Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

coronavirus

UPDATE: Thursday, November 14, 2020

Check out this article: How Can My College Student Come Home Safely for Thanksgiving?: click here to read!

UPDATE: Thursday, November 12, 2020

Check out this article on Helping Children With Anxiety in the Pandemic: click here to read!

UPDATE: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Check out this article on How to Tell Children the Story of the Pandemic: click here to read!

UPDATE: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Check out this article on Finding Inner Peace During a Pandemic: click here to read!

UPDATE: Friday, June 12, 2020

Check out this article on The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Quarantine Pods’ : click here to read!

UPDATE: Friday, May 29, 2020

Immediate changes to existing and future appointments

The latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all non-urgent care be put on hold so healthcare organizations can focus resources on urgent needs and minimize social interactions to slow the spread of the virus. Here is how these guidelines may impact you:

  • Now offering in-office baby check and physical exams.
  • Televisit appointments are for the following “visits” only Sick, ADHD, Mental Health and Asthma.
  • Only one primary caregiver may accompany a patient. Everyone else, including siblings of any age, may not come along. Limiting the number of people who enter our building helps us limit the spread of the virus.
  • If you or anyone in your household has symptoms such a new cough, fever or shortness of breath, please call before coming into our office and tell us about your symptoms. We will ask you additional questions and give you instructions for next steps.

At this time, we do not have a timeline for rescheduling visits. As soon as we are able to do so, our scheduling team will call you to find a new reschedule date. We understand that cancelling appointments will have a major impact on the lives of our patients and families and deeply appreciate your patience and understanding while our community is going through this public health emergency.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT NOW

 

UPDATE: Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A message to all of our families:

We want to let you know the steps we have taken to ensure the safety of our children and their families during the Corona Virus Pandemic.

It has now been many weeks since we “locked down” our scheduling of patients. Initially we only brought in well babies who needed essential vaccines. We have gradually opened to more of our older children for well visits.

The vast majority of our sick visits have been handled as Telemedicine visits and the sick visits seen in the offices have been done at the end of the day when the well visits have been completed.

We will be expanding our hours to be open all day in each site and we will now have a limited number of evening hours. As we do this we are doing everything possible to make sure that we are maintaining the safest possible environment for our patients and ourselves.

In every office, the morning schedules will begin with only well babies. We want to be able to assure all of the parents that this is a very safe time to bring in our youngest babies.

In the beginning of every afternoon we will see children 3 years old and older for their check ups. We are limiting the number of checkups in order to create a very efficient way of having families come in and leave with minimal amounts of contact.

Sick visits will continue to be largely done by telemedicine but the ones who are brought into the offices will be at the end of the afternoon to minimize overlap with the well visit.

We will begin having a limited number of evening visits. For now this will be limited to only well visits.

We want to assure everyone that we are being extremely conscientious in protecting everyone involved. We “locked down” earlier and harder than almost any primary care practice and we are gradually reopening very slowly and carefully. We want to assure you that respect for and protection of your child’s health is our highest priority.

We have all of our staff to thank for this and we are all very proud to be part of this team. We will continue to make changes as the information on the pandemic unfolds while maintaining our priority of providing the safest possible environment.

CMG

UPDATE: Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Immediate changes to existing and future appointments

The latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all non-urgent care be put on hold so healthcare organizations can focus resources on urgent needs and minimize social interactions to slow the spread of the virus. Here is how these guidelines may impact you:

  • Now offering in-office baby check and physical exams.
  • Televisit appointments are for the following “visits” only Sick, ADHD, Mental Health and Asthma.
  • Only one primary caregiver may accompany a patient. Everyone else, including siblings of any age, may not come along. Limiting the number of people who enter our building helps us limit the spread of the virus.
  • If you or anyone in your household has symptoms such a new cough, fever or shortness of breath, please call before coming into our office and tell us about your symptoms. We will ask you additional questions and give you instructions for next steps.

At this time, we do not have a timeline for rescheduling visits. As soon as we are able to do so, our scheduling team will call you to find a new reschedule date. We understand that cancelling appointments will have a major impact on the lives of our patients and families and deeply appreciate your patience and understanding while our community is going through this public health emergency.

CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT NOW

UPDATE: Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Children’s Medical Group has been working 24-7 to continue to be able to provide services to our patients. With this in mind, we will begin to offer Telemedicine consultations starting March 23, 2020.

Although this will be accessible through a cell phone, the quality is much better by accessing the patient portal through a computer.

Instructions for accessing your patient portal account and telemedicine are available by clicking here. (These instructions can be found under the “For Parents” tab).

If your child is 18 years of age or older, they will need to access the portal.

UPDATE: Monday, March 16, 2020

All of us at CMG are aware of the concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak and want to ensure our patients that we are taking precautions within our offices.

Currently the best course of action, if your child is showing symptoms of a cold or virus, is to remain home and minimize exposure to other individuals.  If you child is progressively getting more sick, please call our office for an appointment to be seen.

In an effort to provide a safe office environment for all our patients, we will begin seeing our well visits only in the am from 9am to 12noon. These appointments will be limited to newborn and infant check-up for vaccines.  We will postponing all well visits and physical exams for older children until to risk to exposure is drastically reduced.  These appointments will be made available as usual when the crisis has passed.

We will accommodate any sick visits in the afternoon and evenings beginning at 1:00pm.

As with many of the community private practices, we are unable to conduct any testing for the Coronavirus in our office.

We hope you are healthy and safe.

As all of you have heard, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is starting to show community spread. We are sure to see cases in Dutchess County. The good news is that children seem to be less affected by this illness. It is unclear why, but even if children are infected with COVID-19, they will not likely have severe symptoms from it.

While we can’t predict how widespread the pandemic will become, there is a lot we CAN do to protect ourselves.

Prevent and minimize the spread of viruses:

  • Wash Hands frequently and vigorously. The recommendation is to lather with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is longer than most of us spend washing. Pick a favorite song and sing the first verse and/or chorus to keep time. (My kids always loved singing the Wheels on The Bus). You can also use hand sanitizer, however, as these seem to be sold out everywhere, please remember good old-fashioned soap & water work perfectly fine.
  • Teach and remind your children to cough or sneeze into an elbow or tissue.
  • Avoid touching hands to face. (Easier said than done, especially for children. Hence frequent hand washing!)
  • Wash children’s toys and surfaces regularly.
  • Children and adults should remain home if they are sick. This includes school, work, and social or sporting activities.

Keep your body strong and decrease stress:

  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Exercise daily. Get outside. Get fresh air. Go for a hike, get out on your bikes, go to the park, go to the rail trail. This can help our bodies and decrease stress.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and proteins will provide the nutrients you and your child need to maintain a healthy immune system.
  • Try to decrease your consumption of news and social media and decrease your children’s exposure to these scary stories.

FAQs

Can the Children’s Medical Group test for COVID-19?

We do not currently have the ability to test for COVID-19. Currently, only the CDC and specific approved state labs can perform this test. The current recommendations are to only test people who have symptoms (fever, cough, cold, sore throat) and have traveled to affected countries (China, Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea) OR have been in contact with someone who has lab-confirmed COVID-19.

If you feel that your child falls into this category, please call our office so we can help determine the appropriate next steps.

How do I know if I have COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the symptoms of the common cold and the Flu. (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat). If you have these symptoms and have traveled within the last 2 weeks OR been in contact with someone with COVID-19 you should call our office so we can help determine the appropriate next steps.

What should I do if I think my child has COVID-19?

It is likely that COVID-19 will reach our community. The majority of people will feel like they have the common cold or have no symptoms at all. Currently, the risk for serious illness in children from COVID-19 is extremely low, in fact of the people diagnosed with COVID-19 worldwide, almost none were children. Please call our office if you think your child has COVID-19 so we can help determine the appropriate next steps.

For the most up to date information, please see the following websites:

NYS Department of Health
CDC
Dutchess County Department of Health

Bathroom Safety

baby in bath towel

Bath time is a fun and playful time for your child or toddler, but it is important to keep their safety in mind. The bathroom has many unsafe substances and surfaces that can be harmful to your little one. The easiest way to prevent injuries is to make the bathroom inaccessible to them without adult supervision, which can be done by using a child lock. However, even while under adult supervision, you should take the necessary precautions to avoid injuries from happening to your child.

Bathroom Safety Tips

  • Your child should be under adult supervision at all times while in the bathroom. If you must leave the bathroom for any reason, always take your child with you. Children can drown in only a few inches of water and bath seats and rings will not prevent drowning. Make sure you gather all the bath time necessities such as towels, shampoo, soap, rubber duckies, etc., before starting the bath to avoid having to leave the room. Also, never leave water in the bathtub when it is not in use.
  • Slips and falls can easily happen in a bathroom. To prevent this, you can install no-slip strips on the bottom of the bathtub. You can also put a soft cover on the water faucet so that your child does not hurt their head if they bump into it. Curious children may be fascinated by the toilet and want to play in it. Not only is this unsanitary, but your child could slip and fall into it which makes this also a drowning hazard. To avoid this from happening, you can install a toilet lid lock.
  • Make sure your water temperature is not set over 120°F to prevent scalding. Always test the water temperature before putting your child in the tub. It is also important to teach your child to turn the cold water on first when they are old enough to use the faucets alone.
  • Medicines should also have child-resistant caps to prevent your child from opening the bottles. However, just because a medicine bottle has a child-resistant cap doesn’t mean it is childproof. Make sure medicine and toiletries are always locked away and out of reach of children when they are not in use.
  • Just like medicine and toiletries, electrical appliances used in a bathroom, such as hair dryers and razors, should also be locked away and out of reach of children. If they are not in use, be sure to unplug them and put them away properly. To avoid electric injury resulting from electrical items falling in a sink or tub, it’s better to use electrical items in a room where there is no water.

Source:   Healthy Children

Winter Car Safety

Winter Car Safety

As the days get chillier, it’s natural for parents to want to bundle up their babies in layers of clothes and puffy coats. However, these fluffy jackets might be making your infant more unsafe once they get strapped in their car seat. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a winter coat can compress in the event you get into an accident, creating extra room between your child and their car seat’s harness. Without the straps being appropriately secured, a child can be thrown from the seat upon impact.

It’s important to be educated on the best way to make sure your baby is safe and warm in the back seat:

  1. Be prepared
    Always have backup blankets, mittens, and hats stowed in the car in case of an emergency. This is also a good thing to keep in mind if there’s inclement weather and your baby gets wet in rain or snow.
  2. Use a blanket or poncho
    It’s important not to use anything to cover your baby that would be wrapped around the baby under their harness straps. Though you might feel inclined to wrap an infant up to keep him warm, putting extra padding behind them in the seat is unsafe. Draping a blanket over your baby is safe to do.
  3. Bring the car seat inside between drives
    Bringing the carrier portion of your infant’s car seat indoors while not in the car can keep your child from losing body heat when they immediately get in the car. It’ll help keep them warmer for a bit longer. If you choose to do this, it’s important to leave the house in advance so that you don’t rush strapping your child back in place.
  4. Make sure the straps are tight enough
    Straps should be tight enough so that you cannot pinch the straps, but loose enough so that you can fit one finger in between the strap and your baby. Therefore, it’s important to take off bulky layers so that you are not misled to believe the straps are tight enough.
  5. Dress in layers
    Layers enable you to put tighter clothing on your child’s body as a base to then put heavier sweaters or jackets on top that can be removed for safety. It’s important to keep in mind that infants usually need one extra layer compared to what you might feel comfortable wearing.

Car seats are meticulously tested for crash scenarios, so it’s important that you do not use any products that “add” to the car seat. Items like sleeping bags or stroller accessories can compromise the safety of the car seat.

Avoiding Screen Time Before Age 2

little girl looking at screen

Though it can be so easy to just hand a tablet to your baby or turn on the television for them to keep them occupied, it may not be the best idea. According to surveys, over 92% of one-year olds already have experience interacting with a tablet or mobile device, and some begin as young as just four-months old. Now, as the parent, you may be asking yourself where is the harm in this?

Development

Young children learn best when they are physically interacting with people and objects. This can mean touching, playing and shaking with toys and books and also, seeing faces and hearing voices of their parents, siblings or caregivers. Physically interacting with people and things is how toddlers translate basic, necessary skills that they will need within the real world. Yes, there are educational games and videos available on devices, but simply tapping and swiping at a screen makes it much more difficult to apply those skills and lessons in their everyday lives.

The Facts

There is strong evidence that infants and toddlers who accumulate higher screen time can have long-term negative effects on things like reading skills, short-term memory, language development, attention span and sleeping patterns. An easy way to think about the relationship between screen-time and your toddlers is like junk food and our bodies, and screen-time is like mental junk food. Even if you have the television on in the background while you’re trying to clean or cook, this can decrease a parent’s words per hour from 940 words to 770 words, which translates to less opportunity for your child to learn from you.

The World Health Organization recently announced that infants younger than one year should not be exposed to screens at all, and that children between two and four should avoid sedentary screen time longer than one hour. The American Academy of Pediatrics is currently revising their screen time guidelines as a result of the World Health Organization’s findings, though their recommendation currently states that after age two, you can become a little more lenient with screen-time, and it should be monitored closely. When your child wants to watch something, make sure it is something educational so they can learn from it.

Sources:

World Health Organization

Healthy Children

 

Infant Immunization Week 2019

baby receiving a vaccine

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is observed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other various public health organizations. The week-long event that is observed once each year is dedicated to reminding parents, caregivers and healthcare professionals just how important and life-saving infant immunizations can be. Infant vaccines are safe, effective and save lives.

Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Infant Immunization Week has been a focus since 1994. Since then, there are now 14 vaccine preventable diseases which infants should receive before the age of two. These immunizations have significantly reduced the rates of death and disability in infants in the U.S. Today, measles is making a frightening comeback, with 555 confirmed cases in 20 states – 180 in Rockland County, NY alone. In 2014, 667 cases in 27 states was the last highest number recorded since measles was eliminated in the year 2000. This outbreak is proof that even when we believe a disease is a thing of the past, it can come back and often times does because of those who are not vaccinated.

List of Recommended Immunizations

  1. Diphtheria
  2. Haemophilus Influenzae Type B
  3. Hepatitis A
  4. Hepatitis B
  5. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  6. Influenza (Flu)
  7. Measles
  8. Meningococcal Infections
  9. Mumps
  10. Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  11. Pneumococcal Infections
  12. Polio
  13. Rotavirus
  14. Rubella (German Measles)
  15. Tetanus
  16. Varicella (Chicken Pox)

The Numbers

Not only does the above list save thousands of lives, but immunizations save money too. In just one birth cohort that receives the recommended immunizations, about 381 million illnesses are prevented. This number is absolutely staggering and equates to a total net savings of $360 billion dollars in direct costs and over $1.5 trillion in total costs from society.

We understand not everyone can afford immunizations for their child, but there is a solution. With a simple call to 800-CDC-INFO, parents and caregivers will be able to locate a healthcare facility that provides immunizations through Vaccines for Children, a federally funded program. It is important to also note that there is no scientific evidence to suggest a link between vaccines and an increased risk of autism.

Source:

Healthy Children

Violent TV & Video Games

Boy in front of computer monitor playing video game

Though video games and television are supposed to be forms of entertainment, science has confirmed that there may be more serious consequences of engaging in violent TV and video games. Research shows that children who are exposed to violence in video games and TV experience a change in how they behave and resolve conflict. As a parent, you want to think that your child won’t be the one to be affected in such ways, but it can happen.

The reason for children and teens committing acts of violence or becoming aggressive in situations is not completely due to the violence they experience in video games and TV. Though there is some influence, it has never been proven that an act of violence was the result of violent media consumed. We can say that violent media contributes to the behavior or thought process behind the act of violence and that there is a link between the two.

Parental Controls

The parent does have a choice in the type of media their children consume, how often and in what ways. It is recommended that children under the age of six years old do not engage in or watch violent media, whether that be watching a movie or TV show, or playing a video game. This recommendation stems from children not being able to distinguish reality from fantasy.

Staying on top of the media your child consumes is one of the easiest ways to filter out the violent content, especially when they are young. Activating parental controls on devices is one place to start. Be sure to do your research before purchasing popular games, so that you know what to expect.

Choosing the Right Games

Often in violent video games, the player is rewarded for completing a mission or winning the game through killing the other players. This type of reward system may influence or teach your child that acting violent is a way to be rewarded or feel empowered. Luckily, there are hundreds of video games available on the market that are educational, non-violent and fun for your child. Sports-themed games may be a better option than gory, war-themed games.

Source:

Healthy Children

#InternetChallenges and Trends

#InternetChallenges and Trends - Children's Medical Group

Today, most parents have had to adapt to and learn about today’s technologies, but for the younger generation, they were born into it. Children practically eat, sleep, and breathe video games, social media and the Internet. Though it is great to see all of the educational and learning opportunities on the Internet, the “web” does have its downsides, too.

What are “Internet Challenges”

Trends and #InternetChallenges have taken over social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. While some of the challenges and trends were created to support causes and organizations, others are just for pure entertainment, and can actually be dangerous to your child.

What Makes Them Dangerous

Teenagers want to fit in and tend to be more impulsive than other age groups, which is why they are the demographic most commonly participating in these challenges and trends. Their brains are still developing, leading to decisions that aren’t always rational. Trends in the past such as the cinnamon challenge, the salt and ice challenge and the Tide Pod challenge can all have negative, dangerous impacts on your teen’s health.

Social media just adds more pressure to your teen’s social life, often making them not think twice about doing something idiotic. They are not thinking about how their hands can get burned from the salt and ice or how the Tide laundry detergent can be poisonous, causing damage to their throats and airways. Instead, they are focused on how many views, likes and comments they will receive on their post.

Stepping In

As parent, you have a responsibly to engage with your teens and keep an open line of communication about what occurs in their social life. Though you don’t have to be a helicopter parent and know every detail, keeping up with their group of friends and what they are up to is always a good idea. Starting a conversation about a current trend or challenge is a great start to learning about your teen’s opinion of it. When they are young, it’s important to keep a close eye on how they use social media and the dangers of posting things they may regret later on.

Should You “Ghost Follow” Your Teen?

Being a “ghost” follower on your teen’s social profiles is a tactic some parents use. This means that you do follow their pages, but you aren’t engaging and commenting on their posts, kind of like the saying, “look but don’t touch.” Kids can find it embarrassing if their parent leaves comments on their posts, which can break a sense of trust. Remember, teens are going to experiment and make mistakes, and as the parent you just have to try your best to lead them in the right direction.

Source:

Healthy Children

Proactively Preventing Opioid Abuse

Prescription opioids

The opioid epidemic is a serious problem nationwide. In fact, the leading cause of accidental death in this country is due to drug overdoses. Opioids are highly addictive narcotics that can range from prescription pain medications like oxycodone, morphine and codeine to illegal street drugs like heroin. In 2017, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported more than 72,000 overdose deaths.

What Are Opioids?

Addiction and opioid abuse can happen anywhere and at any time. Prescription opioid drugs create artificial endorphins that the body also normally produces to help with pain. This gives the user the feeling of being “high” temporarily. As the user begins to abuse opioids, the brain stops producing the natural endorphins and begins to build a tolerance to the opioids. This results in the user increasing their dosages and shortens the time frame in between them, eventually taking such high amounts so frequently that overdoses occur. Large amounts of opioids greatly decrease the heart rate and can cause permanent damage after long-term opioid use. During an overdose, a person’s breathing is slowed, and their pulse slows, which can lead to irreparable brain damage.

Opioid Abuse Prevention

Proactively preventing opioid abuse in your home and around your children is important. Keeping an open line of communication with your children and educating them on the deadly consequences of opioids can decrease the risk of opioid abuse. The law prohibits distribution of opioids to anyone other than who is on the prescription, and if caught, jail time is a real possibility. If prescription pain medicine has to be in the house, store it in safe place where it is not easily accessible to other members in the house. Another good idea is to stay on top of the number of pills available and make sure none go missing. If and when the pills expire or there are leftovers, simply return them to the doctor, pharmacy or local police station to be safely disposed of.

Lastly, if you are wary of the risks opioid-based medications could pose to yourself or your family, consult with your doctor to seek out alternative medications. Asking for help is the first step in overcoming opioid abuse and can turn out to be lifesaving. Never hesitate to ask for help; there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Sources:

Healthy Children

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Dangers of Electronic Cigarettes

Dangers of Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes, better known as vapes and Juuls are unhealthy, addictive and even deadly for young children. These electronic devices are now being created to look cool and hip, to attract the younger generations. Devices can look like pens, USBs and have the ability to light up. Going another step further, the vape juice or e-liquid can contain nicotine which is then flavored to attract kids. Vape juice is available in hundreds of different flavors like cannoli, cucumber, vanilla custard and lemonade. Vapes and Juuls are sweeping through middle and high schools and are quickly becoming a problem for underage kids.

Why is Liquid Nicotine Dangerous?

For parents who vape as an effort to quit smoking cigarettes, there is something you must keep in mind: E-juice, or liquid nicotine, is very dangerous to infants and young children under the age of five. The liquid nicotine is considered poisonous to young children if there is direct contact between the skin and liquid. The first death of a one-year old child occurred in 2014 and since 2015, more than 2,400 calls to poison control centers have been recorded.

Young boy holding a small vape pen
Juul

Ways of Poisoning

There are three different ways in which a child can become poisoned. The first is through direct skin contact when the liquid is absorbed into the blood stream. The second way is when the liquid comes in contact with the child’s mouth and is absorbed through mucous membranes. The third exposure route is when the liquid is swallowed and absorbed into the intestinal tract, which can become very dangerous.

What To Do

If you suspect your child may be experiencing liquid nicotine poisoning, immediately contact the Poison Center hotline at 800-222-1222. Symptoms to look out for, but are not limited to, include: trouble breathing, vomiting, increased heartbeat, and shaking. Many of the bottles that the liquid is packaged in are not child-resistant. Though some states require this type of packaging, it is recommended that parents transfer the liquid into child-resistant bottles and store the bottles out of the reach of children.

Source:

Healthy Children