Monthly Archives: June 2013

A new take on whether or not to give Tylenol (Acetaminophen) right before or after a vaccination

A new study has pediatricians (including us) rethinking previous recommendations about acetaminophen and vaccinations.

Often, children get a slight fever after a vaccination.  This is a normal response of the immune system, reacting to the presence of something new in the body.  Physicians have long recommended taking acetaminophen before, and every four hours for the first 24 after a vaccination to prevent or reduce fever and make the child more comfortable.

The study, reported in The Lancet, finds that giving acetaminophen does indeed decrease fever after the vaccination.  But there was an unexpected finding:  acetaminophen appears also to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

More studies are required, and the reasons behind this lowered effectiveness are not fully understood.  However, for now we believe it is best NOT to give doses of acetaminophen right before or within the first 24 hours after the vaccine.  If, though, your child exhibits a fever of 101º or above, or experiences soreness, then it’s okay to give a small amount to ease those symptoms.

Speaking of amounts, Tylenol and other makers/distributors of acetaminophen have recently changed the concentration of their product for infants.  It’s now the SAME as the concentration for children, but the dosage is of course smaller.  So be sure not to use a medicine dropper from an old infant Tylenol bottle with the new infant Tylenol concentration.

Always check dosing instructions on any over the counter medication.

Stay healthy, and don’t forget to keep your immunizations up to date!

Corinne, age 3

Corinne, age 3


© 2013, Melissa Bane Sevier

Print this blog for your teenager to read

Texting while driving (TWD)—are you ready for this statistic?—increases by 23 times the risk of an accident.

Even if you think you or your friends would never text behind the wheel, a new article in Contemporary Pediatrics indicates that nearly half of teens do so.  Not only that, people who text behind the wheel are also more likely to drink and drive, ride with someone who’s been drinking, or not use a seat belt.

What to do about it?

  • Teens and parents should talk about this together.  Starting the conversation before driving age is best, but it’s never too late.
  • Make a contract.  Parents and teenagers can agree NOT to TWD, drive under the influence, or ride with someone who participates in dangerous behavior.  Here is a sample of such a contract.
  • Eliminate the temptation.  Put the phone in the back seat.  If you’re expecting an important text and hear the notification, pull over at a parking lot to retrieve it.

One more issue:  what do you say to a driver who’s texting?  You can always give the excuse, “My parents will ground me forever if I’m riding with a texting driver.  Do you mind waiting?”  Or, “Hand me your phone and I’ll send a reply saying you’re driving and will get back to them soon.”  If nothing works, don’t ride with that person in the future, or get your parents to come pick you up.  They’d much rather be inconvenienced for an hour than leave you in a dangerous situation.

Bottom line:  Don’t text and drive.  It can wait.

Artwork by Wyn, age 13

Artwork by Wyn, age 13



© 2013, MBS Writing Services

A new physician on board!

Dr. Laura Forster          Georgetown Pediatrics welcomes Dr. Laura A. Forster, MD, to our practice beginning July 8.

Dr. Forster comes to us from the Wake Forest Baptist Community Physicians Group in Mocksville, NC.  This is a Kentucky “homecoming” of sorts for her, since she completed medical school and residency, along with a year as chief resident, at the University of Louisville before moving to North Carolina in 2011.  Her husband has just completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases, and they are excited to be returning to Kentucky.

A board certified pediatrician, Dr. Forster is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  She’s the recipient of several awards, including the Compassionate Pediatrician Award in 2010.

Exemplifying the compassionate aspects of her character, Dr. Forster says, “I have loved getting to know my patients and their families.  While I also enjoyed the teaching/academic environment during my experience as a chief resident and hospitalist, I have found that nothing can replace the relationship between a general pediatrician and the families he or she takes care of.”

We know that Dr. Forster will be a great addition to our family of pediatricians and staff, and a compassionate physician for our patients and their families.

We are already scheduling checkups with Dr. Forster, beginning July 8.  Call our office at 502-863-6426 to make an appointment.


© 2013, MBS Writing Services

New blog and summer sun!

Welcome to Georgetown Pediatrics’ new blog!  Every couple of weeks you can check this space for information related to your child’s health needs.  We welcome your ideas for future posts.

Now that school is out, nearly everyone will be spending more time in the sunshine, which is a good thing (mostly).  Sunlight elevates mood and provides vitamin D.  But the sun’s rays also lead to burns now and to possible skin cancers down the road.  Here are some tips to keep your children and teens healthy and happy in the sunshine this summer.

  • Limit exposure.  Find a shady spot, use an umbrella, and cover up when possible.  This is especially important for infants, who should have a hat that shades the neck, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
  • Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen.  These sunscreens are rated to protect against two types of rays that damage skin:  UVA (that cause wrinkles when one ages) and UVB (that cause burns).  Consumer Reports recently released an excellent study that ranked sunscreens, and found that two of the least expensive brands were most effective.  CBS News has the rundown here.  If you use a spray, don’t spray directly on the face, but on your (or your child’s) hands, then rub it onto the face.  Be sure to cover the back of the neck, the ears, and the tip of the nose.  Use products with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15, though some dermatologists recommend an SPF of 40 or above.  Reapply every two hours, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Use a lip balm that contains sunscreen.
  • Remember that water and sand are reflective and increase the exposure risk.

 Finally, have fun!  Summer only comes around once a year!

© 2013 MBS Writing Services