Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween, 2011

Happy Halloween

Hope your ghouls and goblins (or Supermans and Rapunzels as the case may be) are ready for the big night. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help ensure they have a safe holiday.

All Dressed Up:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.

Carving a Niche:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

Home Safe Home:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

On the Trick-or-Treat Trail:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:
  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication. 
    Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks 
  • Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
  • Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

Healthy Halloween:

  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Feedback Friday

Lately I've had a hard time coming up with interesting, meaningful blog topics. I've had a few ideas, but then thought, "Would people really find that useful?" and second guessed myself.

So I'm going to throw it back at you, faithful readers. Any topics you've been dying to hear about? We want this blog to be useful and meaningful to you and your family, so have at it. Let us know what you'd like, or things you find less helpful.


-Dr. Packer

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Free Parenting Workshops

 Experiencing TROUBLE with your child’s behavior?
     Looking for FREE education about what to do?

Help is available…

 As part of our continuing commitment to helping you improve your child’s well-being,
 Willow Creek Pediatrics in Draper together with Southpoint Pediatrics in West Jordan is pleased to offer a free series of three educational sessions for parents and caregivers of children.

Behavioral Specialist- Marion Hunt MEd and Rian Jensen LCSW from TKJ will present the latest in positive parenting/ behavior management techniques and will be available to answer your questions on the first three Tuesdays evenings in November(11/1; 11/8; 11/15). Each session will be from 7-9pm. Each session contains different information/intervention ideas so if possible plan to attend all three.

 Feel free to bring tough examples, questions, ideas and your spouse/partner…
(but no children please)…
and  join us at the Willow Creek Pediatrics in Draper  114 East 12450 South, Suite #100 Draper, Utah 84020.

Again, this event is free of charge, just RSVP to Melissa White, RN, Care Coordinator at 801-576-5941 no later than October 28, 2011.

Come learn how to help your child succeed! Looking forward to seeing you there.


Topic: Behavior Management
Date: November 1, 8, and  15, 2011
Time: 7-9pm
Place: Willow Creek Pediatrics in Draper
 114 East 12450 South # 100   Draper, Utah 84020

RSVP: By October 28 to Melissa White, RN @ 801-576-5941

{Can you believe these classes are free? I am still a little shocked that we are pulling it off!}

Monday, October 24, 2011

Frog Mask Recall

If your little one was planning on being a froggy for Halloween, and you bought your mask at's time for a costume change. Target is recalling this mask because it doesn't have adequate ventilation and can pose a suffocation hazard. 

A UPC code with 06626491474 is printed on a label attached to the mask. For additional information, contact Target Guest Relations at (800) 440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at

Friday, October 21, 2011

It starts...

We saw the first case of documented influenza this week here in Utah. So come on in and get your flu shot (or mist!) before the craziness is in full swing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back to Sleep

Since the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended all babies should be placed on their backs to sleep in 1992, deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome have declined dramatically. But sleep related deaths from other causes have increased.  The AAP recently updated their policy statement, giving advice on creating a safe sleep environment. More information can be found here

Some of the key points:
  • Breastfeeding is recommended and is associated with a reduced risk of SIDS. 
  • Infants should be immunized. Evidence suggests that immunization reduces the risk of SIDS by 50 percent. 
  • Bumper pads should not be used in cribs. There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment. 
  • Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time. 
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.  
  • The baby should sleep in the same room as the parents, but not in the same bed (room-sharing without bed-sharing). 
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads. 
  • Wedges and positioners should not be used. 
  • Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care. 
  • Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth. 
  • Breastfeeding is recommended. 
  • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. 
  • Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating. 
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. 
  • Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads)

Friday, October 14, 2011

BOB jogging stroller recall

The drawstring on the BOB jogging stroller can detach and pose a choking or strangulation hazard for young children. You can get more information here

Monday, October 10, 2011

ADHD, inattentive type

We are into the school year about a month now. And hopefully it is going great. But if it's not, consider the possibility of ADHD. ADHD has three types: hyperactive, inattentive and combined. The hyperactive and/or combined are pretty easy to spot. These are the kids that are always on the go, talking non-stop, jumping out of their seat. If you don't notice it the teacher will. But kids with the inattentive type can fly under the radar. They are the ones who do their homework (and often do it perfectly) but don't turn it in. They don't hear what the teacher says, not because they are causing a ruckus, but because they are silently staring out the window thinking about something else. Because they don't make a fuss they can go undiagnosed and don't live up to their potential. With proper treatment, however, children with ADHD can excel.

If you are concerned that your child may have ADHD, give us a call to schedule an appointment.  We want to make this the best school year yet.