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Making mealtimes less stressful for your child

Making mealtimes less stressful for your child

Mealtimes can be a battlefield for many families, leading to stress and impaired relationships between a child and food. If your child is struggling with eating habits, seeing a specialist could help. To determine if intervention is needed, answer the following questions:

Does your child:

  • Have a history of failure to thrive or poor weight gain?
  • Have a limited diet or struggle to add new foods to his or her diet?
  • Refuse foods or food groups based on texture, color, temperature, smell or appearance?
  • Need constant reinforcements or rewards to participate in mealtimes?
  • Gag, cough or choke when eating?
  • Require longer than 30 minutes to complete a meal or snack?
  • Graze or snack all day?
  • Get most of his or her nutrition from milk or supplements?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, your child might benefit from the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Feeding Group. The SOS group meets for one hour once a week for 12 consecutive weeks, and is designed to assess and treat all the factors involved with eating/feeding difficulties. This approach focuses on desensitization for increased food acceptance, which leads to increased food intake and improves oral motor skills to empower children to safely eat a variety of textures and foods. Continue Reading »

What to consider when selecting a primary care clinician

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Finding a primary care clinician who you like and trust, and building a partnership with him or her over time is one of the best things you can do for your health. My goal as a connection specialist is to be the first step in navigating that process, taking the stress and anxiety out of finding a new primary care clinician, and talking through the process and answering any questions you may have so we can get you on the road to good health.

Research shows that people who have an ongoing relationship with a primary care clinician have better overall health outcomes and save money in the long run by doing yearly preventative visits. As you begin looking for a primary care clinician, consider the following:

  • Are the office hours or location convenient?
    Some patients want to have a clinician closer to their workplace versus their home, and Affinity Health System has several convenient locations to meet your health care needs. We offer same-day appointments, extended hours during the week and also weekend hours at some of our locations.
  • What do you want in a clinician?
    I often get asked how long a particular clinician has been practicing, or what their specialty is. If you have specific needs, like treating high cholesterol, or are interested in treatments such as integrative medicine or acupuncture, keep those in mind while you search.

Continue Reading »

What to expect at your first pregnancy appointment

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Congratulations on your pregnancy! If you’re a first time mom-to-be, you’ll likely be filled of both questions and excitement. After you’ve celebrated your good news, your next to-do item is a trip to your obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) or Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). It’s a good idea to meet with your provider regularly throughout your pregnancy, and it’s best if your first appointment takes place soon after you suspect you’re pregnant or take an at-home pregnancy test.

At your first appointment, your health care provider will confirm your pregnancy and then do an examination, much like your typical physical, to assess your general health. Your weight and blood pressure will be recorded, and your provider will check your heart, lungs, belly and breasts. You’ll also receive a pelvic exam, which includes a Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer and vaginal cultures to screen for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Your provider will then manually determine the size of your uterus and pelvis while simultaneously checking for any abnormalities of your uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. Everyday factors that could affect your pregnancy, such as high blood pressure or infections, should be identified right away and addressed immediately.

At your first visit, they will also go over your health history and your family’s medical history to determine if there are any risk factors that could affect your pregnancy. These risk factors could include your age, any existing or previous health conditions you may have and any genetic illnesses that may be present in your family. Your provider will also ask about any previous surgeries or exposure to contagious diseases, and they will ask about any medications—prescription or over-the-counter—that you take or have taken in the past. Continue Reading »

Summer sports season is here: tips for injury prevention

Playing sports is a great way for your child to stay fit and healthy, learn about teamwork and develop a sense of personal satisfaction. However, kids’ injuries from playing sports are on the rise, due to several factors. Most of these sports injuries can be prevented.The first step in preventing sports injuries is finding out why sports injuries occur. Sports injuries may be caused by:
  • Individual risk factors (such as medical conditions including heart, lung or neurological disease)
  • Inadequate physical exams before participating (every child should get a thorough sports-specific physical exam before each season)
  • Playing while injured (whether it is playing with a MSK injury, infection or concussions)
  • Improper training (including overtraining) or coaching, or lack of instruction
  • Not warming up, cooling down and stretching properly
  • Lack of pre-season conditioning
  • Lack of safety equipment or poorly fitted, improper equipment
  • Unsafe playing fields or surfaces
  • Stress and inappropriate pressure to win

Join me at the Bone and Joint Lecture Series: Top 10 things every parent should know on May 22 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the St. Elizabeth Hospital, Fowler Conference Room 1, where we will discuss these risk factors in detail as well as what you can do as parent, coach, teacher or player to ensure the safe participation of youth in sports.

For more information on the series, click here to download a PDF of the poster.

 

 

Differences in ibuprofen and acetaminophen

 

When parents bring their children to the doctors’, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “What medication can we give our children at home?” Children can generally be given over the counter (OTC) medication to safely reduce pain, fever and inflammation. Among the many medications that are available over the counter, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are usually the ones parents try before bringing their children to the doctor’s office. It is very important for parents to know the difference between these two medications.

Acetaminophen (paracetamol)
(Brand name: Tylenol, APAP, MAPAP, Little fevers, etc.)

  • This medication inhibits synthesis of prostaglandins in the central nervous system, which reduces the effects of pain. It also acts as a fever reducer by targeting the hypothalamic heat-regulating center. This action helps disperse heat. When taken orally, people usually feel relief in less than one hour and it lasts four to six hours. This medication is primarily absorbed in the small intestine and is eliminated in urine.
  • Acetaminophen can be taken with or without food. It should be taken with food if an upset stomach occurs. Children can use it as suppository rectally. In general, acetaminophen can be given to infants younger than 6 months. Continue Reading »

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.