Monday, November 18, 2013

Antibiotic Awareness Week

Apparently it is Get Smart About Antibiotics Week (who knew!?!) When your kid is sick you just want them BETTER. And fast. And it is tempting to want an antibiotic just in case it will help. But more often than not, the pink stuff is just going to cause diarrhea. Knowing when to use an antibiotic and when to wait can be tricky. We found this great article from They've got some other great links on their site, so check it out if for more info.

If your child has a sore throat, cough, or runny nose, you might expect the doctor to prescribe antibiotics. But most of the time, children don’t need antibiotics to treat a respiratory illness. In fact, antibiotics can do more harm than good. Here’s why:

Antibiotics fight bacteria, not viruses.

If your child has a bacterial infection, antibiotics may help. But if your child has a virus, antibiotics will not help your child feel better or keep others from getting sick.
  • Most colds and flus are viruses.
  • Chest colds, such as bronchitis, are also usually caused by viruses. Bronchitis is a cough with a lot of thick, sticky phlegm or mucus. Cigarette smoke and particles in the air can also cause bronchitis. But bacteria are not usually the cause.
  • Most sinus infections (sinusitis) are also from viruses. The symptoms are a lot of mucus in the nose and post-nasal drip. Mucus that is colored does not necessarily mean your child has a bacterial infection.

In most cases, antibiotics will not help your child.

Usually, antibiotics do not work against colds, flu, bronchitis, or sinus infections because these are viruses. Sometimes bacteria cause sinus infections, but even then the infection usually clears up on its own in a week or so. Many common ear infections also clear up on their own without antibiotics.Some sore throats, like strep throat, are bacterial infections. Symptoms include fever, redness, and trouble swallowing. However, most children who have these symptoms do not have strep throat. Your child should have a strep test to confirm that it’s strep, and then, if they’re needed, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics.

Antibiotics have risks.

Side effects from antibiotics are a common reason that children go to the emergency room. The drugs can cause diarrhea or vomiting, and about 5 in 100 children have allergies to them. Some of these allergic reactions can be serious and life threatening.
Overusing antibiotics also encourages stronger bacteria to grow. The stronger bacteria do not respond to antibiotics. This means that the next time your child needs antibiotics for a bacterial infection, they will not work as well. This is sometimes called “antibiotic resistance.” The stronger bacteria can spread from your child to other family members and schoolmates, causing infections that are more difficult to cure and more costly to treat.

Antibiotics are a waste of money if used incorrectly.

Most antibiotics do not cost a lot. But money spent on drugs that are not needed is money wasted. Also, in severe cases, treatment of infections that are antibiotic-resistant can cost as much as $29,000.When does your child need antibiotics?

Your child may need antibiotics if:

  • A cough does not get better in 14 days.
  • A bacterial form of pneumonia or whooping cough (pertussis) is diagnosed.
  • Symptoms of a sinus infection do not get better in ten days, or they get better and then worse again.
  • Your child has a yellow-green nasal discharge and a fever of at least 102° F for several days in a row.
  • Your child has strep throat, based on a rapid strep test or a throat culture. Antibiotics should not be prescribed unless one of the tests shows strep. Strep cannot be diagnosed just by looking at the throat.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully

October is National Bully Awareness Month, and we just finished up Bully Awareness Week at Southpoint. The first step, as with most issues, is recognition. Thankfully, bullying is something more and more people are talking about. Hopefully it will become less of an issue for our kids as we all stand together to stomp out bullying.

Here are a few great resources:
Bullying: It's not OK
Avoiding Bullying
Take Action, Avoid Bullying
10 ways to respond to bullying
What to do if your child exhibits bullying behavior

Some pictures of our office during our Bully Awareness Week.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Salmonella Outbreak

There has been a recent outbreak of Salmonella associated with Foster Farms chicken, with two cases in Utah. Symptoms of Salmonella are fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea, sometimes with blood or mucus. If your child has any of these symptoms they should be seen.

Utah has created a new website to help track food-borne illness outbreaks. If you think something you ate made you sick, go to and report your symptoms.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Decorative Contact Lenses

With Halloween around the corner, some of our teenage patients may be thinking of buying decorative contact lenses as part of their costume. What they might not realize is that while they may look cool, and give the edge to that Twilight costume, decorative lenses can also be dangerous. They have dye in them that can cause problems. One size does not fit everyone, and they can stop air from getting into the eye and trap germs underneath. These problems can be serious and lead to blindness, even if only worn for a few hours.

These lenses are FDA approved (with a prescription) after being measured by an eye care professional. However, lenses are sold illegally at costume shops and from online stores. Parents should keep an eye on any child who wears contacts, decorative or prescription. If there is redness, pain, light sensitivity, tearing or drainage from the eye the contact should be removed and see an eye care professional.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Fall is upon us, which means winter is around the corner...which means that cold and flu season is nearly here. In fact, I think it might be here. This week in the office we've been seeing more sick kiddos than usual. With the cough and the runny nose often comes a fever. I found this article on fevers that I thought made some really great points. You can find the original here.

A recent issue of Pediatrics includes a new report detailing the need for doctors to improve patient teaching about fever and fever-reducing drugs.
Many parents fear their child getting a fever, or have “fever phobia.” I certainly can understand why. Kids can do crazy things when they get fevers. They don’t sleep well, eat poorly, and behave strangely. Some children can even have seizures due to a quick spike in body temperature. So it isn’t surprising that beginning as early as the pre-natal consultation, parents ask questions about what to do when their child gets a fever.
Concern about childhood fevers is long-standing in our history. Fever superstitions and ancient fever remedies are ribboned throughout all cultures. For example, Romans would trim the fingernails of those affected with fever. Using wax to attach the fingernail clippings to a neighbor’s front door was thought to transmit the fever to that household. Note: Do not have ancient Romans as neighbors. And, even today, I will occasionally see children whose elders have used a method called cupping to literally suck the fever out of them.
So, here are 5 fabulous facts about fever. Some of these statements may be exactly opposite what our mothers have said about fever. The goal of this post is not to discredit grandma, but to decrease fever phobia and treat fever correctly. And with the right information, maybe the next time our pink-cheeked kiddos come to us with warm foreheads, we might not be so eager to jump to our medicine cabinets.
Please note: The following facts are NOT true for infants under the age of 3 months. Please talk to your pediatrician about newborns with fever.
1. There is no “number” on a thermometer that requires a trip to the Emergency Department. Nope, not even 104F degrees. With very specific exceptions, kids do not have to maintain a “normal” temperature during times of illness. Fever is a normal, healthy way for the body to fight common infections. Bacteria and viruses that attack our bodies love normal body temperature, but cannot successfully replicate in hotter conditions. Fever, therefore, reflects a robust immune system’s defense against these pathogenic attackers. The bacteria and viruses are the enemy, not the fever they cause.
So remember: fever is a symptom of illness, not a disease. Seeing a high number on the thermometer means your child’s body is doing its job to fight an infection.
2. The severity of fever does not always correspond with the severity of illness. So, what does that mean? A fever is generally defined as over 100F degrees. However, with few exceptions, the degree “number” over 100F really doesn’t matter. In fact, a fever of 101F degrees does not make more difference to me than a fever of 103F degrees.
I have kids running and playing in my office with high fevers. I have other children who look sluggish and sad with a reasonably mild fever. Every kiddo reacts to a fever differently. So regardless of the actual numerical value, look for signs of serious illness in your child. Observe his level of discomfort, level of activity, and ability to maintain adequate hydration. If you are concerned, call your pediatrician to discuss the next steps.
3. Fevers do not have to be treated with medication. Fevers help the body fight infection. Treating a fever is only necessary when you think your child is uncomfortable. The goal of administering antipyretic (anti-fever) medications is not to get a high temperature back to “normal.” They are simply medications to make your child feel better.
Fevers can make kids feel pretty lousy. Children can have altered sleep, unusual behavior, and poor oral intake. If these symptoms are upsetting to your child, please give a fever reducing medication. Treating fever does provide comfort, and may decrease the risk of dehydration.
As an aside, if you are coming to the pediatrician’s office because your child has a fever and her or she is uncomfortable, please give your child a fever reducing medication prior to coming to the office. You do not have to wait until the doctor “sees them with a fever.” A comfortable child is much easier to examine. And a good exam will often determine the cause of the fever, allowing for accurate treatment.
4. Half of you are dosing fever medications incorrectly. As many as one-half of parents do not administer the correct dose of fever reducing medication to their child. This includes both under-dosing and over-dosing. Medications should be dosed according to your child’s weight, not age. Always use the measuring device that comes with the medication. If you lose the dosing device, use only a standard measuring instrument (syringe, medicine cup) as a replacement. Household spoons and measuring spoons are not always accurate.
I often hear parents deliberately under-dosing their child. They say, “I didn’t really want to give him medication, so I just gave him a half-dose.”
A “half-dose” will do nothing. Don’t bother.
If you feel that your child needs medication, give the correct dose. If you have questions about your child’s dosage or the proper measuring device to use, call your pediatrician.
5. Fever does not cause brain damage. In a person with a normal functioning brain, and the ability to cool oneself, fever is normal response to infection. Every normal brain has a internal “thermostat” that will prevent a person’s temperature from getting high enough to cause brain damage. It is only when hyperthermia, or heat stroke, occurs when damage to the brain and other organs will occur. Hyperthermia happens in the rare instances when an individual’s brain cannot regulate temperature well (as in a rare case of brain injury) or when an individual is not able to cool oneself (as in a closed car on a summer day.) Fever due to illness in a normal child will not cause organ damage.
Natasha Burgert is a pediatrician who blogs at KC Kids Doc.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Flu Vaccines Are Here

We have flu vaccine (mist and shot) for all ages and insurances
We are scheduling flu clinics (by appointment only) on the
following days and times:
Tuesdays 2:00 - 4:30
Wednesdays 2:00 - 4:30
Fridays 2:00 - 4:30
Saturdays 9:00 - 1:00
Please call our office to make your appointment...
remember that we offer flu vaccine and Tdap (whooping cough) vaccine to parents.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Car Seat Safety

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week. We all know we should buckle our kids up, but sometimes it is confusing! It's so tricky because the guidelines have some built-in overlap. I really liked this visual that gave a nice overview. If you want more info (or a clearer image) click here.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Recall of Motrin Infant Drops

Approximately 200,000 bottles of Concentrated Motrin Infant Drops (Original Berry Flavor 1/2 fl oz) have been recalled. They found tiny plastic particles (about the size of a poppy seed) in some of the bottles. These bottles were never released to the market, but just to be safe McNeil is voluntarily recalling three lots that have potential to be affected. The lot numbers are DCB3T01, DDB4R01 NAD DDB4S01, UPC Code 300450524157. It is only the 1/2 ounce bottles of Motrin Infant Drops that are at risk, not the 1 ounce bottle. Children's or Adult products are not included in this recall.

If you have any bottles of the affected Motrin, stop using it and call 1-877-414-7709 for a refund. You can also visit here for more information.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stimulants reduced drug use in children with ADHD

A new study confirmed what we've already thought--that for children with ADHD taking stimulant medication DECREASES their chance of having a problem with drugs and alcohol, compared to children with ADHD who are not medicated. You can read more here. Exactly how stimulant medications guard against substance abuse is not entirely clear. It is possible that children who are untreated for their ADHD are self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. It is also possible that by decreasing the core symptoms of ADHD, including impulsivity, children are more successful, have better self-esteem and make better decisions.

Friday, August 30, 2013

West Nile in Utah

West Nile virus has been reported in Southwestern Utah. So if your Labor Day plans include outdoor activities, make sure to use bug spray! 

- Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors. 
-The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than two months of age.
- Wear long sleeved shirts and pants while outdoors.
- Remove any puddles or standing water around your home where mosquitoes can breed, including birdbaths, swimming/wading pools, old tires, buckets and plant containers.
- Report bodies of stagnant water to the local Mosquito Abatement District (MAD). 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Just can it

A new study showed that children who drink soda were more aggressive than children who didn't. It was dose dependent--the more soda, the more aggression. The difference wasn't dramatic, but it was there. Kids with no soda scored 56 on an aggression score, kids who drank 1 cans a day scored 57, 2 cans scored 58, 3 cans 59 and 4 or more cans scored 62. One more reason (as if we needed one) to encourage good old H20!

Read more here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Super Kid Of The Month


Monday, June 3, 2013

The booster seat

I know, I know. Your 7 year-old HATES his booster seat. None of his friends have to use them, and it makes carpool that much more complicated. What's a good mom to do? Think about this before you kick the booster to the curb: states that require kids to sit in a booster seat until age 8 had a 35% decrease in the rate of serious injury or death from a car crash. 35%! That's huge.

The official policy is that kids should ride in a booster until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, regardless of their age. The Utah State law requires all children to be in a booster seat until they are 8 years-old, unless they are 4"9' (or 57 inches tall). Questions? Read more here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dog Bite Prevention Week

Did you know that every year more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs? With more than half of these victims under 14?  Yikes! Check out this brochure from the American Academy of Pediatrics to learn a few tips and tricks on keeping man's best friend friendly.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Send Kids the World

I just came across this awesome website, and am loving the idea. Your kids can send postcards to a child with a life-threatening illness. Brilliant, right? Ella and I have had so much fun making cards for a few of the children, and it has allowed us to have natural conversations about why these children look a little different or have various wires or tubes. So stop by the local gas station, pick up a fun postcard pick a child and drop it in the mail.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cinnamon Challenge

There’s a new game in town that’s sending adolescents to the emergency department (ED). The “cinnamon challenge” is the latest online dare that tricks teenagers into risky behavior with potential consequences.

The challenge requires a person to swallow a tablespoon of dry, ground cinnamon in 60 seconds without drinking any fluids. The practice has led to a surge in calls to poison control centers and ED visits for spice-induced choking and aspiration.

Symptoms include severe coughing; burning of the mouth, nose, and throat; vomiting; nosebleed; and chest tightness. Aspiration also can lead to allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

In most cases, the effects are temporary; however, in the first 6 months of 2012, at least 30 patients nationwide required medical attention and 1 patient in Ohio reportedly required hospitalization and ventilator support for collapsed lungs.

According to researchers, cinnamon is a caustic powder that does not dissolve or biodegrade in the lungs. Studies in rats have shown serious lung changes after cinnamon ingestion. 

For adolescents with cinnamon allergies or with bronchopulmonary diseases including asthma, the risks associated with aspiration may be greater, even fatal. Although there are no documented pulmonary sequelae in humans, the researchers strongly advise counseling teenaged patients about the potential health threat from succumbing to peer pressure regarding this practice.

(Adapted from Contemporary Pediatrics)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Super Kid Of The Month



Monday, April 8, 2013


The annual Walk for MS is coming up here in Salt Lake on Saturday April 27th. If you want to have a great time, get some exercise and support a good cause this is a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

For more details go here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shining a light on Autism

April is Autism Awareness Month, and today is Autism Awareness Day. We want to give a shout out to all our awesome patients and families and friends with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Here are a few links we found interesting.

What is Autism? What causes it? What is the "spectrum"?

10 things we know about autism that we didn't know a year ago

iPad apps for kids with Autism

Importance of early diagnosis and therapy

The Empire State Building is lit up blue today in honor or Autism Awareness

A blog post on "Being a locksmith"

We are very proud to have mental health services at Southpoint. Nate Ridge and Helen Aoiki do an amazing job helping us provide families with expertise and support.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Senate Bill 55

There is currently a bill in the Senate that would require insurance companies to cover autism treatments. It has cleared the Senate Business and Labor Committee and is on to the Senate Floor for a vote next week. Utah is one of 18 states that does not have such requirements.

Read more here or here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Super Kid Of The Month



Monday, January 14, 2013

Siblings Helping Siblings

This class will provide opportunities for siblings to 
  • Meet other siblings of kids with ASD
  • Learn coping strategies
  • Learn problem solving skills
  • Have fun!

Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 7-9
Jordan Family Education Center
319 W 11000 S 
South Jordan, UT 84095

This group is part of a research project being done through the University of Utah and additional requirements for participation in the group include the following:
  • Siblings participating in the group must be between the ages of 8 and 12 years old
  • In person visits with researchers to gather data
If you are interested in learning more about participating, please contact Natalie Buerger at 801-403-5402

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Flu is Here


Influenza (flu) is here. All influenza viruses cause a respiratory illness that can last a week or more. Have your child seen in our office if they have any of the following symptoms:
  • A sudden fever (usually above 101°F or 38.3°C)
  • Chills and body shakes
  • Headache, body aches, and being a lot more tired than usual
  • Sore throat
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Stuffy, runny nose
To help stop the spread of germs like influenza, RSV, and whooping cough (Pertussis):
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
  • Put your used tissue in the waste basket
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub