Village Pediatrics
  Winter Newsletter
December, 2009- Vol 1, Issue 4
In This Issue
Fever: When to Worry...or Not!
Let Them Eat... Meat?!
Schedule your Child's Yearly Physical Exam
Join Our Mailing List!
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Greetings!
sunIts been a long, hard fall for many this year- the combination of the H1N1 virus as well as several nasty respiratory illnesses have struck hard.  The CDC has reported that only about 1 in 3 "flu-like illnesses" reported this season have actually been the real thing- H1N1 flu.  The regular flu season (yes, there is another flu on the way!) typically begins in December and runs through the winter. 
Saturday/Holiday Office Hours
Due to the small size of our practice, we do not have standing weekend hours.  However, if your child is acutely ill, we are happy to see them.  Please call our office prior to 10 am on Saturday or holiday mornings so that we can schedule a mutually convenient time to evaluate your child.
Thinking of Traveling?
If you are planning a trip outside of the United States, you and your children may need a visit to update vaccinations, and obtain prescriptions for malaria prophylaxis and traveler's diarrhea treatment. Make sure to tell our front desk the exact destination prior to your visit so that we may plan accordingly.   Visit our Travel Medicine page for more information...
Fever: When to Worry...or Not!
soda adOften the first and most worrisome sign of illness is fever.  However, rather than fear this symptom recognize that it is the body's immunological response to infection, and plays a role in fighting illness.  Parents often worry about the height of fever- it is rare that a fever caused by illness is high enough to cause damage to the body.  Increased body temperatures caused by outside sources (heat stroke) are the most likely to cause harm.  When fever is caused by infection, we worry more about the TYPE of infection.  A fever of 101 caused by meningitis is much more worrisome than a fever of  105 brought on by a viral illness.  When your child has a high fever, pay attention to their other symptoms- if they are lethargic or have trouble breathing, moving their neck, are persistently vomiting or seem unusually ill, then call us.  If they have a sore throat and the sniffles, diarrhea, a mild cough, or simply have a fever and nothing else, treat their symptoms and bring them to see us if their fever persists more than a few days.  The only exception is in infants less than 2 months of age- any fever of 100.5 or higher merits immediate evaluation as often they may not exhibit others symptoms that indicate a bacterial infection.

Not all fevers need to be treated!  There is some evidence that allowing a child to maintain a modest fever can help fight off illness faster.  If your child has a temperature of 101 or less, consider using chicken soup and a cool bath instead of medication.  If the fever is higher, your child is particularly uncomfortable, or it is bedtime and the fever appears to be rising go ahead and treat.

For methods of taking a temperature and acetaminophen/ ibuprofen dosages by weight click here.

Let Them Eat... Meat?!
baby foodAttention infants everywhere... your diets are about to get a makeover.  Until recently, the Academy of Pediatrics recommended a highly orchestrated introduction of solid foods over the first three years of life, aimed at reducing the incidence of food allergy and atopic disease (eczema.)  However, studies have now shown that there is no evidence to support food allergen avoidance during pregnancy or in older infants, with benefits restricted to the first 3-4 months of life.

Therefore, we are now recommending that infants be soley breast or formula fed until 4-6 months of age, with the introduction of cereals, fruits and vegetables at 4-6 months and then a full array of complimentary foods at 6 months.  This means meats, eggs, fish, peanut/nut products and dairy- except in those infants already diagnosed with a food allergy (such as milk and/or soy.)  These foods should be introduced based on texture (starting with purees, then progressing to chunky then formed pieces.)  One benefit of starting meats early is that their iron is more BIOAVAILABLE, meaning your child will absorb more iron from meats than from cereals.
 
You should continue to avoid HONEY until 1 year of age due to the risk of botulism.

Visit this interesting article on why the best infant starter food may be MEAT instead of cereal... 
Visit here for tips on how to prepare meats for infant consumption...

Does your child need a well-child physical?
The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your school-aged child have a well-child exam yearly.  Children grow dramatically quickly- not just physically but socially and emotionally.  Their yearly physical is a time for us to moniter their growth and development, as well as touch base with how they are feeling and functioning in school and at home.  We encourage you to schedule this yearly exam at the time of your child's birthday- avoiding the school/camp form rush of late spring and summer.  Many insurance plans cover one exam per calendar year as opposed to one every 365 days- check with your particular company to confirm.
Please also remember to register your child on www.CHADIS.com, where you can complete a pre-physical developmental evaluation prior to your child's appointment.  Teens ages 13 and older should complete these confidential questionnaires themselves.

Changes to our Added Benefit Plan- Mandatory as of January 2010
Village Pediatrics has almost reached its first birthday!!  We are getting busy, thanks to wonderful word of mouth.  Many parents have asked us just how busy we intend to get.  We feel strongly that to keep our Village a "Village" we will ultimately need to cap our patient number.  Unfortunately, standard insurance reimbursement rates (or our current cash fees, based on these rates) do not adequately cover the level and type of care we provide at Village Pediatrics. As of January 1st, 2010 our "Added Benefits" plan will be a mandatory requirement of the practice (our Community Health members are exempt.)  This modest per-child administrative fee will allow us to maintain our website, emails and electronic medical records/prescribing benefits.  It will also help us provide personalized and prompt attention to your needs without dramatically increasing our volume, dropping insurance plans, or raising our cash fees.  There will no longer be additional fees for services such as school/camp forms, medication forms, faxing/mailing, school notes and eprescribing.  All patients will soon receive a mailing explaining our plan in detail.

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