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Posts for category: Pediatric

By Amherst Pediatrics
December 15, 2016
Category: Pediatric
Tags: Playground Safety  

Playground SafetyWhether it’s at the park, school or in your own backyard, kids of all ages enjoy climbing on the monkey bars, going down the slide and swinging.  Playgrounds are a great place for kids to exercise, take in fresh air and socialize with friends.   Unfortunately, it’s also a place many kids get injured every year as a result of faulty equipment and improper use.  In fact, each year more than 200,000 kids under the age of 15 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for playground-related injuries.

While there are some inevitable dangers, the good news is that many of these injuries can easily be prevented with proper supervision. Do you know what to look for to make sure your playground is safe?

Play it Safe: What to Look for at Your Playground

Risks linked with playground safety may not be as apparent as those associated with swimming or biking; you just have to know what to look for. You can make the playground safe and fun for your kids by checking equipment and surfacing for potential hazards and following some simple safety guidelines. These include:

  • Always supervise your child to ensure playground equipment is used properly.  
  • Regularly check playground equipment for loose, sharp or broken parts. 
  • Know which surfacing is most appropriate. Sand, wood chips and rubberized matting are the safest surfaces for playgrounds, while concrete or asphalt could lead to a serious injury if a child falls.
  • Make sure playground equipment is age and size appropriate for your child.
  • Minimize injuries by teaching your kids basic playground rules.
  • Play areas for younger children should be separated from those for older kids.
  • Don’t let children wear drawstrings, purses, necklaces or other items that could get caught on equipment.
  • Report dangerous playgrounds to responsible parties.
  • Ask your pediatrician about other tips for playground safety.

Don’t let careless behavior or a faulty apparatus ruin playground fun.  To minimize injuries, always be on the lookout for faulty equipment, improper surfaces, and careless behavior.  Play is an essential part of a child’s physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Following these playground safety tips will help your kids play as safely as possible.

By Amherst Pediatrics
November 15, 2016
Category: Pediatric
Tags: Concussions  

Child's ConcussionA hit to the head during a soccer game or a hard fall from skateboarding may result in a serious head injury and even a concussion. The American Academy of Pediatrics describes a concussion as any injury to the brain that disrupts normal brain function on a temporary or permanent basis. These injuries are typically caused by a blow to the head, most often occurring while playing contact sports such as football, hockey, soccer, wrestling or skateboarding.

For some children, concussions only last for a short while. Other times, a person can have symptoms of a concussion that last for several days or weeks following the injury. Not all symptoms of concussions will be obvious, and in some cases take several hours to set in. Look for these signs of a concussion if your child suffers a head injury:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Poor concentration
  • Vision problems
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability or changes in mood
  • Sensitivity to light or noise

Seek Medical Attention

If your child injures his head or you believe he may have a concussion, it is important that the child discontinues play immediately and visits a healthcare provider for an evaluation. All concussions are serious and should be monitored right away. A pediatrician can properly diagnose the concussion and its severity, and then make appropriate treatment recommendations.

Rest from all activities is the best treatment for concussions. Your pediatrician can make appropriate recommendations for when the child should return to future play. Recovery time depends on the child and the severity of the concussion.

Preventing Head Injuries

Not all head injuries can be avoided, but you can do a few important things to prevent them.

  • Buckle Up. Make sure your child is properly buckled up in a seat belt, car seat or booster seat.  
  • Safety Gear. If your child plays sports, make sure he wears appropriate headgear and other safety equipment.
  • Awareness. Children should be taught how to play safe and understand the importance of reporting any type of head injury to their parent or coach.

All head injuries should be taken seriously.  Early detection and treatment is the best way to prevent serious complications. It’s never a bad idea to contact your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns about your child’s head injury.

By Amherst Pediatrics
November 02, 2016
Category: Pediatric
Tags: Pediatric  

Flu PreventionWith the arrival of flu season, many parents will be watching their children closely for symptoms of this dreaded virus.  The flu, also known as influenza, is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, throat and lungs).   The virus spreads easily in settings where many people are contained in close quarters such as schools and childcare, making children especially susceptible to the flu.

Often confused with the common cold, flu symptoms are typically more severe.  The following symptoms are good indicators that your child has the flu:

  • Rapid onset of fever (typically above 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Excessive tiredness, lack of energy and general weakness
  • Muscle aches and chills
  • Dry cough
  • Stuffy, runny nose

Other symptoms that accompany the flu may include sore throat, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Remember, if your child comes down with the flu, keep them home from school or childcare for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.  The flu is highly contagious and can infect other children and caregivers.  It can spread by direct contact, such as drinking from the same cup or through indirect contact, such as when a classmate sneezes on his hand and then touches the door handle.

Flu Prevention Tips

Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu typically occur during the fall through the spring. Knowing how to identify flu symptoms and prevent the virus will help you protect your family from getting the flu. Here are just a few tips to keep the virus away from your household.

  • Teach your children proper and consistent hand washing
  • Avoid sharing cups, bottles, and other utensils
  • Encourage your children to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to prevent germs from spreading
  • Practice the importance of coughing or sneezing into your arm or a tissue

To prevent seasonal influenza, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children receive the influenza vaccination every year starting at six months of age.  Ask your pediatrician about flu vaccinations for your child.

When your child is experiencing the flu, extra rest and drinking plenty of fluids can help relieve symptoms.  Typical recovery time for the flu is one or two weeks.  Contact your pediatrician if your child’s fever persists, he or she develops a cough, or if he or she complains of ear pain. Flu is a serious illness that should be monitored closely.

By Amherst Pediatrics
November 02, 2016
Category: Pediatric
Tags: Pediatric  

We know nothing is more important to you than your child’s health, and the more information you have, the better you can care for them! Pediatric care is an all-encompassing discipline devoted to ensuring your child builds a strong foundation for good health throughout their life. While we can help, your child’s care starts with you.

On this blog we’ll share important information, fun tips, and new technologies all related to helping your child grow up healthy and happy.

Check back regularly for updates! And, as always, feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns.

 


Office Hours
Monday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Tuesday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Wednesday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Thursday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Friday:8:00 AM - 4:45 PM
Saturday:12:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Sunday:12:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Contact Us

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

Routine Visits
We see patients in our office for routine visits Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:45 pm.

Urgent Visits
Urgent visits are scheduled throughout our normal weekday business hours.

We also have special urgent-care-only hours as follows:

  • Monday through Thursday 5:00pm to 6:45pm
  • Saturdays & Sundays from 12:00pm to 3:45pm

For urgent visits, we ask that you please call ahead.

* 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.

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