If you’re an expecting parent, new to the neighborhood, or looking to make a switch, and hoping to find a trusted pediatrician for your child (or children), then you’ve come to the right place. At the core of Children’s Wellness Center, we may be a small practice but we have a lot of heart and a strong passion for providing exceptional quality and personalized care for our patients. Entrusting the care, safety, and well-being of your loved ones to any pediatrician is a big decision – for this reason, our team enjoys spending time not only with our patients and their families, but also getting to know parents as they navigate choosing the right pediatrician to provide the best care for their child. Our dynamic team members are all parents themselves and collectively like to approach each child’s healthcare as if they were our own family members. Without further ado, we’d like you to meet the Children’s Wellness Center pediatricians and discover what makes each of these individuals such an integral part of the CWC family!
Building strong relationships with our patients is something we take pride in being able to offer within our practice and we like to encourage all interested parents to take advantage of the Children’s Wellness Center Meet & Greet events. Each month, Dr. Julie Segal, Dr. Kirsten Mekelburg, Dr. Gary Loventhal, Dr. Anjali Modi, and Heather Bean, CPNP host a Meet & Greet evening for interested parents to come meet the provider of their choice (details can be found on our Children’s Wellness Center Meet & Greet calendar for specifics on the date and time each provider will be hosting) and learn more about the Children’s Wellness Center practice as a whole.
Parents are encouraged to research our pediatricians and come meet us in person, at an informal informational event. It’s a group event, so all parents will register prior to the start (either 4:30pm or 5pm dependent on the provider) where they’ll receive a welcome gift bag of information, be taken on a guided tour of the practice (we’ll show you our three separate rooms – the Newborn Room, Sick Room, and Well Room), learn about pediatric topics like what we do once your baby is born or how to get help in case of after hour emergencies, as well as answer questions that may have been brought in or come up during the event.
Our main goal is to really familiarize parents with us, who we are, and what we do within our pediatric practice. It’s one thing to read our credentials online but we really like to get personalized face time with perspective patients outside of the hustle and bustle of caring for patients during the day. Our Meet & Greet events are free but we do ask that you RSVP by giving us a call at 404-303-1314 to reserve your spot. We always look forward to meeting new families and are honored that we’re considered as your child’s healthcare provider; so come to one, or come to all – it’s up to you!
School will officially be out for the summer and that means our kids will have a lot of extra free time to do the things they love! As we get closer to May, many kids are already gearing up for vacations, summer camps, sports, outdoor recreational activities, having a great time with family and friends, and much more. The Children’s Wellness Center pediatricians encourage all patients and their families to have fun in the sun, but want to remind everyone of some key summer safety tips to make sure that everyone in your family stays safe this summer.
Sun Safety for Kids
Too much sun exposure can cause sunburns or worse, skin cancer. Sunburns and skin cancers can be detrimental to anyone in the family and a big reason why we are big advocates for safe sun practice, especially in the summertime when we’re spending more time outdoors under the sun’s bright rays and sweltering heat. For kids under 6 months, they’re particularly susceptible to the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays so we recommend limiting their exposure to direct sunlight and providing extra shade (like under trees, umbrellas, and beneath stroller canopies) for when you’re spending time outside.
No one is immune to sunburns/sun damage and it’s important to deck everyone in the family out with wide-brimmed hats or baseball caps that cover the face, sunglasses with 99% UV protection (they even make these to fit kids), ALWAYS use sunscreen, and when possible, wear lightweight clothing that covers exposed parts of the skin. Picking the best sunscreen for your entire family is crucial in providing that extra layer of much needed sun protection. Choose a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection from both UVB and UVA rays with an SPF of at least 15 (but the higher the SPF, the more UVB protection you’ll give yourself). Generously apply sunscreen according to the manufacturer’s recommendations before heading outdoors to allow it time to really get absorbed into the skin (this can range from 40 minutes to 2 hours) and reapply every two hours, or immediately after being in water.
Outdoor Safety for Kids
Outdoor fun is something many kids look forward to during their summer vacation. Whether going on a family vacation, having a sleepover at a neighbor’s house, play date in the park, or heading off to summer camp, outdoor activities are in abundance. Not every activity requires adult supervision, but it’s vital that certain safety precautions be taken to give your child extra protection when they’re playing and enjoying land and water activities. We’ve rounded up some of the top safety tips for a variety of summertime activities:
Bicycle, Skateboard, Skating, & Scooter Safety – there should never be a time when your child should not be wearing a helmet while they’re biking or skating, no matter how long their ride is or how close to home they’re staying (yes, even in the driveway). Falls can cause minor to severe injuries including trauma to the brain, cuts and bruises, sprains and broken bones, so making sure your child is wearing their helmet, wrist/elbow guards, and kneepads whenever possible is the best defense for their body’s protection. Protective gear should be properly fitted, snug but not overly tight, and worn by all in the family (parents can help set the example themselves by promoting helmet use at all times). Young children under eight should be supervised and older kids should always have a buddy when riding/skating. Just as important, make sure they also stay away from major traffic areas as vehicles can pose greater threats to young riders.
Bug Safety – insect bites can introduce a plethora of viruses into the body, like West Nile, Chikungunya, Zika, etc. so using insect repellent gives that extra layer of defense when spending time outdoors. Avoid using hygiene products that are fragrant (mosquitos will be attracted to the scent) and playing in areas where high concentrations of mosquitos are living (like stagnant water). When choosing a bug repellent, make sure that it contains DEET (note that it’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians that DEET not be used on children under 2 months), which is the active ingredient needed to prevent-insect related diseases and cover up exposed areas of the body with long clothing when outside at night.
Water Safety – splashing around in pools, lakes, and oceans can be a great way to beat the heat and enjoy time with friends and family, but water safety is vital as kids are at risk of drowning under certain conditions. Often, parents can get a false sense of security from floatation devices but nothing is a substitute for supervision and a bit of swimming instructions. Life vests should be mandatory whenever boating and also work extremely well in other large bodies of water. Kids should NEVER be left alone around a pool, in fact, home pools should be secure and completely fenced in so children can stay out, in the event they attempt to swim on their own. Having an adult on deck who is trained in CPR is also recommended to help act fast in the event of a water emergency – even the most experienced swimmers can harm themselves in water and therefore approach this activity with the mentality that nobody is immune.
Fireworks Safety – fireworks can cause severe burns, scars, blindness, and even death. Even those types of fireworks we may consider “harmless” for kids, like sparklers, can generate enough heat to burn your child or even those they happen to be nearby. They may be fun for a short period of time, but injuries resulting from fireworks or fire are not something that should be on the menu for the 4th of July celebration.
Kids are going to be kids, and accidents can happen virtually anywhere, so we don’t want you to feel you have to keep your kid indoors or covered up in bubble wrap to keep them safe. We want to make sure you’re well equipped to reduce your child’s risks of injuries like sunburns, broken bones, insect-related diseases, etc., and with a little diligence, leading by example, and prevention, you can help them to have a wonderful summer full of fun and adventures!
Summer is right around the corner and for many of us that means family vacations are getting close! Family vacations are a great way to see different parts of the world, make lasting memories, and form a greater bond with each other. From the time you start to make travel plans, to having to pack anything and everything you could possibly need while away from home, to locking down an itinerary, preparing for a trip can be an extremely involved process. On top of all that, traveling with children can add a different set of stresses for parents, especially when traveling internationally. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1.9 million American children travel internationally each year and the numbers continue to increase. Collectively we all face the same health risks when we travel, regardless of our age, but it’s our children who can be affected more seriously. To help reduce the risks of travel and help keep everyone happy, safe, and healthy, the Children’s Wellness Center providers have rounded up our top travel safety tips for the entire family.
Before you take off…know the health and safety recommendations of the country you’re visiting. Depending on where you’re traveling to, some countries require specific immunizations and vaccines before you can enter the country. When you travel to a foreign place, you’re opening yourself up to being exposed to diseases, infections, and illnesses that your body may never come into contact with in the United States. It is recommended that everyone have their current measles-rubella (MMR) vaccine to keep themselves protected and to also protect those here at home from coming into contact with a person who may unknowingly be a carrier of the measles. If you’re traveling to countries in Africa, Central America, or South America you may need a yellow fever vaccine while typhoid is recommended for those traveling to Asia, Latin America, or Africa. If you’re not sure what may be recommended or required before you travel, head to the CDC website for specific travel information and recommendations on how you can help everyone in your family avoid health concerns (note that not all travel vaccines are carried at every practice and may require a referral to a local travel clinic if required).
When travelling with children…sometimes you have to get creative. Long flights require children to have to stay seated for extended periods of time so traveling with activities (like coloring books, games, toys, etc.) can be helpful in keeping them occupied. If you have the choice in flight options, choose flights that are at night when children can sleep through a good majority of the flight only to wake up when it’s time to land! Be sure to pack bug spray, long pants and sleeves to protect from diseases that are carried by insects (malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, Zika virus, etc.) and lots of sunscreen, for skin cancer protection.
When it comes to feeding time, one of the most common illnesses many travelers experience is diarrhea. This can be caused by any number of reasons but some of the most frequent causes of diarrhea are eating raw foods (like fish or undercooked meats), drinking tap water, and consuming foods washed in local water supplies like fruits and vegetables. Stick to hot foods and bottled water if you’re traveling within a developing country or are unfamiliar with the regions local food and safety precautions.
In case of a medical emergency…devise a plan of action in advance outlining how to get proper treatment while you’re abroad. Register your family information through the U.S. Embassy located in the country you’re visiting (this can typically be done online). They’ll be able to assist you during a medical emergency and even notify family and friends back home of any incidences that have occurred. Check with your insurance company for overseas policies in advance and consider travel insurance for extra precaution, if needed. If you or any of your family members are taking medications, be sure to pack them all – and maybe even pack a little extra so you’re not risking having to go without your medications at any point. We like to also suggest packing medication in your carry-on bag, because sometimes luggage can get temporarily misplaced or lost and at least this way, important medications will be with you.
While it’s nice to be able to plan every detail of a trip, sometimes sickness or injuries occur without any warning so making sure you and your family are able to get the care you need while abroad is important. We certainly hope that everyone has a healthy, safe, and enjoyable trip abroad, and with a bit of research and proper planning, you’ll be prepared, just in case! Stay connected with the Children’s Wellness team on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube for more pediatric health and safety tips, news, and more.
At Children’s Wellness Center (CWC), we take great pride in being a small pediatric practice here in Atlanta/Dunwoody area and though we may be a little biased – we certainly have some of the BEST patients around. Like we just mentioned, we may not be a giant practice of pediatricians but the healthcare that we’ve been able to provide to parents and their children over the years is extremely important to us and something that we genuinely enjoy doing on a daily basis. For us, we wanted to start a practice that focused on health, wellness, and family.
Many of our patients have been with us literally from the start of their life and we have been fortunate to virtually watch them grown into bright and shining young adults. Choosing a pediatrician for your child is already a big decision so we are the ones that are grateful for having the chance to be parent’s first resource in times of need and even in the in between. If asked why Children’s Wellness Center knows families, while we each may have our own responses, we can all agree that it’s because we get it. We’re parents ourselves and have been EXACTLY where some of you have been or will be as you get to watch your child grow.
Often times, parents can become frustrated with the notion that they’re just a number in a system or disappointed that they are never able to fully establish a trusting, long-standing relationship with their child’s pediatrician. This is not what we see as beneficial for parents and their children. We do our best to make sure you stick with your same provider, even when booking last minute, same-day appointments (while we can’t guarantee this 100% of the time, we sure do try our best to make sure you’re not bounced between different providers each visit). For us, the idea that the best possible medical care, a partnership must be fostered between the physician and family became our practices’ main philosophy. Family not only in the sense of the parents who bring their kids in for routine well-child visits, help with illnesses, or advice on some of the perils of parenthood, but family in the sense of an ever-growing Children’s Wellness Center family.