Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids

We Know Kids

The Willows Pediatrics Blog

Unlocked Firearms in the Home: Asking Saves Kids

Most parents are aware of the staggering number of children and adolescents affected by firearm violence in the United States. What parents may not realize is that in the United States, one out of every three homes with children has a gun, and that many of these firearms are kept unlocked or loaded. Every year thousands of children and adolescents are killed and injured as a result.

In response, we want to bring to your attention The ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Campaign. This movement promotes a simple idea that has the potential to help keep all kids safe. The Ask Campaign, created in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, encourages parents to ASK if there is an unlocked gun in the homes where their children play. Read More

Five Willows Docs Earn “Top Doctor” From Castle Connolly

Castle Connelly Top Docs 2018 - Willows Pediatrics

We are proud and excited to announce that Castle Connolly has recognized five of our physicians for “Top Doctor” honors for 2018.  This is Dr. Marks’ seventh, Dr. Sollinger’s sixth, Dr. Owens’ and Woodward’s third, and Dr. Sheiman’s second year as a Castle Connolly “Top Doctor”.

Every year Castle Connolly publishes a list of physicians in a variety of medical fields throughout the country who have been selected based on the results of a survey of their peers as being “Top Doctors” in their specialty. While we congratulate Dr. Marks, Dr. Owens, Dr. Sheiman, Dr. Sollinger, and Dr. Woodward for being recognized by their peers, Willows Pediatrics takes pride in knowing all of our physicians and our entire medical team are at the top of their field providing compassionate, expert pediatric care to hundreds of local families.

Car and Booster Seats – CT Laws

Car seat news

We would like to remind parents about Connecticut’s new requirements for the use of car seats and restraints. With the advent of a law passed in October 2017, Connecticut became the eighth state to accept the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics that children remain in rear-facing child restraints up to 2 years of age.  Connecticut’s statutes also increase the age and weight requirements for the use of car seats and booster seats – to graduate out of a booster seat a child must be 8 years of age and weigh at least 60 pounds.  These requirements are based on the latest research from leading child safety advocates, and are intended to reduce injury if infants and children are subjected to intense acceleration and deceleration forces if a car accident occurs.  In addition, raising the age for graduating from a booster seat ensures that children are not taken out of booster seats before the adult seat belt fits properly.

Below are the child restraint requirements under the Connecticut measure:

  • Any child under 2 years of age, or weighing less than 30 pounds regardless of age, must be placed in a rear-facing child restraint/car seat with a five-point harness.
  • Any child 2 to 4 years of age, or weighing between 30 to 39 pounds regardless of age, must ride in either a rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint/car seat with a five-point harness.
  • Any child 5 to 7 years of age, or weighing 40 to 59 pounds regardless of age, must ride in a rear facing child restraint/car seat or a forward-facing child restraint/booster seat secured by a lap-and-shoulder seat belt.
  • Any child or adolescent from 8 through 15 years of age who weighs 60 pounds or more must use an approved child restraint system/booster seat or a safety seat belt.
Age and Weight Restraint Requirements
Under age 2 years, or under 30 pounds regardless of age Rear facing child restraint/car seat
Ages 2 through 4 years, or weighing 30-39 pounds regardless of age Rear or forward facing child restraint/car seat
Ages 5 through 7 years, or weighing 40-59 pounds regardless of age Rear or forward facing child restraint/car seat or booster seat secured by a lap/shoulder belt (seat belt).
Ages 8 through 15 years and weighing 60 pounds or more Child restraint or seat belt

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your physician, PA, or nurse.  More information on child passenger safety is available at www.ctsafekids.org.

See the Safe Kids Booster Brochure.

Willows Giving Back

Willow's Pediatrics gives back at Breast Cancer Walk Willow's Pediatrics gives back to Pediatric Cancer

As we begin 2018, the physicians, PAs, nurses, and staff of Willows Pediatrics would like to say how grateful we are for the support from our families as we gave back to our local community and beyond the past year. September 2017 was Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and families who purchased items at our bake sale helped support the fight against childhood cancer.   Thirteen members of the Willows family participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Sherwood Island last October and contributed to breast cancer awareness and research. October 2017 was also when several of our physicians and staff sorted and packed food at the Connecticut Food Bank in Fairfield.  Many thanks to our families who donated non-perishable food items during our food drive.   2017 ended with our Toys for Tots drive, part of the annual campaign run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve.  Again, many thanks for the generosity of so many families who donated unopened toys to be given to children whose families were unable to purchase them on their own.

Willow's Pediatrics gives back Toys for Tots Willow's Pediatrics gives back at the Food Bank

Farewell to Dr. Czuczka

A Fond Farewell to Dr. Czuczka

Farewell to Dr. Czuczka

Willows Pediatrics recently celebrated Dr. Czuczka with a gathering of colleagues, family, and friends on the eve of his retirement.  It was a truly special time to honor and celebrate Dr. Czuczka’s many years of practice dedicated to the health and well-being of children and families throughout Fairfield County. We wish Dr. Czuczka all the best for the future, and with the addition of Dr. Lauren Allison look forward to continuing our tradition of providing state-of-the-art pediatric care to infants, children, and adolescents.

Farewell to Dr. Czuczka


Baby Group Celebrates Halloween

Willow's Pediatrics Baby Group Photo - Halloween Celebration

Our always popular baby group took a break from their normal newborn learning sessions to celebrate Halloween and the new friendships and bonds that develop during the weekly sessions.  While their parents enjoyed baked goods and snacks, babies celebrated their first Halloween dressed in festive costumes.   The Willows baby group is open to any of our parents with an infant from birth to 3 months of age, and meets in our office every Tuesday at 11 am.  No appointment is needed, just bring yourself, any family members who want to join you, and your baby!

Willows Receives Award from the Connecticut Immunization Registry and Tracking System (CIRTS)

Willows Pediatric Group has done it again!  Based on data from the Connecticut Immunization Registry and Tracking System (CIRTS), we have achieved a 94% immunization rate at age 2 years, for our patients born in the year 2013. This has contributed to sustaining Connecticut’s high immunization rate.  We are proud to continue our tradition of receiving this annual recognition from CIRTS.

The physicians, PA’s, and nurses at Willows are dedicated to informing parents about the benefits of vaccines, and vaccinating your children at an appropriate age to keep them protected from diseases.

Willow's CIRTS Award 2017


Willows Supports Sand Jam & Family Movie Night

Willows Pediatric Group was a proud sponsor of the Sand Jam & Family Movie Night held Thursday August 3rd at Jennings Beach in Fairfield.  The event is an annual program of Fairfield’s Department of Parks and Recreation.  The doctors and staff at Willows gave away some goodies to the kids, and the kids were excited to meet their favorite doctors outside the office.

It was a fun family night for kids of all ages with music, dancing and lots of playful activites on the sand.  The evening started at 6:30 PM and was followed by the Disney animated movie Moana when it turned dark.

Families came with their beach chairs, blankets, and some munchies to enjoy a spectacular evening and have some good family time under the summer sky.

Willows Pediatric Group at Sand Jam




School Start Time, Sleep and Your Adolescent: Time for a Change

Sleep for Success LogoIf your high-school-aged teen has struggled getting up for school in the morning, you are not alone.  What has been commonly observed, that adolescents’ sleep cycle shifts as they hit puberty so that adolescents become night owls, have trouble waking up in the morning, and then experience excessive sleepiness during the day – has recently received national attention as a public health issue.

With the benefit of neuroscience we now know that teens aren’t just lazy; their natural sleep cycles make it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11:00 p.m. and wake up before 8:00 a.m.  This is because adolescents’ biological sleep-wake cycle begins to shift two to three hours later at the start of puberty.  This sleep-phase shift affects teenagers around the world, regardless of parenting methods, technology use, or sleep hygiene.  Even adolescents in pre-industrial cultures without cell phones or computers develop the same sleep-cycle delay.

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