Are medical forms part of your child's back-to-school checklist? Parents, you can use our secure patient portal to log in and access your child's records. You can print out immunization records (the KCI form) and recent physical exams (in school-friendly format) all prefilled with your child's information, ready to submit to your child's school! Just go to redbudpediatrics.comand click on "patient portal" right next to the "home" button on the top menu. Check it out!
We had a great Saturday morning getting dozens of Teddys, Bunnies, Snakes, Seahorses and other assorted stuffed animals and Dollies ready for school this fall! Not one of them cried with their shots :) The staff and I had a great time with all the kids and parents - thanks for a fun morning!
Many thanks to my cousins Sandra and Eric Denneler for "freshening" my office with some wonderful new decor! Sandra is responsible for our Redbud logo and all the cute designs we use in our office and correspondence. You can see many more photos of the updated rooms (and all her other great creative projects!) at her blog projectdenneler.com. Then see it all in person at your child's next visit, or at our open house tomorrow. Be sure to tell any interested parents about our Teddy Bear checkup tomorrow morning!
Kids are often nervous about going to the doctor's office for a check-up. Having a medical home for your child means having a place where they are not afraid to go. Check-ups really can be fun for kids! Bring your child and their teddy bear or other favorite stuffed friend to Redbud this Saturday for a check-up that they help with! They can even give their bear all the "shots" needed to start bear school this fall. Meet me and my staff at Redbud, and see the new artwork designed by Sandra and Eric Denneler. See this article in "Parents" online for some extra tips on how to make your child's check-up go well!
I just read a blog entry from one of my recommended links (Motherlode) on the right side of this page. The entry is entitled "Let Them Climb Trees (and Fall)." The idea is to let your child make mistakes (and achieve successes) on their own while young and learn from them while under your roof and your guidance.
Kansas is currently having a whooping cough outbreak. KDHE announced earlier this month that Kansas is having an increase in pertussis, with 156 cases recently reported in Johnson county by health providers and 56 of them so far confirmed by laboratory studies. I have been trying to remind all of the expecting parents I see to "cocoon their infant" away from whooping cough by making sure that all persons who will be near their newborn is vaccinated against pertussis.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacteria "Bordatella Pertussis". It's characterized by severe coughing spells which sometimes end in a "whoop" sound when the person breaths in. It mainly affects infants younger than 6 months old, before they have been adequately protected by immunizations. About 3,000 cases of infant pertussis are reported per year in the US, with more than 19 deaths yearly according to the CDC. Most of these deaths and hospitalizations are in infants younger than 2 months old, who have yet to receive any vaccine to protect them from the disease. Most of these infants contract the disease from a close family member.
Even persons who were fully immunized as a child can contract pertussis as an adult, because immunity to the disease wanes over time. That is why the CDC recommends "cocooning" your infant. "Cocooning" is the strategy of immunizing all the persons around a newborn so as to protect them from contacting pertussis. This includes the expecting mother-- immunization with the Tdap vaccine is recommended after the 20th week of pregnancy or immediately after delivery.
As is the case with all immunization schedules, there are important time intervals, exceptions, and circumstances for receiving the Tdap vaccine. Expecting families should talk to their obstetric provider or pediatrician to find out who needs to receive the vaccine.
Childhood obesity is a widespread problem in America. Obesity is becoming a normal part of American culture. Just this week there have been two publications, one national and one local, addressing this issue. The CDC now projects that 42% of Americans could be obese by 2030 and that multiple strategieswill be needed to prevent this. The latest CDC data found 17% of US children obese, which is at least triple the rate of one generation ago. Meanwhile, the Wichita Eagle carried an article yesterday about nutrition for kids active in sports. I liked most of what this article had to say, but was disappointed at the photos in the article which featured sports drink and juice as part of a healthy diet for athletic children.
Many concerned parents of overweight and obese children try to increase their healthy habits by getting their child involved in athletics. This is a great idea. However, there are several pitfalls for well-meaning parents. The worst offender is the "snack and drink sign-up sheet". If getting your child on a soccer team means downing a Gatorade during game play (310 calories in 12 oz), and eating a Quaker chocolate chip granola bar as an after-game treat (100 calories), then your child just ate more than double the amount of calories burned during their soccer game (about 150 calories for a 30-45 minute game). This is obviously a problem. It's a cultural problem. Why would the local YMCA encourage this habit by providing copies of the snack and drink sign-up sheet for volunteer coaches? Why do we as a society of parents allow the snack and drink sign-up sheet system? Why can't our kids just drink water like we did when we were children?
A second pitfall is allowing a child to eat more if they become more physically active. It's true that kids may feel hungrier if they are more active, but parents have to recognize that an overweight child should not increase their already too high daily calories if they become physically more active. That can undo all the good you are striving to help your child accomplish.
If you are struggling with finding ways to get your child to a healthy BMI, it can help to visit your pediatrician and/or a dietician, who might offer a step-wise approach and check on growth at regular intervals to gauge your progress. But it also might help to be the brave parent who suggests at the next practice that your kids' team be a "water bottle" team, and not a "snack and drink sign-up sheet" team.