Friday, February 3, 2017

Please consider contacting Congress about health care access

Dear Parents,
As you are aware the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may soon be dismantled.   President Trump has said that this will be replaced by something better but he indicated it may or may not happen simultaneously potentially leaving millions of people without health insurance in the meantime.    Should this happen, anyone who has a health crisis during that time will find themselves facing considerable hospital bills that they personally will be responsible for. 

The ACA expansion has allowed access to healthcare to many children through the Medicaid program so they will no longer be eligible to receive benefits.   These children may lose access to school entry if they cannot be vaccinated or participate in sports because they cannot afford a sports physical.

While children can receive vaccines at the local health department, there is a nominal fee for each vaccine.  For many, even a nominal cost is more than they can afford.   Although we tend to think this happens in more rural areas of the country, we can attest that we see many families right here in our area that are struggling to make ends meet.

Please join us in calling our representatives in Congress and asking them to continue providing health access for all children.  This doesn’t affect just a few people, it affects 20  million!

You may find your member of Congress through the following link:

We have also attached a link to the letter the American Academy of Pediatrics has sent to President Trump: 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

From the desk of Shelly Flais, MD

In the past 2 decades, food allergies have more than tripled. The most common food allergies are peanuts (in the legume family), tree nuts (such as walnuts and pecans), egg, shellfish, soy, wheat, and fish. Due to this growing food allergy epidemic, continued research is investigating what can be done to prevent or treat food allergies. New studies show that children who consume peanuts at earlier ages are less likely to develop a peanut allergy. It is important to note that recommendations vary depending on if your child has severe eczema, asthma, or allergies; if this is the case, talk to your PHA provider first to determine the best course of action.

Keep in mind that the introduction of peanut is taken in the broader context of introducing new solid foods in general, which also includes pureed vegetables and fruits, fortified infant cereal mixed with the infant's usual breastmilk or formula, and other foods. As always, wait 3 days after offering a new type of solid food before attempting another new food. Avoid choking hazards in infants and toddlers younger than 3 years of age. Whole nuts and thick peanut butter are choking hazards, so when introducing peanut to your child, thinned peanut butter is recommended. We have new handouts outlining these guidelines in our PHA offices, and look forward to discussing this important issue with your family. For further information on food allergies in general, check out the FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) website at

Dr. Flais is currently working on her third book with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Friday, January 27, 2017

This week the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  issued a statement in response to President Trump’s executive order on immigration.  We are reprinting their statement in full below:

AAP Statement on Protecting Immigrant Children

1/25/2017 by: Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

"The mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics is to protect the health and well-being of all children—no matter where they or their parents were born. Following today's immigration-focused Executive Orders signed by President Donald Trump, the Academy underscores continued commitment to our mission and reiterates our support for immigrant children and their families.
"Immigrant families are our neighbors, they are part of every community, and they are our patients. The Executive Orders signed today are harmful to immigrant children and families throughout our country. Many of the children who will be most affected are the victims of unspeakable violence and have been exposed to trauma. Children do not immigrate, they flee. They are coming to the U.S. seeking safe haven in our country and they need our compassion and assistance. Broad scale expansion of family detention only exacerbates their suffering.
"Far too many children in this country already live in constant fear that their parents will be taken into custody or deported, and the message these children received today from the highest levels of our federal government exacerbates that fear and anxiety. No child should ever live in fear. When children are scared, it can impact their health and development. Indeed, fear and stress, particularly prolonged exposure to serious stress – known as toxic stress – can harm the developing brain and negatively impact short- and long-term health.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics is non-partisan and pro-children. We urge President Trump and his Administration to ensure that children and families who are fleeing violence and adversity can continue to seek refuge in our country. Immigrant children and families are an integral part of our communities and our nation, and they deserve to be cared for, treated with compassion, and celebrated. Most of all, they deserve to be healthy and safe. Pediatricians stand with the immigrant families we care for and will continue to advocate that their needs are met and prioritized.”
 For social media, we encourage you to share the following  or a post of your own.