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TIS THE SEASON – PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM THE FLU

When flu season arrives, keep your child healthy. Get a flu immunization before the flu gets you! Contact the office at (513) 248-1210 to schedule your child’s flu immunization appointment. NOTE: As of 09/07/2018, FluMist and VFC flu vaccines are not available. 

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious complications, hospitalization or even death. Anyone can get the flu, and vaccination is the single-best way to protect against influenza. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to family and friends.

Why SHOULD my child get a flu vaccination?
There are two common reasons for getting a yearly flu immunization:
1) Flu viruses are constantly changing, and vaccines are updated from one season to the next to protect against the most recent and commonly circulating viruses.
2) Your immune system’s protection from a vaccination declines over time, and annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection.

Who SHOULD get a flu vaccine?
Annual seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older, as vaccination remains the best available preventive measure. Achieving high coverage rates of influenza vaccine in infants and children is a priority to protect them against influenza disease and its complications. While everyone should get a flu immunization each flu season, it’s especially important that certain groups get vaccinated. These groups are either at high risk of having serious flu-related complications, or they live with or care for people at high risk of developing flu-related complications:
• Children younger than 5 years of age – especially children younger than 2 years of age.
• Pregnant women.
• People 50 years of age and older.
• People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions.
• People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
• People who live with or care for those at high risk of complications from flu, including: health care workers, household contacts of persons at high risk of complications from the flu, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated).

Who should NOT get a flu vaccination?
• Influenza vaccine is not approved for use in children younger than 6 months of age, so they should not be vaccinated. Instead, their caregivers should be vaccinated.
• People who are sick with fever should wait until their symptoms pass to get vaccinated.

What kinds of flu vaccines are available?
There are new recommendations for the upcoming 2018-’19 influenza season. Unlike the last two seasons, the Academy recommends the limited use of intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4).  This recommendation represents a change from the 2016-’17 and 2017-’18 influenza seasons when intranasal LAIV4 was not recommended in any setting in light of the evidence for its poor effectiveness in prior seasons against influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 viruses.The AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases (COID) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reviewed and carefully considered all influenza vaccine efficacy data available to date, as well as new information regarding an updated LAIV4 formulation, for each to provide their latest recommendations. Additional information about these recommendations: http://www.aappublications.org/news/2018/06/07/influenza060718

What are the benefits of getting a flu vaccination?
• Protection for child and yourself.
• Protection for newborns and infants who are too young to get vaccinated.
• Protection for people at high risk of complications from flu.

Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2007, estimates of flu-related deaths in the United States ranged from a low of 3,000 people to a high of about 49,000 people. Each year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from the flu, including an average of 20,000 children younger than 5 years of age.

What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?
Flu shots are safe and cannot give you the flu, because they are made from killed or very weakened virus. The most common side effects from the flu shot are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot is given.

It is recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against the flu. A flu vaccination reduces your risk of illness, hospitalization or even death and can prevent you from spreading the virus to your loved ones. Protect your family from the flu – get vaccinated.

Talk to your health care provider for more information about the flu and flu vaccination.

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FAREWELL TO BRENDA DUNHAM

After 20 1/2 years of dedicated service, Brenda Dunhan, our Billing Manager, has decided to retire.  Her last day with the ESD family will be August 10, 2018.  Brenda’s knowledge, dedication and loyalty will be missed.

Brenda plans to relax, travel and enjoy time with her family.  We hope that Brenda enjoys and cherishes every moment of this new journey!

Billing questions will continue to be directed to 513-248-3063.

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MILFORD OFFICE CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES

Please pardon our mess!  The Milford office is expanding to better meet the healthcare needs of your family.

Construction on the second phase of the project will begin August 13, 2018.  This phase will reconfigure the lobby and reception areas.  Expansion of the existing first floor vitals area will also be completed during this phase.

Concrete work is scheduled for 08/13/18-08/15/18.  If your child has an appointment scheduled during this time, please enter the office through the back glass door and proceed to the existing check in area.

It is our hope to complete these renovations with minimal disruption to the office workflow.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during the construction process!

 

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SPORTS/CAMP/SCHOOL PHYSICAL DEADLINES FAST APPROACHING

Spring has Sprung!  Before you know it your child will be participating in school sports. The deadlines for submitting these sports forms varies with each school and sport.   It is important for your child’s health and well being to have the sports physical performed by your child’s pediatrician.

If you’re the parent of a young athlete, you’re likely familiar with sports physicals. You’ve seen the ads for them: short wait times, no appointment needed, open seven days a week. But are these quick medical check-ups the best way to monitor your child’s health? Not at all.

Sports physicals should be part of routine preventive care done by your child’s primary care provider. Here’s why:

  • Better care. Physicals performed during part of a yearly well care visit are more comprehensive than rushed clinic visits.
  • Better cost. Usually well care visits are fully covered by insurance at your pediatrician’s office. Why pay for a separate visit to a clinic?
  • Better access. Physicals are good for one year — or one year plus 30 days — from the date of a well care visit. If your child has already had a checkup within the past year, it’s likely a separate sports clinic visit isn’t needed at all. You’ll just need to fill out the paperwork, have it signed by the doctor, and turn it in to your child’s coach.

Sports physicals, also called pre-participation physicals, were developed by physicians and put in place to detect serious conditions and injuries before young athletes start playing a sport. They are typically needed for student athletes in grades 7-12, and they are required by all schools in Ohio and Kentucky.

Here are the top things you need to know regarding sports physicals and annual well care visits for your child:

  • Continuity of care is important. Your child has a continuous relationship with his or her primary care provider. When a physician knows your child’s health history, habits, and personality, he or she can more easily recognize signs that might signal a change in your child’s health.
  • A well care visit covers so much more. When your child’s pediatrician performs a routine preventive well care visit, it encompasses screening for behavioral and mental health problems; learning difficulties; tobacco, alcohol, and substance use; social problems; and sexual activity. Pediatricians also monitor growth and development, conduct a comprehensive physical examination, address previous and current medical problems, update immunizations, perform recommended screening tests, and give anticipatory guidance. These are all critical pieces of a child’s full health history.
  • Clinic visits are often cursory. Some schools and coaches recommend sports physicals at a clinic in a school gym or at a retail-based health center. This type of exam is often performed without the child’s complete medical history and often without a parent. The preventive care issues mentioned above are rarely addressed. There is little to no communication back to the primary care doctor. In short, this exam doesn’t address the whole scope of your child’s health.

As a pediatrician, I encourage physical activity for all children. I believe that playing sports fosters physical fitness, improves self-esteem, and promotes teamwork. Pediatricians also believe that children deserve quality health care. Do not allow anyone else — schools and coaches included — to pressure you into the notion that speed is more important than quality when it comes to your child’s health.

Sports physicals don’t have to be difficult. Use these tips to make them easier for your family:

  • Prep ahead. Check with your child’s primary care provider to see if they have extended hours on certain evenings or weekends. Many of them offer this, especially during the summer months before fall sports start.
  • Know the rules. Both Ohio and Kentucky require a sports physical form to be on file with the school before the first practice. But physical exams are valid for one year or one year plus 30 days — so a well care visit in March will cover a child’s fall sports physical exam requirement. Bylaws with complete rules can be found here:
  • Ask for help. Most pediatricians are willing to work with you on scheduling an appointment if you’re in a rush to get the pre-participation form filled out prior to your child’s first practice.

When you ensure your child continues to have annual well care check-ups throughout their teen years, you’re doing more than just fulfilling their sports physical requirement. You’re also helping to develop a healthy habit that will hopefully last a lifetime

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PRE VISIT CHECK IS NOW AVAILABLE

Exciting News! Pre-visit check in is now available! Simply click the link in the appointment reminder message and complete the forms necessary for your child’s visit.

Your time is valuable; don’t waste it in the waiting room. Take a few minutes to complete the check in process BEFORE arriving at the office.  Pre visit check in can be completed from your smart phone, computer or tablet device.

If for some reason, you are unable to complete the check in process BEFORE arriving at the office, plan to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to complete the necessary paperwork.

ESD is evolving to provide your family with the best possible health care.

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MILESTONE TRACKER MOBILE APP AVAILABLE

Milestones matter! Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing.

From birth to age 5, your child should reach milestones in how he or she plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy and fun!

Features:

  • Add a Child – enter personalized information about your child or multiple children
  • Milestone Tracker – track your child’s developmental progress by looking for important milestones using an interactive, illustrated checklist
  • Milestone Photos and Videos – know what each milestone looks like so that you can better identify them in your own child
  • Tips and Activities – support your child’s development at every age
  • When to Act Early – know when it’s time to “act early” and talk with your child’s doctor about developmental concerns
  • Appointments – keep track of your child’s doctors’ appointments and get reminders about recommended developmental screenings
  • Milestone Summary – get a summary of your child’s milestones to view, and share with or email to your child’s doctor and other important care providers

Learn more at cdc.gov/MilestoneTracker 

The use of this app is not a substitute for the use of validated, standardized developmental screening tools as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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OHIO AAP LAUNCHES VACCINE ADVOCACY GROUP

The Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics is launching a new immunization advocacy group that is led by parents called Ohio Parents Advocating for Vaccines (PA4V).

Who we are: Ohio PA4V is a group of Ohio parents advocating for vaccines and spreading accurate information about the disease burden, safety and effectiveness of vaccines. Some of us are vaccine-preventable disease survivors, parents of immuno-compromised children, or parents of healthy children because of immunizations. All of us are fierce advocates for combatting misinformation on vaccines!

Why we care: We vaccinate our children (if medically possible) for their own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of our community. Ohio’s immunization rates for children and adolescents are NOT where they need to be for all of our children to be protected from potentially dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases. The misinformation has scared parents, and it is time to set the record straight.

What we do: We share factual information and stories about vaccines! Here is how to get involved:

Join PA4V! There is no membership fee, and we don’t ask anything from you expect to occasionally share our social media posts to get the word out about the truth around vaccines. You can sign up here http://www.OhioAAP.org/OhioPA4V.

Share the facts! Go to http://www.OhioAAP.org/OhioPA4V to get access to resources you can share with your friends, family and on social media.

Share your story! Go to http://www.OhioAAP.org/OhioPA4V and share your story about why immunizations are so import to you and your family. You can do this with a sentence or two or a video you upload.

Participate in our upcoming #iVAX campaign! Publicly share that you understand the importance of vaccinating yourself and your family against vaccine preventable diseases.

Find us on Twitter and Facebook! Twitter: https://twitter.com/OhioPA4V

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OhioPA4V/

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Online Check In – Save Time! Be Seen Quicker!

ESD Pediatric Group is very excited to introduce online check in. All you need is your patient portal account. Reduce the time you spend in the waiting room by updating demographics, insurance information and form completion from your mobile device or comfort of your own home.

We realize your time is valuable. With online check in, many of the forms required for your child’s appointment can be completed on the patient portal in the comfort of your home prior to arriving at the office.

If you prefer to complete the forms in the office, it is still recommended that you arrive 15 minutes early to complete the necessary digital forms.

ESD Pediatric Group….embracing technology to improve patient health care and outcomes!

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