Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids

We Know Kids

The Willows Pediatrics Blog

Breastmilk Storage Guidelines*

Breastmilk Storage Guidelines

*for home-use for healthy full term infants (Storing times may differ for premature or sick babies. Please check with us.)

We know new parents have a lot of things to worry about! At Willows, we believe that remembering breastmilk storage times shouldn’t be one of them. Here’s a quick reference for you to bookmark, download or print for easy access. Please keep in mind, these are guidelines – not strict rules. For more detailed information, please see the links in the references below. When in doubt, call one of our lactation consultants, Cathy and Dana, with any questions or concerns.

Breastmilk Storage Guidelines

REFERENCES:

Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.  Clinical Protocol Number #8: Human Milk Storage Information for Home Use for Healthy Full Term Infants.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Proper Storage and Handling of Human Milk.

Head Injury and Concussion Care

willows concussion blogConcussion Care for Active Children and Adolescents in Fairfield County

Despite taking precautions, active children and adolescents may experience head injuries, need to be evaluated, and appropriate return to school and play guidelines must be provided. Year round, Willows Pediatrics is committed to providing complete, consistent and comprehensive concussion management for our patients. However, with school starting and “Concussion Season” upon us, we want to review the services and expertise Willows Pediatrics can provide to children and adolescents who experience a head injury. Read More

Teething Myths Revealed

Teething Myths - Fact from FictionFor generations, a host of symptoms and behaviors have been attributed to infant teething. It is not unusual for parents to wonder if crankiness, diarrhea, drooling, diaper rashes and trouble sleeping are related to teething, illness or a normal phase of development.

A recent analysis of the medical literature related to teething found that teething causes babies to rub their gums, be a little crankier and drool more.  This conclusion was the result of of a meta-analysis, published in March 2016 in the journal, Pediatrics, where over one thousand citations from researchers around the world regarding teething were studied.  The researches then narrowed down the citations to 22 studies from eight different countries to concentrate on.  The children in the studies ranged from birth to age 3 years.  The authors, led by Carla Massignan, DDS, concluded gum irritation, irritability and drooling were the main manifestations of infant teething.  A key finding is that while some infants have a slight rise in their temperature, it was not up to 100.4 degrees F, the standard cut off for a fever.  Based on their meta-analysis, the authors concluded teething does not cause a full-fledged fever or any other sign of actual illness.  Now, based on the research, lets look at some of the myths and facts surrounding teething:

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Trumenba (Meningitis B) Vaccine Now Available

Bacterial meningitis (infection around the spinal cord and brain) or sepsis (infection in the blood stream) is an extremely serious illness. The bacterium Neisseria meningitis (meningococous) is a cause of meningitis or septic shock in adolescents and young adults.

Even with appropriate antibiotics and intensive care, between 10 and 15 percent of people who develop meningococcal disease die, and another 10 to 20 percent suffer complications, such as brain damage or limb loss. Read More

Building an Early Literacy Toolkit

A favorite memory for many parents is reading aloud to their young children. But more than just a family routine or ritual, early and shared reading promotes early brain development and builds emotional bonds between parents and children during the critical early childhood years. Reading out loud, right from birth, is the foundation of your child’s literacy and a springboard for their future reading skills.

The Academy of Pediatrics has developed an Early Literacy Toolkit with ideas and suggestions that parents can adopt to support their child’s literacy. There is a toolkit for each critical age range in early childhood, infants up to 11 months, one year olds and two year olds. The advice in each toolkit takes advantage of the developmental stages at each age, so that parents can not only have fun, but do the most age appropriate activities to prepare their child for a life long love of reading and learning. Read More

Sleep Teaching Can’t Be One-Size-Fits-All

“Many parents who come to me share the fact that, well before they end up in my office, they have read a pile of sleep advice books without getting results,” says a local sleep consultant in Westport, CT.  “As a result, they often worry there is no real solution for the problems they face with their child’s sleep.”

However, the specialist adds, “The good news is, with the several hundred families I’ve worked with, this has never been the case. The problem isn’t with their child – it’s with the source they’re using for help with getting a child to sleep.” Read More

Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine – Myth vs. Reality

If you could protect your child against a cancer-causing virus with three doses of a safe and effective vaccine, why wouldn’t you? While most parents are committed to vaccinating their child against all vaccine preventable diseases, some parents are still reluctant to have their child receive the HPV vaccine. In response to these concerns, Willows Pediatrics wants to remind families about the benefits of the vaccine and why we recommend it.
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Willows Pediatrics Talks About Helping Students Reduce Test-Taking Anxiety

Whether it’s the CMTs, the SATs or a middle school math final, the doctors at Willows Pediatrics know that test-taking can cause anxiety in students. In fact, children who are anxious might even perform below their true abilities when taking a test.

According to Sian Beilock, a cognitive scientist at the University of Chicago and the aother of Choke: What The Secrets Of The Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To, “when students are anxious, their worries use up some of their working memory, leaving fewer cognitive resources to devote to the test.”

The good news is that test anxiety can be easily relieved. A recent article in Time magazine said that having students spend about 10 minutes prior to taking a test writing about their thoughts and feelings—a practice called expressive writing—proved helpful. Students’ test scores significantly improved after engaging in expressive writing.

Another writing exercise asked students to write briefly about something they valued and to describe why it matters to them. This values-affirmation exercise also improved test performance.

In addition, it’s important for students to learn how to prepare for a test. Instead of just reading over notes, they should practice answering questions in the same way they will be posed on a test. As one psychologist in the Time magazine article said, “You would never just read over your lines and show up on the opening night of the school play, right?” It’s the same thing with test-taking.

Finally, never underestimate the power of deep breathing. Relaxing before a test by focusing on breathing and on tensing then relaxing muscle groups can have a huge effect in reducing test anxiety!

If your student has severe test-taking anxiety, please feel free to talk make an appointment for a behavioral consultation. We can also refer our patients to mental-health professionals when necessary.

Conventional Produce Said To Be Nutritionally Equal To Organic Versions

Willows Pediatric Blog - Organic ProduceWillows Pediatrics. We advocate a diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, dairy and whole grains. And while we know that some parents purchase organic fruits, vegetables and meats for their families, we recently learned that organic food is not a nutritionally essential part of a child’s diet.

A new AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) clinical report found that while there are certain benefits to consuming organic products—most significantly the absence of pesticides—these foods are not more nutritious than regular produce. This is the first time the AAP has spoken on this issue.

Here’s what the report concluded:

While organic foods have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, proteins, lipids and other nutrients as conventional foods, they also have lower pesticide levels, which may be significant for children. Organically raised animals are also less likely to be contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria because organic farming rules prohibit the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics.

Regarding the impact of pesticides on children, the AAP said it was unable to make a definitive statement:

“At this point, we simply do not have the scientific evidence to know whether the difference in pesticide levels will impact a person’s health over a lifetime, though we do know that children–especially young children whose brains are developing–are uniquely vulnerable to chemical exposures,” said Joel Forman, MD, FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on Environmental Health and one of the lead authors of the AAP clinical report.

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Travel To And From School Safely With Advice From Willows Pediatrics

Now that we’ve got a month of school under our belts here in Fairfield County, Willows Pediatrics thought it would be a good time to share some tips for school-travel safety with parents of school-aged children.

We love seeing kids in Westport, Fairfield and other local towns walking, biking and even skateboarding to school! It’s reminiscent of a simpler time, it’s a wonderful way to get the blood flowing (and get the “wiggles” out), and it’s great exercise too!

But here are a few things to remember if you get to school by foot. Read More