Flu vaccines 2020

Flu vaccines will be scheduled-only this season to allow for safety precautions to remain in place. We are offering appointments for flu vaccines at various times to include Saturdays and evening at some locations.    Please call your specific location for details.

Forms

Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions we apologize that we cannot accept school forms or medication forms by drop-off.
You must have had a physical that is current within the past year to complete school physical forms. Please fax the form to a number below or mail it to our office Attention: Medical Records Clerk.
HILLIARD: 614-529-2370
LEWIS CENTER: 740-657-8100
PICKERINGTON: 614-863-7388
WHITEHALL: 614-434-2701
Forms will be completed within 3-5 business days.
Please note we need to receive all pages of the document and you are required to complete the parent portion of the form in order for us to serve you better.
All completed forms will be mailed or faxed back to you as we cannot release protected health information via e-mail. If your child is in need of a physical, please call the office to schedule and you can bring your form with you to the appointment.

A Message From Pediatric Associates

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Pediatric Associates.  During these past 60 years, our mission has always been to partner with our patients and families to promote the health and well-being of the NEXT generation.

With recent events, we realize our role has had to change.  But our role has changed only because our mission has remained the same—to partner with our patients and families to promote the health and well-being of the NEXT generation.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has upset life for us all.  It has ultimately caused us change the way we care for our patients.  We, like others, have had to decrease our office hours, limit physician and staff presence, and include the new world of virtual medicine.  Change is not easy for us, but be assured we will adapt and do whatever is necessary to be there for you.

We resolve to be here at least another 60 years.  We look forward to a more “normal” way of living, and caring for your children.  This outbreak has forced us to start several major changes.  Some of these changes will be temporary, and a few will be the “new normal.”  We will continue to:

  • Follow the recommendations of the CDC, the ODH, and our governor in keeping you and your children safe and healthy, and do the same for our staff.
  • Offer “virtual” telehealth visits, so we can connect with you and address your concerns in a remote way.
  • Share updates as we get them.  The situation is changing constantly, so follow our social media channels and our website closely.

Lastly, while this is a time of great distress, we can still see, during this time of year, signs of RENEWAL.  Trees are blooming.  Grass is green again.  Even when humans are sheltering-in-place, nature is thriving.

And, at Pediatric Associates, we will embrace this renewal, to find ways to better serve you, and your children, and your children’s children.  Thanks for choosing us, and sticking with us through all of this!  We plan on not coming out of this the SAME.  We plan on coming out of this BETTER. We love you all dearly.

Telemedicine “Virtual” Visits: Tips for a GREAT visit with us online!

Virtual Visits are Here!

To meet your needs in the time of COVID-19, and to continue to provide convenient access to your doctors, Pediatric Associates is now offering TELEHEALTH (“virtual”) visits from the comfort of your own home.  Certain visits will be appropriate for this service, but others WILL require an in person visit (such as ear pain, strep tests, or flu tests, for example).  If your child has an illness or a visit that is appropriate for a virtual visit, here are some helpful hints to make sure it is a good visit.

Your Home

  • Have the child in a well-lit room, that is quiet, and free of distractions (such as a video playing loudly).
  • We know this is your home.  Don’t be embarrassed by other kids running around (we want to say hi!), pets, or even dirty dishes.  We understand.  We have kids, pets, and dirty dishes too.

Your Equipment and Logging In

  • Smartphones are the BEST!!  Later model iPhones or Samsung Galaxy offer the best video and audio for these visits.
  • Try to log in about 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.
  • Please use the patient’s name (not yours) when you are asked to enter a name on the screen.
  • Do the “Pre-Call Test” (button in the bottom left corner of the screen) to help us have the best connection.

Useful Tools

  • A flashlight (or other light source) that is NOT the phone you are using for the visit
  • A thermometer (or have taken your child’s temperature before the visit)
  • Your child’s most recent weight (or a scale where you can weigh them)
  • The name and location of your pharmacy, if we need to send in a prescription
  • For ADHD medication followups, click vanderbilt-assessment-parent-follow-up to download and fill out a Vanderbilt form to complete before the visit.
  • For depression and/or anxiety visits, click GAD&PAIweb and PHQ9PAIweb to complete these forms prior to the visit.

The Visit

  • The doctor will ask you questions and ask you to help us with your child’s physical exam.
  • We may ask you to undress your child so we can see rashes, or if she/he is having a hard time breathing.
  • We may also ask you to shine a light down your child’s throat, press on his/her belly, or take a temperature.
  • NOTE: it is possible that we determine your child DOES need to come in to the office for an “in person” visit.

Relax!

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Encourage your child to do so as well.
  • If your child has a favorite toy, or wants to introduce a family pet, we want to see that!  You are ALL part of our family.

Recommended COVID-19 Resources For Families

There are many good resources for families on the Internet for COVID-19.  We’ve picked a few that we feel are reliable and reasonable, and have listed them here.

HealthyChildren.org (sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics)

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.aspx

Ohio Department of Health

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/Family-Activities/Resources-for-Parents-and-Families

Nationwide Children’s Hospital

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/health-wellness-and-safety-resources/covid-19

Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Ohio-AAP-COVID-19

Cold vs. Flu: What can you do?

Both the common cold and the flu (influenza) are caused by viruses for which there is no definitive treatment.

Colds are typically mild and do not require a visit to the doctor. Medications such as Tylenol or Advil/Motrin can be used to reduce any pain or fever that occurs. Cold and cough medicines are not very effective and are not recommended in children younger than 2 years.

The flu can be quite severe. Medication for flu such as Tamiflu does NOT cure the flu. At best it reduces the symptoms of the flu by 1-2 days if given with the first 24-48 hours from the start of illness, and therefore is only indicated for people at very high risk for complications from flu, including children younger than 2 years old and people with conditions such as asthma or immune suppression. Patients with these conditions should be seen in the office in the first 1-2 days of fever onset.

You should call our office for a same day appointment if your child experiences persistently high fever (> 101 for more than 3 days), appears to have difficulty breathing, or is unable to keep down fluids such as water or Pedialyte. Your child’s pediatrician can determine what the cause of the symptoms is and if any additional treatment is appropriate.

The most effective treatments for any viral illness including both colds and the flu are drinking fluids and getting lots of rest. Drinking fluids prevents dehydration while the body is trying to recover from illness and the body heals best when resting.

Well Visits ARE Sports Physicals

Is your child planning to play a sport in school for the next academic year?  Is your child THINKING about playing a sport next year?  If so, we recommend you do two things as the current school year winds to an end:

  1. Schedule your child’s annual well visit as soon as possible to get it in before tryouts and/or practices start for the sport(s) he/she will be playing.
  2. Tell the nursing staff and the doctor that your child will (or may) need a sports clearance, either in the summer, or later in the year.  This will assure we ask the appropriate questions and add the appropriate parts of the physical exam to clear your student athlete.

Remember that a clearance for sports is good for a full 12 months.  So if your child has a well visit this summer, he/she can be cleared for the entire school year.  An injury could require a re-clearance post-injury, but in the absence of that, a well visit will count as a sports physical, and be valid for the entire 12 months.

New! Ways to keep your child with asthma out of the ER

We’ve added a new asthma self-management tool to help patients and families avoid expensive and lengthy trips to an ER or Urgent Care.  In addition to following your asthma action plan, click here to learn more helpful hints to keep asthma patients OUT of the ER.

Spring is a common season for flare-ups of asthma.  Be prepared.  Make sure your child has his/her controller medicine and all inhalers available.  Call our office if you need help!

Important Facts about School Sports Forms

Is your 7th-12th grade child going to play a school sport during the upcoming school year?  If so, they will need to have the most recent edition the OHSAA sports clearance form completed prior to the first day of practice or tryouts.  For most fall sports, that deadline is in early August.

We can complete the sports form during your child’s regular annual physical exam.  It is very helpful to have this form completed (at least partially) prior to the checkup visit.  We will have the forms available in the office, but you can also download and print the form from here to have before the appointment.

OHSAA 2018-19

The most important health questions to have answered for the checkup are Questions 5 through 16, about heart health in the patient and family history.

We look forward to seeing you this summer and hope you ALL have a great school year this year!

Warm Weather means Hand-Foot-Mouth (HFM) season

by Jumana Giragos, MD

Hand-foot-and-mouth (HFM) disease is a common childhood infection caused by a virus that results in a characteristic rash. The rash consists of small, blister-like bumps in the mouth (usually in the back near the tonsils) and a rash on the palms and soles. The rash also commonly appears on the legs, arms, around the mouth, and in the diaper area, especially the buttocks; in those areas, the rash can also appear as small red bumps rather than blisters.

As stated, HFM is caused by a virus, mostly commonly by specific strains of the enterovirus family. It is very common in children, especially those younger than 10. It is more common during warmer times of the year such as summer and fall. The virus is spread primarily through fecal-oral contact, although it may also be transmitted through other modes such as saliva. The rash itself is NOT considered contagious by contact.  To prevent the spread, it is very important to have good hand washing.

The signs and symptoms of HFM consist of the rash (described above), and fever. The oral lesions can cause pain, so affected children may not eat or drink well. Overall, children do not feel well with this illness. Due to the distinctive rash, the diagnosis is made based on the rash and associated symptoms, and usually no further testing is needed.

Symptoms typically last 5-7 days. Because it is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help. The main goals of treatment are to make the child as comfortable as possible due to the pain associated with the oral blisters and to encourage the child to stay hydrated with fluids. Acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen can be used to manage the fever and also help with pain control. It is very important to make sure your child is hydrated as dehydration is the biggest potential complication of this virus. Frequent sips of fluids, popsicles, etc are different ways to make sure your child does not get dehydrated.

To prevent the spread, hand washing is very important. Also contaminated surface can be cleaned with disinfectants. The virus can be shed for a few weeks even after the rash is gone. For that reason, we do not limit children from attending daycare while they have the rash unless they also have a fever at the time.