Our Blogs

Update for Flu Prevention 2013/2014

Our Flu prevention (“flu shot”) plan for the upcoming winter is up and running.  The overall policy is unchanged from last year but there are a few new updates & recommendations. Routine flu vaccination is recommended for all persons 6 months and older.  There are some additions to this year’s flu vaccines.  There are 3 strain and 4 strain vaccine available.  The 4 strain vaccine is new and may not be readily available.  There is no current evidence that the 4 strain vaccine is superior.  The AAP recommends all children receive the vaccine that is most available.  The nasal spray…

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Controversy Over Swaddling?

Swaddling a newborn baby is an ageless comfort measure that seems natural to do. Why then, have some child care centers and even some states banned this practice as potentially unsafe? When should swaddling be stopped? What’s unsafe about it? Swaddling is a technique of tightly wrapping a baby with a blanket to prevent the natural startle reflex (the Moro reflex) from awakening or upsetting a baby. The startle reflex primarily occurs in the upper body and arms and is outgrown usually by age 2 months. The concern is, that swaddling could over restrain or restrict a baby’s natural movements,…

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GER vs. GERD- What’s the Difference?

Questions and concerns about infant spitting up or regurgitation are very common. Indeed, 2/3 of infants spit up or regurgitate at some point and parents raise concern about this in 1/4 of all well baby visits. GER (Gastroesophageal Reflux) is felt to be a benign process if occasional, even frequent, regurgitation is not associated with other symptoms and proper weight gain. This is in contrast to GERD (disease) where infants either have troublesome symptoms or complications of GER. With the increased use of prescribed antacid medications, specialists are trying to better differentiate GER from GERD so that infants are properly…

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Eczema

Eczema is a common skin disorder seen in all ages. Medically it is called Atopic Dermatitis because of its wide array of appearances and manifestations. Eczema is triggered by a sensitivity reaction. This can be a specific allergic reaction (e.g. food) or it can be a hypersensitivity reaction (e.g. contact with a metal or chemical, such as nickel or poison ivy). Eczema patients typically have other allergic tendencies (hay fever /asthma) or a strong family history for allergies. Additionally, environmental and personal lifestyle situations also play a big role in eczema severity. Temperature and humidity changes, illnesses, exercise (sweating); even…

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Spice K2 and Bath Salts

There has been recent local and national attention focused on a new group of drugs available readily and easily in our community. Known medically as Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2, Spice) and Cathinones (Bath salts), these products can be purchased in tobacco stores, head shops, gas stations and of course over the internet. These substances are becoming increasingly popular because of their easy accessibility, and a sales pitch that describes them as “natural, safe highs” and “legal”. Indeed, many communities including here in Frederick County are having town meetings, demonstrations and informational sessions to help clarify and also regulate sales and availability…

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Pediatric News Items-Fall 2012

Two recent AAP guidelines were published which I thought would warrant review. A.      Guidelines for diagnosis and management of childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) syndrome Upwards of 5% of children experience OSA, a medical condition characterized by prolonged, partial obstruction of the upper airway during sleep. Apnea implies actual interruption or pauses during breathing. OSA can be overlooked if not specifically questioned about.  OSA is associated with both short and long term complications which include learning and behavioral problems, cardiovascular complications such as hypertension and enlarged heart and growth concerns. The pediatric literature is now very clear about the significance…

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Update on Sleep Position Recommendations in Infancy

In the past twenty years landmark research has demonstrated the importance of back sleep position to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). More recent data has shown not only an improvement but a plateauing of SIDS cases. However there has been an alarming 4x increase in accidental sleep related deaths including; suffocation, asphyxia and entrapment due primarily to infants falling asleep in the parents bed. The updated recommendations include the following: Infants be placed back to sleep for all sleeping Always have infants sleep on a firm surface Room share but don’t bed share Keep soft objects and loose bedding…

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Updated Pediatric Cardiovascular Health Guidelines

Recently an expert panel from NIH, with endorsement by the AAP, published and revised guidelines/recommendations for identification of risk factors and age appropriate health guidance to help prevent cardiovascular disease in adults. The following are highlights of those recommendations. Know your Family’s Medical HistoryYour family history may predict your risk for cardiovascular related diseases in adulthood (hypertension, heart disease, stroke and elevated lipids). Premature cardiovascular disease is defined as having a close family member with cardiovascular disease before age 55 in men and age 65 in women. Youth identified with a positive family history should be screened for risk factors…

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Fever – More a Friend Than a Foe

Fever, as it accompanies many childhood illnesses, causes much concern and worry to parents and with the popularity and easy availability of many OTC fever reducing preparations for children, the tendency exists to quickly and aggressively treat fever in children. But is it the right thing and the best thing to do? Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reviewed the  management and treatment of fever in children. At the onset, it’s important to remember that fever is is not a primary illness but is a natural body reaction that is beneficial to help fight infection. Fever does not worsen…

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Probiotics

So what are probiotics and can be they be used and help my child? The answer is potentially yes, adding probiotics to a child’s diet may be beneficial in the management of at least two common medical conditions: recovery from viral diarrhea and in the prevention of antibiotic caused diarrhea. These findings were recently published in an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report that reviewed the current scientific knowledge of the usage and benefit of probiotics. Probiotics are commercial products that can be purchased as either separate supplements or as a food product (additive) that contain large concentrations of normal…

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Community Programs

Docs in the Park Reach out and Read Girls on the Run United Way of Frederick Maryland Interagency Early Childhood Committee Mental Health Association LiveWell Frederick Family Resource, Information & Education Network for Down Syndrome
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