Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids

We Know Kids

The Willows Pediatrics Blog

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

HPV – WIN/WIN/WIN CAMPAIGN: Willows Pediatrics earns Certificate of Achievement

Willow's HPV Campaign

Willows Pediatrics recently participated in the WIN/WIN/WIN CAMPAIGN for the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) Vaccine conducted by the State of Connecticut Health Department’s Immunization Action Plan Program.  The program was designed to raise awareness of the vaccines recommend for middle-school aged children, in particular the three dose series of HPV vaccine.

We are proud to announce that Willows Pediatrics was awarded a certificate for having the maximum number of patients vaccinated against HPV in the 11-12 year old age group.

HPV Vaccine is recommended for all pre-teens and teens, both female and male.  This vaccine offers protection from many of the strains of Human Papilloma Virus that cause cervical cancer and genital warts.  It is important to note that the vaccine is most effective if it is given long before any exposure occurs.

The physicians at Willows Pediatrics believe in the importance of having every child vaccinated with Human Papilloma Virus vaccine at the age recommended by the Center for Disease Control in order that all individuals receive the best possible protection.

Willow's Pediatrics Certificate of Achievement - HPV Win/Win/Win

Norwalk Health Promotes Vaccines For Immunization Awareness Month

CDC information on HPV Vaccine – Gardasil 9

Jeff Owens, MD Honored by Norwalk Hospital

Jeffrey Owens, Willows Pediatrics

Willows Pediatrics congratulates Jeffrey Owens, MD for being named the Norwalk Hospital Medical Staff Honoree for September 2016, in recognition of his special contributions to the Norwalk Hospital Medical Community.  Dr. Owens has made an impact on the health of children and families in the Norwalk area by providing over 200 hours of volunteer service to the AmeriCares Free Clinic of Norwalk over the past five years.

We are extremely proud of Dr. Owens, and his efforts to help ensure that all infants, children and adolescents in our local community can access the best medical care possible.

Breastfeeding 101

Breastfeeding 101When: September 21, 2016

Where: Willows Pediatrics Office

What Time: 6:30pm – 8:00 pm

Willows Pediatrics is proud to announce a class for parents and parents-to-be who want to learn more about breastfeeding.  The class, taught by Dana Czuczka, a certified Lactation counselor, will be held in our office on Wednesday, September 21st. Download the below PDF for more information on how to register.

Breastfeeding 101 Willows

Dr. Czuczka, Dr. Marks & Dr. Sollinger earn 2016 “Top Docs”from Connecticut Magazine.

April 7, 2016

Top Doctors Recognition

We are proud and excited to announce that three of our physicians have been named Top Doctors in the April 2016 issue of Connecticut Magazine. This is Dr. Czuczka’s tenth year, and Dr. Marks’ and Dr. Sollinger’s second year as a Connecticut Magazine “Top Doc”.

The annual “Top Docs” issue of Connecticut Magazine names specialists in a variety of medical fields who have been selected based on the results of a survey from 834 Connecticut physicians in 31 specialties. 15000 questionnaires were sent throughout the state asking doctors to, “recommend a doctor (other than themselves) to whom they would send a loved one for expert medical care.”

While we congratulate Dr. Czuczka, Dr. Marks and Dr. Sollinger 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.

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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Dana Czuczka, MPH, CLC

Welcome the newest member of our lactation team


We are pleased to announce that Dana Czuczka has officially joined our lactation team at Willows! Dana will be seeing nursing moms and their babies on Tuesday mornings and Wednesdays. Dana will also continue to co-facilitate the new mom’s group with Cathy Peters on Tuesdays.

Dana is a CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor by the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice) and has qualified to sit for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLE) boards this year. Dana completed her clinical training here at Willows and at Full Circle Women’s Health in Harrison, NY. She is also on staff at Stamford Hospital.

Dana has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Before becoming a lactation consultant, Dana worked at Planned Parenthood of New York City for more than a decade and also at the Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University.

Dana joins Cathy in offering our patients evidence-based education and compassionate support for successful and satisfying nursing. Her training is in helping newborns and moms establish successful breastfeeding practices plus overcoming specific issues like painful or poor latching, low milk supply, engorgement, oversupply, and clogged ducts.

Please join us in welcoming Dana Czuczka on board!

Winter Car Seat Safety Tips

With winter upon us, it’s a good idea to review the safest way to manage getting your child to and from activities when bundled up for cold weather conditions.   Car seats are vital to your child’s safety, but it is also essential that they be used correctly for maximal protection.   Here are some tips for the winter season.

  • As a general rule, bulky clothing, including winter coats and snowsuits, should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat.  In a car crash, fluffy padding immediately flattens out from the force, leaving extra space under the harness. A child can then slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat.  You can help keep your child warm by dressing them in thin layers.
  • Check that the straps of the car seat harness are tight enough.  Even if your child looks snuggly bundled up in the car seat, multiple layers may make it difficult to tighten the harness enough. If you can pinch the straps of the car seat harness, then it needs to be tightened to fit snugly against your child’s chest.
  • Use a car seat cover ONLY if it does not have a layer under your baby. Nothing should ever go underneath your child’s body or between her body and the harness straps. Be sure to leave your child’s face uncovered to avoid trapped air and re-breathing. Many retailers carry car seat bundling products that are not safe to use in a car seat. Just because it’s on the shelf at the store does not mean it is safe!
  • Do not use sleeping bag inserts or other stroller accessories in the car seat.  Please remember, if an item did not come with the car seat, it has not been crash tested and may interfere with the protection provided in a crash.

We hope you and your family enjoy the winter season keeping these safety tips in mind.

For general safety information on car seats:

Zika Virus Updates


Emerging infectious diseases, such as those caused by the Zika virus, are of concern for families traveling to areas in the Caribbean, central and South America and even in the southern regions of the United States.   Zika virus infections are caused by bites of Aedes mosquitos that are infected with the virus.  The mosquitos that spread Zika are aggressive daytime biters, can also bite at night and can bite both indoors and outdoors.

Most people who are bitten and are infected have no symptoms.  For the 20% who display symptoms, the illness is usually mild and may include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.  The main concern is women who are pregnant, or may be pregnant in the near futures – Zika is linked with the development of microcephaly (small brain) when pregnant mothers are infected with the virus.   The CDC is also studying the possible relation between Zika virus and a neurological condition, Guillain-Barre.  The Zika virus has also recently been found to be sexually transmitted.

When considering their travel plans, each family will need to take into account their own personal circumstances.

When traveling, there are a number of simple steps to take to help protect your child from mosquito bites that can spread the Zika virus.  These steps can also help protect your child from two other viral infections spread by mosquitos, the Chikunguya and Dengue virus.

Consult the latest news and information on Zika virus from the CDC

The CDC lists travel to the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and South America as a Level 2 Alert – Practice Advanced Precautions.  The specific countries in affected regions are found on the CDC web site.  Advanced Precautions include using insect repellant and long sleeve clothing.


Use insect repellent wisely and regularly

Products with one of the following active ingredients can also help prevent mosquito bites. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection.  If you are using sunscreen, use sunscreen first and put insect repellant over it.  In general, the higher the percentage of active ingredient, the longer the protection lasts per application.

  • DEET
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin. Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan [outside the US])
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (Products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals)
  • IR3535 (Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart)


Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants

Note: The CDC has NOT placed any restrictions on travel within the United States.  As of February 10, 2016 the CDC reports 52 travel associated Zika virus cases (people who were infected by mosquitos when traveling outside the United States), but NO locally acquired vector-borne cases reported (no cases where people were infected while only living in the United States).  The CDC continues to monitor the situation closely – please check the CDC website for updates and advisories.

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



Willows Pediatrics was recently recognized by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health for our outstanding immunization rate.  Immunization rates are tracked by the State of Connecticut annually.  Tracking is an important way of ensuring that all children are adequately immunized and protected from vaccine preventable illness.

We are proud that we have won the CIRTS award annually for the past several years.  However, this year we are excited to announce that we are one of the few offices in the state that have achieved a 95% vaccination rate for our patients, and recognized by the state for this in the form of a plaque awarded to Willows Pediatric Group.

Connecticut Immunization Registry and Tracking System (CIRTS)