Our Blog

By Amherst Pediatrics
May 06, 2020
Category: Children's Health
Tags: ADHD  
ADHDParents want the best for their child, which is why check-ups and appointments with their pediatricians are so important. Yet your pediatrician isn’t just available for when your child is sick or has physical ailments. They can also help with mental and behavioral conditions, including the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. If your child struggles with focus, impulsivity, attention, or hyperactivity, schedule them for an evaluation. It’s also important to note that children must be at least four years old for a diagnosis.
 
The Three Facets of ADHD
There are three parts to pediatric ADHD: impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Each of them is signs and are necessary for a diagnosis. Here is some information about each of them.
 
Inattention: your child spends a lot of time daydreaming or not paying attention, struggles to listen, is easily distracted, makes careless mistakes, rarely finishes tasks, and is disorganized to the point of losing or forgetting important things. 
 
It’s important to understand that children with ADHD can pay attention, it’s just harder with topics that don’t interest them. They can tune out when tasks get repetitive. Working with them to organize their schoolwork and tasks is essential. Try to provide them with a quiet and calm environment to work in.
 
Impulsivity: your child can’t wait or acts without thinking, interrupts others, and has problems taking turns.
 
Children with ADHD have trouble with self-control, which leads to the impulsive characteristics mentioned above. They have a harder time censoring themselves. This results in them invading people's personal space or asking overly personal questions. Impulsivity problems also lead to moodiness and overreactions. 
 
Hyperactivity: your child seems to constantly be moving, without being able to sit still without squirming. They also talk too much and loudly, often playing in areas that aren’t permitted. 
 
It’s normal for younger children to have high energy levels. It’s only when your child seems to be constantly moving that it could be an issue with hyperactivity. When they do sit still, they are still moving. They may tap their fingers, shake their legs, or move their feet. 
 
Diagnosing ADHD
A diagnosis won’t happen right away. There are many steps in the process before an accurate understanding is available. Your pediatrician will most likely want statements from not just you and your child, but other caregivers and teachers. 

At the appointment with your child’s pediatrician, they’ll want you and others to fill out a questionnaire about your child’s behavior. Symptoms need to be present in multiple settings, like at home and school and cause issues at both. 
 
The criteria change depending on your child’s age, so it isn’t one-size-fits-all. Your pediatrician will work with you to get an accurate picture of your child’s situation. 
By Amherst Pediatrics
April 20, 2020
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Immunizations  

To keep your child healthy and happy this involves making sure that they eat the right foods, exercise regularly and get quality sleep. Of course, visiting your pediatrician for routine checkups and care is also necessary for maintaining optimal health in your child or teen. Along with making sure that your little one is reaching those developmental milestones, our pediatricians can also protect your child from a variety of serious and potentially life threatening illnesses through regular immunizations.

What do immunizations do?

Immunizations or vaccines are used to boost the body’s natural defenses to help it properly fight infection. In order to do this, a vaccine needs to contain either a dead or weakened form of the infection. This is just enough to trigger the immune system to start producing the necessary antibodies to fight the infection without actually causing an infection. Even once the body fights off these germs it will still maintain these defenses to prevent being infected in the future.

Your child won’t build up an immediate immunity once they’ve been vaccinated. It can take up to three weeks for the body to build a complete immune response to the specific germs. Therefore, during this time it is possible that your child could still become infected with any of the viruses for which they haven’t fully been vaccinated. Each vaccine is different and your pediatrician can discuss with you the expected length of time that a vaccine will take to fully work.

Why are immunizations important?

Immunizations are one of the most effective preventive tools we have for protecting children and teens from potentially dangerous or fatal infections and diseases. Since many of these conditions can also cause serious complications including hospitalizations, getting your child vaccinated can prevent the need for extensive and expensive medical treatments.

Certain people, especially those with weakened immune systems, may not be able to get certain vaccinations. This means that they are particularly susceptible to infection. By getting more and more children vaccinated we can also protect other members of our community who can’t be vaccinated so they don’t deal with life-threatening illnesses, themselves.

We know that parents usually have a lot of questions when it comes to getting their child vaccinated and during your child’s next visit we would be happy to discuss these options with you. The CDC also has a handy immunization schedule that every family should follow to make sure that their child is getting the proper immunizations at the right time so they are always fully protected from certain illnesses and diseases.

If you have questions about the immunizations your child is supposed to be getting or if you need to schedule their next checkup call your pediatrician today.

By Amherst Pediatrics
April 03, 2020
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Warts  

Warts are common, benign bumps that develop on the skin as a result of a viral infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are pretty common in children and can develop just about anywhere on the body; however, they are most often found on the face, feet, and hands. Generally, warts usually don’t cause any problems and will go away on their own, but if you don’t want to wait a pediatrician can offer effective wart removal options.

Types of Warts

There are different kinds of warts that can develop. These warts include:

  • Common warts: these rough bumps are often found on the elbows, fingers, and hands and are usually gray in appearance. If you look closely at the bump you may also notice small black dots.
  • Flat warts: these smooth warts are often pink or light brown and most often develop on the face
  • Plantar warts: these warts develop on the soles of the feet, which can be very uncomfortable for your child, especially when walking
  • Palmar warts: just as plantar warts develop on feet, palmar warts develop on the hands

Treating Warts

While warts will go away without treatment it can take months or even years. If your child is embarrassed by the wart, if your child is dealing with multiple warts or if the wart is causing discomfort or pain then this warrants seeing a pediatrician. There are many ways in which a pediatrician can remove the wart.

Your child’s best treatment option will depend on the size, location, type, and number of warts. While there are certainly over-the-counter medications that you can try (these medications should not be used on certain areas of the body including the face), a pediatrician will be able to provide you with safe, effective treatment under proper medical supervision.

Common wart removal options include:

  • Cryotherapy: freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen (a very common wart removal technique)
  • Salicylic acid: a doctor can also provide a strong prescription solution that contains salicylic acid (this can be applied at home as per your pediatrician’s instructions)
  • Laser: sometimes laser therapy is used to target and destroy the wart

Usually the wart will fall off within a few days after treatment, but sometimes more than one treatment session is necessary to successful remove the growth.

If your child has plantar warts or warts in embarrassing places then they will most likely need to turn to their pediatrician to treat the problem. Call your children’s doctor today and let them know that you want to discuss wart removal options for your child or teen.

By contactus@amherstpeds.com
March 22, 2020
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Amherst Pediatrics continues to modify our operations in an effort to keep our families (both yours and ours) safe, while providing the best possible care to our communities. We will also continue to keep you up to date on the things we think you need to know as we navigate the uncharted waters of this pandemic. To that end, we will be sending these important updates to you via MyChart to keep you informed. We know you are inundated with emails and messages from all directions, but please check all emails that come your way from us so we can keep you up to date on important information. Please also check our website, as it is being updated frequently.

 

New Office Hours

Amherst Pediatrics will be open Monday-Friday 8:00 AM - 4:45 PM.

We are temporarily suspending our extended office hours (5:00 - 7:00 PM).

We are temporarily suspending our weekend office hours.

After hours, we will continue to be available as usual by phone for urgent matters and will schedule you for a virtual visit if indicated by the circumstances.

 

Well Care Visits

We continue to balance the importance of social isolation with the importance of maintaining health. Because your child’s well care visit is an important part of health maintenance, with their vaccines being a critical part of this, we continue to recommend and schedule well care visits that are associated with vaccinations. 

 

Sick Visits

On the advice of the CDC and other public health agencies, we are strongly advising that people who are ill remain at home when possible, rather than being seen in person by a health care provider. We are very fortunate to already be up and running with the ability to schedule Virtual Visits through our MyChart patient portal. By seeing you "virtually", we can continue to provide you with care and advice, while keeping you safe at home. Please see our Virtual Visits page for detailed information on how to prepare for your virtual visit.

 

The Importance of Social Distancing

Social distancing is a tool experts recommend to slow the spread of a disease passing from person to person. Simply put, it means that people stay far enough away from each other so that the coronavirus cannot spread from one person to another. Social distancing is the BEST WAY for each of us to do our part to contain the spread of the virus! It is vitally important for everyone to practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

Social Distancing Means...

  • Staying home as much as possible
  • Talking on the phone, texting, or video-chatting instead of meeting up in person
  • Keeping 6 feet away from others
  • Avoiding public transportation
  • Limiting travel
  • Working from home if you can
  • Skipping social gatherings and crowded spaces
  • Disinfecting surfaces frequently
  • Not touching others, including handshakes
  • Not sharing items you've touched
  • Following guidelines for effective hand washing

Health Smart Behaviors...

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (minimum 60% alcohol)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Keep at least 6 feet away from people
  • Stay home when you are sick and keep 6 feet away from others
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Don’t share items such as food, drinks, utensils, vapes, or similar items
  • If you your child is sick, call us and we can determine if they need to be scheduled for a Virtual Visit or be seen in our office

 

► Click here to view our COVID-19 UPDATE archive

By contactus@amherstpeds.com
March 19, 2020
Tags: coronavirus   COVID-19   pandemic  

The single most important way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is through social distancing. This is true whether you are ill or well. For this reason, Amherst Pediatrics is now scheduling Virtual Visits to allow you to stay home when you are sick, while still being "seen" by one of our providers. Before you can be seen in a Virtual Visit, there are a few important things you need to do. Please click on the image below to learn more about preparing for and scheduing your Virtual Visit.





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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

 

Please note temporary office hours
during the COVID-19 pandemic

New Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM - 4:45 PM.
We are temporarily suspending our extended office hours (5:00 - 7:00 PM).

We are temporarily suspending our weekend office hours.
After hours, we will continue to be available as usual by phone for urgent matters and can schedule you for a virtual visit if indicated by the circumstances (see below). 


Due to the elevated level of illness in our communities, 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.

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