Village Pediatrics
  Winter Newsletter
December 1, 2010- Vol 2, Issue 4
In This Issue
Penicillin Allergy Testing
Teen Health
What IS this Miserable Cold??
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links
Kids fighting you on bedtime? Show them this fun game to see who needs more sleep, the kid or the animal. Will they be a sleep star, or a "snore loser"?!
Looking for thoroughly tested, delicious but healthful family recipes?  Take a look at Cooks Illustrated new America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

Winter recipe:  Healthy version of Penne with Chicken and Broccoli

Are you a facebook fan?  Join our Village Pediatrics Facebook Page to see the latest in social, scientific and just plain interesting pediatric news.
A big sugary thank you to all those kids who traded in their extra Halloween candy- we were able to send almost 200 pmake a wishounds of treats to troops in Iraq!  If your kids are still in a giving mood, consider asking them to trade one of their holiday gifts for a donation to the Make A Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. 
Influenza is here
Fairfield County has already seen its first cases of Influenza.  If you haven't gotten your children in yet for their yearly vaccine, call now as our stocks are running low.
We do have adequate amounts of infant vaccine- remember that we will vaccinate all babies as they turn 6 months throughout the winter.  Also, if you child is less than 9 years of age, and did NOT get two doses of H1N1 vaccine last year, they need a BOOSTER dose of this year's vaccine at least 28 days after the first dose.

Penicillin Allergy Testing
Penicillin allergy testing is once again available after a 5 year hiatus.  Studies have shown that at least 85% of patients who report a penicillin allergy have a negative skin test tpenicillino penicillin.   At least 90% of these patients can be safely treated with penicillin and related antibiotics.  If you or your child has an unclear history of penicillin allergy and would like to be tested please call us for a referral to a local allergist.


Bedbugs have feasted on sleeping humans for thousands of years. After World War II, they were eradicated from most developed nations with the use of DDT. This pesticide has since been banned because it's so toxic to the environment. Spurred perhaps by increases in international travel, bedbugs are becoming a problem once again. The risk of encountering bedbugs increases if you spend time in places with high turnovers of night-time guests - such as hotels, hospitals or homeless shelters.
Bedbugs are reddish brown, oval and flat, about the size of an apple seed. During the day, they hide in the cracks and crevices of beds, box springs, headboards and bed frames. It's a daunting task to eliminate bedbugs from your home. Professional help is recommended.
It can be difficult to distinguish bedbug bites from other insect bites. In general, the sites of bedbug bites usually are:
  • Red, often with a darker red spot in the middle bedbug
  • Itchy
  • Arranged in a rough line or in a cluster
  • Located on the face, neck, arms and hands
Some people have no reaction at all to bedbug bites, while others experience an allergic reaction that can include severe itching, blisters or hives.
To read more about the detection, treatment, and prevention of bedbugs, visit this link.

Teen Health
teen snakeThe teen years are tough ones- in addition to the age old pubertal changes and academic demands our adolescents face,they are also dealing with an increasingly complex electronic social milieu their parents never negotiated. 

As your children's physicians, we stress to teens that we are there for them- as THEIR physicians, we welcome calls about worries they may not feel comfortable divulging to friends or family members.  Connecticut state law protects confidential discussions we may have with your children (ages 13 and older) about sexuality, drug and/or alcohol issues and psychiatric concerns.  We have worked with many teens to help them approach their parents with sensitive issues, and eased the fears of many others under the protection of this mandate. Rest assured that if we seriously fear for your child's health and safety, we will involve you in their care.

Please share with your teens our website link to a wide variety of helpful resources:
Teen Health

What IS this Miserable Cold??
We have noticed a marked increase in bad colds in the last few weeks, many due to Respiratory Syncitial Virus, or RSV.  This virus can cause sore throat, severe nasal congestion, cough, fever and malaise.  In some cases, the irritation in the lungs can cause wheezing and pneumonia, and the mucus and irritation in the nasal passages can lead to sinus and ear infections.
When do you need to see the pediatrician?  Infants less than 3 months of age should be seen if they have anything more than a mild stuffy nose.  Call for an appointment if your older infant/child has any of the following symptoms:
  • The nostrils are widening with each breath, the skin above or below the ribs sucks in with each breath (retractions), or your child is breathing rapidly or having any difficulty breathing.
  • The lips or nails turn blue.
  • Nasal mucus persists for longer than ten to fourteen days.
  • The cough lasts more than one week without improvement.
  • She has persistent pain in her ear.
  • Her temperature is over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.9 degrees Celsius).
  • She is excessively sleepy or cranky, or cannot keep down fluids
YELLOW/GREEN MUCUS does NOT mean your child has a bacterial infection or needs an antibiotic. Colds normally end with thicked and colored mucus for several days. Since colds are caused by viruses, antibiotics will not help normal cold symptoms.

How can you tell if your child has a bad cold, or a more serious condition?  Click here to read more...

How should you treat your child's symptoms?
Cold and cough medications are not approved for children ages 2 and younger, as they are rarely effective and can have significant side effects.  Older children, as well, may benefit more from the following suggestions:

1. Hot, steamy showers and cool-mist vaporizers will keep secretions thinned and easier to clear.
2. A spoonful of honey helps coat and soothe the cough receptors in the back of the throat (for children over 1 year of age.)
3. Nasal saline sprays, drops, and sinus rinses keep mucus thinned rinses them from the nasal passages.  This helps prevent blocked sinus passages and eustacian tubes- and minimizes the risk of sinus and ear infections.  NeilMed makes an easy, low pressure nasal wash that works well in children of all ages- the office has a number of free samples, just ask!
4.  Single ingredient acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used to treat fevers, or discomfort related to sinus pressure, ear pain, sore throat and achiness (click here for dosing.)
5.  Encourage lots of fluids to keep nasal secretions thin- don't worry if your child's appetite is diminished in the first few days of a cold.
6.  Children over the age of 4 can try delsym, a long-acting dextromethorphan cough suppressant, for irritative coughs that keep them up at night.  Mild to moderate coughs by day should not be suppressed- as the cough is clearing mucus from the respiratory tract.
7.  Infants and children with congestion that does not clear with saline sprays, and are having a difficult time sleeping or eating, can try a dose of Benadryl at night (click here for dosing.)

Added Benefits Plan- Discount if paid by January 1st, 2011
You should have recently received a mailing about our Added Benefits plan for 2011.  Due to the success of this program, we have now limited enrollment in our practice so that we may provide our current patients with timely and personalized care. We are currently accepting newborns, but have a waitlist for older transferring patients. 
Your Added Benefits payments are due by January 1st, and all payments received by that date are eligible for a $20 discount.  In addition, we continue to require you to have a current credit card on file to be used at your convenience, or for any overdue payments.  We must renew this credit card information on a yearly basis, and it is stored in a HIPAA secure and safe manner thru our Instamed medical portal system.

If you did not receive our mailing, please email us at and we will send you a packet.  You can also access an enrollment form via our website at
We wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Dr. Jenn and Dr. Nikki
Village Pediatrics LLC

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Village Pediatrics | 156 Kings Highway North | Westport | CT | 06880