Village Pediatrics
Fall Newsletter
September  2011- Vol 3, Issue 3
In This Issue
New Infant Acetaminophen Dosing
Resolutions
How to Treat a "Hack Attack"
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Do Fall Leaves Mean it's Tough to Breathe??
inhaler Fall is about blowing leaves, crisp autumn air, crunchy red apples... and wheezing.  Unfortunately autumn is the worst season for asthmatics due to the change in temperature, ragweed pollen in the air, moldy leaves on the ground and new cold viruses running rampant.  If your child is a fall wheezer, NOW is the time to start their preventative medications (inhaled steroids, singulair, nasal sprays and/or oral antihistamines.)  If you are unsure of whether your child needs these medications, please call for an appointment.
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New Infant Acetaminophen Dosing
Infant acetaminophen drops, formerly concentrated, are now acetaminophenbeing made in the same concentration as the older child liquid formula.  This means that infant's acetaminophen is now THE SAME as children's, only the measuring device differs (dropper versus a measuring cup.) 

If you are unsure of your child's dosage, please consult our website for directions based on your child's weight and the concentration listed on the medication bottle.  The OLD formulation (concentrated) was 80 mg per 0.8 ml, and the NEW formulation is 160 mg per 5 ml (1 teaspoon.)
Resolutions
resolutions

Most people make resolutions on New Year's, but I find winter too depressing to embark on ambitious, life changing projects.  Instead, I view September as a chance to work on change. It is a good time for kids to try a new sport or set goals for school, and for parents to resolve to change the way they approach the new school year.  

 

Resolutions are notoriously hard to stick to.  Remember to make your goals POSITIVE.  State what you WILL do, not what you won't do... "I will eat fruit for dessert 5 days a week," instead of "I will eat less candy."  Make your goals specific, as in "I will run 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week," instead of "I will exercise more."  And make goals measurable- "I will do an outdoor activity with the kids 20 minutes a day," instead of "I will get the kids outside more."  Set end dates when possible- "I will organize my closet by next Saturday."  This approach works better for children too:  they can make a chart and visually document their progress in areas such as reading, exercise, or eating more fruits and vegetables.  Build in positive rewards such as special trips or choosing a meal.


Perhaps your family has overindulged on ice cream at the beach this summer.  Fall is a good time to reassess your children's eating habits and make simple, step-wise changes in what they consume.  Make a single change at a time.  First, cut out juices and sweetened drinks.  The next week introduce whole grain breads and pastas.  The third week show your kids how to fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables at each meal.  Resolve to pack a healthy lunch for school or work once a week.  Then twice.  Swap out the potato chips for dried fruit chips.  Allow your kids chocolate milk once a week rather than everyday. Change your family's milk jug from whole milk, to 2%, to 1%, and then skim- do it over time, cover the label, and they won't notice the change. 

 

Is your child spending too much time inside playing video games?  Brainstorm ways to get them outside and moving.  Be creative- if your child doesn't want to do a team sport (or you would rather not spend a lot of money on classes or time driving there) challenge her to run around the house a few times, and see how many more rounds she can do each day.  How many continuous jumps can he do with a jump-rope?  How many hoops can she shoot without missing? The more interesting the activity, the more it will engage and challenge your child.  My son hates playing soccer, but will do the same running around outside pretending to be Harry Potter playing Quidditch with his friends.  A few hoops on sticks and we had a field! 

 

The key to making all these resolutions work is making changes small and steady. How many pledges to lose 25 pounds in the New Year work?  Aiming for a 5 (or even 1) pound weight loss is much more achievable, and avoids the feeling of failure that dooms many a diet.  These small changes are also more likely to persist, and your whole family will feel a sense of accomplishment long before 2012 rolls around!  

 

How to Treat a "Hack Attack"

 

coughWith fall and winter quickly approaching, the dry cough seems to be coming along for the ride.  This pesky symptom is often the result of a post nasal drip or irritated throat, and can be the cause of many school and nighttime disruptions.  Here are a few simple things you can try at home:

 

1) An extra pillow (under the mattress if your child is still in a crib).

2) Try steaming up the bathroom and bathing your child in the warm, moist air.

3) Sipping warm soothing liquids(ie: decaffeinated teas) throughout the day.

4) A teaspoon of honey for children over the age of 1.

5) Nonmedicated cough drops for older children only.

 

Note that over the counter cough medications have not been scientifically shown to actually help with cough symptoms in children.  We strongly discourage the use of such medications in younger patients.   Children 6 and older may benefit from a single ingredient cough medicine with dextromethorphan if non-medical interventions are not working.

 

If none of these offer any relief or your child has other symptoms such as fever or difficulty breathing then please give our office a call.  

 

For more information on the symptoms and treatment of the common cold visit our website article

 
 
Influenza Vaccine Now Available

We now have in stock both injectable and nasal mist (FluMist) 2011 Influenza Vaccine for everyone.  It is the same flu vaccine formula as last year, although the vaccine needs to be given yearly as immunity can fade over time.  We are administering the vaccine at either regularly scheduled physical exam appointments, or during one of several flu clinics we will have throughout the season.

The Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children receive the influenza vaccine yearly.  This vaccine is effective for at least one year, so get your children immunized early while we still have ample supply.

Children under the age of 2, or those with moderate to severe asthma or other chronic immunosuppressive medical condition, should receive the injectable flu vaccine.

Healthy children ages 2 and older can receive the nasal spray form of vaccine (FluMist.)

Children less than 9 years of age who have never received flu vaccine before need two doses this year, spaced at least 1 month apart.

Healthy adults may also receive vaccine at our office.  There will be a cash charge of $45 for the vaccine and its administration.  If you are 49 years of age or younger, you can get FluMist.  If you are on immunosuppressive therapy, have asthma or other chronic medical condition, you must get the injectable form of the vaccine.

To register for our 10 am-12 pm Saturday, September 24th flu clinic click here.
To register for our 10 am-12 pm Monday, October 10th flu clinic (Columbus Day) click here.
To register for our 10 am- 12 pm Saturday, October 22nd flu clinic click here.

If these dates do not work for you, call us to schedule a visit during our regular weekday hours.

Wishing you a great start to the new school year, and a healthy autumn..

Dr. Jenn, Dr. Nikki & Dr. Robin
Village Pediatrics LLC

 

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