Friday, October 13, 2017

        From the desks of Katie Faragher and Nithya Sunder

Katie Faragher, CPNP
Nithya Sunder, MD
Halloween is approaching and children are excitedly talking about their costumes and trick-or-treating plans.  Below are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics that will help keep your child safe this Halloween.

All Dressed Up:
  • Make sure all costume components and accessories (wigs, capes, etc.) are flame resistant, with colors that are bright and reflective. 
  • Make sure shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility especially if kids will be out at dusk or later. 
  • Masks and hoods can limit or block eyesight.  Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks.  Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.
  • Make sure all props are not too sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he/she stumbles or trips.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eyecare professional.  Decorative lenses without a prescription can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Review with your children how to call 9-1-1 if they ever have an emergency or become lost.
       Pumpkin Decorating:
  • Small children should never carve pumpkins.  Children can draw a face with markers and then the parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin.  If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by.  They should never be left unattended.
  • Small children should never carve pumpkins.  Children can draw a face with markers and then the parents can do the cutting. 

Home Safe Home:   
  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations.
  • Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

Trick-or-Treat Trail:
  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. 
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Make sure that your older children are trick or treating in a group, has a route which you approve of, has a phone that works, that they do not go into any houses or cars, and have a set time by which they should return home. 
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks, and never cross between parked cars or on driveways.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Stay on well lit sidewalks. If you have to walk in the street make sure to face traffic and make sure kids are watching for cars as they cross streets. 
  • Avoid cutting through yards or alleys.
  • Don't assume the right of way.  Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
        Healthy Halloween:
  • Eating a good meal before parties and trick-or-treating will discourage children from filling up on Halloween goodies.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books, pens, pencils, glow sticks or safe toys without small parts. 
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats.  A responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items. 
  • Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.
  • Encourage kids to consider donating extra candy/treats to homeless shelters or to our troops. 
            Children with Food Allergies:
  • The Teal Pumpkin Project is a worldwide movement to create inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other conditions. 
  • Placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available such as glow sticks or small toys.
  • Display a free printable sign or poster from Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) to explain the meaning of your pumpkin.  Click the link below to get more information and print your sign today!

We hope you and your family have a happy, healthy and safe Halloween!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Flu Shots Now Available

We have received our supply of flu vaccine for both commercial and Medicaid insurance patients.  Please call the office at 630.717.2300 to schedule your appointment.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Behavior at School

Josie Dawe, CPNP
From the Desk of Josie Dawe, CPNP

Behavior Concerns in the Classroom?

It is that time of year when parents are meeting with teachers to discuss children's classroom behaviors. Variation in normal behavior and true behavioral problems is not always clear because "normal" depends upon the child's level of development, which can vary greatly among children of the same age. Additionally, children have individual variation of temperament, development and behavior.

When Should Parents Seek Help?
  • Your child's behavior impacts their social life. It is important for kids to have positive social interactions. If behavior problems are preventing your child from making or keeping friends it is important to seek help.
  • Your child's behavior interferes with school. If your child is frequently removed from the classroom or has trouble getting work done due to behavior concerns, professional help may be needed. 
  • Your child's behavior is not developmentally appropriate. Seek help if your child's behavior seems immature compared to other kids their age. 
  • Your discipline strategies aren't working. Pediatricians may be able to help you discover alternative discipline techniques.

 How Can Your Pediatrician Help?
  1. Pediatricians can help rule out any mental health issues that may be behind the behavior problems.
  2. Pediatricians will make recommendations and discuss treatment options and/or discipline strategies that are effective for these conditions.
  3. Vision and hearing problems can manifest as behavior problems as children cannot see or hear the lesson. Pediatricians can conduct basic hearing and vision tests to identify whether a hearing or vision specialist is needed.
  4. Treating these underlying conditions may lead to great improvement in behavior.          
Never hesitate to see your pediatrician if you or your child’s teacher feel your child may need help. Early intervention is often the key to successful treatment.

See below for additional helpful resources:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

We always strive to learn the latest in pediatrics

This week the American Academy of Pediatrics holds their fall conference.   Many of our physicians will attend several of the sessions that will be available to hear about the latest research, policies and medical discoveries that are happening in pediatrics.   This also affords them the opportunity to talk with a host of other pediatricians from all across the country.   

Our own Dr. Shelly Flais opens the AAP highlights video with the some of the things that make Chicago an incredible place to live.

Shelly Flais, MD
September 2017 Edition
AAP Experience 2017

September 16–19, 2017 | Chicago