Public Health Alert – Pertussis Advisory

Whooping Cough (Pertussis) has been on a rise in Hamilton County since early October, and has impacted some area schools.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that is spread through direct contact of respiratory secretions.  Its symptoms often mimic a common cold initially, but then the cough worsens. Do not hesitate to contact our office if you feel your child has been exposed or is experiencing symptoms.

If you’d like to research this condition further, you may check out the following resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/chest-lungs/Pages/Whooping-Cough.aspx

Anderson Fire Department Installs Car Seats

Dr. Steve Feagins shared the following information on bringing home your newborn from Mercy Anderson Hospital. 

Anderson Fire Department Installs Car Seats

Before bringing the newborn home from Mercy Anderson Hospital, you need the car seat installed safely and properly.  Anderson Township Fire & EMS has four certified seat installers.  The Township covers the expense to train these individuals but it is such an important service we make it available to anyone who may need it, regardless of residency location.  Call Station 22 at 513-688-8093 and schedule a time to install the seat.  Be safe with your newborn and child of any age.   

Ohio’s Child Passenger Safety Law requires that children less than 4 years old or 40 pounds must use a child safety seat meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.  Children less than 8 years old, unless they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall must use a booster seat.
 

Additional Resources on Car Seat Recommendations: 

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Updates-Recommendations-on-Car-Seats-for-Children.aspx

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)

Acute Flaccid Myelitis or AFM, is an illness that affects the area of the spinal cord called the gray matter. This can result in weakness or paralysis and can have a sudden onset. AFM has been around for several years and usually peaks in the summer and fall months, however, there is not a known cause for the illness or a known reason for the increase in cases this year.

The telltale sign of AFM is sudden onset of weakness in the arms or legs, trouble swallowing, drooping eyelids, facial droop, or trouble talking/slurred speech.  In the cases studied, the illness starts off as a respiratory virus with a mild fever and then develops into weakness/paralysis several days later.  Most patients with a respiratory illness will NOT develop AFM.

The CDC recommends that parents take certain precautions to potentially prevent AFM including:

Good hand washing habits, avoiding close contact with people who are ill, and cleaning/disinfecting frequently touched surfaces/toys (protects from many different viruses)
Protection against mosquitoes by using repellent, removing standing water by your home, and staying indoors at dusk &  dawn (to prevent transmission of the West Nile virus)
Keep your child up to date with recommended vaccinations 

The CDC is actively working with researchers, health departments, and clinicians to find out more information about AFM.  Please visit the other websites listed below to get more information.

 

http://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/11/13/afm111318

https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/13142/acute-flaccid-myelitis

https://www.cdc.gov/acute-flaccid-myelitis/infographic.html

https://www.cdc.gov/acute-flaccid-myelitis/index.html

 

Laundry Room and Detergent Safety

​Are you a family with young children? Then chances are you spend a great deal of time doing laundry! Help keep young kids safe by making sure that anything little fingers may try to open, pull on, or play with in the laundry room won’t cause a poisoning injury. 

Laundry Products

Laundry detergents are poisonous. So pay close attention to how you store them before, during, and after use.

Keep laundry products in their original containers with the original label on them. Close them tightly when not in use.

Always put products away out of sight and reach of children and pets. It is best to store them in a high, locked cabinet. Do not store products on top of the washer and dryer or in storage drawers under laundry machines.

Read and follow all instructions on the product label. Know where the safety information is located on the label and what to do in case an injury occurs.

Never combine laundry detergent with ammonia or other household cleaners, because some chemical mixtures may release irritating or dangerous fumes.

If a product container is empty, throw it away properly. Do not reuse detergent buckets or bottles for other uses.

Clean up any spills immediately and wash your hands and any items you use to pour or measure products.

Close and lock the laundry room door when you are finished, so curious young children cannot get in.

Pay special attention to spray bottles. They are a common source of accidental poisoning and should be kept out of a child’s reach.

Laundry Detergent Packets: A Special Warning for Parents

Detergent in single-use laundry packets is very concentrated and toxic. If even a small amount of the detergent gets into a child’s mouth or eyes, it can cause serious breathing or stomach problems, eye irritation, and even coma and death. Because detergent packets are often brightly colored and may look similar to some candy or gummy treats, children can easily mistake them for something good to eat. Biting a packet can cause it to burst, shooting detergent into the child’s mouth and throat or eyes.

Between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014, the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reported 35,188 cases of laundry detergent exposures. Of these, almost two-thirds were from laundry packets, and three-fourths of the children affected by laundry packet exposures were less than 3 years old.

Because they are so concentrated, laundry detergent packets can cause more severe injuries than traditional non-packet laundry detergent.

Never let your children handle or play with the packets. The packets dissolve quickly when in contact with water, wet hands, or saliva.

Do not remove a packet from the original container until you are ready to put it in the washing machine. Children can get hold of the packets if they are placed in the laundry basket, on top of the washer or dryer, or on a counter before use. Young children move quickly and can often reach higher than you expect! They can grab a packet and put it in their mouth in the time it takes you to reach for a pair of socks.

Remember to seal the container and store it in a locked cabinet after each use. Make sure the container is out of sight and reach of children.

Adults should follow the instructions on the product label.

It is best to use traditional liquid or powder detergent products instead of packets until all children living in or visiting your home are at least 6 years old. Traditional laundry detergent is much less toxic than laundry detergent packets.

If your child does get the contents of one of these packets in his mouth or gets any in his eye, call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.

Washers & Dryers
To avoid injuries from washers and dryers:

Use child locks on front-loading washers and dryers to prevent small children from opening the doors while they are in use and also to prevent them from ever crawling in the machines.

Clean the lint trap after each use to help prevent fires. Clogged lint traps are a common cause of house fires. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that washers and dryers were involved in one out of every 22 home fires reported in 2006-2010.

Do not lean on or allow children to play or hang on the doors of washers and dryers, because this can cause them to tip over.

Vent the dryer outside the home to prevent mold and mildew build-up.

Make a rule in your house that the washer and dryer are not toys.

Laundry Chutes
Young children may want to explore this “mysterious opening” we call the laundry chute. While convenient for adults, it poses a great danger for small children. 

Make sure laundry chute doors are out of the reach of a small child (36 inches or more off the floor).

Install child locks to keep your child from opening the chute.

Tell your children that the laundry chute is meant only for clothes. Toys and people should never go in the laundry chute.

School Based Health Center

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It has recently come to the attention of the physicians of Anderson Hills Pediatrics that the West Clermont School District has now opened a School Based Health Center at West Clermont Middle School. This new development raises some concerns:

• The school based health care provider will not have access to your child’s current medical record. The school based healthcare provider will not be able to review or update your child’s medical history, medication list, allergy list, problem list and will not be able to formulate a plan based on that information.

• Medical insurance only covers one preventive health care exam per year starting at age 3. If that is done outside the medical home, the outside provider will need to fill out all medical information needed for any kind of form.

• The onsite healthcare provider will not be available 24/7 to discuss your questions or concerns regarding their recommendations and treatment. Our physicians working on weekends or those on call will not have access to the school clinic’s records, which can affect their decision making process.

• The school based healthcare provider will not be able to fill out medical forms requiring access to your full medical chart.

• Patients with asthma and other chronic illnesses have better health outcomes with fewer emergency room visits when treated by healthcare providers working as part of a team providing a Patient Centered Medical Home. Anderson Hills Pediatrics has earned the highest certification level of Patient Centered Medical Home.

See http://www.ncqa.org/programs/recognition/practices/patient-centered-medical-home-pcmh. Your child will not have this benefit when treated at school.

The physicians of Anderson Hills Pediatrics as members of the American Academy of Pediatrics specialize in providing evidence based pediatric care that has been shown to promote best healthcare outcomes for your child. We look forward to continuing to partner with you to meet your child’s healthcare needs.

Sincerely,

The Physicians at Anderson Hills Pediatrics

AAP Offers New Guidance on Preventing Spread of Infectious Diseases Associated with Organized Sports

Student athletes enjoy benefits from exercise, socialization and competition but need to protect themselves and others from spreading common conditions and illness.

Organized sports offer many benefits to youth — but without careful attention to hygiene and sickness prevention protocol, a few infectious bugs can mark defeat for the entire team.

In its clinical report, “Infectious Diseases Associated With Organized Sports and Outbreak Control,” the American Academy of Pediatrics details the types, treatments and risk factors of infection, which are especially prevalent in close contact sports such as football and wrestling.

“Joining an athletic team is a fun, physically challenging and healthy way for kids to practice teamwork and sportsmanship, but they do need to understand the importance of good hygiene,” said H. Dele Davis, MD, lead author of the report and member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.

“Besides showering and washing hands, athletes should be discouraged from sharing their water bottles, towels, mouth guards and other personal items,” he said.

The report, to be published in the October 2017 issue of Pediatrics, and available online Sept. 25, observes the pediatrician’s role in identifying possible skin conditions and other infections during the athletes’ pre-participation physical. Student athletes also should be up to date on their vaccinations.

Most sports-related infections are spread by skin contact, contaminated food or water, respiratory droplets or airborne particles. About 10 to 15 percent of injuries that force college-level athletes to take time off from playing a sport are due to infectious disease, according to the AAP.

“Some of these germs can be picked up in weight rooms, on mats and in locker rooms,” said Mary Anne Jackson, MD, a co-author of the report and member of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases.

“Coaches and trainers should develop a plan for proper cleaning and maintenance of all sporting facilities and equipment.”

Common sicknesses spread by skin contact include Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus(MRSA) associated with high school football and wrestling; Group A Streptococcus; herpes simplex virus; tinea capitis (ringworm); tinea pedis (athlete’s foot); scabies and lice.

Airborne infections that can be spread during athletic participation include the varicella zoster virus (chicken pox), measles and mumps.

To minimize risks, the AAP recommends:

  • Teach student athletes proper personal hygiene, including proper laundering of uniforms and avoiding sharing of drinks or personal products, such as razors.
  • Develop a plan for cleaning and maintenance of sporting environment using guidelines such as those published by the American College of Sports Medicine.
  • Pay special attention to proper management of blood and other bodily fluids, just as hospitals have concentrated on preventing hospital-associated infections.
  • Routinely screen athletes during practices and before and after competitions

While there have been no reports of infections from blood borne pathogens, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV during athletic competitions, the AAP provides specific detailed guidelines for management of infections spread by blood and bodily fluids in a previously published report.

“The best thing coaches can do is identify the problem early, even if it is something as benign-looking as a cold sore, so they can prevent its spread,” Stephen G. Rice, MD, PhD, MPH, and a member of the AAP Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness. “We want the students not only to participate in sports, but to have a good experience.”

EXCITING ANNOUCEMENTS

We Are Very Excited to Announce …

Anderson Hills Pediatrics is very excited to announce that we have recently received our certification as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) through the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)! This is a rigorous 18-month process to improve our practice to provide even better and more cost-effective care for our patients. What does this mean for you? It means:

• AHP acts as the hub or “home” for all your child’s medical needs – we are your first call  or visit when your child needs care or treatment. We will also assist you when it is necessary to refer your child to a specialist or other resources for treatment. This helps to avoid unnecessary or duplicated tests/labs/procedures and save you money.

• Engaging you and your child in a partnership in caring for your child and making their care and treatment fit their personal needs as much as possible.

• Providing the best and up-to date treatment possible for your child based on guidelines and protocols from the American Academy of Pediatrics and other highly respected resources.

Caring for your child is the most important goal of AHP’s Patient-Centered Medical Home. The entire medical home team (the doctors, nurses, and office support staff) are here to work together with you to help your child get healthy, stay healthy, and receive the care that is best for them.

Sports Injury Appointments Now Available at AHP

Beginning in May, appointments for sports-related injuries and musculoskeletal issues are available with Dr. Pamela Lachniet. Dr. Lachniet has completed Fellowship training with a Certificate of Added Qualification in Primary Care Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

AHP will also be stocking medical products at both of our locations, such as crutches, splints, braces, and walking boots to care for and treat many of these injuries, saving our patients an extra trip to another facility.

Certified Lactation Consultants

Anderson Hills Pediatrics now has two international board-certified Lactation Consultants, Amy and Darla, to assist our breastfeeding babies and moms. We are one of the few pediatric practices in the area that provide this service. Amy and Darla are available, either on the phone or in the office, Monday through Friday, and are very happy to answer questions and help with your breastfeeding concerns. They work closely with your child’s primary care doctor to ensure your baby is growing and developing in the healthiest way possible. You may reach them by calling our office at 513.232.8100.

INSURANCE INFORMATION

Well-Child Services Policy

Good health care for newborns, infants, children, and adolescents begins with the well-child visit (checkup) and other services that help keep children healthy. These are preventive services. Our doctors and staff provide these services based on a plan called Bright Futures. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) made this plan to help doctors and families know what preventive services children should receive from birth to 21 years of age, such as screening tests, and advise about staying healthy and safe. This plan can be altered to suit each child as needed. We also follow the AAP vaccine schedule for newborns, infants, children, and adolescents.

Because preventive services are important to keeping children healthy, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform law) includes a rule that all preventive care screenings and services included in the Bright Futures plan and vaccine schedule must be covered by most health plans. This is not always true, though, as some older plans, called grandfathered plans, do not have to pay in full for preventive services.

There may also be times when a child needs a service that is not considered preventive on the same day as a well-child visit. If a child is not well or a problem is found or needs to be addressed during the checkup, the physician may need to provide an additional office visit service (called a sick visit) to care for the child. This is a different service and is billed to your health plan in addition to the preventive services provided on that day. If you have a co-payment for office visits or coinsurance or deductible amounts that you must pay before your health plan pays for these services, our office will charge you these amounts.

We value your time and want to make the most of each appointment for the child. This is why we will address any problem that needs a doctor’s care during well-child visits so that only one trip is needed. Some services that may be provided and billed in addition to preventive services Include

• The doctor’s work to address more than a minor problem, which will be billed as an office visit (e.g., if the doctor gives a prescription, orders tests, or changes care for a known problem) • Medical treatments (e.g., breathing treatments) • Any surgery (e.g., removing splinters or something the child put in his or her nose or ear) • Tests performed in the office that are not included in the Bright Futures plan

Our office does not want you to be surprised by a bill but must always bill your health plan based on the actual services provided. Please feel free to ask questions about services that may not be paid in full by your health plan on the day of your visit. It is our pleasure to help.

Health Plan Terms to Know

Co-payment: A fixed amount that you pay for certain health services before the health plan pays

Coinsurance: The portion of the charge that is not paid by the health plan (usually a fixed percent of each amount paid by the plan)

Deductible: An amount that must be paid before the health plan pays for covered services

Important Vaccine Update

The physicians at Anderson Hills Pediatrics strongly recommend the HPV (Gardasil 9) vaccine for both our male and female patients as early as age 9 and routinely by age 11-12 years. The CDC and ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) have modified the previous 3 dose regimen to endorse a 2 dose regimen for patients who have received their first dose prior to their 15th birthday. The two dose schedule with proper spacing between vaccines and within the appropriate age group has shown to be as effective as the three dose schedule.

More information about this change can be found on the CDC website

Age 

Regimen

 

Schedule

 

9 years – 14 years 

2 doses

Doses need to be 6-12 months apart

 

3 doses

Given at 0, 2, and 6 months apart (this needs to be followed only if 5 months or less between the first and second doses)

15 years-26 years 

3 doses

Given at 0, 2, and 6 months apart