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Posts for category: Child Healthcare

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.
By Amherst Pediatrics
January 05, 2022
Category: Child Healthcare
Does My Child Have a UTIWhen bacteria enter the bladder or the kidneys this can result in a urinary tract infection. Unfortunately, UTIs are quite common in infants and kids, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms so that you can turn to your child’s pediatrician for treatment. After all, a urinary tract infection will not get better without treatment.

There are Two Main Types of Urinary Tract Infections

Children can develop either an upper or a lower urinary tract infection. An upper infection impacts the bladder while a lower infection impacts the kidneys. Some symptoms may be similar, but there are distinguishable differences between the two. Urinary tract infections can be caused by various bacteria, but seven main types of bacteria are most likely to cause UTIs. The bacteria that accounts for the majority of UTIs in children is E. coli.

Know the Risk Factors for Childhood UTIs

If your child has been on antibiotics for a long period of time, or if they have a weakened immune system, these are factors that could increase their risk for developing a UTI. It’s important to speak with their pediatrician to discuss ways to lessen their risk for these infections, particularly if they are dealing with frequent infections. Sometimes, structural abnormalities within the urinary tract can be to blame for UTIs.

Recognize the Signs and Symptoms

To ensure that your child gets the proper medical attention when necessary, you first need to be able to spot the warning signs of a UTI. It can be a bit more challenging to recognize these symptoms in infants and young children who may not be able to tell you the symptoms and issues they are experiencing. UTIs in babies may cause:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Fever
  • Increased irritability
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite (fewer feedings)
  • Exhaustion
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
Older children may exhibit these symptoms,
  • An increased urgency or need to go to the bathroom
  • Pain with urination
  • Wetting the bed
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower back pain (more common in lower urinary tract infections)
If your child is displaying symptoms of a UTI, it’s important that you call their pediatrician right away to schedule an appointment. A round of antibiotic therapy can help to clear up the UTI so they start feeling better right away.
By Amherst Pediatrics
December 20, 2021
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Constipation  
Your Infant and ConstipationIt’s not typically common for infants to have issues with constipation; however, sometimes it happens. While many babies won’t deal with constipation they may have irregular bowel movements as their bodies naturally try to adjust to a set schedule. If you are concerned it’s always best to talk with your child’s pediatrician. Recognize the real signs of constipation in your infant.

Know the Warning Signs

For your child to truly be dealing with constipation, here are some of the warning signs:
  • Stools that are hard to pass
  • Infrequent stools
  • Excessive straining or straining more than normal
  • Swollen belly with gas
  • Painful stomach cramps
  • Stools that resemble small hard pellets, as well as stools that are too soft
  • Diarrhea-like stools
Treating Constipation in Infants

For an adult, they may simply take an over-the-counter laxative to help them go, but treating constipation in infants is different. You never want to give them an over-the-counter laxative or suppository unless otherwise told by your pediatrician. If your child is old enough to eat solid or strained foods, you may want to increase their fruits and vegetables to increase fiber intake.

If your infant is too young for strained food, give them just a couple of ounces of prune or apple juice each day to see if that helps soften the stools. If the stools are too loose, lessen the amount of juice you’re giving them.

When to See a Pediatrician

It’s important that you call your pediatrician if you are ever concerned about your infant’s health. No question is a silly one, especially when it comes to your child. You should call your pediatrician if you notice blood in your baby’s stool, if home remedies do not improve their constipation, or if your baby is fussy due to stomach cramping or pain.

If your little one is having trouble going to the bathroom, a pediatrician will be able to provide you with the answers you need, as well as tips for how to best address the issue. A pediatrician is going to be invaluable, especially for new parents, as they navigate parenthood. Talk to your pediatrician today.


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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 - 6:45 PM
Saturday:8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Sunday:8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Contact Us

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.