Our Blog

Posts for: February, 2017

By John Snyder, MD
February 19, 2017
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: vitamins   vitamin D   supplements  

Most of us know that vitmain D is important for healthy bones. But alomst daily, it seems, we learn more about the significance of vitamin D on our health. Now, a recent study suggests a modest decrease in the risk of some infections in people who take a vitmain D supplement, particulalr if they are not getting enough from their diet.     

Vitamin D

But are we getting enough vitmain D?
While our bodies make vitmain D from exposure to sunlight, we try to avoid sunlight as much as possible over concern about the damaging, cumulative impact of ultraviolet light. And getting vitmain D from our diet isn't always easy, especially for children. Infants who breast feed absorb most of the vitmain D from the milk they drink, but the amount of vitmain D in breast milk is not very high. And most formula-fed babies don't drink enough formiula to get an adequate amount of vitmain D. In 2014 the American Acedmy of Pediatrics updated its recommendations for vitmain D supplementaion in infants and children. It is recommended that all breast-fed babies, and formula-fed babies who drink less than 32 oz per day  (that's pretty much all babies) should receive a supplement of 400 IU of vitmain per day. Older children who don't get enough from their diet, should get 600 IU per day (click here for more).


Hearing ProblemsIt may seem like your teenager is ignoring you, but in reality, they may be having trouble hearing you. More and more we see kids listening to their MP3 players while doing homework, walking to school or riding in the car. The result? A surge in hearing loss.

For years, studies have shown that constant exposure to loud sound damages hearing. In fact, between the mid-1990s and 2006 there was a 31 percent increase in the prevalence of hearing problems among U.S. adolescents, according to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers suggest that one in every five teens today has some sort of hearing impairment.

Chronic exposure to loud noise may not cause hearing loss in the short term, but it can gradually result in irreversible hearing loss later in adult years. Even slight hearing loss can have a negative impact on a child’s academic success and social interaction. Warning signs of potential hearing loss include: difficulty following directions, asking that things be repeated, trouble with speech and language and listening to the TV at a high volume.

With the prevalence of music devices only gaining popularity, parents need to be particularly aware of their kids’ music-listening habits and educate them about the dangers of excessive noise.

To mitigate hearing loss, talk to your kids about how to use their music players properly to protect their ears from hearing damage.

  • Teach kids to never play their music devices at full volume.
  • Monitor your child’s music volume and frequency.
  • If you can hear the music from the child’s ear buds, then the music is too loud.
  • Explain to your child the importance of wearing ear protection when they are in an environment with loud noises for long periods of time, such as concerts.

The difficult truth about hearing loss is that in many cases it is not reversible, and it can even be progressive over time. Talk to your kids about the dangers of hearing loss now, and keep the volume and length of their listening to a minimum.

Whenever you have questions about your child’s hearing, talk to your pediatrician.


By Amherst Pediatrics
February 02, 2017
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Diaper Rash  

Diaper RashA baby’s soft, smooth skin is delicate, making it susceptible to diaper rash, a common and mild irritation of the skin that causes redness in the area where the diaper is worn. Most cases of diaper rash are caused by excessive moisture from leaving a wet or soiled diaper on for too long. The baby’s skin becomes red, irritated and prone to chafing. Painful sores can develop, and the baby becomes vulnerable to yeast and bacterial infections.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than half of babies between 4 months and 15 months of age will experience diaper rash at least one time in a two-month period. Diaper rash is most common between 8 to 10 months of age, or when a baby is introduced to solid foods, which increases the frequency of bowel movements.

Soothing Your Baby’s Diaper Rash

If your baby develops diaper rash, one way to improve its condition is to change his or her diaper frequently. Other helpful ways to treat diaper rash include:

  • Rinsing the affected area with warm water and a soft washcloth
  • Pat dry; never rub
  • Avoid baby wipes that contain alcohol or are fragranced
  • Allow your baby’s bottom to air out whenever possible

Preventing Diaper Rash

Parents may not be able to prevent diaper rash completely, but you can do a lot to keep the irritation to a minimum. The American Academy of Pediatric recommends the following steps to keep diaper rash at bay:

  • Apply a heavy layer of diaper ointment or cream to your baby’s bottom after every change.
  • Leave breathing room in the baby’s diaper, and avoid putting the diapers on too tightly as it will trap moisturize and prevent air circulation.
  • Switch diaper brands or use extra absorbent diapers to whisk away moisture and keep skin dry.
  • Change the baby’s diaper immediately after it becomes wet—this is the key to preventing diaper rash.

The good news is that preventing and treating a diaper rash is fairly easy, and most breakouts can be resolved in just a few days. Call your pediatrician if the rash won’t go away or doesn’t improve after a few days. You should also bring your child to see his or her pediatrician if the rash is accompanied by blisters, a fever or pain.




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.