Monthly Archives: September 2013

When is a fever something to be concerned about?

That’s a great question, because we probably get more calls about fevers than about anything else.

The American Academy of Pediatrics published a brief article about fever and treating it, reminding parents that fever is the body’s way of fighting an illness, and the reason to treat it is to make the child more comfortable.  They emphasize:

  • watching for signs of serious illness;
  • being careful of dosage amount based on the child’s weight;
  • keeping the child well-hydrated;
  • storing the medication in a safe place;
  • not waking the child up to administer the medication.

So, what should you be watching for, and when do you call the pediatrician?  Here we’ve quoted a list from the same article that we think is quite helpful:

“Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has a fever and

  • Looks very ill, is unusually drowsy, or is very fussy.
  • Has been in a very hot place, such as an overheated car.
  • Has other symptoms, such as a stiff neck, severe headache, severe sore throat, severe ear pain, an unexplained rash, or repeated vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Has immune system problems, such as sickle cell disease or cancer, or is taking steroids.
  • Has had a seizure.
  • Is younger than 3 months (12 weeks) and has a temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher.
  • Fever rises above 104°F (40°C) repeatedly for a child of any age.

“Also call your child’s doctor if

  • Your child still “acts sick” once his fever is brought down.
  • Your child seems to be getting worse.
  • The fever persists for more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2 years.
  • The fever persists for more than 3 days (72 hours) in a child 2 years of age or older.”

Don’t forget:  since a fever is a sign of an illness, do NOT send your child back to school/daycare until his temperature has been under 101 for 24 hours.

Together, we’ll work at keeping your child healthy.

Artwork by Tori

Artwork by Tori


© 2013, MBS Writing Services.

Preparing for (owie!) shots

No one likes to get a shot, but we all know they are necessary.  Whether getting an annual flu vaccine or immunizations for school, your child will sometimes be coming to our office to receive a shot.  How you prepare your child is important and may make the event go better for all concerned.

While every child is different, some basics are helpful.

  • Tell the truth.  If you tell your child she’s not getting a shot, or that it won’t hurt, she may not want to go to the doctor’s office again, even when she won’t be getting a shot.
  • Tell the truth–again.  Explain that though the shot will hurt a little, it won’t last long and it will keep him healthy for a very long time.
  • Don’t blame the doctor or nurse.  They often hear some version of:  “If you don’t behave, the nurse will give you a shot.”  Vaccinations are not punishment; they are insurance against future illness.  Words spoken against the nurse or doctor, even in jest, can harm your child’s view of medical personnel—the people who are there to help.  Your child should feel positively about our staff; it will make it easier for you to bring him the next time he’s sick.
  • Have a conversation and plan a reward.  Some children can’t keep from crying, but you can help them refrain from dramatic overreaction.  Let them know what is going to happen, and that you expect them to be kind and behave appropriately for their age.  A promised reward can help—a bike ride with you, a favorite dessert, a play date with a friend.

Getting a shot isn’t fun, but with some assistance from you, we’ll make the experience as painless as possible for all concerned!

This week's artwork

This week’s artwork


© 2013, MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved.

Moving on…

It is with both joy and sadness that we announce the upcoming retirement of Suetta Williamson, the “Voice of Georgetown Pediatrics” for the past 21 years.  As our receptionist, Suetta was likely the first person you spoke to in our office.  Her warm and cheerful attitude and her ability to make people feel welcome have been the essence of her work.  Suetta’s calm voice is just what a parent needs to hear when a child is sick.  These wonderful personal qualities make her leaving particularly hard for us.

Our joy is in knowing that Suetta is now beginning the next portion of her life’s journey.  She’ll have more time for family, especially her grandchildren; she can spend more time in the garden and pursue all those things she has put off for the last two decades.

Suetta’s official retirement date will be October 21, exactly 21 years from the day she was hired!  She has been a huge part of the success of Georgetown Pediatrics.  We know you will join with us in wishing her well even as we recognize how much she will be missed.  In the words of Dr. Hambrick:  “Go well, stay well, come back well.”


© 2013, MBS Writing Services


It’s always been hard to be a kid—trying to fit in, wanting to have friends.  Perhaps it’s harder now than ever.  When you encounter a bully, feeling as though you don’t fit in can be especially painful.

Bullies can be male or female, young children or teens.  Their own low self esteem makes them want to put other kids down.  Bullying almost always happens out of view of adults, including teachers.  But you can encourage your child to report to you (or to a teacher or counselor) incidents of bullying they experience or witness.  Occasionally ask if they know someone who is picked on.  Rehearse with them things they might say if they are bullied, or if they witness bullying.  Antagonizing a bully, or entering a physical altercation, is unadvised, especially since they tend to choose victims who are smaller and physically weaker.

What if your child is the bully?  Studies show that early intervention can help bullies overcome their need to induce fear in others.  If intervention doesn’t happen, though, the bully has a far greater risk of not learning how to be successful in work or relationships.

By far the best article we’ve seen on bullying is this one from The American Academy of Pediatrics.  It gives extremely helpful advice about how to help your child survive bullying and develop appropriate social skills.

Teach your child to make friends, and they’ll forever be grateful.

Artwork by Josh

Artwork by Josh


© 2013 MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved