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Posts for category: Child Health Care

By Amherst Pediatrics
June 22, 2022
Category: Child Health Care

Learn more about developmental and behavioral disorders in children.

A growing child can greatly benefit from visiting their pediatrician regularly for routine checkups. No, a child doesn’t have to be sick to visit the doctor. These regular wellness visits can help our pediatrician spot issues such as developmental delays and behavioral disorders that require special care and treatment. Here’s what you should know about common developmental and behavioral problems in kids and how a pediatrician can help,

Types of Developmental Disorders

Developmental disorders fall under the categories of,

  • Cognitive (e.g., mental retardation; learning disabilities)
  • Motor (e.g., cerebral palsy; muscular dystrophy; spinal atrophies)
  • Behavior (e.g., anxiety disorders; autism; ADHD)
  • Vision, hearing and speech (e.g., delayed language acquisition; hearing or vision impairments)

Some of the most common types of developmental disorders in children include,

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • ADHD
  • Genetic disorders
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Spina bifida
  • Down syndrome

Signs of Developmental and Behavioral Disorders

Warning signs and when they appear seem to vary from child to child. Some parents notice developmental delays as early as infancy, while others may not notice these concerns until they start school. Some warning signs include,

  • Difficulty learning and academic troubles
  • Delayed speech, unclear speech or difficulties communicating with others
  • Social withdrawal
  • Delay in crawling, sitting up or walking
  • Has trouble completing everyday tasks such as grooming, washing hands or getting dressed
  • Has trouble focusing on an activity
  • Intense or extreme behaviors such as aggression, anxiety, irritability or frequent temper tantrums

When to See a Doctor

If you notice any of these delays, we understand how concerning this can be. The good news is that you don’t immediately need to run to a specialist for help. All you have to do is turn to your pediatrician for an evaluation. A pediatrician can perform a thorough assessment to determine if your child may be displaying signs of a developmental or behavioral disorder. Your pediatrician may recommend more in-depth testing, which may require turning to a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Suppose your child displays behavioral issues, or you notice that they aren’t reaching certain developmental milestones. In that case, it’s important to speak with your pediatrician at their next appointment or to call their office to find out if you should bring your child in for an evaluation.

By Amherst Pediatrics
April 20, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Injury   Illness  

Here’s your first-aid guide on how to care for minor childhood injuries.

In a perfect world, your child would never get injured, sick, or hurt; unfortunately, this just isn’t 100 percent preventable. Children are deeply curious and far more fearless than adults, which often means that they leave themselves prone to injuries and incidents along the way. Fortunately, most minor illnesses and injuries can be treated from the comfort of home.

Quick and Dirty First Aid Tips for Injuries

Minor burns, cuts, scrapes, and wounds won’t necessarily bring your child into the pediatrician’s office but you do want to know that you are doing everything you can to treat the injury. For minor scrapes, cuts, and wounds, gently clean the area with water to wash away any debris. If there is blood, apply pressure first for about 10-15 minutes before washing the wound. Then apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage to the area to prevent an infection.

If your child is dealing with a strain or sprain, using the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method can certainly help. Ask your child’s healthcare provider about any over-the-counter pain medications they can use that might help them manage their pain as the injury heals.

When to Call Your Pediatrician

It’s important to recognize when injuries can be treated at home and when you need to make a trip to the pediatrician’s office. You should turn to a pediatrician if,

  • There are signs of an infection (e.g. fever; increased redness; pus or drainage)
  • There is a visible deformity after injury
  • There was a popping or snapping sound at the moment of injury
  • Pain is severe or getting worse
  • Your child can’t put weight on the injured leg, ankle or foot
  • Bleeding doesn’t stop after 10-15 minutes of applying pressure

Treating Minor Illnesses

So, what constitutes a minor illness? Minor illnesses include colds, ear infections, sore throats, and stomach flu. Viral infections like colds and certain ear infections don’t respond to antibiotics, so often the best course of action is to keep your child well hydrated and rested so the body can fight the infection. Of course, you also want to know when you should turn to a pediatrician for treatment. It’s time to call your pediatrician if,

  • Your child is dealing with a severe sore throat and is having trouble swallowing or breathing
  • Your child’s fever is high (102.5 F for children 3 months to 3 years and 103 F in children older than 3 years)
  • Their symptoms are getting worse or aren’t improving with home care
  • Your child is showing signs of dehydration
  • Your child is acting strangely (e.g. severely lethargic; confused)
  • New symptoms appear
  • Symptoms persist for more than 5 days

If you are ever concerned about an illness or injury your child is dealing with, it’s always best to play it safe and turn schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician.

By Amherst Pediatrics
March 22, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Well-Child Visit  
Well-Child Care VisitsA healthy child begins with the right doctor. A pediatrician can help you and your child make the best and most informed decisions regarding their health. It’s important to have a pediatrician that you trust to make sure that your child always gets the preventive care they deserve. And don’t forget the importance of regular wellness checkups with a pediatrician.

What is a well-child visit?

While newborns and infants have different schedules when it comes to how often they need to see their pediatrician, children over the age of 3 years old still need to come in once a year for a routine checkup.

These checkups are designed to check your child’s physical, mental and emotional health, and these checkups are not to be missed (no matter how healthy your child might seem). These visits are comprehensive because they are designed to help prevent health problems from occurring.
During your child’s checkup, a pediatrician will,
  • Check and record their vitals (e.g. blood pressure; heart rate)
  • Make sure they are meeting developmental milestones
  • Screen for certain illnesses
  • Administer necessary immunizations
  • Providing advice and health education to both children and their parents
A pediatrician focuses on both the physical and mental wellbeing of your little one to make sure they are getting the proper care they need. A pediatrician also knows that parents will have a lot of questions for them along the way. When you come in for your child’s appointment it’s a good idea to jot down those questions so that your child’s doctor can answer them for you.

Have concerns about your child’s health, whether it’s physical symptoms or behavioral issues? A pediatrician is here to help with all of those issues and more. Remember, our medical team wants to work with you to make sure your little one always has thorough and individualized medical care.

If it’s time to schedule your little one’s next checkup, or if you have questions about the pediatric medical services your pediatrician offers, don’t hesitate to call them today. After all—your child’s health is always a top priority.
By Amherst Pediatrics
August 13, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Cradle CapNoticing rough, scaly patches of skin on your newborn’s scalp? If so, this is a sign of cradle cap. This condition (also known as infantile seborrheic dermatitis) is fairly common in newborns and typically isn’t anything to worry about. It’s similar to dandruff for adults; however, while it might not be harmful or painful for your little one, you may be curious to know how to get rid of it. While it will go away on its own, there are things you can do from the comfort of your own home to treat symptoms of cradle cap.

First, is it actually cradle cap?

It’s important to be able to pinpoint the signs and symptoms of cradle crap. This condition most often occurs within the first 2-4 weeks of a baby’s life. This condition is characterized by oily, scaly, white or yellow patches that may crust over. While it might look unpleasant it isn’t painful and shouldn’t itch, but may be slightly red. You may also find these scaly patches on other parts of the body including the nose, ears and groin.

If the patches are itchy or painful, this could be a sign of another skin condition that will warrant seeing your pediatrician for an accurate diagnosis.

Should I seek treatment from a pediatrician?

Your baby’s cradle cap should go away on its own with a few weeks or months. You can care for cradle cap by simply using a mild shampoo and by shampooing your baby’s scalp every few days, which can help to remove scales. It’s important that you don’t scrub or become too aggressive with the scalp; however, if your child’s symptoms are severe or aren’t responding to home care, then it’s time to turn to a pediatrician who can prescribe a special, medicated cream or shampoo.

If you ever have concerns about your child’s health or any symptoms they may have, even minor ones, it’s important to bring it up with a qualified pediatrician that can address these concerns and also provide a fast diagnosis. No concern is too small when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your child.
By Amherst Pediatrics
May 04, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Ear Infection  
Ear InfectionWondering if your child might be dealing with an ear infection?

While you will certainly know when you’re dealing with an ear infection; unfortunately kids, particularly newborns and toddlers, can’t tell you that they are experiencing ear pain. Ear infections are incredibly common in young children, with five out of six children experiencing at least one ear infection by the time they turn three years old. Know the warning signs and when to turn to your pediatrician for treatment.

They may have trouble sleeping

It’s not too surprising that with pressure building up in the middle ear due to bacteria that your child may get fussy or even throw a tantrum about going to bed. Children with ear infections often toss and turn and feel worse when they lie down. If your little one suddenly starts crying when they lie down this could be a sign of an ear infection.

They tug at their ears

While a toddler won’t be able to tell you that their ear hurts, they can show you. You may be able to discern whether your child could have an ear infection by whether or not they are tugging and pulling at their ears. Again, the pressure inside the ears can be incredibly uncomfortable and even painful, and children might fidget with their ears to minimize the discomfort.

They could have a fever

If a child has a middle ear infection, commonly, they could also have a fever. If your child’s ear looks red, if they tug at their ear and seem fussier lately, and they have a fever over 100 degrees F then it’s probably time to see a pediatrician.

Their ears might drain

Another telltale sign of an ear infection in your little one is the presence of fluid or pus draining from the ear. If there is the presence of blood in the fluid this might be a sign of a ruptured eardrum. While the eardrum will heal on its own, it’s still a good idea to see your pediatrician if pus or fluid is draining from your child’s ear.

If your child is displaying symptoms of an ear infection, or if you’re concerned about your child’s recurring ear infections, it’s important to talk with your pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to dispense the proper medication and discuss other ways to reduce your child’s risk of developing future infections.


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Our Address
31 Hall Dr.
Amherst, MA 01002
Tel: (413) 253-3773
Fax: (413) 256-0215
Email: [email protected]
 

Please note temporary office hours
during the COVID-19 pandemic

Patient Care Hours:
Monday-Friday

8:00 AM - 4:45 PM: In-office and MyChart Telehealth visits
4:45 PM - 7:00 PM: MyChart Telehealth visits only

Sat-Sun
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
: MyChart Telehealth visits only

Due to the pandemic, we ask that you 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.