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April 2020
This Month's Newsletter
We hope everyone maintains ways to find the positive in our new situation. Health and safety is the top priority as we continue to evolve and understand the status of the future. 

In this month's newsletter, we share The Pediatric Center's latest postiion on COVID-19 and our procedures, appointment protocols and office hours.  We recognize Stress Reduction Month and offer 15 techniques to help reduce stress. In addition, we offer a perspective on the influence of the media, and recommended strategies for a family media plan. Finally, we share information on our new virtual prenatal class and new mom support group.  

The Pediatric Center is here for all of your urgent medical needs, even when the office is closed. There is always someone on call from our practice. All you have to do is call: 908-508-0400.

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
COVID-19 Update
We Are Open
It is our commitment to remain open and available 7 days a week, with access 24-hours a day. Please call the office to schedule your child's well-visit and other medical care visits. Our office is a safe environment. Summer is our busiest time for physicals.
 
Please call now to schedule available visits for May-July.
 
We are fully operational in our enhanced safe environment.
Rest-assured we have incorporated increased sanitizing and safety measures to facilitate the same exceptional care we have always provided. Each exam room is sanitized between each patient visit.
 
NEW: Appointment Procedures and Hours
8:30 AM -   5:30 PM   Virtual appointments
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM  Scheduled and CLEARED acute care visits
1:00 PM -   5:30 PM   Scheduled well-visits and CLEARED chronic care visits
 
Lunch Hours
Our office is now closed between 12:00 and 1:00 for lunch as we sanitize
our office for afternoon visits.
 
There are no-available walk in hours for the foreseeable future
All appointments must be scheduled. If you show up without an appointment, you will be asked to return to your car to call the office to schedule an appointment.  In most cases, we will be able to accommodate you quickly with an office or virtual visit.
 
Waiting Rooms ARE CLOSED
We have always provided separate waiting rooms and exam rooms for our sick and well patients. We have incorporated extra steps as further precautions and no longer allow patients in our waiting rooms.
 
You must be CLEARED prior to being permitted to have an in-office visit
Clearing Protocol:
Patient & immediate family members must not have a cough AND fever 
(at the same time) in the past 14 days  AND...
Patient & immediate family members must not have traveled outside the 
US in the past 14 days  AND...
Patient & immediate family members must not have had direct contact with anyone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
 
No symptomatic COVID-19 patients will be allowed in the office at any time.
Arrangements will be made for your child's care ranging from a visit in the parking lot to referring to appropriate care. 
 
ALL in-person appointments
You and your child will be greeted and CLEARED to enter the office by our staff in our entryway vestibule. We reinforce only ONE parent will be allowed with the child into the office during both routine and acute care visits. Exceptions may be made for interpreters & in other appropriate instances. Our entire office wears masks and we require the same from patients and parents.
 
What Happens If You Are NOT Cleared?
We're still here to help! We will ask you to return to your car and to call the office to schedule a virtual visit with one of our providers. In most cases, we will be able to accommodate you right away and provide appropriate medical care if you are NOT cleared.
 
How to Make an Appointment
Call the office:  908-508-0400 choose option 4
The Pediatric Center offers virtual telemedicine, in addition to our regular in-office appointments. Learn more here. Link to page
 
How Do You Speak with a Nurse?
Call the office:  908-508-0400 option 2
 
For the latest official information about COVID-19, visit  The State of New Jersey Department of Health or  call them at 1-800-222-1222 for 24-hour assistance. 
For additional information, visit the  Center for Disease Control. 
 
Reminders:
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Please remain home and avoid groups of people
  • Maintain 6 feet social distancing at all times
  • Wear a mask when you leave your house and eye protection
  • If your child develops a fever, cough or shortness of breath, call The Pediatric Center first (908-508-0400) and together, if required, we will help direct you to additional resources
Taking these important measures will benefit the population as a whole and prevent spread of the disease to parents, siblings, grandparents, neighbors, and people in stores or medical offices/hospitals.
 
These are extraordinary days indeed. Everything we are implementing is designed with the safety and welfare of your precious children in mind. We will do all that we can to continue to deliver world class compassionate care, despite the inconveniences that we all will encounter along the way.  
 
Dr. Steven Moskowitz and staff at The Pediatric Center

Please check our website for COVID-19 updates.

National Stress Reduction Month
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The current COVID-19 environment has led us to learn to adjust to a new way of living. Home isolation for several weeks, especially with the family together for concentrated amounts of time, can lead to emotional and physical challenges. 

Though we may not be moving at the same fast, stressful pace we have become accustomed to, we are presented with new stresses including home-schooling, shopping challenges and fewer outlets.

It is great timing to recognize April as Stress Awareness Month. Incorporating stress reduction techniques into your day can help alleviate some of the pressures we are feeling in our new world.  

We offer 15 stress reduction suggestions below:
  1. Start each day with intention. What do you want to accomplish in the day? Try to make it manageable and write it down. It can be one thing.
  2. Find time to remove yourself from work, from kids and from your setting to refresh your mind and scenery.
  3. Exercise every day - especially at a moment you are feeling overwhelmed. Even if it's only 15 minutes - move. Get outside and go for a walk, run or bike ride. Take a free exercise class. There are a plethora of free virtual workouts posted online.
  4. Deep breaths. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, step away - take a deep breath, hold for 5 seconds and release. Repeat this 10 times.
  5. Plan a fun family activity twice a week. Go for a drive, play a game, cook together, clean out the garage. Offer a prize to the "winner."
  6. Play music. Playing music throughout the house can change the mood instantly. Play music when you cook, eat or first thing in the morning.
  7. Do a 5-10 minute meditation. A free, popular App is Insight Timer.
  8. Make a daily schedule and stick to it. Get up, make your bed, get dressed, brush your teeth...it's the simple routines that will help you feel more in control.
  9. Plan out the week. Know what time you are exercising, eating, sleeping, working, relaxing, etc. and keep to the plan.
  10. Call or video conference a friend. One of the greatest stress releases is to chat with someone you love.
  11. Take a bath. Baths are one of the most relaxing tools to reset and rejuvenate. Add some Epsom Salt to your bath for an additional aid in releasing stress and body aches. 
  12. Find something that makes you feel good - a warm cup of coffee, a special snack, an at-home pedicure and include it in your day.
  13. Pick up a new hobby - sewing, learning an instrument, crafts.
  14. Write in a journal. Writing your thoughts down is therapeutic. It allows you to articulate what you are feeling and work your way through it.
  15. Go to sleep a little earlier. Getting a full night sleep will help you feel rejuvenated.
The Influence of the Media
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Media is everywhere these days - and can really influence your thoughts on the current environment. Dr. Moreno, lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement for pediatric media use and a member of the AAP Council on Communications and Media Executive Committee, shares his perspective on media use in the household. Although written before social distancing, the article extracted below is a good reminder for tactics that can be applied today, while adjusting to our new world.

The changing nature of media use means children and teens can engage in a media environment that is highly personalized. 

The AAP policy proposes that parents develop and reinforce media guidelines that go beyond how much time is spent on media and consider how they are used. A key recommendation includes drawing up a Family Media Plan.

Strive for balance with Family Media Plan
Today's children and teens are growing up in a media-saturated environment, including broadcast and streamed television, interactive video games and social media. These immersive media allow youths to experience the role of both media creator and consumer. Toward the goal of a personalized media approach, the Academy introduced an interactive Family Media Plan which allows families to prioritize daily activities. Health, academic and social goals are met first, and then media use time is considered.

Using the plan, critical health practices are followed daily, including attaining one hour of exercise and eight to 12 hours of sleep (depending on age). To ensure that sleep is restful, the policy says children should not sleep with media devices in their rooms and should avoid any screen time for at least an hour before bed. The plan also suggests designating screen-free locations at home, such as the bedroom, as well as media-free times such as family dinnertime or while driving. 

Families are guided to prioritize these health practices, to consider other responsibilities such as homework, sports and time with friends, and then to determine how much time is "left over" that may be considered for media use.

Teaching moments
Media can be thought of as tools that may provide both positive and negative experiences and influences. Thus, the policy promotes thoughtful selection of media, as well as co-viewing of media by parents and their children. 
Recommendations for families
  • Develop, follow and routinely revisit a Family Media Plan.
  • Address what type and how much media are used, and what media behaviors are appropriate for each child or teen - and for parents. Place consistent limits on hours per day of media use as well as types of media used.
  • Help your child select educational media that encourage creativity and co-view the content or co-play with your child.
  • For children ages 6 years and older, set media use limits that factor in other health-promoting activities such as physical activity, sleep, family meals, school and friends.
  • Discourage entertainment media while children are doing homework, and make sure children don't sleep with devices in their bedrooms.
  • Implement media-free zones such as the dinner table.
  • Serve as positive role models on healthy media use.
Source: AAP; Read the full article
NEW Virtual Mom Support Group
If you have recently had a new baby, we realize your experience is not typical of most new moms. In our new environment, it is a challenge to meet and talk with other new moms or have an outlet for questions and concerns. 

The Pediatric Center is now offering a weekly Virtual New Mom Support Group every Friday at 10 am. The classes will be facilitated by our own Dr. Mckegney via Zoom.

Simply register here. Please encourage other new moms to join you. The support group is open and free to the public.
NEW Virtual Prenatal Class



We Are Here For You



On-Site Lactation Support Center

T he Pediatric Center's Lactation Support Center and lactation suite are available to you to support breastfeeding your child.   

We offer complimentary lactation consultations and are now offering virtual visits.

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

Find More Topics On Our Blog
The Pediatric Center's blog is an invaluable resource for pediatric and parenting topics. The blog is right on our website . It includes topics such as "12 Super Foods for Lactation Aid", "Best Winter Skincare Tips" and so much more. 
Patient Portal
The Pediatric Center's 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?
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The Pediatric Center works with a wi de network of doctors we can refer to a pediatric specialist if you need one. 

As part of our practice, 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
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Online Bill Payment
The Pediatric Center offers the ease and convenience of online bill payment from 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,

Office:  908-508-0400
Billing Department:  786-249-1234
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 offer all students going to college the Meningococcal B vaccine. This vaccine is covered by insurance.  It is recommended it be administered to all students starting college as part of their pre-college physical. Please also discuss the new Gardasil vaccine with your practitioner.  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.  You can  write and post a review right on our website or on our Facebook page.  Thank you for your kind words!

Stay Connected!
Free Virtual Prenatal Class
Join our free, virtual prenatal class on the 3rd Thursday of every month with our own
Dr. McKegney!
For Parents
Resources for breastfeeding, immunization schedules, what to do if your child is sick, online references & much more! Click here.
New Mom Support Group
Are you a new mom and want to connect with other moms while learning about your newborn? Join our weekly support group.
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

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