Our Blog

Posts for category: Child Health Care

By Amherst Pediatrics
November 07, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: ADHD  

It’s normal for children to act out. You want your child to test boundaries and show independence, which are both normal milestones in a child’s development. If your child is demonstrating inattentiveness, fidgeting, not listening, and other behaviors on a regular basis, your child could have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD.

The Child Development Institute lists the characteristics of ADHD as:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity

These characteristics can contribute to some noticeable signs and symptoms, including:

  • Repetitive motions, like clapping hands
  • Continuous fidgeting and squirming
  • Inability to remain seated for an extended period of time
  • Running or climbing at inappropriate times
  • Excessive talking and blurting out comments
  • Inability to focus on details
  • Problems listening and following directions
  • Difficulty getting and staying organized
  • Frequently losing or forgetting things

ADHD can be difficult to recognize and can easily go untreated, which is why an ADHD screening from your pediatrician is so important. Your pediatrician has effective screening tools to help identify ADHD. If your child has ADHD, there are several therapies your pediatrician may recommend, including:

Behavioral Therapy, which involves both child and parents; this type of therapy can help establish techniques to limit destructive, aggressive, and inappropriate behaviors.

Lifestyle Modification, which involves dietary and exercise alterations; sugar intake is reduced, and vitamin and nutrient intake is increased. Exercise is increased, to help focus on healthy behaviors.

Medication Therapy, which involves using medications to increase focus, improve brain function, and increase self-control. Medications may include Adderall and Ritalin, among others.

If ADHD goes untreated, it can lead to problems when your child becomes an adult. Some of the ways ADHD can affect an adult include:

  • Destructive and harmful behaviors
  • Poor grades in school
  • Poor performance at work
  • Inability to form friendships
  • Aggressive, belligerent behaviors
  • Moodiness, depression, and frustration
  • Physical growth issues
  • Difficulty sleeping

If you are worried about your child having ADHD, you need to consult with your pediatrician. An ADHD screening is easy, and can help identify ADHD, so it can be treated. To find out more about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of ADHD, call your pediatrician today.

By Amherst Pediatrics
October 24, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Fever   Sick Child Visits  

When your child is sick, it’s comforting to know that help and advice from your pediatrician are just a phone call away. So, what happens when your child is very ill and is getting worse? Your pediatrician has a special option for you. It’s called a sick child visit.

A sick child visit can help your child feel better and recover more quickly. You need to schedule a sick child visit with the pediatrician if your child has a fever which:

  • Has lasted longer than 2 days
  • Is higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit for children under 2 months
  • Is at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit in older children

You also need to schedule a sick child visit if your child has:

  • An ear infection
  • A bacterial or viral infection
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Headaches and sinus problems
  • Allergies or asthma
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rashes and other skin irritations
  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Injuries from an accident or sport

When you bring your child in for a sick child visit, your pediatrician will:

  • Record your child’s symptoms and health history
  • Perform a complete physical examination
  • Measure and record your child’s vital signs

Your pediatrician may also order laboratory testing and x-rays to help determine the cause or extent of an injury or illness.

Your pediatrician will also prescribe any necessary medications to make your child more comfortable and eliminate the illness. Medications may include:

  • Antibiotics, to eliminate bacteria causing the infection
  • Antivirals, to kill the virus causing illness
  • Anti-inflammatory medication, to reduce swelling
  • Pain medication, to make your child more comfortable
  • Specialized medications to treat asthma, allergies, and other conditions

When you bring your child in for a sick child visit with the pediatrician, you can be assured of excellent, compassionate care. A sick child visit can help your child heal and recover more quickly, and be more comfortable.

By Amherst Pediatrics
October 11, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Fever   Child’s Fever  

When your child is sick, it can be difficult to know what to do. When your child has a fever, it can be especially scary, because a fever may indicate an infection. It’s good to know what to do when your child has a fever, and whether you should bring your child in for a visit with the pediatrician.

In most cases, fever is easy to treat, and it usually doesn’t lead to a more serious condition. Fevers can come on due to exposure to a virus like a cold or the flu. However, fever is also a common indicator of a bacterial infection.

When your child has a fever, you can try a few easy remedies to help your child feel better. Remember to:

  • Give your child infant or children’s Tylenol to reduce pain
  • Give your child a sponge bath or apply cold washcloths to your child’s skin
  • Have your child suck on popsicles

You should bring your child to see the pediatrician if:

  • Your child is under four months old and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Your child is over four months old and has a temperature of over 104 degrees
  • Your child still has a fever after 2 to 3 days

You should also bring your child to visit the pediatrician if your child’s fever is accompanied by any of these signs or symptoms:

  • A rash or bruising
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nonstop crying
  • A stiff neck
  • Seizures
  • Pain while urinating
  • Decreased urine output

A fever is a common health concern for children, and you can enjoy peace of mind, because you will know what to do when your child has a fever.

If you are in doubt about how to care for your child’s fever, your pediatrician can help. Just a simple phone call to your pediatrician can put your mind at ease. To find out more about caring for your child’s fever, and other pediatric medical questions, talk with an expert. Call your pediatrician today.

By Amherst Pediatrics
September 19, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Behavioral Health  

Children exhibit all kinds of interesting behaviors. Many of these behaviors are normal boundary testing, showing independence, and other healthy milestones you want to see.

Children can also exhibit behaviors you don’t want to see, like aggressiveness, sadness, and fear. Your pediatrician is an expert on child development and can help you with your child’s behavioral health.

First let’s look at normal behaviors you want to see. These include:

  • Defiance, because your child may be testing boundaries and exerting independence
  • Withdrawing, because your child needs to show autonomy, and wants to accomplish things without your help
  • Acting out, because your child may be reacting to major changes in life, like moving to a new school, divorce, or death of a close family member

Now, let’s look at behaviors that could be warning signs of a behavioral disorder. These include:

  • Threatening or harming others, pets, or themselves
  • Damaging possessions belonging to others
  • Having difficulty forming or keeping relationships with others
  • Showing frequent signs of unhappiness or depression
  • Demonstrating anxiety about going to school
  • Exhibiting defiance and hostility toward authority figures
  • Frequently lying, arguing, stealing, or skipping school
  • Using drugs, drinking, or smoking at an early age

If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, it’s time for a behavioral health evaluation from your child’s pediatrician.

When you bring your child in for a visit with the pediatrician, a complete medical examination is necessary to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions which may be causing your child’s behavior or making it worse. Your pediatrician may also request additional testing including lab work and other studies.

Your pediatrician will develop a treatment plan designed to help with your child’s behavior. Treatment may include:

  • Individual, group, and family counseling
  • Lifestyle modification including diet and exercise
  • Medication if necessary to modify behavior
  • Additional specialty care with a child psychologist

Your child’s behavioral health is just as important as physical health. You want the best for your child, so call your pediatrician today.

By Amherst Pediatrics
September 08, 2022
Category: Child Health Care
Tags: Asthma  

Need help controlling your child’s asthma symptoms? Your pediatrician can help.

We know that seeing your child cough, wheeze and have trouble taking a full breath can be more than a little scary, but it’s essential to know that your pediatrician can provide your child with a custom asthma treatment plan that helps get their symptoms under control. Your pediatrician can provide your child with the care and treatment they need to lead rich, healthy lives without being at the mercy of their asthma symptoms.

So, how will your child's doctor treat their asthma?

First, We’ll Create an Action Plan

Your pediatrician can provide you and your child with the adequate asthma control needed to avoid missed school days, sleepless nights and trips to the hospital. Your pediatrician can create a customized action plan just for your child. This action plan is designed to help you and your child get better control over their symptoms.

This plan will have specific instructions on ways to manage your child’s asthma and what to do when symptoms flare up, so you are never confused about what to do when your child starts to notice symptoms or if their symptoms worsen.

Next, We’ll Prescribe Medication

In most cases, your children’s doctors will prescribe two medications to manage childhood asthma. The medications and doses prescribed by your pediatrician will depend on the severity and frequency of your child’s symptoms. The two most commonly used asthma medications include,

  • Controlled medication: This is something your child will take every day, even if they feel fine. This medication helps prevent inflammation in the airways and reduces the risk of an attack.
  • Fast-acting medication: Even though controlled medication can significantly reduce airway inflammation and the likelihood of attacks, sometimes triggers such as exercise or stress can still exacerbate your child’s asthma symptoms. When you notice the very beginnings of a flare-up, your child must take this fast-acting medication to alleviate symptoms quickly.

We May Recommend a Flu Shot

If your child has ever had to deal with the flu before, you know from firsthand experience that asthma and the flu do not mix! The flu virus can exacerbate asthma symptoms and lead to more severe complications such as pneumonia. This is why your pediatrician may encourage you to get your child vaccinated against the flu every year.



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Tuesday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
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Thursday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Friday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
Saturday:8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday:8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

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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.