Holiday in the Park – Bellaire Town Square, Dec. 1, 2016
We were pleased to provide free vision screening to babies and toddlers in our community last month. Thank you to Cheryl Bright and the entire Bellaire Parks and Recreation Dept. for such a wonderfully organized event!
New Year Resolutions for Kids!
-The American Academy of Pediatrics recently posted a list of possible new year resolutions for kids.
Our Top Ten Recommended Resolutions:
- Brush teeth every morning and night. Next step (if your child is already a pro at brushing), floss and use a dental soft pick once a day.
- Eat breakfast every morning. Next step (if your child is already eating breakfast each morning), eat some protein with breakfast every morning.
- Drink 8 cups of water a day. Set your child up for success by buying them a water container and measure how many times they need to drink the water to fulfill 8 cups (64 oz).
- Exercise every day for 40 minutes. Embrace this as a family! If you and your kids run, walk, bike for 30 minutes, then follow it up with J&J 7-Minute WorkOut app, you’ve done it! Rainy day ideas at home: hide and seek, hot potato, obstacle course, Wii sports.
- Eat at least one meal together as a family at the table without screens every day. That means parents set aside the cell phones, turn off TVs and iPads. Let everyone say “High, Low, Unexpected” about their day (or day prior if it is breakfast) to build common ground which is really important as your children enter middle and high-school!
- Give up something for an entire year! And if your child does it, give an incentive/reward. We were very impressed with a patient who gave up candy (even Halloween, Easter and Christmas candies) for an entire year!
- Some ideas of things to give up: sodas, juices, candies, chips, TV, You Tube, texting while driving.
- Play a board game every week as a family. Find some quick games that won’t be burdensome.
- Embrace an activity your child really loves and do it with them! You might not like Pokemon, Legos, tea parties, but if you want to stay in the conversation with your child, learn to like something your child likes and do it with them each week.
- Find other families to be a support system. This could be through your local church/synagogue, exercise group or a community service group.
Add on 7 Minutes of Core Strength Exercises as a Family! – 7 Minute Workout
New Screen Time Recommendations
The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised their screen time recommendations for young children:
There is recognition that young children can receive benefit from interactive screen time with adults such as video chats (Wee Chat) and video calls and watching educational TV programs/ videos along-side adult caregivers that engage the child in conversation about the program.
Among the AAP recommendations:
- Babies to 18 months: avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting.
- Toddlers 18 to 24 months: choose high-quality programming, and watch it with your child to help them understand what they’re seeing.
- Children 2 to 5 years: limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
- Children 6 and older: place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
- Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
- Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
What’s Going Around?
RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)
- Respiratory virus that can severely affect young infants and children.
- The illness begins with low grade fever and a rather severe runny nose.
- By Day 5, the congestion moves into the chest causing wheezing and fast breathing, fatigue and sometimes low oxygen levels.
- By Day 10, there is improvement in the breathing but cough and intermittent wheezing can last for a full month.
- Treatments are supportive as there is no cure for RSV: increased fluids, rest, nasal saline with suctioning and sometimes breathing treatments.
- Warning signs to seek care: fever lasting longer than 3 days or reaching above 102, fever that resolved but returns a few days later, audible wheezing, breathing so fast that the child cannot drink and urinate at least 3-4 times per day, lethargy (difficult to arouse), lips turning grey or blue.
Influenza A and B
- Influenza has arrived to Houston although rates are still low.
- Influenza this year has been well covered by the injectable vaccine with mostly unvaccinated persons contracting the virus.
- Symptoms are fever, fatigue, body aches, headaches on Day 1.
- By Day 2 – Day 5 fever may continue along with onset of congestion, cough, abdominal pain. Some infected persons will have abdominal pain and vomiting/diarrhea along with the respiratory symptoms.
- Treatment is available with oseltamivir if the illness is diagnosed and treated ideally within the first 48 hours of symptom onset. Young children less than 4 and the elderly will have the greatest benefit from treatment.
- Supportive care is very important – ibuprofen, fluids, rest!
- Fever can last 5-7 days, but fever lasting 7 days or more should be re-evaluated by your doctor to check for secondary infections such as pneumonia.
- Difficulties breathing such as wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain, also deserve a thorough exam by your doctor.
- It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine as influenza in Houston tends to run until May!
Insurances, ACA and Government Changes
- Starting a new medical practice is challenging in many ways, but the most challenging part has been contracting with insurance companies.
- We are happy to announce that after 6 months, we are now In-Network with 4 out of 6 major carriers: Cigna, Multi-Plan, United Health Care and Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO.
- We are still working on contracts with Humana and Aetna.
- We do not currently have contracts with any governmental insurance plans (CHIP, Medicaid, Champus, TriCare). We anticipate applying for these plans in the spring when we move to our permanent location at 6900 S. Rice in Bellaire. Application process can take 6 months.
We know that insurances can be confusing and with expected changes to the Affordable Care Act coming up on Capitol Hill, we expect that you may be feeling overwhelmed by your own insurance woes.
You may find this video from the Texas Medical Association helpful:
We are here to help you understand your medical benefits in regard to your child’s medical care. If you have a question about your insurance plan, it is good to call your HR department first, but we are also glad to help you sort through the “fine print.” Please call us!
If you no longer have an insurance plan, you may want to check to see if you qualify for some of the following insurance plans that meet current ACA requirements: