General Health InformationAmerican Academy of Pediatrics www.healthychildren.org
Pediatrician-approved health information on a variety of topics. Also provides a link to the Healthy Children bookstore, where you can purchase some good reference books such as the AAP guide “Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, Birth to age 5” and Dr. Barton Schmitt’s helpful guide to common pediatric symptoms “My Child is Sick.”
Health Canada www.healthcanada.org Information on various health issues. Geared not surprisingly towards Canadians, and not specifically focused on pediatrics, but can be useful because it often includes information on relatively obscure topics such as the potential health effects of volcanic ash. Check out the A – Z index and the “It’s Your Health” articles. All content is also available in French if you feel like brushing up your foreign language skills (or if French happens to be your primary language).
This site provides a tool to be used with your doctor for assessing asthma control. You can print and answer the questions and then bring the completed form to your doctor’s visit for us to review together. www.keepkidshealthy.com/asthma/asthma.html
Car Seat/Motor Vehicle Safetywww.ctsafekids.com/carseat_info.htm
Includes information on Fairfield County car seat fitting stations
More car seat information, also some info on teen driving, bicycle safety, other vehicle safety
Concussions, Baseline IMPACT testingwww.henryford.com/body.cfm?id=40876
A concussion is a “brain bruise” resulting from a head injury.As with a sports injury affecting any other part of the body, inadequate rest and rehabilitation of the injured brain after a concussion can delay recovery and exacerbate symptoms. Concussion symptoms can include headache, dizziness, confusion, memory problems, mental slowing and mood swings.
Concussions are not visible on standard MRI or CT “cat” scans of the brain. One tool that can be helpful in the evaluation of a concussion is the IMPACT test. This is a neuropsychological test administered on the computer for patients 11 years old and older. Local high schools have been suggesting that student athletes obtain baseline IMPACT tests before the sports season, in order to provide a baseline comparison if he or she suffers a concussion. We agree with this good advice. If this service is not available to your child, another option is to complete online testing at the above site. They will hold a copy of the baseline IMPACT test to be used in case of a concussion. There is a nominal fee for this service. There is no interpretation necessary of the baseline test—it is just archived to be used for comparison in case of a head injury. (We realize that the Henry Ford center is in Michigan… I emailed Dr Podell and he reports baseline test reports can be mailed out.)
In order to enhance its validity, it is important to take the baseline test in an unhurried fashion in a quiet room without distractions.
A letter outlining Darien High School’s IMPACT testing program. Go Blue Wave!
Information about teething
A chart showing the approximate ages of “baby” and “adult” tooth eruption
A few good local pediatric dentists. We can make further recommendations as needed.
Development, Birth to Threewww.abilis.us
Abilis, formerly called Greenwich ARC, provides people with developmental disabilities and their families in lower Fairfield County, CT and parts of Westchester County, NY with supports and advocacy for building able lives and strong communities.
The stated mission of Connecticut’s Birth to 3 program is to assist and strengthen the capacity of families to meet the developmental and health-related needs of infants and toddlers who have delays or disabilities. It provides free developmental evaluations for children under than age of 3 with developmental concerns, and subsidized comprehensive developmental therapies for those who qualify. Referrals can be made by families and/or by a health care provider. If you have concerns or questions about your child’s feeding, behavior or development, we encourage you to review this site and also to contact the pediatrician.
This is a group run by Fairfield Country families affected by Trisomy 21, a.k.a. Down Syndrome. They provide a play group, in addition to offering support and advice to one another and to families with children recently diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
Fish and MercuryA Guide for Avid Fish Eaters
Provides information about minimizing mercury exposure from seafood, especially for children and pregnant or nursing women.
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network was founded in 1991 by a mother whose daughter had food allergies. It is a great resource for families affected by this increasingly common health problem. It provides a plethora of useful information including recipes, education, awareness, research, etc.
Herbal/Alternative Medicines and Supplementswww.consumerlab.com>
The FDA does not conduct the same type of product testing for herbal medicines and supplements that it requires for other medications. This makes it harder for patients to feel comfortable that they are buying a high-quality product.Consumer Labs does independent research evaluating various vitamins and supplements available on the market for product quality, to ensure that they contain what their labels say they do and that they do not contain unreported contaminants. It also provides some reviews of the confirmed and reported health benefits of various vitamins and supplements. There is a 10 dollar annual charge to access the detailed information on this site, but we think it is worthwhile. Alternatively, our doctors have subscriptions and can help you to look up the information you need.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The CDC’s center on alternative medicine.
Immunization Information(see also under new parent/adult immunization/pertussis below)
There is so much misinformation about vaccines circulating in various media. These are some sources of reliable, accurate information about immunizations:
This site provides detailed charts of the recommended vaccine schedule for babies, children and adolescents.
www.pauloffit.com and www.paul-offit.com
He is a bit of a vaccine crusader, but with good reason. Dr Offit is head of pediatric infectious diseases at the prestigious Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His books are informative and honest looks at vaccine safety and misinformation. Two good ones are Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All and Vaccines: What You Should Know. The first website has links to a variety of sources for reliable vaccine information. The second is Dr Offit’s personal website with links to his books and some interviews he has done.
Caveat: The article references Dr Sears’ alternate vaccine schedule, which we and the American Academy of Pediatrics do NOT endorse as a safe option.
The two sites above provide links to some information about measles illness and vaccine.
Insurance/Medical BillsWe try to use the best local laboratory and radiology resources for patient tests. If you get a bill from a laboratory or radiology service, we recommend that BEFORE YOU PAY IT you always call the billing center and/or your insurance company to clarify why the service was not covered by your health insurance and to ensure that the charges are accurate. Our front desk can provide some guidance in how to proceed.
A resource on interpreting that complicated EOB (Explanation of Benefits) form that your insurance company mails to you.
New Parents, Adult Immunizations, Pertussis (Whooping Cough)www.text4baby.org
Sign up for free messages to be sent to your cell phone during your pregnancy and baby’s first year of life with tips on prenatal and infant care, immunizations, postpartum depression, nutrition, oral health, quitting smoking, safety and more.
We recommend that all close contacts of infants get annual flu vaccines and make sure they are up to date on routine vaccinations. They should also have a “Tdap” vaccine to protect against pertussis or whooping cough. There have been frequent recent local outbreaks of whooping cough. Most adults have not had this vaccine since childhood and thus are at risk for catching it and passing it on to babies, in whom it can be quite dangerous. Most local hospitals offer this vaccine to postpartum mothers; we recommend that moms get this vaccine if offered at the hospital. The Stamford (203-977-4372) and Norwalk (203-854-7776) health departments also offer this booster vaccine free of charge to all close contacts of children under 12 months old. This includes babysitters, grandparents and parents. You can also check with your own doctor or use the feature at the top of the screen on the site above to search for local providers who offer the vaccine. The Tdap vaccine is a kind of tetanus shot, but not all tetanus shots protect against pertussis, so if you have had a recent tetanus shot, you should still get the Tdap vaccine unless you can be sure that the recent vaccine included the pertussis component.
This is the information about the Norwalk Health Department’s Tdap vaccine program.
The CDC provides information about adult immunization schedules.
Poison Control(800) 222-1222 www.aapcc.org
If you know or suspect that your child may have ingested a poison or overdosed on a medication, always call poison control first (unless your child is unconscious or in significant distress, in which case you should call 911 first). A follow-up call to the doctor is a good idea, but the Poison Control Center resources are our best source for information as well. They provide free, confidential, expert medical advice 24/7/365.
This site gives up-to-date country-by-country information on traveler’s health.,It tells you what vaccines and preventive measures and medications are recommended for travel to a particular area. We also recommend that you arrange a pre-travel office visit before foreign travel, ideally at least a month before the planned travel. It will help us if you can provide your itinerary for the trip at or before that visit.
Particularly useful for purchasing travel insurance if one of your party has a preexisting medical condition. Steve Dasseos, the site’s founder, responds promptly to emails with questions about travel insurance options. (We have no relationship with Steve; we’ve just used this site for own families and found it honest and helpful.)