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Posts for category: Children's Health

By Amherst Pediatrics
May 31, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Fever  

Your child awoke in the middle of the night complaining that they didn’t feel well. Your first reaction is to put your hand up to their forehead to see if they have a fever. Of course, if their head feels warm the next step is to take their temperature to see if they are actually running a fever. While most children will experience a fever at some point, it’s important to know when you can treat the problem at home and when you need to visit a pediatrician immediately.

Most of the time a fever isn’t anything to worry about, especially if your child is otherwise healthy. A fever is the body’s way of fighting off the infection, after all; however, there are instances in which you will want to call your children’s doctor to find out whether you need to come in for care.

We believe in a parent’s intuition, so if it seems like something just isn’t right, you should give us a call and find out if your child’s symptoms or behaviors are something that need to be handled right away. Your child’s exact temperature and their age are two very important factors when it comes to whether or not your child should receive medical attention.

It’s important to call your pediatrician if your baby is under 3 months old and has a temperature of 100.4 F or higher. A baby between the ages of 3 to 6 months old that has a fever of 101 F or higher (or has a fever that lasts more than a day) should also see a pediatric doctor. If your child is between the ages of 6 months and one year old and has a temperature at or above 103 F or has a fever lasting more than a day, give us a call.

Other times to call a pediatrician include:

  • A high fever that lasts more than a day in children who are 1 to 2 years old
  • A child that has a fever of 104 F or higher (age does not matter in this case)
  • A fever that is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea
  • Signs of dehydration along with a fever
  • A fever that is also accompanied by a rash
  • Children who have weak or compromised immune systems and develop a fever

If your child’s fever doesn’t require a visit to your pediatrician you can try applying warm compresses or bathing your child in lukewarm water to help ease their symptoms. Never use cold water or ice to bring down a fever.

If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician to find out what you should do about your child’s fever.

By Amherst Pediatrics
May 15, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Diabetes  

You disinfect their toys. You make sure they wash their hands. You keep them from putting odd things they find in their mouths. You do everything you can to keep your child healthy and happy, but some illnesses aren’t completely under your control. Type 1 diabetes, most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, is an autoimmune disease where the body stops producing insulin. It has no known cause, there is no way to prevent it, it is not tied to lifestyle or diet, and there is no cure. But there are recognizable symptoms, which can help you catch it early and get your child the help they need.

Common Signs of Type 1 Diabetes

The most common early signs of diabetes are increased urination and thirst. This is because your child doesn’t have enough insulin to process glucose, leading to high blood-sugar and a reaction where their body pulls fluid from tissues. This makes your child constantly thirsty and in need of bathroom breaks. Other warning signs include:

∙         Fatigue: Your child always seeing tired or drowsy could signal their body is having trouble processing sugar into energy. Extreme instances of this include stupor and unconsciousness.

∙         Changes in vision: Having high blood-sugar often causes blurred vision and other eyesight problems.

∙         Fruity smelling breath: Having breath that smells fruity, even when it’s been a while since your child ate, often means there’s excess sugar in their blood.

∙         Increased hunger or unexplained weight loss: Extreme hunger can mean your child’s muscles and organs aren’t getting enough energy. Any sudden weight loss in your child should not be ignored, but especially when they’ve been eating more.

∙         Changes in behavior: Your child suddenly seeming moodier or more restless than normal while showing any of the symptoms.

Get Help from Your Pediatrician

Your child having heavy or labored breathing or experiencing nausea and vomiting are also signs of diabetes, but all of these symptoms, regardless of whether or not they are from diabetes, are cause for you to take your child to their pediatrician. Untreated, type 1 diabetes can be life-threatening. But with the help of a pediatrician and the same diligence you use to keep your child safe from viruses and bacteria, your child can grow up healthy and happy. If you have any questions or concerns, call our office today.

By Amherst Pediatrics
May 03, 2018
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Eye Problems  

When your little one is first born they will go through a series of tests and screenings to make sure they are healthy. This includes checking theirEye Problems vital signs, hearing, and vision. Your child’s first battery of health screenings will occur while you are still in the hospital. If everything checks out just fine then you’ll be good to go until you need to visit the pediatrician in the coming week. Of course, if we discover that there is an issue with their vision you may need to visit your child’s pediatrician sooner.

Of course, not all pediatric eye problems occur at birth. They can also happen as your child continues to develop over the years. This is why it’s so important that you are visiting your pediatric doctor regularly to ensure that if there is a problem with your child’s vision that they get the proper care they need to prevent more serious issues from happening.

Here are just some of the most common eye problems that children face:

  • Nystagmus: A condition that causes involuntary and repetitive eye movements, which results in a reduction in vision.
  • Strabismus: Sometimes referred to as crossed eyes, this is when the eyes are not aligned with one another.
  • Amblyopia: Colloquially referred to as a “lazy eye”, this condition occurs when vision is one eye doesn’t develop properly, resulting in reduced vision.
  • Congenital cataract: While most people associate cataracts with older individuals, it is possible for a child to be born with this condition that causes clouding of the ocular lens.

Some eye problems can be caught at birth; however, it’s important to understand that babies aren’t born with all of their visual capabilities. This is something that is learned over time as their eyes continue to develop and send signals to their brain. A baby’s vision isn’t as clear as ours; however, in the first few months, you’ll begin to see them focus on objects close up, develop eye-hand coordination as they grab for things they want or follow moving objects.

Of course, you will have a pediatrician schedule to follow, which ensures that your little one is getting the proper care, checkups, vaccinations, and screenings they need to check off certain developmental milestones. If your pediatrician detects vision problems they will most likely refer you to a pediatric eye doctor who can provide you with the best treatment options.

If at any time you become worried about your child’s vision, then it’s important that you make an appointment with your pediatrician to have their vision tested. Your pediatrician is here to make sure that your growing child gets the care they need throughout the course of their developing life so they can become a healthy, happy adult.

By Amherst Pediatrics
November 13, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Burns  

Burn HazardFrom washing up under too hot of water to an accidental tipping of a coffee cup, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns are some of the most common childhood accidents that occur. Babies and young children are especially susceptible to burns because they are curious, small and have sensitive skin that requires extra protection. Your child’s pediatrician is available to provide you with tips on proper treatment, and ways to prevent burns.

Understanding Burns

Burns are often categorized as first, second or third degree, depending on how badly the skin is damaged. Both the type of burn and its cause will determine how the burn is treated, but all burns should be treated quickly to reduce the temperature of the burned area and reduce damage to the skin and underlying tissue. 

First-degree burns are the mildest of the three, and are limited to the top layer of skin. Healing time is typically about 3 to 6 days, with the superficial layer of skin over the burn potentially peeling off within the next day or two. Second-degree burns are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer. These burns can produce blisters, severe pain and redness.

Finally, third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn, which involves all layers of the skin and underlying tissue. Healing time will vary depending on severity, but can often be treated with skin grafts, in which healthy skin is taken from another part of the body and surgically placed over the burn wound to help the area heal.

Prevention

You can’t keep kids free from injuries all the time, but these simple precautions can reduce the chances of burns in your home:

  • Reduce water temperature.
  • Avoid hot spills.
  • Establish ‘no’ zones.
  • Unplug irons.
  • Test food temperature.
  • Choose a cool-water humidifier or vaporizer.
  • Address outlets and electrical cords.

Contact your pediatrician for more information on how to properly care for burns and how you can further protect your children from potential burn hazards.

By Amherst Pediatrics
May 02, 2017
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Nutrition  

Healthy Meals for TeensAs children grow into adolescence, their bodies require more nutrients to grow healthy and strong. But as many parents know, for those teens with busy school schedules, sports practices and jobs, managing a healthy, well-balanced meal plan isn’t always at the top of their priority list. In many cases, a teen’s most important meals are eaten in the car or on the bus as they shuffle from one activity to the next.

Parents can play a very important role in influencing their teen to stay active while maintaining a healthy diet. These tips can help:

  • Encourage your teen to not skip meals, especially breakfast. A well-balanced breakfast is essential to keeping your son or daughter nourished throughout the day.
  • Educate your teen about healthy snack choices. Stock your refrigerator and cabinets with healthy foods and snacks, such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and lean meats and poultry. Avoid buying sodas and other sugary drinks and foods that are low in nutritional value.
  • Involve your teen in the selection and preparation of foods to teach them to make healthy choices.
  • Teach your teen how to make healthy selections when eating out at restaurants.

How many servings per day your teenager requires will depend on how many calories his or her body needs. This is based on age, sex, size and activity level. You can discuss your teen’s nutritional habits and recommended daily intake with your teen's pediatrician.

Although balancing school, sports and social activities may present challenges to eating healthy, it is possible to guide your teen on a path of nutritional food choices. Educate them now and promote healthy eating at home to help your teen develop a good understanding of proper nutrition into adulthood. The whole family can benefit from improved eating habits starting at home.



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.