Our Blog

Posts for: November, 2021

By Amherst Pediatrics
November 17, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Prediabetes  
PrediabetesDiabetes is on the rise, and not just in adults. More and more children in the US are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes used to be referred to as adult-onset diabetes, but today children are more at risk for prediabetes and types 2 diabetes than ever before. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent your child from developing diabetes.

Why is prediabetes a concern?

Okay, so prediabetes isn’t considered full-blown diabetes, so why should parents be worried? Well, being prediabetic will eventually lead to diabetes if the issue isn’t addressed by a pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to spot prediabetes through a simple blood test to check blood sugar levels. After all, blood sugar levels will be elevated even before your child develops type 2 diabetes. By catching elevated blood sugar levels early, your pediatrician can provide you and your child with simple lifestyle changes to see if that lowers their blood glucose naturally.

Are there warning signs?

The problem is that elevated blood sugar often doesn’t cause symptoms until a child develops type 2 diabetes. So, your child could be prediabetic and not even know it. That’s why it’s a good idea to speak with your pediatrician if your child has risk factors. Your pediatrician will decide if blood tests are necessary to check glucose levels. If prediabetes isn’t checked and your child develops type 2 diabetes you may begin to notice these symptoms,
  • Wounds and injuries that are slow to heal
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger or thirst
  • Fatigue
What are the risk factors?

It’s important to recognize whether your child may be at risk for prediabetes. Some risk factors include,
  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Eating an ultra-processed diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle/lack of exercise (children should get at least one hour of aerobic exercise a day)
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • A mother with gestational diabetes (diabetes that develops during pregnancy)
If you are concerned about your child’s risk for prediabetes or developing type 2 diabetes, it’s important that you speak to your pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to provide screening tools to monitor your child’s blood glucose, as well as lifestyle recommendations

By Amherst Pediatrics
November 08, 2021
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Concussion  
ConcussionA concussion is a traumatic brain injury that occurs as a result of a blow to the head. Since concussions can be serious, it’s important that you’re able to recognize the telltale signs of a concussion so you can seek immediate treatment. While your pediatrician may be able to provide you with immediate treatment, any serious symptoms should be addressed right away at your nearest emergency room.

What can cause a concussion?

The majority of concussions in children occur while playing sports; however, a traumatic injury or accident such as a car accident or bad fall can also leave your child dealing with a head injury. Some concussions may lead to a loss of consciousness, but most of the time this isn’t the case.

What are the warning signs?

Some of the most common symptoms of a concussion include:
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of balance or unsteadiness
  • Trouble with cognition, particularly attention, focus, and memory
A child may look dazed or slur their speech. They may also be more irritable and fussy, as well as sensitive to certain lights or noises.

If your child is alert and responds and acts normally these are often signs that the head injury is mild and probably won’t require emergency care; however, even if your child doesn’t require urgent care you should schedule an appointment to see your child’s pediatrician within the next 48 hours.

When is a concussion considered an emergency?

You should take your child to the ER right away if they develop these symptoms after a head injury:
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness for more than 30 seconds
  • A worsening headache
  • Fluid draining from the eyes or ears
  • Vision problems including dilated pupils
  • Persistent tinnitus
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Changes in behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble with coordination such as stumbling or falling
  • Seizures
  • Persistent dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Disorientation
If your child is showing signs of a concussion, we understand how scary this can be. Don’t hesitate to call your pediatrician right away, who can advise you as to what next steps to take.

Following a meeting and a unanimous (14-0) vote from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the CDC has recommended Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11, delivered in two doses spaced three weeks apart. 

In clinical trials in children ages 5-11, the vaccine was 90% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and there were no serious vaccine-related safety concerns. The vaccine offers strong protection against COVID-19 to young children amid the ongoing pandemic.

Pfizer’s vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine that is FDA authorized for use in children. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently authorized for adults 18 and older. 

Getting your child's COVID-19 vaccine at Amherst Pediatrics

Amherst Pediatrics is providing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to our eligible patients aged 5-11 years of age through specially scheduled COVID-19 vaccine clinics. COVID-19 vaccine clinic appointments can only be scheduled through your MyChart patient portal.

We can only offer appointment slots for the number of vaccines shipped to us. If you do you not see any available appointments, please keep watching for more openings. These will continue to open as additional vaccine is shipped to us.

We are not able to give COVID-19 vaccine at the flu clinics as the COVID-19 vaccine administration requires additional time which we cannot accommodate during the flu clinics. For this reason, while patients may receive a flu vaccine at the COVID-19 clinic, they cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccine during a flu clinic appointment.

The COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines.

If your child has an appointment already scheduled with a provider and we have COVID-19 vaccine available, we will offer it to your child, even if they will be receiving other vaccines. 

For patients turning 12 years of age before a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC recommends giving the dose appropriate to the age of the individual at the time the vaccine is due.  ie., if they receive the pediatric dose as a first dose but then turn 12 years old, they should receive the 12 and older dose when it is next due.

We do NOT have COVID-19 vaccine for patients ages 12 years and older. You will need to go into the community for that vaccine.

We are not able to maintain a cancellation list.  Please keep checking the portal for more openings.

We cannot schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments over the phone. You must utilize this portal for scheduling.

Thank you all for your patience! 




Office Hours
Monday:8:00 AM - 6:45 PM
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.