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Posts for category: Child Healthcare

By Amherst Pediatrics
September 22, 2021
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Cleft Lips   Cleft Palate  
Cleft LipsThe day your child is born is one of the most exciting moments in a parent’s life. Of course, finding out your precious newborn has a cleft lip or palate can make things a little more complicated. Luckily, a pediatrician can help you determine the best way to treat your child’s cleft lip or cleft palate to put your mind at ease.
 
Why should a cleft lip or cleft palate be treated?

A cleft lip and palate can present many challenges if left untreated including serious hearing, speech, and swallowing problems. As you can imagine, a cleft lip or palate can affect a child’s speech. Children born with these birth defects are also more likely to deal with recurring ear infections and even hearing loss. By repairing this birth defect as soon as possible we can minimize these issues.

Most children will undergo a cleft lip repair between 3-6 months old, while children will often get a cleft palate repair within the first 12 months. Consequent surgeries may be required later on depending on a variety of factors, including the severity of the defect.
 
How is a cleft lip and palate treated?

Surgery is the only way to correct a cleft lip or palate. The goal of this surgery is to not only improve your child’s appearance but also make it easier for them to speak, chew, or hear. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so your child will be asleep throughout the procedure.

To repair a cleft lip, a surgeon will make incisions on both sides of the defect and then stitch the two pieces of tissue together to close the gap, which will greatly improve the shape and appearance of your child’s lip. A cleft palate repair is also performed under general anesthesia and involves making incisions on both sides of the palate to restructure and rebuild the roof of the mouth.
 
If your child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate and you want to talk to us about their treatment options, then turn to your pediatrician to learn more. Your pediatrician is always here to provide you and your little one with the best care possible.
By Amherst Pediatrics
June 23, 2021
Category: Child Healthcare
Pediatric Urinary IncontinenceWhile children under 3 years old will not have control over their bladders, older kids that still have issues with bladder control may have something known as urinary incontinence or enuresis. As a pediatrician, we understand that this issue can be distressing for kids and their parents. Here’s what you should know if your child is dealing with daytime or bedtime enuresis.
 
When to See a Pediatrician

Accidents happen, but if bedwetting or daytime enuresis is becoming quite frequent in older children then it’s worth seeing your pediatrician for a closer evaluation. Girls happen to gain bladder control a little faster than boys. Girls are often diagnosed with enuresis if they continue to have bladder control issues past the age of 5, while it’s often diagnosed in boys after age 6.
 
The Causes of Enuresis

There are many reasons why your child might be dealing with enuresis, which is another reason to see a pediatrician for answers. Whether your child is dealing with nighttime or daytime enuresis, or both, gives us some idea of what the cause might be. Common causes of nighttime or daytime enuresis include:
  • Overactive bladder
  • Small bladder
  • Intense deep sleep
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Caffeine
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders (often obstructive sleep apnea)
  • Structural issues within the urinary tract
  • Constipation
  • Diabetes
Treating Enuresis

Sometimes enuresis goes away on its own without treatment, while other causes may require treatment. For example, a urinary tract infection will require medication to treat the infection and alleviate the enuresis. Underlying health problems such as diabetes will also require proper treatment and long-term maintenance and care.
We will evaluate your child and ask a series of questions about their symptoms, including their fluid intake, whether they drink caffeine, issues with constipation, trouble or pain with urination, and stress levels. This is will give us clues as to what might be causing your child’s symptoms. From there, we can recommend the best course of action.
 
If you have any concerns about your child’s health, whether it’s bedwetting or immunizations, your pediatrician is the first person to turn to. If your child is wetting the bed or having issues with bladder control, don’t hesitate to talk with your child’s doctor to determine the cause.
By Amherst Pediatrics
October 30, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Chicken Pox  
Your Child and Chicken PoxYou just got the call from your child’s school: someone in your kid’s class has chickenpox. This highly contagious virus isn’t usually anything to worry about, but it can certainly cause some very unpleasant symptoms for your child, including a terribly red and itchy rash all over the body and face. If you’re concerned about chickenpox, your pediatrician can tell you everything that you should know about this common childhood infection.

How can I tell that it’s chickenpox?

Since chickenpox is caused by a viral infection, most children will develop common symptoms of an infection before the rash even develops. These symptoms include:
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Stomach upset
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Loss of appetite
The rash will usually appear 1-2 days after your child has been exposed to chickenpox. This rash consists of itchy, fluid-filled blisters that crust over within 4-5 days. Some children may only develop a few blisters on their body while others may develop hundreds.

How is chickenpox treated?

It is incredibly important that you keep your child from scratching the rash, as this can lead to infection and make their symptoms worse. Several home remedies can ease discomfort and itching. Some of these include:
  • Applying calamine lotion
  • Making sure that your child is drinking enough water and staying hydrated
  • Soaking in a bath with baking soda for 20-30 minutes to reduce inflammation and pain
  • Applying cold compresses to the rash
  • Taking an over-the-counter antihistamine (talk with your pediatric doctor first before giving your child any medication)

Should my child see a doctor?

If your child is experiencing the typical symptoms of chickenpox, then chances are good that you won’t have to bring them into the office. The only thing you can do is wait. You should call your pediatrician if:
  • Your newborn is showing signs of chickenpox
  • Your child’s fever goes away and then comes back
  • Your child has a high fever
  • Some areas of the rash are getting larger or are painful (signs of infection)

Is there a way to prevent chickenpox?

The good news is that children today can be protected against chickenpox with a simple vaccine. The chickenpox vaccine is administered in two doses: the first vaccine is administered when your baby is 12 to 15 months and a second vaccine is administered at 4-6 years old.

If you want to protect your child against the chickenpox, then talk to your pediatrician about getting them vaccinated. Your child has enough to worry about, without chickenpox being one of them.
By Amherst Pediatrics
October 16, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
Tags: Asthma   Childhood Asthma  
Helping Your Child Live Well With AsthmaAsthma is one of the most common chronic disorders that pediatricians diagnose in children and teens. While there is no cure for asthma there are effective ways to manage your child’s symptoms to prevent flare-ups and attacks while also ensuring that they are able to live a full, healthy life. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of childhood asthma. Symptoms include,
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Easily winded, especially after exercise
  • A persistent cough that usually gets worse at night or after activity
  • Chest tightness or congestion
If your child is experiencing asthma symptoms, it’s important that you bring them in for a pediatric evaluation as soon as possible as untreated asthma can be dangerous. If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, here are some of the best ways to help them manage their symptoms,

Visit the pediatrician often

Even if your child’s symptoms seem to be well managed through medication and lifestyle it’s still important that you bring them into the pediatrician’s office for regular care. Your pediatrician will be able to evaluate whether their current medications are fully controlling your child’s symptoms. If symptoms aren’t improving, you should also see your pediatrician right away.

Create an asthma action plan

It’s important that you and your child’s doctor sit down and create a detailed asthma action plan that will outline how you are managing your child’s symptoms and what to do in case of an asthma attack. Within the action plan, you will include the ways in which you are currently controlling your child’s asthma as well as symptoms to look for regarding a flare-up or attack, and when to see a doctor for care.

Alter your child’s lifestyle

It’s important to talk with your pediatrician about your child’s asthma triggers. By determining what triggers their allergies (e.g. pet dander; pollen) you can also figure out ways to avoid these allergies. Avoid household products or certain chemicals that may cause asthma to flare up. Bathing pets weekly, keeping the house clean and avoiding letting your child play outdoors on high pollen days are all ways to reduce allergen exposure in your asthmatic child.

If your child is displaying symptoms of asthma, or if their symptoms aren’t being properly controlled, call our pediatric practice today to schedule an immediate evaluation. We can provide you with a customized treatment that will make your whole family breathe a little easier.
By Amherst Pediatrics
September 11, 2020
Category: Child Healthcare
 Tips to Help Your Child Eat HealthierYou want your child to lead a healthy, happy life but it can be difficult if they are picky eaters or only seem to crave junk food. If you’re having trouble making smart nutritional choices when it comes to your kids, your child’s pediatrician can help you create some healthier eating habits and map out a treatment plan if your child is currently struggling to lose excess weight.

Choose Smarter Snacks

Kids always seem hungry, so they may be begging for snacks throughout the day. Snacks should be small, and they shouldn’t be enjoyed too close to mealtimes, as this could ruin their appetite. Instead of reaching for a bag of candy or potato chips try opting for smarter snack options such as nuts, apple slices or celery with peanut butter, whole-grain crackers and cheese sticks, or hummus and carrots.

Get Your Kids Cooking

One of the best ways to get your child dedicated to nutrition is by making them an active part of the process. Cooking can be fun, especially for kids, and by cooking together they will experience a source of pride in the foods they’ve helped to make (which typically leads to them being more likely to eat it). Enjoy this quality time together and show them how eating and cooking healthy foods can be fun.

Hide Healthier Foods

Particularly at the beginning of this new nutritional journey, you may find that your child has an “aversion” to eating healthy. They may turn their nose up at broccoli, carrots or certain veggies, but don’t despair. Instead of making them eat it plain, you can hide these important veggies into dishes they already love such as whole grain mac and cheese, soups, or sandwiches.

Show Your Kids How It’s Done

Kids watch and mimic what parents do, so if parents aren’t eating healthy chances are fairly good that they won’t see a reason to eat healthily either. Therefore, it’s a good idea for parents to also show how important eating healthy can be. Lead by example and this simple habit could actually improve not just your child’s health but yours as well.

A healthy child begins with a healthy diet. If you are having concerns about your child’s health and nutrition, it’s important that you talk with a qualified pediatrician to figure out the right dietary choices for your little one.


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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.