755 Mt. Vernon Highway NE, Suite 150 | Atlanta,GA 30328 | P: 404-303-1314 | F: 404-303-1399   

The Children's Wellness Blog

Why Are Well-Child Visits Important?

February 18, 2016

At Children’s Wellness Center, we’re strong believers in forging strong relationships between our providers and the families we get to serve on a daily basis. We practice traditional medical care that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has outlined and this includes following the well-child visit guidelines they promote. Well-child visits are frequent check-ups that start from infancy and continue on a yearly basis once your child turns 3 years of age through high school, and until their 21st birthday.

Why Are Well-Child Visits ImportantWhy Are Well-Child Visits Important?

Well-child visits let us monitor your child’s general health and development. During your child’s well-child visit, we assess their growth and development, test their vision and hearing (for ages 4 and up), perform any immunizations that are recommended for your child’s particular age, and more because we believe early detection gives us the best chance to properly and successfully treat your child. This is also a time when we can offer advice about any concerns you may have with your child whether it is family history concerns or regarding safety and emotional issues.

All well-child visit components play an integral part to promoting a healthy childhood and some of the key benefits include:

…Prevention. Immunizations and vaccines help to protect the body from certain infections, illnesses, and diseases. The AAP has created a recommended checkup and immunization schedule from the time of your child’s birth through their teens because we believe all children should have the right to be protected from preventable infectious diseases. Well-child visits also serve as a good time to catch any concerns early on so effective treatment can be administered – even if you think it may not be worth mentioning, you never really know so we always encourage our parents to bring any concerns to our attention during these visits rather than waiting until an actual problem presents itself!

…Promotes a team approach. We believe it takes a team effort to ensure your child’s health. As parents you spend a great deal of time with your children and are ultimately their biggest advocate when it comes to their health. During well-child visits we can build a team of support for your child because there should be genuine trust among pediatrician, parent, and child. We want to be your first resource for answering any questions you may have so bring in a list of topics you want to talk about (this can range from sleep patterns, nutritional needs, behavioral development, etc.) and we can tailor your well-child visit around your child’s needs.

…Growth and development tracking. As parents ourselves, it seems our kids grow up way too fast; one day they’re tiny infants, the next, they’re loading the school bus for the first time. Well-child visits let us track their milestones (like how much they’ve grown in between visits, how they’re developing socially, and even their learning progression).

Of course the Children’s Wellness Center pediatricians are here for you and your child when they aren’t feeling well, but it’s important to also make sure your child is growing up to be strong and healthy even in the times when they’re feeling at their best! If you’d like to schedule your child’s well-child visit (you can schedule these up to three months in advance), contact Children’s Wellness Center (CWC) at 404-303-1314 today. We look forward to sharing more pediatric tips and information in the future, so be sure to check back frequently and follow the CWC providers on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to stay connected.

Does My Child Have a Cold or the Flu (Influenza)?

February 11, 2016

Does My Child Have a Cold or the Flu (Influenza)Flu symptoms are often mistaken for the common cold; they share similar symptoms of sneezing and congestion but the difference lies in the severity of the flu because it can be potentially life-threatening as the condition worsens. Typically, flu season lasts from October until May (with the most cases seen during February and March), so peak flu season is upon us and the Children’s Wellness Center providers want to make sure you know what to look for in the event your child gets sick! If you find yourself questioning, “Does my child have a cold or the flu?” – here’s what you should know:

  • What is the flu? An extremely contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory tracts.
  • How long does the flu typically last? Once you’ve come into contact with the flu virus, symptoms generally start to present themselves within a day or two. Initial symptoms can persist for several days (around 5 days) then will start to subside; fatigue and cough however can continue for up to two weeks in some flu cases.
  • What are common flu symptoms? Fever, chills, body aches, lack of appetite, fatigue, cough, sore throat, congestion, and runny nose.
  • Who can get the flu? Anyone, no matter their age can get the flu. The flu virus can be transmitted through the air if someone who already has the virus coughs or sneezes into the air. Since flu symptoms may not start to show until day two, those infected may not know they’re sick and potentially spread the virus to others unintentionally.
  • Can the flu be life-threatening? Yes, the flu can be life-threatening as the virus can lead to pneumonia and additional complications of the lungs and body’s important everyday functioning. Patients who have asthma, children under the age of 5, or those with weak immune systems, are what we may consider high risk, and should take extra precautions during peak flu season to reduce their chances of contagion.
  • What should I do if my child gets the flu?
    • Give your child plenty of fluids (one of the biggest concerns with a fever is dehydration, so drinking lots of water is key). If you’re having trouble getting your child to drink lots of water, perhaps try giving them popsicles, blended juices and smoothies, soft fruits (like melon and grapes), or icy drinks to supplement.
    • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest and restricts their physical activity to not worsen their flu symptoms.
    • Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with your child’s aches and pains but it’s important to note that we DO NOT RECOMMEND giving them aspirin unless it has been recommended by your doctor first.
  • Can the flu be prevented? Unfortunately there’s no guaranteed way to keep your child from getting the flu. From schools, playgrounds, and grocery stores to play dates, field trips, and vacations, your child is likely to be in constant contact with different individuals throughout the day, so the chances of coming into close contact with someone who could potentially have the flu is increased. We recommend the following flu prevention tips:
    • Drink lots of water
    • Wash hands regularly
    • Avoid contact with used tissues
    • Don’t drink or eat after others
    • Keep your distance from anyone who may be sick
    • Consider flu vaccination
  • What are flu vaccinations? Flu vaccines help to protect patients from the flu virus but it’s important to note that they can’t prevent all strains of illness. Flu vaccines are most effective at helping prevent sickness when paired with a healthy immune system, nutritious diet, regular sleep, and reduced stress levels. We generally suggest children start receiving the flu vaccine when they’re 6 months of age and older between August and March – so there’s still time to get your vaccine if you haven’t already. At our office we offer both the flu shot and flu nasal mist for our patients – both are effective and depend on your child’s age and medical history which we would most recommend. Flu mist cannot be used for children under 2 years of age, those with a history of asthma and/or wheezing, or have used albuterol (an inhaler) within the prior two years.

Being sick is never fun and as parents, it can be extremely difficult navigating what to do when your child is sick, especially when they have the flu. The best thing you can do is to be proactive in monitoring the progression of your child’s sickness and if you suspect that your child has the flu, contact your doctor as soon as possible, especially if conditions worsen, to reduce the chances of further complications for untreated flu cases.

Choosing a Pediatrician for Your Child

January 30, 2016

Choosing a Pediatrician for Your ChildAt 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!

Teaching Your Children Medicine Safety

January 26, 2016

Teaching Your Children Medicine SafetyAs 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+.