Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids
We Know Kids
The Willows Pediatrics Blog

Category: Willows Pediatrics

Formula Recall

FDA headline: FDA warns consumers not to use certain powdered infant formula produced in Abbott Nutrition's Facility in Sturgis, MichiganOn February 17, 2022, the FDA announced that it is investigating concerns about bacterial infections potentially related to Similac, Elecare and Alimentum powdered formulas. At this time, there are 4 cases of infants sickened with Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella Newport. This recall only related to powdered formula, not to liquid ready to feed. To read the full FDA announcement, please click here.

The FDA is advising consumers not to use Similac, Alimentum, or EleCare powdered infant formulas if:

  • the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37; and
  • the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2; and
  • the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later

To check if formula you have at home is included in the recall please go to this website, where you can enter the lot number on the can and check if the recall applies.

What should I do if I was using the recalled formula for my infant?

Stop using that lot number and switch to a different infant formula. If you aren’t sure which formula to switch to, take a look at the chart below or contact your pediatrician. Monitor your child for illness, bacteria such as the ones involved in this recall can make children very ill with symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

What formula should I switch to?

Formula conversions

Willows welcomes two new providers!

We are thrilled to announce that we have added two new team members at Willows! We welcome Amanda Nederlof, APRN (left) Jessica Gonzalez, PA-C (right) to our team! Both are pediatric professionals with years of pediatric experience in Fairfield County before joining our practice.

As a Physician Assistant (PA) and Advance Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) both Jessica and Amanda are skilled professionals, qualified with academic and practical experience to provide complete medical care for infants, children, and adolescents.

Both Jessica and Amanda have a wealth of experience diagnosing and treating common and uncommon medical problems, responding to emergencies, and advising and communicating with families. When you see Jessica or Amanda with your child, you are in the care of an outstanding clinician who can either be your child’s primary medical provider or work with your physician. The physicians at Willows, together with our PAs, and APRN work together to ensure that we have flexible scheduling and can be responsive to urgent care and after-hours needs.

Amanda Nederlof, APRN’s Biography

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to work in pediatrics. Combining my love for education and childhood development, a career in pediatric medicine was an easy decision for me. After moving back home (Wellesley, MA) after college at Muhlenberg and working as a research assistant at Partners Healthcare (now Mass General Brigham), I was inspired to pursue a career in the field of nursing. I completed my training with a Master’s Program in Nursing in Pediatrics at the Yale University School of Nursing. This training allowed me to be exposed to many different settings where children receive health care. This included a Ear, Nose, and Throat specialty office, school-based and community health centers, and private practice pediatrics. After graduating, I worked in a pediatric office in Connecticut for a number of years, where I truly enjoyed watching my patients grow. As a new mother, I understand the anxiety that comes with being a parent. My goal is to provide patient centered care, where I make certain that I take into consideration both the patient and their family when I walk in a room. My aim is to make each visit with your family fun, interactive, and educational while providing the most up-to-date and evidence-based care possible. Click here to read Amanda’s full bio.

Jessica Gonzalez, PA’s Biography

As soon as I was accepted to Physician Assistant school, I knew that I wanted to work in pediatrics. I attended Hofstra University PA program in New York State. I was fortunate to do an extra elective rotation at a Children’s Hospital, which solidified my passion for pediatrics. When I graduated, I started work at Norwalk Hospital/CCMC, where I spent four years working in pediatric inpatient medicine, the neonatal ICU (NICU), and in the well-baby newborn nursery. I genuinely loved going to work every day.

When my daughter was born, I transitioned to outpatient pediatrics, which is what I have been doing for the past three years. I love working with all ages, from newborns to young adults. I have a special interest in pediatric asthma and teach pediatric clinical medicine at the University of Bridgeport PA program. I am so excited to be able to become a part of the Willows Pediatrics Family, and can’t wait to get to know all of the Willows families! Click here to read Jessica’s full bio.


Willows Pediatrics Flu Administration Schedule (2021)*

This year due to COVID-19 and Social Distance Rules ALL CLINICS WILL BE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY


Please download and fill out the 2021 Injectable Flu Shot administration sheet (link below). If you are unable to do so, we will have blank copies when you arrive.


Please fill out a Flu Shot administration form for each child and BRING IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU COME FOR YOUR FLU VACCINE . (If someone other than a parent/guardian is bringing a child in for the flu vaccine, a written note giving permission to give the vaccine signed by a parent will also be required.)

  • Drive Thru Clinics held 1 – 5 pm
    • Tuesday 10/19
    • Thursday 10/21
    • Tuesday 10/26
    • Friday 10/29
  • Drive Thru Clinics held 9 am – noon
    • Tuesday 11/2


You must be a patient of Willows Pediatric Group who has previously been seen in our office, and show a valid insurance card or be prepared to pay at time of service.

Please check our website for any last minute updates on the “Bulletin Board” or under “News” at www.willowspediatrics.com

*Please note all dates above are subject to availability of supply

Covid-19 Testing Sites in our Community

Below is information on where families can obtain Covid-19 testing in our community. This list is not inclusive of all sites in our area, but includes sites many of our families have used. For the latest information and hours of operation, please call the testing site.

Please note:
-Covid-19 rapid refers to the “quick” test. The rapid test is an antigen test that indicates if specific proteins on the surface of the virus are present.
-Covid-19 PCR testing refers to the non-“quick” test. PCR is a molecular test that indicates if RNA (genetic material) of the Covid-19 virus is present. The time taken to get results can vary.


Willows Pediatric Group
1563 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880
Phone: 203-319-3939

NOTES (please note, we can only offer testing to our patients)
Willows offers Covid-19 testing to our patients of any age who are asymptomatic, and to our patients of any age who are symptomatic. We test asymptomatic patients by appointment as outside “car visits”. We see symptomatic patients by appointment in areas of our office that are physically separated from the rest of the office and accessed by a separate entrance. Please call with questions or to make an appointment. Testing, both Rapid Antigen testing (done in our office) and PCR testing (sent to an outside lab), is done on weekdays and weekends during our regular office hours.

St. Vincent’s – Hartford Health Care
47 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880
Phone: 833-621-0600

Pre-registration with Hartford Health Care
No order/prescription required
Children 6 months of age and older
Performs Covid-19 PCR test
Receive results through MyChart app or by phone


DOCS Urgent Care – Fairfield
525 Tunxis Hill Cut Off, Fairfield, CT 06825
Phone: 203-301-8483
Fax: 203-870-1976

Walk-in only, no appointments
Performs Covid-19 rapid and Covid-19 PCR test
No order/prescription required
Children over 2 years of age
May pre-register online

Yale New Haven Health
140 Mill Plain Road, Fairfield, 06824

Performs Covid-19 PCR test
Self-schedule appointment on-line

Yale Urgent Care – Fairfield
309 Stillson Road, Fairfield, 06825
Phone: 203-331-1924
Fax: 203-331-1450

Performs Covid-19 PCR test
Prescription required
Please call your Willows nurse/PA/physician


Community Health Center
Drive through at Veteran’s Park
42 Seaview Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06855
No order,prescription, or appointment needed

All ages, receive results through CHC’s on-line portal
Performs Covid-19 PCR test

DOCS Urgent Care – Norwalk
677 Connecticut Ave
Norwalk, CT 06854
PHONE: 203-298-9752
FAX: 203-301-8483

See above under DOCS Urgent Care – Fairfield


St. Vincent’s – Hartford Health Care
2979 Main Street, Bridgeport

See above under Westport

Optimus Health Care
982 E. Main Street
Bridgeport, CT
Phone: 203-696-3260

Performs Covid-19 PCR test, No prescription or appointment required

DOCS Urgent Care – Bridgeport
1677 E Main St
Bridgeport CT, 06608
Phone: 203-612-7929
Fax: (203) 612-7931

See above under DOCS Urgent Care – Fairfield

Miscellaneous- CVS Minute Clinic

Please go to the link below:

Only ages 18 and over
Check website above for locations and hours

The 3 to 6 Month Zone is back

“The 3 to 6 Month Zone” is a back! After taking a break for the Covid-19 pandemic, our support group for parents of babies from three to six months of age is meeting again. The group meets every Wednesday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.  We meet outside by the picnic tables behind our office weather permitting or meet by Zoom if there is rain or the temperature is below 40 degrees. Please check our Instagram the day before for information on the meeting location.

Topics for “The 3 to 6 Month Zone” include introducing solid foods, emerging sleep habits, stages of development, safety measures, and discussions of age-appropriate activities. While an infant’s emerging social and communication skills make this a magical age, parents often find just when they thought they had their newborns figured out … they change! This paradox of a growing baby may raise questions and offer challenges, but it is also a wonderful sign and confirmation that your child is developing.

The 3 to 6 Month Zone” is led by Heather Buccigross, PA-C.  As with our newborn group, there is no charge and no appointment is necessary.

The 3-to-6 month zone is back at Willows Pediatrics

Covid-19 Testing For Asymptomatic Patients Now Available

We are happy to provide Covid-19 testing at our office for asymptomatic patients of Willows Pediatrics of any age by appointment. These appointments take place outside in our parking lot, at your car, to keep everyone safe.

Asymptomatic patients include anyone who wants Covid-19 testing, but does not have symptoms at the time. This includes testing for travel clearance or for exposure to a positive contact.

Asymptomatic covid testing at Willows PediatricsWe offer both PCR and rapid antigen testing and can help you decide if one or both are better depending on your situation.

Can my child get tested at Willows if he or she is sick?

Of course! If your child is sick, we are available to examine him or her in our office and conduct any workup needed including rapid Covid-19 Antigen testing and PCR testing.

Please remember: It is important to schedule an exam if your child is unwell. We continue to find cases of strep, mono, ear infections, and many other treatable non-covid illnesses in our patients who present with signs and symptoms of illness.


A Tribute to our Founders

This past year saw the passing of the two founders of Willows Pediatric Group, Dr. Albert Beasley and Dr. Jack Shiller. We are honored to follow in their footsteps; both men dedicated their careers not only to taking care of children, adolescents, and families for generations, but also to the improvement and well-being of our entire community.

Dr. Beasley came to Westport 65 years before he passed away last June at age 96. Similarly, Dr. Shiller came to the area when Westport was a small town first known as a haven for artists and other creative professionals. Dr. Shiller passed away in January at age 92. Dr. Beasley and Dr. Shiller joined together in 1973 to form Willows Pediatric Group.

Dr. Shiller was active on the staff of Norwalk Hospital, where he started the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and later served as interim chief of pediatrics. He maintained his academic ties to Babies Hospital (Columbia Presbyterian) as part of the teaching staff, and helped found the Westport Weston Health District.

Dr. Beasley had long standing ties to local students and schools through his inspired support of the Staples Tuition Grants for over 45 years. Dr. Beasley was also associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine. In addition, he immersed himself in community work as a pediatrician for the Intercommunity Camp, as a member of the board of directors for the United Way, and as a trustee of Earthplace, where he organized the Green Earth series on health and the environment.

We are proud of the deep roots Willows Pediatrics has in our community, roots first planted by Dr. Beasley and Dr. Shiller. We are also grateful for Al and Jack’s years of service, education, and dedicated patient care that set the standard we strive to continue to this day.

Remembering Dr. Shiller, Willow's Pediatrics  Remembering Dr. Beasley, Willow's Pediatrics

Willows Baby Group Thrives Outside

The intrepid members of our baby group don’t let the winter chill slow them down! On a recent Tuesday, with temperatures above 40 degrees, many of our new moms (and dads too!) met outside to discuss questions about newborn care and enjoy each other’s company. On top of the support and knowledge the group provides, our baby group is a great opportunity to meet new parents with similar age infants. The shared baby group experience has led to bonding and networking among the parents who join us, including finding time for outdoor walks and socially distanced outdoor get-togethers other days of the week.

Our baby group met outside here at Willows Pediatrics due to the pandemic and covid-19
Led by Laurie Rubel, APRN and certified lactation consultant, our baby group meets by the picnic tables behind our office, weather permitting (no rain and temperature above 40 degrees) every Tuesday at 11 am. Babies are bundled up and are part of the team. In case of rain or temperatures below 40 degrees the group meets over Zoom. Please check our Instagram the day before for an update on the group’s location.

Family First: Developing And Encouraging Healthy Eating Habits During The Pandemic

As we head into the fall season, many parents are asking what they can do to keep their children as healthy as possible. With families needing to adjust work and school schedules, many familiar routines have changed, including meal time. Healthy nutrition has always been vital to the well being of children and adolescents, and even more so as families are spending more time at home, often in front of screens, and for many, managing a reduction in activities outside the home.

Abby Greenspun, RD, our nutritionist, was recently interviewed by Fox61 and offered her suggestions on how to encourage healthy eating habits during this time.

Some of the tips Abby offers include:

Brightly colored foods are often more appealing – “eating the rainbow” in particular bright colored fruits and vegetables. These foods are rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

Fresh foods are preferred over processed, packaged foods.

Whole wheat pasta has all three layers of the wheat kernel: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm, which gives it an edge over white pasta when it comes to fiber and micronutrients.

Overall, Abby recommends keeping your family food options simple, colorful, and fresh. To hear Abby’s interview, please click here.

Sleep: Getting Back On Track For School

As we head into the school year, especially during this uncertain time, we thought it was a good time to talk about sleep.

Sleep is critical for many reasons. We are sure you have heard how important it is for growth and development and for encoding new memories. We also know not getting enough sleep can contribute to inattention, trouble focusing, and mood changes.

Right now, kids and adults are dealing with a lot of uncertainty. It can be extremely helpful for children and teens to have a consistent routine.

How much sleep do children need?

Of course, every child is different! But here are some general guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Recommended sleep chart - Willows Pediatrics

Bedtime at our house has moved later and later, how do we move it back?

It is common for bedtimes to shift over the summer when it is lighter later and we don’t have to get up early for school. This is especially true this year since summer was preceded by several months of remote school. We recommend gradually shifting your child’s sleep schedule earlier.

Here are some strategies:

  • Starting a few weeks before school, wake your child up a little earlier each morning (try 15 minutes) and get ready for bed a little earlier each night
  • Get morning sunlight, this helps reset our biological clock
  • Try to get some active time each day
  • Put away screens 1 hour before bedtime
  • Limit snacks and sweets a few hours before bedtime
  • Establish a consistent routine that you can repeat each night so your child knows what to expect
  • Have a family discussion about the sleep plan so that your child will understand the new routine.

Why are screens bad for sleep?

Electronic devices such as tablets and phones emit an artificial blue light, which tricks the body into thinking it is daytime. Blue light suppresses your body’s natural release of melatonin. Melatonin induces sleep as part of your circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock. Using screens later at night disrupts your body’s natural sleep drive.

We encourage parents to establish a bedtime routine that does not include screens. Instead encourage other quiet activities such as reading a print book or journaling.

Do you have any specific advice for teens?

Sleep is especially important but also difficult for teens. The biological clock in teenagers is shifted later, meaning they often have trouble initiating sleep as early as would like.  Here are some tips especially for them:

  • Have a conversation with your teen about sleep and getting back on track for school. Try to get their buy in, help them understand why you are doing this.
  • Lots of teens are sleeping in late this summer; start getting them up earlier to help them adjust to an earlier bedtime.

Advice for teens (continued)

  • Set an electronics curfew and store phones outside of the bedroom overnight. This is a great habit for teens to establish. We are all addicted to our phones but we want to protect our teens from this as much as possible.
  • Use an alarm clock that is not their phone! A traditional alarm clock is a worthwhile investment. They even make mobile ones, for hard to wake teens (check out Clocky).
  • Make your teen’s bed only for sleep. The brain will associate the bed with being awake if your teen spends the day lounging or doing remote school there. If possible, try to have your teen do their schoolwork in a different location.

What if I have other questions or these tips are not working?

We are here to help! These tips are just a starting point. We are happy to discuss your individual child and family. Please give your physician or PA a call!