Forest View Pediatrics is excited to announce that, starting in March, 2015 our site will be contributing posts on the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin blog! While we appreciate that some will miss the direct postings from our group, this change will provide our doctors and staff with more resources to publish blog posts and a bigger stage to continue discussions on the health and well-being of children in our communities. We encourage you to visit the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin blog today to check it out.
What is EV-D68?
Enteroviruses (EV) are a very common group of viruses. They are closely related to Rhinoviruses which cause the common cold. EV-D68 is part of the enterovirus family. EV-D68 may cause more serious respiratory illnesses.
EV-D68 can be found in saliva, nasal mucus or phlegm. It is likely spread from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches surfaces with dirty hands.
The CDC recommends that testing be done only on patients who are very sick and in the hospital. Special testing is needed for EV-D68. Most hospitals cannot test for this specific virus.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms will be much like those of a mild cold. The symptoms of EV-D68 can range from mild to severe. Kids with asthma or a history of wheezing seem to be at higher risk for severe illness. EV-D68 may cause respiratory symptoms such as:
- Nasal congestion.
- Runny nose.
- Trouble breathing.
How is EV-D68 treated?
Many infections will act like a mild cold. The symptoms are normally not serious and will go away on their own without treatment.
- There is not a medication to treat an EV-D68 infection.
- If your child has asthma, use albuterol as needed if your child is wheezing or coughing.
How can the spread of EV-D68 be prevented?
Viruses are spread through close contact with infected people. It is common for illnesses to be on the rise when children are back at school. There is not a vaccine that can prevent an EV-D68 infection. It is important that parents, teachers and caregivers help prevent the spread of illnesses. They should:
- Have children wash their hands often.
- Teach children to cover their noses and mouths when they sneeze and cough.
- Avoid sending kids to school when they are sick.
- Make sure kids with asthma take their regular medicines.
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov)
ALERT: Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any concerns or if your child:
- Has breathing or wheezing that gets worse, even after taking medicine and the medicine has had time to work (15 minutes if inhaling a bronchodilator).
- Is dehydrated.
- Is vomiting and cannot keep down medicine or fluids.
- Has a hard time breathing such as:
– Chest or neck pulling in with each breath.
– Hunching over.
– Feeling like breathing is hard to do.
– Breathing faster and/or harder.
- Has trouble walking, talking or crying.
- Has no interest in eating, drinking, playing.
- Is having trouble sleeping.
- Has lips and/or fingernails that look dark (blue or grey).
- Has special health care needs not covered by this information.
This teaching sheet is meant to help you care for your child. It does not take the place of medical care. Talk with your healthcare provider for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.
It looks like summer has finally arrived here in Southeast Wisconsin. With that, comes the summer virus season. Unlike the typical cold and flu season, which involves stuffy noses and terrible coughs- summer viruses often present with different symptoms. These symptoms include fevers, sore throats, and rashes on the extremities.
We are currently seeing a large number of young patients affected with this group of viruses. As with all viruses, however, symptomatic care is always recommended. Tylenol and Ibuprofen can be beneficial for the fever and sore throat symptoms. Cool baths and lightly dressing your child will also help reduce the fever. If the fever would persist beyond 3 days or if you feel your child is more uncomfortable than you would expect, I highly recommend that you call our office to speak with one of the nurses and consider an appointment at 414-425-5660.
Have a fantastic summer!
Measles has returned to Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Division of Public Health has confirmed a second case of measles in Wisconsin in 2014. This individual was a young adult who had recently traveled to California and Mexico.
After his return to Wisconsin he became ill and was eventually diagnosed with measles. But prior to that diagnosis, he walked around potentially spreading the virus.
You may be thinking , So What?
Measles is a very contagious virus that is spread via a cough or sneeze. Those who have measles are very ill and the chance of a serious complication like pneumonia or encephalitis is around 10%. It is most dangerous in those less than 5 years old.
The last time we had a large resurgence of Measles was in 1989-1991 and there were 123 deaths during this outbreak.
This new case is another reminder to keep up on our children’s vaccines. The MMR vaccine, which contains measles, should be given at 12-15 months and again at 4-6 years old. Make sure your kids are up to date on this vaccine and others AND spread the word to parents who currently don’t see the importance of vaccines.
Interested in learning more about the measles virus? Click here to go to the CDC webpage for up-to-date information.
Long waits on our call lines when you are trying to address the needs of your ill child is frustrating. Our goal is to meet the needs of your child as quickly as possible. Here are some tips to help you get the information and help you need in the most efficient way.
- Our busiest call times are from 8:30am-10am each morning (especially Monday mornings). All of our nurses pitch in to help take calls during these hours, but even so, there can be a wait time. You may want to try to call our office after 10am if your child’s need is not urgent.
- If you call and hang up and try calling again, you will be placed at the back of the que. If you are able to hold, please stay on the line to avoid increasing your wait time.
- If absolutely necessary, you may leave a message with our office staff for the nurse to call you back if you cannot wait on hold. When the nurses have a free moment, they will get back with you later in the day.
- Consider checking our website www.forestviewpediatrics.com for information about taking care of common illnesses at home such as sore throat, fevers, colds, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. There is information on all these illnesses in our “For Parents” section of our web site. Many times these problems can be managed at home and do not need an appointment with a doctor. If you still have questions after reviewing the information on the web site, give us a call.
- If you have medication refill requests, we recommend calling after 10 am. Don’t forget to push option 2 for the refill request line.
We work to give all the children in our practice the best care possible and hope that when you do talk with our nurses or come in for an appointment, you feel that the care we give is top notch.
How often have you heard “my allergies are really bad this year?” Children who suffer with seasonal allergies (or allergic rhinitis) can have a harder time concentrating in school, be more irritable, or be more tired. Symptoms are often more severe in the spring or fall. Children who have allergies to things like dust, mold, or pets which are often indoors, or who are exposed to second hand smoke, can experience allergy symptoms all year round. The symptoms include: sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, or itchy nose. Sometimes symptoms are associated with a cough. In this case, you may want to have your child evaluated for asthma since about 40% of children with allergic rhinitis have asthma as well. It is unlikely that children under age 2 have developed seasonal allergies because it takes multiple exposures to allergens to develop a sensitivity.
The recommended treatment for allergies includes avoiding the things that trigger the symptoms and the use of medications. For more severe symptoms, referral to an allergy specialist for allergen immunotherapy may be needed.
Eliminating things that trigger allergies includes things like:
Staying indoors as much as possible
Keeping windows closed and using air conditioning to filter the air
Using saline nasal spray to wash out allergens in the nose after being outdoors
Keeping pets out of sleeping areas
Cleaning regularly by dusting, vacuuming (with HEPA filter) and cleaning bed sheets and pillow cases weekly
For mild symptoms, over the counter medications can be tried. To get the best effect, it is important to use these medications regularly (daily) during the allergy season which can last 8-12 weeks. The fall allergy season usually ends with the first frost.
Some over the counter medications called antihistamines you can try include: Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra which should be given at bedtime if given only once daily. These medications should not make your child sleepy like Benadryl. Benadryl can cause some side effects in young children such as agitation or decrease school performance in school age children because of sleepiness, so is not recommended for long term use.
Decongestants can have a number of side effects and are not usually recommended for use in young children. Decongestant nasal sprays such as Afrin should not be used longer than 3 days because there can be a rebound reaction of nasal congestion if it is stopped after longer use.
For watery, itchy eyes, over the counter eye drops called Zaditor can be used in children age 3 or older.
If your child’s symptoms do not improve with avoiding allergens or the regular use of over the counter medications, be sure to make an appointment to see us for an evaluation of the symptoms and recommendations for treatment that are not available over the counter. Research has shown that steroid nasal sprays can be very effective in controlling the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, but these are not available without a prescription. Any child with persistent or moderate to severe symptoms should also be evaluated by your doctor.
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four years of age. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, children younger than age 5 represent more than 75 percent of pool submersion deaths and 78 percent of pool submersion injuries in the U.S. involving children younger than 15 years of age.
On average, there are almost 10 accidental drowning deaths a day in the US during summer months.
For every child 14 years and younger who died from drowning, 5 more received emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
It only takes 30 seconds in the water for a child to drown.
As we enter the summer swimming season, follow these general guidelines to ensure that your children remain safe while swimming:
Never leave your child alone in or near water including a bath tub, bucket of water, pool or lakes. Most children who drown quietly slip into the water unnoticed by adults who are often nearby.
Talk to your child about the importance of only swimming when being supervised by an adult.
If you have a pool, install a fence around it and install doors with locks to keep children away from and out of the pool. Install door latches at least 54 inches high so as to be out of the reach of children.
Place alarms on doors and windows that lead to the pool area.
Teach your children to swim at an early age to ensure they can protect themselves in the event they accidentally fall into water or swim unattended. Make sure to get professional lessons.
For older children, use the buddy system when swimming to keep them safe.
Keep both rescue equipment and a phone by the pool.
Keep toys away from the pool when not in use to prevent children from going in to retrieve them.
Never have a drop off pool party or allow your child to attend a drop off pool party if they are under the age of 8 years.
Never assume someone else is watching. Appoint a designated adult as the observer for pool safety. Many drowning occur while adults are present but not watching.
Empty all wading pools immediately after done using them.
Air filled swimming aids are not a safe substitute for life jackets and never rely solely on life jackets to ensure safety.
Follow these guidelines to have a safe and enjoyable summer of swimming.
On June 1st (this Saturday!) we will be switching over to an electronic medical record (EMR). The specific EMR that we chose is called Epic. This is the same software Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin started to use system wide in November. Our system and their system will be linked and will share information.
Please remember, anytime there is change, there are always some “growing pains” that come along with it. I like to say, it’s a little like having a baby…. There’s a lot of anticipation, and then when the baby comes, no matter how ready you are, there is still a pretty steep learning curve. Well, Epic is our baby right now and we’ve put a lot of time into getting ready for it, but there’s nothing like the real thing. So we ask that you try to be as understanding as possible if we are going a little slower and your visit is taking a little longer. It won’t be that way forever. In fact, prior to coming to Forest View, I worked at a hospital that went from paper charts to Epic, so I can tell you that it does get faster and ultimately better. Because that’s our real goal; to get better! So even though there are going to be a few downsides, here are the upsides to you as a patient in the end.
1.) Shared notes withing the Children’s System means whether you are in the ER, a specialist office, or our office, we can pull up the exact note, the exact medication, or the exact x-ray you had done. If you are outside of the system, we can print those things for you to take with you.
2.) There is an After Visit Summary (you may hear someone at the office mention an AVS) that will go out with you that will explain your diagnosis and medications.
3.) MyChart is a function that won’t be 100% when we start, as we are learning the rest of system, but down the road we see it as a great way to communicate with patients for scheduling, seeing labs, medication refills, and short notes to each other.
4.) Electronic prescribing means your prescription goes right to the pharmacy. This does not quite mean it will be instantaneous, though. Just like phoned in prescriptions, different pharmacies check their electronic prescriptions at different times.
5.) Other cool tools; like electronic growth charts, being able to see a graph of certain labs, immunizations linked directly to the Wisconsin Immunization Registry, and quick refills.
We’re excited to be taking this next leap forward in medicine along with the rest of Children’s system! Thank you all in advance for being patient and understanding!