Swansea Pediatrics

News & Information

August 2nd, 2017

Conversion to Epic electronic medical record system


Over the summer, our practice has begun working on our transition to Epic, our new electronic medical record software. While the date of the full conversion is not until September, we are gearing up in many ways. We ask your patience while we work towards this goal.

We hope our families will like the new software because it will allow you to take advantage of access to our office and to your medical record in ways you may find very convenient, including access to test results, immunization records and information about diseases, flu clinics and health maintenance online.

Have a wonderful, safe summer and thanks for your patience.


December 15th, 2016

Dr. Jessica Farrar, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics


Our newest physician, Dr. Jessica Farrar, is now Board Certified in Pediatrics. Congratultions to Dr. Farrar.


September 7th, 2016

Flu Clinic Sunday, September 25th, 9AM-12Noon


Please call 508-379-9605 to schedule an appointment as this is not a walk-in clinic. This clinic is for all our patients, both high risk and non-high risk.

There will be other opportunities for your child to get a flu vaccine: If s/he has a well child appointment this fall, the vaccine will be given then. You may also call our office for a nurse visit to get the vaccine during the week, after school, for example.

For high risk children, such as those with asthma, heart problems, diabetes or other chronic illnesses, it is important to get the vaccine early. We vaccinate infants starting at 6 months; those infants will need a 4 week booster dose also.

There is no flu mist this year; all flu vaccines will be a flu shot.

And parents, please remember to get your own flu shot, which helps protect your children, especially infants under 6 months, who are too young to get their own.


October 24th

Flu Clinic Sunday November 1st


Flu has arrived in every state, including Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We have plenty of flu vaccine in shot form for the clinic, just a shortage of the mist. We don't know when the flumist is coming in, if at all.

We urge you to proceed with the flu shot. The most important thing is to vaccinate your child. Please keep your appointment and protect your child.


March 18th

Measles - How to Protect Your Children


We are very concerned about our patients who are not vaccinated against this terrible illness. There is no truth whatsoever to rumors about this vaccine. The British physician who perpetrated the fraudulent report in 1998 was found to have done so for financial gain in 2004 and in 2010 was found guilty of numerous charges and had his medical license revoked. The article published about his original study was fully retracted by the British medical journal, The Lancet.

Make sure your children are up to date on Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccination. There is a nationwide outbreak of Measles, as we are sure you have heard.
  • The first vaccine is given at the 12-month visit.

  • The second vaccine is given just before kindergarten, at age 4-5 years.
If you are travelling out of the country and your child is 6-12 months old, we can give the MMR before you leave to protect your baby from a potentially fatal disease.

Please visit How to Protect Your Children During A Measles Outbreak for very helpful information.

Prevention is the best medical care there is.


February 5th

Measles Outbreak - American Academy of Pediatrics Bulletin


Please read this brief AAP Bulletin regarding measles outbreak. Also see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Measles Home Page for additional information.


February 2nd

Flu Season is Severe


It's not too late to vaccinate!

We are having a worse flu season than normal. Please call and schedule a flu vaccine for your child if s/he has not yet been vaccinated.


October 16th

2nd Fall 2014 Flu Clinic Sunday, October 26th

October 26, 2014 9AM to 12 noon

This clinic is open to all children, those that are healthy and those at high risk. Please call the office at 508-379-9605 to schedule an appointment as this is not a walk-in clinic. There will be many more opportunities for getting a flu shot; please be assured that if you don't get into this clinic, you will get into another one.

If your child has asthma, heart disease, diabetes or any other chronic serious illness, he or she is considered high risk and should be protected as soon as possible.

There will be no "List" again this year, just announcements in the newsletter and via this portal as we get more vaccine in.

We are vaccinating children coming in for regular check-ups, so if you have a check-up booked this fall, your child can get the vaccine then.

Remember, children getting the flu vaccine for the first time need a booster at least 4 weeks later.

To all parents, especially parents of infants less than 6 months: please get your own flu vaccine!

There will be announcements in the Newsletter about future clinics, please check there for the latest news.


September 27th

Enterovirus D68

This is the illness we are hearing so much about in the news. There is reason to be careful but no reason to panic. Please follow this advice:
  • At home, wash your hands often, using soap and water, and wash for at least 20 seconds. Carry hand sanitizer when you are out and about.
  • Don’t share cups or spoons, knives and forks, and wipe down toys and frequently-touched surfaces like doorknobs often.
  • Keep your distance from visibly sick people and don’t let sick people hold or care for your baby. And if you or a family member is feeling sick, stay home.
  • Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of the elbow or a tissue, not the hand.
  • If your child has asthma or any other lung disease, make sure he or she continues taking any medications as prescribed.
  • If someone in your family starts with the sniffles and a cough, don’t panic. Chances are that it is just a common cold. Keep a close eye and, if the cough gets worse or the person looks weak or is having trouble breathing, call your doctor or visit your local emergency room.
For more information, follow the links to Children's Hospital on this website.



September 8th

1st Fall 2014 Flu Clinic Sunday, September 21st

September 21, 2014 9AM to 12 noon

This clinic is open to all children, those that are healthy and those at high risk. Please call the office at 508-379-9605 to schedule an appointment as this is not a walk-in clinic. There will be many more opportunities for getting a flu shot; please be assured that if you don't get into this clinic, you will get into another one.

If your child has asthma, heart disease, diabetes or any other chronic serious illness, he or she is considered high risk and should be protected as soon as possible.

There will be no "List" again this year, just announcements in the newsletter and via this portal as we get more vaccine in.

We are vaccinating children coming in for regular check-ups, so if you have a check-up booked this fall, your child can get the vaccine then.

Remember, children getting the flu vaccine for the first time need a booster at least 4 weeks later.

To all parents, especially parents of infants less than 6 months: please get your own flu vaccine!

There will be announcements in the Newsletter about future clinics, please check there for the latest news.


October 9th

2nd Flu Clinic Sunday, October 20th

We will be having our next Flu Clinic October 20th, 9-12, by appointment only. Please call for an appointment 508-379-9605.

If your child has an appointment this fall for a regular visit, s/he can get the flu vaccine at that visit.

If your child has asthma or another chronic illness, please come in soon.

Parents: please get your own vaccine, especially to protect infants.


September 5th

Vaccines are in - first of many Flu Clinics planned

We will be having our first Flu Clinic September 15th, 9-12, by appointment only. Please call for an appointment 508-379-9605.

If your child has an appointment this fall for a regular visit, s/he can get the flu vaccine at that visit.

If your child has asthma or another chronic illness, please come in soon.

Parents: please get your own vaccine, especially to protect infants.


May 1st

Free Skin Screening

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

May 11 in East Greenwich, RI, at Dermatology Professionals, Inc. there will be a free skin screening. You are asked merely to call ahead and name the time you’ll be there. This is completely free of charge.

Melanoma is a potentially fatal skin cancer that is on the increase, and affecting younger patients more and more.

Please call:

Lynn Iler, MD
401-497-0233
Dermatology Professionals, Inc.
1672 South County Trail
East Greenwich, RI more
401-885-7546 (SKIN)
www.DermRI.com

December 18th

Influenza in our area

Seasonal flu is now widespread in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. For those who have not yet had a flu shot, please contact the office. We are trying very hard to get everyone protected. We are seeing many, many cases; it is not too late, however, to get a flu shot. We also encourage all family members to get flu vaccine and tetanus-whooping cough vaccine, as this year is predicted to be the worst year in decades for whooping cough (also known as pertussis).


December 18th

Swansea Pediatrics and Hospital Affiliations

While our principal hospital for admitting our sick patients is Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, we wanted you to be aware of changes at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford. Children’s Hospital Boston pediatricians are now in-house at St. Luke’s Hospital. These pediatricians are able to admit and follow patients on the inpatient service. They are also available for consults from the Emergency Department. Your doctors at Swansea Pediatrics are affiliated with these pediatricians, as we are all on staff at both Children’s Hospital in Boston and at Charlton Memorial Hospital. We are pleased with this local development and are ready to answer any questions you may have.


December 18th

Infant Sleep Positioners

No positioners!!!

  • STOP using any sleep positioner. Using a positioner to hold an infant on his or her back or side for sleep is dangerous and unnecessary.
  • NEVER put pillows, an infant sleep positioner, comforters or quilts under a baby or in a crib.
  • ALWAYS place an infant on his or her back at night and during naps.
To reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) the American Academy of Pediatrics and your doctors at Swansea oppose the use of any and all sleep positioners. Examples are Nap Nanny and Rock and Play Sleeper. Please check out the link we have included below.

Infant Deaths Tied to Sleep Positioners


October 16th

Nutrition talk by Dr. Lareau tomorrow

Wednesday October 17th at 1PM Dr. Lareau will be giving an informal talk and question/answer session in our building, at Women and Infants Hospital’s clinic next door to Swansea Pediatrics. There is, of course, no charge to attend.

This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss what is so important to our babies — what to eat, when to start, new ideas and recommendations from us and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Please join us!


September 27th

Second Fall Flu Clinic

Our second flu clinic will be on Sunday October 28th from 9-12 noon.

Please call (508) 379-9605 for an appointment.


September 18th

First Fall Flu Clinic

Our first flu clinic will be on Sunday September 23rd from 9-12 noon.

Please call (508) 379-9605 for an appointment.


June 14th

New FDA Sunscreen Labeling Rules June 2012

This month, new government safety requirements will take effect.
These changes include:

  • Never calling sunblock waterproof—it never is
  • Stating how long it may be water-resistant (40-80 minutes)
  • Only SPF 15 or higher can claim to reduce the risk of skin cancer
  • Broad-spectrum protection must cover both UVA (cancer risk) and UVB (burn risk)
Dermatologists recommend everyone apply water-resistant sunscreen SPF 30 broad-spectrum, on dry skin, 15 minutes before exposure, and lip balm with SPF 30 or higher. Reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating.

Seek shade, wear hats, avoid high-noon sun when you can and have a healthy summer!


February 12th

Health Advisory - Rhode Island Department of Health

Rhode Island is offering free clinics around the state. Whooping cough (Pertussis) vaccine and Flu will be offered to all. No charge for those with no insurance.

Please make sure you and your entire family are protected.

Click on these links for more information on where and when the clinics will be held and who should go. If more of us are vaccinated, the healthier we will all be.

RI Dep of Health Press Release

Clinic Schedule


January 12th

Barrington Whooping Cough/Pertussis Clinic

Today and Tomorrow!

For all Barrington Residents ages 10 and up (except pregnant women) who have never received the TdaP vaccine

Barrington High School Cafeteria, 220 Lincoln Avenue
4-7 PM

Thursday Jan. 12 and Friday Jan. 13
Free for those with no health insurance
For those with insurance: please bring your card

Who should go:
  • Barrington students age 10+
  • Anyone in close contact with a baby
  • Anyone with a weak immune system (chronic lung disease, nervous system disease or immune disorder or their household contacts)
  • Professionals including school staff, daycare workers and healthcare workers
  • All adults, including 65 and older
Pregnant women should see their obstetricians


January 11th

Local Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Alert

Barrington School Clinic to be held this week.

The RI Board of Health has reported 4 confirmed cases of Whooping Cough in Barrington and is looking at 5 more.

Whooping Cough is a very serious disease known as the 100 Day Cough. It can be fatal in infants and 10 California babies died last year in an outbreak there. If your child has kept up with regular vaccinations, most likely you have nothing to fear, but if your child is unvaccinated or undervaccinated, please bring him or her in ASAP to our office.

For those children soon due for a whooping cough booster shot (children around age 10 years), the state of Rhode Island will be holding a school-based clinic in Barrington for certain Barrington kids.

For all parents who are unsure of their own vaccine status, please contact your Physician or Town Nurse and get yourself vaccinated. This is such an easy thing to do to help protect  infants and older folks in particular from this terrible illness. While you are at it, get a flu shot too!


November 28th

Measles Warning

Holiday and winter travel can be a wonderful break for families; it is a good idea to be prepared before you go.

Many parents who ask us for travel advice are concerned about exposure to exotic diseases. Your pediatricians at Swansea Pediatrics are also concerned about vaccine preventable disease, especially Measles, which is on the increase around the world. Thousands of cases have been reported, and in the US over 200 cases so far this year.

If you are traveling out of the country, make sure your child is protected against Measles, which can be a very serious illness. Ask us, as the recommendations are different for those who are traveling. Even infants over 6 months of age can receive an MMR vaccine before your trip.


September 26th

Flu Clinic Saturday, November 5th, 1-4PM

This clinic is open to all children, those that are healthy and those at high risk. Please call the office at 508-379-9605 to schedule an appointment as this is not a walk-in clinic.

If your child has asthma, heart disease, diabetes or any other chronic serious illness, he or she is considered high risk and should be protected as soon as possible.

There will be no "List" again this year, just announcements in the newsletter and via the website and patient portal as we get more vaccine in. There will also be several early morning clinics throughout the season, which we will announce in the same fashion.

We are back to a normal flu season, which means it will begin late November or early December, so there is plenty of time to get vaccinated. We are vaccinating children coming in for regular check-ups, so if you have a check-up booked this fall, your child can get the vaccine then. Remember, children getting the flu vaccine for the first time need a booster at least 4 weeks later.

To all parents, especially parents of infants less than 6 months: please get your own flu vaccination!

Note: Like last year, this year's flu vaccine (either injection or nasal spray) contains protection against both H1N1 and regular flu in one vaccine, even though there is no H1N1 around at this time. Both are safe and have been joined to make protecting our patients easier.

There will be announcements in the Newsletter and on the website about future clinics. Please check either for the latest news.


September 12th

First Fall Flu Clinic Sunday September 25th

Please call to book your appointment. Flu vaccine is available at the flu clinic or at your next visit to the office. We will be offering more flu clinics this fall.

Both the nasal spray and the injection are available, to protect your child aged 6 months and older from flu this fall and winter. This is a very safe vaccine which is extremely well tolerated, especially among children.


May 17th

Measles

There have been several cases of Measles in Boston in the past few months so this is a good time to review Measles. It is a viral infection we almost never see because we have an excellent vaccine to prevent it. Measles is highly contagious as it is carried in the air near a patient who is coming down with it or already has it. Measles is potentially fatal, especially to young children and even adults. It causes several days of high fever, rash and cough; terrible complications sometimes follow.

As many of you know, in 1998, a British doctor named Andrew Wakefield published a paper based on just 12 children, falsely linking Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine with autism. We now know he was being paid large sums of money by British attorneys who had a plan to sue vaccine makers. That fact was a secret until recently. Further, in May 2010, Wakefield lost his right to practice medicine because he committed fraud by trying to link the MMR vaccine with autism. None of Wakefield’s claims have ever been duplicated by any other medical researcher in this country or in any other.

While these claims were shown to be completely false as far back as 2004, they had, unfortunately, already led to a fear of vaccines in general. Some children even died of measles in Britain and elsewhere because of this false fear. Studies from around the world have shown there is no connection whatsoever between vaccines and autism.

Your doctors at Swansea Pediatrics are happy to discuss vaccine safety and answer your questions any time. Our information is based on the scientific research from around the world. We understand that parents want to protect their children from any harm; vaccination is one of the best ways to do so.


February 2nd

Furnace and heater venting

Be aware that many of today's high efficiency furnaces and heating units (and some older designs) vent their exhaust gases through the side of a home or building. Even if you are certain that your heating unit or your building's heating unit has been installed according to all local codes, it is a simple and wise habit to make certain the vent is clear to prevent carbon monoxide, which is lethal, from entering your home. This is a particular problem in the winter as such vents, although properly installed, can get blocked by drifting snow. A quick check and 60 seconds with a shovel can avert a very serious problem.


December 28th

Flu vaccine still available

Flu is now widespread in Massachusetts, sporadic in Rhode Island. We are continuing to vaccinate our patients. If your child has not had a flu vaccine and has no upcoming visit to the office, please call to schedule a vaccine with one of our nurses.

There are 3 main types of flu this winter: one is very similar to last year’s H1N1. Our vaccine will help protect your child from all three types. It is not at all too late to vaccinate; flu season is just starting.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!


November 28th

In the past few years here and across the country, many hospitals, including some of the best such as Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston, have begun using hospitalists to care for in-patients. Many of our parents and grandparents may be familiar with hospitalists, who are physicians who work only in the hospital and provide round-the-clock bedside care.

After much discussion among your doctors here at Swansea Pediatrics, we have decided to make this change as well at Hasbro. The hospitalists there are excellent and are in the hospital all the time. They have assured us that they will keep us informed about your child’s diagnosis, progress and discharge. We will supply these doctors with your child’s records in a timely manner and will be involved in discharge planning.

Your child will be discharged to our care and we will see them for any and all follow-up visits, to make sure all is going well after their hospitalization.


November 4th

Final Weekend Flu Clinic
Sunday, December 5th, 9AM - 12 Noon
Combined Seasonal/H1N1 vaccine


We are having our final weekend clinic on Sunday, 12/5/10 from 9AM to 12 Noon.

Flu season is now upon us and it is the opportune time to get your vaccine. This clinic is open to all children, those that are healthy, and those at high risk. Please call the office at 508-379-9605 to schedule an appointment as this is not a walk-in clinic.

There will be no "List" this year, just announcements in the newsletter as we get more vaccine in. There will also be several early morning clinics throughout the season, which we will announce in the newsletter as well.

We are back to what we hope is a more normal flu season, which means it will begin late November or early December, so there is plenty of time to get vaccinated. We are vaccinating children coming in for regular check-ups, so if you have a check-up booked this fall, your child can get the vaccine then. Remember, children getting the flu vaccine for the first time need a booster at least 4 weeks later.

To all parents, especially parents of infants under 6 months: please get your own flu vaccine!

Please note: this year's flu vaccine (either injection or nasal spray)
contains protection against both H1N1 and regular flu in one vaccine, even though there is no H1N1 around at this time. Both are safe and have been joined to make protecting our patients easier.

There will be announcements in the Newsletter and here on the website about future clinics. Please check there or here for the latest news.



October 14th

Flu Clinic Sunday, October 24, 9AM - 12 Noon
Combined Seasonal/H1N1 vaccine


This clinic is open to all children, those that are healthy, and those at high risk. Please call the office at 508-379-9605 to schedule an appointment as this is not a walk-in clinic. There will be more opportunities for getting a flu shot; please be assured that if you don't get into this clinic, you will get into another one.

There will be no "List" this year, just announcements in the newsletter as we get more vaccine in. There will also be several early morning clinics throughout the season, which we will announce in the newsletter as well.

We are back to what we hope is a more normal flu season, which means it will begin late November or early December, so there is plenty of time to get vaccinated. We are vaccinating children coming in for regular check-ups, so if you have a check-up booked this fall, your child can get the vaccine then. Remember, children getting the flu vaccine for the first time need a booster at least 4 weeks later.

To all parents, especially parents of infants under 6 months: please get your own flu vaccine!

Please note: this year's flu vaccine (either injection or nasal spray)
contains protection against both H1N1 and regular flu in one vaccine, even though there is no H1N1 around at this time. Both are safe and have been joined to make protecting our patients easier.

There will be announcements in the Newsletter and here on the website about future clinics. Please check there or here for the latest news.



October 11th

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) the Hundred Day Cough

Many of you have seen the ad on TV for the Pertussis vaccine Tdap which we give our patients aged 11 years and up. It is also highly recommended for adults and we are urging all parents and family members of our patients to get this vaccine.

There are serious outbreaks of Pertussis happening now, especially in California and Michigan, where thousands of people are ill.

Pertussis is most serious for infants, which is why we start Pertussis vaccination so early, at age 2 months. Pertussis can be a terrible illness at any age, and has been called the Hundred Day Cough. Indeed, you can cough that long from it (though not everyone whoops).

So please call your own doctor or ask the Board of Health in your town where you can get a combined Pertussis/Tetanus/Diptheria vaccine. A plain tetanus shot is not enough.

Click on our CDC link and go to Pertussis to obtain more information. Go to Pertussis: Multimedia to hear the sound of an infant with Pertussis coughing or click here.


October 7th

Safety Alert

Recalls are expected for SLEEP POSITIONERS for infants. These items are marketed as devices to prevent crib death but there is no proof they work and there is a huge concern that they are dangerous and can lead to suffocation.

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have serious concerns, as does the American Academy of Pediatrics. Other worrisome products include crib bumpers, breathable mattresses, wedges and foam pads. NONE of these should be in an infant’s bassinet or crib. Please ask your pediatrician at Swansea Pediatrics if you have any questions about how your infant should sleep.

CPSC and FDA joint News Release.

FDA hand-out Infant Sleep Positioners Pose Suffocation Risk.


October 5th

Swansea Pediatrics Patient Portal   [Application Form]

The Swansea Pediatrics Patient Portal is now available to all our patients. It can be reached directly from the link in the left hand column on any page of our website. Through the Patient Portal you can:
  • Request a Well Child appointment
  • Review upcoming appointments
  • Request Refills of certain chronic prescriptions
  • Request a Referral if your doctor has referred you to a specialist
  • Change your personal information
In order to access the Portal, you must obtain a Username and Password by filling out our application which is available here and returning it to our office. In addition, you may download a one-page overview of the Patient Portal here.


September 27th

Flu clinic Sunday, October 17th, 9AM - 12Noon for combined Seasonal/H1N1 vaccine

This clinic is open to all children: those that are healthy and those at high risk. Please call the office at (508) 379-9605 to schedule an appointment as this is not a walk-in clinic. There will be many more opportunities for getting a flu shot; please be assured that if you don't get into this clinic, you will get into another one.

There will be no "List" this year, just announcements in the Newsletter and here on the website as we get more vaccine in. There will also be several early morning clinics throughout the season, which we will announce here and in the Newsletter as well.

We are back to what we hope is a more normal flu season, which means it will begin late November or early December, so there is plenty of time to get vaccinated. We are vaccinating children coming in for regular check-ups, so if you have a check-up booked this fall, your child can get the vaccine then. Remember, children getting the flu vaccine for the first time need a booster at least 4 weeks later.

To all parents, especially parents of infants under 6 months: please get your own flu vaccine!

Please note: this year's flu vaccine (either injection or nasal spray) contains protection against both H1N1 and regular flu in one vaccine, even though there is no H1N1 around at this time. Both are safe and have been joined to make protecting our patients easier.

There will be announcements in the Newsletter and here on the website about future clinics. Please check there or here for the latest news.


September 15th

Flu Season 2010

High Risk Flu clinic planned for September 23, 7:30-9AM for combined Seasonal/H1N1 vaccine

If your child has asthma, heart disease, diabetes or any other chronic serious illness, please call the office for an appointment for the above clinic. As there will be many more opportunities for getting a flu shot, please be assured that if you don’t get into this clinic, you will get into another one.

There will be no “List” this year, just announcements in the Newsletter and on the News page of our web site as we get more vaccine in. There will also be morning flu clinics all season, first thing in the AM, to be announced shortly.

We are back to what we expect will be a normal flu season, which means we will start to see cases late November or early December, so there is plenty of time to get vaccinated. We are vaccinating children coming in for regular check-ups, so if you have a check-up booked this fall, your child can get the vaccine then. Remember, children getting the flu vaccine for the first time need a booster at least 4 weeks later.

To all parents, and especially parents of infants under 6 months: please get your own flu vaccine!

Please note: this year’s flu vaccine (either injection or nasal spray) contains protection against both H1N1 and regular flu in one vaccine, even though there is no H1N1 around at this time. Both are safe and have been joined to make protecting our patients easier. Also, we have both preservative free and vaccine with preservative; a recent important study has confirmed the safety of the preservative, so feel comfortable if your child gets either vaccine.

There will be weekly announcements in the Newsletter and the News page of the web site about our next clinics. Please check there for the latest news.


August 29th

School/Sports Forms

We understand the need for school and sports forms to be filled out for you. We complete them as quickly as possible but you must allow 5-7 days time before they are due. Please give them to us as early as you can and, if you leave a stamped self-addressed envelope with the form, we will mail it to you. Also, after every yearly physical, be sure to take home one of our own forms which includes height, weight, vaccine history and, if applicable, the entry "cleared for sports". The requirements of many school and sports forms are satisfied by simply attaching the Swansea Pediatrics form to the school/sports form and writing "see attached" on the form.


August 2nd

Kelly Reynolds, M.D.

We at Swansea Pediatrics are very pleased to announce that Dr. Kelly Reynolds has joined our group. Dr. Reynolds was born and raised in Massachusetts. She graduated from Stonehill College in Easton and went on to earn her MD degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. She then completed three years of pediatric residency training at the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center.

Dr. Reynolds has always loved working with children and truly enjoys building long-term relationships with families. When not seeing patients, Dr. Reynolds enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, visiting with family nearby, and spending time at the ocean.


July 17th

Drowning

The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know, from fifty feet away, what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:
  • Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. Th e respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
  • Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  • Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  • Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  • From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.
(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006)

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experience aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in there own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are n the water:
  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs – Vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Ladder climb, rarely out of the water
So if a crew member falls overboard and every looks O.K. – don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them: “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are. If they return a blank stare – you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents: children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

Drowning Prevention

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children older than 1 year of age in the United States. In fact, injuries cause more deaths in children over age 1 year than the next seven leading causes of death combined. Many pediatricians and parents are unaware of the importance of drowning as a major cause of death in children. From 2000 to 2006, drowning was the second leading cause of death from unintentional injury among children aged 2-19 (Pediatrics 1994;94[pt. 1]:137-42).

In the 1- to 4-year age group, drowning causes nearly as many deaths as motor vehicle crashes (28% compared with 29%). In 2006, 1,100 children under 20 years died from drowning, and in 2008, 3,800 children were treated in an emergency department for a nonfatal drowning event and more than 60% were hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the American Academy of Pediatrics' recently revised policy statement entitled, “Prevention of Drowning,” new data and new risks are highlighted, including the dangers of inflatable and portable pools, drain-entrapment and entanglement injuries, and the possible benefit of swimming lessons for young children.

Above-ground inflatable and portable pools have become increasingly popular and pose a significant drowning risk to children. They often fall outside local building codes for barriers, and children can easily fall over the soft side.

From 1990 to 2004, 74 cases of body entrapment in a pool or spa drain (13 deaths) and 43 incidents of hair entanglement (12 deaths) were reported. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (effective December 2008) requires special drain covers, unblockable drains, and safety vacuum-release systems for all public pools and spas in the United States. These inexpensive and effective devices should be strongly encouraged for all private pools and spas.

The AAP previously had recommended swimming lessons for all children aged 4 years and older and continues to support this recommendation for most children in this age group. For children aged 1-4 years old, a recent National Institutes of Health study showed that swimming lessons may provide a reduction in drowning risk. Drowning victims were less likely than matched controls (3% vs. 26%) to have had formal swimming lessons. Based on current evidence, the AAP does not recommend for or against swimming lessons between 1 and 4 years old. For children younger than 1 year of age, there are no data that show swimming lessons are effective, and lessons for children that young are not recommended by the AAP. Swimming lessons at any age do not make a child drown proof nor lessen the need for effective pool barriers and adequate supervision.

It is helpful to think of drowning prevention activities in three distinct areas. The first is open bodies of water, such as oceans, lakes, and rivers. Children should swim in areas with lifeguards and never alone. Close and constant supervision is important. The depth of water and bottom condition should be assessed before diving is allowed.

The second area is pools: community pools, private inground pools, and portable and inflatable pools. Four-sided fencing with a self-latching and self-closing gate that completely separates the pool from the house is important. “Touch supervision” (an arm's-length away) is necessary for infants, toddlers, and weaker swimmers, with constant eye contact by a dedicated observer for older children. An adult should be present who is trained in CPR.

The third area is the bathroom. Children have drowned in mere inches of water. An infant or young child should never be left alone in the bathtub, even for a moment. Buckets of water should be emptied after use.

The revised AAP policy statement has more helpful hints and suggestions for pediatricians and parents. The new AAP Web site www.healthychildren.org is an excellent resource for parents.

12 Tips to Prevent Drowning
  1. Touch supervision is necessary for toddlers and constant eye contact, for older children.
  2. Installing four-sided pool fencing with self-latching and self-closing gates is important.
  3. Installing pool alarms helps.
  4. Installing pool and spa drain covers is important.
  5. Swim lessons are recommended for children over 4 years of age, perhaps for those over 1 year.
  6. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation training is recommended.
  7. Children riding in watercraft should use a personal flotation device (PFD) and a life jacket.
  8. Air-filled swim aids are not a PFD.
  9. Diving should be permitted only into water of known depth.
  10. Children should be taught to swim in open bodies of water only when there are lifeguards.
  11. Supervising older children with seizure disorders is especially important.
  12. Alcohol and drug use should be prohibited during swimming and boating activities.


February 1st

Swansea Pediatrics is pleased to let you know we can now begin giving second H1N1 (booster) vaccinations to our patients ages 7 months through 9 years (no second shot after the 10th birthday).

If your child can receive the second dose conveniently elsewhere, please do, otherwise call our office Mondays-Thursdays between 12-2 and ask for Kayla, who will schedule your visit.

It is preferable to receive the same form of vaccination the first and the second time: first dose and second dose both nasal spray or both injections.

Please allow at least three weeks (21 days) since the first H1N1 dose, preferably four weeks (28 days).

Please inform your doctor if there has been a change in your child's health history since she/he received the first H1N1 dose (for example, developed asthma or an egg allergy).

While H1N1 cases are now reported to be less frequent in our area, we are still encouraging second doses. There is some concern for the virus increasing again in the spring.


January 29th

If your child has not yet received his or her First H1N1 vaccine, please call our office between the hours of 12-2 and ask for Kayla. She will make your appointment for this vaccination.

Early next week we will announce in the newsletter information about the Second dose of the H1N1 vaccine. Hundreds of millions of doses of this vaccine have been given world wide. It has proved to be a very safe vaccine in all age groups.


December 28th

National H1N1 and regular flu news:

Happily, numbers continue to drop weekly for H1N1 across the US. So far there is no significant spread of regular flu in our area. We continue to encourage getting vaccinated for both, as we expect both types of flu to continue to affect us for several months to come, certainly through March and perhaps April.

Swansea Pediatrics H1N1 news:

We are finally getting more quantities of vaccine to distribute. We are still giving priority to high risk patients and to patients who are receiving vaccine for the first time. We are not yet giving second H1N1 shots, but hope to soon. We will let you know here in the newsletter.

Massachusetts H1N1 news:

There will be clinics across the state. As these clinics are planned they will be posted on flu.masspro.org and Mass residents are encouraged to check back often for updates. All public clinics will offer the vaccine free of charge; however, if one has insurance, bring your insurance card. This will help defray costs incurred by local officials in holding clinics. According to DPH, individuals will not be charged or turned away.

The Seekonk Board of Health will hold an H1N1 clinic for children ages 4-18 on Dec. 29th by appointment only. Call 508-336-2909.

Rhode Island H1N1 news:

The school-based clinics ended last week; 73% of children K-12 received vaccine. Children younger than 10 will get a second shot at school-based clinics starting January 11th. The schedule for those clinics will be posted Jan. 4th. College students who attend college out of state are receiving vaccine at CCRI clinic over the January break.

Certain retail pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Stop & Shop, will receive vaccine shipments by the end of December and will hold clinics for individual over 18. There will be free vaccinations at public clinics in many RI cities and towns in January, open to all. The sites will be announced by the Health Department.


December 16th

Good news: we are beginning to receive more frequent allotments of H1N1 vaccine. We are still working on our list of patients; however, we know that many patients have received the vaccine elsewhere, perhaps at school, and that may be why many families do not call back. That is fine; we want to keep our telephone lines as free as possible for those who need to get through.

If your child is high risk and has not yet received the vaccine, please call between 12 noon and 3 PM when the phone is less busy and you are more likely to reach us. We are doing our best to reach everyone on the list and will continue to do so.

When we are out of vaccine (which will be temporary) we will post that information here.

The other good news is that we are seeing fewer cases of influenza-like illness and we are doing better in Massachusetts than Rhode Island where it is still widespread. There is no regular flu appearing in our area at this time.


December 3rd

Newsflash - There is an H1N1 flu clinic being held at Matthew J. Kuss Middle School located at 52 Globe Mills Ave (off Bay Street) in Fall River on Sunday between the hours of 10-5 on a first come first serve basis. It is open to all children ages 10-18 that are Fall River residents. We don’t know if it is nasal spray or a shot. We would recommend getting there early if you are interested.


November 30th

Thank you for your continued patience. The 100 doses of Nasal Spray vaccine referred to below have been allocated. We will let you know immediately again when more vaccine arrives. Anyone who is on our H1N1 vaccine list does not need to call; we will call you.


November 29th

Good news.

H1N1 disease numbers are falling off though the H1N1 is still widespread in MA and RI. We believe it has reached its peak in November. We do expect it to continue to go around all winter, even into the spring.

More Nasal Spray vaccine has been received. We have H1N1 Nasal Spray which can be used for children above age 2 years and who have no history of asthma within the past 12 months. It is safe and at least as effective as the injection vaccine. It is a live virus vaccine, which means that the viruses have nearly been killed but not quite. These weakened viruses can cause an immune response, so most children who receive it will not get H1N1 flu if they are exposed. We have less than 100 doses, so if you are interested, please call the office.

Many of our patients are being vaccinated at school in RI and in Somerset. Please take advantage of this opportunity.

There is still little resistance to Tamiflu, the medication we are using for some patients (not all need it) to treat H1N1. This means that this drug still works to slow the virus from multiplying itself, shortening the time of illness. There are side effects, so that is one reason we don’t give it to everyone.

The studies on all the flu vaccines this year, both Nasal Spray and Injection, show these to be very safe vaccines. You may hear stories about people getting sick after the vaccine. This is a coincidence, especially in children, who tolerate these vaccines very well.

For your information:

We are still waiting for more doses of H1N1 and appreciate your patience in this matter. In the next few weeks, we expect to receive more and we will let you know.

There is very little regular flu going around, though it has begun in some areas and is expected to increase. Please continue to get vaccinated yourselves, parents, and we will continue to vaccinate your children as more regular flu vaccine becomes available. You will read about it here.


November 14th

As of right now, there will be no second dose of H1N1 for anyone. If you have an appointment for a second dose H1N1, consider it cancelled; no need to call. We will continue with second doses of Regular flu vaccine when available.

The flu going around now is 99.5% H1N1. It is close to peaking here in Southern New England and will taper off over the next few weeks.

Regular flu season is still on its way, probably within a few weeks. It usually starts in late November and peaks in February. We are hoping it will be mild, as usually only one flu will dominate.

We are getting new doses of H1N1 vaccine in small amounts. We are calling those on the high risk list to come in. When all our high risk patients are taken care of, we will have more flu clinics and will let you know when and how to sign up.

Fortunately, many of our patients are getting H1N1 at school, mostly in RI but some in Massachusetts, including Somerset, from the 5th grade up. Please take advantage of the school vaccine.

Reminders:

Please understand we are trying as hard as we can with a limited supply to provide vaccine for all who need and want it, while still caring for a huge influx of sick patients. We are working very hard on getting your phone calls answered as quickly as we can and apologize for any delays.

When to call the office if your child is sick

Even children who have always been healthy before or had the flu before can get a severe case of flu. Call your doctor if:
  • Your child is under age two and you think he/she has the flu
Also, call your doctor right away if your child of any age has:
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Has other conditions (like heart or lung disease, diabetes, or asthma) and develops flu symptoms, including a fever and/or cough
People at High Risk for Developing Flu-Related Complications
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have medical conditions including:
    • Asthma
    • Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability (mental retardation), moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury]
    • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
    • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
    • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
    • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
    • Kidney disorders
    • Liver disorders
    • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
    • Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)
    • People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
November 4th

We at Swansea Pediatrics are working day and night to care for your children. We apologize that the phones are clogged and that we cannot see everyone who is ill. Please understand that we have never seen walk-in patients and we especially cannot now. Most patients with either H1N1 or seasonal flu do not need to be seen. If you are not sure, please call, though it may take a while to get through; but read the following first.

For most of us, the flu will be a self-limiting disease which requires rest, Tylenol or ibuprofen (never real aspirin), and, of course, plenty of fluids. Typical flu symptoms are a temp over 101 (may be as high as 103-105), muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, sore throat and, sometimes, nausea and vomiting. The fever associated with the flu often lasts 3-5 days and the cough will last a couple weeks.

However, if you experience any of the following, we would want to see you in the office or send you to the hospital:
  • fever lasts longer than 5 days
  • there is shortness of breath
  • the fever goes away for 24 hours and then comes back with increased effort to breathe
  • dehydration develops
If you just have the typical symptoms of the flu we encourage you to stay home and take care of yourselves with the aforementioned measures. Children who are fever free for 24 hours may return to school.

Children at higher risk from the flu include those with moderate to severe asthma and other lung problems, heart or neurological conditions, metabolic disorders, any child on immunosuppression, or any child on aspirin therapy. Also, pregnant women seem to be more at risk. If your child or any one in your immediate family falls into any of these categories, we encourage you to call early in the course of the illness to discuss treatment options such as Tamiflu.

Tamiflu is the medication sometimes used to treat either flu. It does not cure the flu, but it can shorten the sick period, make symptoms milder and keep children with serious underlying problems from becoming terribly ill. We cannot overuse this medication or resistance will develop; then we are without any drug. Your doctor will make this decision on a case by case basis.

TAMIFLU SIDE EFFECTS:

More than half of pediatric patients taking Tamiflu report at least one side effect. Gastrointestinal side effects are seen in around 40% of patients and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain/cramps. Neurologic side effects are seen in approximately 20% of children and include sleep disturbances (12% of patients), poor concentration, confusion, nightmares, and behavior changes. Neurologic side effects are seen more often in older children (middle school and above).

It is important to get information from reliable sources: our newsletter and our website’s links to Hasbro and to Children’s Hospital are the places to start for reliable information. Additionally, the CDC has terrific information about the H1N1 Vaccine. The TV can be the worst place to get complete news about either flu because the information is delivered in soundbites rather than in depth!

We in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are now experiencing an intense spread of this virus. This will go on for several weeks and the regular flu season will start within the month and the two will overlap. It will be hard to tell who has which, and, as of right now, it doesn’t really matter. The treatment is the same, the risks will likely be the same and the recovery will be the same, just like every other winter. The main difference this year is that H1N1 went through the summer and appears to be more contagious. We are not testing routinely for either right now; we are following CDC guidelines.

If you have routine issues (a note for school, a form to be filled out), please send us a note (with a stamped self-addressed envelope) or a fax and we’ll do the best we can. Please emphasize to your school not to require absence notes during this time.

We are all saddened by the deaths of two Rhode Island girls from probable H1N1 infection. While this is certainly frightening to all of us, we must realize that the vast majority of us will recover easily and completely from H1N1.

We are continuing to give H1N1 vaccine to those on our high risk lists. We do not have much vaccine at the present time and will let you know when more arrives and how to contact us if you are not on a list.


October 25th

What Does It Mean That H1N1 Has Been Declared An Emergency By The President?
  1. It does not mean that the disease is more serious, or more dangerous, it means that it is becoming very widespread.
  2. It is for practical reasons, to help hospitals, so they can open new beds off-site (in a satellite clinic for example) for any overflow of patients.
  3. It allows the hospitals more flexibility in dealing with an excess of patients, so the hospitals can still get paid for what they do.
Because regular flu is on its way in a few weeks, doctors’ offices and hospital ERs will be very, very busy.

While H1N1 has become more widespread in New England this past week, there is no cause for alarm. Most patients are not seriously ill. Unfortunately, we are receiving the vaccine in small quantities, so must take care of our most vulnerable patients first.

For those families who are already on the list to receive vaccine, rest assured that you will be called as soon as we receive enough vaccine to take care of you. If you are on the list, there is no need to check in; we have your names and we will call you as soon as we can accommodate you. If your child was on the high risk list last year, he/she will be this year, too.

Right now, we are vaccinating our high risk patients as quickly as we can. Because of the temporary shortage, we can only take care of a limited number in October. We are expecting more H1N1 vaccine in November, though vaccine production has been delayed by slow growth of the strain of virus needed to make the vaccine.

We want everyone who wishes to be vaccinated to be taken care of, because we want everyone to stay healthy. Please be patient as we are doing the best we can under difficult circumstances.

There will be announcements in the newsletter weekly to let you all know. Please do not call the office before checking the newsletter.

Thanks for your patience. Again, there is no cause for alarm. Not everyone will get either H1N1 or regular flu this year and the vast majority who get either flu will recover uneventfully.


October 21st

Swansea Pediatrics is receiving small amounts of H1N1 flu vaccine and we are immunizing our high risk patients. Please call if your child is high risk (under 2, asthma, other serious medical conditions, obese—please refer to previous newsletters or see our link to Children’s Hospital flu web site).

Good news for Rhode Islanders and for kids who go to school in Rhode Island:
  • H1N1(swine) flu vaccine will be offered in Rhode Island schools later this fall.
  • Clinics for elementary school children will be held 4-8PM and require the presence of a parent.
  • Clinics for Middle School and High School will be held during school hours and require parental signature on a permission form.
  • Call your school for information or check the school website or check: www.RIpbs.org/flu
Good news for uninsured adults in Rhode Island:
  • There will be free clinics in Rhode Island at Pharmacies and in large retail stores. Contact the Department of Health at 401-222-8022
Commonly Asked Questions About Flu (both regular and H1N1):
  • Is there a lot of flu right now in Mass. and Rhode Island? H1N1 (swine) is very big in other parts of the country. It is present in Mass. and Rhode Island and is about to become widespread. Regular seasonal flu hasn’t started yet; it usually starts appearing in November.
  • Are both flu vaccines safe? Yes, both flu shots are made in the same way flu shots have been for 30 years. The nasal spray is also very safe.
  • Can we get the shot or nose spray if we are sick? Yes, if the illness is mild like a stomach bug or cold. If there is a fever, put off getting the vaccine.
  • Is there thimerosol in the shots? Yes, in the multi-dose bottle. Thimerosol is very safe and has nothing to do with autism.
  • Should those with egg allergy get the vaccine? No, but if you have a serious medical problem and want it, ask your allergist if special testing is a good idea.
  • Can my children get H1N1 and regular flu shots the same day? Yes, the shots definitely, but not the nose spray vaccine. The regular flu nose spray vaccine and the H1N1 nose spray vaccine must be separated by 4 weeks.
  • Can my child get the nose spray if someone in the family has a serious medical problem such as receiving cancer treatments? Yes, the only reason that would stand in the way is someone in the family having a Bone Marrow Transplantation.
  • Who needs two doses of vaccine? Only children aged 9 or younger need a booster to make sure they get a good response.
  • How do we get either flu? The flu virus enters our bodies usually through the eyes or nose. When someone coughs or sneezes who has the flu, a cloud of virus-filled droplets fills the air for about 3 feet in front of the person who coughed or sneezed. If you are within the three feet, the droplets land on you and can enter your body through your eyes or nose. If he wipes his drippy nose, then shakes your hand or borrows your pen or turns a doorknob that you then use, those germs are easily spread to you when you rub your eyes, or scratch your nose. It is that simple!
  • How can I keep my kids from getting either flu? Since the viruses can live for hours on a surface such as a desk, doorknob or faucet, show them how to wash hands frequently and well, for 20 seconds with soap, and to close the faucet while holding a paper towel and to use hand sanitizers. Teach them to try not touching their eyes and nose if possible.
  • Should I wear a mask if I am caring for someone with either flu and how else can I keep from getting sick? Yes, it is a good idea to wear a mask and glasses to keep from getting sick. Wearing a mask and eyewear reminds us not to touch our nose and eyes, which we all do without thinking, and that is where the virus enters the body most often. Teach everyone who is ill to cough or sneeze into a tissue, dispose of it and then wash their hands or, if they don’t have a tissue, to cough or sneeze into their elbow area, not their hand.


October 14th

Swansea Pediatrics is beginning to receive H1N1 vaccine, both nose spray and the injection forms. We are receiving small amounts at a time, so we are asking for your patience.

Please read below and call for an appointment if your child fits the listed categories. Regular, healthy children who do not have young infant siblings will be given vaccine later in the fall as we get more. Please understand that we do our best to take care of everyone and we are working 7 days a week to vaccinate everyone who needs to be vaccinated. (Parents, please click the link to Charlton’s web site for vaccines for yourselves.)

We must first take care of our high risk patients, who include children with asthma or other lung diseases, other chronic illnesses which include diabetes, immune system disorders, conditions that require chronic aspirin or chemotherapy, children who have had heart surgery or are on heart medication, and children with serious nervous system, kidney or liver problems.

We also want to vaccinate the siblings of the above children and the siblings of infants under age six months now.

The good news:

Massachusetts is not reporting high numbers of flu patients, which is good for the moment. Remember, the vast majority of children who get H1N1 flu will recover uneventfully, so there is no cause for alarm.

The H1N1 vaccine appears to be as safe as the regular flu vaccine, which is a very, very safe vaccine. Both of these vaccines have been made the same way for 30 years, so they are very well understood, well tolerated, and almost never lead to anything worse than a sore arm.

For prevention, always the best way to go, please check this link for excellent guidance on how to care for someone who is already sick:
Remember, to avoid getting sick and getting others sick, teach your children to wash hands frequently. To print this poster and share with others, click on the link below:

September 14th
H1N1 SWINE FLU VACCINATION

(and don’t forget the good old regular flu!)

What we know so far is that H1N1 flu is a very contagious flu that is rarely serious for otherwise healthy people. It can be serious for those who are very young, pregnant or who have other serious diseases already. There is no reason for panic.

H1N1 vaccine is currently being tested for effectiveness and safety. Of course, we at Swansea Pediatrics will only give this vaccine if we believe it to be safe. Many years ago there was a swine flu vaccine that caused rare but serious complications. This vaccine is brand new and being tested right now widely.

The first H1N1 vaccine will be available in mid to late October. Swansea Pediatrics will give the vaccine to our patients (sorry, none to parents). We will let you know when we have it and when we will have flu clinics.

Those who should get the vaccine:

High risk groups: 
·   1.    Pregnant women
·   2.    Persons who live with or provide care for infants aged < 6 months
·   3.    Health-care and emergency medical services personnel.
·   4.    Persons 6 months to 24 years
·   5.    Persons 25-64 who have medical conditions which put them at higher risk for influenza- related complications
 
If the vaccine supply is less than expected, then groups 1-3 above will get the vaccine first, then those who are 6 months to 4 years of age and then 5-18 year olds with medical conditions which put them at higher risk for complications (asthma, diabetes, chronic aspirin therapy).

It is expected to be a series of two vaccines 21-28 days apart.

We do have some good news however. As compared to the outbreak in spring, the CDC has lessened the restrictions on returning to work or going back to school. The recommendations now are 24 hours fever free and then you may return to work or school.

What about regular flu vaccines? Good question! Let us not forget that we expect the usual flu we get every winter, too. We will give that vaccine throughout the fall and early winter as we usually do.

We will send out email notices when we have new information for you on when flu clinics will be. We will also have notices written up and available in the office.