An App You Can Count On

Look on the internet and you can be overwhelmed with advice. I am not sure how I would respond as a new parent. One site recommends one thing, and then you go to another one and it says no, that is wrong -try this.   As a parent you only want to do what is best for your child, so it is natural to go look for information. But you need to be careful of information that is out there.

I always love when parents bring me information that they found on the internet or on some new phone app. First, I want to make sure that it is giving them good information. Next, I occasionally find something new that I like and will recommend- like the snot snucker or nose frieda.

There is one phone app that I have been recommending to my patients lately. It is an app put out by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and on my phone it is called- On Call. When I am answering phone calls after hours, I often look at the app to see if it is providing the same information that I would provide- and it most definitely does this. It is easy to use and provides information based on symptom- such as cold, cough, diarrhea, animal bites, appetite slumps, bedwetting, just to name a few. It also has parent advice on such topics as the child who says “ I Hate You”, school phobias, how to swallow a pill, and even Santa Claus, Hanukah Time, and Halloween questions. ( I know , I was shocked by this).

You will provide you with basic information about the topic, and then give you information on when to call your doctor, go to the hospital or seek immediate care. It lists ready to need phone numbers such as poison control and the nearest children’s Urgent Care, and you can even log into My Chart from the app. It even has a place where you can list your allergies and medications- great for those on many medications so you always have them with you. And finally, it provides a dosing chart for common medications including Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl and Zyrtec.

So, check out this app as a reputable and safe source of information. As always, if you are concerned don’t hesitate to call us as nothing beats a phone conversation, but if you want some quick information and don’t feel you want to call please download and using this phone app!

The Flu Epidemic- why this year shows why everyone should get the flu vaccine

One of my good friend’s 12 year old niece died on New Years Day from complications of the flu. As many of you have experienced, this year’s flu has been quite bad. In fact, it is the worst it has been since the swine flu epidemic of 5 years ago. The reason for this is due to the fact that the strain of flu mutated and the vaccine is not an exact match for the type A flu that is circulating right now.  The flu vaccine is only about 50% effective for this strain. Some of my parents have said that this is why they don’t get the flu vaccine- because it doesn’t work. In fact, this just proves how well the vaccine does work. When the vaccine is a good match, which is the majority of the time, we do not see flu epidemics. Even when it is not a good match, a 50% chance of getting the flu is better than a 100% chance  of getting it when not vaccinated. In addition, the flu covers 4 strains of flu. Generally there is a type A and a type B for the season, and so far we have only seen A.    The B type of flu is usually later in the winter, and the flu vaccine is a good match for that strain.

So what can you do to fight flu beside get the vaccine? Good hand washing is still your best defense against flu. Teach your kids about coughing into their sleeves. Keep your child at home if they have symptoms of the flu- high fevers, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, headache, and sometimes vomiting. Talk with your doctor about Tamiflu, an antiviral that can shorten the symptoms of flu. Tamiflu, unfortunately, can have a lot of side effects, so discuss with your doctor if it is a good treatment for your child. Tamiflu needs to be started within 48 hours of symptoms to be effective. The bulk of the treatment is what our mothers have always done for us- lots of fluids, rest, and Tylenol/ibuprofen to help with symptoms.

A New Year – Looking forward

2015- so I guess that means it is time for New Year’s Resolution. I have never been one that has done this year after year, but as I watch my kids grow so quickly- I have one who will leave for college in 9 months- I thought this would be a great year to start. This hopefully will resonate and be things that all parents can join in with and understand.

  • Stop sweating the small things- and remind my children of the same
  • Stop and smile at the little things
  • Really try to do the gratitude journal- writing one thing that made my day will help on the days that seem overwhelming
  • Always hug my children good night- even for the 15 year old that doesn’t always want a hug, or the 17 year old that goes to sleep after me- it may mean I do it at dinner time or in the morning but I will hug each every day
  • Spend more time with my husband- it is so easy to get caught up with the kids school and activities, but it is important to remember how we started
  • Try a new hobby, activity or interest- or maybe renew an old one
  • Eat healthy and exercise ( who doesn’t include this) because it will keep my body strong as I get older, not just to lose weight
  • Become more positive- there are so many great things that happen each and every day and it is important to focus on those

–          Slow down- with all the technology around us, daily life happens quickly. It is important to stop, take a break. Turn the cell phones off and actually talk at dinner. Limit TV and computer time and read a book together. Just slow down.

Please send in and add to this list and let’s see how you will enjoy your year!

Thursday December 4th – Closed from 10:00-2:30

Bayshore Pediatrics will be closed from 10:00-2:30 on  Thursday, December 4th so that the entire clinic staff can attend training.

We know that this is unusual for us to be closed.  We feel that investing in our team will help provide you with the best care possible.

We will close at 10:00 and reopen at 2:30 in order to provide care during the day.  Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.  We look forward to providing better service in the future.

Finding the Beauty Within Everyone

Hello again from San Diego and the AAP national conference. I am sitting in the airport while I write this, and reflecting upon the amazing conference I was lucky enough to attend. As many of you know, leaving work and four kids for almost a week is a feat! I had a two page list of activities that multiple babysitters and my parents had to take the kids too. There were many highlights of this conference, the top three being Zachary Lystedt with the concussion I already blogged about, hearing Hillary Clinton speak (love her, hate her- she is an amazing speaker), and then this fashion photographer who started the organization “Positive Exposure.” He is a famous New York City photographer named Rick Guidotti who has been over the world photographing the most beautiful models in the world like Cindy Crawford. As he tells it, one day he saw a beautiful 12-year-old albino girl at a bus stop and decided he wanted to photograph others like her. He called the albino foundation, and was turned down repeatedly because albinism has always been portrayed  in the media as evil or villains. He persisted, and they finally let him photograph a 20 something girl. As he describes it, she came in all scrunched over, poor eye contact, and very timid from year of bullying at school. During the session, he was able to show her how beautiful she was, and she walked out of their with a new-found confidence. That photo shoot blossomed into an entire photographic book on people with albinism from all over the world. The albino foundation uses it for their information book. He didn’t stop there, but went on to photograph multiple genetic disorders. As he describes it, they are all kids at heart, and they are all beautiful. He has redefined for these kids the ways they perceive themselves, and also the way we define the beauty within. His motto, “Change how you see, see how you change.” Check out his website at positive exposure it is truly inspiring!