Our new Office in the South Loop!

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tables being made for the new office

We are thrilled to announce that on Feb 1st, 2017, we will be opening a second office in the South Loop.  We are the first pediatric practice in the neighborhood and  Drs. Ramachandran, Kim, and Weissbluth are all looking forward to better serving the community.  Dr. Weissbluth will still be seeing patients in our Northwestern campus location as well.  And yes, there will be free parking 🙂  Call us today at 312-202-0300 as we are still accepting new patients!

Parenting myth: “The Flu vaccine causes the flu”

Fall is here and WP has flu vaccine for all children over 6 months of age.  Please come into our office at noon 7 days/week to get your child vaccinated.

Myth:  “flu vaccine cause the flu disease”

If you want to read more parenting myths, please type “weissbluth” into your phone’s App store search field!

This is a particularly dangerous myth because influenza kills many children all over the world every year. There are currently two vaccines available in the United States: the first is a “dead” virus that is injected-at the site of injection, there may be redness, swelling, or aches. This vaccine can also cause a fever. However, this “dead” virus cannot cause disease. The second type of flu vaccine is a “live”, attenuated vaccine- this is a genetically modified flu virus that also cannot cause flu in its recipients. There are no known cases of this genetically modified “live” vaccine reverting to the original influenza virus and causing disease. There are certain children who should not get the influenza vaccine and parents need to discuss their child’s health with their pediatrician prior to getting the vaccine.

So why does this myth persist? There is a Latin saying: “post hoc ergo propter hoc” which translates to “after this, therefore, because of this.” This fallacy in logic refers to the belief that because A precedes B in time, that A causes B. Many people believe this myth because when they get the flu vaccine, they are also contracting other viruses that are making them sick. Whether this is due to the time of year when the vaccine is administered (winter=more viral complaints) or where the vaccine is administered (health care providers are where many sick people congregate), it is hard to tell. Feeling sick after receiving the flu vaccine is oftentimes a coincidence. That’s why pediatricians recommend routine influenza vaccines for infants over 6 months of age, toddlers, children, and adolescents.

-Daniel Weissbluth

Weissbluth Pediatrics

References:

Tosh, P.K., T.G Boyce, and G.A Poland. 2008 Flu Myths: dispelling the myths associated with a live attenuated influenza vaccine. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 83 (1): 77-84

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

Breastfeeding and going back to work – Dr. Asha Ramachandran

Breastfeeding is hard work and returning back to work can put additional strain on the experience. During your pregnancy start to educate yourself as much as possible about breastfeeding so that when you return you feel prepared. Talking with your employer before returning to work can help alleviate the stress and help arm you with a game plan.

One of WPs very own lactation certified nurses (and a new mom!) has put together the following information for our patient’s mothers to make the transition as easy as possible. I found the information to be very helpful as a new mother and wanted to share.

Establishing a Good Milk Supply

  • During the first 2 weeks of life, breastfeed on demand and do skin-to-skin time as much as possible to establish a good milk supply
  • Begin pumping before going back to workso you are able to store milk
  • Storing, and preparing, guidelines from HealthyChlildren.org

Bottle-feeding a Breastfed Infant

  • Introduce a bottle between 2-4 weeks of life and offer a bottle once a day to help baby become familiar with them
  • Hold infant in vertical position and bottle in horizontal position
  • Wide-based, slow-flow nipples

Back to Work

  • How long would you like to breastfeed? (AAP recommends at least 6 months)
  • Find out where you will be able to pump and how often (do a practice run)

Pumping Facts

  • Use a double electric pump
  • Massage breasts while pumping to increase milk output
  • If possible, pump at the same time every day for 10-20 mins (2-3 mins after last drops of milk)

Maintaining an Adequate Supply

  • During a 8-10 hour workday, pump 2-4 times/day and extra if you have a long commute
  • If supply decreases, increase pumping (shorter, more frequent pumping is better than fewer, longer sessions) and increase feedings in the evenings, night, and early morning
  • Pumping after baby goes to bed once on a regular sleep schedule ~2-3 months
  • Inform child care provider not to feed infant the hour before you get home
  • Exclusively breastfeed on days off – baby’s feeding stimulates supply more than pumping
  • Oatmeal, fenugreek, more milk plus, mother’s milk tea, and lots of fluids (water/Gatorade) can all help keep up an adequate supply

How Much Should I Pump?

Hopefully you find these tips helpful. Please feel free to call our office with any additional questions, or stop by our Support Group held every Thursday @ 1pm.

Kids and Technology: Living in the Digital Age – Laura Kauffman, M.D., F.A.A.P.

It’s hard to imagine a time when an smart phone, tablet or laptop was not at our fingertips. It is inevitable that children of our generation will grow up with media in all aspects of their lives. In a world where children are “growing up digital,” it’s important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has some tips for managing the digital world with our children:

Treat media as you would any other environment in your child’s life:

Set limits; kids need and expect them. Know your children’s friends, both online and off. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, where they are going on the web, and what they are doing online.

Set limits and encourage playtime:

Tech use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Unstructured and offline play stimulates creativity. Make unplugged playtime a daily priority, especially for very young children.

Families who play together, learn together:

Family participation is also great for media activities—it encourages social interactions, bonding, and learning. Play a video game with your kids. It’s a good way to demonstrate good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette.

Be a good role mode:

Teach and model kindness and good manners online. And, because children are great mimics, limit your own media use.

For more tips and information, please visit:

healthychildren.org – Tips for Parents Digital Age

Vitamins and Toddlers – Asha Ramachandran, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Often we are asked by parents if their children need additional Vitamin supplementation – especially in the Toddler years when eating a complete and satisfying (for the parent) meal can be a difficult task. While Vitamins are not harmful and can certainly be given as a supplement they are most likely not necessary. Meat and Dairy restricted diets may require some supplementation and should be discussed with your Physician.

But if you are one of those parents who has broken down and started given your kids vitamins, you are not alone! The truth is most nutritionists agree that there is very little benefit in giving your children a daily multivitamin as there are very few instances where the child’s diet alone leaves him deficient. Here are some additional points described by healthychildren.org to consider:

  • The amount your child needs to eat to get enough vitamins and minerals from his food alone is probably much smaller than you think. Even for the pickiest of eaters, it doesn’t take more than a very few picks from each of the basic food groups for children to get their recommended daily dose.
  • Many vitamins can be stored in the body. This means that your child doesn’t have to eat each and every one every day—affording you the option of spreading your efforts at achieving a balanced diet out over the course of a week or two without spreading the vitamins too thin.
  • Ironically enough, parents who are most likely to give multivitamins are also those who are most likely to be feeding their children healthy diets in the first place.
  • Vitamins can be found in some unlikely sources. Calcium doesn’t just have to come from cows, since it is contained in both supplements and many nondairy foods ranging from salmon, tofu, spinach, and sardines to rhubarb, baked beans, bok choy, and almonds—admittedly not all of which are an easy sell at the dinner table, but at least you have plenty to choose from!
  • And finally, many foods these days are fortified. That means that even if your child favors foods that do not come naturally loaded with all of the necessary nutrients, all hope is not lost; it’s entirely possible that food manufacturers have added them in for you. Classic examples include the vitamin D fortification of milk, margarine, and pudding, and the calcium contained in kid-friendly foods such as orange juice, cereals, breads, and even Eggo waffles.

 

Take Care!

Dr. Asha

 

Lead Exposure: Steps to Protect Your Family – Dr Paul Miller

Lead is, fortunately, much less prevalent in the environment than before. However there have been some recent reports of Lead in the media, from the water supply in Flint, MI to the most recent report of Lead in the drinking water in certain Chicago schools.

Lead is a heavy metal which serves no purpose in our bodies and competes with Iron in certain biological processes (making red blood cells/hemoglobin, for one). So NO lead is good lead.

Before Lead was removed from paints and as an additive in gasoline we would typically see and accept higher levels as normal. For instance when I first started in medicine in the 1990’s a level up to 20 was considered acceptable. Nowadays we get concerned for levels > 5.

Current sources of Lead include old pipes, old paint and exposure to Lead containing dirt. Other sources are related to hobbies such as glazing/stained glass and firearms/shooting. Toys made in other countries without strict oversight may also be found on occasion to contain lead.

At Weissbluth Pediatrics we routinely check for Lead at 12 and 24 months of age in all children. Any child with persistent mouthing of non-food items or pika may be tested at the request or discretion of the family and doctor. If your child’s Lead level is above 5 in the office we will request a venous blood draw to confirm the result.

Please click this link for more information:

In good Health,

Paul Miller, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Summer Safety – Laura Kauffman, M.D., F.A.A.P.

It’s that time of year to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Whether you’re spending the day at the beach, in a pool or on the playground, we’re always striving to keep our kids healthy and happy. Here are a few tips to keep the family safe this summer:

Fun in the Sun

  • For babies under 6 months of age, to prevent sunburn avoid sun exposure, dress infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn.
  • For older children, stay in the shade whenever possible, and limit sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. On both sunny and cloudy days use a sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater that protects against UVA and UVB rays.

Heat Stress

  • Before outdoor physical activities, children should drink freely and should not feel thirsty. The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat or humidity reach critical levels.
  • Infants and small children are not able to regulate their body temperature in the same way that adults do. The inside of a car can reach dangerous temperatures quickly, even when the outside temperature is not hot. Never leave a child alone in a car, even if you expect to come back soon.

Pool/Boating Safety

  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment; close supervision by a responsible adult is the best way to prevent drowning in children.
  • Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool.
  • Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats, docks or near bodies of water.

For more tips on sun and water safety, visit: HealthyChildren.org – Summer Safety Tips, Sun and Water Safety