Back to School Physicals

I’m sure back to school physicals are the last thing on most parents’ minds right now but now is the time. Those last few weeks of the summer are usually hectic getting ready to go back to school.  Oftentimes parents realize at the last minute that their child needs a physical or a shot before school starts. You can avoid this stressful situation by scheduling your child’s physical in the early part of the summer. Not only are you able to check that off your to-do list, but you beat the back-to-school rush in our office. We always have plenty of open appointments for physicals in May and June, however August fills up quickly. We cannot guarantee there will be an appointment available if you wait until the day before school starts. We recommend scheduling now and scheduling early!

A yearly physical exam is an important time to assess a child’s overall health, catch potential problems early, update immunizations, reinforce healthy behavior, and review normal development and safety measures. These topics are covered in depth during the physical, therefore it is not a good time to address a significant health concern (for example migraines, abdominal pain, etc.) If you do have an additional health concern, it is best to make a separate appointment in order to address the concern more thoroughly.

A physical is good for the entire year since most standard forms simply require a physical exam within the last year. Keep in mind, your child may need  a form signed for sports participation, camp, daycare and numerous other activities. It is very helpful to have that yearly physical exam completed when a form is needed. Scheduling now will ensure your child doesn’t have to miss out on his favorite activity. Don’t get caught off guard. Get that physical out of the way early!

Categories: Health

Winter Safety Tips

Dress Warmly

Layering clothing in the winter is not just a fashion statement–it’s good for your health! When you wear multiple layers, you can take outer layers on and off as you go between outdoors and indoors. Limit the amount of time you are outside on a very cold day. If you are playing an outdoor sport, take frequent breaks to come indoors and warm up before heading back out to the field or playground. It is important to stay dry, and remove any clothing that has gotten wet.

Remember that most of the body’s heat is lost through the head, so be sure to put on a hat when outdoors. Mittens and gloves will help keep hands warm as well. For babies, infants and very young children a good rule of thumb for dressing is to add one layer of clothing to whatever you are wearing. So if you are wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt, dress your child in pants with a long sleeve shirt and a sweater on top.

Fact or Fiction:

In the winter months, the reason you catch a cold is because you are going outside when it is cold out.


This is a mama’s myth! The reason people are more likely to get upper respiratory illnesses such as the cold or cough during the winter, is because this is the time of year when these viruses are circulating.

Additionally, since most of the time in winter is spent indoors to avoid the cooler elements, crowding leads to easy spread of these viruses.

Fact or Fiction:

Most colds are caused by the influenza virus.


Actually most colds are caused by the Rhinovirus which is the name of the virus causing the common cold. How can you distinguish between a regular cold and the Flu? The common cold will cause sneezing, stuffy nose, mild sore throat and cough with low grade fevers at times in younger children. The flu causes higher fevers, chills, sore throat, cough, runny nose, muscle aches, and fatigue. While the cold is bothersome, symptoms of the flu often have you laid up in bed for several days.

Helpful Tips to Stay Healthy This Winter

Get the influenza vaccine if you are 6 months of age or older.

Wash, Wash, Wash! Wash hands frequently and do not rub your nose or eyes, or put your fingers in your mouth. Most people carry respiratory bugs on their hands. These germs are easily transmitted to the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth.

If possible, try to sneeze into the inside of your elbow to prevent the spread of germs. If you sneezed into your hand, wash your hands right away with soap and warm water. Keeping a disinfectant such as Purell handy for when you are not near a sink is a good idea.

Make sure to wash your hands before eating. While this may seem like an inconvenience while you’re on the go, a few extra minutes washing up can make the difference between staying healthy or spending a week in bed with a bad cold.  One sneeze can spread up to 40,000 droplets of infectious germs!

Categories: Health

Dental Health

Healthy teeth and gums begins with taking proper care of your infant’s gums, and modeling appropriate dental care to children every day. Parents can demonstrate to their children every day the importance of brushing their teeth consistently, and teaching the importance of flossing their teeth on a regular basis. Children need to have regular dental visits, every 6 months, starting by the age of 18 months to 24 months.

During infancy, begin healthy dental habits by wiping your infant’s gums with a soft, clean cloth after each feeding. Once, their teeth begin to come in, wipe your infant’s teeth and gums after each feeding, especially along the gum line, with a soft, clean cloth, or a soft bristled toothbrush, or a finger brush. By the age of 18 months to 24 months, brush your child’s teeth twice daily, once in the morning and once before bedtime. Use a small smear of toothpaste with fluoride, like the size of your child’s pinky finger nail. When finished, wipe off your child’s teeth with a soft cloth, until they can spit out the toothpaste on their own. It’s important to begin to wean your child from the bottle after 12-15 months old. Do not put your child to bed with their bottle.

If you are transitioning from a bottle at bedtime to no bottle at bedtime, only put water in the bottle if the child takes their bottle to bed. Healthy habits start at a young age. When you begin to feed your child solid foods, make sure to provide healthy choices. Avoid sugary foods such as candy, sticky fruit roll-up snacks, fruit juice, sugary cereals, soda. Remember, even gummy vitamins and raisins can lead to tooth decay.

Categories: Health