At the very essence, the job of a pediatrician is to provide top-notch, quality medical healthcare for children from the time of their birth until they reach their 21st birthday. At Children’s Wellness Center (CWC), the wellbeing of your child’s health, physically, mentally, and emotionally, as they continue to grow is our most important priority. Whether you’re a new parent, just moved to the Atlanta/Dunwoody area, or looking to find a pediatrician that better suits your needs, we wanted to share our tips for how to choose a pediatrician for your child.
Tips for choosing a pediatrician:
Conduct a web search to see qualified providers in your area. Only those who are board-certified pediatricians can carry the distinction of displaying their Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP) honor as a part of their credentials. What this means is that these pediatricians have completed the rigorous qualifications as recognized by the board to be a part of their professional organization beyond their general medical training. We suggest using the American Academy of Pediatrics as a great resource as you begin.
Talk with other parents for recommendations. They’ll be your honest reviewer because they’ll have either entrusted their kids to specific pediatricians or have family/friends who have enjoyed working with them. Online review sites can skew a patient’s opinion, especially ones that are falsified, so having backup recommendations from those you trust will help give patients better peace of mind.
Don’t be afraid to contact the pediatrician’s office you’re interested in with questions about the practice, the pediatric services offered, and their resident providers. You’d be surprised by how much you can learn from a quick phone call (for instance, were the staff friendly, knowledgeable, and actively engaged in helping address your concerns or were they dismissive and cold?) – if you’re not interested in what you heard, you know to move on to the next and you’ve saved yourself a wasted visit to their office.
If you’re not happy with a specific pediatrician, try another! There’s no reason you should be anything less than 100% confident in the abilities of your child’s pediatrician. You’re the biggest advocate for your child’s health, so it’s important to only entrust their safety and health to those that really care about helping those in need and providing their best care possible.
When we first started our practice, we wanted to create a special place of our own led by a team who treats each and every patient as if they were a member of their own family. The Children’s Wellness Center pediatricians are all parents ourselves and the practices that we share with you and our children are what we do with our own families. Our patients are an extension of us and we couldn’t be more proud to work with all of them as we watch them grow. Don’t just take our word for it though, watch what some of our amazing patients have to say about us and if you’re interested in meeting us, don’t hesitate to stop by – we look forward to meeting you!
As a parent, it’s our job to make sure our children are protected from harm but sometimes accidents happen. According to the CDC, each year more than 64,000 children are admitted to the emergency room (ER) for medicine poisoning – that’s roughly one child every eight minutes! These numbers are staggering to us, but we see this as a great opportunity to stress to our parents the importance of educating themselves and their children on medicine safety. The Children’s Wellness Center providers are firm believers in the teaching kids at early ages lessons about medicine because we believe that this can significantly help ensure their safety and avoid unwanted trips to the ER. We’ve put together some of our top recommendations for teaching your children medicine safety:
Start by teaching your children what medicine is – why we take it and what it does (there isn’t an exact age for beginning medicine safety with your children; it’s more based upon your child’s maturity level for this type of subject matter and when you feel they are old enough to really understand the importance).
Explain to them that medicine should always be given by an adult – only suggest a parent, trusted family member, or their doctor have that authority.
Never refer to medicine as candy in an attempt to make it more appealing! First this can teach kids to request medicine even when they aren’t sick just because they think it tastes good. It can also encourage them to try to take the medicine on their own, if they manage to access it without supervision.
Lead by example. Our kids are quick to mimic the actions of adults so be mindful of practicing medicine safety: read all instructions that are on the labels, demonstrate using the proper measuring devices to avoid inadvertent child medical dosing errors, securely tighten safety caps on all medicines, and explain that you’re only taking what you need (and nothing more).
Stress the importance of only taking medicine that is meant for them. Never share medicine with others (even their closest friends) and never take medicine from anyone else, especially if not meant for them.
For extra safety – here are a few medicine safety tips for parents:
Keep all medicines securely stored out of sight and reach of your kids – perhaps in a designated medicine cabinet that can be locked (this is also a helpful safety reminder for the grandparents and caregivers).
Be mindful of additional places you may store medicine and cleaning agents that can be accessed by children, such as a purse, inside travel luggage, on top of furniture, etc.
Make sure medicine caps are properly screwed on and are child-resistant. If medicine is packaged in a box, ensure it’s out of reach as well.
Be mindful of visitor’s medicine if you have guests staying in your house. Offer guests a secure location to store out of the reach of children.
In the event of an emergency, add the Poison Help number 1-800-222-1222 into your phone to have handy if needed. This is especially helpful for after-hours child healthcare when a doctor’s office is closed.
If you’re tempted to leave the medicine out for future use, try to get in the habit of putting it away until it’s absolutely necessary to take out again. We may have the best intentions of putting it away later, but sometimes we forget and kids can be quick at getting into things that are unsafe!
Dispose of expired or unused medications properly. Disposing of them in the sink or toilet is an option – just make sure they aren’t just thrown in the trash and accessible to your kids, or even pets.
Medicine and vitamins can do wonders for all of us – when used correctly and in the safest of environments. By being open with your children and teaching them medicine safety at various ages, you’re helping to promote proper usage and instilling the best practices possible when your child is sick. Check back frequently for more pediatric safety tips and recommendations that we believe will keep your child happy and healthy. If you have suggestions for blog topics that you’d like to see covered, we’d love to hear from you so feel free to reach out to us by connecting with the CWC providers on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
With temperatures dropping outside and December through February marking peak flu activity season, winter months can mean winter illnesses for many of our kids (and parents too!). As adults, it’s easy for us to grab the best medicine for relief out of the cabinet, read over the label to find out how much medicine to give ourselves, and then continue about our routine in a matter of minutes. For our children however, special care is needed to ensure the drug prescribed is appropriate and that the correct dosage is given because knowing that some medications and incorrect dosages can cause serious side effects is vital. The Children’s Wellness Center providers understand the anxiety parents can feel towards safely giving their children certain medications, but we have a few tips and tools to help so you don’t give your child the wrong dose!
General Safety Tips
Securely store all medicines in a place that is out of reach of children.
Keep childproof caps on all medicine containers to help keep kids out.
Over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medications should not be given to children under the age of 6
Ibuprofen should not be used to treat infants under 6 months of age
Remember that not all children’s illnesses require medication for treatment; only give your child medications for treating the symptoms you notice at the time (like a fever or persistent cough) and only if your child needs it (if you’re unsure, check with your child’s provider first).
Medication Dosing Safety Tips
Dosing amounts are different depending on the concentration being used.
Use only the dosing device that comes with the product.
Measure the dose out exactly.
Kitchen teaspoons & tablespoons are not accurate and should not be used.
Never give adult medicines to children.
Carefully read and always follow the instructions stated on the label.
Always pay attention to the different measuring units and familiarize yourself with abbreviations (for instance knowing the difference between mL, mg, tbsp., tsp., etc.) in case you are required to convert between two different measurement forms.
Talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions (if a medical question or need arises when our office is closed, visit your nearest Urgent Care Center for assistance or call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 1-800-222-1222).
Majority of medication dosing errors occur when children are given common pain and fever-reducing medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen. While not all dosing errors will result in significant consequences to your child, it can happen depending on the type of medication given. Under dosing can also put strain on your child’s health because not giving them the adequate amount could mean their symptoms don’t clear as quickly – also meaning another trip to visit the doctor could be needed.
If you’re ever unsure of the right amount of medicine to give your child, the first thing you should do is to contact your child’s doctor or consult with a pharmacist before dosing. The American Academy of Pediatrics also provides several medical dosing tables to assist parents when calculating dosages of common medications that may be useful to helping your child feel better. Bookmarking these charts on your laptop or mobile device or printing a copy to store in your medicine cabinet may also be helpful tools to quickly offer supplementary help before giving your child too much or too little medication.
If you have any questions about proper medical dosing for your child, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 404-303-1314 and we will be more than happy to help. Be sure to also join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ for more Children’s Wellness Center news and updates!
What a wonderful time of year – food, fun, fellowship, and just being thankful to spend another holiday season with the ones we love the most! With so much happening in our everyday lives the Children’s Wellness Center (CWC) providers wanted to take a moment to reflect on a great year we have had and share what we are most thankful for as we get closer to ending another year. For us, our patients are what we are most thankful for because the sense of community you all have helped us foster has encouraged us to continue to strive ahead as we forge a positive partnership between our physicians and your family.
2015 has truly been a great year for us and the entire CWC team! We launched our brand new website that we are incredibly proud to share with all of our current and future patients. In our opinion, our website was greatly improved thanks in part to some very special helpers who joined us along the way – our patients! Many of you graciously shared your patient testimonial stories for our new site and even spent a fun day with us during our photo shoot (yes, those pictures are actual patients and their families!), so we certainly want to extend a special thank you for helping make our new site possible!
In addition to helping you get to know us a little bit better, there are several new features that we added to our website in hopes of streamlining your child’s care. We really wanted to make your time with us more efficient and beneficial so we cover a wide-range of topics including helpful information regarding what to do when your child is sick and medicine dosing guidelines to a brand new patient portal that lets you access your child’s important health information 24/7.
As we look forward to the upcoming year, we are hopeful that 2016 will be even more rewarding as we continue to grow our Children’s Wellness Center family and strive to provide the very best care for your child as we possibly can. You all have been so wonderful this year and we could not ask for a better group of patients to serve. Thank you for your continued support and everyone here at Children’s Wellness Center would like to wish you and your family a very happy holiday and even happier New Year!