Spring Into Action

As I look outside my office window, I see a bright sunny day that lets me believe that the long, cold, wet spring is almost over.  With that in mind, it’s time for us to head to the great outdoors, and get our kids outside.  Let’s turn off our televisions and put away those IPads, IPods, Xbox games and get physically moving!

Just a few quick reminders in regards to the upcoming outdoor season:

  • Don’t forget to use your sunscreen.  My recommendation is to use a sunscreen with at least a SPF of 50.  I would also take any old sunscreen you may have from last year and throw it away.  I have seen many occasions, that using old sunscreen may cause children to break out with a red, itchy rash, especially if your child has very sensitive skin.
  • Secondly, since it’s a great time to start riding our bikes, make sure your children’s bikes are in good working condition.  Of course, you’ll also want to make sure they have an appropriate helmet that fits correctly and does not need to be adjusted.  There probably has been some growing during this winter, so you may need to adjust both their bike seats and helmets for safety.
  • Lastly, warmer weather brings excitement for water activities.  Start thinking about registering your children for swimming lessons, as these often fill up quickly!  There is nothing more important when it comes to water safety than making sure your child can swim well.

 Hope you enjoy the great outdoors!

~ Chris Zukowski, MD, Forest View Pediatrics

Chris Zukowski, MD

Our EPIC Transformation

We all know how much technology has impacted the way we live.  It’s hard to imagine not having our smartphones or Internet access.    We’re pleased to let our patients and families know that, effective June 1st, we will be switching to a new electronic health record (EHR.

The new system, Epic, is designed to give us, and all of the providers across Children’s Hospital, faster access to one medical record for your child.  We expect that the electronic health record will improve communication between providers, and increase safety.  One example of how Epic will improve care is when a patient is referred to a pediatric subspecialist in the Children’s Hospital network, that physician will have the child’s previous office visits, labs, and imaging studies.  Another example of a benefit with the new EHR is the ability to electronically send your prescription to your pharmacy before you even leave the office.

An exciting feature is the future availability of MyChart, which will allow parents secure access to  your child’s EHR. (This should be helpful for all those school forms asking for immunization dates.)

Already we have been updating patients’ medication and allergy information into the new system.  While the physicians have been using EPIC in the hospitals, this will be a new way of caring for patients in our office, so please be understanding that there will be a learning curve as all of us get used to the new system.  Our primary focus, of course, will continue to be providing the best patient care we can  to your children and your family. 

~ Robert Hartmann, MD, Forest View Pediatrics
Robert Hartmann, MD


Eating Right

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently came out with the “Choose My Plate” campaign to encourage healthy eating.  You can visit www.choosemyplate.gov for more information.  They recommend that half your plate be fruits and vegetables.  When I talk with children and adolescents about their diets, I find many of them are having trouble getting enough servings of fruits and vegetables in their diet.  The recommendation is 5 servings a day.  That means a fruit or vegetable at every meal, maybe even both, and probably fruits or vegetables for snacks as well to be able to meet that goal.  Fruits and vegetables are high in essential nutrients for good health, have fiber for digestive health, and are often lower in calories than other food choices.

Many children tell me that they don’t like vegetables.  I always encourage them to try at least a taste.  Vegetables that they thought they didn’t like, may taste better to them if made in a new way.  The parent’s job is to offer their kids healthy choices at each meal and for snacks.  It is the child’s job to choose to eat them.  Some ways to encourage children to eat vegetables:

  • Model eating vegetables on a regular basis.
  • Have them help you plant and take care of a vegetable garden.  They may be more willing to eat something they helped grow.
  • Use dips or sauces to add flavor (many children like ranch dressing or melted cheese).
  • Have them participate making foods with vegetables.  One idea to make it fun is to make a 3 inch slice of celery into a car.  Use peanut butter in the center for protein, this will hold raisins upright in the “car” as drivers and passengers, and place round slices of carrots on toothpicks pushed through the piece of celery to make the wheels.
  • Cook shavings or small pieces of vegetable in foods that children like such as spaghetti sauce to add nutrients (e.g. carrots, green pepper).
  • Try the “Cheetos Cheat” (recently seen on Dr. Oz).  Crumble Cheetos on steamed broccoli to add flavor and crunch.
  • Experiment with child friendly recipes.  See the “Choose My Plate” web site for ideas.  The Healthy Lunch Challenge Cookbook has 54 recipes from America’s Jr. Chefs sponsored by an event at the White House hosted by the President and Mrs. Obama.
  • For older kids, have a contest on preparing the tastiest veggies.


Julie Averbeck, RN, MS, CPNP

Julie Averbeck, RN, MS, CPNP



Internet Safety

The following  tips have been set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics to keep your family safe while on the internet:

It’s important to have a set of rules when your children use the Internet. Make sure your children understand what you consider appropriate and what areas are off-limits. Let them know that the rules are for their safety.

Safety first

The following are tips you can teach your children about online safety:

  • NEVER give out personal information unless a parent says it’s OK. This includes your name, address, phone number, age, race, school name or location, or friends’ names.
  • NEVER share passwords, even with friends.
  • NEVER meet a friend you only know online in person unless a parent says it’s OK. It’s best if a parent goes along and to meet in a public place. (Older teens that may choose not to tell a parent and go alone should at least go with a friend and meet in a public place.)
  • NEVER respond to messages that make you feel uncomfortable or hurt your feelings. Ignore these messages, stop all communication, and tell a parent or another adult you trust right away.

Good behavior

The following is what you can teach your children about how they should act online:

  • NEVER send mean messages online. NEVER say something online that you wouldn’t say to someone in person. Bullying is wrong whether it’s done in person or online.
  • NEVER use the Internet to make someone look bad. For example, never send messages from another person’s e-mail that could get that person into trouble.
  • NEVER plagiarize. It’s illegal to copy online information and say that you wrote it.

Time limits

Surfing the Web should not take the place of other important activities, including homework, playing outside, or spending time with friends. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting total screen time in front of a TV or computer to no more than 1 to 2 hours a day for children older than 2 years. An alarm clock or timer can help you keep track of time.

Other steps you can take

In addition to setting clear rules, you can do the following to create a safer online experience:

  • Surf the Web with your children.
  • Put the computer in a room where you can monitor your children. Computers should never be placed in a room where a door can be closed or a parent excluded.
  • Use tracking software. It’s a simple way to keep track of where your children have been on the Web. However, nothing can replace supervision.
  • Install software or services that can filter or block offensive Web sites and material. Be aware, however, that many children are smart enough to find ways around the filters. Also, you may find that filters may be more restrictive than you want.
  • Find out what the Internet use policies are at your child’s school or at your library.

Cyber Tipline

If you or your children come across anything illegal or threatening, you should report it to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Cyber Tipline. For more information, call 800/THE-LOST (800/843-5678) or visit the Web site at http://www.cybertipline.com.

AAP age-based guidelines for children’s Internet use

Up to age 10

Children this age need supervision and monitoring to ensure they are not exposed to inappropriate materials. Parents should use Internet safety tools to limit access to content, Web sites, and activities, and be actively involved in their child’s Internet use.

Ages 11 to 14

Children this age are savvier about their Internet experience; however, they still need supervision and monitoring to ensure they are not exposed to inappropriate materials. Internet safety tools are available that can limit access to content and Web sites and provide a report of Internet activities. Children this age also need to understand what personal information should not be given over the Internet.

Ages 15 to 18

Teens are savvier about their Internet experience; however, they still need parents to define appropriate safety guidelines. Parents should be available to help their teens understand inappropriate messages and avoid unsafe situations. Parents may need to remind teens what personal information should not be given over the Internet.


The Internet and Your Family (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics)



Flu Season is Upon Us!

Some of you may have seen our E-blast letting everyone know that we are now seeing some of our first cases of influenza at Forest View.  According to flu reporting from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), this looks to be one of the earliest flu seasons in about a decade.  Last year was a very mild flu season, but this year looks to be significantly worse.

Quick review:  Influenza is NOT the stomach flu.  It is a respiratory illness that can cause very high and prolonged fevers, cough, and runny nose.  It is especially dangerous because it can make you more susceptible to secondary bacterial pneumonias that can require hospitalization, or in severe cases, even cause death.  This early into the flu season, there have already been 5 pediatric deaths, and during the H1N1 flu season a few years ago, there were 281 flu associated pediatric deaths.  It is one of the most deadly common viruses around, especially for those who are unvaccinated.  There are certain high risk groups (although it is recommended that everyone get vaccinated) which include anyone 6 months to 4 years old, anyone with asthma, diabetes, or another chronic medical condition, or anyone who spends frequent time around either of these groups and infants under 6 months.

Fortunately, in the samples the CDC has tested, the vaccine appears to be about a 90% match so far, which is a pretty good match.  The vaccine does not always match, as the vaccine components are a very well-educated guess every year as to what strains we will see in the US (over 100 labs reporting to the World Health Organization who makes the recommendation to our FDA annually).  The flu season tends to peak around January and February typically, however, the vaccine can take up to two weeks to produce antibodies, so now is the time to come get it.  About the only real group unable to get a vaccine, are those that have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past.  Patients with egg allergy (unless particularly severe) can still get the flu vaccine, so please call if you have questions about how to get it done safely.

We have vaccine available at Forest View, so please call and make your appointment to get vaccinated.  If you have any questions, we’ll happily provide the answers.  Please click here to see our flu information page.

Thanks and cover your cough!


 ~Paul Veldhouse, MD; Forest View Pediatrics

Paul Veldhouse, MD

School and Sleep

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season approaching, we can all seem to have our sleep habits change.  With family events and school, our children are likely getting up earlier and earlier.  This is great time to talk about sleep in our school age children.  A good night’s sleep is essential to a good day in school.  I am convinced that many children who are “distracted in school” are likely to be over tired.  The recommendations for sleep vary depending on age, but a typical amount of sleep for a child between the ages of 5-10 years would be around 10 hours of sleep and teenagers likely need 8-9 hours of sleep.  However, you know your child best, as to how many hours he or she needs.

It is very important to make sure that we get our school children to bed at a reasonable time.  Some very basic tips for helping with sleep are a consistent bedtime routine.  The most important thing is to turn off all electronics, at least 30 minutes before that scheduled bedtime.  Video games and televisions keep those brains stimulated and typically leave children too awake to fall asleep at a reasonable time.  So remember that outside of good nutrition, sleep is the most important aspect that will improve your child’s performance in school.

Happy Holidays!

~ Chris Zukowski, MD, Forest View Pediatrics

Chris Zukowski, MD


My Experience Raising Boys

My wife is currently pregnant with our fourth child and we recently found out it is going to be a boy.  Given we already are blessed with an 8 year old, 5 year old, and 3 year old boy, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned about raising boys.  Keep in mind this is simply my perspective from a father’s point of view.  Here is what I have learned:

Once they become mobile boys rarely stop.

Boys mature later than girls, but then again we dads often mature later too.

It is not a good idea to own anything “nice” as it will likely be ruined within a short time period.

Boys like to be outdoors as climbing, building and exploring are natural characteristics of boys.

Before becoming verbal, biting, hitting and kicking can be a means of communicating.

Bathing and underwear are considered optional.

Wrestling is a sign of affection.

Bikes and scooters are meant to go off of curbs and down big hills whenever possible.

Every day is an enjoyable journey and adventure.

It is not easy raising children in today’s society.  Popular media glorifies promiscuity, alcohol and drug use, violence and crude behavior.  How are we as parents able to overcome these obstacles?  I recently read a fantastic book called Boys Should be Boys. 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons.”  It is written by Dr. Meg Meeker who is an adolescent medicine doctor.  The wisdom from this book has been very helpful for me as both a pediatrician and father.  While the contents of this book are helpful for fathers, it may not apply to all families, particularly single parent or same sex parent families.  I want to share with you some of that wisdom and I encourage fathers or mothers to consider reading it.  Here are some excerpts:

“Every boy wants to be loved, accepted and valued. The quickest way to get there is by seeing mom or dad happy with him.”

“We often try to make our children happier by buying them things.  The reality is kids don’t need more of anything except time from their parents.  The true way to make a child happy is to spend meaningful time with them.”

“Boys need healthy encouragement from their fathers more than they need it from anyone else.  In a boy’s eyes, his father’s words are sacred.  They hold enormous power. His words can crush a boy or piece him back together after a fall.”

“Encouragement from a father can change a boy’s life.  To a son, a dad’s words are the final truth.  If they are positive, a boy feels that he cannot be beaten; if they are negative, however, a son feels that he could never win.”

“Young boys and men need less time face-to-screen with electronic life and more time face-to-face with people.  Sons who have healthy relationships with parents fare much better in life.”

“Boys need and want boundaries.  A boy without rules becomes a man without direction.”

“Fathers need to be careful that they do not project their own shortcomings on their sons.  Our sons are not mini versions of ourselves.”

The wisdom goes on.  For more information visit www.megmeekermd.com.   Dr. Meeker has also written two other excellent books:  “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters,” and “The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers.”


 ~ Daniel Dorrington, MD, Forest View Pediatrics

Daniel Dorrington, MD


A Reflection of 50 Years of Forest View Pediatrics

This past month, Forest View has celebrated our 50th anniversary.  Past and present employees and physicians, joined together to celebrate the last 50 years and look forward to the next.  Dr. Arthur J. Dorrington took a moment to reflect…

“I am so happy that Doctors John Czajka and Jack Altstadt invited me, in 1975, to join their pediatric practice in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.  What a gift it is to be in pediatrics!  It’s an awesome, and sometimes overwhelming, responsibility!  The …Continue reading →