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Posts for category: Child Healthcare

By Amherst Pediatrics
November 16, 2022
Category: Child Healthcare

Adults aren’t the only people that need mental health services. Children can suffer mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and other conditions, just like adults. If your child suffers from mental health issues, a pediatrician is an important member of your child’s healthcare team.

Children often deal with life’s stressful events. Adults have coping skills and experience that makes dealing with these events easier. Children don’t have the same resources to draw from. Life’s stressful events can have a huge impact on a child’s mental health.

Children often suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions because of:

  • Moving
  • Changing schools
  • Losing friends
  • Death of a close family member

Your child can benefit from children’s mental health services if your child is having:

  • Difficulty in school
  • Anxiety about going to school
  • Anxiety about participating in social activities
  • Frequent aches and pains
  • Fits of temper or rage
  • Frequent nightmares
  • Thoughts about self-harm or suicide

If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, your pediatrician can perform a mental health screening for your child, to help identify potential mental health issues.

These are some of the mental health issues your pediatrician can identify and help treat:

  • Fear and anxiety disorders
  • Sleeping and eating disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Manic depression and clinical depression

Your pediatrician can counsel your child on healthy ways to cope with stress and stressful events. There are also several effective ways your pediatrician can treat mental health issues, including:

  • Medications to manage anxiety, depression, and other conditions
  • Counseling about coping mechanisms to deal with stressful situations
  • Relaxation techniques to help manage stress

Children’s mental health issues can be managed effectively, with a little help from your pediatrician. Your pediatrician may also provide counseling on diet and exercise, so your child has the best chance for a healthy, happy life. To find out more about the importance of children’s mental health and how your pediatrician can help, call your pediatrician today.

By Amherst Pediatrics
August 26, 2022
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: School Physical  

When your child begins school, it’s time for your child to begin having school physicals by a pediatrician. School physicals are a great way to help ensure the continuing health of your child. They should be performed every year to make sure your child stays healthy.

Regular school physicals can help identify, prevent, and treat acute and chronic diseases including allergies, asthma, heart issues, and more. When medical issues are identified early, your child has a chance to regain health before school begins.

During your child’s school physical, your pediatrician will:

  • Perform a comprehensive physical examination
  • Check your child’s respiration, eyes, nose, throat, and ears
  • Perform a vision and hearing screening
  • Record your child’s height, weight, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature

Immunizations are another vitally important part of your child’s school physical. In fact, immunizations are required for your child to attend school. You must also show proof that your child is current on immunizations. Your pediatrician can give you the documentation you need.

According to the Centers for Disease Control or CDC, recommended and required immunizations from birth to age 18 are:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis
  • Haemophilus influenza type B
  • Polio
  • Pneumococcal conjugate
  • Rotavirus
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Chickenpox
  • Hepatitis A
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Meningococcal conjugate
  • Flu
  • Covid

If your child wants to play a sport, a sports physical may be combined with the school physical. A sports physical helps determine whether your child is healthy enough to play a sport.

During a sports physical, your pediatrician will also check your child’s balance, reflexes, flexibility, muscle strength, and breathing, to determine how your child might react while under physical stress.

Schools, sports, and exposure to other students provide a breeding ground for illness. Regular school and sports physicals, immunizations, and early treatment can help your child stay healthy during the school years and beyond. To find out more about school physicals, call your pediatrician today.

By Amherst Pediatrics
May 04, 2022
Category: Child Healthcare

Make sure your child is following a healthy, balanced diet.

One in 5 school children is considered obese in the US. So, how do we stop these statistics from getting any higher? It starts with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Your child's pediatrician can always provide some helpful tips for ensuring your child is getting the vitamins and nutrients they need.

Daily Caloric Guidelines By Age

The number of calories your child consumes every day will depend on their age and their activity levels and gender. These are the caloric guidelines you should follow,

  • 2-3 years old (both girls and boys): 1,000-1,400 calories
  • 4-8 years old (boys): 1,200-2,000 calories
  • 4-8 years old (girls): 1,200-1,800 calories
  • 9-13 years old (boys): 1,600-2,600 calories
  • 9-13 years old (girls): 1,400-2,200 calories
  • 14-18 years old (boys): 2,000-3,200 calories
  • 14-18 years old (girls): 1,800-2,400 calories

Incorporating the Right Foods into Your Child’s Diet

It’s important that your child is getting a variety of healthy foods to ensure that they get all the essential vitamins and nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy. This includes,

Lean protein: This includes seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts

Vegetables: It’s important to incorporate many vegetables into your child’s diet every day. This can include everything from leafy greens to vibrant peppers to beans. If you do choose canned vegetables, make sure to check nutrition labels to ensure that there isn’t added sugar or sodium.

Fruits: Stay away from fruit juice, which can have a ton of added sugar, and opt for fresh or frozen fruit instead. Also, limit dried fruits, which can be high in calories.

Whole grains: Whole grains provide more benefits than refined grains (e.g., white bread and rice) and include whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice.

Dairy: Include some low-fat or fat-free dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, or milk into your child’s daily diet.

While sugar won’t cause harm in moderation, it is important to limit added sugars and trans and saturated fats (found in red meat, full-fat dairy, and poultry). Wonder if your child’s diet gives them all the nutrients they need? This is something that your pediatrician can discuss with you during their next well-child visit.

Are you having challenges helping your child maintain a healthy weight? Are you concerned about their health? If so, it’s time to turn to your child’s pediatrician. They can provide you with strategies to help your child eat healthier and maintain a healthy weight.

By Amherst Pediatrics
April 06, 2022
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Ear Infections  
Ear InfectionsDoes an ear infection automatically warrant seeing a pediatrician? Here’s what you should know…
Your child is dealing with an ear infection for the first time and just like when they had their first fever, you’re pretty worried. You’re not sure how to handle it—whether they should see their pediatrician or whether it’s something you can treat at home. We understand that when your child’s sick it feels like everything around you stops. Here’s what parents should know about childhood ear infections.

What causes ear infections?

There is one major culprit that causes ear infections: the common cold. When your child comes down with a cold the fluids can sometimes get stuck in the middle ear, which can irritate the eardrum. Since the immune systems of children under 3 years old are still developing, this often means that they don’t have the antibodies necessary to fight off this infection. This means that it’s inevitable that many young children will deal with an ear infection at some point.

What are the symptoms?

It isn’t always easy to tell whether your child isn’t feeling well or what’s going on, particularly if your child is too young to tell you. Of course, there are some warning signs to be on the lookout for. You may notice that your child is irritable and fussier than usual. They may be upset more easily or cling to you. They may also have trouble sleeping. You may also notice them tugging or pulling at the ear.

On top of these common signs, they may also have a loss of appetite, upset stomach, diarrhea, fever or vomiting. If you notice any of these signs then it’s a good idea to call your pediatrician to see whether you should bring your child into the office.

How are ear infections treated?

How an ear infection is handled will really depend on the severity and cause of the infection, as well as your child’s age. In some instances, children between 6 months and 2 years may be prescribed a round of antibiotics while in other situations your pediatrician may just monitor their condition before deciding whether or not to prescribe medication.

Often, children over the age of 2 may not be prescribed medication right away; your pediatrician may take a “wait and see” approach since some ear infections clear up on their own.

If you are ever concerned about the issues or symptoms your child is experiencing, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician for advice on the next steps. This can often provide parents with the peace of mind they need to know they are doing everything for their little one.
By Amherst Pediatrics
March 01, 2022
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Peanut Allergy  
Peanut Allergies in ChildrenIn the past 15 years, we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of children with peanuts allergies, so it goes without saying that most parents are worried about giving their children peanuts; however, is the peanut a food to avoid, even in children that aren’t presenting with allergies? How do you know if your child has an allergy to peanuts? A pediatrician can provide you with the information you need on peanut allergies.

Is it safe to incorporate peanuts into my child’s diet?

Research shows that introducing a small number of peanut products to your baby’s diet may actually reduce their risk for an allergy. This means everything from adding a little bit of peanut butter to peanut powder to their food. You can introduce your child to peanut-based products at around 4-6 months old.

Is my child at risk for a peanut allergy?

It is important to recognize if your child is at high risk for a peanut allergy. If your child has an egg allergy or has severe eczema they may be more likely to have a peanut allergy and should be properly screened by a pediatrician, as even trace amounts of peanut products could cause a reaction. A skin or blood test may be performed to check your child’s response to peanuts and look for allergy signs.

What are the signs of a peanut allergy in children?

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, often coming on suddenly and lasting for hours. Mild symptoms may include hives on the face and mouth or a rash. Signs of a more severe allergic reaction include:
  • Widespread hives
  • Tongue or facial swelling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of the lips
If your child is experiencing symptoms of a severe peanut allergy it’s important to call 911 or to head to your local emergency room for immediate medical attention.

My child has a peanut allergy. Now what?

While there isn’t a way to cure a peanut allergy the best treatment option is to simply avoid consuming peanuts and peanut products. Your child’s pediatrician can provide you with an extensive list of products your child will need to avoid. Make sure that they also don’t share food with other kids at school. Your pediatrician may also prescribe an EpiPen, which is to be used if your child has a severe allergic reaction. Your pediatrician may also recommend that your child see a pediatric allergist who can provide further and more specialized recommendations.

If your child is showing signs of a peanut allergy, call your child’s pediatrician today to schedule an evaluation. If you simply have questions about incorporating peanuts into your child’s diet to reduce their risk for an allergy, your pediatrician can also provide you with expert advice.


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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.