April 2017
This Month's Newsletter

The month of April brings many exciting transitions - a new season, blooming flowers, outdoor activities and many fun events. We hope you had fun on Earth Day this past April 22nd and we would like to recognize Austim awareness this month as we applaud all of the efforts for this amazing cause. 

 

In this month's newsletter, we discuss key topics on this new season and how to make the best choices. We include an article on insect repellents and how to choose the best one.  We also offer information on allergies and the best methods to manage and treat flares.  In addition, we provide information on tick bites and the best treatments. Finally, we remind you our new patient portal is now available to patients! Please see the information below on how to enroll.  

Our goal is to further develop our relationship with our patients and create an open forum. We welcome your comments and ideas. If you would like to see something included in this newsletter, please email us at pedcenter.com@gmail.com  with ideas only, please no medical requests.

As always, we welcome you to share your experience with our practitioners with an online review. 

Sincerely,
The Pediatric Center Staff
Insect Repellents - How To Choose?
Mosquitoes, biting flies, and tick bites can make children miserable. While most children have only mild reactions to insect bites, some children can become very sick.
One way to protect your child from biting insects is to use insect repellents. However, it's important that insect repellents are used safely and correctly.

The following information by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discusses types of repellents, the use of DEET, using repellents safely, and other ways to protect your child from insect bites.

Types of Repellents
Insect repellents prevent bites from biting insects but not stinging insects and come in many forms, including aerosols, sprays, liquids, creams, and sticks with variations on both chemical and natural ingredients.

Biting insects include mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and biting flies. 
Stinging insects include bees, hornets and wasps. 

The following types of products are not effective repellents:
  • Wristbands soaked in chemical repellents
  • Garlic or Vitamin B1 taken by mouth
  • Ultrasonic devices that give off sound waves designed to keep insects away
  • Bird or bat houses
  • Backyard bug zappers (this may actually attract insects)

DEET is a chemical used in insect repellents. The amount of DEET in insect repellents varies from product to product, so it's important to read the label of any product you use. The amount of DEET may range from less than 10% to more than 30%. DEET greater than 30% doesn't offer any additional protection.


Studies show that products with higher amounts of DEET protect people longer. For example, products with amounts around 10% may repel pests for about 2 hours, while products with amounts of about 24% last an average of 5 hours. But studies also show that products with amounts of DEET greater than 30% don't offer any extra protection.

The AAP recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than 2 months. 

Tips for Using Repellents Safely
Dos:
  • Read the label and follow all directions and precautions.
  • Only apply insect repellents on the outside of your child's clothing and on exposed skin. Note: Permethrin-containing products should not be applied to skin.
  • Spray repellents in open areas to avoid breathing them in.
  • Use just enough repellent to cover your child's clothing and exposed skin. Using more doesn't make the repellent more effective. Avoid reapplying unless needed.
  • Help apply insect repellent on young children. Supervise older children when using these products.
  • Wash your children's skin with soap and water to remove any repellent when they return indoors, and wash their clothing before they wear it again.
Dont's:
  • Never apply insect repellent to children younger than 2 months.
  • Never spray insect repellent directly onto your child's face. Instead, spray a little on your hands first and then rub it on your child's face. Avoid the eyes and mouth.
  • Do not spray insect repellent on cuts, wounds or irritated skin.
  • Do not use products that combine DEET with sunscreen. The DEET may make the sun protection factor (SPF) less effective. These products can overexpose your child to DEET because the sunscreen needs to be reapplied often.


Reactions to Insect Repellents
If you suspect that your child is having a reaction, such as a rash, to an insect repellent, stop using the product and wash your child's skin with soap and water. 

Then call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 or your child's doctor for help. If you go to your child's doctor's office, take the repellent container with you.

Other Ways to Protect Your Child from Insect Bites
While you can't prevent all insect bites, you can reduce the number your child receives by following these guidelines:
  • Tell your child to avoid areas that attract flying insects, such as garbage cans, stagnant pools of water, and flowerbeds or orchards.
  • Dress your child in long pants, a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, socks, and closed shoes when you know your child will be exposed to insects. A broad-brimmed hat can help to keep insects away from the face. Mosquito netting may be used over baby carriers or strollers in areas where your baby may be exposed to insects. 
  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints because they seem to attract insects.
  • Don't use scented soaps, perfumes, or hair sprays on your child because they may attract insects.
  • Keep door and window screens in good repair.
  • Check your child's skin at the end of the day if you live in an area where ticks are present and your child has been playing outdoors.
Remember that the most effective repellent for ticks is permethrin. It should not be applied to skin but on your child's clothing.
It's Allergy Time
All the pollen counts increase, so do the seasonal allergies.

According to The American College of Allegy, Asthma and Immunology, if you sneeze and cough, or your nose and eyes itch and are runny during certain times of the year, you may have seasonal allergies. Grass,  pollen and  mold are the most common triggers of seasonal allergies.

In many areas of the United States, spring allergies begin in February and last until the early summer. Mild winter temperatures can cause plants to pollinate early. A rainy spring can also promote rapid plant growth and lead to an increase in mold, causing symptoms to last well into the fall.

While the timing and severity of an allergy season vary across the country, the following climate factors also can influence how bad your symptoms might be:
  • Tree, grass and ragweed pollens thrive during cool nights and warm days.
  • Molds grow quickly in heat and high humidity.
  • Pollen levels tend to peak in the morning hours.
  • Rain washes pollen away, but pollen counts can soar after rainfall.
  • On a day with no wind, airborne allergens are grounded.
  • When the day is windy and warm, pollen counts surge.
  • Moving to another climate to avoid allergies is usually not successful - allergens are virtually everywhere.
The most common culprit for fall allergies is ragweed, a plant that grows wild almost everywhere, but especially on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Ragweed blooms and releases pollen from August to November. In many areas of the country, ragweed pollen levels are highest in mid-September.

Other plants that trigger fall allergies include:
  • Burning bush
  • Cocklebur
  • Lamb's-quarters
  • Pigweed
  • Sagebrush and mugwort
  • Tumbleweed and Russian thistle
Seasonal Allergy Management and Treatment
More than two-thirds of spring allergy sufferers actually have year-round symptoms. 
Work with your allergist to devise strategies to avoid your triggers:
  • Monitor pollen and mold counts. 
  • Keep windows and doors shut at home and in your car during allergy season.
  • To avoid pollen, know which pollens you are sensitive to and then check pollen counts. In spring and summer, during tree and grass pollen season, levels are highest in the evening. In late summer and early fall, during ragweed pollen season, levels are highest in the morning.
  • Take a shower, wash your hair and change your clothes after you've been working or playing outdoors.
  • Wear a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask when mowing the lawn or doing other chores outdoors, and take appropriate medication beforehand.
Your allergist may also recommend one or more medications to control  symptoms. Some of the most widely recommended drugs are available without a prescription (over the counter); others, including some nose drops, require a prescription.

If you have a history of prior seasonal problems, allergists recommend starting medications to alleviate symptoms two weeks before they are expected to begin.

One of the most effective ways to treat seasonal allergies linked to pollen is  immunotherapy (allergy shots). These injections expose you over time to gradual increments of your allergen, so you learn to tolerate it rather than reacting with sneezing, a stuffy nose or itchy, watery eyes.

*Source: The American College of Allegy, Asthma and Immunology

RSV

Allergies are not to be confused with RSV. Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms.

According to the CDC, most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia (infection of the lungs) in children younger than 1 year of age in the United States. It is also a significant cause of respiratory illness in older adults.


Tick Bite? Here's What To Do
There are many different types of ticks in the United States, some of which are capable of transmitting infections. The risk of developing these infections depends upon the geographic location, season of the year, type of tick, and, for Lyme disease, how long the tick was attached to the skin.

While many people are concerned after being bitten by a tick, the risk of acquiring a tick-borne infection is quite low, even if the tick has been attached, fed, and is actually carrying an infectious agent. Ticks transmit infection only after they have attached and then taken a blood meal from their new host. A tick that has not attached (and therefore has not yet become engorged from its blood meal) has not passed any infection.

Lyme Disease
Since the deer tick that transmits Lyme disease must feed for >36 hours before transmission of the spirochete, the risk of acquiring Lyme disease from an observed tick bite, for example, is only 1.2 to 1.4 percent, even in an area where the disease is common.

There is no benefit of blood testing for Lyme disease at the time of the tick bite; even people who become infected will not have a positive blood test until approximately two to six weeks after the tick bite.  Furthermore, there is no benefit of testing the tick to see if it carries Lyme since the risk of transmission is low.

What To Do If You Find A Tick
  • Before seeking medical attention, the affected person or household member should carefully remove the tick and make note of its appearance.  Only the Ixodes species of tick, also known as the deer tick, causes Lyme disease.  (see photo)
 
 
 
How To Remove A Tick
The proper way to remove a tick is to use a set of fine tweezers and grip the tick as close to the skin as is possible. Do not use a smoldering match or cigarette, nail polish, petroleum jelly (eg, Vaseline), liquid soap, or kerosene because they may irritate the tick and cause it to behave like a syringe, injecting bodily fluids into the wound.
 
The proper technique for tick removal includes the following:
  • Use fine tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible.
  • Pull backwards gently but firmly, using an even, steady pressure. Do not jerk or twist.
  • Do not squeeze, crush, or puncture the body of the tick, since its bodily fluids may contain infection-causing organisms.
  • After removing the tick, wash the skin and hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • If any mouth parts of the tick remain in the skin, these should be left alone; they will be expelled on their own. Attempts to remove these parts may result in significant skin trauma.
After a Tick Bite: 
If a person is bitten by a deer tick (the type of tick that carries Lyme Disease), there are two approaches in management:

1)       Observe and treat only if signs or symptoms develop
2)       Preventative treatment

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) recommends preventive treatment with antibiotics ONLY IN PATIENTS WHO MEET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
  • Attached tick identified as an adult or nymphal I. scapularis (deer) tick
  • Tick is estimated to have been attached for ≥36 hours (based upon how engorged the tick appears or the amount of time since outdoor exposure)
  • The antibiotic can be given within 72 hours of tick removal
  • The local rate of tick infection with B. burgdorferi is ≥20 percent (known to occur in parts of New England, parts of the mid-Atlantic states, and parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin)
  • The person can take doxycycline (eg, the person is not pregnant or breastfeeding or a child <8 years of age)
If the person meets ALL of the above criteria, preventive treatment with doxycycline can be considered.
 
If the patient cannot take doxycycline, the IDSA does not recommend preventive treatment with an alternate antibiotic for several reasons:
  • there are no data to support a short course of another antibiotic,
  • a longer course of antibiotics may have side effects,
  • antibiotic treatment is highly effective if Lyme disease were to develop
  • and the risk of developing a serious complication of Lyme disease after a recognized bite is extremely low.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
New Patient Portal
The Pediatric Center's new patient portal provides personal access  to your family's  medical records. You can access information such as immunization records, visit summaries, request appointments, view dates for upcoming appointments and pay your bill.

Sign up is quick from our website. Click here.
Do You Need A Pediatric Specialist?
woman_hand_butterflies.jpg
If you are in search of a pediatric specialist, please know we are here to guide you.

We have a wide network of doctors we can refer to ensure you are in good hands.

We specialize in developmental & behavioral health and focus on positive parenting practices. We can offer guidance on depression, eating disorders, developmental concerns and many other issues.

You are not alone. 
Please call to make an appointment to meet with one of our physicians:  
908-508-0400.
The Pediatric Center Online Bill Pay
Online Bill Payment
The Pediatric Center offers the ease and convenience of online bill baby_laptopbuying.jpg payment.   

Simply visit our " Bill Payment & Insurance" page on our website. 

Payments Over The Phone
If you prefer, you can still make a payment over the phone by calling The Pediatric Center's billing department, HealthCare Billing, Inc:  
Toll Free:  877-852-9092  or
Local:  908-237-9092
On-Site Lactation Support Center

Reminder, T he Pediatric Center offers an on-site Lactation Support Center.

Our modern and private on-site lactation suite provides a warm and relaxed environment for the mother and infant to enjoy a positive breastfeeding experience. 

We also offer a free prenatal class every month, open to the public. 

To schedule your lactation consultation, attend our free prenatal class or make an appointment please call us at 908-508-0400.

Vaccine Education Center

Did you know our website includes a Vaccine Education Center where you can find the immunization schedule for your child?

 

Reminder - we are offering the new meningitis vaccine Trumenba in our office. Insurance companies have started to cover this vaccine. It is recommended it be administered to all students starting college as part of their pre-college physical.

 

View all the details here.

We Love Your Feedback!

Your feedback is very important to us! We would love to hear about your positive experience with our doctors and nurse practitioners.  

 

Did you know you can write and post a review right on our website? Click here.

 

You can use this page to provide feedback, kudos, or just share thoughts. 

 

Thank you for your kind words!

Free Prenatal Class
We offer a free prenatal class on the 3rd Thursday of every month with our own
Dr. McKegney!
Click here to learn more.
It's A Partnership
Resources for breastfeeding, immunization schedules, what to do if your child is sick, online references & much more! Click here.
Read Our Blog!
Check out our blog to read about news and current events. Topics are relevant to our practice and patients. Click here.
Follow Us On Facebook!

Keep up to date with pertinent news information and important announcements on Facebook including time sensitive topics and office closings, etc.

 

Simply like us by clicking on the icon to the right!

 

Announcements will also be posted on the home page of our website under "What's New".

The Pediatric Center

556 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974

908-508-0400

www.PedCenter.com

Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved.