Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Well Check-ups vs Sports Physicals…

How do you know which one and when to schedule?

Well check-ups are preventative physicals and also cover requirements for school sports physicals.. Your insurance usually covers well check-ups with zero out of pocket to you.  IHSAA/school guidelines need a well check-up or sports physical on or after April 1st.  If you schedule your child’s well check-up after April 1st, this will be good for the entire school year and through summer conditioning.  Our doctors recommend a well check-up every year. 
If your child had a well check-up before April 1st, you can schedule a sports physical which is an abbreviated physical and only covering the sports portion.  We advise you to check with your insurance for coverage on these.

Northpoint Pediatrics www.northpointpeds.com 

Accepting New Patients | Call 317-621-9000 today for more information or  REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ON LINE

George Wright, CPC
Director Business Operations

Director of the Business Operations at Northpoint Pediatrics and a certified coder himself, George leads a team of professional coders, patient account professionals and scheduling team members. 

Married and dad of three active boys, you can often find his family either at the soccer fields or watching soccer matches. 

Teens: Ban the Tan!

Using tanning beds can harm your skin, eyes

    Are you feeling a bit pale after a long winter? Thinking about using a tanning bed before going somewhere warm for spring break? You might want to think again. Indoor tanning beds can be dangerous — or even deadly.
People who use tanning beds before they are 35 years old are 75% more likely to get melanoma (skin cancer). Melanoma affects 68,000 people in the United States and kills one out of eight of those people every year. Those who start tanning when they are young also have a higher risk of other types of skin cancer. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and pediatricians tell anyone under age 18 that they should never use a tanning bed.
Tanning salons sometimes give out wrong information about safety. For example, tanning salon workers in Missouri allowed children as young as 10 years old to use tanning beds, according to a new study in the medical journal Pediatrics. Some customers were told that they should use a tanning bed before going on vacation somewhere warm to avoid sunburns (they shouldn't or that doctors recommend tanning beds (they don’t). Actually, the “healthy” glow on your skin after tanning is not healthy at all. It is a sign of skin damage.
Tanning beds do more than just hurt skin and cause cancer. The bright light can cause eye problems, itchy skin and make you more likely to get sick. Even teenage boys are at risk. In one study, boys who use indoor tanning often said they feel bad about how they look. They also were more likely to do other unhealthy things, like try weight loss tricks, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and steroids.
In many states, it is illegal for anyone younger than age 18 to use a tanning salon. Even if you are allowed to go with a note from your parents, think before you ask. It is healthier to be happy in your own skin.

Northpoint Pediatrics WWW.NORTHPOINTPEDS.COM 

Accepting New Patients | Call 317-621-9000 today for more information or  REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ON LINE
© 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics - Trisha Korioth, Staff Writer

Baseline and Concussion (imPACT) Testing Done in Our Office!

What is Concussion (imPACT) Testing?

Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) is a computer-based test that objectively measures the function of the brain. Measuring attention, memory, processing speed and reaction time helps our certified imPACT clinicians determine when it’s safe to play.

Who should have the test and when?

All athletes 12 years old and older should take a diagnostic imPACT test during the preseason. With information about “baseline” brain function on record, your treating physician will have measurements to use for comparison and analysis should you suffer a concussion during the season. Whether an athlete has taken a pre-season baseline test or not, medical attention for a concussion is ALWAYS needed.
Northpoint offers baseline concussion testing for children 12 years and up that do not have access to testing through their local school district.  The test fee is $20 and is not billable to insurance.  
To schedule a Baseline imPACT test call us at 621-9000.

How is a concussion treated?

An athlete who is diagnosed with a concussion is not allowed to participate in practice or games. Other mental and physical activity is often limited. The athlete may not resume sports activity until a physician trained in the treatment of sports concussions confirms symptoms have resolved, and the baseline test has returned to normal. Depending on the severity of the concussion, your activities may need to be resumed gradually. Northpoint does imPACT testing in our office.  
To schedule a Post Concussion imPACT test call us at 621-9000.

Northpoint Pediatrics WWW.NORTHPOINTPEDS.COM 

Accepting New Patients | Call 317-621-9000 today for more information or  REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ON LINE

Where can I find more information on concussion management?

INDIANA ATHLETES CONCUSSION ALLIANCEWhere to get  other information.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Air Travel and Kids

I took a trip to Orlando in a couple years ago to visit family and friends.  I was traveling solo on that trip, so I had a chance to sit back and observe the many families who brave the whole process to get to the sunny land of Disney.

I observed a mother reassuring her little girl that security isn't scary, "It is just part of the trip. We just need to do it to get on the plane.” Once again, I was impressed by the wisdom of parents and their ability to explain things to their kids at their level.   I even found myself being soothed by this simple explanation (you are never too old to need a mom).  If parents can stay calm and cool, the kids have a better chance of remaining that way. 

Many times you can get through security quicker if the airport has a special line for families with young children.  You can usually board the plane earlier too.  Airlines know that little kids do not travel light!  However, if you are in Orlando, don't count on any kid friendly perks.  You are one of the masses there. On the return trip, I must have seen a couple dozen families rush the gate at the first announcement of boarding, only to be held back. 

I have some other tips for air travel with children, with help from fantastic Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and mother of two, Megan Taylor:  

  • Buy your baby his or her own seat! See AAP Article. I feel pretty strongly about this one.  While airlines will still allow certain aged babies to sit on parent's laps, it is not only extremely uncomfortable, but not very safe.  For a smaller baby, you can bring his/her car seat on board so they can be safely belted in if there is turbulence or a hard landing.  Plus it gives the baby a place to sleep and you can relax  hands-free! You can check your older kid(s) car seat(s), or rent at your destination.
  • Offer a pacifier, bottle, or nurse during takeoff and landing to help with ear popping. Toddlers can try drinking from a sippy cup. Older kids can try the old standby of chewing gum. 
  • We do not routinely recommend Benadryl (diphenhydramine) on flights. While it may aid sleep, it may also cause the opposite reaction and kids can become extra fussy or hyperactive. Plus, it is easier to overdose medications on an airplane with all the distractions and crowded space.  If you are taking an overseas flight, we may be able to develop a "sleep plan" for your child on an individual basis.
  • Preparation is key.  Organize and pack well.  Use a checklist.  Let a child who can walk carry his/her own backpack. This can lighten your own load and also make things fun.  You can let your children pick out some of the books or toys they would like on the trip.  You also have the opportunity to teach them the art of packing light (always a good lifelong skill!)
  • If your baby is on any specialty formula (i.e. - soy based, hypoallergenic, etc.), take ample supply when traveling to resort locations. Many resort areas or rural areas have only regular Similac or Enfamil in the nearby stores.
  • Take a light stroller with you.  You can check and retrieve it right at the boarding point, and having it will allow you to put your baby down somewhere safe and clean in the airport.  This also gives you the option to be "hands free" while picking up luggage, getting your rental car, using the restroom, etc.
  • Airports and airplanes are full of germs, but most of them are spread through the "mouth/nose to hand to surface to hand to mouth/nose" mechanism rather than through the air.  If your baby is not crawling, you can keep him/her in the stroller and sanitize your own hands (which have just touch spots that 100 other people have touched in the last hour) before touching the baby. Sanitize before you touch your own mouth, nose or eyes as well.  This will keep you from getting infected by some of the airport germs and being sick on vacation!  If you have a crawler or toddler, you may be out of luck.  They touch everything and put whatever they can reach into their mouths.  Keep them in that handy stroller if you can, or find a small play area that you can wipe down first!
  • Plan ahead for delays, cancellations, lost luggage etc. In addition to the usual recommendations (medications, valuables, etc. ), carry on plenty of diapers, wipes, and changes of clothes. It is not easy to find these things in an airport terminal.
  • Plan ahead for possible illnesses. We see a fair number of kids for "pre-vacation, just in case they have an ear infection” checks  and are happy to do so.  We can also discuss some of the questions you may have about your specific travel plans.  Children can get sick (or sicker) in less than 24 hours, so even if they have a normal exam before your leave, they may still need seen by a doctor while you are at your destination.  If you are traveling in the U.S., there are pediatric hospitals in most large cities that have an urgent care clinic or pediatric emergency department.  If you are staying with friends, their own children's doctor may be able to see your child for an appointment.  If those options aren't available, I tell people to go to the biggest hospital they can get to, since larger hospitals usually have more pediatric emergency doctors and nurses.  We will help over the phone where we can, but most children have similar symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, not sleeping) that have very different causes. That is why they will usually need an exam before they can be treated.   If you will be going out of the country, we recommend you call one of the international travel clinics for medial recommendations for that specific area. 

Finally, if your child has one of those all out 'fits' that cause everyone in the airplane to keep glancing (or glaring!) your way...smile sweetly, sadly, apologetically, and accept the fact that you have done your best.  I am one of those lucky people who is so used to kids screaming, that it doesn't bother me in the least on an airplane.  However, if your child is kicking the back of my seat, please, oh please....make him stop!!

Northpoint Pediatrics WWW.NORTHPOINTPEDS.COM 

Accepting New Patients | Call 317-621-9000 today for more information or  REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ON LINE

Vicki Roe, M.D. 6/9/12, revised 6/12/14
Dr. Vicki Roe received her  under graduate degree from Purdue, and her MD degree from IU School of Medicine. In her spare time she enjoys book collecting, genealogy, photography, Sc Fi and comic books.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Children and the Loss of a Loved One

The movie, 'The Fault in Our Stars." is a story about how family members and friends deal with the loss of a loved one.  Children react differently from adults when coping with the death of someone close to them.  How they act ultimately depends on their age.  
When a parent dies, a child may act younger than they are, sometimes displaying infantile behavior.  Preschoolers have a harder time comprehending the loss, whereas, kids ages five to nine have an understanding of death but are stunned that it has happened to them.  In contrast, teenagers react based on their personality and relationship with the individual who's passed.  
As a consequence, there are many ways to grieve the loss of a loved one.  Families who have children need to understand that their child's emotions can be like a roller coaster, normal and playful, which can then switch to crying and anger towards the surviving family members. Children can also feel alone in their loss.  Friends may not know how to help or relate to them.  
Gilly, a ten-year old, lost her older sister to a sudden illness.  "When I saw her in the hospital, I was scared , wondering what my life would be like after this.  I was sad, lonely and scared.  I miss my sister a lot but I can't change that she is gone."  
Fortunately, there are resources available to help surviving family members and friends deal with a loss.  Referrals from your primary care provider are a good place to start for support groups and therapy.
Facts for Families:
Children and Grief: What They Know, How They Feel, How to Help

Northpoint Pediatrics WWW.NORTHPOINTPEDS.COM 

Accepting New Patients | Call 317-621-9000 today for more information or  REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT ON LINE
Pam graduated in 1993 from Holy Names College in Oakland Ca. with a BSN degree and received her Masters Degree in Pediatric Primary Care from Indiana University in 1997. Previous and current pediatric experience includes working in community health centers as well as being a school nurse in both a suburban and inner city school corporation and teaching graduate level nursing courses. Her special medical interests include working with children with cerebral palsy. In her free time she enjoys knitting, reading and swimming. She is married and has two children.
Baby girl with pony tail in white