This page will try to help with everyday questions and be an information center for things such as; immunizations, sickness protocol, Massachusetts regulations, and many more topics important to parents in the practice.
Getting Ready for a
Well Child Exam
As you know the doctor's office is often a place that can cause stress for your child and the following tips may help prevent or at least minimize the amount of anxiety for their next visit:
- No one likes a rude awakening. Let your child know a day or two before you come in and this will allow you to talk about why it’s important to be seen by the doctor and will give them a chance to ask you questions. You should try to avoid giving more than a day or two notice because children often forget or it may leave your child with feelings of anxiety for too long.
- Help your child to understand what is going to take place when you go to the doctor’s office. One way to do this is to buy a toy doctor’s kit and show them how the doctor might look in their mouth and ears. If your child knows what to expect they are less likely to be afraid.
- Having your child sit on your lap while the exam is taking place can help and don’t be afraid of sitting on the exam table with them. It can help to empower the child. You may want to ask them what ear should be examined first. Giving them a little control can go a long way.
- A small reward can be a good incentive such as a sticker, lollipop or trip to the playground for controlling anxiety at the time of the exam and/or if vaccines are needed. It is important that this reward not be dependent on good behavior alone because some children can self cope better than others.
Adolescent Well Visits
The adolescent years (11 - 18 years) can be the most challenging years for both children and parents alike. During these years a lot of changes are taking place both physically and emotionally and it is important to remember that a yearly check-up is needed to make sure that these changes are monitored.
A lot of parents think that immunizations are mainly done in the younger years of a child's life and that is somewhat true. The primary series of immunizations is complete by age 4 but starting at age 11 children start their adolescent series which include Tdap, Meningococcal, HPV, and any other vaccines that may be needed.
During this time girls will start to think about birth control and it is important to remember that birth control pills are used for many reasons besides preventing pregnancy, such as acne and irregular or painful menstrual cycles.
Treating Your Child's Fever
Fever is the body's way of turning on the immune system to fight an infectious bacteria or virus.
Fevers below 100.9 degrees do not need to treated but should be monitored until the temperature has returned to normal.
Fevers above 101.0 degrees should be treated with a fever reducer such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. If a fever persists longer than 24 hours please call the office and schedule an appointment.
Quality advice for everyday questions
We are always here to answer any questions that you may have about your child. Sometimes you just want know what to look for or have a simple question that might not need the doctor’s attention. There are a lot of choices for websites and it is hard to know which websites you can trust. A great website is kidshealth.org, a non profit foundation dedicated to keeping kids healthy and it is ad free. The site has not only medical answers but safety and travel advice. The site also has sections dedicated to both kids and teens so your children can look up questions they may have and it will be explained in a way that they can understand.
Important Information About Immunizations
Ages 9 to 14
two shot series 6 to 12 months apart
Ages 15 and up
If the first shot is given after 15 years of age you need a 3 shot series two months after first shot a second shot is given
The third and final shot is given 6 months after the first shot and at least 6 weeks after the second.
Vaccine Information Statements (VIS)
VIS statements are produced by the CDC to provide up to date information about what vaccines do and possible side effects they might have. The link below brings you to these sheets and allows you to read about any vaccines given in the office.
Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS)
Massachusetts has passed a law that states all immunizations must be kept in a centralized database to be run and maintained by the state. By law, this information must be reported by all healthcare institutions large and small. This information will be shared with other healthcare providers and schools if they are registered with MIIS and have obtained permission from the state. For example this system will allow a emergency room doctor to view your child's immunization records for his/her last tetanus shot if you bring him/her in for a laceration. If you wish not to share this information with other healthcare providers you may sign an objection form that will only allow your child's pediatrician to view the records kept in the MIIS database. If you would like to fill out an objection form click the link below and print out the form and either bring it to the office or mail it (Hard Copy Needed for Records).