Health & Wellness

Richardson Pediatrics

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Well Child Visits

We recommend regular check-ups for your child in order to track their growth, development, and general health and to administer recommended vaccines.

We follow The American Academy of Pediatrics check-up schedule of

1 week

2 weeks

1 month

2 months

4 months

6 months

9 months

12 months

18 months

24 months

32 months

36 months - and yearly thereafter.

Sick Child Visits

We offer same-day sick visit appointments.  If your child is having an urgent health concern during our regular office hours, we will do our best to see your child immediately.  If necessary, we will refer you to an appropriate facility.

Vaccinations

The practice of immunization has saved more lives and prevented more permanent disabilities than any other public health intervention. Immunizations protect us from many serious illnesses such as measles, meningitis, polio, pertussis, pneumonia and diphtheria (swelling of the throat causing obstruction of your airway and possibly suffocation).

Due to the massive vaccination campaign starting in the 1950s, there has not been a case of polio reported in the United States since 1979. Anyone who remembers the polio epidemics of the early 1900s can recall how devastating this illness was to a child. It caused permanent paralysis and muscle weakness so severe that patients had to be placed in an "iron lung" to assist with their breathing.

The Hemophilis meningitis (HIB) vaccine, which was instituted during my residency at Children's Medical Center, changed how we manage a child with fever. At that time, virtually all children under 18 months of age with a high fever required blood cultures and a spinal tap. These procedures helped to determine if this life-threatening bacteria was present. The introduction of this vaccine into the routine immunization schedule has virtually eliminated this devastating illness. The Hemophilis bacteria can be carried in the nasal passages of healthy adults and can then be passed to unimmunized infants and children. Delaying this vaccine for even a few weeks can leave your infant or child at risk for this illness.

The DPT vaccine prevents pertussis or "whooping cough." Early immunization is important as infants, and young children are the most susceptible to the severe form of this illness. Children under the age of 6 months who get pertussis are at risk for sudden death or a prolonged debilitating cough that can last up to 3 months. Those that survive this illness can be left with permanent mental disabilities. This bacterium can be carried in the nasal passages of healthy individuals and passed to unimmunized infants and children.

Some parents are choosing to delay or skip the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine due to the inaccurate belief that there is an increased risk of autism associated with its administration. These concerns stem from a flawed research study done in 1998 by a British Physician named Dr. Andrew Wakefield. This study has been retracted as it included only 12 subjects, and Dr. Wakefield was in the process of developing his own vaccine to compete with the MMR vaccine. The British Medical Panel concluded that his study was flawed and also violated basic research ethic rules. In addition, several subsequent research studies, which included hundreds of subjects, have demonstrated no connection between the MMR vaccine and autism.

As more parents refuse to vaccinate their children, we may see the reemergence of illnesses such as paralytic polio and Hemophilis meningitis. There are presently epidemics of both pertussis and measles in California due to a large unimmunized population.

I do not recommend "alternative vaccine schedules," which suggest splitting or delaying immunizations. Splitting or delaying immunizations will leave your infant susceptible to these devastating illnesses during the most vulnerable time of their life. Additionally, there is no proven benefit to splitting or delaying immunizations.

Websites

www.vaccinesafety.edu

www.vaccinateyourbaby.org

www.cdc.gov/vaccines/default.htm
(CDC recommended vaccine schedules, school requirements and common questions about vaccines)

www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/index.html
(CDC detailed statements on individual vaccines)

Books

Autism's False Profits: Bad Science, Risky Medicine and the Search for a Cure - Dr. Paul Offit

Do Vaccines Cause That?! A Guide to Evaluating Vaccine Safety Concerns - Martin G. Myers, MD, and Diego Penada

Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. A comprehensive vaccine guide from the CDC.

Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a common condition often diagnosed during childhood. It can be difficult to diagnose if it's mild or it can be more obvious if it's associated with hyperactivity (ADHD). Often, the first indication is a call from a teacher with concerns related to a child's ability to stay on task and complete their school work.

Other signs of ADD or ADHD include:

  • Inability to complete a task/assignment or taking excessive amounts of time to complete a task, assignment or homework.

  • Failure to pay close attention to detail and making careless mistakes.

  • Not paying attention to instructions.

  • Not following directions correctly.

  • General disorganization.

  • Easily distracted by external stimuli.

  • Loses things frequently.

  • Is always on the go.

  • Can't sit still.

  • Impulsive behavior.

  • Talks excessively.

Other learning disabilities may be associated with or mimic ADD/ADHD. For these reasons, it is important to make a proper diagnosis prior to starting treatment. This disorder is often inherited, so parents and siblings may also exhibit similar symptoms.

If you have concerns that your child exhibits symptoms of ADD/ADHD, download and print the Vanderbilt Assessment Scale for Parents and the Vanderbilt Assessment Scale for Teachers. Fill out the Parent questionnaire and have one or more teachers fill out the Teacher questionnaire and return them to our office. Below are helpful links and several books that can help answer more of your questions on diagnosing, managing, and treating ADD and ADHD.

Books about ADD/ADHD

Taking Charge of ADD by Russell Barkley (800) 365-7006

Understanding Girls with ADD by Kathleen Nadeau

ADHD and Teens by Colleen Alexander

ADHD A Complete and Authoritative Guide by Michael Reiff (888) 227-1770

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood by Edward Hallowell

Links for ADD/ADHD Information

General ADD/ADHA information
www.chadd.org
ADD/ADHD and Learning Disability Testing
www.diagnostic-learning.com

We offer same-day sick visit appointments.  If your child is having an urgent health concern during our regular office hours, we will do our best to see your child immediately.  If necessary, we will refer you to an appropriate facility.