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141008EPA foodallergies-smDoes your child have serious food allergies? Here are some steps to ensure they are safe at school:

  1. Submit an updated, written Food Allergy Action Plan. Take one to school to keep it on file there, and share it with your child’s teacher and front office staff.
  2. Discuss the food allergy with the cook at school. Even if you pack lunches for your child, the chef will appreciate knowing students who have a problem with food allergies.
  3. Take a fresh EpiPen to keep at school. Bring the EpiPen Jr., or EpiPen for bigger kids, and be sure multiple staff members are trained in the proper use.
  4. Have a conversation with your child. Talk to your children about the food(s) they must avoid, and review common symptoms of their allergic reaction. Be sure they are not afraid to tell their teacher if they think they ate a dangerous food, or if they are having symptoms of an allergic attack.
  5. Consider buying your child a Medic Alert bracelet to alert others of their serious food allergy.

Every child should feel safe and comfortable at school. Kids with food allergies need an extra level of protection. If you have questions about food allergies and your child, please contact us at Eugene Pediatric Associates.
140916EPA asthma-smDoes your school-aged child have asthma?  If so, now is the time to take steps to be sure the asthma is controlled as the school year gets rolling.

Your pediatricians at Eugene Pediatric Associates urge you to:

  1. Take an updated, written Asthma Action Plan to school and review it with your child’s teacher and front office staff so they know how to handle the asthma. See us if you need an updated written plan.
  2. Take a fresh Ventolin (rescue) inhaler to school for your child.
  3. Be sure your child gets a flu shot this September or October. Influenza illness is especially dangerous for kids with asthma.
  4. Talk to your children and review the symptoms they feel when an asthma attack is starting, and be sure they are comfortable asking their teachers for help when they don’t feel good. 
  5. Watch our instructional video on www.eugenepeds.com about proper technique using asthma wet inhalers.  

Asthma is a chronic and potentially serious health condition. But with proper management, it will not stop your child from living a long, healthy and active life.

Posted by on in News

140901EPA backtoschool-smIt’s back-to-school time, that moment when parents start to think about ways to help their kids stay healthy during the school year.

Here are my top tips:

  1. Vaccinate your children! Oregon is the least immunized state in the United States. School is a major source of exposure to potentially life-threatening diseases for kids. Help keep them safe by vaccinating them according to the American Academy of Pediatrics schedule.
  2. Encourage your kids to wash their hands. Frequently, and especially before eating!
  3. Feed them a healthy breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day, and will give them energy to learn and run all day.
  4. Make sure they get enough sleep. At least nine hours of sleep each night will help their learning, memory and mood the next day.
  5. Be engaged with their schooling. Ask questions and visit with their teachers early in the year. And ask us for help if you see trouble early in the school year.
  6. Give them your love. A hug as they go to school and another as they come home, no matter what happened that day when you were apart. Knowing that they have your unconditional support and adoration will help your child succeed.

School is your child’s job, so make sure you are supportive of their education in every way you can. And call us at Eugene Pediatrics and Thrive Behavioral Health if you have concerns about how your child is doing in school.

Posted by on in News

140701 EPABlogImageThrive1A traditional pediatric practice helps lots of kids, but I am convinced it barely scratches the surface of what many children need. The physical health of a child is only a portion of wellness. The other key aspect is mental and behavioral/developmental health.

Eugene-Springfield has many wonderful mental and behavioral health caregivers and agencies for kids, but coordinating care with pediatricians is always a challenge. After nearly 15 years in practice here, I became frustrated with the limitations in my traditional practice to meet the needs of the children we serve.

So, one sunny autumn afternoon last year, I asked my favorite child psychologist, Dr. Jenny Mauro, to have coffee and talk about the exciting possibilities of pediatricians working side by side with child psychologists, developmental pediatricians and child psychiatrists.

If that happened, I could step out of my exam room and grab a specialist in child mental health and development to get a “curbside consult.” My families could meet a behavioral health care provider for a momentary “hello” and know whom they would meet during an upcoming visit. And scheduling the behavioral health visit at the same location would be a breeze.

Coordination of care would be so easy and even fun. Brown bag lunches with my doctors sitting around the same table with psychologists and other behavioral specialists would make it easy to discuss children in need of our team approach.

...

140415EPA TeacherMeetingPart2 finalThe school experience. It is obviously an important one for your child and affects all aspects of a child’s life, including health. We hear a lot about the school experience at Eugene Pediatrics.

Part 1 of this two-part blog series reviewed steps to take before meeting with teachers or school officials when you have concerns.

Here you’ll find tips on preparing for the meeting and handling it to encourage the best outcomes possible.

  1. Start with the teacher, not the principal. If your input about your child’s education is needed, start the conversation with your child’s teacher. Don’t go straight to the school or district administration unless it’s an extraordinary situation. If you feel for some reason that the principal needs to be involved at the outset, when sharing your concern with the teacher, let the teacher and principal know ahead of time that you’d like to meet with the both of them.
  2. Write your concerns down. Prepare your list of concerns ahead of time by writing them out. This will help you stay focused and avoid getting emotional.
  3. Bring supporting documents. Bring tests, homework samples or whatever other documents you have to help kick-start the conversation.
  4. Ask and listen. Before you dive deeply into your concerns, ask teachers for their input and listen closely. It happens quite often that the entire issue is one of a simple miscommunication between teacher and student and can be fixed easily.
  5. Try to leave the meeting with an action plan — and a handshake or hug. Try to agree on steps both the teacher and child can take to improve the problems. Leave the meeting with good feelings so that everyone wins.
  6. Request additional help. If questions arise regarding your child’s ability to do the schoolwork, ask for a meeting with the school psychologist to talk about formal testing. This is a key step in developing an appropriate Individualized Education Plan for your child.
  7. Close the loop with your child. After meeting with the teacher, tell your child what happened in an age-appropriate way. Focus on the good outcome you and the teacher reached. Tell your child what steps you and the teacher feel they can take to help things improve.
  8. Conduct weekly check-ins. Check in weekly with your child and the teacher until you are convinced the issue is resolved.

Everyone — you, your child, the teachers and your pediatricians — wants the same thing, for your child to be happy and successful at school. Constructive steps focused on a collaborative approach enable you to support your child as best as possible throughout the school experience.

Please talk to you providers at Eugene Pediatrics if you need help regarding school issues and your child.