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Should my child get a flu shot?

Written by Dr. William Fisher on 10/27/2014 9:00:00 AM

Dr. William J. Fisher is a board certified pediatrician with Community Physician Network. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fisher, visit his physician profile. 

Child getting flu shotThis a common question that faces many parents in the fall. For almost everyone 6 months and older, the answer is definitely yes. The reasons are simple:

  1. Influenza kills more kids in the US than all other vaccine preventable illnesses combined.
  2. The flu shot and mist are very safe.
  3. Getting the flu vaccine helps us protect others, especially infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems that are more likely to die from the flu and who are not eligible for the flu shot, or do not respond to the flu shot. 
"But every year I have gotten the flu shot I have gotten sick!"

I hear this every year, and there are two very good reasons for this misconception. The first is that the flu is given during the fall when many different viral vomiting and diarrhea illnesses are going around, especially after kids get back into school and start spreading germs like wild fire. The flu is not vomiting and diarrhea. What many people call the flu is actually gastroenteritis. The flu causes body aches, high fevers, headache, cough and a viral pneumonia often leading to secondary infections like ear infections and bacterial pneumonias. Vomiting and diarrhea are rare symptoms of influenza.

The second reason people have this misconception is due to how many flu shots are given (over 100 million in the US) and bad luck that is attributed to the shot. For instance, if I get my flu shot and then 10 minutes later drop my phone into the toilet or run a red light, is that because of the flu shot? Of course not, but if I get a fever later in the week, everyone would assume it was the shot. In reality, some of those fevers are because of the shot, but some of those fevers were destined to happen regardless of getting the shot because people get sick. continue reading ...

Tags: Dr. William Fisher , flu , vaccinations | Posted in: Wellness

How to treat and prevent nosebleeds

Written by Community Health Network on 10/20/2014 8:00:00 AM

Nosebleeds can be easily treatedMany children experience nosebleeds, some frequently.

"Most cases of nosebleeds are caused by dryness of the nasal lining and the normal rubbing and picking that children do when their noses are blocked or itchy," explained Dr. Aaron Carlisle, family medicine physician at Community Physician Network.

While it may be frightening for a child to experience a nosebleed, they are easily treated. Dr. Carlisle recommends parents follow these steps to stop nosebleeds:

  1. Have your child blow their nose to remove any clots and spit out any blood that may be in their mouths.
  2. Grasp the soft part of the nose – just under the bony part – and squeeze firmly.
  3. Have your child place their chin on the chest and hold for 10 minutes.
  4. If bleeding persists, insert some gauze covered in petroleum jelly partially into the nose and squeeze again for 10 minutes. 
  5. Leave the gauze in place for another 10 minutes before pulling it out. 
  6. If bleeding persists, seek medical attention.
He also encourages parents not to use a cold compresses to help stop the bleeding. continue reading ...

Tags: Dr. Aaron Carlisle , nosebleed | Posted in: Wellness

Treats not tricks: Halloween safety

Written by Dr. Megan Gruesser on 10/13/2014 8:00:00 AM

Dr. Megan Gruesser is a board certified pediatrician with Community Physician Network. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gruesser, visit her physician profile.

Halloween safety tipsHalloween is almost here! Time to find a costume and carve your pumpkins! Can you hear the squeals of excitement coming from kids of all ages? What the about moans and groans coming from pediatricians? Why, you ask?

Well, 364 days of the year we teach children about "stranger danger" and not to take candy from strangers. However, on Halloween, we throw all caution aside, and encourage our kids to trick-or-treat and take candy from strangers. Now, I don’t think pediatricians and dentists will push to ban Halloween any time soon, but we do want to offer up some tips to keep your youngsters safe and healthy this Halloween season.

Costumes

  • Consider a costume that is light in color so that your child is easier to see in the dark. (Trick: Add reflective strips to their outfit or trick-or-treat bag for better visibility.)
  • Choose a costume that is flame retardant in case your little one gets too close to a lit jack-o-lantern.
  • Select well-fitting, comfortable shoes for trick-or-treating.
  • Some masks and wigs can limit a child’s eyesight. Make sure their mask is well-fitted, or consider face paint as an alternative to a mask.
  • Make sure your children are dressed appropriately for the weather. Consider extra layers under the costume to keep your child warm if it's cool. 
Trick-or-treating safety
  • All children under age 12 should be accompanied by a parent during trick-or-treating. (Tip: Encourage older children to trick or treat in groups, discuss the route that they will be taking, and make sure at least one member of the group has a cell phone in case of an emergency.)
  • Only trick-or-treat at homes that are well lit or have a porch light on. Make sure your children never go inside a home or a car to get a treat. continue reading ...


Which flu vaccine is right for you?

Written by Community Health Network on 10/1/2014 2:30:00 PM

Fall is here and with it comes flu season. It is important that individuals over six months of age get a flu vaccine each year. 

The flu vaccine is your best defense against the virus. Not only does it protect you from getting sick, but your family and friends who could contract it from you. Not to mention, flu strains change so it is important to get a new vaccine each year.

There are multiple forms in which you can receive the vaccine, dependent upon your age.

Flumist (nasal spray)
This year the form of vaccine is quadrivalent, meaning that is has four influenza strains in it – two influenza type A and two influenza type B. It is a live-attenuated virus that causes increased immunogenicity. In other words, it generates a better immune response that lasts longer.

"Individuals ages two to 49 are eligible for the the flumist," said Dr. Diana Burtea, family medicine physician at Community Physician Network. "In fact, this year, it is recommended over the injectible vaccine by the CDC for children ages two to eight." continue reading ...


Hand, foot and mouth disease with Dr. William Fisher

Written by Dr. William Fisher on 9/26/2014 10:45:00 AM

Dr. William J. Fisher is a board certified pediatrician with Community Physician Network. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fisher, visit his physician profile.

Child with hand, foot and mouth

The rumors are true. Indianapolis is experiencing a very large outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

This viral infection is almost always safe and is caused by members of the Enterovirus family, which are often more active in late summer. The infection usually starts with a mild to moderate fever, achiness and crankiness, followed by a small, red raised rash on the hands, feet, groin area, and eventually the inside of the mouth.

These areas are most classic, especially the palms and soles, but the rash can appear on any area of skin. The mouth sores often look a lot like “canker sores” and are usually the only part of the rash that hurts. (Sometimes kids only get the throat spots and that is called Herpangina.)  

The whole illness usually lasts less than 10 days and resolves without complications.

How do we avoid getting it?
Using hand sanitizer and washing hands is the first step in stopping the spread of most illnesses. Unfortunately, kids start spreading it before they have the classic rash, and occasionally weeks after they appear completely well. continue reading ...


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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Screening mammograms help detect cancer early and determine cancer risk. Ladies, schedule yours here.


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