Our Blog

Posts for: January, 2022

By Amherst Pediatrics
January 17, 2022
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Fever  
FeverA fever is one of the biggest concerns that parents have when it comes to their infant or child. We understand that a fever can sometimes be considered an emergency and you’ll need prompt medical attention. Of course, the good news is that often a fever will improve on its own. Know when your child’s fever warrants seeing their pediatrician for care.

What is considered a fever?

A healthy body temperature is 98.6 F; however, many things can elevate a person’s temperature including intense exercise, so not all temperature fluctuations mean that your child is sick; however, an illness or infection can certainly shift your body’s temperature as it works to fight off the bacteria or virus.

What can cause a fever?

There are quite a few reasons why your child might be dealing with a fever. Some common causes include:
  • Viral infections (e.g. cold; flu)
  • Bacterial infections
  • Severe sunburns
  • Heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  • Inflammatory health problems
  • Side effects of certain medications
When to see a pediatrician for your infant’s fever?

A fever that develops in an infant (babies under 3 months old) is often a far more serious matter than fevers in children. If your infant develops a fever of 100.4 F or over, it’s highly recommended that you bring them to your pediatrician right away for care.

When to seek medical attention for your child’s fever?

By the age of 3 years old, most children will have developed at least one fever. While some fevers won’t be anything to worry about and will go away on their own, it is important to know when your child’s fever requires medical attention. You should call your pediatrician if:
  • Your child’s fever persists for more than 5 days
  • The fever is over 104 F
  • Your child has symptoms of dehydrated
  • Medications aren’t helping to reduce their fever
If you are ever concerned about the health of your child, it’s important that you call your pediatrician. They can talk to you over the phone and discuss your child’s symptoms in greater detail to determine whether they need to come in for treatment. If your child has a fever and you’re worried, call your pediatrician right away to ease your worries.

** Note: information is changing rapidly. We wil update this page as we learn more **

Protecting yourself and others
▪ Get vaccinated and receive your booster shot when eligible. Vaccine may not prevent every mild infection, but is proven to reduce infections, severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
▪ Get your flu shot. Influenza is circulating in New England and has symptoms and illness similar to, and sometimes worse than COVID.
▪ Wear a close-fitting mask in indoor public spaces and whenever social distancing isn’t possible. Use good hand hygiene, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

If you have respiratory symptoms
▪ Stay home from work or school and avoid public places.
▪ You should get tested. You can use a rapid home test kit (antigen test). If you don’t have access to a home test, testing locations can be found by going to the state’s testing webpage.
▪ Do not go to the Emergency Department to get a COVID test.
▪ Go to the Emergency Department or call 911 if you have severe symptoms such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or dizziness, inability to stay awake, or skin color changes.

If your COVID home (antigen) test is negative
▪ If symptomatic, isolate until all your symptoms resolve. Consider following it up with a molecular (PCR) test at locations within the Commonwealth or repeating the antigen test 24 hours or more later. You can find isolation and quarantine guidance on the state’s COVID website. You need to isolate when you are sick or when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms. Quarantine is for people who have been exposed to someone with COVID. Learn how to give yourself a rapid self-test.
▪ If you tested negative with a home test following an exposure to COVID, follow the current guidelines related to quarantine (see below). If you develop symptoms, you should test again.
▪ If you are still feeling ill, contact your physician or health care provider. They may wish to test you for other infections such as flu, for which specific treatment is available.

If your COVID test is positive
▪ If your home (antigen) test is positive, you do not need a PCR test. You are COVID positive.
▪ Isolate and notify your close contacts of your positive test.
▪ If your symptoms are mild, and you are not at high risk for serious complications, stay home, stay hydrated, use over-the-counter medications for symptom relief, and isolate.
▪ If you are at high risk (immunocompromised, on cancer treatment, over age 65, or have chronic lung, health, kidney, or liver disease, diabetes, or obesity), contact your health provider. Your physician may refer you for treatment.

If you have been exposed to someone who has COVID
▪ Consider testing yourself about 5 days following exposure, or if you have any symptoms.
▪ If you aren’t up to date on your COVID vaccine (primary series and booster if eligible), you should quarantine following a close contact with someone with COVID. See the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website for the most up-to-date guidance.


** Note: information is changing rapidly. We wil update this page as we learn more **

As coronavirus information and recommendations seem to change hourly, it is difficult to keep up and know what we should be doing to keep our families and communities safe. Amherst Pediatrics strives to keep up as well, and will continue to provide you with the most accurate information we can. That said, there may be no single answer to some of the questions that you have about this outbreak.

As you may know, the state has issued new guidance for the management and follow-up of COVID-19 cases and close contacts. DESE and DPH released updated protocols for schools late last week which can be found in full HERE.

A summary of key points and changes is outlined below.

ISOLATION (for those who tested positive, regardless of vaccination status)

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house. If you have a fever, continue to stay home until you are fever-free for 24 hours or more. 
  • Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.

 
QUARANTINE (for those who were  exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19)

FOR FULLY VACCINATED INDIVIDUALS: If your child is vaccinated (it has been more than 14 days since they completed the primary series of Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson): 

  • They do not need to quarantine but should wear a mask around others for the 10 days following exposure. At school, this includes while outdoors unless more than 6’ from others. 
  • A test on Day 5 from last exposure is recommended. 
  • If you develop any symptoms, stay home and get a COVID test. 

FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNVACCINATED OR NOT FULLY VACCINATED: If your child is not fully vaccinated (they have less than 2 doses of Pfizer) or it has not been 14 days since their second dose: 

  • IF your child is part of a school testing program and they were exposed at school, they may participate in the 5 day Test & Stay program which allows them to continue to go to school provided they are asymptomatic and continue to test negative.
  • Children who are not in a school testing program or were exposed to a case outside of the school setting, must quarantine at home for 5 full days.
  • Though not required, an antigen or PCR test on day 5 is recommended to help rule out COVID infection. 
  • For days 6-10 after exposure, wear a well-fitting mask around others.
  • If you cannot quarantine, wear masks around others for 10 full days.  
  • If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home


TESTING: Both PCR and antigen tests are accepted, including home tests for all testing purposes. PCR tests are still the best option and are recommended. 

SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS (applies to those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated) 

Those with symptoms (see list below) should stay out until: 

  • A negative test result is received (PCR or antigen)
  • Symptoms are improved
  • Have been without a fever for at least 24 hours. 

If your child has symptoms and you do not want to have them tested for COVID in order to return to school, they must: 

  • Isolate at home for at least 5 days from symptom onset.
  • They may return on day 6 if they have been without fever for at least 24 hours and symptoms are improved. 

Please note: if the person with symptoms was a close contact they should follow the quarantine or isolation guidance above.
 
REMINDER: Please do not send your child to school if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea


Due to the elevated level of illness in our communities, 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.

 

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.



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.