Our Blog

Posts for category: Child Health Care

By Amherst Pediatrics
May 04, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Ear Infection  
Ear InfectionWondering if your child might be dealing with an ear infection?

While you will certainly know when you’re dealing with an ear infection; unfortunately kids, particularly newborns and toddlers, can’t tell you that they are experiencing ear pain. Ear infections are incredibly common in young children, with five out of six children experiencing at least one ear infection by the time they turn three years old. Know the warning signs and when to turn to your pediatrician for treatment.

They may have trouble sleeping

It’s not too surprising that with pressure building up in the middle ear due to bacteria that your child may get fussy or even throw a tantrum about going to bed. Children with ear infections often toss and turn and feel worse when they lie down. If your little one suddenly starts crying when they lie down this could be a sign of an ear infection.

They tug at their ears

While a toddler won’t be able to tell you that their ear hurts, they can show you. You may be able to discern whether your child could have an ear infection by whether or not they are tugging and pulling at their ears. Again, the pressure inside the ears can be incredibly uncomfortable and even painful, and children might fidget with their ears to minimize the discomfort.

They could have a fever

If a child has a middle ear infection, commonly, they could also have a fever. If your child’s ear looks red, if they tug at their ear and seem fussier lately, and they have a fever over 100 degrees F then it’s probably time to see a pediatrician.

Their ears might drain

Another telltale sign of an ear infection in your little one is the presence of fluid or pus draining from the ear. If there is the presence of blood in the fluid this might be a sign of a ruptured eardrum. While the eardrum will heal on its own, it’s still a good idea to see your pediatrician if pus or fluid is draining from your child’s ear.

If your child is displaying symptoms of an ear infection, or if you’re concerned about your child’s recurring ear infections, it’s important to talk with your pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to dispense the proper medication and discuss other ways to reduce your child’s risk of developing future infections.
By Amherst Pediatrics
April 15, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Mono   Kissing Disease   Mononucleosis  
MononucleosisMono, nicknamed the “kissing disease” because of how easily it spreads from person to person, is a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Pediatricians most often see this infection in teens and it may be mistaken for the flu. While most cases of mono will go away on their own, it can take months for a child or teen to fully recover. It’s important to be able to recognize the differences between the influenza virus and mono.

What are the symptoms of mono?

Symptoms will vary between children, teens, and adults. Children don’t typically show the standard symptoms of mono. In fact, mono might look more like a cold or flu in your little one. The classic symptoms associated with mono are more apparent in teens and young adults between the ages of 15 to 24 years old.

Classic mono symptoms include,
  • High fever
  • Extreme fatigue and exhaustion
  • Body aches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Swollen lymph nodes of the neck
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Headache
Symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, and muscle weakness may be severe and can last for several weeks.

When should I turn to a pediatrician?

As you might already know, many of the symptoms above can be caused by colds, flu, and other infections that aren’t mono. If your child’s symptoms are mild, then you might not need to come into our office right away. Of course, if symptoms persist for weeks or get worse, then it’s time to visit your pediatrician.

You should call your pediatrician right away if,
  • Your child develops a severe headache or sore throat
  • Has seizures
  • Displays changes in behavior
  • Has a very high fever over 104 F
  • Is dehydrated
  • Develops a rash
While teens and adults can often be diagnosed through a standard physical examination, your pediatrician may need to perform blood tests to detect the Epstein-Barr virus in babies and young children.

If you are concerned that your teen may have mono, you must schedule an appointment with their pediatrician as soon as possible. While most cases will go away on their own without treatment, your child’s doctor can provide you with options for helping your child better manage their symptoms and feel better faster.
By Amherst Pediatrics
March 30, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Whooping CoughPertussis, more commonly referred to as whooping cough, is a contagious bacterial infection of the lungs. The nickname comes from the “whooping” sound that occurs when a child breathes. While many people assume that whooping cough is an infection that no longer exists, it’s actually more common in the US than we’d like to admit. In fact, pediatricians have seen an increase in the number of whooping cough cases over the last couple of decades.
 
Whooping Cough May Look Like a Cold

You might brush off the early signs of whooping cough because they look an awful lot like the common cold. Older children and teens may develop congestion, mild fever, cough, or runny nose; however, within the first 1-2 weeks you will notice that the cough gets worse. In fact, your child may develop severe and sudden coughing fits.

Children and newborns are more likely to display severe symptoms. They may not have a whoop in their cough, but they may vomit or show severe fatigue after coughing. While anyone can develop whooping cough, infants are at particular risk for serious and life-threatening complications so it’s important to have your family vaccinated.
 
Vaccines Can Protect Against Whooping Cough

While newborns are too young to be vaccinated against whooping cough, you should make sure that the rest of your family is fully vaccinated. The DTaP vaccine will protect against whooping cough and will be administered at 2, 4, and 6 months old, again at 15 to 18 months, and again at 6 years for a total of five doses.
 
Turn to a Pediatrician Right Away

If you suspect that your child might have whooping cough, you must call your pediatrician right away. Children under 18 months old may require hospitalization so doctors can continuously monitor them, as children are more likely to stop breathing with whooping cough. Of course, coming in during the early stages of the infection is important as antibiotics are more effective at the very start of the illness.
 
Until the body clears whooping cough, some of the best ways to manage your child’s symptoms include,
  • Resting as much as possible
  • Staying hydrated
  • Sticking to smaller meals to safeguard against cough-induced vomiting
  • Making sure your family is up to date on their vaccinations
If you want to fully protect your child against many dangerous communicable diseases, one of the best ways is through vaccinations. Your child must be up to date on all of their vaccines. Talk with your pediatrician to find out when your child should get the whooping cough vaccine.
By Amherst Pediatrics
February 26, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Head Lice  
Head LiceYou’ve just received a call from the school: someone in your child’s class has head lice. We know that hearing that your child has or might have head lice can be stressful, but don’t worry. Your pediatrician can help guide you through the best methods for getting rid of pesky head lice once and for all.

If you notice head lice in your child there’s no way around it: you have to treat the lice. They will not go away on their own. It might give you the heebie-jeebies but it’s important to find a treatment that will get rid of these little critters quickly. You should also check all members of your family to make sure they don’t have lice too, as this problem can spread quickly.

The good news is that you can often treat lice from the comfort of your own home. While there are certain hair salons that may cater to the treatment of lice, it’s worth it to try and treat the problem yourself. There are a variety of over-the-counter shampoos and rinses that can kill lice and their eggs (also known as nits). You may want to talk with your pediatric doctor about the treatment process, which products to use and whether or not you should reapply the shampoo or rinse days after the first application.

Still seeing lice? This is a literal head scratcher for some parents, but don’t worry. This is when a pediatrician can prescribe a much stronger treatment option such as shampoos containing benzyl alcohol, or lotions containing either ivermectin or malathion (both pesticides), or spinosad (an insecticide).

Since some of these products work differently from others, it is important that you read and follow all instructions. Some products will require more than one application while others will only require one. Again, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s lice treatment don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician.

Treating Your Home After Lice

The good news is that lice need blood in order to survive so they won’t live very long if they don’t have a human host. However, you will want to wash all bedding, towels and clothes that may have lice or nits on them. Make sure to wash them thoroughly in hot water that is higher than 130 degrees F. If you can’t wash these items immediately, promptly bag them until you can clean them properly.

Head lice can be annoying, but turning to a qualified pediatric doctor can help you get the answers you need to tackle this hairy little problem. Call your pediatrician to learn more.
By Amherst Pediatrics
October 02, 2020
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Conjunctivitis   Pink Eye  
ConjunctivitisYour child won’t stop rubbing their eyes. They say it’s incredibly itchy. When you go to examine it, you notice their eyes are also bloodshot and inflamed. Oh no, it sounds like conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as pink eye, is often a communicable eye infection that can be spread from person to person. If your child is dealing with symptoms of conjunctivitis you might want to visit your pediatric doctor to find out what to do.

What causes pinkeye?

In most cases, an infection is to blame. An infectious pink eye is contagious and may result from a sinus infection or ear infection. Some viruses or bacteria can lead to contagious forms of pinkeye; however, in some cases, pinkeye may develop as a result of allergies (e.g. ragweed; grass; dust mites) or being exposed to certain irritants or chemicals.

What happens if my baby has pinkeye?

If your newborn develops pinkeye you must seek pediatric care right away, as this condition can lead to severe complications if left untreated. In most cases, your newborn will be prescribed antibiotics eye drops to help clear the infection.

How do I know that it’s pinkeye?

There are a variety of telltale signs that your little one may be dealing with a nasty bout of pinkeye. If they are old enough to talk then they may tell you that their eyes feel gritty, like there is something in them. You may also notice a thick, gooey discharge. Their eyes may also be sensitive to light. Most pinkeye also causes swelling, itching, and eye pain.

How is pink eye treated in kids?

Apart from newborns, who require immediate medical attention for pinkeye, most kids and teens whose pinkeye is caused by a virus will go away without treatment once the body has fought the virus. However, if a bacterial infection is to blame, then antibiotic eye drops will be needed to treat the bacterial infection.

If your child is dealing with recurring bouts of pinkeye they could be dealing with allergic conjunctivitis, which you should also talk to your pediatrician about. They can prescribe certain allergy medications to your child to help lessen pinkeye flare-ups.

It’s important to find trustworthy pediatric care for your child or teen. Whether you are concerned with pinkeye, ADHD, or celiac disease, a pediatrician will be able to diagnose, manage, and treat a wide range of infections and conditions.


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Our Address
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Amherst, MA 01002
Tel: (413) 253-3773
Fax: (413) 256-0215
Email: mail@amherstpeds.com
 

Please note temporary office hours
during the COVID-19 pandemic

Patient Care Hours:
Monday-Friday

8:00 AM - 4:45 PM: In-office and MyChart Telehealth visits
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Due to the pandemic, we ask that you please remain at home if you or your child is ill. If you have concerns about how your child is feeling, please contact us by sending a message through this patient portal. The clinicians will be able to respond to you during our regular hours. Calling the office may present a further delay in response times.

The COVID-19 situation is ever unfolding. We are dedicated to the safety of our patients and staff. Please refer to our website for updates on this changing situation.

* Please note: It is our policy that we do not approve referral requests for visits to outside urgent care centers during times that our office is open.

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We are open for urgent visits only on most Holidays. Our office is closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.