Posts for: July, 2017
Have you heard about the Amherst Pediatrics Summer Health Challenge? The Challenge lasts all summer: June 26th-August 25th and is a fun way for you and your family to make healthy eating choices and get more exercise. Kids of all ages are welcome to join and they do not have to be patients of ours in order to sign up!
Using the SuperTracker website, you earn points by participating in some type of physical activity or healthy eating. All members who are entering their activities into their SuperTracker profile will be entered into a weekly raffle. Prizes will be awarded to participants with the most points at the end of the summer as well.
Physical activity points can be earned by doing lots of different things like walking, running, dancing, playing a sport, mowing the lawn, etc. You can earn points by making sure to eat fruits, vegetables, and other healthy choices throughout the day. Create a profile on the SuperTracker website:
Kids pick up germs all day, every day. Whether they are sharing toys, playing at day care or sitting in the classroom, whenever children are together, they are at risk for spreading infectious diseases.
Parents should play an active role in helping their kids stay healthy by taking extra precaution to minimize germs. Here are a few tips on how.
Spending just a few extra minutes each day tidying up your household can go a long way to keep your home germ-free and your kids healthy. Disinfect kitchen countertops after cooking a meal, and wipe down bathroom surfaces as well—especially if your child has been ill with vomiting or diarrhea. Doorknobs, handrails and many plastic toys should also be sanitized on a routine basis. Simply by disinfecting your home more regularly, and even more so when someone in your household has been ill, you can significantly cut down on re-infection.
Set a Good Example
Parents should set good examples for their children by practicing good hand washing and hygiene at home. Encourage your kids to cough or sneeze into a tissue rather than their hands. Children should also be taught not to share drinking cups, eating utensils or toothbrushes. If your school-aged child does become ill, it’s best to keep them home to minimize spreading the illness to other children in the classroom.
Finally, one of the easiest (and most effective) ways to prevent the spread of infection is by hand washing. At an early age, encourage your child to wash their hands throughout the day, especially:
- After using the bathroom
- Before eating
- After playing outdoors
- After touching pets
- After sneezing or coughing
- If another member of the household is sick
The Centers for Disease control recommends washing hands for at least 10 to 15 seconds to effectively remove germs.
Parents can’t keep their kids germ-free entirely, but you can take extra precautions to help keep your environment clean. It’s also important to help your child understand the importance of good hygiene and thorough hand washing as a vital way to kill germs and prevent illnesses.
Summer is here and that means a lot of kids are not getting their daily breakfast, lunch, andsnacks at school. This added cost can be a burden for some families. Luckily there are a lot of towns and schools that offer free meals for kids under age 18:
Amherst Survival Center SUMMER BOOST: Families with school-age children will receive extra food per child from the Pantry (the equivalent of nine additional meals), in their June, July and August distributions. In addition, families can also come to the Amherst Survival Center for food from these Center programs:
- Lunch Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from noon-1pm,
- Light supper on Thursdays from 5-6pm, and
- Get fresh produce from 11am-3pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, and from 11am to 7pm on Thursday.
The Amherst Pelham Regional School District is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided to all children without charge. Meals will be provided at the sites and times as follows:
- Meadowbrook Apartments - Meal Service Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM 491 Bridge Rd, Florence, MA 01062
Greenfield Public Schools The “Eat 4 Free” Program: From June 26-August 18 at six different sites. Kids will be able to get free meals Monday through Friday, every workday of the summer aside from July 4. Free breakfast will run from 8 to 9 a.m. and free lunch will go from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The sites in Greenfield include:
- Greenfield YMCA
- Greenfield Gardens
- Oak Courts
- Greenfield High School
- Leyden Woods
- The Green River Swimming and Recreation Area
In addition to these sites, kids can also get free lunch at the Greenfield Farmers Market from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays, running from July 1 to Aug. 12. Special to this year, there will be several incentives for kids to eat breakfast through the program, including the chance to win a bicycle.
Gill-Montague School District: Seven locations throughout the summer for breakfast, lunch, or a snack. There is no enrollment or cost to participate.
- Turners Falls High School Cafeteria: Bfst 8:30-9am; Lunch 11:30-12:30pm (Mon-Thurs,7/5-8/10)
- Sheffield Elementary School Cafeteria: Bfst 8:30-9am; Lunch 11:30-12:30pm (Mon-Thurs; 7/10-8/10)
- Unity Park Field House: Bfst 8:30-9am; Lunch 11:30-12:30pm (Mon-Friday; 7/3-8/18)
- Highland Park, Miller s Falls: Lunch Only 12:00-12:30pm (Mon-Friday; 7/10-8/10)
- The Brick House Community Resource Center, Turners Falls: Lunch Only 11:30-12:30pm (Mon-Thurs 7/5-8/17)
- Erving Elementary School: Bfst 8:30-9am; Lunch 12-1:00pm (Mon-Friday 7/5-8/18)
- Carnegie Library: Snack 3:30-4:30; (Tuesday’s 7/11-8/15)
Generally, a fever is brought on by an infection from a virus or bacterial infection. While many times a parent’s first instinct is to worry when their child has a fever, it’s not necessarily a sign that something serious is taking place. That’s because a fever is the body’s normal, infection-fighting response to infection and in many cases is considered a good sign that the child’s body is trying to heal itself.
When to Visit Your Pediatrician
Fevers are one of the most common reasons parents seek medical care for their child. Most of the time, however, fevers require no treatment.
When a child has a fever, he may feel warm, appear flushed or sweat more than normal—these are all common signs. So, when does a child’s fever warrant a pediatrician’s attention?
You should call your pediatrician immediately if the child has a fever and one or more of the following:
- Exhibits very ill, lethargic, unresponsive or unusually fussy behavior
- Complains of a stiff neck, severe headache, sore throat, ear pain, unexplained rash, painful urination, difficulty breathing or frequent bouts of vomiting or diarrhea
- Has a seizure
- Is younger than 3 months and has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher
- Fever repeatedly rises above 104°F for a child of any age
- Child still feels ill after fever goes away
- Fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years or more than 3 days in a child 2 years of age and older
All children react differently to fevers. If your child appears uncomfortable, you can keep him relaxed with a fever-reducing medication until the fever subsides. Ask your pediatrician if you have questions about recommended dosage. Your child should also rest and drink plenty of fluid to stay hydrated. Popsicles are great options that kids can enjoy!
For many parents, fevers can be scary, particularly in infants. Remember, the fever itself is just the body’s natural response to an illness, and letting it run its course is typically the best way for the child to fight off the infection. Combined with a little TLC and a watchful eye, your child should be feeling normal and fever-free in no time.
Whenever you have a question or concern about your child’s health and well being, contact your Amherst pediatrician for further instruction.