As we move into the colder winter months, your children should stay physically active and continue to be involved in outside activities. During this period, we need to remember certain tips to keep our children safe and healthy:
- As the weather becomes increasingly cold, our children spend a higher proportion of their time indoors, and are exposed to other children with colds and viral infections. So, it's not unusual for your child to develop several colds during the fall and winter months. Some common sense tips on prevention include having your children wash their hands carefully and often. If they cough or sneeze, they should be taught to cover their nose and mouth. It's common for children to develop cough, runny nose, or even some mild diarrhea with colds or viral illnesses. If your child is complaining of significant chest, throat or ear pain, has significant vomiting or diarrhea, or may be wheezing, call the office to schedule an appointment.
- Broken bones are still common this time of year. Always contact our office if your child suffers a serious injury. You should call 9-1-1 immediately for any life threatening injury where you will be directed or transported to the nearest emergency room. PMA can evaluate other non life-threatening injuries in our office, and expedite any further care your child may need.
- Just as your children should always wear a seatbelt while riding in the car, bike helmets should always be worn any time your children ride their bicycles to help prevent serious head injury in the event of an accident. Protective head gear should also be worn if your children are involved in playing ice or roller hockey.
Back to School Tips
- We're aware that a number of our patients ride 4-wheel recreational All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). PMA supports the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations on ATV safety. These recommendations state that:
- Only children 16 years or older, preferably licensed drivers with special training and certification in use of ATVs be allowed to ride them.
- Motorcycle-style helmets and other protective gear should always be worn by riders.
- ATVs should never be used after sunset, and passengers should never be transported on these vehicles.
- 3-wheel ATVs should not be sold nor ridden, as they are unstable and unsafe for either on or off-road use.
The First Days
- Reassure your child that he/she is not the only student who may be uneasy about returning to school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
- Emphasize the positive aspects of starting school, namely that it will be fun! Your child will see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh his/her memory about previous years, when your child may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because he/she had a good time.
- Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride with on the bus.
- If you feel it is appropriate, drive your child or walk with him/her to school. Try to pick up your child on the first day.
- Select a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Pack light and organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should not weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
- Use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles. Wearing a backpack on one shoulder may also increase curvature of the spine.
- Consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.
School Bus Safety
- Wait for the bus to stop before approaching it from the curb.
- Do not move around on the bus.
- Check to see that no other traffic is coming before crossing.
- Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.
Medications at School
Please inform PMA if your child requires a medication to be administered during school hours. If so, we can write a permission slip for your child’s teachers with specific instructions and precautions.
Childhood Obesity Update
As you may have seen in the press, there has been a tremendous upswing in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children. The problem has reached epidemic proportions in the US, and is particularly acute in the colder months when children tend to be less physically active. We at PMA are dedicated to identifying the risk factors which can predispose children to obesity, and we strongly believe that a proactive approach to preventing and treating overweight is critical to keeping our patients healthy. Your PMA physician will:
- Educate and empower families through anticipatory guidance to recognize the impact they have on their children’s development of lifelong habits of physical activity and nutritious eating;
- Foster healthy dietary practices that encourage moderation rather than over consumption, and that emphasize healthful choices rather than restrictive eating patterns;
- Promote regular physical activity within families, schools and communities;
- Discuss an optimal, individualized approach to obesity prevention and treatment for your child which will combine dietary and physical activity interventions, and may include referral for nutritional or other needed consultation. Click here for some excellent resources on the topic of overweight and obesity for you and your children.
We continue to fully staff two offices, one in Rydal on 1077 Rydal Road, Suite 300, and in our location at 160 W. Germantown Pike, Suite D-2. There is plenty of free parking and no steps to climb. Our regular office hours are: Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. We have evening hours until 8:00 pm twice weekly in each office. The office is always closed for lunch between 12:30 and 1:30 pm. PMA provides on call service when the office is closed, which you may reach by dialing 610-992-4916. If you don't hear back from us within 90 minutes, please call back. We'll make every effort to get back to you in a timely fashion. This service is available for emergencies that cannot wait until the office is open. All life-threatening emergencies should be directed to the nearest emergency room or by dialing 911. Remember, you can request a routine well visit exam here for your child or by calling the office directly during regular office hours.
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Medical Associates of Abington
Rydal Road Suite 300
Rydal PA 19046
Medical Associates of Norristown
160 West Germantown Pike
East Norriton, PA 19401
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