Happy Holidays! We hope everyone is enjoying the season and is able to spend time with family and friends. Having some downtime over the holidays is an important part of maintaining good mental health for both our children and ourselves.
A Note Of Thanks
Over the past two weeks, we have had a very difficult time with a server outage at our IT company. Many of you have noticed that we have had to go back to handwritten notes and paper prescriptions like in the “olden days.” We know this has been difficult for everyone, and we want to take the time to thank all of our patients and families for being so understanding during this period. We hope to be back up and running soon, and return to business as usual. We will be working overtime to schedule everyone for the canceled Well Child visits. Please call our office with any questions. Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
It's STILL Respiratory Virus Season!
We are still seeing an excessive number of children in our office for respiratory viral illnesses. While there is not much RSV around currently, Influenza and Covid have been more than ready to take its place! Many children can be managed at home with supportive care such as rest, fluids, fever control, and TLC but if your child has had a fever for 4 or more days, is not drinking well, or seems to be having trouble breathing, we recommend an in-person visit. There are still situations where we will ask you to do a home Covid test before coming to the office.
With the increased numbers of sick children and teens, we are doing our best to see as many of our patients as possible in person. We are still limited by the number of rooms and the number of providers able to use the space to see patients. Please be patient and understand due to the steep rise in the number of ill, we may be completely booked early in the day. Our phenomenal nursing staff has been speaking with many of you in order to help support your children at home. We ask that you do not go to the Emergency Department unless it is a severe condition or we have advised you to do so. We need to keep the ED available for the sickest and most vulnerable.
If your child does contract Covid, here is the CDC quarantine calculator that will help you to figure out exactly how long your child needs to stay home and how long your child will need to wear a mask when outside of your home.
The best preventative measures remain vaccination against Flu and Covid. We are still offering flu shots in our office. The CDC has reported that this year’s Flu shot is a good match for the Flu strain currently circulating. Even if your child has tested positive for Flu or has had a Flu-like illness, we still encourage you to get the flu vaccine for your child 1-2 weeks after the illness.
In other good news, the CDC has approved the bivalent Covid booster for the youngest group, 6 months to 5 years, 2 months after their primary vaccine series.
Hand washing, staying home when ill, and wearing a high-quality mask in crowded indoor settings are still excellent ways to prevent illness.
So Many Shortages
Thankfully viral respiratory illnesses do not require antibiotics. The mainstay of treatment is supportive care and time for recovery. As for bacterial infections, which require antibiotics, we are still experiencing antibiotic shortages. We ask you to be patient with us and with the pharmacies as we try to make things work.
Parents should call their pharmacy when leaving the office to make sure medications prescribed by our office are available at their pharmacy. If they are not, please call around to find out which pharmacy has the antibiotic and we will then need to reroute the prescription.
Due to the sheer number of ill children in the community at this time, there have also been shortages of fever-reducing medications. Please be aware that these shortages occur in some towns but not others. Not all fevers need to be medicated. “Low grade” fevers under 101.0 don’t necessarily need to be treated if your child is well appearing and acting as they usually do. If your child does need a fever reducer, please be aware that there are many formulations: liquid, chewable, junior strength tablets, and even rectal suppositories for infants and toddlers. Acetaminophen goes by the brand name Tylenol but the generic acetaminophen is just as effective. Ibuprofen (only for children 6 months and over) goes by many brand names but, again, generic will get the job done. Please remember that aspirin is never appropriate for children or teens due to a brain swelling syndrome associated with aspirin. We always have the dosing charts for acetaminophen and ibuprofen on our website.
A Quick Mental Health Note
We recognize and acknowledge that the holiday season can be difficult, stressful, or even sad for many people for a variety of reasons. If your child is struggling, please call our office. If you are struggling, please call your own medical provider or a trusted community member for help. If you or your child is in crisis, we remind you that there is 211, the state of Connecticut Mental Health Crisis Intervention Service; 988, the national Suicide and Crisis Lifeline; and your local Emergency Department. You are never alone.
From our families to yours, we wish you a peaceful, healthy, and kind holiday season and in the New Year 2023!