 states. Arm yourself with the knowledge to protect against this virus:

What is West Nile Virus?

It’s a virus that is usually carried by birds, but transmitted by mosquitoes. Transmission occurs when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then a human. It is not spread from person-to-person contact. It is common in the summer months, into early fall.

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Saturday
Aug252012

Back to School: 50 Best Articles 

These days the pediatric clinic is filled with excited faces (and often some nervous energy) of kiddos eagerly anticipating the start of school.  For many families, though, this can be a stressful transition adjusting to the busy days of setting alarms, packing lunches, climbing onto the bus and navigating the halls of school, afterschool activities, and the race against the clock to finish homework, eat supper, squeeze in some quality family time and collapse into bed!

Like most subjects, the internet is full of wonderful tips on how to parent your child through the "back to school" transition and I wanted to share

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug212012

Back to School: Healthy Lunches

The kids are back to school this month, which means it’s time to start thinking about packing lunches again. Packing a healthy, nutritious lunch for your children provides them with the nutrients that they need to get through a long school day. Unfortunately, school lunches aren’t always the answer, as they are often high in calories and don’t meet nutrition guidelines. So, take matters into your own hands to ensure that your child gets the healthiest meal possible! Here are some tips for packing a healthy lunch:

 

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Friday
Aug172012

In the News: Bumbo Seat Recall (and a larger lesson for all....)

Many of you may have heard about the Bumbo Seat recall issued earlier this week.  The company is recalling over 4 million of their popular Bumbo Seats in response to at least 84 reports of children becoming injured after falling out of the seats.  A Bumbo Seat is designed to help infants sit up before they can do so unassisted (typically for the 4-6 month olds who have adequate head control to use the seat, but still need a little help propping up).  The company, Bumbo International, will now provide owners with a repair kit to add a strap to secure babies in the seats and all new Bumbo seats will come with the strap.

While the strap is certainly a step in the right direction, i think the most important part of this story is actually about where the seats are placed.  The most severe injuries associated with the Bumbo seats, including skull fractures and intracranial bleeds (bleeding inside the brain), occurred when these seats were placed somewhere high - a counter or a table - and when the child fell out of the seat, they also fell a larger distance downward.  And it is important to note, that for the past 5 years, Bumbo has issued a warning on the box warning against the use of the seat on elevated surfaces. 

I was not at all surprised by the recall as this is a phenomenon that is widespread and does not just involve Bumbo Seats!  But, if you've never worked in a Pediatric Emergency Room, you may not be aware

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug152012

To Come (to the pediatrician's office) or Not to Come....

Kids are tricky! On a daily basis we see parents beating themselves up for coming to see us at all (when everything checks out okay) or apologizing for not coming soon enough.  But we are ALWAYS happy to see your child.  That's our job!   We all understand how difficult it can be to know exactly what is going on with your child when they aren't feeling well. And those of us who are parents, understand first hand that it becomes much more difficult to be objective when you are running on no sleep, emotions are high, and your own child's health is in question. 

So, I wanted to share a wonderful blog post I read online today, written by a fellow pediatrician about this very subject.  I hope this helps emphasize what I've stated above.  Being a parent of a child who doesn't feel well is hard, let us help!

In pediatrics, no visit is a wasted one

The last patient of the day rushed to the office before closing time. When I entered the room, the dad was texting as the nurse finished recording the child’s temperature.  He shook his head in disbelief and confessed that he just sent his wife this message,

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug132012

Summer Safety: "Skeeter Syndrome"

Mosquitoes have always been my biggest summer enemy. As a kid (and still even now), an evening outside always resulted in humongous welts that left me looking like a pepperoni pizza. Ugh, miserable. 

Reactions to mosquito bites are the result of the body’s immune response to proteins in mosquito saliva. Generally, the body responds with a big red welt in the first hour or so after a mosquito bite. Over the next 24 hours though, it becomes more firm and very itchy, and then will start to get better over the course of 5-7 days.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug112012

Your Questions, Answered: Introducing a Sippy Cup (and leaving the Bottle Behind)

We love hearing from our blog readers and we welcome your questions.  Here is our first post in what we will call "Your Questions, Answered" to respond to questions you pose for us. One reader wrote asking for tips for how to best transition from the bottle to a sippy cup.  We often hear this question in clinic too.  So, without further ado, here is my take on the Bottle to Sippy Cup transition.

1. Introduce the Cup Early:  Knowing our goal is for your baby to be drinking 100% from the cup (no more bottle) between 12-15 months, plan ahead and introduce the cup months beforehand.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing the cup at around 6 months of age.  I recommend starting by putting 2-3 ounces of water in a cup and giving it to your child at meal and snack time (remember that babies younger than 6 months of age, should only drink breastmilk or formula).  At 6 months of age, the majority of their nutrition (and hydration) is still coming from breastmilk and/or formula, so this is a no pressure situation.  

2.  Present Various Options:  Just like with bottles, some babies are very particular about which sippy cup they prefer.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug072012

Apps for Parents: Healthy Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a great new app which is an extension of it’s healthychildren.org website. You can search by ages and stages or search by specific topics to find up-to-date, AAP supported recommendations and information. Looking for a sample menu for your 9 month old, tips to ease your child’s fear of the dark, immunization schedules, or an overview of developmental milestones? All of this and more is available right at your fingertips in the form of short articles, audio files, and even videos! It can be difficult to navigate at first (articles show at up at the bottom of the screen and you have to scroll/swipe to the right to see more), but once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll realize the wealth of information that’s now available on the go. 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug062012

Teachable Moments: Olympics 2012

Although, as a pediatrician, I am usually encouraging my patients to turn their televisions off, there are certainly times when watching TV programming, especially together as a family, can be very worthwhile. 

Hopefully, many of you, too, have been watching the Olympics with your families.  If not, check out the dozens of Olympic highlight videos archived on NBC.com. There are some wonderful lessons to be learned from watching these dedicated athletes compete in London this summer.  As you watch the competition, there are a few topics for discussions with your kids:

Diversity:  One of my favorite parts of the Olympics, is watching the pomp and circumstance of the Opening Ceramonies Parade of Nations.  This year there were 205 countries who were represented.  Encourage your children to identify countries they are not familiar with and challenge them to share with you something new they learn about these places (perhaps, showing them how to search for creadible information online).

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Thursday
Aug022012

The Danger of Baby Walkers

It is thrilling to see a little one take his or her first steps! In fact, parents often get so excited to see this milestone that they purchase walkers for their infants, in hopes that they will learn how to walk earlier. Additionally, a walker seems like a great place to “contain” and “entertain” a baby while trying to get things done around the house. Not to mention that babies love the early mobility that a walker provides them!

Seems like a great idea, right? Actually, walkers can be quite dangerous and can delay motor development, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends avoiding walkers completely.

Click to read more ...